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 animals and the law.

This event is open to the public. To register for this event, please click here.


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.

Please click here to view the photo masthead.



 

Subscriptions and Submissions

For information on how to subscribe to the Denver Law Review, please click here.

For the guidelines on how to submit an article to the Denver Law Review, please click here.

Thursday
Feb152018

Home-Rule Municipalities and Public Lands: Disposal of Public Lands as a Matter of Local Concern

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Angela Hygh

The safety, preservation, and management of public lands, including parks, has become a matter of increasing concern since President Donald Trump decreased the size of multiple national monuments. Within Colorado, the Conservation in the West Poll revealed that 75% of voters in 2018 consider themselves to be conservationists, up from 65% in 2016. In the same poll, 53% of Colorado voters also indicated that they opposed privatizing the management of services provided at national public lands. Colorado state law protects public parks owned by Colorado municipalities with C.R.S. § 31-15-713, which requires an election to approve the sale of any such public park. However, a recent case before the Colorado Court of Appeals has raised the question of whether home-rule municipalities in Colorado may avoid the election requirement and dispose of park lands in accordance with their own ordinances. This Article will argue that the local ordinances addressing the disposition of land owned by home rule municipalities should supersede C.R.S. § 31-15-713.

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Thursday
Feb082018

Tenth Circuit: The Slow Transition to Analyzing eDiscovery Violations

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Susie Lloyd

The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure governing discovery have been amended since their inception to limit the scope and amount of discovery to only relevant information that is proportional to the needs of the case. Concerns of proportionality routinely arise in litigation when a plaintiff’s economic status is significantly lower than that of a potential defendant. This concern is perhaps greater now than ever before, as costs associated with the retrieval and maintenance of electronic discovery can double or triple a client’s budget. Rather than sifting through boxes of paper by hand, e-Discovery permits the process to take place in half the time, but this also leads to the introduction of more data than was ever conceivable through paper discovery. Now, emails are sent in a fraction of the time it took to type and mail a letter, and more emails are being sent per hour, which are then backed up and saved to a company’s server. Cloud computing, both public and privately hosted, provides space for companies to save information without the added cost of onsite servers, allowing for more data to be saved for longer periods of time. Yet these services are not cheap, and retrieval of data for the purposes of litigation often requires the retention of technical service companies that may be affordable only in top-dollar cases. Even with a mere twenty gigabytes of data, to retrieve, filter through the information and eliminate irrelevant information, maintain the data on a third-party hosting site, and review the data, which could potentially yield 200,000 responsive documents, the cost may be upwards of $200,000. Now, imagine the data is culled from several servers or cloud services maintained within a large company and the facts of litigation require review of several years’ worth of information; the twenty gigabytes quickly turn into twenty terabytes of information. When is review and production of potentially relevant data no longer proportional to the needs of the case?

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Thursday
Feb012018

The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act: The Fight Must Go On

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Jenny Nelson & Jessica Nelson

In December of 2010, then-President Barack Obama signed the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act (the Act)—a bill spearheaded by Michelle Obama that passed with bipartisan support—intending to reduce childhood obesity, childhood hunger, and improve the overall health and wellbeing of children in the U.S. The Act accomplishes this by, inter alia, instructing the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to implement nutrition guidelines for school lunches. The new standards, based on recommendations from the Institute of Medicine, included “more whole grains, fruits and vegetables, lean protein and low fat dairy, as well as less sugar, fat, and sodium.” The program had many positive effects. However, after President Donald Trump took office, Sonny Perdue, Secretary of Agriculture, issued a Proclamation relaxing the nutritional guidelines put in place by the USDA during the previous Administration. First, instead of requiring all grains offered with school meals to be at least 51% whole grain, the Proclamation allows schools to serve non-whole-grain-rich products. Second, instead of requiring schools to meet a three-tier targeted timeline for sodium reduction in meals—the final reduction being met in 2022—schools are deemed compliant with sodium reductions so long as they meet the first target from 2014. Finally, now schools may serve flavored 1% fat milk, discontinuing the requirement that flavored milk be fat-free.

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Friday
Dec292017

Colorado’s First Judicial District: A Continued Push to Aid Domestic Violence Victims

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Austin Jensen

Domestic violence is a universal problem in every nation around the globe. From 2003 to 2006, the United Nations Development Fund for Women expended $4 million in an effort to increase the number of countries with specific laws enforcing prohibitions against domestic violence. Within the three years between 2003 and 2006, the number of countries with laws regarding prohibitions against domestic violence increased from forty-five to eighty-nine. By 2011, 125 countries outlawed domestic violence. Only a few countries drag behind the movement, with Russia being the only country regressing its laws.

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Thursday
Dec142017

Colorado v. McKnight & the Evolution of “Search” Jurisprudence in the State of Colorado

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Mark Toppen

On July 13, 2017, the Colorado Court of Appeals found that evidence obtained via conducting a dog sniff on a vehicle should have been suppressed, as a direct consequence of the state’s changing marijuana laws. Accordingly, the decision reversed the defendant’s prior conviction on two drug-related charges, remanding the case back to the district court for further review. More significantly, the case involves important Fourth Amendment considerations and sets new precedent for drug related searches in the state of Colorado. While the decision by the three-judge panel was unanimous in its holding, the varied reasoning asserted by each judge suggests that the issue may soon need to be considered by the Colorado Supreme Court.

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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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