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Mooting

moot: /muːt/
Law (n) - a mock judicial proceeding set up to examine a hypothetical case as an academic exercise: "the object of a moot is to provide practice in developing an argument"    (Oxford Dictionary)


First-year mooting

All first-year law students participate in an exercise in written and oral advocacy as part of their small group work. Materials and guidelines are given out by their small group professor. We encourage students to attend the Smith Shield Mooting Competition (normally held in October) to get a sense of what mooting is all about. We also encourage students to attend a second year moot when oral submissions are presented in February.

Second-year mooting

All second-year law students participate in the Second Year Moot. This moot is spread out over the fall and winter terms in second year and counts for 0.5 credits per term (1 credit total). Students are marked on an Honours/Pass/Fail scale.

The program involves

  • Attending lectures on advocacy skills, including: persuasive legal writing, preparation of factums, proper courtroom decorum, and oral advocacy
  • Observing the Smith Shield Moot conducted by the top mooters chosen from last year's class
  • Mooting a hypothetical case. You will be assigned a moot problem and your particular side (appellant or respondent)
  • Drafting a factum. This is intended as an advocacy exercise with limits placed on the amount of research required (eg, students may cite no more than five cases; no more than two secondary sources; and only relevant legislation)
  • Exchanging factums with opposing counsel. Consistent with appellate practice, the appellants' factums are due before respondents' factums, to give respondent counsel an opportunity to respond in writing
  • Presenting oral arguments during the winter term

Second- & Third-Year Competitive Moots

Competitive mooting is a challenging, exciting, and rewarding way to sharpen and develop written and oral advocacy skills, work together as a team, compete with students from law schools across Canada and the US, travel -- and have fun!

You'll go deep into an area of law, researching and preparing arguments with your team and the supervision of your coach. Some of the finest members of our bar and bench then work with your team to help you prepare and practice your oral presentation.

We have a strong history of mooting, and we encourage you consider competitive mooting in your second and third year of law school.

The Smith Shield Moot

A prestigious Dalhousie mooting tradition for over 85 years

2016 Smith Shield Moot winners announced!

Congratulations to Nina Butz and Vinayak Mishra, this year’s winners of the Smith Shield Moot, and to Lisa Delaney and Nick Hooper, who were awarded the Leonard A. Kitz Prize in Advocacy. Superb mooting, team!

2016 Smith Shield Mooters (l to r): Nick Hooper, Nina Butz, Vinayak Mishra, and Lisa Delaney

One of the highlights of the academic year, the Smith Shield Moot sees four of the law school's best mooters make their arguments before a distinguished panel of judges.

It's a great opportunity for first-year students to learn about mooting in advance of first- and second-year moots, for second-year students to see how it is done as you prepare for second-year moot competitions, and for the entire community to cheer on our great future advocates!

Established in 1927, previous winners of this prestigious event include distinguished alumni such as Mr Justice Louis Dubinsky, Madame Justice Bertha Wilson, Frank Covert, George Piercey, Bill Cox, Ronald St John Mcdonald, David Chipman, and professors and deans such as Bill Charles, Bruce Archibald, Wayne MacKay, Phil Saunders, Steve Coughlan, and Elizabeth Hughes.

The 2016 Smith Shield Moot Competition:

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History: Smith Shield Moot Court Finals

