2017 Mooting Season Round-Up

McIntyre Cup | Gale Cup | BC Law Schools | Wilson Moot | Bowman Tax Moot | Canada Negotiation Competition | Willms & Shier | Kawaskimhon | Canadian Client Consultation Competition

Edmonton, February 9-11

Students: Alexa Ferguson, Matt Janssen, Kaitlin Kuefler, Schuyler Roy  
Coaches: Michelle Daneliuk, Clare Jennings, Laura Wheeler

McIntyre Moot Team

Photo: UBC and UVic Team (Kaitlin Kuefler and Alexa Ferguson are in the centre)

Written by Alexa Ferguson:

This is a trial advocacy competition involving the mock-trial of a criminal prosecution. There were no major surprises at the McIntyre Cup, but there were some things we were not expecting. For example, the defence's strategy was slightly different than we had anticipated but I think we knew the case well enough that we were able to adapt on the fly.

Because this moot was trial style, we got to work with "witnesses" who were paid actors. They were hilarious and did a great job including one of our witnesses full-on yelling in the courtroom! Justice Henderson of the Alberta Court of Queen's Bench presided over our trial and we had 12 jurors in the jury box which was a bit intimidating at first, but as the trial got going, it really made the experience feel like a real trial. Our opposing team was from UBC.

Both teams got good feedback from our assessors; they complimented our Crown strategy, which felt great. They gave us some useful pointers about trial advocacy that we can move forward with as well. Our coaches took us out for a delicious celebratory lunch after the moot and we were all able to debrief and relax after the adrenaline rush brought on by the trial.

Thanks so much to UVic and to our coaches for this awesome opportunity.

Toronto, February 17-18
Students: Casey Dheensaw, Adam Lewis, Michael McCurrach, Christopher VanBerkum
Coach: Veronica Jackson

The Gale Moot is an appellate moot competition in the area of criminal law (including the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the law of evidence).  Mooters are asked to appeal from a recent decision of the Supreme Court of Canada. 

Gale Cup Moot Team

Photo L-R: Adam Lewis, Michael McCurrach, Veronica Jackson (coach), Christopher VanBerkum, Casey Dheensaw

Written by Christopher VanBerkum: 

We had a great time mooting in Toronto - certainly a highlight of my time in law school so far.  Adam and Michael were our Respondent Team - and they submitted their arguments against the Appellant Team from Osgoode Hall. They were effective, efficient respondents. Osgood presented a wide range of arguments in their Factum, and Michael and Adam dealt with those submissions, and were able to ‘think on their feet’ and submit arguments that responded to the questions given to them in Court and the issues raised by their ‘friends from York.’

Christopher and Casey were our Appellant Team - and they defended the Appellant's privacy rights and the responsibilities of police when searching cell phones incident to arrest. Christopher and Casey answered the questions presented to them by their judges and made sure they delivered a strong, substantive defence of our Charter-guaranteed freedoms. The judges asserted that the team’ pace, tone, and etiquette were laudable. The judges also acknowledged the Appellant’s reply was particularly well done.

Though the team did not place for either their written or oral submissions (along with all the British Columbia teams, I believe), all the team members acknowledged it was an excellent learning experience, and personally, I would absolutely pursue a career in litigation—or and appellate-level legal work. I hope to moot again next year.  All the team members recognized the support of the team's sponsors and the school.

Kamloops, February 18
Students: Gina Addario-Berry, Neal Parker, Radu Popescu, Rachelle Trenholm
Coaches: Kelly Doerksen, James Legh, Michael Mark

The BC Law Schools Moot is an appellate moot competition between UBC, TRU, and UVic focussing on a question of private law (broadly contract, tort or property law).  Teams are composed of four students each and subdivide into appellant and respondent pairs.  Each pair prepares a factum and presents oral argument to a court consisting of three judges drawn from the Superior Courts of British Columbia.   

