Friday, June 10, 2011

Professor Jan Laitos Teaches "Natural Resources and Environmental Policy" at Central European University

Professor Jan Laitos, John A. Carver, Jr. Professor of Law at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law, recently returned from Budapest, Hungary, where he taught natural resources and environmental policy at Central European University.

His class consisted of graduate students from the Ukraine, Czech Republic, Macedonia, Hungary, the Georgia Republic, Uzbekistan, Mexico and Lithuania.

He noted of this experience:
“It is interesting to see how, some 20 years after the fall of the Soviet Union, countries that were once under Soviet domination are well on their way to experiencing a world grounded in market-based capitalism and individual choices. Instead of relying on the State to take care of everyone, these countries, especially as represented by the students I taught, are learning about self-initiation and the reality of dealing with the consequences of free will.”
His class focused on the world’s differing responses to natural resources use and over-use.

Professor Laitos will be visiting the University of Amsterdam in June, to deliver a lecture on “The Legal-Economic History of Natural Resources Use and Non-Use” at the 3rd Annual Society of Environmental Law and Economics.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Tom Abell, Denver Law Masters of Resources Law Studies Graduate, Begins Work for Bill Barrett Corporation

Tom Abell, a 2010 Masters in Resource Law Studies graduate from the Denver Law Environmental and Natural Resources Law & Policy Graduate Program, has been hired as a landman for Bill Barrett Corporation (BBC), a mid-sized exploration and production company.

In his new role, Tom will be responsible for the development of an acquisition property in Utah. "I will oversee everything from landowner relations and permitting to the successful execution of our drilling program," according to Tom.

Historically BBC has focused on natural gas production, but more recently they are acquiring lands that have the potential for oil production.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Colorado Supreme Court Hands Down Decision in Burlington Ditch Water Case, Which was Heard at Denver Law in January 2011

The Colorado Supreme Court has published its decision in the Burlington Ditch (also referred as the FRICO case) case, which it heard oral arguments about at Denver Law on January 20, 2011. The hearing drew nearly 500 students, faculty, and a who's who of the state's leading water lawyers.

The water involved in the case is located near Barr Lake, a large reservoir a short distance north of Denver International Airport.

In an opinion written by Justice Gregory Hobbs, the Supreme Court upheld a state water court's decree and said in part, "In order to prevent an unlawful enlargement of the Burlington and FRICO water rights, the Companies' 1885 Burlington direct flow water right is limited to the 200 cubic feet per second historically diverted and used for irrigation around Barr Lake."

The case was of particular interest since a number of Denver Law alums and adjunct professors were involved on various sides of the matter.

Don C. Smith, Director of the Environmental and Natural Resources Law Program, said, "This opinion marks the final stage in a major matter of water law that we were privileged to have a 'front row seat to' thanks to the Supreme Court's willingness to hear the case at Denver Law. Following the progress of this appeal has been a much talked about subject since the oral argument in January. The Supreme Court's visit was definitely a highlight of the just concluded spring semester, and we hope to host the Court again in the future."