Moots 2015

March 2015

February and March bring a few last snow flurries, along with many mooting contests. This year again, about 40 students have participated or will participate in various moots, whose themes range from criminal law and international law to securities and social justice.

We are still waiting for more results and impressions from our mooting teams and will update this page as we receive them. Further updates and photos can be sent to lysanne.larose@mcgill.ca


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Vis Moot: coach Alex Dobrota, mooters Matthias Heilke, Lipi Mishra, Nadir Prasha and Amanda Ghahremani, and coach Martin Doe.
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Lachs Moot: coach Maria Manoli with team members Matthew King, John Goering, and Kerianne Wilson

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Sopinka Cup: Dov Whitman and Fraser Dickson
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Winkler Moot: Linda El Halabi, Elena Haba (coach), Benedicte Martin (coach), Caroline Belair, Shaun Finn (coach), Megan Hodges, Matthew Pitts
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Concours Laskin: Patrick Martin-Ménard, Léa Pelletier-Marcotte, Emilie Gravelle et David Janzen
2015-march-jessup-2 Jessup Moot: Martha Chertkow, Jennifer Anderson, Stephanie Clark, Xander Sculthorpe
2015-march-kawaskimon-moot-300x200 Kawaskimon negotiation moot: Delaney Greig, Lysane Cree and Charlotte-Anne Malischewski
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Wilson Moot: William Bjornsson, Behzad Hassibi, Justice Andromache Karakatsanis (SCC), Kierstin Lundell-Smith, and Tim Apedaile
2015-march-diversity-moot-300x200 Julius Alexander Isaac Diversity Moot: Chad Regan, Alyssa Clutterbuck, Ngozi Okidegbe, Talia Joundi
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Coupe Guy-Guérin: Dov Whitman et Fraser Dickson
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Concours Mignault: Mariève Barcelo Després et Rose Massicotte

UPDATE April 7, 2015:
Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot

Team: Amanda Ghahremani, Matthias Heilke, Lipi Mishra and Nadir Prasha

Coaches: Bogdan-Alexandru Dobrota (BCL/LLB’11), Martin Doe (BCL/LLB’08) and Prof. Geneviève Saumier

Prizes: three (3) awards for individual oral advocacy (Amanda Ghahremani, Matthias Heilke and Lipi Mishra). Honourable mention for the Respondent Memorandum.

Impressions: “As the team placed in the top 4-5 % of the 1200 participants, the name of McGill University was heard more often than that of any other university during the awards gala on Thursday, April 2, 2014 that concluded this prestigious international moot competition.

During the course of the moot competition, the McGill team also advanced from the four initial rounds to the top-tier elimination rounds. It achieved a brilliant performance against New York University’s LLM program but was forced to bow out by a fair, if nevertheless undeserved, decision from the arbitral tribunal.

Prior to the beginning of the competition, the team had the occasion to test its arguments in practice rounds with the University Carlos III de Madrid, the University of Stockholm’s LLM Program in international arbitration, the University of New South Wales, and Penn State University, thus drawing upon an international network of support developed by McGill alumni throughout the years. These practice rounds provided an opportunity for McGill students to exchange experience and knowledge across the boundaries of national legal traditions and cultures.”

UPDATE March 26, 2015:
Manfred Lachs Space Law Moot – March 20-21, 2015

Team: Kerianne Wilson, John Goering and Matthew King.

Coaches: Maria Manoli and Jinyuan Su

Impressions: The North American regional rounds of the Manfred Lachs Space Law Moot Competition was held in Washington DC, and 12 teams from around the Americas competed at a very high level. The McGill team won Best Brief, and made it to the Quarter Finals of the oral rounds where they were beaten by a small margin by the University of Mississippi, who went on to win the regional rounds.

After months of hard work, the team members have become experts on questions of State responsibility for intercepting near-earth objects or for damage caused to commercial space assets, and issues surrounding the mining of asteroids, all of which are at the cutting edge of space law today.

