Faculty of Law

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Faculty of Law

Upper Year Moot Descriptions

Each year, Queen’s Law teams participate in up to 20 mooting competitions in a wide range of legal areas:

Arnup Cup (Trial)

The Arnup Cup is an annual trial advocacy competition involving two-person teams from each of the six Ontario law schools (Osgoode, Ottawa, Toronto, Western, Windsor and Queen's). This moot involves a judge and jury trial scenario in which each team examines and cross-examines witnesses, deals with evidentiary and procedural issues, and addresses the jury (opening and closing). The panel of jurors consists of members of the Advocates Society who act as assessors of the students. The moot problem has been a criminal one for the past several years. The competition is organized by The Advocates' Society and sponsored by the American College of Trial Lawyers. Top two regional teams advance to the Sopinka Cup in Ottawa.  

Participation is made possible by the organizers,The Advocates' Society, and their sponsor the American College of Trial Lawyers.  Additional funding provided by the Faculty of Law.

Bowman Tax Moot (Tax)

First held in March 2011 at the Tax Court's facilities in Toronto, the Bowman Tax Moot was founded by The Honourable Donald Bowman, The Honourable Chief Justice Gerald Rip, The Honourable Justice Karen Sharlow, Professor John Weir, and Professor Emir Aly Crowne-Mohammed (University of Windsor), and Mohamed Hashim, Law '09.

The Moot will feature a "Committee of Experts/Advisors" selected from leading academics and practitioners across Canada who will assist in the drafting of the moot problem and grading of factums.

Participation is made possible with funding from the Faculty of Law.

Canadian Corporate and Securities Law Moot (Corporate & Securities)

The Canadian Corporate and Securities Law Moot is of particular interest to students interested in business law. It is the only moot exclusively devoted to corporate and securities law in Canada. This prestigious competition uses the court rooms of the Federal Court of Canada in Toronto and is held in late February/early March. The moot includes a Friday evening cocktail reception and a gala dinner on the Saturday at which participants are able to meet with leading corporate and securities law judges, regulators, practitioners and academics from across Canada. Teams from most Canadian law schools participate, although the moot is in English only.

The moot problem for the Canadian Corporate and Securities Law Moot is distributed in late December or early January. The problem which, in the past, has been prepared by Michael Disney and the research group at Davies, generally consists of a trial decision, an appellate decision, and the decision of the Supreme Court of Canada granting leave to appeal. The problem is invariably based on cutting edge legal issues expected to end up in the Supreme Court of Canada. The moot is judged by a panel of three judges (five for the final round). The preliminary round judges are leading practitioners, regulators and academics. The final round judges generally include members of the Supreme Court of Canada and/or Ontario Court of Appeal and the Chair of Vice-Chair of the Ontario Securities Commission. Each team prepares a factum for the appellant and a factum for the respondent. The team is divided into pairs of mooters, with each pair arguing twice in the preliminary round, once for the appellant and once for the respondent. Should the team make it to the final round, two of its members will be selected to represent the team. Prizes are awarded for the top two teams, the top three factums, and the top three oralists.

Participation is made possible with funding from the Faculty of Law.

Canadian Client Consultation Competition (Client Interviewing)

The inaugural Canadian Client Consultation Competition took place in 2012. This moot is a sister competition to the ABA Client Counseling Competition in which Queen's has participated in the past. Queen's Law School hosted the national competition in February 2013

A team of two student advocates, possessing very little client information, work together to test their inter-personal skills and knowledge of the law in order to come up with the best possible course of action for their client. A series of interviews with different clients takes place at the competition and very little information or time is available to prepare.

The first place Canadian team is invited to compete in the Louis M. Brown and Forrest S. Mosten International Client Consultation Competition which usually takes place in April.

Participation is made possible with funding from the Faculty of Law.

ELSA (EMC2) (WTO Dispute Settlement)

The ELSA Moot Court Competition (EMC²) is a simulated hearing in the World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute settlement system organised annually by The European Law Students' Association, ELSA and open to teams from all over the world. North American regional rounds take place in Washington, D.C.

