Brimacombe Moot names two winners for 2020

Participants vied for positions on Faculty of Law's competitive moot teams

Helen Metella - 29 September 2020

Two University of Alberta Faculty of Law students took top honours in the 2020 Brimacombe Moot, the annual selection round for students who want to represent the Faculty at regional and national competitive moots in early 2021.

Third-year students Aidan Paul (last year’s Brimacombe winner and a member of the winning Gale Cup Moot in 2020) and Melissa Erickson (a member of the winning Alberta Court of Appeal Moot 2020) tied for first-place overall.

Honourable mentions were awarded to James Allan (3L), Chloe Braget (2L), Rachel Day (2L), Case Littlewood (2L), Lisa Kawasaki (2L), Anna Seefeldt (2L), and Zachary Wilson (3L).

This year's Brimacombe problem was about a consumer who purchased a home DNA testing kit from an online retailer. The moot focused on two separate issues: whether the Genetic Non-Discrimination Act was within the federal government's legislative authority and whether the online contract should be voided under the doctrine of unconscionability.

Sixty students competed in the moot, which due to the social distancing imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic was a unique competition for everyone involved since the participants all delivered their arguments remotely.

Students mooted from their kitchens, bedrooms and basements. For many of the 2L participants, it was also their first experience with mooting because their 1L moots, scheduled for March 2020, were cancelled when all classes abruptly went to remote delivery due to the pandemic.

All told, the University of Alberta Faculty of Law will mount teams to contest 17 moots this academic year, including one for the first time — the Julius Alexander Isaac Diversity Moot at the University of Windsor.

“The decision-making this year was especially difficult and some very good mooters were left without a team,” said Christopher Samuel, director of the Legal Research and Writing program and, along with Professors Erin Nelson and Christopher Sprysak, one of the judges of the Brimacombe.

The Brimacombe Moot has been a tradition at UAlberta Law since 1981 when it was known as the Edmonton Bar Association Moot. In 1993, it was renamed to commemorate the late Jim Brimacombe, a respected member of the Edmonton Criminal Bar.