Competitive Moot Program

2012 Moot Review

The Competitive Moot Program at the Faculty of Law allows interested 2nd and 3rd year students to participate in a variety of mooting competitions under the supervision of Faculty members and practitioners. This year nearly 60 students participated in the Jim Brimacombe Selection Round, a competitive moot to select teams for the appellate advocacy moots (Jessup, Laskin, Gale, Canadian Corporate/Securities Law, Alberta Court of Appeal and the Clinton Ford).

Close to 50 students were selected to participate in 13 moot competitions which were held across Canada including:

Alberta Court of Appeal Moot, an appellate level moot competition between the Universities of Alberta and Calgary. It consists of three moots in the areas of criminal law, civil law (contract, property, or tort law), and constitutional law.

On March 2 and 3, 2012, in the Eldon Foote Moot Courtroom, Philip Prowse and Francisco Marquez-Stricker (Criminal), Ryan Algar and Kent West (Constitutional), and Nicole Rodych and Kate Whittleton (Civil) competed against the University of Calgary at the Alberta Court of Appeal Moot in Edmonton. All our mooters performed extremely well and earned high praise from the panels judges composed of Justice Richard P. Marceau, Justice Terrance D. Clackson, Judge Shelagh R. Creagh, Justice June Ross, Justice Frans F. Slatter, Judge Larry G. Anderson, Justice Andrea J. Moen, Justice Sheila J. Greckol, and Judge Diane L. Young.

In addition to the Faculty winning the overall competition, the Criminal and Civil teams won their individual moots.

The moots were coached by Professor Ron Hopp (Civil), Professor Tami Friesen (Criminal), and Professor Eric Adams (Constitutional).

The ACA Moot teams and coaches would like to thank Katherine Thompson, Sandra Teves, Renee Hunt, Melissa Hartley and John Law for their behind the scenes work, and Dean Bryden for hosting the closing ceremonies. They would also like to thank the following professors and members of the profession who gave generously of their time in helping to prepare the mooters for this competition: Matthew Lewans, Steven Penney, Peter Carver, Barbara Billingsley, Margaret Unsworth, Barry Slutsky, Kent Teskey, Maureen McGuire, Dino Bottos, Troy Couillard, and Justice Andrea Moen.

ACA Moot 2012 Awards Ceremony
L-R Francisco Marquez-Stricker, Ryan Algar, Kent West, Kate Whittleton, Nicole Rodych, Phil Prowse, and Dean Philip Bryden

For photographs and interviews with some of the ACA Moot competition competitors please click here.

 

The Client Consultation Competition simulates a law office consultation in which law students, acting as attorneys, are presented with a client matter. They conduct an interview with a person playing the role of the client and then explain how they would proceed further in the hypothetical situation.

Teams from law schools in across Canada took part in the competition in the inaugurial Canadian round. The University of Alberta team, including Sherry Simons (3L) and Angela Keibel (2L), with coach Lynn Parish, became the first winners of the new Canadian competition on February 25-26, 2012, in Ottawa. The team sailed past 11 other teams to take the title. A trophy will be inscribed with their names and sent to the U of A for the year.

As title holders they competed in the Brown-Mosten International Client Consultation Competition in Dublin, Ireland, from April 18-21, 2012.  Click here to read a review of the International Client Consultation Competition.

Last year 22 teams from around the world competed in Holland and this year the international competition is continuing to expand with Iran sending an observer and China sending a team.

“The students were wonderful ambassadors for the faculty, and although I am unashamedly biased, they did exceedingly well.” said Client Consultation coach Lynn Parish. “The final round of three teams came down to three western teams, two from UBC and one from the U of A- so it was especially gratifying to win as UBC has always done well in the competition.”

L-R Angela Keibel, Lynn Parish (coach), Sherry Simons

For photographs and interviews with some of the Client Consultation Moot competition competitors please click here.

 

The Bennett Jones Health Law Moot, which is generously sponsored by Bennett Jones LLP, is a competition between the University of Alberta and the University of Calgary. The moot was held in Edmonton on March 17, 2012, and was judged by a panel comprising former Supreme Court of Canada Justice John Major QC, Rose Carter QC and John Martland QC.

