Welcome to CR-CL’s Ames Live Blog! Tonight is the second night of the Ames Semi-Finals! The Ames Competition is one of the most prestigious competitions for appellate brief writing and advocacy in the country. The students participating in the Semi-Final Round started the competition in the fall of this year and rose to the final four spots through their strong research abilities and excellent written and oral advocacy.
Ames Homebuilder Ass’n v. Ames Farm Bureau – March 9, 6:15pm
This case turns on Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 24. The plaintiff in this case challenges the Department of Energy’s interpretation of a provision of the Boden Environmental Act, which caps the total energy a light fixture may consume. Since the Department of Energy issued its interpretative rule, President Boden has left office and has been replaced by President Trusk, who campaigned on rescinding Boden-era regulations and cast doubt on the legality of the Department of Energy’s interpretation. Although the Department of Energy is ostensibly defending its rule, the Ames Farm Bureau—an organization representing farmers in support of environmental regulation—has sought to intervene as of right under FRCP 24(a) in defense of the Department’s rule, fearing that under the new administration the Department will offer a less-than vigorous defense of its interpretation.The district court denied the Farm Bureau’s motion to intervene by applying a presumption that the interests of a private party seeking to intervene on the same side as the government are already adequately represented by the government. By doing so, the district court took a position on a deep split among the federal circuit courts: Some circuits apply a presumption of adequate representation in this circumstance; others reject that any presumption applies. The Farm Bureau’s appeal from that ruling presents three questions:
Whether a district court’s determination of adequate representation in ruling on a motion to intervene as of right is reviewed de novo or for abuse of discretion;
Whether, under FRCP 24, a movant who seeks to intervene on the same side as the government must overcome a presumption of adequate representation; and
Whether the Farm Bureau is entitled to intervene as of right in this litigation.
Hon. Dalila Argaez Wendlandt, Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court
Hon. Thomas Lee, Utah Supreme Court
Hon. Victor Bolden, U.S. District Court of the District of Connecticut
The Robert Cover Memorial Team (Appellant)
Matthew Besman *
Steven Becker *
The Lani Guinier Memorial Team (Appellee)
Samantha Neal *
Sierra Polston *