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J. Robert Brown, Jr.
Chauncey Wilson Memorial Research Chair
For more than two decades, J. Robert Brown has taught corporate and securities law, with a particular emphasis on corporate governance. He has authored numerous publications in the area and several of his articles have been cited by the US Supreme Court. Brown has also spent considerable time abroad, particularly in the former Soviet Union, advising governments in these areas. From 2000 – 2004, Brown served the University of Denver Sturm College of Law as an associate dean for academic affairs. He is an arbitrator for the FINRA and, among other outside activities, serves as the chairman of the board of directors of the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless.
Director, Roche International Business LLM Program and Associate Professor
Prof. Cai received her B.A. in Italian and International Relations from Washington University in St. Louis and her J.D. from University of California Berkeley School of Law, where she was a member of the California Law Review and Order of the Coif. Prior to joining the faculty at the College of Law, Prof. Cai was a corporate associate with the law firms of Morrison & Foerster, LLP (San Francisco) and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher and Flom LLP (Chicago), specializing in both domestic and international mergers and acquisitions, banking, finance and securities law. Prof. Cai is the founding director of the Roche LLM in International Business Transactions, an intensive and experiential graduate program geared at training both U.S. and foreign lawyers in private transactional law. Prof. Cai teaches Property, International Law, International Trade, International Sales, and Drafting and Negotiation in an International Business Context. Prof. Cai is a native of Xiamen, China and is fluent in a number of languages.
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.
Born and raised in Canada, Rashmi Goel brings to bear her experience on both sides of the border in her Criminal Law class and in her upper-level seminars, Multiculturalism, Race and the Law and Comparative Law. These courses reflect her interest in culturally specific adjudication – the use of a litigant’s cultural background to formulate a particular adjudicative process or outcome. In conjunction with her ongoing research and scholarship in this area, she has also developed expertise in international criminal law and restorative justice. Outside the law school, Goel puts her knowledge in these areas to work in Colorado and California, helping to establish dispute-resolution mechanisms for high school students.
Jeffrey H. Hartje
Jeffrey Hartje clerked for a federal judge and practiced law as a private law firm attorney, federal public defender, and Legal Services law reform director for nine years before founding and directing the clinical law program at Gonzaga University Law School. Hired as a clinical director at the University of Denver College of Law in 1987, he founded the Meditation and Arbitration Clinic and has served as the supervising professor in the Student Law Office’s civil and criminal representation clinics. He founded and for several years directed the Lawyering Process Program and the Chancellors Scholars Program. In addition, he has served as the Sturm College’s associate dean for academic affairs. Hartje has also been the chair of the Association of American Law School’s Section on Clinical Legal Education, a founder / charter member of the Clinical Legal Education Association and a founding advisory board member of the Clinical Law Review. He has been a consultant to the National Legal Services Corp, the U.S. Department of Education and to a number of law schools, including the University of Dayton and Toledo University. He has taught in law programs in Japan, Australia, Argentina and Chile.
Ved P. Nanda
Evans University Professor Thompson G. Marsh Professor of Law
Professor Nanda has taught at the University of Denver since 1965. In addition to his scholarly achievements, he is significantly involved in the global international law community. He is Past President of the World Jurist Association and now its Honorary President, former honorary Vice President of the American Society of International Law and now its counselor, and a member of the advisory council of the United States Institute of Human Rights. He was formerly the United States Delegate to the World Federation of the United Nations Associations, Geneva, and Vice-Chair of its Executive Council, and also served on the Board of Directors of the United Nations Association-USA. He also serves as an elected member of the American Law Institute and as a council member for the American Bar Association Section of International Law.
In 2006 Professor Nanda was honored with a $1 million founding gift from DU alumni Doug and Mary Scrivner to launch the Ved Nanda Center for International and Comparative Law. The Center began its programming in 2007, hosting programs for the lawyers, students and community participants as well as promoting scholarship in the field of international law.
In February 2004, Professor Nanda was awarded the “Gandhi, King, Ikeda Award for Community Peace Building” from Soka Gakkai International and Morehouse College. In 1990 in Beijing, China, Professor Nanda was presented with the “World Legal Scholar” award by the World Jurist Association. He was also the recipient of the United Nations Association Human Rights Award in 1997. He has received honorary doctorates from Soka University in Tokyo, Japan and from Bundelkhand University, Jhansi, India. He is widely published in law journals and national magazines, has authored or co-authored 22 books in the various fields of international law and over 180 chapters and major law review articles, and has been a Distinguished Visiting Professor and Scholar at a number of universities in the United States and abroad.
