- Academic Advising Video
- Message from the Director
- Faculty Bios
- Faculty Scholarship
- Adjunct Faculty
- Courses and Curriculum
- E-Newsletter Archive
- Experiential Learning
- JD Certificate Program
- Natural Resources & Government Relations Lecture Series
- Renewable Energy Law & Policy Summit
- Guest Speaker Series
- Advanced Degree Programs
- Program Affiliates
- Contact Us
- Keeping Connected
- Building Green
- Ronan Summer Fellowship Program
Don C. Smith
Lecturer and Director
Director, Environmental & Natural Resources Law & Policy Graduate Program
Don C. Smith is the Director of the Environmental and Natural Resources Law JD and Graduate Programs at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law. He specializes in environmental law, with particular emphasis on environmental law and policy of the European Union.
Mr. Smith formerly worked as a water policy advisor for Kansas Gov. John W. Carlin. After leaving Gov. Carlin’s office he served as the governor’s appointee to the Kansas Water Commission.
He practiced natural resources law before joining the legal publishing arm of McGraw-Hill, where he was an associate publisher. He has also served as a publisher for an Anglo-Dutch publishing company, Reed-Elsevier, where he was responsible for a series of publications (e.g., “The Air Pollution Consultant” and “The Hazardous Waste Consultant”) about U.S. environmental law. He has also had extensive experience working on publications involving European Union environmental and energy policy.
He is a member of the American Bar Association, the Association of International Petroleum Negotiators, the Colorado Bar Association, the International Bar Association (IBA), and the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation.
He serves as editor-in-editor of the Journal of Energy and Natural Resources Law, a peer-reviewed publication affiliated with the Energy, Environment, Natural Resources and Infrastructure Law Section of the IBA. He serves on the editorial advisory board for the Manual of European Environmental Policy.
Mr. Smith and Judge David Edward, who served on the Court of Justice of the European Union from 1992-2004, have collaborated on a “first of its kind” web-based oral history involving the life and career of Judge Edward. The oral history includes nearly 15 hours of streaming video and audio as well as the full-text of nearly 100 articles written by Judge Edward, who is widely recognized as one of the most influential judges ever to sit on the Court of Justice.
To commemorate the 60th anniversary of the April 1951 signing of the Treaty of Paris, which established the European Coal and Steel Community, he produced a documentary Jean Monnet: Father of Europe. The documentary features the life and career of Mr. Monnet, whose ideas established the underpinnings of today’s European Union. The documentary was filmed in Europe.
Federico Cheever is Professor of Law at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law. After graduating from Stanford University (B.A./M.A. 1981) and UCLA (J.D. 1986), and clerking for Judge Harry Pregerson of United States Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit in Los Angeles (1986-1987), he came to Denver as an Associate Attorney for the Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund (1987-1989). With a few exceptions, he has been in Denver ever since. In 1990, he briefly commuted to Boulder to be a Research Fellow at Natural Resources Law Center, University of Colorado School of Law. Between 1990 and 1993, he was an associate at the law firm Faegre & Benson, in Denver, doing commercial and environmental litigation. He began teaching at the University of Denver College of Law in 1993 specializing in Environmental Law, Wildlife Law, Public Land Law, Land Conservation Transactions and Property. Professor Cheever served as the Hughes/Rudd Research Professor at the University of Denver College of Law 2002. He briefly left Denver again in 2000 to be a Visiting Fellow at Queen Mary and Westfield College, University of London. He served as a Visiting Professor at Northwestern Law School, Lewis & Clark College during the summer of 2005. In 2007 he was a visiting research fellow at the Australian National University in Canberra, ACT. From 2005-2007 he served as an adjunct professor at the Colorado School of Mines, teaching Environmental Law. In 2006 he was selected DU Law Star for excellence in teaching.
Professor Cheever writes extensively about the Endangered Species Act, federal public land law and land conservation transactions. He has recently co-authored a natural resources casebook, Natural Resources Law: A Place-Based Book of Problems and Cases, with Christine Klein and Bret Birdsong (2005).
