Friday, September 9, 2011

Joshua Epel, Chair of the Colorado Public Utilities Commission, to Speak at Denver Law on September 22

Joshua Epel, Chair of the Colorado Public Utilities Commission, will speak at Denver Law on September 22 from 12 noon to 1 p.m. in room 170. Chairman Epel's remarks are part of the Environmental and Natural Resources Law (ENRL) Program Speaker Series.

Before joining the PUC, Mr. Epel was the Assistant General Counsel at DCP Midstream, the second largest natural gas gatherer and processor in the U.S. as well as a major producer of natural gas liquids and marketer of natural gas across the nation. He was also responsible for multiple areas of operation and helped to develop the company’s climate change strategy.

Mr. Epel’s environmental work led him to be appointed to the Colorado Oil and Gas Commission, where he served as Chair.

In appointing Mr. Epel to the PUC, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper said, “Joshua Epel brings a broad range of experience in energy and environmental policy. His strong business, engineering and legal background give him a strong foundation for leading the Colorado Public Utilities Commission. Joshua is also someone with a deep social conscience and a proven record of civic engagement. He’ll be independent-minded, objective and collaborative, all qualities important for the PUC.”

Don Smith, Director of the ENRL Program, said, "It will be a great pleasure for Denver Law to welcome Chairman Epel. The Colorado PUC is centrally involved in the regulation of key state utilities. This is a particularly appropriate time for the Chairman to visit Denver Law since the PUC's work is so closely tied to services that all Coloradans depend on to sustain a vibrant and growth oriented but environmentally friendly economy. Our students will learn a great deal about the challenges of balancing the various interests that are a part of what the PUC must take into consideration."

Food will be provided at the noontime session.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

John Herrick, Senior Counsel With Denver's Brownstein Firm, Named "Best Renewable Energy Lawyer" in Law Week Colorado's Barrister's Best Issue

Denver Law Adjunct Professor John Herrick has been named Colorado's "Best Renewable Energy Lawyer" in Law Week Colorado's Barrister's Best issue.

Mr. Herrick, who teaches Renewable Energy Project Finance, is Senior Counsel in the Denver office of Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck and a member of the Natural Resources Group. He is working to further develop the sustainability and clean technology practice area for the firm.

As reported by Law Week Colorado, "John Herrick has extensive experience on both sides of the renewable energy spectrum. He worked as Chief Counsel for the Department of Energy's Golden office for 15 years before joining Brownstein where he's helped clients with clean energy, solar, wind and geothermal projects."

Recently Mr. Herrick was part of a Brownstein team that negotiated a $25 million deal involving the U.S. Department of Energy and a biorefinery in California.

Don Smith, Director of the Environmental and Natural Resources Law and Policy Program at Denver Law, said, "John Herrick is internationally recognized for a broad spectrum of activities in renewable energy. Moreover, he is one of America's leading practitioners in assisting companies in entering into public and private partnerships in energy financing. All of us at Denver Law are thrilled with this news, and we are delighted he continues to be a big part of our renewable energy law program."

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Thomas L. Sansonetti, Former U.S. Assistant Attorney General for the Environment and Natural Resources, Named 2012 Practitioner in Residence

The Denver Law 2012 Distinguished Natural Resources Practitioner in Residence will be Thomas L. Sansonetti, a partner with Holland & Hart. Mr. Sansonetti leads the firm'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.

Don C. Smith, Director of the Environmental and Natural Resources Law & Policy Program, said, "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. We are delighted to welcome Mr. Sansonetti, one of America's most experienced natural resources attorneys, as next year's practitioner in residence."

According to John A. Carver Jr. Professor of Law Jan G. Laitos, who established the seminar, the focus of the Seminar is on skills training, where the skills taught are those that all lawyers need in order to have a successful career in the practice of law. Among the "how-to" skills typically addressed are: (1) how to obtain a job, either as a lawyer or as a law-trained worker; (2) how to obtain and retain clients; (3) how to work in the private sector, government sector, business sector, and in-house sector; (4) how to deal with technical or scientific matters in a legal context; (5) how to work in the litigation arena, before trial and appellate courts; and (6) how to practice or appear before administrative agencies.

From 1990 to 1993, Mr. Sansonetti was Solicitor of the U.S. Department of the Interior, the number three ranking position in the department. During his tenure, he signed the $1.1 billion Exxon Valdez oil spill settlement, having served as one of the six federal negotiators, and was Counsel to the Endangered Species Committee for the Spotted Owl hearings in Oregon.

Mr. Sansonetti served as the Assistant Attorney General for the Environment and Natural Resources Division (ENRD) of the U.s. Department of Justice from December 2001-April 2005. As one of the top leaders in the Justice Department, he was deeply involved in responding to post-9/11 events, including working with the new Department of Homeland Security. He managed a budget of $115 million and supervised 650 employees including a legal staff of 425 attorneys.

Mr. Sansonetti, who originally joined Holland & Hart in 1993, rejoined the firm's Cheyenne, Wyoming, office in 2005.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Denver Law LLM Graduates in Environmental and Natural Resources Law Talk About Their Experiences at DU, Share Advice For Prospective Students

Recent graduates of the Denver Law Environmental and Natural Resources Law and Policy Graduate Program are featured in a new series of video interviews. In the interviews, the graduates talk about their experience at DU. In addition, they offer advice to prospective students who are considering applying to study at DU.

The first graduate to be featured is Brent Burgie, a Colorado native, who earned his JD degree at the University of Indiana at Indianapolis. His video can be viewed by clicking here. While studying at Denver Law, Mr. Burgie presented a report about renewable energy incentives to the Colorado Public Utilities Commission. To read more about this, please click here.

Don C. Smith, Director of the Graduate Program, said, "In many respects, those who know the program the best -- that is our graduates -- are most well positioned to talk about their entire experience, what they found to be the most valuable and enduring in terms of their studies. We constantly find that our graduates tell the most compelling stories about the wisdom of studying at DU."

Lucy Daberkow, Assistant Administrative Director of the Graduate Program, said, "These interviews will be particularly helpful for those who are thinking about applying to graduate program. The interviews are full of advice from past graduates, who provide insight into what it is like to study at Denver Law as well as guidance to prospective students."

Each month a different graduate will be featured.

To see a selection of interviews of LLM and Masters of Resource Law Studies Graduates, please click here.