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2024 Competitive Moots

Posted by Amanda Kirby-Sheppard on February 1, 2024 in News, Students

Every year, our students have an opportunity to practice their skills at competitive moots across Canada and internationally. Each team puts months of dedication and hard work into preparing for competition. No matter the results, we are proud to have them represent Schulich Law.

We'll be sharing our 2024 competitive mooting results as they become available. Check back for updates.

Isaac Moot

From left: Agha Saadaf, Eni Oguntona, Christina Tellez, Lorenze Cromwell and Maria Dugas.

Isaac Moot Results

When: January 31-February 3, 2024
Where: Toronto, Ontario
Team Members: Lorenze Cromwell, Eni Oguntona, Agha Saadaf and Christina Tellez
Coaches: Professor Maria Dugas, Brandon Rolle, Lee Seshagiri and Professor Michelle Williams

The Isaac Moot is named after Julius Alexander Isaac, who was the first Black judge to sit on the Federal Court of Canada. The moot was established by the Black Law Students’ Association of Canada and focuses on areas of law in which equity, diversity, and racism issues arise and often incorporates elements of critical race theory into the problem. This year's problem addressed a complicated land borders issue from a critical race perspective.

Despite great performances during the preliminary rounds, the Schulich Law teams did not make it to the final round.

"Lorenze, Eni, Agha, and Christina were incredible representatives of the law school. I was impressed by their advocacy, their work ethic, and the camaraderie and support for each other," says coach Maria Dugas.

Special thanks to Brandon Rolle for leading the team. 

National Labour Arbitration Competition

From left: Michaela Hill and Lucas Paniak

National Labour Arbitration Competition Results

When: February 2-4, 2024
Where: Toronto, Ontario
Team Members: Michaela Hill and Lucas Paniak
Coaches: Professor Liam McHugh-Russell and Gus Richardson

Congratulations to the Schulich School of Law team for an exceptional performance at the 26th annual National Labour Arbitration Competition, held from February 2-4 at the offices of the Ontario Labour Relations Board in Toronto.

This year’s competition turned on two cutting-edge issues raised by the increasing use of large language models and other AI tools in the workplace. First, how should employers respond to employees who use AI tools without authorization, and can they be fired in the absence of explicit workplace policies on the question? Second, how should the law respond, and what responsibilities should employers have, in cases where AI-driven automation and new technologies lead to worker redundancy and layoff? 

The moot, hosted by Mathews Dinsdale and Clark LLP, requires teams to participate in rounds of argument for both the union and the employer sides of an arbitration.

Schulich Law students Michaela Hill and Lucas Paniak put in a superlative performance. Their presentations made a significant impression, not just on the judges who were drawn from the union- and employer-side labour bar and practicing arbitrators, but on members of the audience as well.

Ultimately, Hill and Paniak were not selected to participate in the final round and the victory in the competition went to the team from the University of Toronto.

Thank you to everyone who supported the team, including the labour and employment lawyers from Pink Larkin and McInnes Cooper who watched two dry runs of the argument and gave invaluable feedback.

Gale Cup Moot

From left: Analia Silveira, Noah Archibald, Erica Koresawa, Davin Portz, Olivia Ramos and Kristyn Stevens.

Gale Cup Moot Results

When: February 9-10, 2024
Where: Toronto, Ontario
Team Members: Noah Archibald, Davin Portz, Olivia Ramos and Analia Silveira
Coaches: Erica Koresawa and Kristyn Stevens

A group of Schulich Law students traveled to Toronto, Ontario to take part in the 51st Gale Cup Moot. Teams from 19 law schools across the country mooted the case of R. v. Beaver, a decision of the Supreme Court of Canada, before sitting trial and appellate court judges.

Davin Portz and Analia Silveira represented the Appellant, Mr. Beaver; Noah Archibald and Olivia Ramos represented the Respondent Crown.

Although the Schulich Law team did not advance to the finals, they received some well-deserved recognition being named Best Team Not in Finals, while teammate Olivia Ramos won the Dickson Medal for Exceptional Oralist Performance.

"The entire Schulich Law team demonstrated great poise, persuasiveness, and advocacy skills. Each student crafted their written and oral submissions through weeks and months of labour-intensive refinement. And all that hard work truly paid off," says coaches Erica Koresawa and Kristyn Stevens. "We are very proud of the Schulich Law team!”

McKelvey Cup Moot

From left: Erin Cadigan, Madame Justice Maya Hamou (Judge of the Court of King’s Bench of New Brunswick, Trial Division), Ella Peterson, Marley Caddell and Liam Frazer.

