— Sarah Main, Rules Committee Vice Chair
Almost as quickly as it had begun, the 28th annual Jeffrey G. Miller Pace National Environmental Law Moot Court Competition drew to an end. The morning began with the semifinal round of the competition, where nine teams argued for a chance to fill the three remaining slots in the afternoon’s last and final round.
The University of Houston Law Center, The University of Mississippi School of Law, and the University of Alabama School of Law (listed in no particular order) advanced to the final round, where they tried their arguments before a panel of prestigious judges:
– The Honorable Mary Beth Ward, Judge for the Environmental Protection Agency’s Environmental Appeals Board (EAB).
– The Honorable Malachy Mannion, Judge for the United States District Court, Middle District of Pennsylvania and Pace Law alum.
– The Honorable Lynn Adelman, Judge for the United States District Court, Eastern District of Wisconsin.
– The Honorable Steven Colloton, Judge for the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit.
All teams exhibited the highest caliber oral advocacy skills and faced the judges’ difficult questioning with poise and confidence. Five months of grappling with the problem, studying the applicable case law, and practicing for the competition paid off for the top three teams. The final round judges deliberated for a while, returning to the Judicial Institute Lecture Hall noting the difficulty in choosing just one ultimate winner. Despite the close score-margin, the judges ultimately decided the winner of the 2016 NELMCC . . . The University of Mississippi School of Law, whose two-member team of John Juricich and Mary Margaret Roark are the reigning champions from last year’s competition! The Team also took home best brief for the environmentalists, Save Our Climate. John Juricich received the Best Oralist-Honorable Mention award at Friday’s awards ceremony.
The Storm King Mountain painting symbolizing the spirit of NELMCC will return to the walls of Ole Miss for another year. Special congratulations are extended to this year’s champions, as well as all finalists, and each of the over 50 teams that made this year’s NELMCC one of the most contentious competitions yet. More information about this year’s competition, including the names of all competing teams, the quarterfinal and semifinal round participants, and awards for best brief and best oralist can be found at: http://www.law.pace.edu/sites/default/files/NELMCC/2016_NELMCC_Winners.pdf. Another successful year of NELMCC is in the books!