Events & Announcements

2018 Symposium – Uproar: The Intersection of Animals and the Law

Feb. 9, 2018 - Uproar: The Intersection of Animals and the Law The Denver Law Review  presents its Volume 95 Symposium, Uproar: The Intersection of Animals and the Law. Uproar will explore the relationship between animal law and free speech.

This event is open to the public. Registration details to be announced.


Volume 95 Staff Announced

The Denver Law Review is excited to announce the Volume 95 Staff. Please join us in congratulating them in this accomplishment and supporting them in continuing the fine tradition of the Denver Law Review. Please click here to view the masthead.

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DLR Online

The online supplement to the Denver Law Review

Monday
Oct092017

Pre-Dispute Binding Arbitration in the Long-Term Care Context

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Jane Rugg

While binding arbitration provisions are commonplace in many of the contracts we encounter as both consumers and legal professionals, their use is not necessarily condoned or even permitted in all circumstances. Though the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) and the principle of freedom of contract protect the concept of pre-dispute, mandatory arbitration provisions, governmental regulators sometime intervene in order to address certain public policy concerns. Such is the case in the context of long term care facility contracts. Courts and regulators alike have voiced concern over the “unconscionability,” or “manifest[] unfair[ness]” of arbitration provisions in long-term care residency agreements. Because residents often sign the agreements while suffering from physical and mental ailments, and because arbitration provisions are often hidden in the lengthy admissions paperwork, long-term care residency agreements are ripe for legal challenges and higher-level regulation. This Article will examine the current regulatory environment for arbitration provisions in the long-term care context at both the federal and Colorado state level.

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Friday
Sep292017

The Next Step: Protecting LGBTQ Students in Our Schools

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Joshua T. Mangiagli

In South Dakota, a young eight-year-old girl, whose dad is gay, ran home from school because students teased her and referred to her dad as a “cocksucker,” a “faggot,” and told her that her dad “sucks dick.” When students began to laugh, the teacher didn’t issue a consequence; the teacher joined the students and started laughing. In Utah, a seventeen-year-old transgender boy shared, “I’ve been shoved into lockers, and sometimes people will just push up on me to check if I have boobs.” Nationwide, approximately thirty-four percent of gay, lesbian, and bisexual students in grades nine to twelve report being bullied while on school property. Given this type of treatment, it’s not surprising that the number of gay, lesbian, and bisexual teenagers that will attempt suicide is four times greater than their heterosexual counterparts. Despite empirical evidence that LGBTQ students are discriminated against because of their sexual orientation and/or gender identity, the federal government does not expressly protect these students. This Article asserts that the passage of a “Student Non-Discrimination Act” (SNDA), which would bar recipients of federal financial assistance from discriminating against students “on the basis of perceived sexual orientation or gender identity,” should be a top priority of Congress and the people of the United States.

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Tuesday
Sep192017

Binding Arbitration in Skilled Nursing Facilities: Where to Draw the Line

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Rudy Schmidt

Imagine facing the following scenario: your loved one has fallen ill and needs care from a skilled nursing facility. You have little time to investigate your options or to become an informed consumer. You arrive at the nursing home and are handed an admissions packet containing several documents, including an adhesion contract containing a pre-dispute binding arbitration agreement. You are not informed about the arbitration agreement and sign the document without realizing that you have done so. You do not know that, by signing this document, you are foregoing the ability to bring claims against the nursing facility in court. Your loved one is admitted to the facility and is subsequently injured. You are told that you must go to arbitration where your complaint will be decided by a private arbitrator. The arbitrator’s decision is generally binding and cannot be appealed in court. Your relative receives a small settlement amount from the arbitration, but nowhere near enough to pay for the various costs associated with your loved one’s future medical care. You and your family have done nothing wrong, yet you must pay for the injuries that your loved one suffered due to the gross negligence of the staff at the skilled nursing facility.

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Monday
Aug212017

Norton v. Ute Indian Tribe: Seeking Concrete Delineations in the Tribal Exhaustion Doctrine

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Alec Martinez

While American Indian tribes are ever-seeking to promote their own self-governance and right to territorial management within reservation borders, tribal judicial systems have been traditionally limited in their ability to assert civil jurisdiction over nonmembers within reservations. The Ute Tribe’s desire for control within its reservation led to the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision in Norton v. Ute Indian Tribe, in which the court found that nonmember defendants must exhaust Ute tribal remedies with respect to a tribal trespass claim, but not for other tribal tort claims asserted in the aftermath of the death of a tribal member, Todd Murray. Murray died following a police pursuit led by Utah State Trooper Dave Swenson on April 1, 2007. Following Murray’s death, which occurred within the Ute Reservation, Ute tribal law enforcement officers were prevented from accessing the scene. In response, Murray’s parents, his estate, and the Ute Tribe sued Swenson and other officers involved for wrongful trespass, false arrest, spoliation of evidence, conspiracy, and other torts. The officers then filed a 42 U.S.C. § 1983 claim in federal district court against the Ute Tribe and a number of its branches, including the Ute Tribal Court. The United States District Court for the District of Utah then enjoined the Ute Tribal Court action, holding that the tribal court lacked civil jurisdiction over the officers. On appeal, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals found that the district court had erred in enjoining the suit before the officers had exhausted tribal court remedies with respect to the Tribe’s trespass claim.

