Wyoming Team Claims Podium Finish at the National Energy & Sustainability Moot Court Competition

March 20, 2015

The winning team from the University of Wyoming’s Davis and Cannon Natural Resource Moot Court Competition went on to claim a podium finish at the National Energy & Sustainability Moot Court Competition March 13-15, 2015 in Morgantown, West Virginia. The Wyoming team of third-year law students Bailey SchreiberCourtney Amerine and Laurie Rogers maintained an undefeated record throughout the competition and placed third overall behind Texas Tech and North Dakota. 

“I am incredibly proud of the team,” boasts Temple Stoellinger, the Wyoming team’s supervisor and coach.  “They put a lot of time and effort into this competition and it paid off. We were the team to beat at this year.”

The Wyoming team is no stranger to success. Schreiber, Amerine and Rogers also won the Davis and Cannon Natural Resource Moot Court Competition in 2014 and competed last year at the Pace National Environmental Law Competition. Building off their past experience, they were able to hone their advocacy skills and work as a unit. In West Virginia, the team was ranked first heading into the advanced rounds of the competition out of the 16 teams that made it through the preliminary rounds.

“The competition was a great learning experience,” comments Schreiber. “It gave us the opportunity to develop and refine our speaking and writing skills. The other teams performed so well and really pushed us.”

Teammate Laurie Rogers concurs. “The most exciting part of the competition was watching our team’s advocacy skills improve with each performance. We observed other teams in action and noticed who was persuasive and why. We listened to the judges’ feedback and adjusted our presentation when appropriate. We got better and better and inspired each other to be exceptional. I will never forget that part of our experience in West Virginia.”

In addition to their third place finish in the oral argument portion of the competition, the team also had a notable finish for their brief as the runner up to Utah for Best Brief Overall.

As an appellate competition, each team is required to independently write a brief without any outside help and give an oral argument in front of the fictitious 12th Circuit Court. This year’s problem had two issues:

  1. Whether a mid-stream gathering and pipeline company could be considered a “public utility” under the statutes of the fictitious states of Vandalia and Franklin.
  2. Whether the US Army Corps of Engineers had jurisprudence over a wetland that the mid-stream gathering and pipeline company would like to place a pipeline through.

While the brief was independently written, the team received immeasurable support from the Wyoming legal community in preparation for their oral arguments.

“It was great fun representing the University of Wyoming this past weekend,” says Amerine. “Thanks in particular to the support of our professors, Temple StoellingerSam Kalen, and Tara Righetti in particular, and practitioners in the community, we were prepared for every question that came our way.”

The team would like to thank all of those that helped them prepare for the competition: the natural resources faculty at the College of Law, the Wyoming Public Service Commission, Jeff Pope from Holland & Hart, and Dave Ross and Matthias Sayer from the Wyoming Attorney General’s Office.

The College of Law is exceedingly proud of the team and congratulates them on a job well done.

Stoellinger notes, “Bailey, Courtney and Laurie did a wonderful job representing the University of Wyoming and demonstrated that Wyoming stands among the top energy law schools in the country.”

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