Monday, March 31, 2014

Mooting season is wrapping up. Here are the U of T Law results from this year's competitive moots. We commend all of this year’s outstanding mooters and coaches for their stellar performance and hard work.

Four students represented the Faculty in the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot competition in Windsor.  According to Adjunct Faculty Advisor Dera Nevin, all of the mooters - Alex Condon, Kaitlin Owens , Leah Sherriff, and Paul Thistle, did a marvelous job and mooted superbly.  Ms. Nevin reports that the competition was the most challenging she has seen in all her time with the Jessup.  Reflecting the team’s focus on its written submission, the team placed 4th in the very competitive memorial competition.  Professor Patrick Macklem also coached the team, as did student coaches Robin McNamara and Ashvin Singh.  Congratulations to all on a great performance!

Hats off, as well, to the students who competed in the Isaac Diversity Moot.  Joseph Kalis, Alexandra Penny, Zaire Puil-Dalhouse, and Nathaniel Reisenburg.  Coached by Professor Simon Stern and student coaches Jonathan Chan and Brandon Walker, the U of T team spoke confidently and held their composure amidst difficult questions, and the judges praised them for their persuasive advocacy. 

Finally, congratulations to Kiran Arora, and Kevin Siu.  Due to their excellent performance at last year’s Fox IP Moot, they advanced all the way to the finals of the Oxford IP Moot this year, coached by their sponsor, Ron Dimock

Kathleen Elhatton-Lake, Lauren Harper, Jim Robson, and Danny Urquhart represented UofT in the Corporate Securities Moot, with thirteen law schools from across the country competing.  The team argued a case involving an activist investor attempting to use numerous strategies to replace a target's board of directors, and the validity of various defensive tactics used by the board.

The team was dominant in the preliminary rounds, going undefeated over the course of two days and advancing to the final round (for the 4th year in a row!) against the University of Calgary. The final panel was chaired by Justice Moldaver of the Supreme Court of Canada, as well as representatives of the Ontario Court of Appeal and Ontario Securities Commission.  Our team, consisting entirely of second year students, delivered a flawless performance and were narrowly edged in a thrilling final by experienced opponents who had all mooted competitively in the past. The panel was highly impressed and unanimously opined that our mooters were indistinguishable from advocates that appear in front of the Supreme Court. The team then took home the best factum prize, making them the only team at the competition to win awards in both the overall and factum categories. Danny also won the 3rd place oralist prize, capping off a stellar weekend. As the results suggest, the team's performances under pressure were impactful and inspiring.

The team benefited from the excellent student coaching of Jordan Katz and Hani Migally, and  is truly indebted to Andrew Matheson, and Professors Anita Anand, Ed Iacobucci, and Jeff MacIntosh for their invaluable coaching, guidance and support.  

The Bowman Mooters, Jonathan Barrentine, Kyle Gerow, Sheena Lessard, and Chad Pilkington were equally dominant.  The problem was about whether an unwitting investor in a Ponzi scheme who luckily made a profit could be taxed on the amounts she received from the Ponzi scheme. In addition to winning Best Team, Sheena Lessard won Best Advocate.  Amanda Heale and Martha MacDonald, both of Tory’s, coached the team with Professor Ben Alarie, together with student coaches Christy Campbell, Peter Flynn, and Bhuvana Sankaranarayanan. The judges commented on the poise and composure under fire that the mooters displayed in the courtroom. 

This year the University of Toronto’s Laskin Mooters made a tremendous showing at the competition in Fredericton.  Lauren Binhammer, Avi Bourassa, Rhea Kamin, and Janet Lunau were named 4th team overall, and Janet and Lauren were finalists.  Avi and Rhea argued in French so proficiently that the judges were surprised to learn that they were from an English language school.  The four mooters were provided invaluable support by student coaches Max Laskin and Ljiljana Stanic, and by their faculty advisors, Sarah Corman (McCarthy Tétrault) and William MacLarkey (Crown Law Office Civil).

On the weekend of March 6-9, the Faculty of Law hosted the 20th anniversary of the Kawaskimhon Aboriginal Moot (Kawaskimhon means “speaking with knowledge”).  This moot is non-competitive, and designed to incorporate Indigenous values and concepts of dispute resolution.  This year’s problem was based on the Ring of Fire development in northern Ontario; teams from law schools across Canada represented various First Nation parties, the province, and the resource company, with an aim to enter into an Impact Benefit Agreement.  Christina-Markie Mammoletti, Mallorie Malone and Victoria Bae; and Dane Richard, Wendy Agnew and Megan Strachan represented their First Nation clients’ interests passionately and knowledgeably throughout the weekend’s negotiations.  Professor Douglas Sanderson and Bryce Edwards (Olthuis Kleer Townshend) coached the teams.  U of T’s presence and acumen was duly noted by facilitators, students and Elders attending the moot.  We would be remiss not to acknowledge the enormous efforts of event host Lisa Del Col, who worked tirelessly with Jennifer Tam and Angela Zacharakis, who always make us look so good (and make it look so easy!)

Three cheers to the Walsh Family Law Mooters on their spectacular results!  Brenna StaatsJesse Elders, Paloma van Groll and Colleen McKeown represented UofT, with all six Ontario law schools competing. The team argued a case involving the waiver of spousal support in two domestic contracts.  The mooters were unflappable in the face of tough questioning on a very complex problem. When all was said and done - in our first year ever in the Walsh Moot - UofT nearly swept the competition, winning Best Team, Best Factum for the Respondent (team of Paloma van Groll and Colleen McKeown), and 2nd Place Oralist for Colleen McKeown.  In the face of a difficult problem, and a brand-new moot for the school, the team showed its skill and versatility in pulling off an unparalleled performance.  The team is truly indebted to its all-star student coaches: Laura Cardiff, Jordan Katz, and Hani Migally; and to Carol Rogerson for her tireless faculty support, as well as Martha McCarthy and Sarah Young of Martha McCarthy & Co. LLP for their enthusiastic and invaluable coaching.