UPDATE March 16, 2015:
Sopinka Cup – March 13-14, 2015

We are thrilled to report that students Dov Whitman and Fraser Dickson won the 2015 Sopinka Cup, the trial advocacy competition for Canada’s law schools, held in Ottawa each year, after qualifying at the Coupe Guy-Guérin earlier this month. Supreme Court Justice Suzanne Côté was on hand for the awards presentation.

Results: Best team (Sopinka Cup), Best direct examination (Fraser Dickson); Best closing argument (Fraser Dickson).

Impressions: According to coach Robert Israel, “Dov and Fraser represented their client Tommy Pellerin with passion and professionalism, and earned high praise from the judges.”

Dov, Fraser and coach Robert Israel would like to extend their gratitude to the many classmates and friends who lent their time as witnesses during the long evenings of preparation, as well as to Me Marie-Ève Lavoie, Me Mathieu Corbo, Michèle Lamarre-Leroux and Marika Tremblay.

The Sopinka Cup is an annual trial advocacy competition in Canada organized by The Advocates’ Society and sponsored by the American College of Trial Lawyers. It was established in 1999 to honour the late Supreme Court of Canada Justice John Sopinka.


Warren K. Winkler Class Actions Moot – 7 March 2015

Team: Caroline Belair, Linda El Halabi, Megan Hodges and Matthew Pitts.

Impressions: from coach Shaun Finn, BCL/LLB’02: “they are incredibly talented, dedicated and hardworking students. They were beautifully prepared and were great ambassadors for the Faculty. In fact, on several occasions during the moot, attendees specifically told me how impressed they were with the high standard of advocacy exemplified by the McGill team. Speaking for myself and my co-coaches Elena Haba and Benedicte Martin, it was a privilege to work with each of these young jurists. They all did the Faculty of Law – and the University as a whole – very proud.”

The second annual Warren K. Winkler Class Actions Moot took place on Saturday, March 7, 2015, in McCarthy Tétrault’s Toronto offices.

Concours Laskin – 6-7 mars 2015

Équipe : Patrick Martin-Ménard, Léa Pelletier-Marcotte, Emilie Gravelle et David Janzen

Prix : 2e place

Entraîneurs : Audrey Bourassa, Richard Vachon (Woods), et Samuel Bachand

Impressions : « Nous avons tous plaidé à la Cour d’appel. [Presque] toutes les facultés du droit du Canada ont participé à ce concours bilingue, alors nous avons pu rencontrer des étudiants et des juges d’à travers le pays. Patrick et Émilie ont plaidé devant le juge Wagner da la Cour suprême dans la ronde finale. La compétition était féroce et nous sommes très contents d’avoir pu tirer notre épingle du jeu. »

Le concours Laskin permet de débattre de problèmes juridiques qui portent sur d’importantes questions d’actualité. Ses objectifs sont de favoriser une compréhension approfondie du droit et de soutenir et l’enseignement du droit et le bilinguisme, tout en stimulant dans la communauté juridique un esprit de coopération qui transcende les limites linguistiques et provinciales.

Jessup Moot – March 5-7, 2015

Team: Martha Chertkow, Xander Sculthorpe, Stephanie Clark and Jennifer Anderson represented McGill at the Canadian Rounds of the Jessup International Law Moot Competition in Halifax.

Impressions: “The Jessup is one of the world’s most prestigious mooting competitions with schools participating from over 90 countries. Since receiving the problem in September 2014, McGill’s team, under the guidance of DCL student Jeffrey Smith, worked tirelessly to prepare for the Canadian Rounds in Halifax. The team also benefited from over 15 practice moot sessions judged by numerous professors, local civil litigators, and the Faculty’s very own Dean. In Halifax, McGill’s team performed extremely well, and was praised by judges to have ‘completely mastered the facts’ and to ‘know the law cold.’  While the team did not proceed to internationals, the members are proud to have achieved  such great success regardless, and have incredibly benefited from all the practices and training, which will forever influence their oral advocacy skills.”

