The newest Denver Law Natural Resources Distinguished Practitioner in Residence, Thomas L. Sansonetti, who will serve in the position in the spring 2012 semester, was honored recently at a dinner hosted by Professor Jan Laitos and Carrie Noonan.
The annual dinner, which includes former Distinguished Practitioners in Residence as well as members of Denver Law's Environmental and Natural Resources Law Program (ENRL) faculty, welcomes the newest Distinguished Practitioner.
Mr. Sansonetti leads Holland & Hart's Energy, Environment and Natural Resources Practice Group, which is ranked as the best natural resources practice in the country by Best Lawyers in America. He was the Assistant Attorney General for the Environment and Natural Resources Division of the U.S. Department of Justice from 2001-2005. He served as Associate Solicitor for Energy and Resources in the Reagan Administration.
The Distinguished Natural Resources Practitioner in Residence Seminar is a "capstone seminar" taught each year in the spring semester by a prominent natural resources or environmental law lawyer who has extensive experience in energy, resources, or environmental law work. The focus of the seminar is on skills training including writing, dealing with technical or scientific matters in a legal context, and appearing before administrative agencies.
The former Distinguished Practitioners in Residence who attended the dinner were:
Robert D. Comer (2009 Practitioner in Residence), Special Counsel at Faegre & Benson. Mr. Comer has served in the senior executive service at the U.S. Department of Interior and as associate general counsel for a Fortune 500 mining, minerals processing, and speciality metals company.
Alan Gilbert (2008), Senior Advisor for the Rocky Mountains and the Southwest for U.S. Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar. Formerly Mr. Gilbert served as Mr. Salazar's deputy chief of staff in the U.S. Senate and as Solicitor General of the State of Colorado. He has also practiced law as a partner at Holme, Roberts & Owen as well as Sherman & Howard.
Howard Kenison (2010), Partner and Chair of the Environment, Natural Resources, and Climate Change practice at Lindquist & Vennum. Mr. Kenison is the former Colorado Deputy Attorney General in charge of Colorado's Superfund Litigation Section.
Rebecca Watson (2011), Partner at Welborn Sullivan Meck & Tooley. Ms. Watson has served in the U.S. Department of Interior as Assistant Secretary for Lands and Minerals Management in the George W. Bush Administration. She also served as Assistant General Counsel for Energy Policy at the U.S. Department of Energy in the George H.W. Bush Administration.
In the picture are, from lower left and going clockwise around the table, Professor Laitos, Associate Dean and Professor Fred Cheever, Robert D. Comer, Mr. Sansonetti, Professor Rock Pring, Professor Justin Pidot, Ms. Noonan, Alan Gilbert, Director of the ENRL Program Don Smith, Professor K.K. DuVivier, Rebecca Watson, and Howard Kenison.
The Distinguished Natural Resources Practitioner in Residence, which is organized by Professor Laitos, is now in its 23rd year. Students in the course are selected by Professor Laitos.