Center for Progressive Reform

Alexandra Klass

Alexandra Klass is a Professor of Law, University of Minnesota Law School.

Professor Klass teaches and writes in the areas of environmental law, energy law, tort law and property law, with a focus on renewable energy, interstate electric transmission lines, environmental federalism, and the modern development of common law as a supplement to statutory and regulatory law to addres current environmental protection issues. 

Professor Klass has represented citizen groups, local governments, large corporations, small corporations, and individuals in litigated and regulatory matters relating to wetlands, cleanup of contaminated property, environmental review, eminent domain, land use, wind power, and flood impoundment projects, among others. She continues to advise and represent nonprofit  groups and others in pro bono environmental matters. Professor Klass is currently on the Board of Directors of the Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy and is a Resident Fellow at the University of Minnesota’s Institute on the Environment.

Prior to her teaching career, Professor Klass was a Partner at Dorsey & Whitney LLP in Minneapolis, where she specialized in environmental law and land use cases. During her years in private practice from 1993-2004, she handled cases in federal and state trial and appellate courts in Minnesota and other states involving contaminated property, wetlands, environmental review law, environmental rights law, zoning, eminent domain, and environmental torts.

Professor Klass is a co-author of The Practice and Policy of Environmental Law (Foundation Press 2d ed. 2010) (with J.B. Ruhl, John Copeland Nagle, and Jim Salzman). Professor Klass’s articles have appeared in numerous journals and include: State and Municipal Energy Efficiency Laws, in The Law of Clean Energy: Efficiency and Renewables (Michael B. Gerrard, ed., American Bar Association, Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources, 2011) (with John K. Harting), The Growing Influence of Tort and Property Law on Natural Resources Law: Case Studies of Coalbed Methane Development and Geologic Carbon Sequestration, in The Evolution of Natural Resources Law and Policy (Lawrence J. MacDonnell & Sarah F. Bates, eds., Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources, American Bar Association, 2009), Takings and Transmission, North Carolina Law Review (forthcoming 2013) (SSRN), Interstate Transmission Challenges for Renewable Energy: A Federalism Mismatch, Vanderbilt Law Review (forthcoming 2012) (with Elizabeth Wilson) (SSRN), CERCLA, State Law, and Federalism in the 21st Century, 41 Southwestern Law Review 679 (2012) (symposium essay), (Lexis/Westlaw), Renewable Energy and the Public Trust Doctrine, 45 UC Davis Law Review 1021 (2012) (SSRN), Energy and Animals: A History of Conflict, 3 San Diego Journal of Climate & Energy Law 159 (2012) (symposium essay) (SSRN), Property Rights on the New Frontier: Climate Change, Natural Resource Development, and Renewable Energy, 38 Ecology Law Quarterly 63 (2011) (SSRN), Climate Change, Carbon Sequestration, and Property Rights, 2010 University of Illinois Law Review 363 (2010) (with Elizabeth Wilson) (SSRN), State Standards for Nationwide Products Revisited: Federalism, Green Building Codes, and Appliance Efficiency Standards, 34 Harvard Environmental Law Review 335 (2010) (SSRN), Carbon Capture and Sequestration: Identifying and Managing Risks, 8:3 (Balancing the Risks: Managing Technology and Dangerous Climate Change) Issues in Legal Scholarship Article 1 (2009) (with Elizabeth Wilson), Climate Change and Reassessing the "Right" Level of Government: A Response to Bronin, 93 Minnesota Law Review Headnotes 15 (2009), Punitive Damages after Exxon Shipping Company v. Baker: The Quest for Predictability and the Role of Juries, 7 University of St. Thomas Law Journal 182 (2009) (SSRN), Tort Experiments in the Laboratories of Democracy, 50 William and Mary Law Review 1501 (2009) (SSRN), Carbon Sequestration and Sustainability, 44 Tulsa Law Review 237 (2008) (invited symposium) (with Sara E. Bergan) (SSRN), Climate Change and Carbon Sequestration: Assessing a Liability Regime for the Long-term Storage of Carbon Dioxide, 58 Emory Law Journal 103 (2008) (with Elizabeth Wilson) (SSRN), State Innovation and Preemption: Lessons from State Climate Change Efforts, 41 Loyola of Los Angeles Law Review 1653 (2008) (invited symposium) (SSRN), The Frontier of Eminent Domain, 79 University of Colorado Law Review 651 (2008) (SSRN), Common Law and Federalism in the Age of the Regulatory State, 92 Iowa Law Review 545 (2007) (SSRN), Punitive Damages and Valuing Harm, 92 Minnesota Law Review 83 (2007) (SSRN), Adverse Possession and Conservation: Expanding Traditional Notions of Use and Possession, 77 University of Colorado Law Review 283 (2006) (SSRN), Modern Public Trust Principles: Recognizing Rights and Integrating Standards, 82 Notre Dame Law Review 699 (2006) (SSRN), Bees, Trees, Preemption, and Nuisance: A New Path to Resolving Pesticide Land Use Disputes, 32 Ecology Law Quarterly 763 (2005) (SSRN), Pesticides, Children's Health Policy, and Common Law Tort Claims, 7 Minnesota Journal of Law, Science & Technology 89 (2005) (SSRN), From Reservoirs to Remediation: The Impact of CERCLA on Common Law Strict Liability Environmental Claims, 39 Wake Forest Law Review 903 (2004) (SSRN), The Expansion of Punitive Damages in Minnesota: Environmental Litigation after Jensen v. Walsh, 30 William Mitchell Law Review 177 (2003) (Lexis), Restoring the Trust: Water Resources and the Public Trust Doctrine, A Manual for Advocates (Center for Progressive Reform, White Paper #908, Sept. 2009) (with Ling Yee Huang) (SSRN).

Professor Klass received her B.A. degree in political science and French with distinction from the University of Michigan in 1988, and her J.D. cum laude from the University of Wisconsin Law School in 1992, where she was an Articles Editor for the Wisconsin Law Review and a member of the Order of the Coif. She clerked for the Honorable Barbara B. Crabb, Chief Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin from 1992-1993. 

Alexandra Klass
University of Minnesota Law School
Minneapolis, MN 

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