Monday, April 11, 2016

Here are the final results for the 2016 mooting season

Faculty of Law students wrapped up another banner mooting season, in a variety of competitions, with six first-place victories, five second-place spots, six general oralist awards, in addition to five best facta and two other facta awards, thanks to the dedication and time of many students, faculty and alumni.

Teams ranked first in: Corporate Securities Moot (including best factum and oralist), Arnup Cup, Winkler Class Actions Moot (plaintiff team took first, defendant team took second, plus best plaintiff factum, best and third best oralist), Wilson Moot (including best facta), Harold G. Fox Intellectual Property Moot (including honourable mentions for oralists) and the Isaac Diversity Moot (best oralist as well).

Law students also did exceptionally well in the consensus-based Kawaskimhon Aboriginal Rights and Natonal Labour Arbitration Competitions, the Walsh Family Law (landing best oralist and best appellant factum), Jessup, Sopinka Cup, Laskin (second-place factum, top and third oralist), Bowman Tax and Gale Cup Moots.

Read the full results below.

Kawaskimhon National Aboriginal Law Moot

Congratulations to Callie Cochrane, Peter Entecott, Niki Hashie, Autumn Johnson, Matthew Malott and Matthew Milne, who participated in the Kawaskimhon National Aboriginal Law Moot at Queen's University. The moot revolved around Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action relating to the United Nations’ Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the implementation of the doctrine of Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC). Acting as counsel for the Native Women’s Association of Canada, the two teams negotiated with both the Federal and Provincial Crowns and other Indigenous groups towards a consensus on the terms of a new Royal Proclamation on Reconciliation.

The Kawaskimhon does not declare a “winner,” rather focusing on the ability of teams to build consensus.  Both of U of T’s teams were praised by their coaches as having forcefully articulated their client’s perspective, while bringing fresh insights to persistent sticking points in the relationship between Canada’s Indigenous peoples and the Crown. The team wishes to express its thanks for the support of its coaches, Bryce Edwards (Olthuis, Kleer, Townshend), Jessica Orkin (Goldblatt Partners) and Promise Holmes Skinner, and to Professor Douglas Sanderson for his wise counsel during the early stages of the moot.

Walsh Family Law Moot

Stephanie Ovens, Sandy Lockhart, Kimberley Weaver, and Ashley Major represented U of T at the Walsh Family Law Moot. This year’s moot involved the appeal of a 1992 access case heard by the Ontario Court of Appeal. The mooters faced a challenging intersection of issues, including parental rights, children’s rights, and the impact of new legislation on domestic violence in an appeal of the OCA’s termination of a child’s access to her father. 

Stephanie and Sandy won best appellant factum. The judges were impressed by Sandy’s understanding and application of the law of material change, and were moved by Stephanie’s arguments on the child’s right to know and foster a relationship with her father.  Ashley won best oralist, impressing the judges with impassioned arguments about domestic violence and its harmful impact upon the child.  One judge complimented Ashley’s ability to weave her argument into her responses, remarking that “she was supposed to be nervous!”  The judges complimented Kimberley on her calm and controlled presentation style.

The team is grateful for the support provided by their coaches: Martha McCarthy, Sarah Young, and Deborah Perkins-Leitman of Martha McCarthy & Company LLP; Professor Carol Rogerson; and student coaches Rachel Kattapuram, Petra Molnar, and Graham Thomson.

Corporate Securities Moot

In another significant victory for U of T this year, our team prevailed in the Corporate Securities Moot.  The team, made up of Simon Cameron, Dov Kagan, Adam Edgerley and Tyler Henderson, argued a complex dispute over the use of confidential information in the context of a hostile transaction.  They finished first overall in the preliminary rounds, and in the final around, Simon and Dov represented the team in front of a remarkably distinguished bench: the Supreme Court of Canada’s  Justice Moldaver, Justices Feldman, Epstein, and Laskin, of the Ontario Court of Appeal, and Paul Crampton, Chief Justice of Canada’s Federal Court.  The team was commended throughout the competition for their deep knowledge of the issues and their engaging style. They also took home the prize for best factum, and Dov was awarded top oralist.
The mooters are grateful to their faculty coaches:  Professor Anita Anand and, from McCarthy’s, Andrew Matheson and Matthew Cumming. The student coaches were Gabriel Edelson, Joe McGrade, Aron Nimani and Gideon Kwinter.