2016

AS Pattillo Prize in Advocacy: Nina Butz & Vinayak Mishra
Leonard A Kitz Prize in Advocacy: Lisa Delaney & Nick Hooper
2015 AS Pattillo Prize in Advocacy: Emily Hansen & Kathryn Piché
Leonard A Kitz Prize in Advocacy: James Boyle & Lauren Soubolsky
2013 AS Pattillo Prize in Advocacy: Agathon Fric & Mary-Elizabeth Dill
Leonard A Kitz Prize in Advocacy: Jacqueline Byers & Mark MacAulay
2013 AS Pattillo Prize in Advocacy: Ryan Lebans & David Shore
Leonard A Kitz Prize in Advocacy: Elizabeth McIsaac & Lesley Sawers
2012 Stefan Currie-Roberts & Danielle Daigle
2011 Sara Mahaney & Michael Murphy
2010 Amber Penney & Patrick Quilty
2009 Brian Kuchar & Michael Madden
2008 Cindy Locke & Shaun MacMillan
2007 Leah Anderson & David Mollica
2006 Lindsay Bailey & Sarah Pottle
2005 Jonathan Coady & Shenade Walker
2004 Bob Mann & Anne Tardif
2003 Kenna Graham & Emilie Taman
2002 Jillian Frank & Scott Nesbitt
2001 Elizabeth Hughes & Patricia Kely
2000 Rema Jamous & John Rice
1999 Sean Doyle & Monica McQueen
1998 Sean Foreman & Robert MacGregor
1997 Karen O'Neill & John Wilkin
1996 Elizabeth Richards & Scott Worsfold
1995 Pamela Marche & Tamie-Jo Mean
1994 George Clarke & Ted Livingstone
1993 Subrata Bhattacharjee & John Craig
1992 Dale Ives & Stephen Pitel
1991 James Cruickshank & Heather Jones
1990 Chris English & Suellen Murray
1989 Joy Noonan-Bayne & Karen Manarin
1988 Helen Davies & Alnasir Meghji  
1987 Michael Coyle & James Phillips
1986 Gail Rudderham & Karen Wacko
1985 Steven Coughlan & Bois Wilson
1984 J Andrew Coombs & Phillip Saunders
1983 Dolfi Marie Havlovic & Greig MacLeod
1982 David Michael Bulger & Nola Dawn Keeler
1981 Michael Emerson Dunphy & John Vincent Barry O'Dea
1980 Roger John Aveling & Bruce MacLeod Thomson
1979 Richard Charles Baker & Normal Gerhard Letalik
1978 Alexander Wayne MacKay & Graydon Douglas Lally
1977 Joseph Samuel Hutchings & Frans Felling Slatter
1976 Jo Ann Carmichael & David Glen Fredericksen
1975 Brian Patrick O'Leary & Jonathan Callum Kerr Stobie
1974 Bruce Parkinson Archibald & Mary D MacGregor Gass  
1973 Gregory Ian North & Jamie WS Saunders  
1972 Frank Stephen Borowicz & Ian Chambers
1971 Brian Charles Crocker & Stanley Bruce Outhouse
1970 Patrick Howard Curran & George Williston MacDonald
1969 John Michael Baigent & Scott Ian Bushnell
1968 Patrick James Furlong & Joseph Gerald Godsoe
1967 Leo Denis Barry & Norman Harry Carruthers
1966 John Sinclair Burns & Michael Francis O'Dea
1965 Michael Richard Boyce & George Thomas H Cooper
1964 Franklyn Ephraim Cappell & Derril Thomas Warren
1963 Robert Hubbell Barrigan & Harold Hugh MacKay
1962 Lawrence Joseph Hayes & Gordon Neville Kent
1961 Vincent de Paul Burke & Arthur George H Fordham  
1960 Edward John Finn & Frederick Murray Fraser
1959 James Thomas MacQuarrie & Gloria Frederica Jessica Read
1958 William HR Charles & George Francis Wallace Inrig
1957 John Charters & Bertha Wilson
1956 Sarah Roper & Thurlow Bradbrooke Smith
1955 George Bingham Cooper & John Patrick Nowlan
1954 Donald J Burke & Benson T Douglas
1953 David Ritchie Chipman & William Joseph Smith
1952 Bernard Bruce Lockwood & Ronald St John Macdonald
1951 George Cecil Loucks & Richard Laurence Miller
1950 No available record
1949 Arthur William Cox & Nathaniel Stewart Noel
1941 - 1948 No available record  
1940 Francis Leo Cocoran & George Charles Piercey
1939 John Horace Dickey & Stuart Clarke Lane
1938 Francis Neil MacLeod & James Bryce Milner
1937 Thomas Babbitt Parlee & Benson Audrey Rogers
1936 Edward Francis Arab & Harold Palmatary Connor
1935 Irving Charles Pink & Allan Burgess Ramsay
1934 John Bernard McEvoy & Arthur Louis Thurlow
1933 Justin Louis Dubinsky & William Harry Jost
1932 Robert Thomas Donald & John A Young MacDonald
1931 Walter William Vassie Foster & William Gerald Stewart
1930 Ronald Joseph MacDonald & Gordon Eugene MacMillan
1929 Gerald John Redmond & Kenneth Sanford Smith
1928 Frank Manning Covert & Duncan MacLellan
1927 Michael Alban Farmer & Albert Joseph Walsh

