The Center for International Human Rights Law & Advocacy Releases Report Divide, Develop, and Rule: Human Rights Violations in Ethiopia

cover-ethiopia-reportThe Center for International Human Rights Law & Advocacy (CIHRLA) at the University of Wyoming College of Law is pleased to announce the release of a new report, Divide, Develop, and Rule: Human Rights Violations in Ethiopia. The report features primary research conducted in Ethiopia, Egypt and the United States between October 2017 and February 2018. The study also aggregates available information from the Ethiopian government, opposition groups, foreign governments, human rights organizations, journalists, lawyers, researchers, and scholars about human rights issues in Ethiopia affecting 1) actual or perceived political opponents, 2) journalists, 3) members of certain ethnic groups, 4) the LGBT community, and 5) women and girls.

Divide, Develop, and Rule was a collaborative effort between students and faculty participating in the College of Law’s fall 2017 Human Rights Practicum and attorneys in Washington, D.C. The report was prepared by UW College of Law Professor Noah Novogrodsky, Robert J. Golten Fellow Adam Severson, attorneys Julia Brower and Mark Clifford of Covington & Burling LLP, and law students Jennie Boulerice of Cheyenne, Wyo., Catherine Di Santo of Jackson, Wyo., Emily Madden of Torrington, Wyo., Brie Richardson of Jackson, Wyo., and Gabriela Sala of Fort Collins, Colo.

The report is intended as a reference document for asylum and refugee lawyers, immigration judges, policy makers, and academics. It provides a snapshot of current country conditions and a starting point for additional research. It also seeks to give context to recent political developments in Ethiopia, which have generated cautious optimism that Ethiopia’s ruling coalition may be preparing to confront decades of serious human rights violations.

Catherine DiSanto (left), Emily Madden (right)

Student contributors Emily Madden and Catherine Di Santo traveled with Professor Novogrodsky and Adam Severson to Washington D.C. in April of 2018 to share an early version of the report with D.C. immigration lawyers. A second presentation of the report’s findings was shared with members of the Colorado Bar on June 27, 2018.

The Center will continue to monitor the changes underway in Ethiopia and update the document as necessary.

The full report can be found on the Center for International Human Rights Law & Advocacy website.

Faculty Highlight: Professor Duff – a Prominent Voice in Worker’s Compensation Law and Labor Law

Duff_8789The College of Law’s Professor Michael Duff has established himself as one of the leading experts in workers’ compensation law and labor law in the nation. In addition to being recognized as a fellow of the College of Workers’ Compensation Lawyers (CWCL), he is regularly quoted in the national press on workers’ compensation systems and labor issues arising from the National Labor Relations Act. Professor Duff’s reputability has even led to Bloomberg reporting that he is their “go to” academic this year on Railway Labor Act matters and the operations of the National Mediation Board.

Some of the most recent publications of 2018 in which Professor Duff has been quote are listed below:

Quoted in “ERISA Question May Kill States’ Retirement Programs,” by Emily Brill, Law360, June 8, 2018.

Quoted in “The Days of the Airline Strike May be Over,” by Justin Bachman and Mary Schlangenstein, Bloomberg, June 8, 2018.

Quoted in “Musk Stock-Option Tweet Violated U.S. Labor Law, UAW Alleges,” by Josh Eidelson, Bloomberg, May 24, 2018.

Quoted in “Airline Pilots May be Next in the Corporate War on Unions,” by Josh Eidelson, Bloomberg, May 1, 2018.

Quoted in “Court to Decide if Kentucky Can Hold a Georgia Hospital to its Fee Schedule,” by William Rabb, WorkCompCentral, April 24, 2018.

Quoted in “Union Leader Faces Members’ Protest Over Sexual Misconduct Claims,” by Mike Elk and Karina Moreno, The Guardian, April 22, 2018.

Quoted in “The Real Gig Problem for Work Comp,” by Peter Rousmaniere,, April 18, 2018.

Quoted in “U.S. Labor Board’s Holocaust Commemoration Goes Awry,” by Josh Eidelson, Bloomberg, April 13, 2018.

Quoted in “Death Benefits Bill Goes to Governor,” by William Rabb, WorkCompCentral, April 9, 2018.

Quoted in “Labor Board Democrat Under Investigation for Loose Talk,” by Josh Eidelson, Bloomberg, March 29, 2018.

Quoted in “Trump Labor Board Scrambles to Avoid Pro-Worker Ruling, Lawyers Claim,” by Josh Eidelson, Bloomberg, March 17, 2018.