Competitor teams represent both the Complainant and Respondent parties to the Case by presenting oral submissions in front of a Panel. EMC² Panels consist of WTO law experts and are referred to as Panellist. The Competition provides students with the opportunity to put theory into practice, thereby complimenting their formal legal education.

Participation is made possible with funding from the Faculty of Law.

Gale Cup (Criminal)

A team of four students participates in the oldest national moot competition, the CBA/Lenczner Slaght sponsored moot known as the Gale Cup Moot. The moot is held at Osgoode Hall in Toronto using courtrooms of the Ontario Court of Appeal. The competition is based on a criminal law problem. In the preliminary round each school will moot twice, once as Appellant and once as Respondent.  The final panel of judges usually comprises Supreme Court of Canada and other appellate court judges. The winner of the Gale Cup Moot represents Canada at the Commonwealth Moot.

The level of competition is high and participants are expected to devote a significant amount of time to preparing for the moot. Participants should be highly motivated and should have a keen interest in criminal law.

Students are judged on their written submissions and oral arguments, but the latter are given more weight. The winning team is presented with the Gale Trophy, donated by the former Chief Justice of Ontario. The best oralist receives the Brian Dickson Medal.  The McLachlin Prize was introduced in 2011 and is awarded to the best female mooter at Gale Cup competitions.

Participation is made possible with an Endowment Fund established by WeirFoulds LLP

Harold G Fox Intellectual Property Law Moot (IP)

The Harold G. Fox Moot is intended to promote the furtherance of education in the intellectual property field, and to provide participants with the opportunity to interact with jurists of the Supreme, Ontario, and Federal Courts and experienced practitioners of intellectual property law. It is named in honour of the late Harold G. Fox, one of Canada’s leading intellectual property scholars and advocates." Organized by the Faculty of Law at the University of Windsor, this national competitive moot takes place in Toronto and is sponsored by Dimock Stratton LLP.

Key Dates:  Problem released early November. Clarifications due end of November. E-Factas due mid-January. Moot takes place mid-February (usually the Friday & Saturday before Reading Week)

Participation is made possible with funding from the Faculty of Law.

Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot (International Law)

Queen's has been an active participant in the worldwide Jessup Moot since its inception. The moot problem is usually based on some current yet controversial topic of public international law, and the participants (a team of four students) are required to prepare written memorials and take part in oral pleadings. The final Canadian round in which nearly all law schools across Canada compete is held on different campuses each year, while the final round has been hosted by the American Society of International Law for over two decades. Queen's hosted the competition in 1996. The Moot Problem is released in September and the competition takes place in March.

Participation is made possible with an Endowment Fund established by Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP.

Kawaskimhon National Aboriginal Law Moot (Charter issues, Aboriginal consensus style)

The Kawaskimhon National Aboriginal Moot is open to Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal students. "Kawaskimhon" means "speaking with knowledge."  The moot problem usually arrives in late October or early November, with the moot taking place in March. The moot may or may not involve traditional appellate mooting; however, it usually involves presentation of a 20 minute argument, based on a prepared position paper, and consensus building. The moot may involve the use of a talking circle or other indigenous processes to resolve the legal issues that arise from the selected topic.  The host school decides the moot format.

Participation is made possible with funding from the Faculty of Law.

Laskin Moot (Administrative and Constitutional Law)

The Laskin Moot in constitutional and administrative law is a national moot named after the former Chief Justice of Canada. It is generally contested by at least sixteen of the twenty-one law schools in the country and involves a public law problem. Each team consists of four students (two appellants and two respondents) and it is required that there be at least one mooter pleading and arguing in each official language (at least one oralist must argue in French). The appellant and respondent teams each moot twice. The top appellant and respondent pairs then moot in a final generally presided over by five judges including a Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada. Schools are assessed overall on the basis of both the written factums and the oral arguments presented by the appellants and the respondents.

