Workplace Law Faculty

Nantiya Ruan

Lawyering Process Professor and Director

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Nantiya Ruan returns to the University of Denver and the Lawyering Process program after hiatuses on both coasts. After graduating from D.U. with dual J.D. and M.S.W. degrees, Nantiya clerked for the Honorable Ronald L. Ellis in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. Following her clerkship, Nantiya was a litigation associate at Outten & Golden LLP, a New York plaintiffs’ employment law firm, representing employees in discrimination and harassment cases, discrimination class actions, and contract and benefit claims. In one particularly satisfying case, Nantiya was a lead associate in a national “glass ceiling” discrimination class action against a major insurance company.

After four years, Nantiya left New York City for the more tranquil Bay Area waters. In Oakland, California, Nantiya was an associate for Goldstein, Demchak, Baller, Borgen & Dardarian (formerly Saperstein, Goldstein), a firm representing plaintiffs in complex and class action litigations across the country, including civil rights, employment discrimination, wage and hour, disability access, consumer, and other public interest class actions.

Prior to becoming an employee advocate, Nantiya represented children in custody disputes, indigent clients in criminal court in one of DU’s clinics, and was an intern and interim clerk at the Colorado Supreme Court. As a social worker, Nantiya counseled homeless, pregnant teens in Oakland and mothers with drug addictions in Charleston, South Carolina.

Nantiya has finally figured out what the rest of Denver knows, which is that the Rocky Mountain region is the perfect place to live. She returns to Denver with her spouse, Craig, and her two children, Bennett and Matilyn.

Rachel Arnow-Richman

Professor and Director, Workplace Law Program

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Rachel Arnow-Richman earned her JD, cum laude, from Harvard University and her BA, summa cum laude, in English from Rutgers University. She also holds an LLM from Temple University School of Law, where she was an Abraham L. Freedman Fellow and Lecturer in Law. Prior to joining the College of Law, Prof. Arnow-Richman was an associate professor at the Texas Wesleyan University School of Law and a visiting associate professor at Temple University School of Law. Before entering law teaching, she served as a judicial clerk to the New Jersey Supreme Court and practiced employment and commercial law at Drinker, Biddle and Reath LLP in Philadelphia. Prof. Arnow-Richman teaches and publishes in the areas of employment law and contracts.

Roberto Corrada

Mulligan Burleson Chair in Modern Learning and Professor

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Roberto Corrada has devoted his scholarly attention to three primary areas: the rights of ethnic and sexual minorities; the public/private distinction in labor and employment law; and the scholarship of teaching and learning. He has published articles on these subjects in the Wake Forest Law Review, the Cincinnati Law Review, the Houston Law Review, the Miami Law Review, the Catholic University Law Review, the Berkley Journal of Labor & Employment Law; and the Journal of Legal Education, among others. In addition, Corrada has published casebooks in administrative law and employment discrimination law. A distinguished teacher, Corrada has been recognized for his innovative work in the classroom. In 2000, he was selected as national Carnegie scholar for his active and collaborative learning efforts in his labor law classroom. In 2002, he was named University of Denver College of Law Donald & Susan Sturm Professor for Excellence in Teaching and Learning.He has won the University of Denver Distinguished Teaching Award and has been recognized as a DU Law Star. For 20+ years, Corrada has been extensively involved in service work with local and national institutions. In 1998, he was chairman of the board of the ACLU of Colorado. In 2002, he served as chair of the Association of American Law Schools Labor & Employment Relations Section. From 2000 – 2010, he served as secretary of the Latino/a Critical Legal Theory Association. In 2007, he helped form the Denver Urban Debate League, which he currently co-chairs.

José R. (Beto) Juárez, Jr.

Professor

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José Roberto (Beto) Juárez Jr., the University of Denver’s first Hispanic dean, began his tenure at the Sturm College of Law in July, 2006. An accomplished scholar, lawyer and administrator, Dean Juárez came to DU from St. Mary’s University School of Law in San Antonio, Texas, where he was a law professor and an associate dean for academic and student affairs. Dean Juárez has taught courses in Civil Procedure, Civil Rights, Conflict of Laws, Federal Courts, Professional Responsibility, and Remedies, as well as a seminar on Language Rights. His research interests include employment discrimination, language rights, legal history, race, and religion and the law, and he has published extensively, presenting his work throughout the United States and Mexico. Dean Juárez served as a Visiting Professor of Law at the University of Oregon Law School during the 2001-2002 academic year, and was an associate professor of law at the Council on Legal Educational Opportunity Institute at the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Law during the Summer of 1991. He began his career as a staff attorney for the Gulf Coast Legal Foundation in Galveston, Texas, where he practiced poverty law, with an emphasis on family and housing law; he then moved onto Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF), a civil rights law firm, as a staff attorney in their San Antonio office. After four years, he was named MALDEF’s Regional Counsel and Employment Program Director in their LA office, where he supervised a staff of 13, including five attorneys. He also supervised employment discrimination litigation brought by attorneys in five regional offices nationwide.

