And just like that, the Competition is over! The Semifinal Round began at nine o’clock, with nine teams competing to advance to the Competition’s Final Round. Three teams argued in three rooms, and the winning team from each room advanced to the afternoon’s finals. Semifinal Round attorney-judges had difficulty determining the winners in each room – the competition was fierce! Nevertheless, three teams were chosen.
The University of Mississippi School of Law, Vermont Law School, and the University of Montana School of Law, listed in no particular order, each advanced to NELMCC 2015’s final round. The announcement was made to the competitors midday, after each of the nine Semifinal Round teams sat for a catered three-course lunch. The three finalists made an hour to prepare their final arguments.
On behalf of the NELMCC Board, we would, again, like to thank the three Final Round judges for dedicating their time to the Competition and joining us and the competitors in this experience. We were fortunate to have the following judges:
- The Honorable Patricia Wald, Retired Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit,
- The Honorable Barbara Gunning, United States Environmental Protection Agency Administrative Law Judge, and
- The Honorable Malachy E. Mannion, Judge for the United States District Court, Middle District of Pennsylvania (Pace Law alum!)
The final round began just after 1:30pm, in front of an audience of students, professors, and alumni, among others. The Judicial Institute Lecture Hall provided a regal setting for the main event. The problem, which was written by Pace’s own Professor Karl Coplan, involved primarily issues related to the Clean Water Act and the Resource and Conservation Recovery Act, although the Public Trust Doctrine, Fourth Amendment Searches and Seizures, and common law torts were also discussed. Lead by the Honorable Patricia Wald, the bench was hot. Competitors were confronted with complex questions, innovative hypotheticals, and almost no softballs. After deliberating in the “robing room,” the Final Round Judges returned to the Lecture Hall and offered each of the competitors a combination of constructive criticism and great praise.
And without further ado…
The winner of the 2015 Jeffrey G. Miller Pace National Environmental Law Moot Court Competition is The University of Mississippi School of Law, John Juricich and Mary Margaret Roark.
Congratulations to the winner as well as the Final Round Teams! Congratulations, also, to each of the sixty-two teams that competed in this year’s competition! It truly was a success; the competitors impress us year after year!
For more information about this year’s competition, including the names of all the teams that competed, advanced to the Quarter and Semifinal rounds, as well as the best brief and best oralist awards, visit http://law.pace.edu/jeffrey-g-miller-pace-national-environmental-law-moot-court-competition.
–Diana Neeves, NELMCC Chair 2015