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Andrews Kurth Moot Court National Championship challenges law students from across the country to debate fracking

University of Houston Law Center's Blakely Advocacy Institute and Andrews Kurth sponsor 6th annual tournament

HOUSTON, Jan. 13, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The nation's 16 best moot court programs will compete Jan. 23-25 for the right to claim the title of National Champion in the 6th annual competition hosted by the Blakely Advocacy Institute at the University of Houston Law Center and sponsored by Andrews Kurth LLP.

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"Blakely Advocacy Institute and Andrews Kurth are excited to announce a three-year continuation of their partnership in the Advocating for Advocacy Program.  One primary focus of the partnership is the support it provides for the Andrews Kurth Moot Court National Championship.  The support has enabled the competition to become one of the most prestigious moot court tournaments in the country," said Jim Lawrence, director of the Blakely Advocacy Institute. 

This year's problem focuses on hydraulic fracturing and the National Environmental Policy Act.  As part of the three-day championship activities, participating teams are invited to participate in a symposium related to the same topic. The Championship's symposium will explore the tension between the hydraulic fracturing industry and the implications of that industry on the nation's environmental policies.  The symposium will be held at the Downtown DoubleTree Hotel on Jan. 23 from 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. Symposium speakers include Robert Howarth, David R. Atkinson Professor of Ecology & Environmental Biology, Cornell University; Stephen Holditch, Professor Emeritus of Petroleum Engineering, Texas A&M University and subcommittee member of the U.S. Secretary of Energy's Advisory Board; William Wood, head of Norton Rose Fulbright's Energy and Infrastructure Group; and Ann Alexander, senior attorney, Natural Resources Defense Council.  The symposium will be moderated by Jacqueline L. Weaver, director of the Energy, Environment & Natural Resources Center at the University of Houston Law Center.

Moot court programs qualified for the National Championships based on points accumulated during the previous year at competitions throughout the country. This year's field is comprised of teams from Baylor University Law School, Chicago Kent College of Law, Florida Coastal School of Law, Georgetown University Law School, Loyola University Chicago School of Law, Michigan State University College of Law, New York University School of Law, Pepperdine University School  of Law, Seton Hall School of Law, SMU School of Law, South Texas College of Law, Stetson University College of Law, Texas Tech University School of Law, Ohio State University College of Law, University of California Hasting College of Law, and the University of Georgia School of Law. 

Guest judges for this year's final round will be U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge James Graves Jr., Texas Supreme Court Justices John Devine, Jeff, Brown and Jeffrey Boyd, and former Texas Supreme Court Justice and current Andrews Kurth partner Scott Brister.  Other members of the judiciary who participated in last year's tournament were Jennifer Elrod, Fortunato Benavides, Mike Engelhart, Nancy Johnson, Terry Jennings, William J. Boyce, Martha Hill Jamison, Brett Busby, Jeff Brown, Sylvia Matthews, Al Bennett, Caroline E. Baker, and Ravi Sandill.

The moot court tournament is sponsored by Andrews Kurth, the University of Houston Law Center's Blakely Advocacy Institute, the Environment, Energy & Natural Resources Center, Edison McDowell & Hetherington, the Natural Resources Defense Council, and the University of Houston Law Alumni Association.

For additional information, including registration for the Championship symposium, visit the Championship's website law.uh.edu/blakely/mcnc/homepage.asp

About the University of Houston
The University of Houston is a Carnegie-designated Tier One public research university recognized by The Princeton Review as one of the nation's best colleges for undergraduate education. UH serves the globally competitive Houston and Gulf Coast Region by providing world-class faculty, experiential learning and strategic industry partnerships. Located in the nation's fourth-largest city, UH serves more than 40,700 students in the most ethnically and culturally diverse region in the country.

About the University of Houston Law Center
The University of Houston Law Center is the leading law school in the nation's fourth-largest city. Founded in 1947, it is a top-tier institution awarding Doctor of Jurisprudence (J.D.) and Master of Laws (LL.M.) degrees. The Law Center is fully accredited by the American Bar Association and is a member of the Association of American Law Schools.

About Andrews Kurth
Since 1902, Andrews Kurth has built its practice on the belief that "straight talk is good business." Real answers, clear vision and mutual respect define the firm's relationships with clients, colleagues, communities and employees. With more than 400 lawyers across 10 offices worldwide, Andrews Kurth represents a wide array of clients in multiple industries. For more information about Andrews Kurth, please visit andrewskurth.com.

Media Contacts: Carrie Anna Criado, UH Law Center Executive Director of Communications and Marketing, 713-743-2184, [email protected]; John T. Kling, UH Law Center Communications Manager, 713- 743-8298, [email protected]; or Stephen Jablonski, UH Law Center Media Specialist, 713-743-1634, [email protected].

SOURCE University of Houston Law Center

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