— Sarah Main, Rules Committee Vice Chair
The second day of the 28th annual Jeffrey G. Miller Pace National Environmental Law Moot Court Competition proceeded with even more excitement than the first. All teams competed in the morning’s third and last preliminary round. After the round, the scores were compiled from all preliminary rounds to determine the top twenty-seven teams.
As teams anxiously awaited announcement of the quarterfinalists, professors and team coaches attended a professor’s luncheon and workshop on the “Promise and Peril of the Paris Agreement.” Competitors and Students from Pace were invited to attend a concurrent American Bar Association Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources (SEER) career panel on “How to become an Environmental, Energy, or Resource Lawyer.” Both panels received a great turnout from the Pace and visiting communities. Meanwhile, attorney-judges and lawyers from the region had the opportunity to attend an ethics CLE Program entitled “2016 Ethical Challenges for Environmental Lawyers.” The discussion focused on questionable ethical situations that often arise in representing environmental clients, particularly when a case involves expert scientific and engineering testimony. The esteemed panelists representing the public, private, and government sectors also contemplated hypothetical scenarios involving the ethical use of social media platforms.
Alas, the top twenty-seven teams were announced, and competitors were divided up into nine rooms. From each of the nine rooms, only one winning team emerged and advanced to the semi-final rounds held Saturday morning.
Tensions were high Friday evening as the twenty-seven teams again waited to see if they would advance. The top nine teams were announced, as well as best oralist and the best oralist honorable mention. The best oralist scores were based on the composite scores of the competitors in the preliminary rounds.
The top nine teams will return to Pace on Saturday morning to argue in the semi-final round. The three highest scoring teams advancing to the final round of the competition will be announced during lunch on Saturday. The final round is open to the public and will take place in the Judicial Institute Lecture Hall at 1:30 p.m. The evening’s award ceremony will reveal the 2016 NELMCC Champion and winner of a student monetary award that is being offered for the first time in NELMCC history to the competition’s winning team!