Our moot teams of Nycki Basra, Kevin Haldane, Matthew Pagels, and Michelle Paul, dealt with a difficult moot problem involving the recommendation by treating physicians that care be withdrawn from a patient who had provided a personal directive that all possible care be provided to prolong her life.

Although the competition was won by the University of Calgary, all four mooters from the University of Alberta did exceptionally well, and Michelle Paul was awarded the prize for the top oralist.

L-R Nycki Basra, Kevin Haldane, Matthew Pagels, Michelle Paul, Prof Russell Brown (coach)

For photographs and interviews with some of the Bennett Jones Health Law Moot competition competitors please click here.

 

The Canadian Corporate / Securities Law Moot Court Competition is an annual competition that focuses on corporate and securities law in Canada and is designed to provide law students with an opportunity to meet and network with various members of the legal community in those areas.

Corporate counsel, securities regulators, legal academics, practitioners, and judges from various court levels (including the Ontario Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of Canada) act as moot judges and advisors thereby fostering debate on legal issues of current importance to the Canadian business community.

The University of Alberta Faculty of Law team of Adina Popescu, Daniel Weber, Cameron Anderson, Marcus Ostrowerka, and Melissa Jakobfi, along with coach Professor Barry Slutsky, travelled to Toronto to partake in this year’s moot on March 1 and 4, 2012.

The University of Alberta team held their own in front of a distinguished panel consisting of Madame Justice Deshamps of the Supreme Court of Canada, and Justices Blair and Armstrong of the Court of Appeal for Ontario. Our team took home the second place prize in the overall competition, losing to the University of Toronto in the final. The University of Alberta team also took home the third place best factum award. “The students were a joy to coach,” said coach Professor Barry Slutsky, “they practiced 23 times (including all throughout reading week) without complaint and were a wonderfully harmonious group.”

Professor Slutsky and the moot team would like to thank those amongst the faculty who assisted with the team's preparation and running practices: Richard Bauman, Dean Bryden, Tamara Buckwold, Tami Friesen, Ron Hopp, Moe Litman, Mitchel McInnes, Shannon O'Byrne, David Percy, Wayne Renke, Chris Sprysak, Rod Wood, Moin Yahya, Barbara Howell, and Mark Fernandez (3rd year & former mooter). Apologies to those colleagues that have undoubtedly been overlooked.

They would also like to mention, and thank, those practitioners/sessionals who also ran practices: Richard Wilson, Barb Howell, Andrew Chamberlain, Vida McLeod, Tom Wakeling, Nate Whitling, John Lemieux, and David Stam

Finally, Professor Slutsky and the moot team are also very grateful to Kim Cordeiro, Sandra Teves, Merle Metke, Melissa Hartley, Renee Hunt, and Mary Ann Empson, without whose support the team says they would never have made it to Toronto in the first place.

L-R Daniel Weber, Marcus Ostrowerka, Adina Popescu, Prof Barry Slutsky (coach), Melissa Jakobfi, Cameron Anderson

For photographs and interviews with some of the Canadian Corporate / Securities Law Moot Court Competition competitors please click here.

 

The Clinton J. Ford Moot is an in-house appellate moot for third year law students with a problem on either a criminal or constitutional law topic. This year the case mooted was R. v. Mabior, which considered whether consent to sexual activity is valid when one party fails to disclose his HIV positive status. The winning team of Michael Marchen and Matthew Turzansky narrowly defeated the able team of Farah Mohamed and Elyse Jacobson. The mooters appeared before a bench comprised of Justice Frans F. Slatter from the Court of Appeal and Justices Brian R. Burrows and Joanne Veit of the Court of Queen's Bench.

The mooters and their coach Professor Steven Penney, expressed their thanks to all who helped with the moot, including Professors Friesen and Lewans as well as Dane Bullerwell, Don McCannell, Amy Lind, Katherine Thompson, and Sandra Christensen (1L).

L-R Michael Marchen, Elyse van Spronsen, Farah Mohamed, Matthew Turzansky

For photographs and interviews with some of the Clinton J. Ford Moot competition competitors please click here.

 

Donald G. Bowman National Tax Moot is Canada's competitive moot on taxation. Named after the former chief justice of the Tax Court of Canada, Donald G. Bowman, the moot gives law students a chance to take part in a simulated tax court proceeding.

