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Natural gas pipeline the focus of 10th annual energy moot court competition

Update 3/7/20: Congratulations to the University of Virginia School of Law for winning the 2020 National Energy and Sustainability Moot Court Competition, and to the University of North Dakota for finishing in second place.


MORGANTOWN, W.Va.—Law students from across the country will be in Morgantown, West Virginia, March 5-7 for the 10th annual National Energy and Sustainability Moot Court Competition at the West Virginia University College of Law.

Twenty four law schools are sending a record 36 teams to this year’s competition, which is organized by the Center for Energy and Sustainable Development at WVU Law.

The moot court problem this year involves the construction of a large pipeline to transport natural gas from a shale play to surrounding markets. The three issues involved are whether the pipeline developer complied with the requirements of the Clean Water Act; the extent of eminent domain authority under the Natural Gas Act;  and the authority of a federal agency to grant a right-of-way across a property near a trail that is part of the National Park System.

The moot court competition’s early rounds will take place at WVU’s Erickson Alumni Center and the College of Law March 5, 6 and 7. The final round will be held on March 7 at 2:30 p.m. in the Marlyn E. Lugar Courtroom at WVU Law.  Admission to the final round is free and the public is invited to attend.

The law schools competing in this year’s moot court competition are:

  • American University Washington College of Law
  • Appalachian School of Law
  • College of William & Mary’s Marshall-Wythe School of Law
  • Cornell Law School
  • Duquesne University School of Law
  • George Washington Law School
  • Louisiana State University’s Paul M. Herbert Law Center
  • Pace University’s Elisabeth Haub School of Law
  • St. John's University School of Law
  • Texas Tech University School of Law
  • The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law
  • University of Houston Law Center
  • University of Maryland Carey School of Law
  • University of Minnesota Law School
  • University of North Carolina School of Law
  • University of North Dakota Cardozo School of Law
  • University of Pittsburgh School of Law
  • University of South Dakota School of Law
  • University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law
  • University of Virginia Law School
  • Washburn University School of Law
  • Wayne State University Law School
  • Yale Law School

As the host law school, WVU does not compete.

Judge Gerard Edmund Lynch will deliver the keynote address at the competition banquet on March 6 at the Erickson Alumni Center. Lynch is a Senior United States Circuit Judge for the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and the Paul J. Kellner Professor of Law at Columbia University School of Law.

The competition banquet is sponsored by the law firm Spilman Thomas & Battle. Other moot court competition sponsors are the law firms Reed Smith and Babst Calland, and attorney Raymond Hinerman of Weirton, West Virginia.

The first of its kind in the nation, the National Energy and Sustainability Moot Court Competition was established in 2011. It is hosted by the Moot Court Board, a WVU Law student organization.

-WVU-

cb/2/24/20

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