 

 

 

Moots offered for credit:

Bowman National Tax Moot

LAWS 2245 - An annual appellate level moot competition that focuses on tax law. This national moot was first held in 2011. The first team of students from the Schulich School of Law will compete in 2014.

The Bowman National Tax Moot is named after the Honourable Donald G Bowman, former Chief Justice of the Tax Court of Canada. The Moot offers law students an opportunity to take part in a simulated tax court proceeding. It is held annually at the Tax Court in Toronto.

Subject: Taxation law
Coach: Professor Geoffrey Loomer
Geoffrey.Loomer@dal.ca
902-494-1004
Moot website: www.bowmantaxmoot.com
Requirements: (1) 3rd year students only
(2) Taxation law completed in second year or first term of third year
(3) Preference may be given to students enrolled in a second taxation course
Number of students: 4
Number of credit hours: 3 (Winter)
Where: Toronto, Ontario
When: Preparation begins in November. The moot takes place in March.
Selection process: Selected by application in the Winter term of second year for team participation in third year.
Evaluation: Grade is based written factum, moot team participation, and moot performance. This course satisfies the major paper writing requirement, if the student wishes to count the moot as a major paper.
Recent History:
2015 & 2016 N/A  
2014
Team: TBD
Coach: Dean Kim Brooks
 

 

Canadian Labour Arbitration Moot

LAWS 2177 - A Canadian Labour Arbitration moot.

The Canadian Labour Arbitration Moot is organized and hosted by the Toronto law firm Mathews Dinsdale & Clark. Eight Canadian law schools participate in this annual moot competition. Team members must be in their second year of law school.

This competition will be of particular interest to students who wish to pursue a career in labour law, as it provides an opportunity to develop research and advocacy skills in labour law and also to meet labour law practitioners, arbitrators, and law students from across Canada who are also interested in labour law.

Subject: Labour law
Coach: Professor Lorraine Lafferty
lorraine.lafferty@dal.ca
902-494-1296
Requirements: (1) 2nd year students only
(2) enrolment in Labour Law in fall term of 2013
(3) enrolment in Administration of the Collective Agreement (when offered)
Number of students: 2
Number of credit hours: 2 (Winter)
Where: Ontario Labour Relations Board, Toronto, Ontario
When: Preparation begins in early October. The competition takes place in late January.
Selection process: Based on enrollment in Labour Law in the first term, an interview (held in early September), and 1st year marks.
Evaluation: Grade is based on participation on the team, including quality of research, preparation for and performance at the national competition.
Recent History:
2016 Team: Andrew Mercer, Will McLennan
Coaches: Professors Lorraine Lafferty & Eric Slone
 
2014 Team: Nicholas Sharratt, Amanda Shaw
Coach: Professor Lorraine Lafferty
 
2013 Team: James Foy, Ashley Schuitema 
Coach: Professor Lorraine Lafferty
 

2012


Team: Danielle Daigle, Brent Matkowski
Coach: Professor Lorraine Lafferty
  • 2nd place

 

Corporate/Securities Law Moot

LAWS 2144 - An annual Canadian corporate and securities law moot competition. At this competition, each team member participates in two preliminary rounds; and in each round, is required to argue a different side of the case.

The Canadian Corporate/Securities Moot is sponsored by the Toronto law firm of Davies, Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP, and is open to second and third year students.

