New Workplace Law certificate program announced

December 09, 2009

The DU Graduate Council has approved the University of Denver Sturm College of Law’s new certificate program in Workplace Law. Students who take a certain set of classes and experiences, and who maintain a GPA of 3.0 or above, will be eligible to receive the certificate, which will designate to potential employers that they have done so.

The DU Workplace Law program is one of the top labor and employment law programs in the country for JD students. Almost all existing programs are east of the Mississippi River, including Cornell, Michigan State, University of Minnesota, Chicago-Kent, Wayne State, and St. Louis. DU Law has the only comprehensive labor and employment law program in the Rocky Mountain Region and the Western United States, and one of the top programs in the country based on the number of dedicated employment and labor law faculty.

Workplace law has been a strongly growing legal field in the last two decades. The erosion of the common law employment-at-will doctrine has led to an explosion of employment litigation in recent years. The amendment of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 in 1991 to include jury trial rights and the expansion of available remedies, including compensator)’ and punitive damages has increased the number of cases alleging invidious discrimination by employers. In addition, passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (and the ADA Amendments Act of 2008) and passage of the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 have also increased the demand for legal services in this field.

The emergence of an alternative labor union institution to the AFL-CIO, “Change to Win,” and the group of unions comprising it including the Service Employees International Union led by Andy Stern has the potential to revitalize the labor union Movement and challenge traditional structures of the law in the labor/management field. The American Bar Association Journal recently (Aug. 2009) tabbed labor law as one of five growth fields in the current economy. In Colorado, traditional labor is also surging. The Governor signed an Executive Order in November 2007 allowing state employees to join unions and collectively bargain.

Workplace law is front and center in the minds of businesses. A recent article in the Corporate Legal Times, surveying in house counsel, showed a majority of responding attorneys listing labor and employment issues as their number one source of liability exposure. At this time, workplace law cases represent one of the largest segments of the courts’ civil dockets. In Colorado, a number of labor initiatives were slated for the November 2008 ballot, including one for “just cause” discharge in private employment in Colorado.

An increasing number of students have indicated a strong interest in learning about and practicing in the area of workplace law. This is likely a result of increased career opportunities in this field, as well as the fact that workplace law is a uniquely accessible field (since most students have been employees and a number have been managers or employers). In fall 2006, DU law students formed a chapter of the Plaintiffs Employment Law Association (PELA), which has since been transformed into the Student Employment Law Association (ELA). The group serves DU students with an interest in labor and employment law, organizing programs that educate students about the practical and intellectual aspects of the field.

The new certificate is an important piece in DU’s Workplace Law program, and we believe it will be a helpful tool both for student recruiting and for job placement.

This is the second such certificate program that the law school has had approved. Last year, Prof. Ved Nanda led the way in getting approval for a certificate in International Law. Thanks go to Professor Roberto Corrada for making the Workplace Law certificate offering a reality.

Visit the Worplace Law Website »

Former FEMA Director Michael Brown to teach Patriot Act Course at DU Law

December 07, 2009

Read the full story HERE.

Prof. Laura Rovner addresses isolation at Supermax prisons

December 07, 2009

Read the full story HERE.

Professor Duvivier presents to the Denver Board of Realtors Government Affairs Committee

December 03, 2009

On 12/3/09, Professor DuVivier made a presentation to the Denver Board of Realtors Government Affairs Committee. The presentation addressed the history of solar access and how the current drafts of the new Denver Zoning Code represent a step backward in protecting solar access. Professor DuVivier then presented a number of better alternative solutions.

Congratulations to our Spring 2010 RMMLF Scholarship Winner!

December 03, 2009

Please join me in congratulating our own Maria C. Crespo on winning a tuition scholarship from the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation for the Spring of 2010!

Prof. Ved Nanda weighs in on Obama’s visit with Indian Prime Minister

December 02, 2009

Click HERE for the full story.

Special One Week Intensive Courses Taught in August 2009

December 01, 2009

Comparative Latin American Mining Law
Taught by: Florencia Heredia, Don C. Smith, Luis Carlos Rodrigo Prado

Community Expectations for Sustainable Development in Natural Resources Projects
Taught by: Luke J. Danielson and M. Cecilia Dalupan

Renewable Energy Webinar

December 01, 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 Environmental Moot Court Competition

December 01, 2009

This fall the Natural Resources and Environmental Law Society held the DU Environmental Moot Court Competition. 12 students wrote appellate briefs based on a current issue under the Clean Water Act. On September 26, the teams competed in oral arguments, with the top two teams after preliminary rounds dvancing to the finals. The winning team of Alexa Tetzlaff and Kathlyn Bullis was invited to join DU’s tea mat the Pace National Environmental Moot Court Competition in February 2010. Joining Alexa and Kathlyn on the team will be Dan Vedra, who was rated as the best oralist from the competition. Thanks to all the competitors and good luck to the Pace team!

DU Law student takes home Best Oral Advocate award in National Moot Court Competition

November 19, 2009

Team Captain Nicholas Mahrt and Colleen Kelley, both 3Ls, and Rob Palmer and Kelley Dziedzic, both 2Ls, competed in the inaugural Navy JAG Corps National Moot Court Competition at Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Florida on November 12-14. The competition involved appellate advocacy in military justice and constitutional law in front of judges that included the Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces, the highest military law court in the United States. Our students competed against teams from Harvard University, Yale University, Berkeley Boalt Hall School of Law, Duke, Georgetown and George Washington University.

The DU Law team argued in three separate opportunities on day one in the preliminary round, and despite an outstanding performance, was not amongst the eight quarterfinalists (23 teams argued on day one). Nevertheless, Nicholas Mahrt received the award for Best Oral Advocate, presented by Deputy Judge Advocate General Rear Admiral Nanette DeRenzi, the second-highest ranking Naval Officer in the Navy JAG Corps.

Congratulations to the Moot Court team and their coach, Christopher Jung!

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