Saturday, March 24, 2007

the preliminary rounds of oral argument for environmental moot court are now over. first round, i was on-brief, arguing for the EPA (one of the defendants)...second round i was off-brief, arguing for the plaintiffs, a village full of Canadians who are being displaced from their village due to global warming effects. both rounds, i did my argument, and i did the rebuttal...it was probably a little unorthodox to take a rebuttal time as a defendant, but it was fun.

strangely enough, i think my off-brief went better than my on-brief. i still had some first-round jitters that got pretty clear, and i was sitting there for an hour waiting for the plaintiff and the other defendant to argue before i could take the podium and talk. first round, i got slammed for over ten minutes on federalism stuff...on why it was that the EPA could not regulate carbon dioxide. i think i could have handled it better, the judges gave me some good feedback after the round, but i didn't do terribly. i got a little more flustered than i should have at some of the questions, but i didn't do terribly. my rebuttal was alright...there were a few things i got to respond to, but i only reserved myself three minutes--that wasn't enough time, and i decided to reserve four minutes for my rebuttal for the second round.

second round, i was much better. my regular argument went well. i still spent more time on standing than i should have, but i did have time to talk about all three of my issues--which wasn't the case first round, the judges had to give me an extra minute or so at the end because they had asked me so much about federalism that i didn't have time to ever address joint and several liability. i didn't get as deep into joint and several, or even public nuisance, as i wanted to on that second argument, but i got to say something about them, and it was more clearly presented.

my favourite moment of the day, the one that i'm still absolutely HIGH from, is my second round rebuttal. it went beautifully...i had three points that i wanted to bring up, i had one-minutes speeches for each, and then i had a one-minute ending speech bringing it back to my theme of these poor canadians that had to move because of what the power plants did.

i wish i had a tape of it. it was absolutely gorgeous...especially the part where i took the EPA attorney to task. she had discussed in her argument that the plaintiff would fail to prove by clear and convincing evidence that the carbon dioxide was the scientific cause of the global warming and the damages suffered. problem is...this is a review of a grant of summary judgment, and the court had to look at the facts in the most favourable light to the plaintiffs. in that case, with that standard...the plaintiffs were money. i had so much fun arguing that rebuttal, and i still feel so good because of it.

and now i'm ready to see if my partner and i made semis. as nervous as i was going in, as tired as i was...now i'm so jazzed. i want to make semis and argue this case again.

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