Nelson Symposium set for Feb. 12

Published: February 8th, 2010

Category: Events, News

A distinguished group of national and state experts will be on hand 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Friday, Feb. 12, at the UF Hilton Conference Center in Gainesville, Fla., to discuss “Local Government Liability Under Federal Law: Regulating the Sacred and the Profane.” Presentation topics include First Amendment problems posed by the land use regulation of adult businesses, challenges posed to zoning authorities by the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, and constitutional pitfalls involved in crafting and enforcing residential restrictions for sex offenders. The symposium is free for UF faculty, staff and students.

“Especially during these times of intense fiscal distress for all levels of government, it is important for local government attorneys and their public clients to learn important lessons from cases and conflicts in which litigants have used federal statutory and constitutional provisions to challenge land-use decision making and other local regulations,” said Michael Allan Wolf, UF College of Law Richard E. Nelson Chair in Local Government, and organizer of the event. “This symposium will be a great opportunity to learn about the latest modes and theories of attack and defense.”

Presenters include Ashira Ostrow, associate professor, Hofstra Law School; Asmara M. Tekle, associate professor, Thurgood Marshall School of Law, Texas Southern University; Alan C. Weinstein, associate professor, Cleveland-Marshall College of Law and Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs, Cleveland State University; Marie Hartman, city attorney, Daytona Beach, Fla.; Steven J. Wernick, attorney, Bilzin Sumberg, Miami, Fla.; Franklin Zemel, attorney, Arnstein and Lehr, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.; and UF Law J.D. candidates, Tara Nelson and Dwayne Robinson.

To view the symposium agenda, visit For more information, contact Barbara DeVoe at 352-273-0615 or

The symposium is named to honor Richard E. Nelson, who served with distinction as Sarasota County attorney for 30 years, and his wife, Jane Nelson, two loyal UF alumni who gave more than $1 million to establish the Richard E. Nelson Chair in Local Government Law, which sponsors the annual event. Their support of the Levin College of Law’s Environmental and Land Use Program has been key to the program’s success and national recognition for excellence.