Monday, August 25, 2014

Denver Law LLM Graduate Father Alphonsus Ihuoma Earns SJD from the University of Kansas School of Law

Alphonsus Ihuoma, a 2011 Denver Law LLM in Environmental and Natural Resources Law & Policy graduate, has earned his Doctor of Judicial Science degree (SJD) from the University of Kansas.  His dissertation was entitled, "The Holy See, Social Justice, and International Trade Law: Assessing the Social Mission of the Church in the GATT-WTO System."

Also a Catholic priest, Father Alphonsus is a Nigerian licensed lawyer.  During his studies at Denver Law, Father Alphonsus was parish priest in La Junta, Colorado.

Don Smith, Director of the ENRL program, said, "Father Alphonsus Ihuoma is one of the most capable and brightest persons I have ever met.  As a student, he brought his wealth of experience and knowledge to his classes.  His participation benefited all of us, no matter our backgrounds or our own experiences in life.  Father Alphonsus is destined to make great contributions wherever he is and in whatever he is involved in.  It is a thrill to now refer to my good friend as Dr. Ihuoma."

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Denver Law Environmental & Natural Resources Law "Team" Awarded Grant to Study the International Use of Hydraulic Fracturing

A team of Denver Law Environmental & Natural Resources Law-affiliated individuals has won a grant from the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation to produce a new report, "Hydraulic Fracturing Around the World: A Comparative Analysis of Development, Regulation, and Deployment."

The report, which will be a "first of its kind," is scheduled for publication in the summer of 2015.  It will provide an accessible, authoritative, and comparative examination of what is taking place in terms of hydraulic fracturing around the world.  The team will study a number of countries including Argentina, Australia, Canada, China, Russia, South Africa, and the United States. It will also analyze developments in the European Union and in particular several specific member states including France, Poland, and the United Kingdom.

Team members are:
  • Karina Condra, JD, Masters of Library Science; Comparative, Foreign and International Law Librarian.  Ms. Condra is an expert in researching foreign legal systems and is expected to consult Denver Law’s substantial collection of legal and regulatory databases.   She is also familiar with the oil and gas industry, having practiced law in this field several years ago.
  • Jessica M. Richards, JD, Masters of Resource Law Studies; Leases & Supervisor, Land Administration, Jonah Energy LLC. She also teaches two courses as an Adjunct Professor at Denver Law: “Oil & Gas Agreements” and “Contemporary Issues in Oil & Gas Development.”
  • Don C. Smith, JD, LLM in European Union Law, Director of the Environmental & Natural Resources Law Program.  Professor Smith, who teaches full-time at Denver Law, oversees the Environmental & Natural Resources Program, which includes JD, LLM, and Master’s students, and has written extensively about environmental and energy issues. 
  • RJ Colwell, JD candidate 2015, research assistant to Don Smith.  He was awarded a 2014 scholarship by the Association of International Petroleum Negotiators to attend its spring 2014 conference.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Nadia B. Ahmad, Denver Law LLM in Environmental & Natural Resources Law Graduate, Named Visiting Assistant Professor at Pace Law School B. Ahmad, Denver Law Environmental & Natural Resources Law LLM graduate, will assume a Visiting Assistant Professor position at Pace Law School beginning in August.  Professor Ahmad's research explores the intersections of energy law and the environment and draws on international investment law, energy justice, corporate best practices and corporate social responsibility. 

Don Smith, Director of Denver Law's Environmental & Natural Resources Law program, said, "Professor Ahmad is one of the most exceptional individuals I have ever met.  She is passionate about her work and committed to exploring new ways to improve our world.  Her background as a practitioner, an employee at one of the country's most prominent oil and gas companies, and a keen observer of the world are the perfect foundation for what will be an exceptional career in teaching about the law."

Professor Jason Czarnezki, Executive Director of Environmental Law Programs at Pace, said, "We're very excited to bring Nadia to our team."

Professor Ahmad said, "I was able to place and publish every paper I wrote as a student at DU, which speaks to the strength of the program, professors, and my peers. Denver is a remarkable place to learn and study about the new energy frontier."

Among her publications include:






Friday, August 8, 2014

Denver Law Graduates Feature Prominently in Major Public Policy Debate About Oil & Gas Development in Colorado

Two Denver Law graduates have been featured prominently in recent news coverage about the formation of a "blue ribbon" committee to be established by Gov. John Hickenlooper to address issues involving oil and gas development and Colorado communities.

Gov. Hickenlooper and Congressman Jarrod Polis have taken differing positions with regard to whether oil and gas development should be primarily regulated by state or local authorities.  Denver Law graduates Ryan Call, Colorado Republican Party Chair, and Pete Maysmith, Conservation Colorado Executive Director, have been quoted widely in the wake of an agreement between the governor, the congressman, and several state legislators that will remove four initiatives from the November ballot. 

According to Mr. Call, "Literally the only thing we know for that Gov. Hickenlooper, Congressman Jarrod Polis and Colorado Democrats want even more control over Colorado's already heavily regulated energy industry.  These additional regulations will cost the state thousands of jobs and million of dollars."

On the other hand, Mr. Maysmith said that Gov. Hickenlooper and Congressman Polis should be thanked for their efforts "to cease ballot initative efforts and work together towards long term solutions around issue of local control and oil and gas development."

