Saturday, April 10, 2010

"Ore Struck" as Described by the Financial Times: Rio Tinto's Problems Doing Business in China

Doing business in China is no easy task, particularly when it comes to economic sectors that have been identified by Beijing as being important to the country's future.

A recent article in the Financial Times ("Ore Struck," April 6, 2010) tells a cautionary tale for all who seek to do business in China. The article is about the conviction of several of mining giant Rio Tinto's employees who were working in China.

As the FT explains:
The conviction of miner Rio Tinto's former employees has heightened foreign companies' awareness of the risk of working in sectors strategically important to Beijing.
Reading the story is a must for any one or any company that plans to or is doing business in China. While huge profits may ensue from such activities, the risks are no less daunting.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Julia Verdi, 2009 Masters Graduate, Serves as Research Analyst at the National Conference of State Legislatures

Julia Verdi, a 2009 graduate in the Masters of Resource Law Studies program at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law, has been hired as a Research Analyst II in the Energy, Environment, and Transportation Program at the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) in Denver. Ms. Verdi began as an intern at NCSL last year and was hired full time in November 2010.

According to Ms. Verdi:
"A good portion of my job is researching energy legislation for state senators, representatives, and their staff. I also am able to write about energy legislation. Recently I helped write a paper about state policy options for alternative fuels. I also help plan meetings and will be going to Washington, D.C., this week to help with the NCSL Spring Forum. I am really enjoying the work, and the master's program at DU definitely gave me a great background for this line of work."

All of us at DU wish Julia much success as she contributes in a very real way to helping state legislatures have a better understanding of state energy policies.

[In the above picture, taken at the May 2009 graduation, Ms. Verdi is in the middle. On the left is fellow 2009 graduates Melissa Rossiter, currently a law student at DU, and on the right is Helyna Bledsoe, currently a law student at the University of Kansas.]

Thursday, April 8, 2010

DU Mining Law Prof. KK DuVivier Comments About Mine Safety and Economics in Wake of Upper Big Branch Mine Disaster in West Virginia

University of Denver Sturm College of Law Professor KK DuVivier said yesterday that the Massey Energy Company, which owned Upper Big Branch mine, the site of a mine disaster in West Virgina earlier this week, has had a history of mine safety violations.

Prof. DuVivier, who also referred to the Mine Improvement and New Emergency Response Act of 2006 (the MINER Act), was quoted yesterday in about the mine disaster. To read the story, please click here.

Prof. DuVivier teaches Mining Law and Energy Law at the Sturm College of Law.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Adjunct Prof. Paul Schlauch and LLM Graduate Leonardo Rodríguez Headline Mining Law Seminar in Buenos Aires, Argentina

University of Denver Sturm College of Law Adjunct Prof. Paul J. Schlauch and 2008 LLM graduate Leonardo G. Rodríguez recently headlined a seminar on International Mining Agreements held at the offices of Marval, O’Farrell & Mairal in the city of Buenos Aires.

The seminar was attended by 115 participants from various mining companies operating in Argentina, government offices and private entities. The seminar was also attended by the Secretary of Mining of Argentina, Eng. Jorge Mayoral, who pointed out that mining exports will grow exponentially throughout the upcoming years.

Prof. Schlauch, who teaches International and Comparative Mining Law at the Sturm College of Law, is of counsel with Holland & Hart in Denver. Mr. Rodríguez, who was the "Outstanding LLM Student of the Year" in 2008 is an associate attorney at Marval.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Masters of Resources Law Studies Student Sherry Manning Reports on the Upcoming "Rebel With a Cause" Event

On June 9th the Colorado Environmental Coalition (CEC) will be hosting their annual "Rebel" With a Cause Gala.

CEC is the oldest state wide conservation non-profit in Colorado and has been working actively to preserve the beautiful Colorado landscape for 45 years. With more than 400 attendees, CEC’s “Rebel With a Cause” is one of the largest annual events for the environmental community in Colorado. This year's "Rebel" is Terry Tempest Williams, an author and passionate advocate for the preservation of the American Western wilderness. This event attracts supporters, elected officials, and community and business leaders from across the state. Our goal is to achieve a zero waste and carbon neutral event.

I am working with CEC as a development intern this spring helping organize the silent auction for this event. If you would like to donate an item for the silent auction, please click here.

Event Details:

Date: Wednesday June 9th, 2010
Time: Start time 5:30 pm Dinner, Live and Silent Auction
Location: Seawell Grand Ballroom at the Denver Center for Performing Arts
Address: 101 13th St. Denver, CO 80204
Cost: $100 regular, $150 VIP

--Sherry Manning

Monday, April 5, 2010

Colorado Coalition of Land Trusts (CCLT) – 2010 Conference: LLM Student Kate Williams-Shuck Reports on Conference

I attended the CCLT 2010 conference on March 15, 2010. As an LLM student this was a wonderful way to network with people in the land conservation community and learn more about current topics in the Colorado conservation easement world.

The conference began with a review of current state and federal tax incentive legislation. Representatives from both Senator Mark Udall’s and Senator Michael Bennet’s offices spoke briefly and answered questions about current legislation and their conversations with the IRS that are extremely relevant to Colorado’s conservation easement future.

Some of the highlights from outside the regular conference sessions included a few inspiring words from Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper, and a presentation on how the dioramas, an artist’s 3-D depiction of a scene, at the Museum of Nature and Science have changed when compared to pictures of the same landscapes today. After listening to a few words from Mayor Hickenlooper, I was encouraged about the future of Colorado. Mayor Hickenlooper said that he wants this campaign to be all positive with zero negative ads, as his campaign was when he ran for mayor. He told a story about starting the Wynkoop Brewery where he would advertise for other restaurants in his restaurant but his own staff thought he was crazy for promoting other businesses. However, his idea was simple. If you can draw more people to the area for dinner and lunch it is good for everyone in the community. Having never heard Mayor Hickenlooper speak before this event, I found it refreshing to hear a very uplifting, positive, and encouraging message, given what is going on these days in Washington.

From my perspective, the most educational part of the conference was the last session where a panel discussed what the Western Governors' Association (“WGA”) was doing to plan renewable energy development in the 16 western states. Because I am writing my LLM thesis on renewable energy development, it was extremely informative. It was great to see that there planning at all levels of government. The panel noted that the WGA struggled to find data on where conservation easements exist in order to plan around them for siting transmission lines. Gathering data on the location of conservation easements and presenting it in a searchable and readily available format will be critical in the coming years if there is any hope of convincing states and the federal government to plan around conservation easements. Attending the CCLT conference gave me a lot more ideas for researching possible solutions to the problem of siting renewable energy to include in my thesis.

For anyone wanting to learn more about conservation easements I highly recommend taking Prof. Jessica Jay’s Land Conservation Transactions course. It touches on property law, water law, contracts, and environmental law to name a few. It is the most practical 3-credit course I took in either law school or the grad program at DU.

Kate Williams-Shuck
LLM Student 2010