The U of A’s Faculty of Law Bowman National Tax Moot team travelled to Toronto to compete in the moot competition, which took place on March 1-4, 2012I. The team was comprised of Theo Stathakos, Scott Nicol, Jacques Du Plessis, Nancy Strong and Devinn Connolly, and coach Professor Chris Sprysak. Ten Universities across the country participated.

In the oral competition, the team made it past the first rounds and into the semi-finals. Whilst they did not make it to the final (which was won by the University of Western over the University of Windsor), the team was awarded the Top Appellant's factum. Each team member (including Professor Sprysak) received a small trophy for this accomplishment.

First and foremost, the Faculty of Law, along with the mooters and Professor Sprysak, would like to thank Mark Woltersdorf and the Edmonton office of Fraser Milner Casgrain for their financial and technical support, without which our participation in this moot would be impossible. The mooters would also like to thank Justice Watson of the Alberta Court of Appeal, Professor Slutsky and Marvin Toy for their invaluable counsel on oral advocacy. Lastly, but most certainly not least, they would like to thank Renee Hunt, Sandra Teves, and Melissa Hartley for providing their support to the team's efforts. While they believe that this constitutes everyone who was involved with their moot, they offer their sincerest apologies to anyone they may have unintentionally neglected to acknowledge.

“I participated in the moot because I have a passion for tax” said Devinn Connolly, “and came out with a great sense of accomplishment. I will take this feeling with me forever.”

L-R Devinn Connolly, Nancy Strong, Jacques Du Plessis, Scott Nicol, Theo Stathakos, Prof Chris Sprysak (coach)

For photographs and interviews with some of the Donald G. Bowman National Tax Moot competition competitors please click here.

 

The Gale Cup, one of Canada’s oldest moot competitions, takes place every February in Toronto at Osgoode Hall with judging panels made up of presiding judges drawn from various jurisdictions across in Canada. The rules for the preparation and exchange of facta and the procedures for the hearing of oral argument are based upon Canadian appellate practice.

Normally, the problem to be mooted is drawn from a case recently decided in the Supreme Court of Canada, preferably a decision with one or more dissenting judgments and one or more reversals in lower courts. The case is chosen with a view to providing significant legal issues with strong arguments to be made on both sides. In effect, students are appealing a Supreme Court decision to a "higher" court – the moot court of the Gale Cup Competition.

This year’s moot tackled the complex Supreme Court decision in the R v Sinclair case, which dealt with the question of what Charter rights do detained persons have to consult a lawyer during police interrogation

Professor Matthew Lewans, who coached this year’s team of Belinda Chiang, Gareth Reeves, Matthew Blimke, and Jessie Larter, noted that, “This past weekend, I attended the Gale Cup Moot competition in Toronto on behalf of our faculty. I am happy to report that our team of undergraduate students performed extremely well in the competition. Although our team did not proceed to the final round of the competition, I can report that they deserved consideration for that honour on the basis of their oral presentations.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who agreed to sit as volunteer judges during the practice sessions held this past term. In particular, I would like to thank Professors Eric Adams, Tami Friesen, Wayne Renke, Steven Penney, Barry Slutsky, and Moin Yahya. I would also like to thank Peter Royal, Q.C., Susan Hughson, Q.C., Dane Bullerwell, Lindsey Tate, Anna Konye, Dino Bottos, Judge Shelagh Creagh, Madam Justice June Ross and Mr. Justice Peter Costigan for donating their time to this project. The feedback provided during the practice sessions was integral to the team's success.

Please join me in congratulating the Gale Cup Moot team members: Matthew Blimke (2L), Belinda Chiang (2L), Jessie Larter (3L), and Gareth Reeves (2L).”

The Faculty’s participation is made possible in large part due to a generous annual gift from the Edmonton firm of Beresh Cunningham.

L-R Matthew Lewans (coach), Gareth Reeves, Jessie Larter, Belinda Chiang, Matthew Blimke

For photographs and interviews with some of the Gale Cup Moot competition competitors please click here.