2016 U of T Law Corporate Moot team and coaches
Corporate Securities Moot team and coaches

Jessup Moot

The UofT Jessup Moot team performed very well at the National Rounds in Ottawa. This year’s moot involved a complex fact pattern that included the legality of covert surveillance, the arbitrary detention of foreign nationals, the admissibility of illegally-obtained evidence before the ICJ, and whether cyber-attacks fall under the UN Charter prohibition of use of force. 

After a competitive preliminary round Mannu Chowdhury, Evan Rankin, Kartiga Thavaraj, and Bettina Xue missed making the final round on a tiebreaker. The team’s strong performance was recognized with individual awards for each of them, as Kartiga and Mannu won 5th and 9th best overall oralists, respectively, and Bettina and Evan won 3rd best respondent memorial. The team was also repeatedly told over the weekend by both judges and other competitors that their knowledge of the law was second-to-none.

The team’s coaches, Maureen Whelton (Stevenson, Whelton) and Professor Patrick Macklem, and their student coaches, Sarah Stothart and Daniel Yip, are proud of the mooters for the sheer amount of hard work they put into their research and the exceptional advocacy skills that they demonstrated over the course of the competition.

Sopinka Cup

Law students Malini Vijaykumar and Sam Greene won the Arnup Cup competition (see below), which sent them on to represent Ontario in the Sopinka Cup, the national trial advocacy competition. They won second prize there, representing U of T "while being civil, unfailingly polite, ethical and fair in how they dealt with the opposing team and the witnesses," said Assistant Dean Sara Faherty. Their coaches, Megan Schwartzentruber and Jonathan Shime (both of Cooper, Sandler, Shime & Bergman) could not have been more proud!

Laskin Moot

This year’s Laskin Mooters, Wes Hopkin, Michael Morgenthau, Benjamin Reedijk and Genevieve Ryan, finished second overall. They also won prizes for second school overall, second-place factum, top oralist (Wes) and third oralist (Michael). The problem dealt with civil liability under the Civil Code of Quebec and the availability of Charter damages for an alleged infringement of the freedom of expression (section 2(b)).  The arguments took place at the British Columbia Court of Appeal. The judges commended Genevieve and Michael for their strong knowledge of case law. The judges were impressed by Ben’s well-thought policy arguments and Wes’ ability to maintain his composure under rapid-fire questioning. Ben and Wes represented U of T in the finals in front of a panel including alumnus Mr. Justice Russell Brown of the Supreme Court of Canada. The team is grateful for the support provided by Sarah Corman (McCarthys) and William McLarkey (MAG), and their student coaches Leanna Katz, Bilal Manji, David Marshall, and Rebecca Schwartz.

Callaghan Moot

Congratulations to this year’s winners of the Callaghan Moot:  Zacharia al Khatib and Spencer Bass, and also to Finalists Graeme Rotrand and Erika Woolgar.  This year's problem was based on the case of R v Welsh, 2013 ONCA 190, and involved a confession made by the accused to an undercover officer impersonating a Wiccan spiritual advisor. 

The best oralists were Zach (1st), Doug Fenton (2nd), and Logan St. John-Smith (3rd).  Factum awards went to Zach and Spencer (Appellant) and Madeeha Hashmi and Laura Petryshen (Respondent). 

All the mooters tackled this problem and the associated evidentiary/abuse of process issues with exceptional skill.  Zach was commended on his thorough grasp of the case law, while Spencer was commended on his ability to effectively answer questions from the panel. The finalists Graeme and Erika also received praise from the bench on their demeanour and engagement with the bench.

It takes a village to raise an internal moot, and the hard-working co-Chief Justices, Kailey Sutton, Malini Vijaykumar, and Bettina Xue are very grateful to the student coaches who worked with the teams.   The co-Chief Justices and the administration also give a warm thank you to Professor Jim Phillips, for his stepping into the breach to serve as advisor to the moot and being so generous with his time.

