Osgoode wins 2009 Canadian National Mediation Advocacy Competition

Two teams of students from York’s Osgoode Hall Law School have won the 2009 Canadian National Mediation Advocacy Competition (CNMAC).

The Osgoode mediation advocacy teams of Jillian Chuchryk and Sheldon Inkol, and Lisa Feldstein and Darren Hall, were coached by York Professor Emeritus Fred Zemans and Mediation Intensive Program Director Professor Leanne Shafir, with the help of Osgoode PhD candidate Bob Thompson, who worked with the teams at the beginning of their preparation for the competition.

Above: From left, Kileen Dagg Centurione, CNMAC co-founder and competition director; Lisa Feldstein; Jillian Chuchryk; Sheldon Inkol; Ontario Chief Justice Warren Winkler (presenting trophy); and Darren Hall

A total of eight law schools from across Canada – Osgoode, Dalhousie, Windsor, Saskatchewan, McGill, Ottawa, Manitoba and Queen’s – participated in the competition that took place Nov. 18 to 21 at historic Osgoode Hall Building in downtown Toronto.

On the first day, Osgoode’s two student teams competed in a total of four preliminary rounds – two against Ottawa in the morning, then Windsor and Dalhousie in the afternoon. They were in second place following this round of competition and moved on to the quarter-finals. Only one team (Feldstein and Hall) was allowed to continue to the quarter- and semifinals. They competed against Windsor and later Saskatchewan, placing first overall in both rounds. The finals were held on Saturday morning against students from the University of Manitoba Faculty of Law and, once again, Osgoode won first place overall.

All four students will now move on to compete at the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) International Commercial Mediation Competition in Paris, France. The competition will take place Feb. 6 to 10, 2010. 

“To say that Jillian, Sheldon, Lisa, Darren and their coaches worked extremely hard for this win would be an understatement,” said Osgoode Interim Dean Jinyan Li. “At each stage of the game, the students were required to review simulated situations, prepare detailed representation plans and participate as lawyer and client in the competition.

“All four students worked collaboratively throughout, generating plans and strategies to implement in each round,” said Li. “All of us at the law school are very proud of our outstanding mediation advocacy teams and we’ll be rooting big-time for them at the ICC Mediation Competition this winter.”

The CNMAC was created to support and enhance the skills of future lawyers in Canada and to highlight the importance of alternative dispute resolution education in Canadian law schools. The competition provides law students with an opportunity to further develop and apply the skills necessary to be an effective advocate in mediation. It is Canada’s only forum for law students to showcase their superior advocacy talents.