In Sopinka Cup news, recall that U of T students Jennifer Bernardo and Christie Campbell, made the finals in the Arnup Cup, which entitled them to compete against  the McIntyre Cup winners (from British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Alberta), the Guy Guérin Cup winners (Quebec), and the McKelvey Cup winners (NewBrunswick, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland and Labrador) in the Sopinka Cup Trial Advocacy competition.  Coached by Rob Centa and Jonathan Shime, U of T finished second overall and Christie Campbell won a prize for best cross examination.  

Congratulations to Christopher DiMatteo, Aoife QuinnChristophe Shammas, and Brendan Stevens, who did a fantastic job in this year's Wilson Moot.  The U of T team won the award for best factum and came in third overall.  The problem involved a section 15 and 7 Charter challenge to legislation that (arguably) grants aboriginal people priority over non-aboriginal people when it comes to adopting aboriginal children.  The team was coached by Cheryl Milne and Lorraine Weinrib, and supported by student coaches Lara Guest, Adam Sproat, and Tom Wagner.

UT Law Wilson Moot teamWilson Moot: Justice Moldaver, Aoife Quinn, 2L, Christophe Shammas, 2L,
Brendan Stevens, 3L, Christopher Di Matteo, 3L

The winners of this year's Frank W. Callaghan Memorial Moot were Madlyn Axelrod and Matthew Morley (coached by Aria Laskin and Jesse Elders), who mooted in the final round against Bailey Rudnick and Ethan Schiff (coached by Anna Chen and Hanna Cho).  Justices Eva Frank, David Corbett, and John McMahon, all of the Superior Court of Justice, presided over the final round.  All three judges praised the four finalists for their exceptional oral advocacy and obvious mastery of the subject matter, and emphasized the difficulty they had in declaring a winner of the moot.

Bailey Rudnick and Ethan Schiff were also winners of the Best Respondent Factum award.  Best Appellant Factum went to Ryan Tinney and Bert RiviereBailey Rudnick won the Top Oralist prize.  The Second and Third Place Oralist prizes went to Matthew Morley and Dharsha Jegatheeswaran.  All of the moot participants did a phenomenal job representing the U of T faculty of law before distinguished members of the bench and bar, and all received high praise for their obvious skill and extensive preparation.  The Callaghan moot is organized and supported by the Callaghan Committee, made up of Professor Hamish Stewart, John Callaghan of Gowling, Lafleur Henderson, and Justice John McMahon of the Superior Court of Justice, and supported by the  hardworking Callaghan Chief Justices, Vlad Calina, Laura Cardiff, and Maya Ollek.

The Committee wishes to thank all the student coaches: Jennifer Bernardo, Christie Campbell, Anna Chen, Hanna Cho, Ben Elzinga Cheng, Jessica Elders, Aria Laskin, and Annie Tayyab for their support of this year's Callaghan moot teams.

Callaghan Moot Winners, 2014: Madlyn Axelrod and Matthew Morley
Callaghan Moot Winners, 2014: Madlyn Axelrod and Matthew Morley

Congratulations to the U of T participants in the 2014 Harold G. Fox Intellectual Property MootMonica Grembowicz, Sean Husband, Eric Leinveer, and Neil Padgett all showed extremely well.  Eric and Sean were semi-finalists in this action deciding whether a new method for detecting early-stage chronic kidney disease was patentable, and the applicable disclosure requirements.  They also received the Gordon F. Henderson Award for top respondent’s factum.  They were coached by 3L students Kiran Arora and Kevin Siu.  Tory’s Andrew Shaugnessy and Bennett Jones’ Dominique Hussey served as faculty advisors.  The coaches were thrilled with the team’s performance, and predict that the team’s determination and efforts will pay  unimagined dividends.

U of T’s team in the Gale Cup, Vlad Calina, Mark Coombes, Max Mandel, and Ashvin Singh were equally impressive.  The competitors balanced the values of religious freedom and trial fairness in case involving a Muslim witness’ desire to testify with her face covered by a niqab.  U of T narrowly missed out on the finals, taking the award for the best English team not to make the finals.  Our team was uniformly praised by the judges, and Vlad Calina won a Dickson medal for best oralist.  The Gale Team was advised by Karen Bellinger and Michael Dineen, and Meghan Bridges and Louis Tsilivis served as student coaches.

Jen Bernardo and Christie Campbell were fantastic at the Arnup Cup trial advocacy competition, finishing second.  The trial was for a charge of criminal negligence causing death.  Coached by Rob Centa and Jonathan Shime, Jen and Christie are now qualified to go on to the Sopinka Cup competition in Ottawa on March 14 and 15.  One of their proud coaches said that they argued as if they were lawyers who had been doing trials for ten years.  

Jacob Brown and David Kumagai gave strong performances at the National Labour Arbitration Competition.  Coached by adjunct faculty advisor Laura Trachuk, and student coaches Leora Jackson and Allyson Lee, Jacob and David argued both the management and union sides of two grievances about discrimination on the basis of family status.  Judges praised them for their “unflappable” ability to answer tough questions, with the highest compliments coming from a long-time arbitrator who appreciated their well-thought-out arguments and poise under pressure.