Snapshot: Spring 2015 Symposium Panelists

Panel 3

Federico Cheever is Professor of Law at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law specializing in environmental law, property law, wildlife law, and public land law. Professor Cheever came to Denver as an Associate Attorney for the Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund (1987-1989). He briefly engaged in research with the Natural Resources Law Center at the University of Colorado School of Law. Between 1990 and 1993, he was an associate at the law firm Faegre & Benson. Professor Cheever has represented environmental groups in cases under the Endangered Species Act, the National Forest Management Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, the Wilderness Act and a number of other environmental laws. Professor Cheever clerked for Judge Harry Pregerson of United States Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit in Los Angeles (1986-1987). Professor Cheever earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Stanford University, and he earned his JD from UCLA in 1986.

David Robbins is president and co-founder of Hill & Robbins, P.C., where his practice focuses on water and natural resources law, water quality, and environmental law.  Mr. Robbins served in the U.S. Army (Captain, 1969-1972) and with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region VIII (1973-1974).  He then joined the Colorado Attorney General’s Office as a First Assistant Attorney General and head of the Natural Resources Section (1975-77), and was later appointed the Deputy Attorney General (1977-1978).  Mr. Robbins represented the State of Colorado in a variety of interstate water matters, and served as counsel to the state engineer in adjudication proceedings and trials concerning basin-wide rules and regulations. In 2012, Mr. Robbins was named the Colorado Water Leader of the Year. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Stanford University and his J.D. from the University of Wisconsin – Madison.

Sandra B. Zellmer is a professor of law at the University of Nebraska College of Law where she teaches and writes about natural resources, water law, public lands, environmental law, and other related topics. Zellmer is published on a variety of environmental topics. She served as a committee member on the National Academy of Sciences National Research Council Committee on Missouri River Recovery. She is active in the ABA’s Section on Environment, Energy, and Resources, in particular, the Section’s committees on public lands and on water resources. Prior to teaching, she was a trial attorney in the Environment and Natural Resources Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, litigating public lands and wildlife issues for various federal agencies, including the National Forest Service, National Park Service, and Fish and Wildlife Service. She also practiced law at Faegre & Benson in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and clerked for the Honorable William W. Justice, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Texas. Professor Zellmer obtained her bachelor’s degree from Morningside College and her J.D. from the University of South Dakota School of Law. She also received her L.L.M in Environmental Law from the George Washington University National Law Center.

Amy Beatie began her tenure at the Colorado Water Trust in 2007, after nearly six years practicing water litigation at two different Front Range water law firms.  Prior to practicing water litigation, she clerked for the Honorable Gregory J. Hobbs of the Colorado Supreme Court.  She obtained her undergraduate degree from Dartmouth College and her law degree from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law.  While in law school, she helped found the University of Denver Water Law Review, and eventually served as its Editor-in-Chief.  She now sits on its Advisory Board, as well as the Advisory Board of Metro State University’s One World One Water Center and the Board of Directors of the Colorado Water Congress.  In May of 2013, she received the Colorado Foundation for Water Education’s Emerging Leader award.

Panel 4

Retired Justice Jean Dubofsky is an attorney who has represented litigants in state and federal courts — primarily appellate courts — in constitutional, tort, workers’ compensation, commercial, criminal, civil rights and family law cases. Dubofsky served as a justice on the Colorado Supreme Court from 1979 until 1987, the first woman appointed to the court. She was lead counsel for the plaintiffs in the successful constitutional challenge to Amendment 2 to the Colorado Constitution; the case, Romer v. Evans, is the first time – 1996 – that the United States Supreme Court recognized gay rights. Awards she has received include the ABA Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement Award, the ACLU Carle Whitehead Memorial Award for “exceptional commitment and dedication to civil liberties and the state of Colorado,” and the Boulder Daily Camera Lifetime Achievement Pacesetters Award. She has served on the boards of Bell Policy Center, the Colorado Center for Law and Policy, Rocky Mountain Wild and Boulder Community Hospital. Dubofsky is a 1967 graduate of Harvard Law School and a 1964 graduate of Stanford University.

Retired Justice Alex Martinez served as a member of the Colorado Supreme Court from 1997 to 2011. He was appointed by Governor Roy Romer. Justice Martinez served as Deputy State Public Defender in Denver. He began his career as a judge in 1983 when he was appointed by Governor Richard Lamm to the Pueblo County Court. In 1988, he began his nearly decade-long position on the Colorado 10th District Court. He has received numerous awards including the Alumni Award for Distinguished Achievement from the University of Colorado, the Pioneer in the Hispanic Community Award from the Denver Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Hispanic Bar Association. Justice Martinez also serves on the Reed College Board of Trustees and the Servicios de la Raza Board of Directors. He earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Colorado in 1973 and his J.D. from the University of Colorado School of Law in 1976.

Retired Chief Justice Michael Bender was appointed to the Colorado Supreme Court in 1997. He became Chief Justice in 2010 until January 2014. In 2013, Chief Justice Bender received the Colorado Judicial Institute’s Distinguished Judicial Leadership Award and the Judicial Branch’s award for Outstanding Service and Leadership. Prior to his appointment to the Colorado Supreme Court, Chief Justice Bender was President and shareholder of Michael L. Bender, P.C. He practiced with Bender & Treece, P.C. between 1983 and 1993. Chief Justice Bender served as an adjunct faculty member at the University of Denver College of Law from 1981 to 1986. He also served as Division Chief for the Denver Public Defender (1977-1978) and Supervising Attorney for the Jefferson County Public Defender (1975-1977). Chief Justice Bender earned his bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth College in 1964 and his J.D. from the University of Colorado School of Law in 1967. He also attended the Institute of Criminal Law and Procedures Masters Program at the Georgetown Law Center in 1967.