Quoted in “Postmates Paid Premiums, but Cases Still Rare,” by Joyce Famakinwa, Business Insurance, March 5, 2018.

Quoted in “Modern Constitutional Challenges to Workers’ Compensation Systems,” by Hon. Wesley G. Marshall, IAIABC Perspectives Magazine, March 2018.

Quoted in “Inside the Trump Administration’s Plan to Shrink the NLRB,” by Bruce Vail, In These Times, January 31, 2018.

Quoted in “Pittsburgh Post-Gazette employees plan byline strike Thursday to protest stalled contract negotiations with management,” by Stephen Caruso, Pittsburgh City Paper, January 24, 2018.

Not only has Duff been a driving force in the advancement of workers’ compensation law nationwide, he has also made significant contributions locally. Over the course of the 2017-2018 academic year, Professor Duff hosted a Workers’ Compensation Law Symposia at the College of Law. The Symposia consists of a series of four presentations exploring workers’ compensation laws and issues relating specifically to Wyoming. Seeking to provide Wyoming with more doctrine in workers’ compensation law, the resulting research from the series will be compiled to form a Wyoming Treatise on Workers’ Compensation Law that will be providing a much needed resource in an under-represented area of the law. The Symposia presentations are still available on the College of Law Website.

As further evidence of Professor Duff’s service, dedication, and expertise to his research and the law, he was recognized as a recipient of the 2017 Extraordinary Merit Award by the College of Law for his efforts.

Professor Duff has been with the College of Law since 2006. He teaches courses in Torts I, Labor Law, Workers’ Compensation Law, and Employee Benefits Law. He has also taught Administrative Law, Evidence, Alternative Dispute Resolution in the Workplace, Introduction to Law, and it is anticipated that he will teach the College of Law’s Bankruptcy course beginning in Spring Semester 2019.

Professor Duff is a tremendous asset to the College of Law, and we are excited to see his continued success and proud to recognize all of his achievements!


Faculty Highlight: Jason Robison Leads Influential Water Law & Policy Projects

Professor Jason Robison, the water law and policy expert at the University of Wyoming jason_webCollege of Law, has delivered a consistent stream of scholarly work within his field, encompassing a combination of domestic, comparative, and international projects.

Over the past two academic years, Robison has been involved in the groundbreaking, collaborative project Vision and Place: John Wesley Powell and Reimagination of the Colorado River Basin, which commemorates the sesquicentennial of John Wesley Powell’s historic 1869 Expedition down the Green and Colorado Rivers. In addition to paying homage to the epic exploration of the Colorado River Basin, the project consists of an interdisciplinary collection of scholarly chapters addressing the future of water, public lands, and Native Americans in the Colorado River Basin. Robison is serving as lead editor for the project.

Most recently, Robison was one of the few academics selected to deliver a presentation at Columbia Law School’s Sabin Colloquium on Innovative Environmental Law Scholarship. The Colloquium is a competitive forum in which pre-tenure law scholars are selected to present early-stage work before a panel of senior legal scholars in order to receive constructive feedback. Proposals are selected based on the degree of innovation they exhibit, and the likelihood that the work will yield real environmental solutions. Robison was one of ten junior scholars invited to the colloquium. His draft article, The Life of the Yellowstone River Compact, addresses the United States Supreme Court’s recently issued decision in the eleven-year long proceeding of Montana v. Wyoming, an interstate water compact dispute.

Also in the domestic realm, Professor Robison has recently joined Professor Emeritus Dan Tarlock of the Chicago-Kent College of Law as co-author of the long-running treatise, Law of Water Rights and Resources. The most recent edition (2018) containing updates from Professors Robison and Tarlock is available for preorder here.

Robison has also been active in comparative and international law. He recently co-authored articles on water justice for Indigenous Peoples in the Colorado, Columbia, and Murray-Darling basins, as well as transboundary water law and policy in the Indus River Basin. Growing out of the latter project, Robison is working with Harvard Law School colleague Erum Sattar to help organize a transboundary water conference at the Supreme Court of Pakistan in Islamabad this fall. Robison has also recently begun research with UW colleagues Noah Novogrodsky (law) and Bryan Shuman (geology/geophysics) on the Silala River dispute between Chile and Bolivia currently before the International Court of Justice.

Beyond his scholarship, Robison has the honor of serving on President Nichols’ Advisory Committee on Native American Affairs, and working with remarkable Indigenous and non-Indigenous colleagues in this capacity. Robison is currently chairing a 17-person subcommittee tasked with drafting a first-ever Native American Affairs strategic plan for UW.

