York teams shine in Osgoode Cup

Thirteen teams of university students from across Canada participated in last weekend’s Osgoode Cup National Undergraduate Mooting Competition – and teams from York walked away with the first and third prizes.

Above: Lenci Kadavil (left), Peter Phua and Osgoode Dean Patrick Monahan

The York champions – first-year biology student Peter Phua and fourth-year philosophy student Lenci Kadavil – only had Friday to prepare for the weekend competition but they were determined to work hard, if not long.  

“We really cracked open the books and went over the arguments,” said Kadavil, referring to the “fact problem” in the competition, which was a Motion before the Supreme Court of Osgoode – the highest court possible – in proceedings involving the issue of conflict of interest in a solicitor-client relationship. “It’s a good feeling to win.”

The Osgoode Cup National Undergraduate Mooting Competition, which has been held at York’s Osgoode Hall Law School every year since 2005, is designed to provide undergraduate students from across Canada who have an interest in mooting with an opportunity to develop their advocacy skills in an atmosphere of friendly competition, and to meet with professors and lawyers to receive feedback, advice and encouragement.

This year’s competition saw the University of Toronto team of Josephine Comegna and Natalie Kertes finish second. Third-place trophies went to Michael Payton and Ian Johnsrude of York, and Stephanie Bono and Elena Davies of Carleton University. Ten top oralist awards were also handed out.

Sponsored by Beard Winter LLP, the Law Foundation of Ontario and the Royal Bank of Canada, the Osgoode Cup enlists the help of Osgoode alumni and current students who serve as judges of the various rounds leading up to the Final Round on Sunday morning. 

Judges in this year’s Final Round included two “real” judges – Justice Rose Boyko of the Superior Court of Justice and Justice Peter Tetley of the Ontario Court of Justice – along with Christopher Bialkowski and Mark Edwards of Beard Winter LLP, and Osgoode Dean Patrick Monahan.