Over the years, Professor Cheever has represented environmental groups in cases under the Endangered Species Act, the National Forest Management Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, the Wilderness Act and a number of other environmental laws. While in private practice he also represented regulated parties in disputes under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) and the Clean Air Act.
Lecturer & Executive Director, Rocky Mountain Land Use Institute
K.K. DuVivier graduated cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa from Williams College with a double major in English and Geology. She interned in the mineral departments of the Smithsonian Institution and the Hudson River Museum and then joined the American subsidiary of the French company COGEMA (currently Areva NC) as an exploration geologist. For three and a half years, she mapped, logged core, and coordinated field operations in Colorado, Texas, and New Mexico, before leaving to attend law school at the University of Denver. She received the Order of St. Ives when she graduated in 1982 and immediately started practice in natural resources law, first at Sherman & Howard and then at Arnold & Porter.
While her children were young, Prof. DuVivier worked as an Assistant City Attorney for the City and County of Denver and as the Reporter of Decisions for the Colorado Court of Appeals. She started full-time teaching at the University of Colorado School of Law in 1990, and she joined the faculty at DU in 2000. In 2013, she won the Sturm Faculty Excellence Award for “Best Professor.”
Prof. DuVivier has taught a variety of subjects over the years, including Energy Law, Renewable Energy Law, Civil Procedure, Mining Law, Legal Research & Writing, Local Government, Wills & Trusts, and Environmental Law. She served as Director of DU’s Lawyering Process Program from 2000 to 2007 and hosted the 2007 Association of Legal Writing Director’s Conference. In 2008, she returned to natural resources, teaching both Energy Law and Mining Law. From 2009-2010, she was designated Director of DU Law’s Environmental and Natural Resources Law Program. She also has taught energy and renewable energy courses as a visiting professor at Lewis & Clark Law School and at the University of Houston Law Center.
Prof. DuVivier is a Trustee-at-Large for the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation. She also has served in a number of officer capacities for the Association of American Law Schools’ (AALS) Natural Resources and Energy Section, including Chair of this AALS section in 2014. Since 2010, she has been a Vice-Chair for the Renewable, Alternative, and Distributed Energy Resources (RADER) Committee of the Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources (SEER) of the American Bar Association (ABA). Prof. DuVivier currently serves as her school’s Advisory Board Representative to the Institute of Energy Law in the Center for American and International Law in Plano, Texas, and her past service includes six years as Vice-Chair of the ABA Hard Minerals Committee and ten years as Chair or Vice-Chair of the Appellate Practice Subcommittee of the Litigation Section of the Colorado Bar Association. In 2006, she was inducted as a member of the American Law Institute (ALI).
Prof. DuVivier’s book, The Renewable Energy Reader (Carolina Academic Press 2011), was the first devoted exclusively to U.S. renewable energy law. She also has created a website www.RenewableEnergyReader.com to support the book. She continues to present in numerous national and international forums and has published over one hundred articles in bar journals and law reviews. Her current focus is on renewable energy issues, specifically solar and wind.
In 2008, Prof. DuVivier and her husband, Lance Wright, designed and built a near zero energy home following German Passive House principles. Their home is frequently featured in sustainability tours and won the Colorado Renewable Energy Society’s 2012 Renewable Energy and Sustainable Design in Buildings Award for the Residential-New Construction category in 2012.
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.
Kevin Lynch graduated magna cum laude from Rice University before attending New York University School of Law, where he was the Editor-in-Chief of the NYU Environmental Law Journal and graduated magna cum laude. Professor Lynch joined the faculty in 2009 as the Environmental Law Clinical Fellow, and he currently still teaches in the Environmental Law Clinic. Prior to attending law school, he worked in the energy industry, and before joining the faculty he was a junior attorney at Environmental Defense Fund’s office in Boulder, Colorado. Professor Lynch has experience working at the state and federal level on regulatory and permitting issues related to climate change, air quality, and energy policy, as well as litigation experience in federal courts regarding air pollution, public lands, and wildlife. His scholarship focuses on civil procedure and access to courts.
