Virtual Special Institute on Water Law

Speakers & committee

Program Co-Chairs

WENDY BOWDEN CROWTHER has practiced water resource law since 2000. She is currently a shareholder at Parsons Behle & Latimer and member of the firm’s Environmental, Energy and Natural Resources practice group. Her practice focuses on natural resources and environmental law with an emphasis on water law and related litigation. Ms. Crowther represents water conservancy district, special service districts, municipalities, water companies and individual water right holders.  Ms. Crowther regularly appears before the Utah State Engineer, the District Court, and the Federal Court. She has completed numerous water right transactions and is experienced in both reclamation law and condemnation litigation. Ms. Crowther has also represented clients in matters dealing with the Clean Water Act.

CRAIG WILSON is a partner with K&L Gates and practice group coordinator for the firm's global environment, land and natural resources practice group. Mr. Wilson concentrates his practice in the areas of energy, environment and natural resources, and has counseled clients who are developing and operating energy projects and other commercial and industrial projects, clients who are seeking environmental permits and zoning and land development approvals from government agencies, clients who are exploring for, producing and transporting natural gas, clients who are acquiring and operating agricultural properties and facilities, clients who are engaged in mining or quarrying, and clients who are parties to business transactions or litigation involving potential environmental rights or liabilities. Mr. Wilson has worked extensively on matters involving regulation of water resources, including regulation under the Clean Water Act.

Program Committee

DAVID R.E. ALADJEM, Partner, Downey Brand LLP, Sacramento, CA

DAVID A. BAILEY, Law Office of David A. Bailey, Westminster, CO

REED D. BENSON holds the Don L. & Mabel F. Dickason Endowed Chair in Law at the University of New Mexico School of Law, where he teaches natural resources classes and serves as Faculty Editor-in-Chief of the Natural Resources Journal. Prior to coming to UNM, he spent six years on the faculty of the University of Wyoming College of Law, where he taught courses in environmental law, legislation, water law, and administrative law, and served as faculty adviser to the Wyoming Law Review. He previously worked as executive director of WaterWatch of Oregon, a staff attorney for the Land and Water Fund of the Rockies, an attorney for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and an associate at the Colorado law firm of Hutchinson, Black & Cook. Benson’s writing focuses on water law and environmental issues facing the West. His most recent publications examine such topics as the application of the Endangered Species Act to federal water projects, the efforts of western cities to ensure adequate water supplies for recreation, and the scope of federal deference to state laws governing water allocation and management. He is co-author of the 7th edition of the Water Resource Management casebook published by Foundation Press.

PAM BUSH, Attorney, Delaware River Basin Commission, West Trenton, NJ

ROBIN KUNDIS CRAIG is the James I. Farr Presidential Endowed Professor of Law at the University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA, and affiliated faculty of the Wallace Stegner Center for Land, Resources, and the Environment and the Global Change and Sustainability Center. She also serves on the Executive Board of the University of Utah’s Water Center. Craig specializes in all things water, including the climate change and water; the food-water-energy nexus; water quality and water allocation law; and marine protected areas and marine spatial planning. She is the author, co-author, or editor of 11 books and over 100 law or science articles and book chapters. Craig is an elected member of American Law Institute and a member of the IUCN’s World Commission on Environmental Law. Her comments on contemporary marine, water, and climate change issues have been quoted in National Geographic, The Atlantic, The New York Times, and many other news outlets. At the University of Utah, she teaches Environmental Law, Water Law, Ocean & Coastal Law, Toxic Torts, Property, and Civil Procedure.