Bowman Tax Moot

Bernd Buschke, Roger Smith, Andrew MacLachlan, and Nabeel Thomas represented U of T at the Bowman Tax Moot.  Representing the respondent, Andrew and Nabeel advanced to the final round, which was chaired by Justice Stratas of the Federal Court of Appeal, former Chief Justice Don Bowman of the Tax Court, and Associate Chief Justice Lamarre of the Tax Court.  Andrew and Nabeel delivered a flawless performance, and were narrowly edged out in the finals.  The judges were very impressed by the whole team, and complimented them on their creative arguments and calmness under pressure. 

The team took on a tough problem concerning whether a tax adviser who was penalized under subsection 163.2(4) of the Income Tax Act was entitled to procedural protections under section 11 of the Charter.  They received considerable support from their coaches Martha MacDonald (Torys) and Al-Nawaz Nanji (Osler).  The team also wishes to thank their student coaches, Fraser Malcolm and Taylor Cao.

Winkler Class Actions Moot

U of T won the third Annual McCarthy Tetrault Warren K Winkler Class Actions Moot.  Madison Hass and Dillon Collett, arguing for the plaintiff, won first overall, and our defendant team, Jordan Stone and James Jennings, were second overall.  Madison and Dillon also won the prize for best plaintiff factum.  Dillon was named best oralist and James was named 3rd best oralist. 

The problem involved certification for a class action proceeding against four pharmaceutical companies.  At issue were their medications designed to treat anxiety brought on by nomophobia (the fear of being without one’s mobile device).  The judges were impressed by Madison’s confidence and good pace, Dillon’s expert conversational style and comfort in front of the judges, Jordan’s quick wit and wordplay, and James’ thorough case knowledge. 

The team was enthusiastically supported by adjunct mooting advisors Tatiana Emanuel and Shaanzéh Ataullahjan, and faculty advisor Simon Stern.

Winkler Class Actions Moot team
Winkler Coaches and mooters, from left to right:
Shaanzéh Ataullahjan, Madison Hass James Jennings,  Jordan Stone, Dillon Collett, and Tatiana Emanuel

Wilson Moot

Congratulations to this year’s Wilson Moot team, Sarah Bittman, Winston Gee, Geetha Philipupillai, and Giorgio Traini, for their first place finish. All four of the students excelled in their oral advocacy in the rounds leading up to the final, placing first in total points. Winston Gee and Geetha Philipupillai did a phenomenal job at the final round, arguing in front of a challenging bench chaired by the Honourable Justice Abella of the Supreme Court of Canada. U of T also won the prize for first place facta. The problem this year focused on the application of sections 7 and 15 of the Charter to the availability of OHIP for sex reassignment surgery for a transgender claimant.

The mooters had the support of their student coaches Debbie Boswell, Chloe BoubalosKatherine Long, and Bradon Willms along with faculty coaches Cheryl Milne, Lorraine Weinrib, and Joseph Cheng.

2016 Wilson Moot team
The U of T Wilson Moot team:
Winston Gee, Geetha Philipupillai, Giorgio Traini, and Sarah Bittman

Harold G. Fox Intellectual Property Moot

This year’s U of T team in the Harold G. Fox Intellectual Property Moot brought home U of T Law's first Fox Trophy.  The problem was a copyright problem which dealt with questions of access, substantial similarity and moral rights.

Due to all four mooters’ excellent performance in the preliminary rounds, both of our teams made it to the semi-finals. Stefan Case and Victoria Hale faced off against Sam Keen and Shane Thomas.   Despite Shane’s ability to maintain his composure under rapid-fire questioning and Sam’s decimation of his opposition’s argument in a 2-minute long reply, it was Stefan and Victoria who moved on to the final round.  Stefan’s oral submissions were so clear that he had the judges nodding along with him as he spoke, and Victoria was commended by the judges for her strong knowledge of case law and her ability to zero in on weaknesses in the Appellant’s arguments.  In the final round Stefan and Victoria bested Osgoode Hall, arguing before retired Supreme Court of Canada justice Marshall Rothstein, Justice Coté of the Supreme Court of Canada, Justice  Feldman of the Ontario Court of Appeal, Justice  Stratas of the Federal Court of Appeal, and Justice Hughes of the Federal Court.  Stefan was named best oral advocate, and his and Victoria’s written submission was named best Respondent’s factum.  Semi-finalists Sam and Shane received honourable mentions as best oralists.