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.
Professor Rhodes specializes in international human rights with an emphasis on economic rights, the role of intergovernmental organizations and regulation of multinational corporations. In addition to serving as director of the University of Denver Sturm College of Law’s LLM in American & Comparative Law Program for international lawyers from outside the United States, Rhodes is the chair of the college’s admissions committee and its Committee on Internationalization & Globalization. She is a member of the District of Columbia, Louisiana and U.S. Supreme Court bars. She is also the chair of the Sam Carey Bar Association Continuing Legal Education Committee. A member of the Society of Friends, Rhodes is a human rights and peace activist who has participated on the committees and boards of many nonprofit organizations, including the American Friends Service Committee, whose board of directors she served as vice-chairperson / associate clerk. She also has served as chairwoman of the Stiles African American Heritage Center’s “Quilting & the Quest for Freedom” project.
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.
John T. Soma
John T. Soma is the Executive Director of the University of Denver Privacy Foundation. After completing his PhD in economics in 1975, Soma served from 1976 to 1979 as trial attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice, Antitrust Division, Washington, D.C., where he was primarily assigned to the Department of Justice trial team in the . In 1979, he joined the University of Denver Sturm College of Law faculty. In addition to six books on computer law, Professor Soma has authored more than 40 professional articles in the computer law and privacy area.
Michael D. Sousa
Assistant Director, Business and Commercial Law Program and Assistant Professor
Michael Sousa teaches and pursues scholarship in the areas of bankruptcy law and commercial law. Prior to joining the faculty at the College of Law, Michael was an associate in the Business Reorganization and Financial Restructuring Practice Group at Duane Morris LLP, an AM Law Top 100 law firm. In addition to his private practice experience, Michael served as a judicial law clerk in both state and federal court. He served as a law clerk in federal bankruptcy court for the Honorable Rosemary Gambardella, Chief Bankruptcy Judge for the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of New Jersey, and for the Honorable Donald H. Steckroth, Bankruptcy Judge for the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of New Jersey. He also served as law clerk for the Honorable William J. Martini in the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey, and for the Honorable John E. Wallace, Jr. in the Appellate Division of the New Jersey Superior Court.
Michael received his J.D. from Rutgers University School of Law, his LL.M. in bankruptcy from St. John’s University School of Law, his Master’s of Arts in anthropology from the University of Denver, and he is currently pursuing a Ph.d in sociology from the University of Colorado – Boulder. He currently serves as a member of the Advisory Board for the LL.M. in Bankruptcy Program at St. John’s University School of Law. Michael was recently appointed to a three-year term to serve on the Editorial Advisory Board for the American Bankruptcy Institute Law Review. In addition, Michael is a contributing editor to four national bankruptcy publications, including the Journal of Bankruptcy Law and Practice, the American Bankruptcy Institute Journal, the Norton Annual Survey of Bankruptcy Law, and the multi-volume treatise, Norton Bankruptcy Law and Practice 3d. Moreover, he is a co-author of the one volume treatise, Consumer Bankruptcy Manual, published by Thomson-West. He is also a member of the Editorial Advisory Board for the Journal of Bankruptcy Law and Practice.
To date, his articles have been cited by several judicial opinions, including Biltmore Associates, LLC v. Twin City Fire Insurance Co., 572 F.3d 663 (9th Cir. 2009), Miller v. Ameriquest Mortgage Co. (In re Laskowski), 384 B.R. 518 (Bankr. N.D. Ind. 2008), In re Xpedior Inc., 354 B.R. 210 (Bankr. N.D. Ill. 2006), and Smith v. Butler Associates (In re Smith), 2008 WL 4148923 (Bankr. D. Kan. 2008). Another article was cited as authority in an appellate brief to the United States Supreme Court in Board of Trustees of the Ohio Carpenters Pension Fund v. Bucci, No. 07-1107 (June 9, 2008).
Celia Taylor came to the University of Denver Sturm College of Law from Columbia University, where she taught a course in legal writing and research while obtaining an LLM in international human rights law. Prior to Columbia, Taylor was in private practice in San Francisco, specializing in corporate and securities law. Taylor currently teaches primarily in the corporate area, but has an abiding interest in human rights law. She is currently working to develop programs to build relationships with law schools in Central and South America.
