Member Information

David Uhlmann

University of Michigan Law School

625 South State Street
Ann Arbor, MI48109

David M. Uhlmann is the Jeffrey F. Liss Professor from Practice and the director of the Environmental Law and Policy Program at the University of Michigan Law School. His research and advocacy interests include corporate crime, criminal and civil enforcement of environmental laws, and climate change and sustainability. Since joining the Michigan Law faculty in 2007, Professor Uhlmann has published in the Michigan Law Review, the Harvard Environmental Law Review, the Stanford Environmental Law Journal, the Maryland Law Review, the UC Davis Law Review, the Utah Law Review, the Michigan Journal of Environmental and Administrative Law, the Environmental Law Forum, and the American Constitution Society's Issue Briefs series. Professor Uhlmann leads the efforts of nearly 400 Michigan Law students participating in the Environmental Crimes Project, the first comprehensive empirical study of criminal enforcement under U.S. pollution laws. Prior to joining the Michigan faculty, Professor Uhlmann served for 17 years at the U.S. Department of Justice, the last seven as chief of the Environmental Crimes Section, where he was the top environmental crimes prosecutor in the country. He led an office of approximately 40 prosecutors responsible for the prosecution of environmental and wildlife crimes nationwide. Professor Uhlmann coordinated national legislative, policy, and training initiatives regarding criminal enforcement and chaired the Justice Department's Environmental Crimes Policy Committee. He also served as vice chair of the annual American Bar Association's Environmental Law Conference and was on the planning committee for the ALI-ABA Criminal Enforcement of Environmental Laws Seminar. His work as lead prosecutor in United States v. Elias was chronicled in the book The Cyanide Canary (Free Press, 2004). Professor Uhlmann received a JD from Yale Law School and a BA in history with high honors from Swarthmore College. Following law school, he clerked for the Hon. Marvin H. Shoob of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia in Atlanta.

Work Phone:

EPA Region:
Region 5 – (IL, IN, MI, MN, OH, and WI)
Year of induction:
B.A. with High Honors in History and Political Science, Swarthmore College, 1984 J.D. Yale Law School, 1988
Georgia, 1989 D.C., 1991
Representative Publications:
New Environmental Crimes Project Data Shows That Pollution Prosecutions Plummeted During the First Two Years of the Trump Administration (October 2020) Back to the Future Creating a Bipartisan Environmental Movement for the 21st Century, Environmental Law Reporter 50, no. 10 (October 2020) The Climate Crisis Is Still a Crisis, The Atlantic (August 2020) BP Paid a Steep Price for the Gulf Oil Spill, But for the US a Decade Later, Its Business as Usual, The Conversation (April 2020) Prosecutorial Discretion and Environmental Crime Redux Charging Trends, Aggravating Factors, and Individual Outcome Data for 2005-14, 8 Mich. J. Envtl. & Admin. L. 297 (2019) Trump Wants to Weaken Clean Water Rules, New York Times (Op-Ed, December 12, 2018) Undermining the Rule of Law at the EPA, New York Times (Op-Ed, October 4, 2017) Can the Flint Prosecutions Succeed New York Times (Op-Ed, April 23, 2016) The Pendulum Swings Reconsidering Corporate Criminal Prosecution, 49 U.C. Davis L. Rev. 1235 (April 2016) Justice Falls Short in G.M. Case, New York Times Sunday Review (Op-Ed, September 20, 2015) Prosecutorial Discretion and Environmental Crime, 38 Harv. Envt L. Rev 159 (2014) Prosecution Deferred, Justice Denied, New York Times (Op-Ed, December 14, 2013) Deferred Prosecution Agreements and Non-Prosecution Agreements and the Erosion of Corporate Criminal Liability, 72 Md. L. Rev 1295 (Symposium Issue) (2013) Toward A Sustainable Future An Environmental Agenda for the Second Term of the Obama Administration, published in Toward A More Perfect Union A Progressive Blueprint for the Second Term, American Constitution Society for Law and Policy (January 2013) For 29 Dead Miners, No Justice, New York Times (Op-Ed, December 9, 2011) After the Spill Is Gone The Gulf of Mexico, Environmental Crime, and the Criminal Law, 109 Mich. L. Rev. 1413-61 (2011). Prosecuting Crimes Against the Earth, New York Times (Op-Ed, June 4, 2010) Environmental Crime Comes of Age The Evolution of Criminal Enforcement in the Environmental Regulatory Scheme, 2009 Utah L. Rev. No. 4, 1223-1252 (2009) Combating Global Climate Change Why A Carbon Tax Is a Better Response to Global Warming Than Cap and Trade, 28 Stan. Envtl L.J. No. 1, 3-50 (2009) (with R. Avi-Yonah) Working Wounded, New York Times (Op-Ed, May 27, 2008) Strange Bedfellows The Expansion of the Environmental Crimes Program During the Bush Administration, Volume 25, Environmental Law Forum, Number 3 (MayJune 2008)