Sturm College of Law News

Federal Judge Speaks to Environmental and Natural Resources Law Students

March 04, 2009

DENVER – Federal Judge Timothy Tymkovich, a member of the U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, spoke to environmental and natural resources law and policy students at the Sturm College of Law yesterday.

Judge Tymkovich spoke as part of the “Practitioner in Residence,” course. This graduate level course generally takes place each spring semester and allows students to learn from some of the top judges, lawyers, and public policy experts in the fields of environmental and natural resources law.

Judge Tymkovich, who is a member of one of the nation’s most influential courts in terms of environmental and natural resources issues, described his life as a “public policy practitioner.” After graduating from law school and clerking for the Colorado Supreme Court, Judge Tymkovich worked for a Denver law firm before joining the staff of former Colorado Attorney General Gale Norton as the state’s Solicitor General. He served in this role from 1991-1996. He returned to private practice from 1997 until 2003 when he joined the Court of Appeals. During his practice career, Judge Tymkovich was involved in many cases dealing with public lands, water, and natural resources matters.

Judge Tymkovich, who appeared before the U.S. and Colorado Supreme Courts on numerous occasions while he was a practicing attorney, advised the students to seek out areas of the law where they could develop “niche practices” involving issues that will be important in the future.

He also recommended that lawyers appearing before appellate courts should bear in mind the importance of seeking out amicus groups that can offer their own policy views of the importance of a particular case. “Amicus briefs help the court to understand the broader implications of a case,” he said.


Jessup International Moot Court Team Competing in the World Competition in Washington DC

March 02, 2009

Please join me in congratulating your Jessup International Moot Court team, which will be competing in the World competition in Washington DC in three weeks.

The team competed in the Portland super-regional round over the weekend with 23 other teams, including all the powerhouses in California and the Pacific region. It was first after preliminary rounds, having beaten U. Cal. Berkeley. Next it beat BYU and it is now one of the two teams from the super-region that will compete in the World competition as one of twelve American teams, two from each of six region, competing against teams from about 50 other countries. The team placed 2nd with their memorial, and all four oralists were in the top 20.

John Powell, a former editor-in-chief of the Denver Journal of International Law & Policy, has done a superb job as coach, taking the team to the World competition after winning the regional’s several times. A very special thanks to him!

The team members are, listed alphabetically: Matthew Cooper, Matthew Dardenne, Sunika Pawar, Krishma Parsad, Ruby Thapliya.

Please wish them success in Washington, DC.!

Ved Nanda
University of Denver
John Evans University Professor
Thompson G. Marsh Professor of Law
Director, International Legal Studies


Retired Brazilian Federal Judge Speaks About Environmental Law in Brazil

February 25, 2009

DENVER — Vladimir Passos de Freitas, former federal judge and president of the Court of Appeal of the 4th Region in Brazil, says that his country “has a lot of interest in protecting the environment.” That interest is reflected in part, Judge de Freitas says, by Brazil’s widely-used and highly successful system of federal environmental courts.

Judge de Freitas, who spoke to University of Denver Sturm College of Law Environmental and Natural Resources Law & Policy graduate program (ENRLGP) students, said that environmental courts in Brazil “are now more strict and severe in these cases” than they ever have been in the country’s history.

Brazil is rapidly becoming one of the world’s most important engines of economic growth. The fifth largest country by geography and population, Brazil has the world’s 10th largest economy.

Judge de Freitas, while serving as president of the Court of Appeal of the 4th Region in Brazil, was instrumental in setting up environmental courts in Brazil’s three southernmost states. Professor George (Rock) Pring, a DU professor, described Judge de Freitas as “the father of Brazilian environment law.”

Don C. Smith, director of the ENRLGP, said, “It was an honor for the law school to host such an esteemed guest and environmental law leader. Judge de Freitas’ career has been one devoted to the people of Brazil and more broadly the world. The judge said several years ago, ‘We all have the ethical duty of taking care of the environmental preservation for the present and future generations.’ His life and career are an inspiration to all who meet him.”

Smith continued, “Students in the ENRLGP have opportunities to meet environmental leaders such as Judge de Freitas as well as take courses from international renowned professors like Prof. Rock Pring.”

To see a streaming video of Judge de Freitas addressing DU students, please click here. To see Don Smith interview the Judge, please click here.


European Environmental Conference Collaborates With Graduate Program Adjunct Professor and DU

February 25, 2009

DENVERPARIS – William J. Brady, a leading expert on hazardous waste law and an adjunct professor at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law, has been named to the Comité Scientifique for Intersol 2009, one of Europe’s most important conferences on polluted soils and sites.

Intersol 2009, the 8th Conference on Polluted Sites & Soils: Analysis, Treatment Methodologies and Remediation, will take place in Paris, France, March 24-27. Mr. Brady, who is a shareholder in the Denver-based firm of Grimshaw Harring, teaches “The Law of Hazardous Waste & Toxic Substances” as part of DU’s Environmental and Natural Resources Law & Policy Graduate Program (ENRLGP).

In March 2008 Mr. Brady addressed the attendees at Intersol 2008 about relevant European Union environmental directives and “Assurances Environnementaux.” His white paper on environmental insurance was distributed to the conference attendees, as well as descriptive brochures on DU’s Environmental and Natural Resources Law Program.

