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Civil Litigation Clinic Spring 2018 Updates

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wage theft case

(L-r) Lilia Mendoza, Abel Saenz, Victor Pichardo, Claudio Peña, and Katie Brown.

Students in the Civil Litigation Clinic (CLC) continued to litigate individual cases on behalf of tenants being evicted from federal housing, victims of domestic violence seeking protection orders and immigration relief, and low-wage workers whose wages are not paid. Third-year student Katie Brown won $15,000 on behalf of four workers whose employer admitted to owing them money but refused to pay. Brown became aware of the case after spearheading an exciting collaboration with the Wage Theft Direct Action Team, a group comprised of graduate students at the University of Denver Korbel School of International Studies, Civil Litigation Clinic students, and an array of concerned citizens and volunteers representing unions as well as grassroots groups and individual workers in the Denver community. Beginning in January 2018, Brown and Professor Tamara Kuennen attended weekly meetings with the group and became integral members of it. Community lawyering, in addition to representation in individual litigation, is an important element of the clinic’s educational mission.

The Civil Litigation Clinic (CLC) launched an exciting multidisciplinary law partnership with DU’s Graduate School of Professional Psychology. Psy.D. student Kate McGuire, supervised by Adjunct Professor and Licensed Psychologist Deborah Fishman, worked collaboratively with law students to more holistically serve CLC clients.

On January 26-27, 2018, the CLC and Denver Law hosted the National Judicial Institute on Domestic Violence. Judges from around the country gathered to think in depth about the impact of domestic violence in the context of domestic relations litigation. This event was the first time that this particular workshop was hosted in a law school setting.

civil litigation clinic


(L-r) Judge Spahn, Tammy Kuennen and Judge King

And on March 12-13, 2018, Denver County Chief Judge Theresa Spahn and Magistrate Alexis King, with the facilitation of Professor Kuennen and the generosity of the SCOL, hosted a “Procedural Justice Symposium” to bring stakeholders together in a thought-provoking law school setting to challenge judges, city attorneys, district attorneys, defense attorneys, court clerks, probation officers and sheriff’s deputies amongst others to identify places in the Denver County Courts where greater fairness and access to justice may be provided.