Sturm College of Law News

Hoffman Cup “lawyers” excel in moot court competition

November 10, 2009

Read full article here.

Renewable Energy: Legal Challenges and Solutions For the Green Economy Webinar

November 10, 2009

Renewable Energy: Legal Challenges and Solutions For the Green Economy

A webinar sponsored by the American Bar Association Standing Committee on Environmental Law

Cosponsored by the

  • ABA Section of Business Law
  • ABA Section of Utility, Communications & Transportation Law
  • ABA Section of Real Property, Trust & Estate Law

Hosted by the University of Denver Sturm College of Law, Denver, Colorado

November 20, 2009
10:00 am – 12:00 Noon (Mountain time)

Over the past decade, a growing number of states have promoted the development of renewable energy. More than half have adopted renewable portfolio standards. The federal government also has promulgated policies and adopted measures to promote investments in renewable energy, including through tax policy, federal energy grants, and regulation of interstate transmission of electricity.

Especially in the wake of the 2008 spike in global oil prices, followed by the devastating effects of the recession on the U.S. economy, congressional leaders and the Obama Administration believe that expanding renewable energy investments can create needed jobs, help end America’s dependence on foreign oil, and combat the effects of global warming. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), signed into law in February 2009, provides over $60 billion for renewable energy initiatives and “green” jobs. In addition, among energy and climate change-related bills, Congress has begun considering legislation intended to expand clean energy programs, adopt national renewable energy standards, and tackle greenhouse gas emissions.

This webinar features experts from federal and state government and the private sector at the center of the national debate on renewable energy. The discussions are intended to stimulate broad-based dialogue about the unprecedented opportunities for development of the emerging “green” economy and the legal challenges that our nation must both anticipate and overcome in this process. They also will serve as the foundation for a White paper containing recommendations for further action that can be advanced by stakeholders at all levels, including the American Bar Association.

10:00 am – Program Goals and Speaker Introductions
Howard Kenison, Lindquist Vennum P.L.L.P., Denver, CO
Federico Cheever, Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, University of Denver, Sturm College of Law, Denver, CO

10:20 am – Keynote Speaker
Matt Futch, Utilities Program Manager, Governor’s Energy Office (GEO), State of Colorado, Denver, CO
Facilitating Renewable Energy – A Colorado State Perspective

10:45 am – Renewable Energy Technologies: Legal Issues

Federico Cheever, Denver, CO
Howard Kenison, Denver, CO

David Hurlbut, Senior Analyst, Market & Policy Impact Analysis Group, Strategic Energy Analysis Center, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden, CO

John A. Herrick, Senior Counsel, Brownstein Hyatt Farber & Schreck, Denver, CO

Frank Prager, Vice President for Environmental Policy, Xcel Energy Inc., Denver, CO

Is renewable technology advancement outstripping the regulatory regime? The speakers will address the significant advancements in commercially viable renewable technologies with a constructive and discerning eye on current regulatory challenges. Our panelists also examine concrete policies and measures that can be adopted in the near term to facilitate deployment of promising alternative energy technologies. Speakers representing state government and the private sector will delineate challenges and opportunities driven by market demand and by President Obama’s renewable energy mandate.

11:45 pm – Question and Answer Session

12:00 Noon – Webinar Concludes

DU Law Review hosts Cyber Civil Rights symposium

November 09, 2009

For more information, including a speaker and topic list, please click here.

Date and time to remember: Nov. 20th, from 9:00-4:30

Prof. Jay Brown comments on oil and gas investment fraud case

November 03, 2009

To read the full story, click HERE.

DU Law alumnus Chip Mellor, JD’77 named “Legal Rebel” by ABA

November 02, 2009

Click HERE to read the full story.

School Closure, October 29, 2009

October 29, 2009

Due to inclement weather, the Sturm College of Law will be closed today. Please check here for further information.

Thank you.

Martin Katz

Interim Dean and Associate Professor
University of Denver Sturm College of Law

Snow Closure Today - Wednesday, October 28, 2009

October 28, 2009

This is a message from the Department of Campus Safety. Due to heavy snowfall, the University of Denver is closing at 2 pm today. Please check the University’s website at for updated information.