Don C. Smith, director of the ENRLGP, said, “Intersol is a prestigious international congress focusing on environmental issues such as the remediation of contaminated soils and groundwater, the transfer of associated risk and the conveyance of ‘brownfields’ sites within the EU. Mr. Brady’s association with Intersol reflects the esteem in which he is held both in the U.S. and internationally. Consequently, students who take his course at DU are learning from a leading practitioner in this important area.”

For more information about Intersol 2009, click here. For more information about Mr. Brady’s course at DU, click here, or his law firm, click here.


Katherine Hales, first prize winner of the Nathan Burke Memorial Copyright Competition

February 25, 2009

Please join me in congratulating Katherine Hales, the winner of this year’s first prize in the Nathan Burke Memorial Copyright Competition. Katherine won for her paper, “Who Is Burdened with the Duty to Monitor?”.
-Beto Juárez
-Dean and Professor of Law

ASCAP Competition 2-11-09


DU Law students traveled to Peru over the holiday break to work on two projects

February 20, 2009

Following an extensive letter writing campaign, three DU Law students traveled to Peru over the holiday break to work on two projects for the school. First, the students—Gracie Chisholm (1L), Angelica Tovar-Hastings (1L) and Beth Neutzel (2L)—went as international observers for the trial against the Peruvian Ex-President Alberto Fujimori. They had the opportunity to assist in the court’s sessions and talk to the families of the victims, as well as the justices (from the Supreme Court of Peru) in charge of the decision. “It was an amazing and very valuable experience,” said Tovar-Hastings. “We were very happy to see how welcoming people were in Peru and how excited they were to see that U.S. students are interested in Latin America.”

The second project was to assist in the production of a video for Lawyering in Spanish Professor Valeria Elliot, wherein the students compared the United States legal education systems with the legal education system in Peru. They interviewed attorneys from the top ten law firms in Peru as well as law students and in-house counsel attorneys.

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Brazil’s “Father of Environmental Law” to Speak at SCOL

February 18, 2009

The Natural Resources and Environmental Law Society (NRELS), Land Use Law Society (LULS), Native American Law Students Association (NALSA), Construction Real Estate Law Society (CRELS) and International Law Society (ILS), invite you to a presentation and Q&A on “Brazilian Environmental Law” from 12:00-1:00 pm Tuesday February 24 in Room 125 (pizza while it lasts) by VLADIMIR PASSOS DE FREITAS, law professor and former Chief Judge of Brazil’s Federal Court of Appeals in southern Brazil and former Prosecutor in the States of Sao Paulo and Parana.

Dr. Freitas is visiting thanks to Professor Rock and Kitty Pring’s current global study of specialized Environmental Courts and Tribunals (ECTs). Brazil has some of the world’s best courts specially dedicated to environmental law, land use planning, indigenous peoples, real estate and development, and public health – ECTs created by Judge Freitas. Internationally respected, his public-interest lawsuits and prosecutions, court opinions, books, articles, and lectures have laid the foundation of Environmental Law in Brazil and influenced developments throughout Latin America. He is a consultant to the United Nations, World Conservation Union, and other public and public-interest groups, and lectures on Environmental Law around the world.


SLO Civil Rights Clinic testifies before CO Senate

February 16, 2009

On January 14, 2009, a client of the Student Law Office’s (SLO) Civil Rights Clinic testified before the Judiciary Committee of the Colorado state Senate, in support of a bill before that committee to amend the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act (CADA) to allow courts to award monetary damages for individuals harmed by wrongful discrimination. Federal law already provides for such remedies, but for individuals in Colorado who are employed by businesses with fewer than 15 employees, CADA is their sole recourse for the harms they have suffered. Chris, the Civil Rights Clinic’s client (who did not use her full name in testifying), related to the Senators in attendance the egregious conduct of her former employer, which included sexually-explicit comments about her appearance, direct propositions for sex, and groping. Chris also explained her difficulties in finding representation, due in part to her employer having fewer than 15 employees, and how she was ultimately able to find representation for her case with the Student Law Office. A number of the Senators were visibly affected by Chris’s story, and the committee voted that day to renew CADA and to amend it to provide for damages. There will be one more vote by the Judiciary Committee on this amended bill, approval by additional Senate committees, and ultimately a vote on the floor of the Senate before it can become law. Rachel Proctor and Katie Stevens, the SLO student attorneys representing Chris in her case, accompanied their client to the committee hearing, and were instrumental in preparing her for her testimony. All three felt immensely rewarded by the experience, and are proud of their contributions to the effort to make long overdue improvements in the state’s protections of the equal rights of women and other protected classes.


Myers McDougal Distinguished Lecture and DJILP Alumni Award Banquet

February 12, 2009

The 2009 Myres McDougal Distinguished Lecture

Professor José E. Alvarez
Hamilton Fish Professor of International Law & Diplomacy
Director, Center on Global Legal Problems, Columbia Law School

“Contemporary International Law: An Empire of Law or the Law of Empire?”

Click here for additional information.


Greene: Signs were Max’s anchor

February 12, 2009

Denver Post Columnist Susan Greene writes about Max Corrada, Professor Roberto Corrada’s son, who passed away on January 25, 2009. Read the article and watch the video here.


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