ENVIRONMENTAL LAW PROGRAM MOOT COURT TEAMS
THE ELP IS PROUD TO SPONSOR two different student moot court teams — one that addresses national pollution control issues and the other that concerns international environmental disputes — that participate every year in mock appellate arguments held on the U.S. mainland against other top law schools. Both teams have outstanding records of success in the prestigious competitions that test their advocacy skills on complex law issues before seasoned judges and allow them to match their wits against other talented law students from the U.S. and around the world.
Environmental Law Moot Court Team -- 3Ls Everett Ohta and George White,
and 2L Kristen Yamamoto -- did a terrific job in the three preliminary
rounds of the national competition that started yesterday and concluded
today at Pace Law School, in chilly White Plains, New York. Each of the
team members scored the coveted "best oralist" award in their
three preliminary rounds: Kristen in Round 1, Ev in Round 2, and George
in Round 3. Each round has 3 teams (6 oralists) and this competition requires
the teams to switch clients 3 times, so this is a great achievement! Although
the team did not advance this year to the quarter-final round, they came
home with a strong and well-deserved sense of individual and shared accomplishment,
icing on the cake after months of very hard work. As Ev told me, "we've
learned from the top practitioners and had a great experience - it's taught
us a lot and we were proud to represent our law school." We, too,
are proud of Ev, George, Kristen, and student advisor 1L Laura Chen Allen
-- as well as alumna Mits Takahashi who flew back on her own to support
the team. Congratulations to the team, and many thanks to their friends,
families, and colleagues -- and the many faculty and Honolulu practitioners
-- who supported them throughout their intense preparation and practice
L - R: Everett Ohta, Kristen Yamamoto, and George Whites, at Pace Law School.
Everett, Kristen, and George "pre-competition."
Live from New York...our fabulous 2008 Environmental Law Moot Court Team -- third year students, Mits Takahashi, Allan Alicuben, and Jael Makagon -- beat 10 schools in a row to make it to the intense final round of the national competition at Pace University School of Law and finished "top 3" in the country!
In the final round on February 23, 2008, presided over by a hot bench of four real judges, Mits and Allan teamed up to represent the industry party in a complex Clean Water Act case, battling the winning team Lewis & Clark (representing EPA) and Georgetown (representing the environmental plaintiffs). In the quarter-final and semi-final rounds, Hawaii beat Michigan, Columbia, George Washington, and U of Oklahoma.
This is the second time in our 18 years of participating in this prestigious competition that we made it to the final round -- "top 3"! It's the fifth time that we've made it to at least the semi-final round (top 9).A key part of the team's success . . . 2L "team manager" George White. Our all-3L team was fortunate to have George's superb 24/7 assistance during weeks of grueling practice rounds and throughout the difficult week in freezing NY.
Please congratulate Mits, Allan, Jael, and George! We are very proud of them, very appreciative of their huge personal commitment to the team, and very privileged to have them represent our law school and our state in this national competition.
L - R: Allan Alicuben, Mits Takahashi, and Bryan Ellis, at Pace.
The 19th Annual National Environmental Law Moot Court Competition was
at Pace University School of Law in New York. The William S. Richardson
School of Law has a celebrated record of success in this prestigious competition
that draws over 73 law schools from across the nation, over 200 competitors,
and 200 attorneys. In the past 16 years that our school has competed,
our teams have ranked 11 times in the Top Third. This year was no different.The
2007 team, comprised of returning team member and captain Brian Ellis,
Mits Takahashi, and Allan Alicuben, advanced again to the Top Third, breaking
into the quarterfinals of the national competition. Brian, a two-time
winner for best oralist in last year's competition, won the best oralist
award in a round that included the team that would eventually win the
competition.By random assignment, the team faced top schools, including
Georgetown and Yale, in the preliminaries and advanced. In Round 1, Allan
and Brian represented the appellants, establishing up front that Hawaii's
team was far ahead of the game. In Round 2, which included Georgetown,
Brian and Mits represented the Industry (appellees), winning that round
and receiving praise for being the two best speakers. In Round 3, which
included Yale, Mits and Allan outshined the competition while arguing
on behalf of the Government (appellees). With the consistent, strong performances
of the team plus their written brief's score, the team advanced to the
quarterfinals—arguing again just two hours after the results were posted.
The Hawaii team took great pride in learning that the team to eventually
win the competition was the very team they had won over in the preliminaries.
Congratulations to our Law School's Environmental Law
Moot Court Team --Peter Whitfield, Christopher Goodin, and Brian Ellis!
2005 Environmental Moot Court Team--Marti Townsend, Shawn Benton, Peter
Whitfield, and team assistant Brian Ellis--were wonderful representatives
of our law school in this year's Pace Environmental Moot Court Competition.
Seventy law schools participated in this year's competition. Our team,
which has grown tremendously since they started practicing in the Fall
of 2004, made us extremely proud with their superior oral arguments in
three rounds of competition. In fact, Marti took home "top oralist"
awards in both of the two preliminary rounds that she argued! She commented:
"Competing in the NEMCC was an awesome experience. My two years on
the team were one of the most rewarding experiences of my entire law school
career. Nothing else could have honed my legal skills quite like our weeks
of intensive writing then grueling practices before local judges on difficult
water pollution and jurisdictional issues. By the time we arrived in New
York, we were one of the best prepared teams there.”
