Second-year law student Aidan Paul wins Brimacombe Moot

Tournament kicks off mooting season at UAlberta Law

Denis Ram - 25 October 2019

The annual Brimacombe Selection Round Moot kicked off this year's competitive moot season, with Aidan Paul (2L) finishing in first place and Corinna Steffen (2L) placing second.

A total of 75 students competed in the tournament on September 26 and 27. The internal moot is used to determine which students will represent the University of Alberta Faculty of Law at regional and national moot competitions for the 2019-2020 season, against other law schools.

"I've been fortunate to have the incredible support of writing fellows, mentors, teammates, and friends who have pushed me at every step," said Paul, about his victory at Brimacombe. Paul also won the Dean's Cup Moot last year, which is only for 1Ls.

"Find a group of friends who are passionate about mooting and eager to practise. They will constantly test your ideas, check your ego, and expose the weaknesses in your position."

This year's standings include honourable mentions for Leigh Acheson (3L), Bonita Arbeau (2L), Tony Basu (2L), Maddison Croden (3L), Alec McIlwraith-Black (3L), Connor Vaandering (2L), and Zachary Wilson (2L).

"The panel agreed that our Brimacombe mooters again raised the bar," said Professor Chris Samuel, director of the Legal Research and Writing Program and a member of the Brimacombe Selection Panel. "The quality of the arguments and presentations were superb."

With 52 positions available for 14 teams, "we had to make some truly agonizing decisions which resulted in us leaving some very good mooters without a team," he said.

Arguing before Professors Samuel, Peter Sankoff and Jennifer Raso, the topics students mooted this year concerned "Mr. Big" investigations by police forces, and the constitutionality of the mandatory minimum sentence for recklessly discharging a firearm.

A reception followed the tournament, allowing students to engage one-on-one with judges for feedback in a way that has not happened before.

"We know that participation in the Brimacombe is daunting and challenging," said Samuel. "Everyone who participated performed admirably, particularly in the face of intense scrutiny from the panel. All of you should be very proud of yourselves.