Skip to Main Content

Archives: David Sive Environmental Law Collection: David Sive Environmental Law Collection

David Sive, the "father" of modern environmental law, was involved in many important lawsuits to enforce and broaden the reach of U.S. environmental legislation. Created with help of a grant from the New York State Archives and Records Administration.

Descriptive Summary

Title:  David Sive Environmental Law Collection  

Creator:  David Sive, Esq. David Sive Bibliography

Extent:  91 Linear Feet

Repository:  Pace University School of Law Library

Related Collections: Scenic Hudson Collection: Records of the Storm King Case 1963-1981 and other collections located at Marist College Library, Poughkeepsie, NY

Abstract: David Sive was a major force in establishing environmental law as a separate field of law. A founding partner of Sive, Paget & Riesel, P.C., in New York City, he litigated numerous lawsuits that established important precedents in environmental law, before the creation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency or passage of federal or state environmental statutes.  Indeed, Mr. Sive has often been referred to as the "Father of Modern Environmental Law."

Documents from a number of Mr. Sive's significant cases are collected here in the David Sive Collection, including the "Scenic Hudson" case, in which Con Edison was prevented from building a power plant at Storm King Mountain on the Hudson River. Mr. Sive also represented environmental groups in lawsuits that sought to prevent construction of the Trident Nuclear Submarine and nuclear testing at Amchitka Island in Alaska until studies could be made of potential environmental impacts of these projects. Several groundbreaking cases, such as the "Mohonk Trust" litigation, broke new legal ground regarding tax exemptions for land trusts created for environmental purposes. After retiring from active law practice, Mr. Sive taught in the Environmental Studies Program at Pace University School of Law.

Throughout his career, Mr. Sive was recognized for his contributions to environmental law, with awards from the Environmental Law Institute, the New York State Environmental Planning Lobby, the Sierra Club, the New York State Bar Association, The Nature Conservancy, the New York State Parks and Conservation Association, and others.

David Sive died on March 12, 2014. An obituary was published in the New York Times on March 19, 2014. Access the Virtual Memorial Celebration of David Sive. See also the Environmental Law Institute's remembrance, David Sive.

Pace Law Library has organized, described, and preserved Mr. Sive's litigation files to make them available for scholarly research. Archival preservation of the Collection was made possible with the help of a grant from the New York State Archives and Records Administration. Pace Law Library gratefully acknowledges Mr. Sive's generous donation of his files to Pace Law School for this collection.

Contact for Access: Call Gail Whittemore for appointment at (914) 422-4357.

Usage Restrictions: Copyright is retained by the author(s), or their descendants, as provided by United States copyright law.

Provenance: David and Mary R. Sive presented the files to Pace University School of Law Library in 2002.

Collection Overview: The Collection includes twenty-one series consisting of twenty cases (including related matters and appeals, some with different case names and/or index/docket numbers), and a twenty-first series comprising miscellaneous files and a small number of Mr. Sive's personal papers. Case files are by litigation document, in date order where possible, correspondence, legal research and background documents, drafts, memoranda, and news clippings, in sequentially-numbered folders. A full catalog of each series is available through the links below. 


Series1: Scenic Hudson, Inc. v. Federal Power Commission, and related cases collectively known as "Storm King" - lawsuit brought to prevent construction of a major power facility at Storm King Mountain in New York's Hudson River Valley (8 boxes). A related collection, the Marist Environmental History Project, is housed in the Archives of Marist College, Poughkeepsie, New York.

Series 20: Miscellaneous Cases   (5 boxes)