McKelvey Cup Moot Results

When: February 10-11, 2024
Where: Fredericton, New Brunswick
Team Members: Marley Caddell, Erin Cadigan, Liam Frazer and Ella Peterson
Coaches: Brian Casey KC, Kathryn Piché, Michael Scott and Jeremy Smith

The team representing the Schulich School of Law had a strong showing at the McKelvey Cup in Fredericton, New Brunswick.

The McKelvey Cup is a trial moot in which students do a mock jury trial. Each student does a direct examination and a cross-examination, and students do either an opening or a closing statement. The McKelvey Cup is the regional competition for the Sopinka Cup.

The Schulich Law Crown team of Ella Peterson and Erin Cadigan competed against the defence team from the University of New Brunswick. The Schulich Law defence team of Marley Caddell and Liam Frazer took on the University of Moncton in their trial.

The winner of the competition was the University of New Brunswick defeating the University of Moncton in the third trial. The Chief Justice of New Brunswick was an assessor at the competition and the event was judged by senior members of the trial bar.

“It is so satisfying to watch our students develop trial skills and then perform so well under pressure,” says coach Brian Casey, KC.

This is the 24th year of the competition, which is sponsored by Stewart McKelvey, the Advocates Society, and the American College of Trial Lawyers.

Stetson International Environmental Moot Court Competition

From left: Kevin Berk, Samuel Eisner and Kate Love

Stetson International Environmental Moot (North American Regional Rounds) Results

When: February 15-17, 2024
Where: Online, hosted virtually by the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa
Team Members: Samuel Eisner and Kate Love
Coach: Kevin Berk

Congratulations to the Schulich School of Law team on a strong finish at the North American Regional Rounds of the Stetson International Environmental Moot Court Competition, hosted virtually by the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa from February 15-17.

The Stetson International Environmental Law Moot is the foremost international moot which focuses exclusively on global environmental challenges such as conservation, sustainability, and climate change. The students are tasked with mooting before a simulated panel of the International Court of Justice, which is made up of a combination of members, esteemed judges, and practitioners.

The problem for this year’s moot concerned the development of a pipeline by a European state through the habitat of an endangered species of gorillas in an African state.

Schulich Law students Samuel Eisner and Kate Love performed superbly, finishing second in the preliminary seeding rounds and advancing to the semi-finals where they went on to lose to the University of Chicago, the eventual winner of the moot.

While they were disappointed to finish just one spot shy of qualifying for the International Finals at Stetson University in Florida, they were proud to be recognized with the award for Best Factum. Love was also named the North American Regional Round’s Top Oralist.

Jessup Moot

From left: Kat Doige, Victoria Bryce, Kaitlyn Clarke and Caleb MacDonald.

Jessup Moot Results

When: February 22-24, 2024
Where: Ottawa, Ontario
Team Members: Victoria Bryce, Kaitlyn Clarke, Kat Doige and Caleb MacDonald
Coaches: Professor Rob Currie, Sarah Douglas and Sarah MacLeod

The Canadian rounds of the 2024 Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition were held in Ottawa from February 22-24, and hosted by the Canadian Council on International Law. The competition featured a hypothetical public international law case between two countries that had various legal disputes.

Victoria Bryce and Kat Doige, as Applicants, mooted against students from three other law schools, while Kaitlyn Clarke and Caleb MacDonald did the same as Respondents. All four showed terrific advocacy skills and drew many comments on the high quality of their advocacy from the judges they faced, most of whom were Ottawa-based international law practitioners.

While they did not advance to the final rounds, they did win prizes for Second Place Respondent Memorial, Fourth Place Memorials overall, and Kat Doige was judged Sixth Overall Oral Advocate.

"I was so pleased and honoured to coach this group, a bunch of able and very classy individuals,” says coach Rob Currie. “The team and I are so grateful to our deputy coaches, Sarah Douglas of McInnes Cooper and Sarah MacLeod of Burchell Wickwire Bryson, both Jessup alums themselves, who poured their time and energy into assisting the students.”

The team would like to thank the many practice judges who donated their time in the weeks leading up to the competition, including: Professors Saunders, Galvao Ferreira, Chircop, Seck and Vanderzwaag; Dal grad Bruce MacGregor; and their friends from Dalhousie’s Legal Counsel office, Pink Larkin, Stewart McKelvey, McInnes Cooper, Burchell Wickwire Bryson, and the Halifax office of the Judge Advocate General. A special thanks to Elizabeth Sanford in the Dean’s Office who, as always, provided invaluable assistance.

Willms & Shier Environmental Law Moot

From left: Kevin Berk, Sydney Fougere and Leo Bourgeois

Willms & Shier Environmental Law Moot Results

When: February 24, 2024
Where: Toronto, Ontario
Team Members: Leo Bourgeois and Sydney Fougere
Coach: Kevin Berk

Congratulations to the Schulich School of Law team for an exceptional performance at the Willms & Shier Environmental Law Moot, held February 24, 2024 at the Federal Court of Canada in Toronto.

