U of A Victory at the National Labour Moot


Natasha Edgar (2L) & Avril Fisher (2L)


It was a weekend of Reaganing. For the uninitiated, Reaganing was described in 30 Rock by Jack Donaghy as “a magic zone of error-free living” accomplished previously only by a handful of people.

It started when we got to Toronto and went out for coffee and to work on our presentations.When we went to pay, we got a free latte. Luck, you say? Don’t be absurd – it was Reaganing.

That streak continued into the competition the next day. We found out we got to make our union argument first – the argument we were both more comfortable with. We competed first against the University of Calgary, whom, while very effective, did not appear to be Reaganing. The panel gave us great feedback, telling us that we had provided them with some new perspectives on the problem.

The afternoon moot also went well, but we didn’t know if we’d done enough to make it to the finals. At the reception that evening we couldn’t have more than a glass of wine until we knew whether we were in the finals or not. We told each other that we would be okay if we didn’t make it. We could drink more wine! We could relax! Our incredibly high stress levels would dissipate early! But secretly(or perhaps not so secretly) we are both highly competitive people, and we wanted a shot at the trophy.

After dinner and a serenade from a law-themed band (seriously), they announced that it was the U of T and us in the finals. There was a ceremonial drink of champagne from the trophy with our competitors,where both of us spilled copious amounts down the fronts of our dresses. Then it was time for the coin flip – whoever won would get to choose the side they wanted to argue. Reaganing was taken to new heights when we won the flip, and chose to argue for the union.

Rushing back to the hotel, we realized that there was a bit more wine in our systems than previously anticipated, so preparation was kept to a minimum.The next morning, our coach John Carpenter was still tossing pearls of labour law wisdom at us over breakfast. The one that stuck was “this isn’t a competition. Just go and get this guy his job back.”

The final took place in a stuffy room packed with spectators at the Ontario Labour Relations Board. The panel was difficult, and our opponents were very well prepared. After a brief recess, the panel came back to give comments before they announced their decision. We were sitting there, sweating and hearing our arguments picked apart by some very intelligent and thoughtful people, thinking “well, we did our best, even if we are about to lose.” The longer the comments went on, the sweatier our palms became. And then came the final moment of Reaganing of the weekend, when the Chair of the panel announced: “And the winner is, the University of Alberta.”

Donaghy would be proud.