Juárez earned an A.B. degree in History from Stanford University and a J.D. from the University of Texas School of Law in 1981. He chairs the Board of Directors of the Journal of Law and Religion, and served on that board since 2002. He also serves on the board of directors of the Society of American Law Teachers (SALT), and served as Co-President from 2004-2006.

Martin J. Katz

Dean

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Marty Katz currently serves as Dean and Professor of Law at the University of Denver, Sturm College of Law.

Dean Katz led Denver Law in the development and implementation of a major strategic plan, which included initiatives in specialization and experiential learning. Denver Law now offers students five specialty certificates and a path-breaking Experiential Advantage CurriculumTM, which permits students to spend a full year of their legal education doing apprentice-based, experiential learning with real or simulated clients. Under Dean Katz’s leadership, Denver Law has moved up 20 places in US News’ law school rankings, and now boasts four nationally ranked specialty programs.

Dean Katz is a founding board member of Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers, a national consortium of law schools that serve as leaders in the experiential education movement. He also serves as a board member for the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System.

His recent scholarship in the field of legal education includes a chapter in the new Beyond Best Practices book on the role of administrators in facilitating curricular reform (with Ken Margolis); “Facilitating Better Law Teaching – Now,” which appeared in the Emory Law Journal; and “Analyzing Carnegie’s Reach: The Contingent Nature of Innovation” (with Stephen Daniels and William Sullivan), which appeared in the peer-reviewed Journal of Legal Education. His piece, “Teaching Professional Identity in Law School” was featured in The Colorado Lawyer. He has a forthcoming article on the costs of experiential curriculum in first issue of the peer-reviewed Journal of Experiential Education.

Dean Katz also specializes in antidiscrimination law, both within constitutional law and employment law. His work on antidiscrimination law has been published in the Georgetown Law Journal, the Notre Dame Law Review, the Indiana Law Journal, the Hastings Law Journal, and the Yale Law Journal. His work on separation of powers has been published in Constitutional Commentary, a peer-reviewed journal.

Dean Katz has lectured extensively on changes in legal education, as well as in antidiscrimination law, free speech and religion, separation of powers, defamation, and employment-related intellectual property law. He has made numerous media appearances in both local and national outlets.

In 2014 Dean Katz was elected co-Chair of the AALS Section for the Law School Dean. He also serves on the AALS Curriculum Committee. The National Jurist selected him as #8 on their 2013 “Most Influential People in Legal Education” list.

Prior to teaching full time, Dean Katz was a partner in the employment law group at Davis, Graham & Stubbs in Denver, Colorado and a law clerk to the Honorable David M. Ebel of the U.S. Court of Appeals. In his spare time, Dan Katz flies search and rescue missions for the Civil Air Patrol.

Click here for a list of Dean Katz’s recent presentations.

Raja Raghunath

Assistant Professor

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Raja Raghunath has been a member of the faculty since 2007. He was the Clinical Fellow of the Student Law Office from 2007 to 2009. Before joining the faculty, he was an associate at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton in New York, where his practice focused primarily on securities enforcement and bankruptcy litigation matters. His pro bono practice included federal wage and hour litigation on behalf of undocumented immigrant restaurant workers and guardianship proceedings in New York State Family Court. Prior to this, he worked as a labor lawyer at Gilbert & Sackman in Los Angeles, representing unions, unionized workers, and jointly-trusteed labor-management employee benefit funds in federal and state administrative and judicial forums. He has written in the areas of constitutional rights, labor, and administrative law.

Laura Rovner

Ronald V. Yegge Clinical Director and Associate Professor

Law School Clinical Program

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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.

Catherine E. Smith

Assoc Dean of Institutional Diversity and Inclusiveness, Professor

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Catherine Smith is a Professor at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law. During the 2009-2010 academic year, she was a Visiting Scholar at UCLA Law School’s Williams Institute.

After graduating from the University of South Carolina School of Law, Professor Smith clerked for the late Chief Judge Henry A. Politz of the U. S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and for U.S. Magistrate Judge William M. Catoe Jr. She then served as a legal fellow at the Southern Poverty Law Center. Before joining the faculty at the University of Denver, Professor Smith was an Assistant Professor at the Thurgood Marshall School of Law from 2000 to 2004.