The Willms & Shier Environmental Law Moot is Canada’s only domestically focused environmental law moot. Its goal is to promote awareness of the growing role of environmental issues in contemporary legal practice and public life, while enhancing law students’ written and oral advocacy skills.

This year’s problem simulated an appeal of the British Columbia Court of Appeal’s decision in Victory Motors (Abbotsford) Ltd. v. Actton Super-Save Gas Stations Ltd., 2021 BCCA 129.

The Schulich Law team of Leo Bourgeois and Sydney Fougere mooted admirably before two panels of distinguished members of the Canadian Environmental Law Bar. While the team unfortunately did not advance to the semi-final round, Fougere was recognized as one of six Distinguished Oralists.

“I am extremely proud of the students’ efforts and am grateful for the opportunity to work with them. I am particularly encouraged by their efforts in finding creative solutions to environmental problems and their strong commitment to environmental justice,” says coach Kevin Berk. “We would also like to thank everyone who assisted as a guest judge in our practice rounds. We are very grateful for their support.”

Laskin Moot

From left: Liz Marr, Rebecca Waxman, Manon Landry, Alida Doelle and Sophie Cameron-Howe.

Laskin Moot Results

When: February 29-March 2, 2024
Where: Calgary, Alberta
Team Members: Sophie Cameron-Howe, Alida Doelle, Liz Marr and Rebecca Waxman
Coaches: Manon Landry and Jeremy Ryant

The Schulich School of Law was one of 18 law schools that participated in the 2024 Laskin Moot in Calgary, Alberta. The Laskin is an annual national bilingual moot court competition in Canadian administrative and constitutional law. 

This year’s problem explored the constitutionality of (hypothetical) legislation that created a federal tribunal to adjudicate commercial disputes involving artificial intelligence. Students also addressed issues of procedural fairness that arose during one of the tribunal's hearings. 

The Appellants, Liz Marr and Rebecca Waxman, and the Respondents, Sophie Cameron-Howe and Alida Doelle, participated in two regular rounds where they addressed tough but fair questions from the bench which included the Honourable Elizabeth Walker and the Honourable Donald Rennie of the Federal Court of Appeal, the Honourable Jolaine Antonio of the Alberta Court of Appeal, and the Honourable Nicholas McHaffie of the Federal Court.

“The team displayed exceptional advocacy skills and collegiality in the face of their challenges,” says coach Manon Landry, explaining that a multi-day snowstorm at the beginning of the event cancelled flights for the Schulich Law coaches, leaving the students to compete without them on Friday.

While the University of Ottawa was the ultimate winner of the Laskin Moot, Schulich Law student Alida Doelle took home the prize for Third Place Oralist out of a field of 72 competitors.

“It was tons of fun to work with this awesome group of students,” says coach Jeremy Ryant. “The mooters approached the problem with an impressive work ethic and gained valuable skills in the process. They crushed it!”

Bowman National Tax Moot

From left: Sashin Narayan, Michael Cormier, Payton Tench, Harper Metler and Amy Pettigrew.

Bowman Tax Moot Results

When: March 1-2, 2024
Where: Toronto, Ontario
Team Members: Michael Cormier, Harper Metler, Sashin Narayan and Amy Pettigrew
Coaches: Kim Brooks and Payton Tench

Congratulations to the Schulich School of Law team for an exceptional performance at the Donald G.H. Bowman National Tax Moot, held on March 1-2 at the Federal Courts Building in Toronto.

The team worked hard over the past few months grappling with issues from Deans Knight Income Corporation v Canada, which focused on the general anti-avoidance rule and abusive tax avoidance.

Michael Cormier and Sashin Narayan, as the Appellants, and Harper Metler and Amy Pettigrew, as Respondents, mooted against two teams in the preliminary rounds. All four students showed terrific advocacy skills in front of a set of extremely active benches that included many tax practitioners, along with the Honourable David Stratas, the Honourable Scott Bodie, the Honourable Wyman Webb, the Honourable Siobhan Monaghan, the Honourable Nathalie Goyette, and the Honourable Monica Biringer.

The hard work and dedication of the Schulich Law Respondent team of Metler and Pettigrew earned them the distinction of Best Respondent Team as they advanced to the finals, beating out 15 other teams.

Ultimately, it was Queen’s University that swept the board, taking home the Best Appellant Factum, Best Respondent Factum and Best Team Overall awards. 

Thanks to the faculty members and local practitioners who helped the students prepare for the competition, and an extra special thank you to co-coach Payton Tench, who accompanied the Schulich Law team to Toronto.

Canadian National Negotiation Competition

From left: Bryan Rice, Amanda Cash, Zheng (Sharon) Zhang and Elena Solimano.

