Environmental Moot Court team reaches quarterfinals
The UF Environmental Moot Court Team reached the quarterfinals at the National Environmental Moot Court Competition held at Pace Law School Feb. 18-20. Team members Sean McDermott, Colin Strickland, and Dan Vazquez, supported by coach Austin Moretz, traveled to White Plains, N.Y. for the competition where they competed against 83 other teams from around the country. The UF team had the fourth best of all team scores, based on a weighting of their brief and oral arguments after the three preliminary rounds. In addition, Dan Vazquez was selected as best oralist in one of the three preliminary rounds. Based on their impressive score, they advanced to the quarter-final round where they were eliminated by UCLA’s team.
“The team did a terrific job. It’s always an impressive field of well-prepared teams from schools around the country, so it’s gratifying that they placed so well among the field,” said faculty advisor Alyson Flournoy, director of UF Law’s Environmental and Land Use Law Program.
The competition problem focused on issues related to the export of used electronic devices (computers and cell phones) to a fictitious developing country where recycling of the components was causing harm to health and the environment. The problem raised issues under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act and the Alien Tort Claims Act as well as administrative law and jurisdictional issues. The hypothetical case used in the competition involved three distinct parties, so in addition to writing a brief arguing one party’s position, the team had to prepare to argue for three different parties during the competition.
“Representing UF and competing in the National Environmental Law Moot Court Competition was a highlight of my time at the Levin College of Law” said Sean McDermott. “I gained incredible practical experience and I had a lot of fun working closely with UF faculty members and others who care so much about environmental issues.”
Tryouts for next year’s team will take place in early April. Interested second year students should look for the announcement in FlaLaw or e-mail Lena Hinson to request information. In fall 2010, a second year student will be selected to serve as coach for the team. The coach shadows and supports the team, assisting with logistics, and travel to the competition with the team during the student’s second year and then automatically becomes a member of the competition team the following year.
Support for the team’s travel to the national competition is provided by a generous gift by Akerman Senterfitt.