Environmental Law Program Director Robert Percival with the winning team from the University of Pennsylvania School of Law
Despite record snowfall in the Mid-Atlantic region, teams from eight different states gathered at the University of Maryland School of Law on February 5-6 for the 14th Annual International Environmental Moot Court Competition North American Atlantic Rounds.
Scheduled to begin just hours before one of the largest snowstorms in Baltimore history and last throughout the weekend, the competition seemed destined for postponement. But competitors had already arrived from across the eastern half of the United States, and — in the face of overwhelming obstacles — competition continued successfully. The event would not have been possible without the tireless efforts of many, including the Environmental Law Program's Laura Mrozek and Suzann Langrall, and the Law School's Event Services and Media Services staff. Additionally, a group of esteemed alumni, jurists, practitioners, and professors, as well as student volunteers, remained at the School of Law to support the competition.
The winning team was from the University of Pennsylvania School of Law. Team members were Erika Fisher, Greg Katz & Brian Trainor. The runner-up team was from Wake Forest University School of Law. Ben Wiles from Wake Forest was named the best oralist in the finals. The other semifinal teams were from the University of Wisconsin School of Law and Cleveland-Marshall College of Law. "Weather Warrior" awards were presented to the teams from the John Marshall Law School and the University of Wisconsin School of Law.
As host of the Atlantic Rounds, the Maryland Law team was asked to compete during the Pacific Rounds of the competition, at Chapman University School of Law from January 29-30. The team of three students from the School of Law, 2Ls Molly Knoll, April Morton, and William Tilburg (with coaches Adjunct Professors David Mandell and Karla Schaffer), won the Pacific Rounds after having swept three rounds against Southwestern, UC-Hastings, and defeating UC-Hastings during the final round. From March 11-14, the team will compete during the International Finals at Stetson University Law School against the University of Pennsylvania School of Law, as well as teams from India, Ghana, Kenya, China, Ireland, Ukraine, Brazil, Vietnam, and the Philippines.
"Being able to compete against teams from all over the world is an incredible opportunity, and I'm looking forward to meeting students — particularly students with an interest in environmental issues — from other nations," said April Morton. "Our team is lucky to have such experienced and knowledgeable coaches and a supportive environmental law program."
The competition also included the 2010 Fedder Lecture made possible through the Fedder Environmental Fund, "International Finance and Emerging Global Environmental Law" presented by Bruce Rich, Senior Counsel of International Finance and Development at Sierra Club in Washington, D.C.. He has also worked for the Natural Resources Defense Council, Environmental Defense Fund, U.S. Agency for International Development, the United Nations Environment Program, the World Resources Institute, the U.S. Congress Office of Technology Assessment and the World Bank.