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Law Girl/Law Guy: Moot Edition

Law Girl: Adrienne Funk

Which moot did you take part in and why?
I was fortunate to be selected for the Bowman National Tax Moot, which took place at the Federal Courts in Toronto on Friday and Saturday, February 27th and 28th.

I chose the tax moot because I wanted the challenge of a national moot and the excitement of travelling for the competition. But also, tax litigation is SUPER fun and I don’t care how nerdy that sounds. I mean, who WOULDN’T want to defend a Calgary lawyer who got duped by a fraudster named “PURITY ADAMS” via email and then tried to deduct his losses to fraud as business expenses from his law practice? I mean, come on, that is pure entertainment people!

How would you describe the moot experience?
Some adjectives I’ve used over the past few months to describe my moot experience include: stressful, sleep deprivation, intense, totally worthwhile.

Although moots really are the work of multiple classes crammed into a short period of time, I learned so much about the practical skills of appellate advocacy and am so glad I forced myself (okay, Professor Sankoff forced me) into doing it. After mooting in the very first round – the jitters really do melt away. I feel as though I’ve gained the invaluable skill of being more comfortable in a court room.

Moot highlight?
When my amazing partner Christine Hittinger and I made it to the semi-finals AND THEN to the finals. We jumped around together and the proceeded to take 1 million selfies in the courtroom. We mooted three times back to back in the span of about 6 hours. Totally intense but completely exhilarating.

I’m so grateful to have had such an amazing partner in Christine!

Moot stress moment?
See above. Also when former Chief Justice Bowman, Tax Court of Canada Legend, asked me questions during the final round. My heart rate was probably 200 BPM, and I’m pretty sure I sweated straight through my suit.

Who was your coach, and how would you describe him/her in three words?
Professor Sprysak in three words: genius, attentive, and supportive.

Advice for future mooters?
Just do it.

 

Law Guy: Fraser Genuis

Which moot did you take part in and why?

I participated in the Gale Cup Moot. Because the first year moot was an incredibly valuable and fun experience, I knew that I was keen to moot again. While I was interested in many of the competitive moots, I chose the Gale because it focuses on criminal and constitutional issues.

How would you describe the moot experience?

Fantastic. The whole process, while being a fair amount of work, was very rewarding. The problem that we were given (R v Gauthier) was intellectually engaging and very controversial. This made researching and writing our factums very interesting.

Our coach, Nathan Whitling, provided invaluable feedback and also arranged fourteen practice rounds with different Justices, professors, and members of the criminal bar. The opportunity to meet and learn from these diverse individuals was very worthwhile. Personally, I enjoy giving presentations and thus the opportunity to repeatedly refine my submissions was very much appreciated. Most importantly, our team worked well together, which made the process as a whole very enjoyable. 

Moot highlight?

Making the finals and presenting before Justice Gascon was definitely a highlight. This might very well be the only time in my whole legal career that I present before a Supreme Court Justice – definitely the highlight for me.

Moot stress moment?

I was trying to fall asleep the night before our moot when I suddenly realized that I had forgotten the details of two cases that I sometimes reference in my oral argument. I jumped out of bed, re-read the relevant passages, and then re-read some other cases just to make sure I hadn’t forgotten anything else. I did not get a lot of sleep that night.

Who was your coach, and how would you describe him/her in three words?

Our coach was Nathan Whitling, a practitioner at Beresh Aloneissi O’Neill Hurley Barristers. Our coach was incredibly helpful, so it is very difficult to describe him in three words. I’d go with: brilliant, helpful, and organized

Advice for future mooters?
The best advice I could give would be to individuals who are not sure if they will moot in the future. My advice is simple – do it. The advice I’d give to those who know they want to moot is to practice and prepare as much as possible. Our coach arranged so many practice rounds that by the time we got to the competition we had heard almost every question that was relevant to the issues on appeal. This made it significantly easier to respond to questions from the Bench.