York finishes third at Osgoode Cup national mooting competition

The York student team of Michael Sefcik and Sonny Jaggi tied for third place with a University of Toronto team at the second annual Osgoode Cup National Undergraduate Mooting Competition in March.

Right: York’s winning team and fellow members of York’s Law & Society Students’ Association (from left) Michael Sefcik, Aliki Yorgiadis, Sonny Jaggi and Carlos Da Cruz

Two teams from Queen’s University walked away with first and second place.

A total of 32 two-person teams from eight Canadian universities gathered at York’s Osgoode Hall Law School to spar using their oral and written advocacy skills. The competition offers a chance for undergraduate students to argue an appeal on a predetermined case in a mock legal proceeding.

This year’s case involved a waiver of liability arising from a skiing accident at a resort. In the preliminary judging, two- to three-person panels drawn from Osgoode and the legal profession evaluated teams on organization, development of argument, response to questions from the bench and speaking ability.

Sefcik, a fourth-year student in law & society studies and sociology, said he entered the competition because “as a seasoned debater and experienced public speaker, I took quite an interest in the structure and style of the competition. I felt that this competition would allow me to practise my oral advocacy skills, and also give me some insight into the Canadian legal system.” He plans to pursue a master’s degree in Sweden.

Sefcik also won a Top Oralist Award, given to the top 10 speakers with the highest scores from the two preliminary rounds.

Right: Michael Sefcik (centre) receives a Top Oralist Award from Royal Bank rep Vesna Spasevski and competition judge Christopher Bialkowski

Jaggi, a fourth-year student in law & society studies and political science, said, “I applaud Osgoode for taking the initiative to give undergraduates a chance to participate in a mooting competition. I entered the competition to enhance my public speaking skills and also to experience first hand what mooting is really like. The event was a great experience. The judges and organizers were excellent, and our Osgoode alumni coach, Brenda Glover, was very insightful.” Jaggi plans to go on to law school in September.

This year’s competition was sponsored by the law firm of Beard Winter LLP with support from the Law Foundation of Ontario, Royal Bank of Canada and Emond Montgomery Publications. Participating teams came from the universities of British Columbia, Toronto and Waterloo and from Queen’s, Brock, York, Wilfred Laurier, McMaster, Nipissing and Carleton.

Last year, York students Ali Ayoub and Domenic Bianchi came first.

For information about next year’s Osgoode Cup National Undergraduate Mooting Competition, contact Assistant Dean Gina Alexandris at galexandris@osgoode.yorku.ca.

This article was submitted to YFile by Melissa Branco, a communications studies intern in the Office of the Dean, Faculty of Arts.