The 2010 Animal Law Moot

David Cassuto

I’m in Boston — well, Cambridge actually — at a cute little law school tucked away in a modest, unassuming university they have up here.  This year marks my seventh consecutive year judging the annual Animal Law Moot Court Competition, an event staged by Lewis & Clark’s Center for Animal Law Studies in collaboration with the Animal Legal Defense Fund.

This year’s problem deals with the tangle of laws implicated in wild horse roundups, focusing specifically on the Wild Free-Roaming Horses & Burros Act and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).  It’s an intricate and intriguing issue, both in the ficitonal scenario and in real life.  You can read the competitors’ briefs here.

The final rounds are tomorrow so I have no winners to announce.  However, I can say that each year that  I have judged this competition (and I have judged them all), the quality of the advocacy and the commitment and interest among student competitors has surpassed its already very high level. 

The future of animal law is in very good hands.  And there are a lot of those hands. 

We move ever forward, into the breach.

2 Responses

  1. And Florida Coastal School of Law wins the National Championship. Congratulations, Angie and Joe. If we were any prouder, we’d explode!

  2. This isn’t related to the Moot Court (although congratulations Florida Coastal), but I need to voice this thought.

    Did anyone watching the Super Bowl last night catch the repeated Denny’s commercials for their Grand Slam breakfast? I think they are very interesting. The tag line, if I recall, is “Denny’s Grand Slam breakfast; it’s going to take a lot of eggs. Good day for breakfast. Bad day to be a chicken.”

    First, an admission: I laughed. There is something so absurd about puppet chickens dressed up as Secret Service agents that I had to chuckle.

    More importantly, however, is the advertising approach. Denny’s is essentially saying that it is fully aware of the pain that a spike in egg consumption would cause chickens, and it wants you to know about it as well, and laugh about it. Heck, I did, and I’m aware of what is going on. At some level, this commerical is encouraging the typical American response to trivialize and marginalize the exploitation of chickens in pursuit of a $2.99 breakfast. Chickens literally screaming in terror at the thought of having to produce more eggs? Comedy gold. Pay no attention to the truth of what Denny’s is saying.

    Maybe it’s just a funny commerical, but there is some deeper psychology at work here, intentionally or not, that says quite a bit about the state of our food production.

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