ADAM W. GRAVLEY, Partner, Van Ness Feldman LLP, Seattle, WA

RAMSEY LAURSOO KROPF is a shareholder with Somach Simmons & Dunn P.C., a leading firm shaping water law throughout the West. Before joining the firm, she served as Deputy Solicitor, Water Resources, Office of the Solicitor, in Washington, D.C. As Deputy Solicitor, she was the lead water lawyer at the U.S. Department of the Interior from January 2015 - January 2017. Before her appointment, Kropf practiced water law in Colorado for 17 years and was a shareholder with Patrick Miller Kropf Noto, P.C. From 1995 to 2014, she served as the Special Master for the Fifth Judicial District Court in Wyoming’s Big Horn River General Adjudication. Ms. Kropf received her joint J.D./M.B.A. degree from the University of Colorado in 1991 and her B.S.B.A. from the University of Denver in 1984. She is admitted to the bar in Arizona, Wyoming, and Colorado, to the U.S. District Court of Colorado, and to the United States Supreme Court. She loves skiing, biking, soccer, art, travel and enjoying those things with her family.

Speakers

BARBARA COSENS, Professor, University of Idaho College of Law, Moscow, ID

ROBIN KUNDIS CRAIG is the James I. Farr Presidential Endowed Professor of Law at the University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA, and affiliated faculty of the Wallace Stegner Center for Land, Resources, and the Environment and the Global Change and Sustainability Center. She also serves on the Executive Board of the University of Utah’s Water Center. Craig specializes in all things water, including the climate change and water; the food-water-energy nexus; water quality and water allocation law; and marine protected areas and marine spatial planning. She is the author, co-author, or editor of 11 books and over 100 law or science articles and book chapters. Craig is an elected member of American Law Institute and a member of the IUCN’s World Commission on Environmental Law. Her comments on contemporary marine, water, and climate change issues have been quoted in National Geographic, The Atlantic, The New York Times, and many other news outlets. At the University of Utah, she teaches Environmental Law, Water Law, Ocean & Coastal Law, Toxic Torts, Property, and Civil Procedure.

BURKE W. GRIGGS is an associate professor of law at Washburn University. He specializes in American water law, and has published articles on groundwater law, surface water-groundwater issues, interstate water litigation, and water policy. In his prior capacity as an assistant attorney general for the State of Kansas, Mr. Griggs represented the state in Kansas v. Nebraska & Colorado (2009-2015), an original action before the Supreme Court to enforce the Republican River Compact. Professor Griggs also served as counsel of record in Kansas’s first reserved tribal water rights settlement, with the Kickapoo Tribe of Kansas. As Senior Legal Counsel to the Chief Engineer of the Kansas Division of Water Resources, he defended DWR in court and drafted legislation enabling the formation of Local Enhanced Management Areas for high-stress regions of the High Plains-Ogallala Aquifer in Kansas. Professor Griggs is a fellow at the Woods Institute for the Environment at Stanford University, where he contributes to its Water in the West Project. He holds a B.A. from Stanford, a Ph.D. from Yale, and a law degree from the University of Kansas.

MARIA O’BRIEN, Shareholder, Modrall Sperling, Albuquerque, NM

DAVE OWEN, Professor of Law, UC Hastings College of Law, San Francisco, CA

PAUL REIG, Former Director, Aqueduct Water Risk Atlas and Corporate Water Stewardship, World Resources Institute, Washington DC

KIM SAGER-FRADKIN, Wildlife Biologist, Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe, Port Angeles, WA

HILARY C. TOMPKINS is a partner in the Washington, D.C. office of Hogan Lovells. She has expansive experience in natural resources and environmental law at the highest levels of government. Most recently, she served in the presidentially appointed, Senate-confirmed position of Solicitor for the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) – the agency responsible for the management and conservation of public lands, natural and wildlife resource programs, and the trustee for Native American tribes. In that role, she led over 300 attorneys in 16 offices nationwide and acquired significant experience in onshore and offshore energy development (conventional and renewable), the administration of federal water projects, conservation and wildlife legal requirements, and public land law. Before serving as DOI Solicitor, Hilary was counsel to New Mexico's governor, acting as his chief legal adviser on all matters from appointment of judges and interpretation of constitutional authority to enactment of legislative initiatives. She was also a special assistant U.S. attorney in the Eastern District of New York. Hilary began her legal career as an honors program trial attorney in the Environment and Natural Resources Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, where she handled civil prosecutions in environmental cases nationwide. Hilary is an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation.

ALICE E. WALKER, Meyer, Walker, Condon & Walker, P.C., Boulder, CO