The College of Law is extremely lucky to have a professor of such high caliber, dedication, and drive among the faculty. The College of Law congratulates Professor Robison on his accomplishments and looks forward to his further projects.

Faculty Highlight: Professor Pridgen Nominated for Women of Influence Award

0010PridgenDColorLoResCongratulations to Professor Dee Pridgen on being nominated for the Wyoming Business Report’s 2018 Women of Influence Awards. The Women of Influence Awards is an event that seeks to offer leadership and mentorship opportunities for women of Wyoming, while serving as a forum to recognize the outstanding work and accomplishments of women that have had prominent influence in their field. Professor Pridgen was nominated in the category of Government, Military & Law.

For a full list of the nominees, please click here.

Professor Pridgen has been with the College of Law since 1982. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Cornell University and a Juris Doctor from New York University. In addition to previously serving as the associate dean for the College of Law, she was selected as the Centennial Distinguished Professor for the 1995-99 term. She is currently the Carl M. Williams Professor of Law & Social Responsibility. She teaches or has taught classes in Consumer Protection, Contracts, Antitrust, Communications Law, Constitutional Law, Internet Law and Payment Systems.

The Women of Influence Awards Event will take place on August 16th in Cheyenne, where the winners will be announced. Tickets are available here for those wishing to attend the event.

Center for International Human Rights Law and Advocacy Produces Report on Economic Contributions of Immigrants in Teton County

In the fall of 2016, University of Wyoming College of Law Professor Noah Novogrodsky initiated a study on the economic contributions of immigrant workers within Teton County. The project was part of the outreach efforts of the College of Law’s Center for International Human Rights Law and Advocacy (CIHRLA) at the University of Wyoming. The intent of the study was to uncover details that are otherwise lost in census data, in order to encourage evidence-based debate and policy on immigration issues in Wyoming.

CIHRLA collaborated with New American Economy (NAE), a non-profit organization that advocates for policies that increase opportunities for immigrants to contribute to the U.S. economy and to U.S communities, to produce the report. They compiled publicly available data from the U.S. Census and American Community Survey along with interviews with local stakeholders, to quantitative and qualitatively measure the contributions of immigrants within Teton County. The report aims to bring to the forefront the extent in which immigrants are supporting the economy, and offers recommendations to enhance social and economic contributions by immigrants, and to improve the public perception of immigrants within the community.

Some of the suggestions focus on establishing more accessible pathways to education in Wyoming for immigrants, providing better access to legal aid resources, encouraging bilingual services within the community, and improving access to affordable housing for immigrants.

The full document can be found on the UW College of Law website under the Center for International Human Rights Law and Advocacy page.

Faculty Highlight: Professor James Delaney Recognized by the American College of Tax Counsel as a Fellow

Professor Jim Delaney

Professor James M. Delaney, the Winston S. Howard Distinguished Professor of Law and Federal Tax Law expert at the University of Wyoming College of Law, was recently honored by the Board of Regents of the American College of Tax Counsel who elected Professor Delaney as Fellow of the College.

The American College of Tax Counsel was formed to elevate professional standards in the practice of tax law, stimulate knowledge, provide for input by the tax bar into the development of tax laws, and to facilitate the scholarly discussion and examination of tax policy issues.  Membership in the College is an honor limited to a maximum of 700 tax attorneys nationwide.  The Board of Regents elected Professor Delaney based upon his active involvement in the work of the Tax Section of the American Bar Association and his numerous presentations at tax conferences, which are national, regional, and statewide.  The Regents also considered Professor Delaney’s scholarly publications, extensive teaching experience in the field of tax law, and his previous service to the United States Judiciary as Counsel to the Chief Judge of the United States Tax Court as well as his service as an Attorney Advisor to the Honorable Judge Robert P. Ruwe, Judge, United States Tax Court.

Professor Delaney was appointed as the Winston Howard Distinguished Professor of Law in  2017 after serving as the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs of the College of Law.  He was originally appointed as assistant professor in the College of Law on August 26, 2003. Before joining the Wyoming faculty, Professor Delaney worked at Perkins Coie, LLP, Seattle, Washington. At Perkins Coie, LLP, he advised international and domestic clients in the areas of corporate, partnership and personal U.S. federal tax law. Professor Delaney graduated from the University of Florida College of Law with an LL.M. in Taxation after completing his Juris Doctorate at Gonzaga University School of Law.

Professor Delaney’s teaching and research interests are focused on domestic and international tax law. He teaches courses on federal income taxation, corporate taxation, partnership taxation, estate & gift taxation, estate planning and contracts law.