Subject: Corporate and securities law
Coach: Professor Sarah Bradley
sarahbradley@dal.ca
902-494-1009
Requirements: (1) Business Associations
Number of students: 4
Number of credit hours: 3 (Winter)
Where: Toronto, Ontario
When: Preparation begins in January. The moot takes place in late February/early March.
Selection process: Selected on the basis of written applications, and on a student's stated interest in participation, prior experience, oral advocacy skills and academic record.
Evaluation: Grade is based on research, factum and oral advocacy. This course satisfies the major paper writing requirement, if the student wishes to count the moot as a major paper.
Recent History:
2016 Team: Elizabeth Brachaniec, Adam Nickerson, Rachel Fridhandler, Roy Argand
Coach: Professor Jennifer Campbell
 
2013 Team: Julia Agapitos, Alex MacMillan, Danielle Marechal, Hunter Parsons
Coach: Professor Sarah Bradley
 

2012

Team: David Coll-Black, Brandon Holden, Lucy L'Hirondelle and Mary Anne Vallianatos
Coach: Professor Sarah Bradley
  • 5th overall
2011

Team: James Bishop, Jennifer Campbell, Peter Newman, David Ross
Coach: Professor Sarah Bradley
  • 1st place
  • top factum

 

Gale Cup Moot

LAWS 2107 - A national appellate level mooting competition.

The Gale Cup awarded in this national competition is named for the Honourable George Gale, former Chief Justice of Ontario. The Dickson Medal, honouring the former Chief Justice Brian Dickson, is awarded to the student who demonstrates excellence in oral advocacy at the competition.

Subject: Criminal law (usually)
Coach: Mark Scott
scottam@gov.ns.ca
902-424-2864
Moot website: www.galecupmoot.com
Requirements: (1) 3rd year students only
(2) availability during Reading Week in February to prepare for or participate in the competition
Number of students: 4
Number of credit hours: 3 (Winter)
Where: Ontario Court of Appeal, Osgoode Hall, Toronto, Ontario
When: Preparation begins in the fall term. The competition takes place in late February (sometimes during Reading Week).
Selection process: By application in the Winter term of second year for team participation in third year.
Evaluation:

Grade is based on moot performance.

This course satisfies the major paper writing requirement, if the student wishes to count the moot as a major paper.

Recent History:
2016 Team: Shane Belbin, Mitchell Gallant, Emily Hansen, Salvador Pimentel
Coach: Mark Scott
 
2013 Team: Maria Constantine, Johanna Goosen, Scott Murray, Gordon Shotwell
Coach: Mark Scott
 

2012

Team: Mark Chandler, Conor Doyle, Sarah Greenwood, Shannon McAvenue
Coaches: Mark Heerema & Mark Scott
 

 

Jessup International Law Moot

LAWS 2103 - An international law mooting competition in which national finalists compete in international finals.

The Jessup Moot is sponsored by the International Law Students Association, based in Washington DC.  Phillip Jessup, for whom the competition is named, was one of America's most respected jurists on the International Court of Justice.

Subject: Public international law
Coach: Professor Rob Currie
Robert.Currie@dal.ca
902-494-1012
Moot website: www.ilsa.org/jessuphome
Requirements: (1) 3rd year students only
(2) an International Law course is strongly recommended but not required
Number of students: 4
Number of credit hours: 3 (Winter)
Where: Regional location varies.
When: Preparation begins in September. The competition takes place in February or March.
Selection process: By an application process, possibly involving a mock oral argument, in Winter term of second year, for team participation in third year.
Evaluation:

Grade is based on moot performance.

This course satisfies the major paper writing requirement, if the student wishes to count the moot as a major paper.

Recent History:
2016 Team: Brett Carlson, Erryl Taggart, Jane Loyer, Greg Melchin
Coach: Professor Robert Currie
 
2013 Team: Francesca Ferguson, Jennifer Groenewold, Jennifer Huygen, Tiffany O'Hearn
Coach: Professor Robert Currie
  • 6th place

2012

Team: Susan Fader, Victoria Novak, Sarah Shiels, Darren Vallentgoed
Coach: Professor Robert Currie
 
2011
Team: Allan Doolittle, Jenna Wates, Sean McCarroll and Thomas O'Leary
Coach: John Hope
  • 4th place
    >  Past achievements

Kawaskimhon National Aboriginal Rights Moot

LAWS 2206 - A two-day national moot competition based on a high-profile case where Aboriginal rights are at issue.