The moot problem is released in early October and the factums are due in January or early February. It is expected that the teams will work together on both factums. The moot is held from Thursday to Saturday at the end of February or in early March. While students should plan for the most intense work in January and February preparation should begin as soon as possible after the receipt of the problem since there are competition deadlines that must be met during the fall term. However, none of these require the submission of written documents.  The level of commitment required during the first six to eight weeks of the winter term is very high.

While the Laskin organizers maintain a nice balance between the social and the competitive, the process of evaluation plays an essential role in the moot. There is generous feedback on the oral performances. Prizes are awarded to the top four schools, to the top two pairs (appellant or respondent), to the four best individual oralists, and for the four best factums. It is possible for a school to win the overall prize without winning any of the individual awards.

Participation is made possible with an Endowment Fund established by Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP.

Mathews Dinsdale and Clark Labour Arbitration Competition (Labour Arbitration)

Organized and sponsored by Mathews Dinsdale, & Clark LLP, a leading Toronto labour law firm, the Mathews Dinsdale and Clark Labour Arbitration Competition is held in late January, and is open to students in the second year of the LL.B. Program. Each team argues both sides of a grievance brought under a collective agreement -- usually a wrongful discharge grievance. The judges are arbitrators and labour law practitioners. In the first round, each team argues the union side in one hearing and the employer side in another hearing. The two teams with the highest scores advance to the final. This competition is open to second-year JD and combined JD students.

Participation is made possible with funding from the Faculty of Law.

Niagara Moot (International Law)

In the Niagara Moot, participants address a hypothetical dispute affecting the bi-lateral relationship before the International Court of Justice. The competition draws together approximately 15 to 30 Canadian and American law schools from the Great Lakes region and can be held in Canada or the United States. Recently, Queen's law won the Best Team Memorial (Respondent) in 2009. The Best Oralist Award went to Noemi Paquette in 2010.

Participation is made possible with funding from the Faculty of Law.

Ontario Trial Lawyers Association Moot (Civil Trial)

The Ontario Trial Lawyers Association (OTLA) Moot involves the trial of a civil action and features opening and closing arguments, examination-in-chief and cross-examination of witnesses. The location alternates between Queen's University, University of Western Ontario, University of Windsor, and University of Ottawa. The Moot problem usually arrives in early January and the competition takes place the first week of March. Two extra volunteer students to act as witnesses are also required. Witnesses must memorize their part and are crucial to the competition, thus travel, accommodation and meal expenses are, within reason, covered by the OTLA. There are a variety of awards to be won by oralists in this competition ranging from $500 to $2,000.

Participation is made possible with the sponsorship of the Ontario Trial Lawyers Association, and additional funding from the Faculty of Law.

Walsh Family Law Moot (Family)

This competition is held at the Ontario Court of Appeal, and is sponsored by the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts

The law schools participating in the moot are York University, the University of Western Ontario, Windsor University, Queen’s University, and University of Ottawa.  Any student registered in the LL.B. or J.D. program at the law schools in these universities in Ontario is eligible to participate in the moot.

The Moot will be judged by leading Ontario family law practitioners and judges who will assist in the drafting of the moot problem and grading of factums.    Rules

Participation is made possible with funding from the Faculty of Law.

Walsh Family Negotiations Competition (Negotiated Settlements)

The inaugural Walsh Family Negotiation Competition will be held in Toronto on March 14, 2015, and will judged by senior members of the profession and members of the bench.

In traditional moots students demonstrate the knowledge and skills necessary for court: persuasive advocacy of a client's legal case. The negotiation competition requires equivalent knowledge of the law, and a different set of skills.  Students are given a complex problem and they must seek to negotiate a settlement with opposing counsel. Competitors are judged by the degree to which they explore interests, generate options and work effectively with opposing counsel to achieve a settlement that is as good as or better than their client's alternatives.

https://fdrio.files.wordpress.com/2014/08/walsh-negotiation-flyer-revised4.pdf

Participation is made possible with funding from the Faculty of Law.