Ann S. Vessels
Senior Lecturer and Director
Director, Legal Externship Program
Senior Lecturer/Internship Director
Ann Vessels, the Director of the Legal Externship Program, joined the DU faculty in 2006. Ann received her BA from Vanderbilt University and her JD from the Cumberland School of Law, Samford University. Prior to coming to DU, Ann was a partner in the law firm of Rothgerber Johnson & Lyons LLP where she practiced commercial litigation and employment law. Ann also served as the General Counsel and Senior Vice President of Human Resources for Junior Achievement, a global Non Profit Organization that strives to educate and inspire young people to succeed in a global economy. With a passion for leadership, Ann was the President of the Colorado Leadership Alliance, an alliance of academic leadership programs for outstanding undergraduate students at colleges and universities across Colorado.
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.
Robert B. Yegge Memorial Research Chair and Professor
Professor Edward Ziegler is retired from the University of Denver. He is a founder and past president of the Rocky Mountain Land Use Institute and he was the inaugural holder of the Robert B. Yegge Memorial Research Chair and a Professor of Law at the Sturm College of law. He is a frequent speaker and noted scholar on zoning and urban planning law. Professor Ziegler has published in professional journals throughout the United States, Europe, Asia, and Latin America. His writings, which include the teaching casebook Land Use Regulation, published by Aspen Co., and the five-volume treatise The Law of Zoning and Planning, by Thomson-West, are widely cited and quoted in land use cases by state appellate courts as well as by the United States Supreme Court.
Professor Ziegler’s consulting, research projects, and lectures on land use planning have included projects for the City of Paris, the European Network for Housing Research based in Sweden, the Austrian Science Fund, the Federal Institute for Spatial and Landscape Planning in Zurich, Switzerland, and the Shanghai Institute of Urban Planning and Design. He is a European Union Erasmus Mundus Visiting Scholar in the field of urban planning and sustainable development law and recently gave a series of lectures as a visiting scholar at the University of Trento, the University of Regensburg, the University of Barcelona, the Pantheon-Sorbonne University of Paris I, and the European Institute for Federal and Regional Studies in Bolzano, Italy. His article “Megapolitan Growth Management for Sustainable Development in the 21st Century” published in the International Journal of Law in the Built Environment recently received a 2010 Emerald Literati Award for Excellence in Scholarship by Emerald Group Publishing Limited in the United Kingdom. His most recent article, “American Cities, the Automobile, and Regional Transportation Planning: The Quest for Sustainable Development in the 21st Century” will be published in Chinese in 2012 in the Journal of Urban Planning International published by the China Academy of Urban Planning and Design and the Ministry of Construction of the Peoples’ Republic of China in Beijing.
Professor Ziegler is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame, holds a J.D. degree from the University of Kentucky Law School, and received the advanced LL.M. degree in public law with highest honors from the National Law Center of George Washington University.
University of Denver Lecturer David Akerson is a trial attorney with a broad international law and human rights portfolio ranging from human rights work in apartheid South Africa to prosecuting perpetrators at the Yugoslavia and Rwanda international criminal tribunals. His expertise lies in the core international crimes of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity; practice and procedure of the international tribunals; complex international criminal litigation; and international tribunal and policy.
Professor Akerson joined the University of Denver Law faculty in 2006 and currently teaches courses in international criminal law, international criminal procedure, and genocide and war crimes. He also teaches a “Genocide and War Crimes” Practicum in which University of Denver students collaborate with international tribunals and prosecution or defense teams to research, organize and analyze evidence in global genocide cases. Specifically, his practicum students review transcripts of witnesses’ testimony and other evidence in a case after it has concluded, or even as a trial is in progress. They prepare summaries and analyses of testimony, and highlight key names, dates and locations. Students use one or more databases that organize the material with hyperlinks to other relevant facts and actual portions of transcripts to support what they have written. In active cases, the research the students have compiled and stored into the databases is subsequently presented to the courts and/ or prosecution and defense teams and used in the proceedings of the case. Since 2006, students in Professor Akerson’s class have worked on proceedings from the Rwandan genocide, on proceedings for the prosecution of ex-Liberian president Charles Taylor, and on proceedings of the Special Tribunal for Cambodia.
Professor Akerson’s recent publications include The Illegality of Fully Autonomous Lethal Drones, in THE LAW OF ARMED CONFLICT AND THE CHANGING TECHNOLOGY OF WAR (forthcoming) and PROSECUTING MASS CRIMES: A COMPENDIUM OF LESSONS LEARNED AND SUGGESTED PRACTICES, a three-year study of prosecutorial practices at the International Tribunals for Rwanda, the former Yugoslavia, Sierra Leone, Cambodia and Lebanon. The 300-page study is available on the International Association of Prosecutors website.