Kawaskimhon means "speaking with knowledge". This moot is a combination of oral argument based on a written factum and negotiation, and is structured on the traditional Aboriginal talking circle model for consensus-building.

Subject: Aboriginal law
Coach: Naiomi Metallic
nmetallic@burchells.ca
902-423-6361
Requirements: (1) Aboriginal Law
Number of students: 2
Number of credit hours: 3 (Winter)
Where: Location varies.
When: Preparation begins in December. The competition takes place in March.
Selection process:

(1)  Open to both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal students
(2)  Preference is given to 3rd year students
(3)  The Selection Committee will consider, among other factors:

  • Academic achievement
  • Achievement in closely-related law school subjects
  • Performance in any moot exercise, requirement, course or setting
  • Record of commitment to Aboriginal justice issues
  • Career plans that may relate to Aboriginal justice issues
  • Membership or affiliation with any Aboriginal community
  • Any other feature of the applicant’s background, experience or plans which closely relates to the Aboriginal moot
  • Participation in any interview, competition, selection process at the discretion of the Selection Committee
Evaluation: Grade is based on research, written factum and performance and participation as a member of the moot team both during preparation and during the moot itself.
Recent History:
2016 Team: Jim Boyle, Michael Megalli 
Coach: Naiomi Metallic
 
2013 Team: Kate Fairbrother, Shannon Payne 
Coach: Naiomi Metallic
  • Our negotiation table was the only table of three able to reach consensus at the event

2012

Team: Zeynep Husrevoglu, David Taylor
Coach: Professor Constance MacIntosh
 
2011
Team: José Rodriguez, Fraser Thomson
Coach: Professor Constance MacIntosh
 

Laskin Moot

LAWS 2039 -  Canada's national bilingual constitutional and administrative law moot court competition.

This moot is named for Bora Laskin, former Chief Justice of Canada. At least 16 Canadian law schools usually participate in this competition.

Subject: Constitutional & administrative law (public law)
Coach: Professor Vaughan Black Vaughan.Black@dal.ca
902-494-1011
Moot website: laskin.ca
Requirements: (1) 3rd year students only
(2) at least one team member must be capable of mooting in French
(3) co-requisites: Constitutional Law and Administrative Law not later than Fall term of 3rd year
Number of students: 4
Number of credit hours: 3 (Winter)
Where: Location varies
When: Preparation begins in the fall term. The moot takes place in mid-to-late February.
Selection process: By application in the Winter term of second year for team participation in third year.
Evaluation: Grade is based on research, factum and oral performance.
This course satisfies the major paper writing requirement, if the student wishes to count the moot as a major paper.
Recent History:
2016 Team: Esher Madhur, Edward Murphy, Killian McParland, Rebecca Stiles
Coach: Professor Jodi Lazare
 
2013
Team:
Dave Badham, Bailey Duller, Len Loewith, Tejas Madhur
Coach: Professor Philip Girard
  • Appellant team competed in finals
  • Three team members ranked as top 25 oralists (out of 72) – a result matched only by U of T & Queen's

2012

Team: Micah Goldstein, Zeynep Husrevoglu, David Taylor, Lenie Tessier-Beaulieu
Coach: Professor Angus Gibbon
  • 4th place factum
2011
Team: James Armstrong, Nadine Barnes, Matthew Parsons, Gillian Scarlett
Coach: Angus Gibbon
  • 4th place factum
    >  Past achievements

McKelvey Cup/Sopinka Cup Trial Advocacy Moot

LAWS 2171 - A regional and national criminal trial advocacy competion.

The two-person winning team from the McKelvey Cup Competition represents the region at the National Sopinka Trial Advocacy Competition. Every 4th year, a second team will participate at the national level. No extra credit is given for participation in the Sopinka Cup Competition.

