Next week, Hannah Clapp (J.D. ‘20), Kishan Patel (J.D. ‘19), and Samuel Richards (J.D. ‘20) will be in White Plains, New York, to represent GSU Law at the Jeffrey G. Miller National Environmental Law Moot Court Competition. Sponsored by the Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University, the competition, which began in 1989, is the largest interschool moot court competition of any kind under one roof. Every year the legal problem involves current issues of national importance and/or international importance to the practice of environmental law.
This year’s problem involves complex environmental and constitutional law issues. The plaintiffs are the Organization of Disappearing Island Nations (ODIN), Apa Mana and Noah Flood. ODIN is a not-for-profit membership organization devoted to protecting the interests of island nations threatened by sea level rise. Mana and Flood are members of ODIN and claim to have suffered seawater damage to their homes during storms and other harms as a result of greenhouse gas emissions and climate change. Hexonglobal Corporation and the United States of America are the defendants.
The team submitted their brief on behalf of the petitioners, Organization of Disappearing Island Nations, Apa Mana and Noah Flood, in late November. Their brief was one of 56 submitted by other law school teams from across the country. Unlike the brief writing in which they only had to advocate for one party, the team will have to argue on behalf of each party as they progress through the competition.
“This opportunity allows me a moot court experience that I would otherwise not have due to my challenging schedule balancing law school and working at the capital,” said Hannah. Kishan shared, “I want to practice environmental law after graduation, but wanted to try out environmental appellate litigation to see if that’s a career path I could take.” “I wanted to be exposed to a complex and novel environmental law issue and apply the knowledge I have learned in school,” Samuel said.
Logan Stone (J.D. ‘19) is coaching the team as they prepare for oral arguments and will be in White Plains with Hannah, Kishan and Samuel. “My experience last year was extremely rewarding while participating in the competition. I wanted to pass what I learned along the way to the newest group of environmental advocates. I am proud of how my team has worked throughout this process.”
The funding for the team came through a grant from the Student Sustainability Fund managed through the GSU Office of Sustainability. Logan Stone(J.D. ’19), along with the Center for the Comparative Study of Metropolitan Growth applied for the grant. According to Karen Johnston, J.D. ’08, Associate Director of the Center, “It is great to see the student fees at work, helping our law students gain hands-on experience applying environmental law, drafting briefs and preparing for oral arguments. Their hard work and preparation for this competition illustrate how they have turned this small investment in them into a great opportunity.”
For more information on the competition, contact Karen Johnston at email@example.com.
Center for the Comparative Study of Metropolitan Growth
Karen Johnston (J.D. ’08), assistant director for the Center for the Comparative Study of Metropolitan Growth and managing editor of the Journal of Comparative Urban Law and Policy.