BC Law Schools Competition

Photo L-R: Callan MacKinlay and Grace Kim (TRU), Gina Addario-Berry, Neal Parker

Toronto, February 24-25

Students:  Caitlin Ehman, Carolyn Leblanc (researcher), Sam Maroney, Heather Purves, Leigh Stansfield  
Coaches: Leah Greathead and Tyna Mason

Not only did the students compete in the 25th annual Wilson Moot at the Federal Court in Toronto, the UVic team came home as winners of the 3rd place team plaque!  An honourable mention also goes to Leigh Stansfield who was individually awarded the 4th place prize for Best Oralist out of all the students at the moot. 

The spirit of this moot is to promote justice for those traditionally disempowered within the legal system, and, in particular, to explore legal issues concerning women and minorities.  Section 15 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms often features prominently in the arguments.

 “All their hard work paid off and the students showed outstanding advocacy at the competition. Well done!” – co-coach Tyna Mason

Wilson Moot Team

Photo L-R: Heather Purves, Leigh Stansfield, Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin of the Supreme Court of Canada, Caitlin Ehman, and Samuel Maroney 

Toronto, March 3-4

Students: Steven Davis, Jeremy Henderson, Jana Keeley, Reina Mistry (researcher) Samson Rapley
Coaches: Geoff Loomer and Martha O’Brien

Written by Martha O’Brien:

This year's Bowman National Tax Moot team was composed of (in order of appearance at the competition) Samson Rapley and Jeremy Henderson as counsel for the Respondent taxpayer, and Steven Davis and Jana Keeley for the Appellant Crown. Reina Mistry was the dedicated, supportive and always present "additional participant". This year's moot problem was very complex, involving the valuation and timing for tax purposes of foreign exchange option contracts.

First, we all thank Blake Cassels & Graydon LLP's Vancouver office for so generously making it possible for UVic to send a team to Toronto, and for all the coaching from Ed Kroft, Deborah Toaze and Eric Brown on the last Saturday before the competition. It makes all the difference to spend a day practising with leading tax litigators, and to have their continuing support as we make it through the first rounds.  Our other practice judges, Sointula Kirkpatrick, David Poore, Andre Rachert, Ryan Green and Shankar Kamath each asked us questions that enlarged our understanding of the case and we appreciate their willingness to devote so much time and thought to our preparation. Also special thanks to faculty coach Geoff Loomer for the hours and hours of working with us on our factums and hearing us practice our oral arguments. 

We didn't make the semifinals. "We were robbed", given the quality of our presentations at the two preliminary rounds each team clearly did win. But with 14 law schools competing, the Bowman is now one of the largest moot competitions in Canada, and only 4 teams can make it through. We are sure we were 3rd, both for appellants and respondents.

For the first time, a team (Sherbrooke) competed in both official languages. Samson and Jeremy had their first round against Sherbrooke, a strange experience as simultaneous translation headphones were handed out part way through. The mooter in French spoke extremely fast, and didn't face a single question!

Despite not winning, the experience was valuable and memorable. Meeting tax lawyers, TCC and FCA judges and other students from across the country who love talking about tax law was the prize for participation.

Winnipeg, March 3-4

The Canadian Negotiation Competition provides a means for law students to practice and improve their negotiating skills. The 1L competition simulates legal negotiations in which law students, acting as lawyers, negotiate a series of legal problems. 

The UVic round of the competition took place on Tuesday, February 7th.  The winners of the UVic Law round were first year Law students Emily Dyck and Jin-Zhi Pao who represented UVic at the national competition in Winnipeg. 

Thanks to Dentons, a law firm that generously supports UVic Law students, for sponsoring the UVic Law competition and the two students at the National Competition. 