Justin Pidot graduated with high honors from Wesleyan University before attending Stanford Law School, where he graduated with distinction and was editor in chief of the Stanford Environmental Law Journal. Professor Pidot clerked for Judge Judith W. Rogers of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Prior to joining the University of Denver faculty, he was an appellate litigator at the Environment and Natural Resources Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, where he presented argument in more than a dozen federal appellate cases and acted as the staff attorney on two cases before the United States Supreme Court. Professor Pidot also completed a fellowship at the Georgetown Environmental Law & Policy Institute.
Professor Pidot’s scholarship and teaching focus on environmental law, natural resources law, and federal courts.
Tom I. Romero, II
Assistant Provost of IE Research and Curriculum Initiatives for University of Denver
Professor Romero is an Associate Professor of Law and is Affiliated Faculty with the Department of History. He teaches and researches in the areas of the legal history of the American West, Latinos and the law, school desegregation in multiracial contexts, property, land use, water law, and urban development and local government in the United States and Latin America. His work on such topics have appeared in the Colorado Law Review, the Utah Law Review, the New Mexico Law Review, the Albany Law Review, the Journal of Gender, Race, and Justice, the Temple Political and Civil Rights Law Review, the Seattle Journal for Social Justice, the Oregon Review of International Law, and the Chicano-Latino Law Review, among others. A native Denverite and undergraduate alum of the University of Denver, Dr. Romero is graduate of the University of Michigan where he received his J.D. and Ph.D. in history.
Prior to joining the faculty of the University of Denver Sturm College of Law in 2010, Dr. Romero was a Professor of Law and History at Hamline University School of Law. From 2000-2003, he also served as the Western Legal Studies Fellow at the University of Colorado at Boulder’s Center of the American West, Law School and Department of History. There, he completed a statewide survey of resources related to the legal history of Colorado and wrote a regular “historical perspective” column for the state bar journal, The Colorado Lawyer.
At the University of Michigan, Dr. Romero acted as a contributing editor of the Michigan Journal of Race and Law, worked with the legal counsel of the student interveners in Gratz v. Bollinger, 539 US 244 (2003), and spent time in Lima, Peru as a consultant on 19th century American property law for Hernando De Soto in his book: The Mystery of Capital: Why Capitalism Triumphs in the West and Fails Everywhere Else. As part of this project, Dr. Romero also collaborated with Peruvian civil lawyers and their work in formalizing title to property that is occupied by families and individuals possessing tracts of land.
Currently, Dr. Romero is revising a book manuscript on multiracial formation and the law in post-World War II Denver, Colorado; where among other aspect of the analysis, he extensively explores Keyes v. School Board No. One, 413 US 189 (1973) (the first non-Southern school desegregation case to reach the United States Supreme Court). In collaboration with the Denver Law Review, Dr. Romero has helped to put together a special symposium analyzing the impact and importance of the Keyes case since it was decided in 1973. As Assistant Vice-Provost for IE Research and Curriculum Initiatives for the larger university, Tom will be working to make the University of Denver one of the premier institutions in the country for the rigorous study of social and institutional inequality through the University’s IRISE initiative.
Dr. Romero is on the Board of Directors of the Colorado Latino Leadership Advocacy & Research Organization (CLLARO) and is an active member of LatCrit, Inc., Law and Society, the American Studies Association, the Western History Association, and the Hispanic National Bar Association.
Ved P. Nanda Chair and Associate Professor of Law
Director, International Legal Studies Program
Annecoos Wiersema received her first law degree (LL.B.) from the London School of Economics in England and her S.J.D. (Doctor of Juridical Science) degree in International and Environmental Law from Harvard Law School.
Prof. Wiersema teaches and researches in the fields of international environmental law, environmental and natural resources law, international law, administrative law and theory, and property law and theory. Her research focuses on how we can develop legal institutions both nationally and internationally that can effectively protect species and ecosystems in the face of ecological complexity and scientific uncertainty.
Prior to joining the faculty at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law, Prof. Wiersema was an Assistant Professor at The Ohio State University Michael E. Moritz College of Law and worked in the Denver office of Arnold and Porter LLP as a litigation associate. Prof. Wiersema was the George W. Foley, Jr. Fellow in Environmental Law at Harvard Law School from 1999-2000 and spent time as a Visiting Scholar at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in 2001.