Osgoode Hall Law School students shine in two moot competitions

Students from Osgoode Hall Law School participated in two moot competitions in March. Teams competed in the Kawaskimhon 2005 Aboriginal Law Moot, March 4 and 5, at the University of Saskatchewan and the Sopinka Cup Trial Advocacy competition, March 11 and 12, in Ottawa.

The Osgoode team of Gail Lai, Natasha Persaud and Leah Mack, with guidance and support from Professor Ben Richardson, participated with spirit in the Kawaskimhon 2005 Aboriginal Law Moot. The competition was hosted by the University of Saskatchewan College of Law, the Native Law Centre and the Aboriginal Law Students Association.

Kawaskimhon, which means “speaking with knowledge”, is a non-competitive moot based on current issues in aboriginal-government relations. It is conducted in a circle format. Over a dozen law schools participate, each representing a party to the negotiations. The objective of the Kawaskimhon Moot is to try and reach a consensus on the issues raised by the moot problem. In 2006, Osgoode will host this unique moot.

In the Sopinka Cup trial advocacy competition, teams from eight law schools from across Canada participated in the moot. The Osgoode team of Frances Brennan and Derek McKay placed second, and Brennan won the award for best examination in chief. Dalhousie University won the competition and the University of Calgary took third place.

Not only did Brennan, McKay and their coaches (trial practice faculty members Sandra Barton, Debbie Calderwood and Shaun Nakatsura) have to work extremely hard for this competition, they also had to place among the top two teams in February’s Arnup Cup in order to advance to the Sopinka Cup. The Sopinka Cup, which was created in 1999 to honour the late Supreme Court Justice John Sopinka, is organized by The Advocates’ Society and sponsored by the American College of Trial Lawyers.