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B.A., 1972, Rice University
J.D., 1978, University of Houston
M.P.H., 1983, University of Texas School of Public Health

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Additional Information

Edward P. Richards

Clarence W. Edwards Distinguished Professorship and Edward J. Womac, Jr. Endowed Professorship in Energy Law
Professor Emeritus, Senior Fellow: Climate Change Law and Policy Project


Professor Richards received his undergraduate degree from Rice University, where he studied environmental science, biology, and behavioral science. He did graduate work in molecular physiology and pharmacology at Baylor College of Medicine and the University of Michigan before receiving his J.D. from the University of Houston. After law school, he received his M.P.H. in disease control from the University of Texas School of Public Health. He was the Ruby M. Hulen/UMKC Professor of Law at the University of Missouri Kansas City School of Law before joining the LSU Law Center in 2002.

Professor Richards worked on health and public health policy law for many years, including work on HIV/AIDS, smallpox bioterrorism, and pandemic flu with the public and national security communities, including the CDC and Department of Justice. He is currently researching the impact of climate change on sea level rise and extreme weather events on coastal cities and ecological systems. He has authored more than 150 articles and five books. He moderates the Administrative Law Discussion Forum and is active in the national environmental and administrative law academic communities. For more information, see the Climate Change Law and Policy Project Blog.

View Professor Richards' Articles - View Professor Richards' Presentations

Courses Taught

Administrative Law, National Security Law, Climate Change Law, Administrative and Environmental Law Seminar

Selected Publications

Law Review Articles

Edward P. Richards, A Historical Review of the State Police Powers and Their Relevance to the COVID-19 Pandemic of 2020. 11 Journal of National Security Law 83 (2020), reprinted in: Dycus, S. & Fidell, E.R., 2020. Covid-19: The Legal Challenges, Carolina Academic Press.
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Edward P. Richards, The Hurricane Katrina Litigation Against the Corps of Engineers: Is Denial of Geology and Climate Change the Way to Save New Orleans? 40 University of Arkansas Little Rock Law Review 695 (2018).
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Edward P. Richards, The Lessons of Human Adaptation to Climate Change During the Holocene and the Tension between Solastalgia and Nostalgia During Adaptation to Future Climate Change, 18 Hous. J. Health L. & Pol’y 131 (2018).
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Edward P. Richards, Applying Life Insurance Principles to Coastal Property Insurance to Incentivize Adaptation to Climate Change, 43 Environmental Affairs Law Review 427–461 (2016)
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Edward P. Richards, The Hurricane Katrina Levee Breach Litigation: Getting the First Geoengineering Liability Case Right, 160 U. PA. L. Rev. Pennumbra 267 (2012).
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Edward P. Richards, The United States Smallpox Bioterrorism Preparedness Plan: Rational Response or Potemkin Planning? National Security Forum Issue, 36 Wm. Mitchell L. Rev. 5179 (2010)
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Edward Richards, What the Doctor Didn't Say: The Hidden Truth about Medical Research (Oxford 2006) with Jerry Menikoff.
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Edward P. Richards and Katharine C. Rathbun, Medical Care Law, Gaithersburg, Aspen Publishers, Inc., 1999.

Chapters in Books

Edward P. Richards, “The Historical Background for Mandatory Reporting Laws in Public Health,” in Mandatory Reporting Laws and the Identification of Severe Child Abuse and Neglect, edited by Ben Mathews and Donald C Bross. pp. 105-123. Springer Netherlands, 2015.

Edward P. Richards, "Introduction to the Legal System," in A Practical Introduction to Food and Drug Regulation, edited by Kenneth R. Piña and Wayne L. Pines, Food and Drug Law Institute Press, (1998), revised and updated 2020.

Edward P. Richards, Contributing author, Acting As If Tomorrow Matters: Accelerating The Transition To Sustainability (Environmental Law Institute 2012).

Edward P. Richards, The Role of Law Enforcement in Public Health Emergencies: Special Considerations for an All-Hazards Approach, in Bureau of Justice Assistance, U.S. Department of Justice (2006).

Selected Presentations

“Meta-Problems with Coastal Restoration: The Blue Carbon Hustle.” Vermont Law School Environmental Law Colloquium, September 2021.

Panelist: Section on National Security Law: National Security Implications of COVID-19, American Association of Law Schools, January 9, 2021.

The Constitution and the Coronavirus. (podcast) The National Constitution Center, April 15, 2020.

“Blue Carbon: When Environmentalists Deny Climate Change,” at the ECOLE: Emerging Technologies in Occupational Health and the Environment Workshop, LSU, February 2020.

Honors & Awards

  • 2001 President's Award, American College of Legal Medicine
  • Chair, American Association of Law School, Health Law Section
  • Chair, American Association of Law School, Administrative Law Section
  • 1999 Elmer F. Pierson Outstanding Teaching Award, University of Missouri
  • 1999 Brenner Faculty Publishing Award, University of Missouri Kansas