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Third Place Finish for Gale Cup Team

Gale Cup

Nora Kharouba (2L)

It was a pleasure to partake in one of Canada’s oldest national moot competitions in February 2013. It took place at the Court of Appeal of Ontario in Toronto. Our team successfully placed third out of eighteen schools. It was a historic win for Ualberta as it was the first time in over 10 years that our school proceeded to finals! One of our teammates, Mandy Kahlmeier, was also awarded the Dickson CJC Oralist Award. I was extremely lucky to have such wonderful teammates and a passionately devoted coach, Professor Sankoff.

This year’s moot problem was based on the Supreme Court of Canada judgment R v DAI concerning section 16 (3) of the Canada Evidence Act. The Gale Cup is a rather fierce competition. Each school sends two teams – appellants and respondents, and therefore writes two factums. The final four teams proceeding to the finals are required to achieve the highest number of points based on preliminary round moots and the factums.

I will never forget that moment, sitting in the reception room of elongated tables patiently waiting for 1:20, the time of which the four finalist names would be called. As the time grew closer, the knot in my stomach grew. Slowly, I sensed the quietening environment as every other team also became cognizant of the time. When the University of Alberta’s name was called, I can assure you that we were certainly the most enthusiastic and loudest team there. All I remember is hearing a loud yelp, and a loud “Yes!!!!!!!!” from my team.

At that point we were sequestered into a room that we were not allowed to leave. The purpose of this was to prepare for the final round as we were dealt with a variation to the facts previously argued. That hour would have made for a good comedy show. I was sitting on top of tables bouncing ideas with Mandy, only to realize at one point I could only hear her voice – turned out she was crouched on the floor behind chairs mouthing points back to me. Katherine was frantically writing notes down, while Brendan quietly paced in his two meter zone. Professor Sankoff sat at the room’s front gleaming with excitement like a child on Christmas while monitoring our progress. The moot ended with a lovely ceremony that carried late into the night where we celebrated all our hard work.

We devoted countless hours to this experience. Our obsessions with the case grew with time – we were conjuring arguments in our dreams, and waking up to the words of ‘promise’ and ‘ability to communicate’! But, it was beyond worth it. It is, and I am sure will continue to be, the ultimate highlight of my law school career. It provided me with a rare opportunity in law school to develop a wide range of fundamental legal skills at once under direct supervision and assistance. Most of all, it gave me the gift of life-long friendships.