Sturm College of Law News

DU Law grad moonlights as soap opera star

July 02, 2009

Environmental Law Clinic Helps Win Protection for Endangered Species

June 25, 2009

“[This] was an awesome victory for Friends of Animals, the antelope and the clinic. Amelia Piggott ’09, Chris Hudson ’09 and Sarah April ’10 each put in hundreds of hours on this case over the past 9 months. This is truly their victory.” Prof. Mike Harris, director of the Environmental Law Clinic


Friends of Animals Win: African Antelope Shielded From Safari Club and Trophy Tourists

WASHINGTON D.C., June 23, 2009 —/WORLD-WIRE/— A decision has been issued in FRIENDS OF ANIMALS v. KEN SALAZAR (Civil Action 04-01660): The Interior Department’s US Fish and Wildlife Service violated the Endangered Species Act (ESA) by issuing a blanket exemption allowing trophy hunting at U.S. ranches of endangered African antelopes.

Friends of Animals (“FoA”) and others sued the Fish and Wildlife Service of the Department of Interior on the grounds that the Service unlawfully exempted US-bred scimitar-horned oryx, addax, and dama gazelles from prohibitions against harming, harassing, pursuing, hunting, shooting, wounding, killing, trapping, capturing, or collecting endangered species.

Section 10 of the ESA allows some uses for “scientific purposes or to enhance the propagation or survival of the affected species,” if the government publishes notice and allows for public comment for each “good faith” application for an exemption or permit at every stage of the proceeding. It does not provide a means to authorize the sport hunting of these animals.

The antelopes at issue are native to northern Africa. Today, addax and dama gazelles are nearly wiped out, due to hunting, war, desertification of habitat, human settlement and agribusiness. Scimitar-horned oryx are virtually extinct; most live on Texas hunting ranches, where they are bred. In 2005, following a Friends of Animals lawsuit, these antelopes were listed as endangered, but the government issued a rule creating a loophole for captive-bred antelope, claiming “captive breeding in the United States has contributed significantly to the conservation of these species.”

“This is disingenuous,” said Lee Hall, legal director for Friends of Animals, noting that the Service’s exemption follows similar fragmentations of ESA listings, resulting in removal of protections for gray wolves, Gunnison’s prairie dogs, and Queen Charlotte goshawks for political and commercial purposes.

Under Bush’s leadership, the federal government has eroded the Act’s protections to cater to local governments and special interests. In July 2008, for instance, the Service removed protections for Preble’s meadow jumping mice in Wyoming while keeping the Colorado populations on the endangered species list — so protections would end at the state line.

“The Obama administration must reject this fragmentation of the Endangered Species Act,” said Hall. “We’re glad the party’s over for ranches that allow hunters to kill antelopes, typically pimping the oryx for around $3500 each, and the gazelles and addax for more.”

The Endangered Species Act’s subsection 10©, said the court, shows that Congress intended an individualized permitting process, to provide meaningful public participation. Yet advocates have been kept from even finding out which ranches were operating under the loophole. The Safari Club, which intervened as a defendant, said advocates could find their information on the Internet.

But US District Judge Henry H. Kennedy, Jr. wrote, “Blanket exemptions under regulations are anathema to this intention because they allow the FWS to permit a great number of exemptions at once without providing the detailed information to the public that would be required in an individualized analysis.”

Friends of Animals president Priscilla Feral expressed appreciation for the outstanding work of the University of Denver Environmental Law Clinic. Feral added, “We are heartened by the message the federal court has sent this week against exploitation. Why would the government allow the hunting of these antelope any more than they’d allow the hunting of a chimpanzee?”

“We’d like the federal government to protect the animals currently in captivity, who number about 2000 or more, from harm at the hands of hunting enterprises.”

Priscilla Feral, President, Friends of Animals, Darien, Connecticut
Current tel: (at Primarily Primates sanctuary): 830.755.4616, or mobile: 203.219.0428. E-mail:

Lee Hall, Legal Director, Friends of Animals,
Tel: 610.964.0090. Email:

Mike Harris, Director of the Environmental Law Clinic,
University of Denver Sturm College of Law, Denver, Colorado
Tel: 303.871.6140, or mobile: 720.841.0400. Email:

Copyright © 2009, World-Wire. All rights reserved.
Issuers of news releases and not World-Wire are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.
World-Wire is a resource provided by Environment News Service

Professor Kristian Miccio:  Recent Hate Crimes Interview

June 17, 2009

On June 9, Professor Miccio was interviewed on AM 760 concerning the shooting at the US Holocaust Museum and hate crimes in the US.

