UAlberta Law students add to their haul of national moot court victories

First place at Davies Corporate/Securities Law Moot, and a first and third at new Western Canada Family Law Negotiation Moot

Helen Metella - 10 March 2020

Faculty of Law students at the University of Alberta continue to soar during 2020 moot court competitions, adding multiple wins at two competitive moots.

UAlberta had a clean sweep of awards at the Davies Corporate/Securities Law Moot Competition, held on March 6th and 7th in Toronto. Two UAlberta teams also posted impressive finishes at the inaugural Western Canada Family Law Negotiation Moot, which took place in Winnipeg over the same weekend.


At the Davies Corporate/Securities Law Moot, this year's moot problem explored whether under the oppression remedy, a shareholder can successfully challenge a merger transaction that will completely change the corporation's business and that the board is determined to push through without shareholder approval.

The team was at the top of the standings heading into the final round and was declared the competition winners after beating Osgoode Hall in the finals. Team member Denis Ram (2L) was named the Top Oralist of the competition and UAlberta also took home the award for the best factum. Congratulations to team members Denis Ram (2L), Jesse Fontaine (2L), Melissa Garska (2L), Yan Gao (2L), and Ember Lagden (2L). The team was coached by Dentons Edmonton practitioners John Lemieux (a partner in the firm's corporate and commercial group), Morgan Deacon (a partner in the litigation group) and Kaelyn MacGillivray (an associate in the financial services group). The team is sponsored by Stikeman Elliott LLP.

The moot drew top law students from 13 law schools across the country, with 52 competitors.

"Being the top corporate/securities law mooter in the country feels surreal," said Ram. "This is a testament to all the support from the school, our coaches, and our all-star guest judges."


At the inaugural Western Canada Family Law Negotiation Moot, students participated in three challenging rounds of negotiation on a complicated Family Law scenario (parenting scheduling and decision-making issues, child support, spousal support, and a mobility issue).

The students were evaluated on presentation, legal acumen, teamwork, problem-solving, identification of interests, communications, effective advocacy, generating creative options, and the ability to follow a "representation plan" that each team created and provided to the judges. Judges included Manitoba Court of Appeal and Court of Queen's Bench justices, as well as senior Winnipeg Family Law practitioners.

UAlberta Law students Alex Peters (3L) and Megan Washington (3L) won first prize in the creation and use of their Representation Plan, while Tracy Zimmer (3L), and Sheila Raffray (3L) took third place overall for their moot team. Both U of A teams were coached by Megan Dawson, a partner at McCuaig Desrochers LLP.

Next season (2020-21), the University of Alberta will host the Western Canada Family Law Negotiation Moot. Marie Gordon QC and Chris Samuel, director of the Faculty of Law's Legal Research and Writing Program are members of the competition's organizing committee.

"Family law affects more Canadians than any other area of law taught in our law school," said Gordon.

"The ability of these students to bring together a practice-level knowledge of family law, negotiation skills, effective advocacy, and the ability to resolve tough human conflict situations is an impressive feat."