Robert Abrams

Professor of Law

Robert Abrams is an expert in both Water Law and Environmental Law. He is co-author of a leading casebook in each field: Legal Control of Water Resources (with Joseph Sax, Barton Thompson, Jr., and John Leshy, 4th ed. 2006) and Nature Law & Society: A Coursebook on Environmental Law & Policy, (with Zygmunt Plater, Robert Graham, Lisa Heinzerling, & David Wirth (3rd ed. 2004).

Professor Abrams is past Chair of the ABA Water Resources Committee and is currently serving as a Vice Chair of that committee. He is a contributing editor of the Preview of United States Supreme Court Cases and a Life Member of the American Law Institute.

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Doranne Riggio
Office: (407) 254 4022



  • Professor Abrams presented his work-in-progress paper, Water and Property Rights in an Era of Hydroclimate Instability, on October 12, 2017 at the Brigham-Kanner Property Rights Forum held at the College of William and Mary Law School in Williamsburg, VA. His presentation addressed takings claims in the wake of flooding and denial of water deliveries due to ESA-required water project operations.


  • Professor Robert Abrams has published the 5th edition of his casebook, Environmental Law and Policy: Nature, Law, and Society, with co-authors Zygmunt Plater, Robert Graham, Lisa Heinzerling, David Wirth, & Noah Hall.  The publisher for this latest edition is Wolters/Kluewer-Aspen Publishing Company.

  • Professor Robert Abrams and FAMU third-year law student Jacqueline Bertelsen published Downstream Inundations Caused by Federal Flood Control Dam Operations in a Changing Climate: Getting the Proper Mix of Takings, Tort, and Compensation as the lead article in the Fall 2015 issue of the University of Denver’s Water Law Review.


  • Professor Robert Abrams published “Water Law Transitions” in the Spring 2015 issue of the South Carolina Law Review.  Professor Abrams’ article puts primary focus on the 2010 riparian statue, the South Carolina Surface Water Withdrawal, Permitting, Use, and Reporting Act, and its limitations in addressing “potentially escalating water challenges” in South Carolina.  The Act includes registration, but not regulation, of agricultural users “effectively put[ting] almost 90% of the state’s water use beyond meaningful present or future regulation.”   The current water crisis in California and the response of the state of California highlights the timeliness of the concerns raised by Professor Abrams in his article.



  • Legal Control of Water Resources (4th Ed. 2006, West Publishing Co., 1104 pages with accompanying Teacher’s Manual) co-author with Joseph Sax & Barton Thompson, Jr., & John Leshy.
  • Environmental Law and Policy: Nature, Law, and Society, (3rd Ed. 2004, Aspen Publishing Co., 1312 pages with accompanying Teacher’s Manual) co-author with Zygmunt Plater, William Goldfarb, Robert Graham, Lisa Heinzerling, & David Wirth.
  • Water Federalism and the Army Corps of Engineers Role in Eastern States Water Allocation, 31 University of Arkansas Little Rock Law Review 395 (2009)
  • The Boundary Waters Treaty of 1909 as a Model for Interjurisdictional Water Governance, 54 Wayne Statue Law Review 1635 (2008)
  • Settlement of the ACF Controversy: Sisyphus at the Dawn of the 21st Century, 31 Hamline Law Review 679 (2008)
  • Climate Change and Freshwater Resources, 22 Natural Resources & Environment 30 (Winter 2008) (co-author with Noah Hall & Brent Stuntz)
  • Walking the Beach to the Core of Sovereignty: The Historic Basis for the Public Trust Doctrine Applied in Glass v. Goeckel, 40 University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform 861 (2007).
  • Broadening Narrow Perspectives and Nuisance Law: Protecting Ecosystem Services in the ACF Basin, 22 J. Land Use & Env. Law 243 (2007).
  • Interstate Water Allocation: A Contemporary Primer for Eastern States, 25 University of Arkansas Little Rock Law Review 155 (2002).
  • Superfund and the Evolution of Brownfields Federalism, 21 William & Mary Environmental Policy Journal 265 (1997).

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