The University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law’s team of Cameron Johnson, Liz Silvestrini, and Laura Tanner advanced to the quarterfinals of the Pace National Environmental Law Moot Court competition for the second year in a row.
Johnson, Silvestrini, and Tanner navigated an exceedingly complex problem involving the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, the Administrative Procedure Act, the dormant Commerce Clause, and numerous knotty jurisdictional questions. In the early rounds, the team went toe to toe with very good teams from Boston College, Florida State, and Baylor, the latter of which ultimately made the competition finals. In the quarterfinals, the team argued on behalf of the Environmental Protection Agency and was told that their substance and style was more convincing on EPA’s behalf than any other team the judges had heard in the competition. “Our team’s advocacy was so good, in fact,” noted Professor Lincoln Davies, the team coach, “that the competition judges told us at one point that our arguments exceeded the quality they typically see in court—a most telling, and fitting, compliment.” The team was defeated by the narrowest of margins by Washington University. Laura Tanner received an award for Best Oralist, and the other team members received votes to the same end.
The Stegner Center would like to thank all of those who provided the team with tremendous support in preparing for and participating in the competition. Ben Machlis (Class of 2009) gave consistently astute advice as the team’s assistant coach. The Energy, Natural Resources and Environmental Law Section of the Utah State Bar, Jason Hardin and Fabian & Clendenin, Dani Hawkes, Daniel Jensen and Parr Brown Gee & Loveless, and Rod Smith provided generous financial support. And Bob Adler, Megan Anderson, Vicki Baldwin, Teneille Brown, Emily Chiang, Jay Cobb, Betsy Haws, Megan Houdeshel, Sanne Knudsen, Arnold Reitze, Amelia Rinehart, John Ruple, Clark Sabey, Liz Schulte, Rod Smith, Trystan Smith, Chris Stout, Heather Tanana, and Amy Wildermuth kindly judged practice rounds, some of them more than once.