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Constitutional Rights and Remedies Faculty
Associate Dean for Faculty Scholarship and Professor
Alan Chen is a nationally recognized expert in constitutional law, federal courts and civil rights litigation. He pursues research in a variety of fields, including federal remedies for civil rights violations, free speech doctrine and theory, and lawyering for social change. Chen has published many scholarly articles, and his work has appeared in several of the country’s leading law journals. He is a past chair of the Association of American Law Schools Section on Civil Rights. Chen is also interested in linking theory to practice. In recent years, he has litigated two high-profile, pro bono civil rights cases in the federal courts. One case challenged law enforcement officers’ use of pepper spray to subdue peaceful environmental protesters in California. The other lawsuit invalidated a Colorado law mandating that all students and teachers recite the Pledge of Allegiance in public schools. Since joining the University of Denver Sturm College of Law faculty in 1992, Chen has received awards for teaching, contributions to the law review and pro bono legal work. Before entering teaching, Chen was a staff attorney with the ACLU’s Chicago office, where he was a civil liberties litigator focusing primarily on cases concerning the First Amendment, police misconduct and privacy rights. Before that, he served as a law clerk to the Honorable Marvin E. Aspen, U.S. District Court judge for the Northern District of Illinois.
Professor Aviel is a graduate of Yale College and Harvard Law School. She clerked for Judge Barry Silverman of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and practiced in the litigation department of Morrison & Foerster in San Francisco. She also spent two years as a staff attorney for the Ninth Circuit, specializing in civil rights, immigration, habeas corpus, and criminal appeals. Professor Aviel’s research and teaching interests include family law, legal profession and professional responsibility, and constitutional law. She is currently working on an article about the operation of constitutional principles in private custody disputes.
Director, Constitutional Rights & Remedies Program and Professor
Sam Kamin joined the faculty at the Sturm College of Law in 1999 and was promoted to Associate Professor at the end of the 2004-2005 academic year. Holding both a J.D. and a Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley, Professor Kamin is active in the Law and Society Association and in the field of law and social science generally. Professor Kamin’s research interests include criminal procedure, death penalty jurisprudence, federal courts, and constitutional remedies. He is the co-author of two books analyzing California’s Three Strikes and You’re Out Law and has published scholarly articles in the Virginia Law Review, The Indiana Law Journal, the Boston College Law Journal and Law and Contemporary Problems, among others.
Jan G. Laitos
John A Carver, Jr. Professor of Law
Jan Laitos holds the John A. Carver Jr. Chair in Natural Resources and Environmental Law at the University of Denver Sturm College Of Law. He is a Reporter for the Planning and Environmental Law Review (published by the American Planning Association); a regional board member of the Rocky Mountain Land Use Institute; and Trustee of the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law foundation. He was Vice Chair of the Colorado Water Quality Control Commission. He has received the University of Denver’s Distinguished Teaching Award, and was selected a “DU Law Star.” Prior to joining the faculty at the Law school, he was the law clerk to the Chief Justice for the Colorado Supreme Court, and an attorney with the Office of Legal Counsel within the United States Department of Justice. He is the author of thirteen books and treatises, published by West, Foundation Press, Aspen, Oxford University Press, Cambridge University Press, Duke University Press, and Bradford Press.
He has worked as a consultant on several cases decided by the 9th Circuit Court of Federal appeals, the Montana Supreme Court, the Nevada Supreme Court, the Idaho Supreme court, and the Colorado Supreme Court, and on several cert. petitions before the United States Supreme Court.
He has lectured at Austral University Law School in Buenos Aires, Argentina, at the European Network For Housing Research Institute in Istanbul, Turkey, at the Central European University, Budapest, Hungary, the National University of Ireland at Galway, Ireland, the University of Oslo, Norway, and the University of Tarragona, Spain.
Law School Clinical Program
Professor Christopher Lasch has been litigating to protect his clients’ constitutional rights since 1996. After graduating from Yale Law School, Chris worked for three years as a public defender in Louisville, Kentucky. He represented hundreds of clients in the adult trial division and was a member of the capital trial division for nearly two years. In 2000, Chris partnered with another former defender to form a small private law firm dedicated to criminal defense and civil rights litigation. He continued to represent those accused of crimes in Kentucky’s trial courts, and broadened his practice to include appellate, postconviction, and federal habeas corpus litigation on behalf of convicted prisoners. His firm brought civil rights actions and tried civil rights cases in both state and federal courts. In 2006, Chris became a Robert M. Cover Clinical Teaching Fellow at the Yale Law School, where he taught in numerous clinics, including the Capital Punishment Clinic, Criminal Defense Project, and the Worker and Immigrant Rights Advocacy Clinic. After serving as a Visiting Assistant Clinical Professor at the Suffolk University Law School during the 2009-10 academic year, where as a teacher of the Suffolk Defenders Clinic he supervised students defending criminal cases in the Boston Municipal Court system, Chris came to the Sturm College of Law to teach in the Criminal Defense Clinic. His scholarship focuses on the availability of constitutional remedies in federal habeas and state postconviction litigation, and on the intersection of criminal and immigration law.
Professor Leong graduated magna cum laude from Northwestern University before attending Stanford Law School, where she graduated with distinction and was a member of the Stanford Law Review. After earning her law degree, she clerked for Judge Kermit Lipez of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. Prior to joining the University of Denver faculty, Professor Leong was an Assistant Professor at the William & Mary School of Law, an Adjunct Professor at the Washington College of Law American University in Washington D.C., and a Visiting Scholar at Georgetown University Law Center. She also practiced First Amendment law with Americans United for Separation of Church and State.
