Alex W. Smith Professor of Law

University of Georgia
School of Law
Athens, GA 30602
United States

B.A., J.D., Yale University


Natural Resources Law
Environmental Law
Animal Law

Biographical Information


Peter A. Appel joined the Georgia Law faculty in 1997 and taught in the areas of environmental law, natural resources law and property. In 2011, he was named the Alex W. Smith Professor of Law.

Appel's research spanned three primary areas: the use of law to promote sustainable commerce, wilderness preservation and the courts, and more traditional doctrinal scholarship in environmental and natural resources law and property. His work appeared in the Harvard Environmental Law Review, the Stanford Environmental Law Journal, the Boston College Environmental Affairs Review, the Minnesota Law Review, the Washington University Law Quarterly and the Encyclopedia of the Supreme Court of the United States (Macmillan Reference, 2008). In addition to these articles focusing on the environmental and natural resources areas, Appel addressed more traditional topics in property law such as the role of the entailment in Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice (Georgia Journal of International and Comparative Law, 2013), the rule against perpetuities (Journal of Legal Education, 2004) and Roman law and its relation to American civil procedure (Georgia Journal of International and Comparative Law, 2002).

In addition to teaching at UGA, Appel served as an instructor to senior members of federal agencies. He trained federal wilderness managers at the Arthur Carhart National Wilderness Training Center - a facility in Missoula, Mont., run jointly by all federal agencies responsible for wilderness management - both in person and by webinar. He also taught environmental laws and regulations to employees of the United States Army Corps of Engineers.

Appel developed a practical understanding of environmental issues through his six years of service as an attorney with the Environment and Natural Resources Division of the U.S. Department of Justice. Prior to holding that position, he served as a judicial clerk for Chief Judge Gilbert S. Merritt of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit.

From 1999 to 2001, Appel served as a Lilly Teaching Fellow at UGA. The campus-wide program offers support and discussion to a select few UGA professors who show strong promise in both teaching and scholarship. Lilly Fellows also receive funds to develop new instructional programs during their two-year fellowship.

Appel earned his bachelor's and law degrees from Yale University, where he served on the notes editing committee of the Yale Law Journal and was a member of the Yale Law and Policy Review.

Publications & Activities


Grazing in the National Wilderness Preservation System, 53 Idaho L. Rev. 465 (2017).

A Funhouse Mirror of Law: The Entailment in Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, 41 Ga. J. Int'l & Comp. L. 609 (2013).

Sustainable Commerce: Private Ordering Systems Enable Multi-National Businesses to Craft CSR Programs Which Enhance Corporate Profitability, Minimize Environmental Impacts, and Control Corporate Risk, 21 Ind. Int'l & Comp. L. Rev. ___ (forthcoming) (with T.R. Irvin).

Sustainable Commerce, Corporate Governance, and the International Market, 39 Denv. J. Int'l L. & Pol'y ___ (forthcoming) (with T.R. Irvin).

Wilderness, the Courts, and the Effect of Politics on Judicial Decionmaking, 35 Harv. Envtl. L. Rev. 275 (2011).

Wilderness and the Courts, 29 Stan. Envtl. L.J. 62 (2010).

Sustainable Commerce: Public Health Law and Environmental Law Provide Tools for Industry and Government to Construct Globally-Competitive Green Economies, 33 S. Ill. U. L.J. 367 (2009) (with T.R. Irvin).

Kyoto Comes to Georgia: How International Environmental Initiatives Foster Sustainable Commerce in Small Town America, 36 Ga. J. Int'l & Comp. L. 559 (2008) (with T.R. Irvin, J. McEntire and J.C. Rabon).

Changing Intellectual Property and Corporate Legal Structures to Promote the U.S. Environmental Management and Technology Systems Industry, 35 B.C. Envtl. Aff. L. Rev. 397 (2008).

The Embarrassing Rule Against Perpetuities, 54 J. Legal Educ. 264 (2004).

The Power of Congress "Without Limitation" in the Twenty-First Century, 24 Pub. Land & Resources L. Rev. 25 (2004).

The Diligent Prosecution Bar to Citizen Suits: The Search for Adequate Representation, 10 Wid. L. Symp. J. 91 (2003).

Intervention in Roman Law: A Case Study in the Hazards of Legal Scholarship, 31 Ga. J. Int'l & Comp. L. 33 (2002).

Federalism in Environmental Protection, 23 Just. Sys. J. 25 (2002).

The Power of Congress "Without Limitation:" The Property Clause and Federal Regulation of Private Property, 86 Minn. L. Rev. 1 (2001).

Intervention in Public Law Litigation: The Environmental Paradigm, 78 Wash. U. L.Q. 215 (2000).

A Reply to Professor Tobias. 78 Wash. U. L.Q. 319 (2000).

The Ongoing Role of Alternative Dispute Resolution in Federal Government Litigation, 27 U. Tol. L. Rev. 805 (1996) (with Peter R. Steenland Jr.).

Note, Administrative Procedure and the IRS: Delimiting the Substantial Understatement Penalty, 98 Yale L.J. 1435 (1989).


Wilderness Law and Policy: Cases and Materials (Carolina Academic Press, forthcoming 2014).


"Public Regulatory Encouragement to the Adoption of PrivateOrdering Systems to Achieve Environmental Protection Through Sustainable Commerce" in Corporate Governance After the Financial Crisis (Edward Elgar Publishing, 2012) (with Dr. T. Rick Irvin (J.D.'08)).

"The Louisiana Purchase and the Lewis and Clark Expedition: A Constitutional Moment?" in Lewis and Clark: Legacies, Memories, and New Perspectives.(Kris Fresonke & Mark Spence eds., University of California Press, 2004).


Hawaii Housing Authority v. Midkiff, 2 Encyclopedia of the Supreme Court of the United States 399 (2008).

Public Lands, 4 Encyclopedia of the Supreme Court of the United States 152 (2008).


"Program Needed for Sustainable Commerce in State", Atlanta Journal-Constitution, April 30, 2009, page A15 (with T.R. Irvin).

"Water Wars--Will Georgia, Alabama and Florida Ever Agree?", Advocate, Vol. 42, No. 2 (Spring/Summer 2007), pp. 10-14.

"Are They Swaying Judges?", Legal Times, August 1, 2005.