Willem C. Vis International Arbitration Moot (International Commercial Arbitration)

This is one of the largest and most prestigious mooting competitions in the world. It is held each year in Vienna in the week before Easter, and a sister competition is held in Hong Kong earlier in the spring. The Vis Moot now brings together teams representing more than 160 universities from more than 50 countries. All members of the team will participate equally in the drafting of memoranda on behalf of the claimant and respondent and will have the opportunity to speak at least twice at the competition in Vienna.

The moot always focuses on a breach-of-contract dispute between two commercial parties located in different, imaginary countries. The dispute always includes procedural issues governed by international arbitration law and rules and substantive contract law issues governed by the UN Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods. The Moot attracts not only bright students from all parts of the globe but also, as arbitrators, many of the world's leading arbitration practitioners and scholars. It provides an exciting and intense introduction to this specialized but increasingly important field of international legal practice. http://www.cisg.law.pace.edu/vis.html

Participation is made possible with an Endowment Fund established in 2006 by Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP, and the Office of the Dean of Law.

Willms & Shier (Biennial) Environmental Law Moot (2013, 2015, 2017) (Environmental)

The Willms & Shier (Biennial) Environmental Law Moot is Canada’s first and only national moot court competition devoted to environmental law. Its goal is to promote awareness of the growing role of environmental issues in contemporary legal practice and public life, while enhancing law students’ written and oral advocacy skills.

The competition takes the form of an appeal before a Canadian court of last resort, bringing together law students, judges, leadings lawyers and legal academics to explore cutting-edge environmental law issues. The inaugural competition case will focus on the measure of damages for contaminated land.

The moot is open to all Canadian law schools. Teams consist of two or three students enrolled in a JD/bachelor of laws or equivalent degree program. Each team files a factum for one party. At the oral hearing, teams argue one side of the appeal in their first match and the other side in their second. The playoff and final matches are judges by senior appellate judges. Teams present their factums and oral argument in English"  The inaugural moot took place in February 2011. Key Dates: problem released in September; factums due in January; oral arguments in February.

Participation is made possible with funding from the Faculty of Law.

Wilson Moot (Charter issues)

The national Wilson Moot was founded in honour of Madame Justice Bertha Wilson, the first woman to be appointed to the Supreme Court of Canada. As such, it will probably always present issues that raise or touch on section 15 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, as well as other provisions of the Charter and international human rights law.

A team of four students participate in this national competition which is usually held in the Federal Court Building in Toronto. Each student will argue just one side--in every round. Students can elect to produce their written factum and oral work in either French or English. No translations are provided. The level of competition is very high thus this moot requires a significant time commitment and potential participants should be highly motivated to be involved in every aspect of the strategizing, legal research, writing, editing, and oral preparation. Candidates should also commit to being around the law school during the moot period, which is defined as beginning January 5 and culminates with the competition, which is usually held during the last weekend of the spring break or the weekend after that.

Students are evaluated by the judges at the moot on their factum and the oral arguments. Both are weighed in the ranking of teams and individual oralists.

Since 2005, participation has been made possible with a multi-year donation by Mr. Alfred Kwinter, in memory of his parents Mila and Zalman Kwinter.  Additional funding provided by the Faculty of Law.

Additional Mooting Opportunity to Gain Experience Only.  Open to all J.D. Candidates.

Hicks Morley Labour Arbitration Competition (no academic credit)

Offered and organized by the Labour and Employment Law Club.  Please contact them directly.

This labour arbitration moot is open to all law students and is organized by members of the Labour and Employment Law Club each January. The competition is held in the Faculty of Law at Queen's University. Participation is a pre-requisite for participating in the Hicks Cup. No background in employment or labour law is required. No written factums are required. Teams of two students are formed for this oral competition.

One or two team finalists from the HMLAC are invited to participate at the Hicks Cup against Western University. The Hicks Cup is hosted at the Hicks Morley Offices in Toronto in March. Lawyers from Hicks Morley and union-side lawyers will act as arbitrators for the competition.

Contact the Labour and Employment Law Club for more information.