UW College of Law listed 4th for Highest Federal Clerkship Placement

The University of Wyoming College of Law has been named among the top 50 schools in the nation for highest percentage of students that secured a federal clerkship by and Above the Law. It was reported for the class of 2017 that 7.14 percent of the students were recipients of these prestigious offers.

The article explored the most surprising schools among the list after the usual suspects of the top tier schools, naming Wyoming 4th on their list.

“It is no surprise that Wyoming made the list given the amount of students that have gone into clerkships at a variety of levels following graduation,” says Director of Career Services, Ashli Tomisich. “The judges in the area not only have a tremendous amount of loyalty to the University of Wyoming, they have continually received quality candidates year after year that have been able to add value to the position immediately after graduation.”

Justice Kate Fox of the Wyoming Supreme Court, who regularly hires Wyoming graduates as her law clerks, echoes that sentiment.

“We enjoy the opportunity to work with bright and enthusiastic new law school grads in our chambers,” says Fox. “They bring a fresh perspective, they are interesting people with promising futures, and we hope that we can impart some wisdom about effective and ethical legal practices, as well as expose them to all areas of the law.”

She adds, “I like UW College of Law graduates because I expect they are more likely to be practicing in Wyoming, and I hope that the lessons they learn at the Wyoming Supreme Court will pay off in their practice as Wyoming lawyers.  I do think it’s a valuable experience for the new lawyer, but we are also enriched by having them.”

Clerkships are an extremely sought after position for law students and are highly competitive to land. Not only do they provide an outstanding opportunity for students to transition into the legal profession by providing legal mentorship, and detailed research and writing skills, they can serve as a catalyst to launch students onto a successful career path.

In a class size of roughly 70 each year, the College of Law usually places anywhere between 8 -12 students annually in clerkship positions (see our employment statistics here). The class of 2017 yielded 11 students in clerkship positions out of a total of 70 students, 5 of which were federal.

Several students in the class of 2018 and 2019 have already secured clerkship positions, continuing Wyoming’s positive trend. Keeley Cronin, a current third-year law student, is set to serve for the Honorable Greg Phillips (J.D. ’87) in the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit following her graduation in 2019. Students moving into clerkship from the class of 2018 include:

Morgan Demic of Albuquerque, N. M., who will be clerking for the Honorable Tori R.A. Kricken (J.D. ’00) of the Second Judicial District of Wyoming; Bobbi Owen of Hammond, Mont., who will be clerking for the Honorable Nancy Freudenthal (J.D.’80) of the United States District Court for the District of Wyoming; Cole Gustafson, of Sheridan, Wyo., who will clerk for the Honorable Alan B. Johnson (J.D. ’64) of the United States District Court for the District of Wyoming; Alex Wolfe of Cincinnati, Ohio, who will be clerking for the Honorable Daniel L. Forgey (J.D. ’97) of the Seventh Judicial District of Wyoming, and; Catherine Young of Caper, Wyo., who will be clerking for the Honorable Kate Fox (J.D. ’89) of the Wyoming Supreme Court.

2018 Graduate Catherine Young and Defender Aid Faculty Director Tom Fleener in front of the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Young in particular has been an exceptional student to come through the College of Law. Young served as the student clinic director for the Defender Aid Program, working on a variety of cases and even argued solo before the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals on May 16, 2018. With a passion for writing and research, she also served as a student editor for the Wyoming Law Review.

“I like to write a lot, which is I why I was specifically interested at the appeal level clerkship,” says Young. “Working in Defender Aid has been a great experience and I feel a lot more confident in my research skills than before I took the clinic. I am really looking forward to gaining more experience working from within the Court and honing those skills.”

While Young has gained valuable exposure to various legal issues in the clinics, she is excited to get a behind-the-curtain view of the courtroom.

“It is a really good opportunity for mentorship. I also think it is a good way of seeing attorneys do things the right way and the wrong way, and have an inside look as to what judges appreciate and don’t appreciate,” she adds.

In particular, Young is excited to be working for Justice Fox.

“I think it will be really amazing to work for a female Justice that I really admire,” she comments. “It adds another valuable layer to the mentorship that I hope to gain and I am so excited to have her help me improve.”

Justice Fox is equally complimentary.

“I’m very excited to have Cat Young as our incoming 2019 law clerk,” says Fox. “I expect she will fit right in with our track record of smart and personable law clerks.”

With the caliber of students graduating the College of Law, we are so pleased to see so many of them ending up in positions where they continue to shine. The College of Law is extremely proud of our students and their drive for success.