Volunteer moot judges needed to assess 1L student moots

Completely virtual event runs March 29 to April 1

Helen Metella - 26 February 2021

Lawyers and judges willing to revisit the highs and less highs of their very first day in court — with a 2021 twist — are invited to be volunteer judges at the first-year moots of the University of Alberta Faculty of Law.

The first-year moot program will be conducted virtually this year, so volunteer judges will be helping students learn an additional layer of presentation skills while mooting. It also means that more members of the legal community have an opportunity to participate.

“We are excited that, for the first time, we are able to recruit our long-distance alumni who may be physically located outside of Edmonton,” said Christopher Samuel, director of the Faculty’s Legal Research and Writing Program and co-ordinator of the first-year moots.

The time commitment for each moot is one hour, followed by a brief judge's feedback session where they will have an opportunity to let the students know their thoughts on their presentations. Judges will receive the moot problem, the student materials, and a brief bench memorandum prior to each scheduled round.

Group volunteers welcome

The moots will take place from March 29 to April 1, with several rounds running concurrently. Samuel is happy to accommodate requests for volunteer judges to sign up in pairs or groups of three. Volunteers may sign up for one moot slot or many.

“The moots are great fun for the volunteer judges and an invaluable learning experience for the students,” said Samuel, who needs 138 volunteer judges this year.

“Our moot program simply could not operate without the countless volunteer hours freely given by the legal community, so we are grateful for its continuing support.”

This year’s moot problem revolves around a fictional defamation lawsuit. The problem is centered around two distinct legal issues. The first relates to whether the test for defamation has been made out. The second issue relates to whether the principle of vicarious liability should operate to hold the defendant responsible. Those familiar with the "Karate Kid" movies will notice some Easter Eggs hidden in the fact pattern, says Samuel.

Sign up

To volunteer, participants may use this link at SignUp.Com. No registration or password required. To sign up manually or to be scheduled to volunteer as a group, contact Samuel directly at cnsamuel@ualberta.ca.