 

Harold G. Fox Intellectual Property Moot is intended to promote the furtherance of legal education in the intellectual property field and is named in honour of the late Harold G. Fox, one of Canada’s leading intellectual property scholars and advocates.

The Faculty of Law team members of Jonathan Ip and Karen Wun, (Appellant team), and Kent Gislason and Justin Turc, (Respondent team), along with coach Professor Wayne Renke, travelled to Ontario for the competition held at the Federal Court in Toronto, on February 25-26, 2012.

“I don't think there are too many other ways to learn these things other than participating in a moot, and then arguing against people from other schools. There aren't too many other ways in law school to travel to another city and then compete in front of ("real") judges.” ~ Jonathan Ip

L-R Prof Wayne Renke (coach), Kent Gislason, Justin Turc, Karen Wun, Jonathan Ip

For photographs and interviews with some of the Harold G. Fox Intellectual Cup Moot competition competitors please click here.

 

The Kawaskimhon National Aboriginal Moot (speaking with knowledge) is an annual event that brings together close to 100 students, professors and community leaders from across Canada. This is the only national law school forum where Aboriginal legal issues are the sole focus of the debates and negotiations by law students from across Canada. Unlike other moots, it is not competitive. It is a multi-party negotiation and the focus is on finding a range of potential solutions. Students are asked to prepare a position paper as well as for negotiation. The task this year was to develop a proposal for a new process to address disagreements over treaty interpretation and specific claims. The 2012 moot was an exercise in multi-party negotiations to develop a process for dealing with the interpretation of the historic treaties, such as the numbered treaties, the Treaties of Peace and Friendship, the Robinson Treaties and the Douglas Treaties. The nature of the process (or processes) and practical issues - e.g., concerning enforceability - was determined by the participants in the negotiations.

Our moot team of Shayne Abrams and Joshua Jackson, and coach Professor Catherine Bell, travelled to Saskatoon to compete from March 2 to 3, 2012. Over the course of the two days, law schools across the country presented oral arguments based on written submitted materials, and then collectively worked toward a set of recommendations.

"This moot is always a challenge,” explained Professor Catherine Bell, “As students must address many dimensions of a legal problem including economic, political and other interests. Our students had the difficult challenge of representing the province of Alberta in finding a process that would work for Treaty Nations, other provinces, Canada and the interests of Alberta as a whole. For all of us it is always an amazing learning experience. Josh and Shayne did an amazing job!"

L-R Joshua Jackson, Prof Catherine Bell (coach), Shayne Abrams

For photographs and interviews with some of the Harold G. Fox Intellectual Cup Moot competition competitors please click here.

 

The Laskin Memorial Moot is Canada's only national, bilingual moot and was established in honour of Chief Justice Bora Laskin of the Supreme Court of Canada. The Moot is hosted by different law schools in Canada every year and the issues are derived from constitutional and/or administrative law.

This year’s team included: Russell Ault; James Raworth; C. Paul Tonita; and Mark Zion. They travelled, along with coach Patricia Paradis, to Moncton, NB to compete in the competition which was held from February 16 to 18, 2012.

Although our group did not proceed to the final round of the competition,” said Patricia Paradis, “the students were a strong team of oralists and they scored in the top 10 schools for their factums". This year's Laskin problem was an appeal to the Supreme Immigration Court of Canada (a fictitious court) about whether Mr. Yige Gemer should be granted a re-hearing of his application for refugee status.

The Laskin Memorial Moot competition will be held in Edmonton in February, 2013, when the U of A Faculty of Law will serve as the host school in its Centenary year.

L-R Paul Tonita, James Raworth, Pat Paradis (coach), Russell Ault, Mark Zion

For photographs and interviews with some of the Laskin Memorial Moot competition competitors please click here.

