A team from the University of Maryland School of Law has established itself as the best in the world by topping 75 teams from five continents to win the 2010 International Environmental Moot Court Competition. The Maryland team of Molly Knoll, April Morton, and William Tilburg proved victorious at the championship at Stetson University in Florida held March 11-14.
Knoll was named Best Oralist and the Maryland Team also took home the award for Second Place Memorial.
"It is incredibly rewarding to have the opportunity to instruct students, assist them in developing their advocacy skills, and to watch them achieve success and win their competition," said David Mandell, JD, who co-coaches the team with fellow 2007 Maryland Law graduate Karla Schaffer, JD.
In the preliminary rounds, Maryland defeated teams from Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, Ukraine; Amity Law School of New Delhi, India; Faculdade de Direito da Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais of Brazil; and the University of Pennsylvania Law School during the preliminary rounds, before advancing as one of the eight quarterfinalists.
The Maryland team then defeated the University of California Hastings College of Law and proceeded to win a semifinal rematch against China University of Political Science and Law. The Chinese team was the only squad to defeat Maryland in the preliminary rounds. The Chinese team was composed of students who were taught by Maryland Environmental Law Program Director Robert Percival, JD, MA, when he was a J. William Fulbright Distinguished Lecturer in China during the Spring 2008 semester. Maryland then won the final round against the Law Society of Ireland, Cork.
"They truly are the best in the world and it is an amazing accomplishment," said Schaffer. "The fact that Maryland won the championship round and received a memorial award demonstrates the students' excellence in all aspects of appellate advocacy. We couldn't be prouder."
Next year, the School of Law will host the international finals for the first time, as 20 teams will travel to Baltimore from all over the world to compete. During the record snowstorms in early February, teams from eight states gathered at the School of Law for the North American Atlantic Rounds, which were made possible due to the tireless efforts of law school faculty and staff.