Professor Leong’s scholarship and teaching interests include constitutional rights and remedies, criminal procedure, antidiscrimination, law and culture, and judicial decisionmaking. Her recent scholarship has appeared or will appear in the Boston University Law Review, Harvard Law Review, Iowa Law Review, Irvine Law Review, Northwestern University Law Review, Stanford Law Review, Virginia Law Review, Yale Law Journal, and the Journal of Legal Education, among others.
In fall 2013 Professor Leong will be a Visiting Assistant Professor at the UCLA School of Law.
Prior to joining the faculty at the College of Law, Professor Marceau clerked for the Honorable Sidney R. Thomas, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and worked as a litigation associate with the law firm Heller Ehrman, LLP (San Francisco). Subsequently, Professor Marceau was an Assistant Federal Public Defender (District of Arizona) specializing in capital habeas corpus appeals. Professor Marceau continues to actively practice law as counsel of record, as a consultant, and as an expert witness. Since joining the faculty he was lead counsel in a federal habeas corpus trial and he has been counsel of record on a number of briefs. He has lectured at CLEs and been invited to present his work to judicial conferences. He regularly consults on cases with habeas attorneys and joins or authors amicus briefs for the Supreme Court.
Professor Marceau’s research interests include habeas corpus, the death penalty, criminal procedure, criminal law, constitutional law and animal law. Professor Marceau also litigates and consults for a leading animal welfare non-profit, the Animal Legal Defense Fund.
George W. (Rock) Pring
Professor Emeritus of Law
Professor Rock Pring’s area of specialization centers on environmental and natural resources issues internationally and nationally. He has taught and published extensively, and continues to serve as a consultant to governments and public-interest organizations on sustainable development, human rights, mining and resource development, environmental impact assessment, compliance, and remediation, and nature preservation. While at Denver Law, Prof. Pring taught numerous courses including International Environmental Law, International Water Law, Public Land and Resources Law, and Constitutional Law.
Professor Pring and his wife, Kitty Pring, co-directed the University of Denver Environmental Courts and Tribunals Study (at www.law.du.edu/ect-study), and authored the first comparative book on this exploding phenomenon, Greening Justice: Creating and Improving Environmental Courts and Tribunals. Professors Pring has co-authored (with Professor Ved Nanda) a leading treatise on International Environmental Law as well as numerous other publications in the field. He co-authored (with Professor Penelope Canan) the National Science Foundation-funded book, SLAPPs: Getting Sued for Speaking Out, which first named and drew international attention to the problem of “Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation” in government or “SLAPPs” – lawsuits to chill citizens’ communications to government.
In addition to his extensive publications and teaching load, Professor Pring is a former US Representative to the Academic Advisory Group of the International Bar Association’s Section on Energy, Environment, and Resources Law. He also served as past-chair of the State of Colorado Hazardous Waste Commission, retired adjunct professor in the graduate Environmental Science and Engineering Program at the Colorado School of Mines, and co-founder and vice president for conservation of the Clear Creek Land Conservancy.
Ronald V. Yegge Clinical Director and Associate Professor
Law School Clinical Program
Laura Rovner received her J.D. from Cornell Law School, her B.A. magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Pennsylvania, and an LL.M. in Advocacy from Georgetown University Law Center. At Georgetown, Professor Rovner was a clinical teaching fellow in the Institute for Public Representation, where she supervised students on civil rights matters involving race, gender, disability and national origin discrimination. She was then awarded an Equal Justice Fellowship from Equal Justice Works (formerly the National Association for Public Interest Law) to work with a national organization representing the interests of deaf and hard of hearing people. Following this fellowship, Professor Rovner taught at Syracuse University College of Law, where she served as the Director of the Public Interest Law Firm, a clinical legal education program with a focus on civil rights and public interest litigation, and most recently, was the Director of Clinical Education and founder of the Civil Rights Project at the University of North Dakota School of Law. At the University of Denver College of Law, Rovner teaches in the Civil Rights Clinic, which represents clients in cases involving prisoners’ rights, disability rights and employment discrimination.
Robin Walker Sterling
Law School Clinical Program
Robin Walker Sterling is a graduate of Yale College and New York University School of Law, where she was a Root-Tilden-Kern Scholar, and Georgetown University Law Center, where she earned an L.L.M. in Clinical Advocacy. Following law school, she clerked for Judge Emmet G. Sullivan of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. She then served as the Stuart-Stiller Teaching Fellow in the E. Barrett Prettyman Fellows program at Georgetown University Law Center, representing adults and children charged with criminal offenses in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia while supervising third-year law students in the Juvenile Justice Clinic. Professor Walker Sterling then worked as a staff attorney in the trial division of the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia (PDS), representing adults and children charged with criminal and delinquency offenses. Professor Walker Sterling followed her tenure at PDS with a position as a Supervising Attorney at the Children’s Law Center, where she trained and supervised guardians ad litem handling dependency, adoption, and guardianship cases. For the last three years, Professor Walker Sterling has worked as the Special Counsel with the National Juvenile Defender Center, a juvenile defense policy advocacy organization in Washington, D.C.
Professor Walker Sterling’s research and teaching interests include clinical advocacy, criminal law, and juvenile justice. Professor Walker Sterling’s current work in progress explores extending the right to a jury trial to juveniles facing delinquency proceedings.