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Thursday
Aug102017

Red and White, Black and Blue: An Examination of the Supreme Court’s Racial Gerrymandering Jurisprudence Following Cooper v. Harris

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Joel L. Hamner

On May 22, 2017, the United States Supreme Court found that the North Carolina state legislature improperly gerrymandered two congressional districts by considering race as the predominant factor when re-drawing district lines in 2011. Applying a “clearly erroneous” standard of review, the Court unanimously upheld the district court’s decision to strike down congressional district (CD) 1 but split 5-3 over the question of CD 12. (Justice Gorsuch took no part in the consideration or decision.)

The case, Cooper v. Harris, marked the fifth time in the past twenty-five years that the Supreme Court examined one or both of these districts. In this case, the split over CD 12 arose from the defendants’ assertion that the changes to the district’s boundary lines were entirely partisan-driven and, therefore, lawful. That claim, combined with the plaintiffs’ failure to show how the state legislature could have achieved its partisan goals without affecting the district’s overall black voter age population (BVAP) was enough to convince three of the Court’s conservative judges that the legislature’s actions did not amount to racial gerrymandering. But in striking down CD 12, the majority made a departure from the “alternative ways” requirement laid out in a 2001 case, Easley v. Cromartie (commonly known as Cromartie II)—a departure which Justice Alito likened to the act of tossing away a napkin after a single use.

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Thursday
Aug102017

The Remote Seller Issue in Colorado: Reexamining Quill and Bellas Hess

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Dianne Criswell & Grant Sullivan

In Direct Marketing Association v. Brohl (Brohl II), Justice Kennedy charged the legal system to find an “appropriate case for this Court to reexamine Quill and Bellas Hess.” He noted that changes in technology and consumer sophistication warrant a reconsideration of the physical presence nexus standard that currently serves to shield remote sellers from the obligation to collect and remit owed sales tax.

Whether a retailer must have a physical presence in the jurisdiction in which a sale occurs before it can be compelled to collect and remit owed sales tax was last addressed by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1992 in Quill Corporation v. North Dakota. At that time, out-of-state catalog retailers dominated the remote seller issue. In Quill, the Supreme Court affirmed the bright-line rule from National Bellas Hess v. Department of Revenue and held that companies without a “substantial nexus” in the state where customers lived did not have to charge sales tax. As retail activity has changed over the last 25 years, from primarily brick-and-mortar businesses to internet sellers, state and local governments have struggled to address both lost sales and use tax revenues and the impacts to resident business communities.

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Wednesday
Aug092017

Fighting Climate Change in Post-Paris Agreement America: Reducing Livestock Emissions

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Timothy Luetkemeyer

President Donald J. Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement incited anger in environmentalists, and inspired praise from climate change deniers. Regardless of where one’s reaction falls on this spectrum, the withdrawal begs the question: “What’s next?” While the Trump Administration has indicated through its withdrawal from the Paris Agreement that it will not support efforts to combat climate change, many states, municipalities, organizations, and individuals will continue to fight to make our planet sustainable for future generations. This Article will offer one solution that state and local governments may implement to help fight climate change in the absence of federal leadership: an excise tax on animal products.

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Wednesday
Aug022017

"Make Our Planet Great Again"

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Jennifer Nelson

President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from the global agreement to mitigate the effects of global warming puts the United States in a unique position. Now, as a result of President Trump’s decision to discontinue climate change initiatives, cities and states are defying the federal government by adopting their own measures.  Further, since the United States is seen as a leader in climate change, by decreasing its participation, other parties to the Paris Agreement may question the United States’ commitment to the very important issue of climate change. Section I of this Article begins by providing a brief background on the Paris Agreement. Section II then explains the downfalls of withdrawing from the Paris Agreement. Finally, Section III gives a description of legislation currently proposed by a number of democratic senators.

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Tuesday
May302017

Torts in the Virtual World

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Roderick O'Dorisio

Last year, virtual reality (VR) and its counterpart, augmented reality (AR), erupted with popularity. At long last, the highly publicized head-mounted displays (HMDs), through which users can enter into a virtual world, went on sale to the public, including Facebook’s Oculus Rift, Samsung’s Gear VR, Sony’s PlayStation VR, and HTC’s Vive. Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality have hit the mainstream. Indeed, in 2016, four major VR hardware platforms were released, as well as numerous VR applications, from games to immersive news reporting to social experiments. Also, let us not forget the summer of 2016, where the world went nuts for Pokémon GO, and as a result, local hospitals and the Holocaust Memorial Museum were forced to put up signs asking players to please stop catching Pokémon on their premises.

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Tuesday
May232017

Corporate Governance, Shareholder Proposals, and Engagement Between Managers and Owners

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J. Robert Brown, Jr.

In the corporate governance area, few regulations have greater importance than Rule 14a-8. Put in place in 1942, the provision requires companies to include in their proxy statements proposals properly submitted by shareholders. Phrased in precatory language, proposals typically advise rather than command. Rule 14a-8, therefore, provides a cost effective mechanism for obtaining the collective views of shareholders on designated matters.

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