Students garner awards at external moots

March 19, 2013

Western Law students proudly represented their school and secured a number of awards at external moot competitions held over the past two months.

The first annual Walsh Family Law Moot, held in Toronto on March 16, at the Ontario Court of Appeal, saw students from five Ontario law schools participate in an appeal of a high-conflict family law case.

The Western Law team of Emily Carroll, Deema Elshourfa, Colin McElrea, and Ashley Peacock (oralists) and Elizabeth Graper (researcher/manager) represented the school and was coached by Prof. Ben Hovius.  

Colin McElrea received an award for the third-highest individual score.

Named after former Justice George Walsh of the Superior Court of Justice, a leader of the family law division of the Toronto region’s Superior Court, the Moot is the only family law moot competition in Canada.

The Moot was judged by leading Ontario family law practitioners and prominent justices including four from the Ontario Court of Appeal, and was organized by the Ontario chapter of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts.

The team would like to thank Lerners LLP, McKenzie Lake LLP, and Harrison Pensa LLP for judging practice moots.

Charlie Pettypiece and Ben Reingold represented Western Law at the 2013 Oxford International Intellectual Property Moot held on March 14-16. It was the first appearance for Western at the competition. The two garnered a spot at the moot as a result of their victory at the 2012 Harold G. Fox Canadian Intellectual Property Moot. 

The Western team advanced to compete in the quarterfinals. In what the judges acknowledged was a tight round, Ottawa bested our Western team – and ultimately went on to win the 2013 Oxford Cup. Co-coaches Harj Mann (Anissimoff, Mann) and Professor Margaret Ann Wilkinson would like to thank the firm of Dimock Stratton for conceiving and endowing the award through the Fox IP Moot which made possible Western’s appearance at Oxford in England this year.

The Intellectual Property Moot is held annually at Oxford in March. It is hosted by the Oxford Intellectual Property Research Centre and organized by a committee of DPhil and FHS students with an interest in intellectual property. The competition invites teams from universities around the world to prepare written submissions and present oral arguments on each side of a hypothetical intellectual property law problem set by experts in the field.

The Western Law team once again put on a strong performance at The Donald G. Bowman National Tax Moot, held March 1-2 in Toronto, winning the award for best appellant factum.

Congratulations to the team (oralists Jordan McKie, Lina Nasir, Kristine Spence and Corum Van Esch and researcher/manager Josh Kumar) for demonstrating the high quality of Western Law students. Prof. Colin Campbell coached the team.

The Bowman Moot is Canada's competitive moot on taxation and is named after the former Chief Justice of the Tax Court of Canada, Donald G. Bowman. At this year’s moot, ten law schools from across Canada competed and addressed the issue of whether sports lottery gambling winnings should be taxable under the Income Tax Act.

On the weekend of February 28 - March 2, the Western Law team of Rachel Bengino, Maeve Byrne, Gillian Howe and Stephanie Marentette participated in the Niagara International Moot Court competition in Toronto.

The team was seeded in fourth place after the preliminary rounds of competition and, although they did not progress further, picked up several awards at the closing reception on Saturday evening: runner-up for best memorial (Applicant), fifth place individual oralist (Maeve Byrne), and the Henry T King Award for the team best representing the spirit of the competition.

“I was extremely proud of the skill and character the students demonstrated throughout the weekend,” said Coach Prof. Erika Chamberlain.

Niagara Moot

(l-r) The Hon. Justice Tom Snow, Gillian Howe, Professor Erika Chamberlain, The Hon. Kimberly Prost (Ombudsman to the UN Security Council’s Al-Qaeda and Taliban Sanctions Committee), Rachel Bengino, Maeve Byrne, Stephanie Marentette, and Dean Iain Scott.

Katharine Brickman, Rachael de Souza, Bart Nowak, Evan Reinblatt and Byron Tse represented Western Law at the Fifth Annual Harold G. Fox Intellectual Property Moot in Toronto on February 22 and 23.

Appellants Evan Reinblatt and Bart Nowak gave stellar performances at every stage of the competition, finishing first overall in the preliminary rounds and were edged out by less than a single point from advancing to the finals. 

Respondents Brickman and Tse finished third overall and received compliments from Chief Judge Rader of the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit of the United States (which were echoed by Supreme Court Justice Rothstein), as the only team to identify in their Factum a dispositive argument concerning expiration of the copyright interest in question. Their alternate/research support specialist, Rachael de Souza, ably assisted both teams.

The team was coached by Harj Mann and supported through the generosity of Ridout & Maybee LLP and its practioners who judged the practice moots. Special thanks to Jason Hynes and his colleagues at Bereskin & Parr for travelling to London to attend practice moots and arranging a moot practice in the Kitchener Superior Court of Justice. Serge Anissimoff, David Canton and Melissa Loucks ’08 of the local London Bar also generously donated their time and assistance.