L - R: Shawn Benton, Peter Whitfield, Marti Townsend and Brian Ellis after their first day at Pace.
The 2004 Environmental Moot Court Team--Summer Kupau ('04), Jennifer Carpenter ('04), and Marti Townsend ('05), supported by team assistant, Shawn Benton ('05)-- joined forces in the Fall of 2003 to tackle the self-proclaimed most complex moot court problem ever concocted by the Pace Environmental Moot Court Competition organizers. Two months of intense brief writing and one month of grueling oral argument practice culminated in a three-day competition for top honors out of 73 teams from law schools around the country.
The competition, held every February at Pace University in New York, consists of three preliminary rounds and three 'sudden-death' final rounds. "This has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my entire law school career," said first-time team member Marti Townsend. "Nothing else could have honed my legal skills quite like this." The team placed in the top 10% of the competition and garnered two best-oralist-of-the-round awards. "I am really proud of this team," said team captain and best oralist, Summer Kupau, "they really rose to the challenge."
Stanton Oishi, Summer Kupau, and Team Captain Della Au Belatti (with problem author Jeff Miller) return to the hotel after winning their award.
In 2002, the team of Christine Kempner, class of 2002, Calvert Chipchase, class of 2002, and Della Au Belatti, class of 2003, received a Best Brief Award for Appellees and advancement to the semi-final rounds. In addition, Cal garnered "Best Oralist" awards in both of his preliminary rounds.
Team Captain Christine Kempner, '02, with teammates Calvert Chipchase, '02, and Della Au Belatti, '03 relax after the quarterfinal round at Pace Law School.
In 2001, the Environmental Law Moot Court Team of Lisette Blumhardt, Karen Arikawa, and Chris Kepner, coached by Professor Antolini, successfully made it to the quarter-final round of the competition.
- Kaiulani Kidani, class of 1999, Staff Attorney with the State Public Utilities Commission
Elijah Yip, class of 1999, a partner at Cades Schutte in Honolulu, reflected on his experience: "Preparing for, and winning, the competition was an exhilarating experience. Our victory reaffirmed our team's philosophy that if you set out to do your best, you have nothing to lose."
1998 Team: Juliet Johnson, Elijah Yip, Lani Kidani (Coach: Antolini) - Quarter Finals (Top 27)
1997 Team: Peter Horovitz, Beth Thompson, Rafael del Castillo (Coaches: Antolini/Jarman) - Semi-Finals (Top 9)
1996 Team: Peter Horovitz, Maura Okamoto, Robert Heckel (Coach: Jarman)
1995 Team: Jacqueline Fernandez Molnar, Riki Fujitani, Robert Wachter (Coach: Jarman) - Semi-Finals (Top 9)
1994 Team: Douglas Chin, Ben Majoe, Nathan Yoshimoto (Coach: Jarman) - Quarter-Finals (Top 27)
1993 Team: Lisa Chun, Doug Codiga, Nathan Yoshimoto (Coach: Jarman)
1992 Team: David Frankel, Geoffrey Komeya, John Thomas (Coach: Jarman)
1991 Team: Ian Sandison, Lea Hong, David Forman (Coach: Jarman) - Second Place Brief
Lea Hong, class of 1991, Program Director for the Trust for Public Land in Honolulu, cherished her experience: "Being a member of Hawai'i's first team to travel to the Pace competition was a blast! It was exhilarating to dig into the hot environmental law issues of the day, stimulating to debate these issues with other students from across the nation, and fun to work together with my teammates and to meet other students with similar interests."
In 2002, the International Environmental Moot Court Team placed first among all U.S. teams and second in the World, as a Finalist at the 2002 Stetson International Environmental Moot Court competition. This year's team of Kanoelani Kane, '03, Kim David Chanbonpin, '03, and Josh Medeiros, '04 successfully competed against a field of over twenty-five law schools from the United States, India, Canada and New Zealand. Building on last year's experience in which the 2001 team placed among the top four, this year's team advanced to the Final Round.
The Team with their beautiful globe trophy. From left to right: Josh Medeiros, Kim Chanbonpin, and Kanoelani Kane.
In the preliminary rounds, the team prevailed against Rutgers University, National University (2001 Champion team from India), and the University of San Diego. In the exciting Final Round, team oralists Kim and Josh argued in a packed moot court room before leading international law jurists on issues relating to the transportation of ultrahazardous waste. Competing against a team from Queensland University of Technology, Australia, the team narrowly missed taking first place.
In 2000, the School of Law sponsored its first team in the International Environmental Law Moot Court Competition at Stetson College of Law in St. Petersburg, Florida. Team members Seth Harris and Maria Estanislao, both of the class of 2001, and Leilani Tan, class of 2002, ranked high in competition against twenty other teams from the United States and abroad. Tan garnered the honor of Best Oralist among all competitors in the preliminary rounds. In 2001, team members Leilani Tan and Kimberly Moffie, both of the class of 2002, and Kanoelani Kane, class of 2003, returned to the competition and finished in the Top 4.
Environmental Law Society--Committed to Community Service and Fun!