Photo L-R:  Emily Dyck and Jin-Zhi Pao

Toronto, March 4

Students: Andhra Azevedo and Caitlyn Stockwell
Coaches: Mark Haddock and Sean Nixon

Willms and Shier Moot Team

Photo L-R: Chris Tollefson, Andhra Azevedo, Caitlyn Stockwell

Written by Chris Tollefson:

Andhra and Caitlin did us proud at Osgoode Hall Law Courts at the third semi-annual Willms Shier National Environmental Moot.  Western and Calgary finished one-two in a closely fought final match judged by Justice Rowe (of the SCC) and Justices Feldman and van Rensburg (of the Ont CA).  One of the most notable stories of the night, however, was that UVic won two of the six individual prizes for excellence in oral advocacy during the preliminary round, the only school to win more than one individual prize.

I had the privilege of judging in the semi-final round with Jerry DeMarco (associate Chair of Ontario’s Environmental Review Tribunal) and Diane Saxe (Ontario’s Environment Commissioner).  I also judged the written facta submitted by the 14 teams (with a colleague at uOttawa Law). The quality of mooting, oral and written, was very high overall, and several observers/mooters told me what a great team Andhra and Caitlin were together.

Unfortunately, as a judge, I was not able to watch them moot.  But we did enjoy a great dinner together debriefing later with various judges etc: including old friends Jerry DeMarco and Hugh Wilkins of the Ontario Environmental Review tribunal.

A very successful night for environmental law and UVic.  A tremendous amount of work goes into moots such as this — huge credit for steering that effort to this successful result belongs to our Faculty coaches, Sean Nixon and Mark Haddock.

Calgary, March 9-12

Students: Emily MacKinnon and Kean Silverthorn
Coaches:  John Borrows and Darcy Lindberg

Written by Kean Silverthorn:

The moot is named after a word of Cree origin that means "speaking with knowledge." The moot is unique in that it takes place in accordance with Aboriginal customs of peaceful negotiation and consensus-building rather than a typical adversarial moot competition.

The 2017 Kawaskimhon moot problem focused on a proposed pipeline, with parties from law schools across the country representing Canada, an Energy Consortium, Aboriginal Groups, and Advocacy Groups. We represented the Ontario Native Women's Assembly (ONWA), an advocacy group concerned with advancing the interests of Aboriginal women in Ontario.

Given the importance of the subject matter in discussion, the negotiations were often heated and emotional. Ultimately, ONWA secured significant funding for their mandate from Canada and the Energy Consortium, as well as succeeded in establishing hiring policies to ensure Aboriginal women benefitted through employment. ONWA also signed Memoranda of Understandings with the Aboriginal groups for additional funding and to facilitate the welcoming of disenfranchised women into their communities as beneficiaries of this project.

Kawaskimhon Moot Team

Photo L-R:  Emily MacKinnon and Kean Silverthorn

Toronto, March 4-5 (National Round)
Canterbury, England, April 19-22 (International Round)

Students:  Niles Bond, Kayli Clark, Robyn Finlay, Leila Hartford
Coaches:  Steve Perks, Andrew Pirie, Nicole Smith,

From Steve Perks:

UVic Law places first in the Canadian Client Consultation Competition held in Toronto.

We had two teams in this year, and they both competed well.  Niles Bond and Leila Hartford tied for third in the preliminary rounds.  Our coach travelling with the team, Nicole Smith, indicated that they performed brilliantly through those three rounds of competition. 

Our other team of Kayli Clark and Robyn Finley placed first in the preliminary rounds, and then prevailed through the semis and finals.  Their win was against strong competition of twelve teams from other law schools in Canada.  Kayli and Robyn have qualified to represent Canada in the International Client Consultation Competition in April, hosted by the University of Kent in Cambridge, England.  The coaches of the team have thoroughly enjoyed working with both teams.  

The Client Consultation Competition involves teams of two students interviewing clients played by actors, each with different legal problems as the team progresses through the several rounds.  It models the situation of a first interview with a new client, applying knowledge and skills in legal interviewing, legal analysis, dispute resolution, and professional responsibility and ethics.    

CCC Team

Photo L-R: Kayli Clark, Robyn Finley, Niles Bond, and Leila Hartford