Friday, August 27, 2010

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor Visits Sturm College of Law; She Addresses High School, College, and Law Students

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor spoke yesterday at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law. Justice Sotomayor addressed 250 high school and university students and offered her observations about working her way from a humble background to America's highest court.

The students, and others who attended the event, heard Justice Sotomayor talk about the need to work hard and the value of a good education.

Kathleen Nalty, executive director of the Colorado Campaign for Inclusive Excellence, said, "Justice Sotomayor said she didn't want to talk to lawyers, she wanted to talk to students." And that's exactly what Justice Sotomayor did. More about Justice Sotomayor's appearance can be learned by clicking here. A video feed from C-Span is available by clicking here.

The day also included remarks to a gathering of Environmental and Natural Resources Law program students by U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Carlos Lucero. The blog will be reporting soon on Judge Lucero's remarks.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

"The Case Against Corporate Social Responsibility:" Wall Street Journal Special Report Examines the CSR Concept

The debate about whether companies have a "corporate social responsibility" (CSR) and if so what that means has been going on for at least a decade. To date, there has been no definitive answer. It is more likely to take the form of "it depends on the circumstances and facts."

The CSR concept has been widely adopted in Europe where consumers and governments have been quick to call companies to task for failing to serve broader interests than just those of shareholders. In March 2010 the European Commission, the executive body of the European Union, made a commitment to "renew the EU strategy to promote Corporate Social Responsibility as a key element in ensuring long term employee and consumer trust." Click here to learn more about the Commission's position. However, in the U.S. the rate of acceptance has been somewhat more limited.

In any case, the case for and against CSR continues apace, and anyone involved in representing or working for businesses must be familiar with the concept and what various stakeholders think about it.

The Wall Street Journal has published (Aug. 23, 2010) a special section called "The Case Against Corporate Social Responsibility." The special section, produced in collaboration with the MITSloan Management Review, begins by saying:
"Can companies do well by doing good? Yes--sometimes. But the idea that
companies have a responsibility to act in the public interest and will
profit from doing so is fundamentally flawed."
There are obviously many reports about the value of CSR. But this one, because of its timeliness and the involvement of MITSloan Management Review, deserves a look by anyone interested in CSR.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Speakers Series Established by the Environmental and Natural Resources Law Program: First Event Features Former Interior Asst. Secretaries on Sept. 15

The Environmental and Natural Resources Law Program (ENRLP) at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law has announced establishment of a "Speaker Series" that will feature leaders in the environmental and natural resources sectors.

The Speakers Series will kick off on Sept. 15, 2010, from 12 noon to 1 p.m. in room 125 with remarks by two former Assistant Secretaries of the U.S. Interior Department, John A. Carver Jr. and Rebecca C. Watson.

Mr. Carver, an emeritus professor who taught at the College of Law from 1972 to 2005, and Ms. Watson, a DU law graduate and now a parter at the Denver-based firm of Welborn Sullivan Meck & Tooley, will allow students to hear about two different periods in the history of the Interior Department.

Mr. Carver, who also served as Undersecretary of the Interior, worked in the administrations of John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Baines Johnson. From 1966 to 1972 he was a member of the Federal Power Commission. Last year Mr. Carver and the ENRL collaborated on producing an oral history of his life. The oral history can be accessed by clicking here.

Ms. Watson served in the administration of President George W. Bush, where she worked with Interior Secretary Gale Norton, also a DU law graduate. Ms. Watson served as the Assistant General Counsel for Energy Policy in the George H. W. Bush Administration. She has been a partner and counsel in two Washington, D.C. law firms in addition to practicing in Colorado, Montana, and Wyoming. Ms. Watson will be the Sturm College of Law Distinguished Natural Resources Practitioner in Residence in 2011.

Among other things Mr. Carver and Ms. Watson will reflect on the major issues they faced during their tenures at the Department of Interior and what lessons they took away from those experiences.

"The ENRLP is delighted to be hosting Mr. Carver and Ms. Watson," Don C. Smith, ENRLP director said. "Their insights about the Department of Interior will provide students with a great deal of context and insight into the department, how it operates, and how it has changed over time. To host two former assistant secretaries is a great honor for the Sturm College of Law, and I would encourage all students to learn from these two impressive individuals."

Monday, August 23, 2010

May 2010 LLM Graduate Captain Micah M. Miller Resumes Duties With the U.S. Marine Corps as Uniformed Environmental Attorney

As an active duty Marine Corps Judge Advocate, Captain Micah M. Miller has already served as a prosecutor, defense attorney, and deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom to advise on operational law matters.

In early 2009, he was selected to return to school to obtain an advanced law degree in environmental and natural resources law and policy. Upon his May 2010 graduation from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law Environmental and Natural Resources Law & Policy Graduate Program with an LL.M., Captain Miller was assigned to the Eastern Area Counsel Office (EACO) located in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.

The mission of EACO is to provide comprehensive and timely legal advice and support to the commanders of Marine Corps installations in the areas of business and commercial law including environmental law, land use, civilian personnel law, procurement and fiscal law, government ethics, as well as working with the Department of Justice and U.S. Attorneys in litigation affecting the Marine Corps.

From reviewing draft environmental assessments to interpreting state environmental statutes, Captain Miller is currently responsible for numerous environmental subjects as they pertain to Marine Corps installations in the southeastern United States. Captain Miller is also active in ongoing DoJ litigation concerning Camp Lejeune water.

Don C. Smith, Director of the ENRL program, said, "Captain Miller added a great deal of richness to the ENRL graduate program. His experience and observations, informed by his role as a member of the Marine Corps Judge Advocate General, were appreciated by all of us in the program. He is destined to contribute enormously to the U.S., and all of us in the ENRL who knew him as a student or a colleague wish him good luck in all his future endeavors."