 

The Mathews, Dinsdale and Clark LLP Canadian Labour Arbitration Competition takes place between eight two-person teams from law schools across Canada. This year, Andrew Tarver and Adam Norget trained and took part in mock sessions, with coaches John Carpenter and David Williams, and student coaches Imane Semaine and Brittney Tetz, in preparation for the competition.
Andrew and Adam (along with coach John Carpenter and student coach Imane Semaine) travelled to Toronto to appear at the premises of the Ontario Labour Relations Board to moot before three person panels made up of seasoned arbitrators and labour lawyers. The team presented twice, once for labour and once for management, and as such saw two panels of three 'arbitrators' at the competition. They presented in front of Elaine Newman (Ontario labour arbitrator), Ernie Schirru (partner with union firm Koskie Minsky LLP in Toronto) and Richard Baldwin (partner with management firm Mathews, Dinsdale & Clark who hosted the competition) on one panel. On the other panel they presented in front of Ian Anderson (Vice-Chair of the Ontario Labour Relations Board), Denis Ellickson (partner at union firm Caley Wray) and Paula Rusak (partner at Mathews, Dinsdale & Clark).

The Panels both praised the passion and style of the University of Alberta's advocacy. The Faculty of Law’s participation in this competition is made possible by a generous donation from Chivers Carpenter Lawyers. We would particularly like to thank note the assistance of the Student Coaches Imane Semaine and Brittney Tetz.

“In addition to the contributions from our firm, nine lawyers from Edmonton agreed to serve on mock arbitration panels. Three of those lawyers were/are either Chair or Vice Chairs of the Alberta Labour Relations Board, three were practicing management lawyers and three were practicing labour lawyers.” The support of the practitioners underscores the value that the legal community assigns to this program. As well, seven of the lawyers were alumni and were proud to have the University of Alberta represented at this National Competition. Our firm looks forward to sponsoring and coaching again next year.” ~ David Williams and John Carpenter

The Faculty of Law would like to thank the firm of Chivers Carpenter for generously contributing to and sponsoring this program.

L-R Imane Semaine (student coach), Andrew Tarver, Adam Norget, John Carpenter (coach)

For photographs and interviews with some of the Mathews, Dinsdale and Clark LLP Canadian Labour Arbitration Competition competitors please click here.

 

The Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition is one of the most prestigious moot competitions in the world. Created in 1959 by the International Law Students Association (“ILSA”), it is the world’s largest moot competition, typically involving more than 1500 students from more than 300 law schools from almost 50 countries. This year’s problem concerned a dispute between two states over the destruction of a cultural site of great significance and the question of who gets to represent a state internationally in the aftermath of a coup d’état.

The Canadian National Rounds took place from March 7 to 11, 2012, and our team of Cyrus Haghighi, Tasneem Karbani, Robbie Nissen and Jorge Pineda, along with Faculty Adviser Professor Joanna Harrington, travelled to Montreal to compete. “The Jessup Moot is always a great experience for the students involved,” explained Professor Harrington, “as it allows for the development of advanced legal research and writing skills, as well as advocacy skills, with the judges coming from both private and public practice. This year’s team worked very hard, but did not proceed to the finals.

L-R Prof Joanna Harrington (coach), Robbie Nissen, Tasneem Karbani, M (Cyrus) Haghighi, Jorge Pineda

For photographs and interviews with some of the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court competitors please click here.

 

The Western Canada Trial Moot is a criminal trial moot and involves the analysis of a criminal case, and presentation of the case to a jury. The moot is designed to prepare students for a jury trial, working with live witnesses, and a real-life fact situation.

Nicole Patterson, and John Schmidt from the University of Alberta, participated in the moot, which was held on February 11, 2012, in Winnipeg. They were assigned the role of defence counsel and competed against the team from UBC, who acted for the Crown.

L-R Nicole Patterson, John Schmidt

For photographs and interviews with some of the Western Canada Trial Moot Court competitors please click here.

 

In closing the Faculty would like to congratulate all of our students on their participation and to thank all of the judges, lawyers and faculty members who gave generously of their time in helping to prepare the mooters for their various competitions.

We are very grateful for the generous financial support of a number of law firms: Fraser Milner Casgrain LLP, Bennett Jones LLP, Beresh Cunningham, and Chivers Carpenter. Their valued support allows our students to participate in competitive moots locally, regionally and nationally.

By participating in the moot court program, students have an exciting hands-on opportunity to develop their lawyering skills, while being coached and evaluated by skilled professors and practitioners.

The Faculty of Law invites other firms to support some of our moot competitions. If you are interested in supporting our competitive moot court program, please contact the Vice-Dean, John Law at (780) 492-2151 or email.