Paul Rupprecht publishes in the Transportation Law Journal’s spring issue

October 22, 2009

Click HERE for additional information.

ABA Trial team advances to the finals

October 13, 2009

The University of Denver ABA National Trial Team performed spectacularly this past weekend at the National Trial Advocacy Competition (NTAC). From the nationwide field of twenty-six teams, our DU squad advanced to the final eight teams, along with teams from Georgetown, Fordham, John Marshall, Baylor, Houston, Valparaiso, and the tournament winner, Alabama. More importantly, the DU team won the Professional Ethics Award, with a near-perfect score of 58 out of 60 points, which awed even the tournament hosts.

The DU team consisted of Nicole Quintana, Tricia Laylock, Christopher Brown, Isabel Lenuzza, Erika Reuer, Garrik Storgaard, and their coach, David Schott. They have represented our school with distinction on the national stage. Congratulations!

July 2009 Bar Exam Results Boast Highest Pass Rate in 20+ Years

October 09, 2009

November 19, 2009

Our final bar passage rate for July 2009 was 91% after appeals. This is 2% higher than the statewide average.

As noted in my earlier message discussing the pass rate before appeals (see below) there is good reason to believe that we are on the right track.

Please join me in congratulating our 2009 takers for their excellent performance. Please also join me in thanking all of the many people at the Sturm College of Law who made this possible, including the Bar Success group, led by Scott Johns, the AAP group, led by Mary Steefel, and our excellent faculty.

Interim Dean and Associate Professor Martin J. Katz

October 29, 2009

The preliminary bar pass results are out. First time DU takers passed at a rate of 89% before appeals (which are likely to result in some improvement in that rate). This is excellent news in at least four respects.

First, an 89% pass rate is very good in and of itself.

Second, this rate is equal to the statewide average. This is one of our long term goals: to be consistently at or above the state average pass rate. Moreover we have accomplished that goal two times in a row: In February 2009, our first-time pass rate after appeals was 75%, while the state first-time average pass rate was 74%. If the trend holds, we appear to be achieving this goal ahead of schedule. (You may recall that in my July 8, 2009 message, I explained why I believed we could achieve “a first time pass rate of at least the state median on all exams and a first time pass rate of at least 90% for July exams” by July 2011.)

Third, for the last two years, we appear to be outperforming expectations. Our extensive study of bar pass factors shows that two of the best predictors of bar passage are (1) LSAT score, and (2) undergraduate GPA (UGPA). Based on those factors, the class entering in 2006 was predicted to pass at a rate of 80.4%. The pass rate for July three years after matriculation is only a rough approximation of a class’s performance, but this 89% first-time July pass rate gives us reason to believe that the class entering in 2006 is on track to beat its predicted performance. Again, this appears to continue a positive trend: The class entering in 2005, which was predicted to pass the bar at a rate of 77%, has a cumulative first-time pass rate so far of 86.8%. (This figure tends to trend downward over time, as not all graduates in recent classes have taken the bar, and pass rates tend to decline with delay between graduation and taking the bar. However, it is likely to remain above the predicted pass rate.)

Fourth, there is reason to believe that the best is yet to come. The gains we are currently seeing reflect only some of our bar pass initiatives. Most likely, our current success is the result of:

  • Our extensive Bar Success Program, which is designed to supplement commercial bar preparation programs;
  • Our hard-working Academic Achievement Program, which identifies and provides support to students whose law school performance puts them at risk;
  • Course selection restrictions we have placed upon students whose law school performance puts them at risk; and
  • A renewed emphasis placed upon bar passage by our faculty (and students).
    However, the success we are currently seeing does NOT yet reflect what may well be our two most important bar pass initiatives:
  • Our new admissions policy, which drastically reduces the number of students who are likely to be at risk based on their LSAT and UGPA; and
  • Our new good standing policy, which requires a higher LGPA to graduate.

As I indicated in my letter of July 8, 2009, we will not see the effect of those last two initiatives until the July 2011 bar.

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