On May 28, Professor Miccio was quoted in an AP article carried in the Miami Herald, LA Times, NY Times and Washington Post.

Prof. Michael Sousa interviewed by Fox Business News on the GM Bankruptcy

June 02, 2009

Immediately after President Obama addressed the nation regarding General Motors filing for bankruptcy, Fox Business News interviewed DU Law Professor Michael Sousa. Professor Sousa, an expert on bankruptcy law, was asked for his thoughts on the filing. The video can be viewed here (search for “Sousa” using the video search form).

Denver Water Law Review Goes Paperless!

May 19, 2009

Congratulations to the University of Denver Water Law Review for becoming a partner in the ABA Best Practices for Office Paper Management program and also as a Law Office Climate Challenge Partner for its efforts and success in going paperless.

The Water Law Review has reduced its paper use dramatically by utilizing a paperless production editing process while maintaining the integrity of its sources.

DU law instrcutor, Scott Johns, quoted nationally in Associated Press article on airline safety

May 18, 2009

Read the full account HERE.

DU Law Professor Michael Sousa comments on the future of the auto industry

May 04, 2009

Click HERE to watch the video.

Colorado Speaker of the House and DU Law graduate Terrance Carroll, JD’05 to speak at May graduation

April 30, 2009

Click HERE for more commencement details.

Important New Study about Environmental Courts and Tribunals Undertaken by DU Law Professor Pring

April 30, 2009

DENVER – Prof. George (Rock) Pring, one of the most well-recognized environmental law professors in the United States and around the world, has undertaken a unique and important new study involving environmental courts and tribunals around the globe.

Prof. Pring, who was assisted in the study by Catherine (Kitty) Pring, his wife and a professional mediator, has undertaken a cutting-edge study about how the establishment of specialized environmental courts and tribunals is changing the way environmental disputes are handled. The study reflects a global view of how the often difficult and complicated matters associated with environmental disputes are being addressed from many different perspectives.

In an interview with Don C. Smith, director of the Environmental and Natural Resources Law & Policy Graduate Program, the Prings explain the rationale behind the study, key findings and trends, and a comprehensive list of “best practices” for environmental courts and tribunals.

Mr. Smith said, “This study will inform decision makers worldwide. It sheds light on new and sometimes startling approaches, and yet it doesn’t shy away from addressing the myriad difficult institutional, cultural, and legal issues that are all a part of deciding whether to establish a system of environmental courts or tribunals.

“The interview also clearly demonstrates the kinds of individuals that our students will associate with when they enter our LLM or master’s degree programs. Having the opportunity to learn from professors such as Rock Pring is an experience our graduates often talk about with enormous satisfaction,” Mr. Smith said.

To see a streaming video of the interview, please click here

Click HERE to view the University of Denver Environmental Courts and Tribunals Study website.

DU Law rises to #77 in US News & World Report’s national rankings

April 23, 2009

DU Law ranked in U.S.News & World Report’s Top 100

Survey continues streak of top-tier recognition

DENVER – For the eighth straight year, the University of Denver Sturm College of Law is ranked among the top 100 law schools in the country by U.S. News & World Report, with four specialized programs of study listed among the nation’s best.

The publication’s “America’s Best Graduate Schools,” released April 23, lists the Sturm College of Law among the nation’s top-tier schools, tied at No. 77 with Illinois Institute of Technology (Chicago-Kent) Chicago, Ill.; Rutgers the State University of New Jersey, Camden, N.J.; Seattle University, Seattle, WA; Seton Hall University, Newark, N.J.; University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, N.M.; University of Oregon, Eugene, Ore.; and the University of Richmond, Richmond, Va.

The ranking represents an 11-place jump over last year’s ranking, one of the ten best improvements among all ranked schools. In legal specialties, DU ranked No. 9 in the country for part-time legal education; No. 15 for environmental law studies; No. 19 for tax law; and No. 33 for clinical training.

Dean José R. (Beto) Juárez, Jr. says DU is committed to ensuring DU’s ranking accurately reflects the quality of education enjoyed by University of Denver Sturm College of Law students.

“It is gratifying to see that the improvement in our rankings that I forecast last year has been realized. The steps the faculty and administration of the College of Law have taken are likely to result in continued improvement in rankings next year,” Juárez says. “I am delighted the excellence of so many of our programs has been recognized by the legal academics who were surveyed to identify the best programs in the country. The recognition of our evening program as a Top 10 program is a wonderful tribute to one of the core components of the College of Law.”

U.S. News & World Report ranks law and other graduate programs, incorporating expert opinion and statistical data collected on more than 1,200 programs.

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