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.

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United States v. Challoner: “Dead-Bang Winners” Only

By Andrea Ahn

In United States v. Challoner, the Tenth Circuit affirmed the district court’s decision that Challoner’s double jeopardy claim was procedurally barred.  In doing so, the court held Challoner had not demonstrated that his attorney was ineffective in failing to raise the double jeopardy issue on direct appeal and therefore had failed to show cause justifying the procedural default.  No. 08-1335 (10th Cir. Oct. 14, 2009). 

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United States v. Engstrom

By Joshua Austin

The question of whether the Second Amendment is an individual right or reserved only to organized militias has been answered.  District of Columbia. v. Heller held that individual citizens have a right to bear arms for self-defense.  In light of Heller, however, one important question remains: what can the government do to restrict gun rights?  In the short time since Heller numerous suits have been brought to overturn the extensive regulation of firearms.  On a federal level, no case has experienced any measure of success, with one exception.  The Utah Federal District Court in United States v. Engstrum lobbed the first volley against the extensive firearms regulatory scheme devised by Congress.  Engstrum challenged 18 U.S.C. 922(g)(9) (2008), which states that no person convicted of a misdemeanor domestic violence offense may be in possession of a firearm.  Defendant Engstrum, an admitted domestic violence misdemeanant, was found by police to be in possession of a weapon as a result of an argument with his girlfriend.  Police were alerted to the presence of the weapon by the girlfriend.  Engstrum acknowledged his possession of the firearm, and surrendered it to authorities upon request.  He was later charged with violating the federal statute.

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Weinbaum v. City of Las Cruces

By Joshua Vogel

The Establishment Clause was once again tested in the context of the display of a religious symbol in federal court.  In Weinbaum v. City of Las Cruces, Paul Weinbaum and Martin Boyd, both citizens of the City of Las Cruces (“the City”), alleged violations of their Constitutional rights under the Establishment Clause because the City displays an image of three crosses on city vehicles, in the public school, and on other city-owned property.

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The Mighty Python of Employment Agreements Tightens Its Squeeze

By Nicholas A. Murray

In “Metals Group,” a recent decision by the Tenth Circuit, the Court upheld the validity of a non-compete agreement, and thus reminded employees everywhere of the power employers can wield over future employment.  Southwest Stainless, LP v. Sappington, D.C. No. 4:07-CV-00334-CVE-FHM (Sept. 21, 2009)

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United States v. Rhodes

By Rebecca Blake

The Tenth Circuit created a circuit split by its holding in United States v. Rhodes that, despite the Supreme Court’s holding in United States v. Booker, the United States Sentencing Guidelines are still mandatory in §3582(c)(2) resentencing hearings.  Defendant Rhodes was originally sentenced to prison in 1997 for his role in a conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute crack cocaine.  After the Sentencing Commission amended the crack cocaine-related Sentencing Guidelines in 2007, Rhodes filed a motion pursuant to §3582(c)(2) requesting that the court reconsider his sentence.  Not only did Rhodes ask the court to reduce his sentence to the lower limit of the new guideline range, he also argued that, in light of Booker, the guidelines were advisory, and the court had the ability to reduce his sentence further if it so desired.  The District Court rejected this argument and reduced Rhodes’s sentence to the bottom of the amended guideline range.

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WildEarth Guardians v. United States Forest Service: Government Representation of Public and Private Interests

By Nicholas Murray

In July 2009, WildEarth Guardians presented the Tenth Circuit with a very familiar set of facts: a group sought to intervene in an ongoing case on the side of the government.  Would-be intervenor, Mountain Coal Company (MCC), owns and operates West Elk coal mine in western Colorado.  Within this large underground mine, MCC owns two viable seams of coal, both of which contain a significant amount of methane gas.  This coal bed methane (CBM) is “toxic to miners” and “could cause an explosion in the mine.”  Because of the substance’s volatility, the permitting process requires that MCC show how it will pump out the CBM.  MCC proposed to use a methane-drainage well to vent the gas out of the mine and into the atmosphere.  Before MCC could begin venting the gas, the United States Forest Service was required to file an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).  The Forest Service prepared the EIS as required and approved the construction of the ventilation system.  Subsequently, MCC began constructing the system and mining the seam for its resources.

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Wilderness Society v. Kane County, Utah

By Lindsey Houseal

The contentious R.S. 2477 debate has again reached the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals.  This time, in Wilderness Society v. Kane County, Utah, No. 08-4090, (10th Cir. Aug. 31, 2009), two environmental groups (Plaintiffs) challenged Kane County’s exercise of management authority over roads within the boundaries of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument and three other federally-managed parks within Kane County.  In 2003, Kane County (the County) representatives removed federal signage restricting off-road vehicles on roads within the park boundaries. Thereafter, the County erected new signs, many of which opened roads previously closed to motor vehicles.  Furthermore, in October of 2005, an ordinance passed authorizing the County to post new signs designating roads as open to motor vehicle use.  Plaintiffs alleged that both the County’s removal of the signs and the enactment of the ordinance conflicted with the federal government’s management authority.

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First, do no harm. Second, crush the competition?

By Darren Kafka           

In Four Corners Nephrology Associates, P.C. v. Mercy Medical Center of Durango, the Tenth Circuit affirmed the District Court for the District of Colorado's grant of summary judgment in favor of the defendant-respondent Mercy Medical Center of Durango ("Mercy").  The plaintiffs-appellants, Dr. Mark Bevan ("Dr. Bevan") and his practice, Four Corners Nephrology Associates, P.C. ("Four Corners Nephrology"), brought an anti-trust action against Mercy.  Four Corners provides an interesting snapshot of anti-trust law in the medical-provider setting.

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Denial of Discretionary Immigration Relief Insufficient for Violation of Due Process Claim

By Amber Blasingame

The Tenth Circuit in Arambula-Medina v. Holder dismissed a petition to review the denial of a cancellation of removal application for lack of jurisdiction.  No. 08-9589 (10th Cir. July 10, 2009).  Pursuant to 8 U.S.C. § 1252(a)(2)(B)(i), “no court shall have jurisdiction to review . . . any judgment regarding the granting of relief under section . . . 1229b.”  Specifically, the Tenth Circuit does not have jurisdiction to review decisions concerning “the discretionary aspects of a decision concerning cancellation of removal.”

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Circuit Split Alert: Chevron and the Reconsideration of Deportation Orders

By Webster C. Cash III

In a decision turning on application of the famed Chevron analysis, the Tenth Circuit recently clashed with their Fourth Circuit brethren in holding that federal law prohibits motions to reconsider alien deportation orders subsequent to removal from United States soil.  Rosillo-Puga v. Holder, 2009 No. 07-9564 (10th Cir. Sep. 15, 2009).

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