Kawaskimhon Moot – March 4-5, 2015

Team: Delaney Greig and Charlotte-Anne Malischewski

Coaches: Professor Kirsten Anker and Lysane Cree (Hutchins Legal)

Impressions: “We went to the Kawaskimhon (“speaking with knowledge”) Aboriginal Rights negotiation Moot in Fredericton, New-Brunswick alongside twenty-three teams from across Canada. The nature of our problem and assigned position challenged us to move beyond a narrow conception of the applicable Canadian state law by engaging with texts in history, anthropology, and literature to uncover evidence for arguments rooted in Indigenous laws. As we passed around the beautiful talking stick carved by a local artist for the occasion and learned to apply seventh-generation thinking and two-eyed seeing, we came to appreciate how well our McGill education prepared us to think outside the box. Though the moot was non-competitive and consensus-oriented, we received very positive feedback on the novel arguments and depth of research in our written submissions and on our “fierce” and “passionate” negotiation strategy. We felt honoured to be chosen by our peers to represent our talking circle at the closing ceremony.”

Wilson Moot – February 20-21, 2015

Team: William Bjornsson, Behzad Hassibi, Kierstin Lundell-Smith, Tim Apedaile

Prizes: First place oralist: Kiersten Lundell-Smith (tie); Second team overall

Trainer: Elisabeth Goodwin (Grey Casgrain)

Impressions: “It was very rewarding to see all of our hard work be recognized, and to meet law students from across the country. Competing in the Wilson Moot was one of the defining experiences of our time at law school. We are grateful to have represented McGill, learned from one another and the other participants, and pleaded in front of a distinguished panel of judges and practitioners. Our sincerest gratitude to our coach, Elisabeth Goodwin, as well as to Julius Grey, Helena Lamed, Justice Cohen and Justice Goodwin.”

Founded in 1992 to honour the late Honourable Bertha Wilson, the Wilson Moot promotes justice for those disempowered within the legal system, by exploring legal issues concerning women and minorities, and furthering the education of students and the legal profession in these areas.

Julius Alexander Isaac Diversity Moot – February 21, 2015

Team: Chad Regan, Alyssa Clutterbuck, Ngozi Okidegbe, Talia Joundi

Coaches: Gassim Bangoura (Birks Group) and Sara Mahboob (DCL candidate)

Impressions: The team is happy to have represented McGill and found the moot to be a “unique and incredible experience!” Coach Gassim Bangoura wrote that they “were impressive in their ability to persuasively articulate complex legal arguments through facta and oral pleadings.”

The Black Law Students Association of Canada (BLSAC) holds this moot as part of its annual conference, which took place in Montreal this year. The Julius Alexander Isaac Diversity Moot is designed to promote advocacy and excellence in the fields of diversity law, human rights and equity issues.

Coupe Guy-Guérin – 20 février 2015

Team: Dov Whitman, Fraser Dickson

Results: 2nd team overall; Best opening statement: Dov Whitman; Best closing argument (tie): Fraser Dickson

Trainer: Robert Israel (Shadley Battista)

They will be participating in the national Sopinka Cup finals to be held in Ottawa on March 13-14.

The team thanks classmates and friends for their help, Me Marie-Ève Lavoie for her support, and Michèle Lamarre-Leroux and Marika Tremblay, last year’s McGill team, for their input and advice.

Concours Pierre-Basile Mignault – 6-7 février 2015

Équipes: Mariève Barcelo Després et Rose Massicotte; Alexandra Belley-McKinnon et Frédérique Horwood

Prix : Coupe de l’APDQ pour meilleur mémoire (Mariève Barcelo Després et Rose Massicotte)

Pour plus de photos, voir l’article de ce mois-ci sur les événements à la Faculté : News Round-up.

Opposant les les six facultés canadiennes de droit civil, le Concours Pierre-Basile-Mignault vise à favoriser l’émulation, la recherche et l’approfondissement des connaissances, à faire la promotion du droit civil québécois et à encourager l’excellence des futurs plaideurs et plaideuses du Québec.


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