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The Twenty-First Annual National Environmental Law Moot Court Competition was held on Thursday, February 19, through Saturday, February 21, 2009, at Pace Law School, White Plains, New York. Over 400 students, advisors, and judges were in attendance during the three days of the oral arguments. The winning team, Lewis & Clark Law School, emerged as the winner from 68 competing schools. This year’s complex problem, described as “Pirates of the Caribbean meets Environmental Law” by one team’s coach, involved a shipwreck off the U.S. coast, an exploration company seeking title to the wreck, the Kingdom of Spain also seeking title to the wreck and the U.S. claiming that permits were required for the salvage.
The final round was judged by the Honorable William K. Sessions III, Chief Judge, U.S. District Court for the District of Vermont, the Honorable Charles J. Sheehan, Judge, Environmental Appeals Board, US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and Gary Nurkin, Attorney, U.S. EPA Region 2.