Greg Hobbs, Jr., B.A. ’66, former justice of the Colorado Supreme Court, will speak to Notre Dame Law Students on “Water and the West: A View from the Bench” at 12:30 p.m. Monday in the Faculty Meeting Room, 2130 Eck Hall of Law. Hobbs – who retired from the bench in 2015 – is an expert on water law and the author of numerous and influential opinions on the topic. He will be visiting as the Judge James J. Clynes, Jr. Visiting Chair.
“Justice Hobbs wrote a number of opinions that have become important even outside of Colorado,” said Bruce Huber, associate professor of law. “They have been read by law students and studied and cited by scholars and by other states’ courts.”
Hobbs was active as a child as a boy scout and exploring the outdoors. After earning his degree in history from Notre Dame, he attended Columbia University to study Latin American history before deciding to join the Peace Corps. In 1971, he earned his J.D. from U.C. Berkeley.
Hobbs worked for the then newly formed U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and then the Natural Resources Section of the Colorado Attorney General’s Office. At both organizations, he worked on environmental law, aimed at cleaning up polluted water and air, including Denver’s “brown cloud.” Hobbs later was a partner at the law firm Davis, Graham and Stubbs in 1979 and became principal counsel to the Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District, a major water supplier for the region. Hobbs and two others left Davis, Graham and Stubbs to establish their own firm of Hobbs, Trout and Raley in 1992 primarily to serve NCWCD.
In 1996, Hobbs was appointed to the Colorado Supreme Court, where he brought his water expertise to cases. Including water decisions, he authored more than 250 majority opinions for the court in civil and criminal cases. In 2008, Hobbs chaired the Water Court Committee, assessing the state’s water court process and made recommendations to achieve efficiencies. He retired from the bench in August 2015.
The Judge James J. Clynes Jr. Visiting Chair in the Ethics of Litigation within the Judicial Process is named after Notre Dame alumnus Judge James J. Clynes, Jr., ’45. The visiting chair may be held by members of the judiciary at the trial and appellate levels, distinguished law professors, and prominent members of the bar to teach or conduct public lectures relative to the ethics of litigation or judicial decision-making.