Canadian National Negotiation Competition Results

When: March 1-2, 2024
Where: Faculty of Law, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec
Team Members: Amanda Cash, Bryan Rice, Elena Solimano and Zheng (Sharon) Zhang
Coaches: Folami Jones and Mcfarlane (Marc) Njoh

Following Schulich Law’s inaugural foray into the Canadian National Negotiation Competition (CNNC) last year, a group of Dalhousie students travelled to McGill University’s Faculty of Law in Montreal, Quebec, to take part in this year’s event.

The CNNC brings together law students from schools across Canada to practice and improve their negotiation and problem-solving skills, simulating negotiations in which teams of two law students, acting as lawyers, negotiate a series of legal and business problems – in English or French.

The winning team goes on to represent Canada at the International Negotiation Competition, with teams from law schools around the world.  

This year's competition theme was "Negotiating Sustainability” and focused on issues relating to sustainable business practices, opportunities, and challenges under the auspices of McGill University’s Sustainable Growth Initiative.

Amanda Cash, Bryan Rice, Elena Solimano and Zhang Zheng proudly represented the Schulich School of Law.

“The students were excellent and represented Dalhousie across the board powerfully,” says coach Marc Njoh. “Several judges were impressed and said that our teams were a very strong contender for the top spots.”

Njoh adds, “In a world with growing complexity and nuance, skilled and effective negotiators are the catalyst to problem-solving at its finest. They are the gladiators of the present and the future.”

Davies Corporate/Securities Law Moot

From left: Christian Arseneau, Louise Abramowitz, Jacob Hatfield and Terence Bernard.

Davies Corporate/Securities Law Moot Results

When: March 8-9, 2024
Where: Toronto, Ontario
Team Members: Louise Abramowitz, Christian Arseneau, Terence Bernard and Jacob Hatfield
Coaches: John Boyle and Brianne Rudderham

Congratulations to the Schulich School of Law team for an exceptional performance at the Davies Corporate/Securities Law Moot, which took place from March 8-9 in Toronto and was sponsored by the law firm Davies, Ward, Phillips & Vineberg LLP.

Recognized as the leading event of its kind in the country, this moot provides an opportunity for top students from Canadian law schools to debate current legal issues in corporate and securities law with senior practitioners from Toronto law firms and corporations, regulators from the Ontario Securities Commission, and judges from several courts.

This year’s problem explored a variety of issues including directors’ duties, the exercise of contractual discretion in good faith, damage awards for breach of an Arrangement Agreement, and knowing assistance of a breach of fiduciary duties.

Schulich Law’s team, comprised of Louise Abramowitz, Christian Arseneau, Terence Bernard and Jacob Hatfield, placed third overall out of 13 universities, and Arseneau was awarded 2nd place for Top Oralist.

“It was great getting to work with such a talented group of students,” says coach John Boyle. “We were ecstatic to see their dedication resulted in such a strong performance.”

Kawaskimhon National Aboriginal Moot

From left: Kate Anderson, Ryan Myers, Shaughnessy Dow and Devon Campbell.

Kawaskimhon National Aboriginal Moot Results

When: March 8-9, 2024
Where: Kamloops, British Columbia
Team Members: Kate Anderson, Devon Campbell, Shaughnessy Dow and Ryan Myers
Coaches: Ashley Hamp-Gonsalves and Roy Stewart

Congratulations to the Schulich School of Law teams for their excellent performances at the Kawaskimhon National Aboriginal Moot, hosted by the Faculty of Law at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops, BC, from March 8-9.

The Kawaskimhon Moot is a consensus-based, non-adversarial moot that incorporates Indigenous legal traditions alongside federal, provincial, and international law, and concepts of dispute resolution. Teams may represent a variety of parties (depending on the nature of the moot problem) such as First Nations, Band Councils, traditional Chiefs’ organizations, government agencies, and industry.

Mooters participate in roundtable negotiations on a particular topic in Indigenous law, representing their assigned party’s positions to their circles. Facilitators guide the discussions with the goal of reaching a consensus. There are no competitive awards. Instead, the Kawaskimhon Moot allows students to deepen their understanding of Indigenous legal issues and Aboriginal law.

This year, teams represented a variety of parties in negotiations to develop a governance agreement concerning territories impacted by the development of a pipeline. The students from Schulich Law represented industry and a First Nation and successfully negotiated on behalf of their clients.   

“The Kawaskimhon Moot represents a unique and valuable opportunity for students to meaningfully engage with Indigenous laws while also learning about negotiation strategy first-hand,” says coach Ashley Hamp-Gonsalves. “The Schulich Law teams were thoughtful and skilled leaders at their respective tables and worked with all parties to achieve a mutually agreeable and beneficial resolution.”