Subject: Criminal law
Coaches: Brian Casey
bcasey@boyneclarke.ns.ca
902-469-9500

Mike Scott
mscott@pattersonlaw.ca
902-405-8188
Moot website: www.actl.com
Requirements: (1) Enrolment in Sponika/McKelvey Cup Trial Advocacy Course
Students taking this class may not take Criminal Trial Practice
Number of students: 16 /4 (advance to regionals) / 2 (advance to nationals)
Number of credit hours: 2 (Fall); 3 for those who compete in the McKelvey Cup
Where: McKelvey Cup: Regional competition (Maritimes) - location varies
Sopinka Cup: National competition - location varies
When: Preparation begins in September. The McKelvey Cup Moot takes place in February. The Sopinka Cup Moot is in March.
Selection process: The top 4 students from the Trial Advocacy Course. Entry to the McKelvey Cup course at Dalhousie is by try out: 1st or 2nd year students interested in trying out for the competition should watch for notices of the tryouts for next year's class in early March.
Evaluation: Grade is based on class participation and performance in trial advocacy excercises.
2016 Team: Ria Guidone, Mary Brown,
Vin Mishra, Kathryn Piché
Coaches: Brian Casey, Mike Scott & Jeremy Smith
 
2014
Team:
Sean McGarry, Agathon Fric, Jack Schroeder and Rebecca Sewell
Coaches: Brian Casey, Mike Scott
  • McKelvey: 2nd place 
  • Individual award for best direct  (Fric)
  • Individual award for best closing address (Sewell)
2013
Team:
Jenn Asquin, Michele Charles, Samantha Higgins, Suzanne Kittell
Coaches: Brian Casey, Mike Scott
  • McKelvey: 1st place Team advances to national competition
  • Individual award for best opening address (Kittell)
  • Individual award for best closing address (Charles)
  • Sopinka: 1st place
  • Best opening address (Kittell)

2012


Team:
Ravi Amarnath, Scott Harron, Alayna Kolodziechuk & Renée Zatzman
Coaches: Brian Casey, Mike Scott
  • McKelvey: 1st place (Zatzman & Harron) advance to national competition
  • Individual award for best opening address (Zatzman)
  • Sopinka: Individual awards for best opening address (Harron) and best closing address (Zatzman)
2011 Team: Graham Brown, Lydia deGuzman, Graham McGillivray, Meghan Smith
Coaches: Brian Casey, Mike Scott
 

 

Willms & Shier Environmental Law Moot

LAWS 2250 - Canada's first and only national moot court competition devoted to environmental law. This moot is held biennially. Note: The first year a team from the Schulich School of Law will be eligible to compete for credit is 2015.

The competition takes the form of an appeal before a Canadian court of last resort. Each team files a factum for one party. At the oral hearing, teams argue one side of the appeal in their first match and the other side in their second. This moot is open to 2nd and 3rd year students in recognition of the fact that this moot is offered biennially.

Subject: Environmental law
Coach: Professor Aldo Chircop
aldo.chircop@dal.ca
902-494-1007
Moot website: www.willmsshier.com/moot
Requirements: (1) Environmental Law I as a pre or co-requisite
Number of students: 2
Number of credit hours: 3 (Winter)
Where: Ontario Court of Appeal, Toronto, Ontario
When: This moot is held every other year. Preparation begins in xxx. The moot takes place in March.
Selection process: Selection of participants will take place through a written application process, and may involve a brief oral exercise.
Students will be selected based on academic standing, demonstrated interest in environmental law and advocacy skills. 
Evaluation:

Evaluation will be based on the overall performance of each student on the written and oral components of the moot, including practice rounds.

This course satisfies the major paper writing requirement, if the student wishes to count the moot as a major paper.

Recent History:
2015–2016 N/A  
2011
(inaugural year)


Team:
Leslie Bateman, Brigid Wilkinson
Coach: Professor Phillip Saunders
  • 1st place in round-robin competition
  • 3rd place overall
  • Best respondent factum
  • Distinguished Oralist (Bateman)

 

 

A Mooting Experience
law_moot_hifooter

Learn more about Mooting programs and classes on Dal's Law program site for prospective students.