Don Smith, director of the Environmental & Natural Resources Law Program at Denver Law, said that the attention associated with Mr. Call and Mr. Maysmith's comments was a clear indication about the important public policy roles in which Denver Law graduates are involved.  "There are obviously differences of opinion on what direction the state should take. But something on which everyone can agree is the continuing important contributions of our graduates in what is one of the most important public policy debates in this state in a very long time."

Friday, June 20, 2014

Felicitaciones (Congratulations) to Denver Law LLM and JD students awarded prestigious Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation (RMMLF) scholarships

The Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation (RMMLF), the most prominent natural resources-focused organization of legal practitioners and academics in the Western Hemisphere, has awarded four of its prestigious scholarships to Denver Law students. Three of the students will begin their LLM studies at Denver Law in August. The fourth winner is a third year JD student. 

Don C. Smith, Director of the Environmental & Natural Resources Law program, said, "It is indeed a great day for the Denver Law students who have been awarded these impressive RMMLF scholarships. Students who have earned similar scholarships in the past have told me that this award was one of their proudest moments as a student. Moreover, the scholarships recognize the high quality of students who study at Denver Law."

Scholarship selections are based on the interest of students studying natural resources law and their potential to make significant contributions to the field.  To date, 380 scholarships totaling nearly $2 million have been awarded.

Three of the scholarships were awarded to LLM students who will begin their studies in August.  Notably, each of these students is from South America, a continent where Denver Law has a long history of recruiting the best and brightest students.  The South American students are:
  • Renato De Vettori, a Peruvian lawyer, graduated with a law degree from the Universidad San Martin de Porres. 
  • Nancy Garcia Yi, a Peruvian lawyer as well, graduated with a law degree from the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru.
  • Rodrigo Galleguillos, an attorney from Chile, obtained his law degree from the Universidad de Chile.
Lucy Daberkow, Assistant Director of the ENRL Graduate Program, said, "A continuing objective of our program is to be the most diverse environmental and natural resources law program in the Western Hemisphere.  Renato, Rodrigo, and Nancy's recognition by the RMMLF underscores the strength of these individuals and reflects positively on our on-going efforts to recruit the best students from South America.  The diversity of our program's students is a real point of differentiation in our recruiting efforts and we are thrilled they will join us."

The JD student is David Rueschhoff, who also earned a Joe Rudd Scholarship from the RMMLF.  Mr. Rudd was a prominent Alaska natural resources attorney.

In making the announcement of winners, Stevia Walther, Executive Director of the RMMLF said more than 100 scholarship applications were received.  Ultimately 34 students were chosen for scholarships.  "The selection process was not easy for the Committee, given the large number of well-qualified applicants," Ms. Walther said.

Ms. Daberkow, looking ahead to the beginning of the new academic year in August, said, "The incoming 2014-2015 will certainly be one of our most diverse and impressive classes. We look forward to meeting these students who will undoubtedly make outstanding contributions to our program and their professions in the natural resources and environmental industries."

In recognition of the diversity of the four award winners Ms. Daberkow said in Spanish, "Enhorabuena a nuestros estudiantes por este reconocimiento!" and in English, "Congratulations to our students for this honor!"

Denver Law is widely-regarded as having one of the premier natural resources, environmental, and energy programs in the United States.  In recent years, Denver Law has introduced new courses in many areas of study including Sustainable Development, Renewable Energy, and Oil & Gas. 

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Kristy Disney, DU Law JD and LLM alumn, joins us as an adjunct professor

Kristy Disney, a 2011 JD and LLM in Environmental and Natural Resources graduate, will join our graduate program as an adjunct professor this fall. Prof. Disney will be teaching the class "Sustainable Development and International Trade," which provides an introduction to the interrelations among trade, environment, development issues, laws and policies. The class looks to explore how globalization can be compatible with sustainable development and focuses on environmental and social concerns as well as human rights, gender issues and governance.

Lucy Daberkow,  Associate Administrative Director, commented: "We have known Prof. Disney since she began our program as a graduate student and couldn't be more proud of her accomplishments as a Sustainable Development expert who is sharing her expertise with students  eager to learn about sustainability and globalization issues."

Prof. Disney is the current Interim Executive Director and Director of International Programs at the Sustainable Development Strategies Group (SDSG) and has been instrumental in negotiating and implementing natural resources legislation and policies in countries around the world.

Friday, June 6, 2014

European Policy Expert Who has Participated in Denver Law Courses Covers European Parliament Elections for Sweden's TV4

Marcus Oscarsson.
Marcus Oscarsson, an expert on European Union law and policy and a frequent contributor to various Denver Law environmental law courses, was recently a member of Sweden's TV4 political team that covered the elections to the European Parliament

Mr. Oscarsson said, "The EU elections are the second biggest election in the world, next only to India's election. Some 400 million voters from Spain in the south to Sweden in the north, from Ireland in the west to Romania in the east, elected the 751 members of the European Parliament (EP).  Because of the European Parliament's increasing power, the elections are particularly important in the context of big EU-issues such as environmental protection and energy policy.

"Many people have said that the most important environmental policy-related parliamentary body in the world is the European Parliament Environment Committee.  When the new Parliament assembles this summer, all of us will be watching with interest what direction this Committee takes."

Inside the European Parliament.
Don Smith, Director of Denver Law's Environmental & Natural Resources Law program said, "Marcus Oscarsson is a respected observer of EU policies and trends.  His involvement in a number of our courses -- either through video sessions or on-line discussion boards -- has been instrumental in helping our students prepare for a future where they will need to know not only about American environmental policy, but also happenings in the European Union."