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Civil Litigation Clinic Fall 2017 Updates

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The Civil Litigation Clinic (CLC) is happy to report that with the help of adjunct professor Theresa Vogel it has been able to represent individuals seeking Special Immigrant Juvenile Status and asylum as well as individuals in immigration detention seeking bond (see below for more information about Theresa).  This is in addition to representing its usual clients:  tenants facing eviction from subsidized housing; low-income workers whose wages have not been paid; victims of domestic violence in need of civil protection orders and Violence Against Women Act immigration relief; and children in domestic violence cases in need of guardians ad litem.   At this halfway point in the semester (just seven weeks in), second and third-year students litigated more than twenty cases in the Denver and Jefferson County Courts!  As practitioners in these fields know, these types of cases involve discrete legal matters with no formal discovery.  Thus the student-attorneys have been able to represent these clients from start to finish, providing a unique educational opportunity that compliments the longer-lasting and more complex civil litigation opportunities provided by the SCOL’s Environmental and Civil Rights Clinics. 

The CLC also developed free informational workshops on the first and third Tuesday evenings of the month for litigants representing themselves in domestic violence civil protection order cases in conjunction with Family Tree in Jefferson County, CO.  And it works closely with and receives referrals from Project Safeguard, April Jones, CLC alum, and her law firm Colorado Affordable Legal ServicesColorado Legal Services and Centro Humanitario Para Los Trabajadores.  

Professor Tamara Kuennen continues to provide training to judges and attorneys on the issue of domestic violence.  In September she traveled to Boise, Idaho to train judges from across the nation on best practices in civil protection order litigation at the National Judicial Institute on Domestic Violence (www.njidv.org).  The DU SCOL is proud to host the next NJIDV workshop, focused on domestic violence in the context of family law litigation, on January 26-27, 2018.  In August, 2017, Professor Kuennen (with Amy Pohl, Colorado Coalition Against Domestic Violence) trained volunteer attorneys to serve as guardians ad litem for the Rocky Mountain Children’s Law Center and in June, 2017 she trained advocates from across the state (with CLC alum Jennifer Eyl, Rocky Mountain Children’s Law Denter) on complicated jurisdictional issues in domestic violence cases involving children at the Colarado Advocacy in Action Conference in Vail, CO.

Prior to joining the SCOL, Theresa was a partner at an immigration law firm in Denver, Colorado.  She represented individuals in employment and family-based immigration matters and asylum.  She further represented companies in defensive I-9 audits conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.  She has been invited to give presentations for companies, universities, research institutions, and human resources organizations on various immigration topics including family and employment-based visa and permanent residency paths and I-9 compliance for employers.

Before practicing immigration law, Theresa practiced for a number of years as a civil litigation attorney.  She handled complex matters for retailers, architects, engineers, and contractors in state and federal courts.

Theresa also worked internationally as a Research Assistant with the Jagiellonian University Human Rights Centre in Krakow, Poland.  At the Centre, she taught courses on human rights and refugee law and implemented projects funded by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.