Results like this involve lots of support.  Our team was expertly coached by Andrew Shaughnessy and Dominique Hussey, and greatly benefited from the help of student coaches Rachel Charney, Brett Hughes.

Gale Cup

This year’s Gale Cup team put in a strong performance.   Ryan Durran, Jessica Evans, Veenu Goswami and Robert Stellick were named the best team not to make the final round.  The moot involved an appeal of the Supreme Court of Canada’s 2015 decision in R v. Nur, which struck down the 3-year mandatory minimum sentence for possession of a loaded or readily loaded restricted or prohibited firearm. The team put in decisive winning efforts in both of their preliminary rounds, but missed making the final round by the narrowest of point margins.

The team’s coaches, Michael Dineen and Karen Bellinger, along with student coaches Sam Greene, Ada Keon and Joseph Bricker, congratulate the Gale mooters on an exceptional performance. All four mooters showed tremendous advocacy skills, intelligence, wit and hard work, and conducted themselves with immense respect for both their opponents and the Court.

Isaac Diversity Moot

For the second year in a row, the University of Toronto Isaac Moot Team has walked away with the top prizes at the Isaac Moot competition.  Solange Davis-Ramlochan, Chetan Muram, Dragana Rakic, and Sarah Rostom won the moot overall, with Sarah being named best oralist.

The Isaac Diversity Moot seeks to develop participants’ critical race litigation skills.  This year’s problem reviewed A.B. v. Law Society of Upper Canada, a fictional case about a former child soldier who moved to Canada and completed law school.  In the “good character” part of her application, A.B. admitted that she had been a member of the illegal organization and the decision upheld denial of her membership by the Law Society because she lacked good character.

According to coaches Joseph Cheng and Farah Malik, “the competition results really do just speak for themselves as to the level of excellence on display from each and every one of the mooters.  For our part, we were amazed at how … each member of the team was able to find her or his own authentic advocacy style, and then employ it so effectively at the competition.  And watching Sarah and Solange go toe-to-toe with three Superior and Ontario Court Justices in the final was just breath-taking.”

The team was given tremendous support and encouragement by student coaches, Maya Bielinski and Nicole Wilkinson.

The U of T Isaac Diversity Moot team: Dragana Rakic, Solange Davis-Ramlochan, Sarah Rostom, and Chetan Muram
The U of T Isaac Diversity Moot team:
Dragana Rakic, Solange Davis-Ramlochan, Sarah Rostom, and Chetan Muram

Arnup Cup Trial Advocacy

Malini Vijaykumar and Sam Greene  won the Arnup Cup Trial Advocacy  competition on the weekend of Feb. 6-7, 2016.  According to coach, Jonathan Shime, they were sensational:  “While they were consistently brilliant across the board, Malini’s opening and cross were stupendous as were Sam’s cross and closing.  More importantly, the manner in which they conducted themselves brought great distinction to U of T. They were polite, courteous and fair with their opponents and the court.  Megan Schwartzentruber, (their other coach) and I are exceptionally proud of both of them. ”

Sam and Malini wish to thank Jonathan and Megan for their tremendous mentorship and dedication.  This win qualifies U of T to proceed to the Sopinka Cup competition in March, so stay tuned!

National Labour Arbitration Competition

Kaley Duff and Hilary IngleU of T students also made a strong showing in the National Labour Arbitration Competition. The U of T team of Kaley Duff  and Hilary Ingle bested six other teams to make it to the Championship Finals, where they argued in front of the Honourable Mr. Justice Thomas Albert Cromwell (Supreme Court of Canada), Mr. Bernard Fishbein (Chair, Ontario Labour Relations Board) and Ms. Ginette Brazeau (Chair, Canada Industrial Relations Board).

Their coach, Stephen Shore, reports that Kaley and Hilary were exceptional advocates, demonstrating skill and tenacity in their arguments. Mr. Shore extended special thanks to student coaches, Hilary Grice  and Alex Ognibene.

Right: Kaley Duff and Hilary Ingle