Wallace Stegner Center Student Team Participates in Pace Environmental Law Moot Court Competition

Nov 01, 2012 | Stegner Center

 The University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law’s National Environmental Law Moot Court Team – Thad Garlick, Kurt Gasser, and Megan McKay – very ably and professionally represented the University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law at the national competition at Pace Law School in White Plains, N.Y.  The team argued an extremely difficult problem involving two of the most challenging aspects of Clean Water Act jurisdiction with a Commerce Clause twist, state standing to sue, and a nasty curve ball about White House interference with environmental decisions. Even the most experienced environmental attorneys would have been challenged by the prospect of arguing that combination of issues in one case. Kurt Gasser won the best oralist award in one round, and came very close to the coveted achievement of winning two awards.

In reflecting on the team’s performance, James I. Farr Professor of Law Bob Adler, who coached this year’s team, noted, “I was very pleased with the manner in which this team represented the College of Law and our environmental program, competing against very tough competition and arguing an extremely difficult problem.  I remain convinced that participation in the Pace competition is one of the best ways for students to learn how to apply the environmental law they learn in class in a realistic simulation of real practice.” 

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.  Megan J Houdeshel (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, Parr Brown Gee & Loveless, Holland & Hart LLP, Winder & Counsel PC, Laura Tanner, Jim Moore and Kathryn Lindquist, Lear & Lear LLP, ClydeSnow Attorneys at Law, and Rod Smith provided generous financial support.  Adrienne Bell , Jared Bennett, Troy Booher, Tyler Buswell, Paul Cassell, Lincoln Davies, Megan DePaulis, Danielle Hawkes, Katie Lewis, Ben Machlis, Wayne McCormack, Heidi McIntosh, Dan Medwed, Zack Peterson, Jamie Pleune, Rick Rathbun, Arnold Reitze, Liz Silvestrini, Rod Smith, Laura Tanner, and Joro Walker kindly judged practice rounds and helped prepare students for the competition.