Law Society hosts 4th annual Paralegal Cup Moot

Posted: 12/05/2016

Sheridan duo wins moot competition

Group photo of three winners holding trophies standing with Cup committee membersThe weekend of November 19th and 20th saw paralegal students from across Ontario face off in the 4th Annual Paralegal Cup Intercollegiate Mooting Competition.

The event was presented in partnership with the Law Society of Upper Canada, Humber College ITAL The Business School, and the Paralegal Cup Steering Committee.

The Law Society hosted the event, which was held at Osgoode Hall and at the Law Society Tribunal on University Avenue.

Students came from Sheridan College, Mohawk College, Centennial College, Seneca College, Canadian Business College, Algonquin Careers Academy (Ottawa) and Loyalist College, sponsored by Bonn Law.

Law Society CEO welcomes mooters

“It is wonderful to see such a large and enthusiastic group of students participating: 11 teams from seven different schools,” said Law Society CEO Robert Lapper in his welcoming remarks on opening day. “The Paralegal Cup is an opportunity to engage in a competition designed specifically for you to hone your advocacy and critical thinking skills — helping you on your path to success as you prepare to join Ontario’s thriving paralegal profession of nearly 8,000 practitioners,” he said.

“Your participation this weekend is a testament to your skills and talent and to your commitment to your future profession — one that I know is in very capable hands,” said Lapper.

And the winners were…

Jana Smith and Andrew Wallace from Sheridan College won the coveted Paralegal Cup, while Diana Gutierrez-Perez and Ashley Rayos from Mohawk College finished as finalists.

Highlights of the two-day competition

The mooters appealed a modified version of British Columbia (Worker’s Compensation Appeal Tribunal) v. Fraser Health Authority 2016 SCC 25. The case was amended for the students to analyze Ontario statutes, policies and regulations.

Mooters were also required to submit a legal memo on behalf of the Appellant. Mohawk College students Gutierrez-Perez and Rayos won the Emond Publishing Written Advocacy Award for best legal memo.

Mooters presented oral submissions four times on Saturday, appearing as the Appellant or the Respondent throughout the competition at the Law Society Tribunal and Osgoode Hall. The top eight teams moved on to the Quarter Finals on Sunday.

Twenty high school students were introduced to the moot through an informal partnership with the Ontario Justice Education Network where they observed the competition, discussed with mooters, and toured Osgoode Hall, learning its history.

After the mock appeals, the students were invited to converse with the judges on each panel, consisting of paralegals, lawyers and members of the judiciary.

Formal banquet includes keynote speaker Janis Criger and emcee Michelle Haigh

Following the first day of four rounds of moot, the students, coaches and judges of the competition attended a formal banquet dinner in the Law Society’s Convocation Hall, and enjoyed a keynote speech from Bencher and Deputy Judge, Janis Criger.

Commenting on the tournament’s themes, Growth, Success and Innovation, Judge Criger outlined some paralegal history, discussed the challenges the profession faces and encouraged the mooters to “keep commanding respect, keep working hard to better your profession and make it well thought of.”

Michelle Haigh, chair of the Law Society’s Paralegal Standing Committee, was the emcee for the evening. To the participants, she said, “Whether you made it to the finals, or your journey ended today, I am sure your experience was positive, educational, and priceless.” She further noted: “By participating in this event, you are potentially networking with your future employer, business partner, or even mentor. This is more than just a mooting competition.”

See event photos on Instagram.

Thanks to the Paralegal Cup Steering Committee

The Paralegal Cup is organized by the Paralegal Cup Steering Committee, a group of alumni from Humber College’s Bachelor of Paralegal Studies program.

The Committee is chaired by Tara Lisowski and comprised of Sara Liden, Fallon Burns, Madeline Williams and Doug Taylor. It is the only moot that is specifically designed and oriented towards paralegal diploma and certificate students.