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ELI Announces Winner of Fourth Annual "Endangered Environmental Laws" Student Writing Competition

May 2009

(Washington, DC) — Shawn LaTourette, a third-year student at the Rutgers School of Law-Camden, was named the winner of the fourth annual ELI-ABA-NAELS “Endangered Environmental Laws” Student Writing Competition. Shawn will receive a $2000 cash award and an offer of publication in the Environmental Law Reporter (ELR), ELI’s flagship journal and the most often cited law review covering environmental and natural resource issues.

Mr. LaTourette’s winning entry, “Run Aground Again: The Exxon Valdez’s Collision with the Supreme Court’s Punitive Damages Jurisprudence,” explores the evolving limitations on punitive damages in the Supreme Court as a matter of both substantive due process and federal common law, as illustrated in the Exxon Valdez case.

“This article provides a well-grounded analysis of punitive damages jurisprudence in the Supreme Court, with important implications for future environmental and natural resource cases,” said ELI Senior Attorney Jay Austin. “Mr. LaTourette’s submission, along with those of the other students who participated in our competition, demonstrates how the next generation of environmental lawyers is already considering the legal framework that shapes and influences environmental protection.”

The annual competition, co-sponsored by ELI’s Endangered Environmental Laws Program, the Constitutional Law Committee of the American Bar Association Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources, and the National Association of Environmental Law Societies, invites law students to analyze issues at the intersection of constitutional and environmental law. All entries received during the 2008-09 academic year were subject to a rigorous evaluation process overseen by judges from ELI, ABA, and NAELS. The article will not be available to the public until its expected fall 2009 publication in the Environmental Law Reporter News & Analysis.

ELI’s Endangered Environmental Laws Program seeks to defend U.S. environmental law by advancing principles such as broad access to federal courts, uniform minimum federal environmental standards, and leeway for state innovation in environmental protection. For more information, see www.endangeredlaws.org.