The final day of the competition, Saturday February 22nd, came and went like the blink of an eye! The day started with the Semifinal Round; 9 teams competed for the opportunity to move on the FINAL ROUND. The Semifinal Round comprised three different rooms with three teams in each. The judges would choose one winner from the room to move on to the Final Round.
The judges stated that the decision was extremely difficult and in most of the rooms, the winning team beat out the other teams by the tiniest margin. Nevertheless, the final three teams were chosen.
The Finalists for NELMCC 2014, in no particular order, are: Louisiana State University Paul M. Hebert Law Center, The University of Mississippi School of Law, and the University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law.
All the Semifinal Teams were serious contenders, but these three teams stood out and truly excelled. After the announcement of the finalists and their party assignments for the Final Round, the teams had just over an hour to practice and prepare themselves for the final!
During this time, the three Final Round judges arrived at Pace. We are so appreciative that each of these distinguished judges was able to devote their Saturday to NELMCC 2014. We were fortunate to have the following judges:
- The Honorable Lynn Adelman, Judge for the United States District Court, Eastern District of Wisconsin,
- The Honorable Malachy E. Mannion, Judge for the United States District Court, Middle District of Pennsylvania (Pace Law alum!), and
- The Honorable Randolph (Randy) Hill, Judge for the Environmental Appeals Board, United States Environmental Protection Agency
At 1:30pm, the judges, teams, board members, and observers made their way to the regal Judicial Institute Lecture Hall for the main event, the Final Round. The bench was hot and the oralists were calm, well-prepared, and able to take any questions fired at them. As most probably assumed, the Problem this year dealt with the Clean Water Act (“CWA”). Just a few of the issues that the six Final Round oralists had to argue include whether a foreign national was a person of interest and could, therefore, file a citizen suit under the CWA and whether a specific ditches, channels, intermittent streams, marshlands (the list goes on) constituted a point source or a navigable water for the purposes of the CWA. The problem was extremely complex, and the Final Round teams faced the task of arguing all the issues within 30 minutes head-on!
The round concluded with a critique from the Final Round Judges, which included both constructive criticism and great praise for the Final Round Teams’ performance.
Finally, the moment that you all have been waiting for….
The winner of the 2014 Jeffrey G. Miller National Environmental Law Moot Court Competition is The University of Mississippi School of Law, Caroline Q. Shepard and Irving W. Jones, Jr..
Congratulations to the winner as well as the Final Round Teams! Congratulations to ALL 75 teams that competed in this year’s competition! It truly was a success; the competitors continue to impress and inspire us every 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://www.law.pace.edu/sites/default/files/NELMCC/2014_NELMCC_Winners.pdf. Also, to see the video recording of the Final Round, http://law.pace.edu/live-webcast-final-round.
–Cayleigh Eckhardt, NELMCC Chair 2014