Professor Smith teaches Torts, Advanced Torts, and Employment Discrimination. Her research interests include torts, civil rights law, and critical race theory. Her articles have been published in Wisconsin Law Review, North Carolina Law Review, and Rutgers Law Review, and Connecticut Law Review. Professor Smith’s current research explores the equal protection rights of children of same-sex parents.

Sheldon Smith

Adjunct Professor

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Sheldon H. Smith is a partner in Holme, Roberts & Owen LLP’s tax group, advising clients on ERISA, executive compensation, and fiduciary duties.

Mr. Smith represents public and private companies and governmental organizations in assisting them with employee benefit matters. He has crafted a number of “state of the art” types of qualified and non-qualified retirement plans, with a focus on saving taxes and providing effective tools for productivity and profitability.

Since 1980, Mr. Smith had been a member of either the adjunct or visiting faculties of the University of Denver Sturm College of Law. He received his undergraduate degree (B.A.) from Washington University in St. Louis and both of his law degrees (J.D. and LL.M. (taxation)) from the University of Denver.

Mr. Smith has been one of the country’s foremost continuing professional education instructors for thirty years. He has presented seminars and given speeches in most of the states to many diverse types of professional groups, including the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, more than thirty different state societies of CPAs, the National Tax Institute, the University of Denver, Western Pension & Benefits Conference, American Society of Pension Professionals and Actuaries (ASPPA), the Minnesota Tax Conference, the Iowa Tax Institute, Accountants Education Services, IACEBS, the Golden Gate Chapter of the California Society of Enrolled Agents, the College for Financial Planning, Financial Planners Association, banking and insurance organizations, and others. Mr. Smith has written numerous articles and course materials in his area of expertise.

Mr. Smith has served as president of the Denver Tax Group. He has been a member of the Western Pension and Benefits Conference since 1986 and has served as its President and as President of the Denver Chapter. Mr. Smith is the Immediate Past President of ASPPA and sits on its Board of Directors and Executive Committee. Mr. Smith was honored in 2009 as the Outstanding Alumni Law Star by the University of Denver Sturm College of Law.

Mr. Smith is a Fellow of The American College of Employee Benefits Counsel and has been selected to “Chambers USA – America’s Leading Lawyers”, “The Best Lawyers in America”, “Who’s Who in American Law”, “Who’s Who in American Education”, and as a Colorado Super Lawyer. He is a member of the American Bar Association, the Colorado Bar Association, and the Denver Bar Association. Mr. Smith is admitted to practice before the Colorado Supreme Court, the United States District Court for the District of Colorado, the United States Tax Court, the Tenth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals and the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.

Robert Truhlar

Adjunct Professor

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ROBERT J. TRUHLAR practices employment and labor law in Centennial, Colorado, and is a partner with his spouse, Doris, in Truhlar and Truhlar, L.L.P. He graduated from St. Mary’s College in Winona, Minnesota and received his law degree from the University of Denver College of Law in 1981. Bob is a Past President of the Colorado Bar Association (“CBA”) and currently serves on its Board of Governors. In September 2003 he received the University of Denver College of Law’s Law Star’s Award for Alumni Professionalism with his partner Doris. He has been listed in Best Lawyers in America under Labor and Employment Law in Colorado since 1989. In the first edition of Chambers USA (2003-2004), he was ranked number 1 under employment law in Colorado on the plaintiff’s side. Since 2006 he has been voted annually as a Superlawyer in his field by his peers as listed in 5280 Magazine. In 2009, he was one of the Top 50 lawyers statewide in votes received. He is a member of the National College of Labor and Employment Lawyers and the National Employment Lawyers Association. He previously served on NELA’s Board as its affiliate co-chair. He served for three years both as President of the Colorado Plaintiff Employment Lawyers Association (PELA) and Co-Chair of the CBA Labor Law Forum Committee. Bob is the current President of Colorado PELA. From 1994 to 2002, he was editor of the annual employment law issue for Trial Talk magazine, published by the Colorado Trial Lawyer’s Association. Bob is currently an adjunct professor at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law. He was a part-time faculty member in the master’s program in human resource management at Chapman University and is currently adjunct professor at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law. He has been qualified as an expert witness in the area of attorney fees in both state and federal court. He co-authored the chapter on “Professionalism and Ethics” in the Employment Litigation Handbook published by the ABA and co-authored the chapter, “Litigation of Employment Cases” in the CBA-CLE in Colorado manual titled “The Practitioner’s Guide to Colorado Employment Law.” He is also an AAA employment panel arbitrator. Bob was born in Chicago and has been a Cubs fan for 57 years.