Moots, Moots and More Moots! Oh My!

Posted by Kathleen Moxley
Kathleen Moxley
Hi, I'm a 3L Dual JD student, originally from Ottawa and now living in Windsor
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on Monday, 26 November 2012
in Student Blogs

So I had intended to make this post specifically about the Dual JD program but with everything else that has been going on it looks like that may have to wait a few days.

My November, thus far, has been dedicated mainly to three things. The Ernie Goodman Moot, finishing my Advanced Advocacy paper and getting the moot problem out for the Canadian Law Games. I am pleased to report all of these things are now done. I mentioned in my last post that I would be a very happy person come November 27th. I have one final assignment and a test, so as of 1 pm tomorrow I will be officially done my term work, but for now just being done with everything moot related for a week is a lovely break.

The Ernie Goodman Mock Trial Tournament was last Friday and Saturday. I’ve had the pleasure of being involved with it since my first year of law school and it holds the distinction of being the first moot I ever went to. In first year I volunteered as a witness and then last year entered as a competitor. Neither my partner nor I had any trial experience and it was most definitely trial by fire. It was also really fun. This year was a little different as the problem was based on 42 USC 1983 cause of action for excessive use of force by an off duty police officer rather than the employment related theme of the moot the previous two years. The competition was well organized and ran smoothly thanks to the great efforts of Dan Bonucchi and Prof. Sung. My partner and I went against the two teams which advanced to the finals during our preliminary rounds. If you’re going to be beat, it might as well be by the best and both the winners Mike Glynne and Scott Sierzenga and their opponents Issa Karamo and Ben Dacin are easily among the best. The competition is open to 2nd and 3rd year students. If you’d like more information you can check out: http://www.law.udmercy.edu/index.php/competition-opportunities

I also just realized that some of you may not be familiar with the term “moot” (Advanced Advocacy tip #308: Write for your audience). Moot basically refers to any mock or model court competition. There are internal or in-house moots, and external moots in which students from different schools compete. Students typically have to submit some form of written document prior to the competition which may or may not contribute to their score and then complete an oral argument based on the problem presented. The term is used slightly differently in Canada than it is the US (as my Advanced Advocacy class delighted in informing me). In Canada we use the word much more flexibly. It can be a verb. i.e. “I’m mooting this weekend,” or a noun which refers to the whole competition or simply the oral arguments, such as “How did you do in the moot?” In contrast the US has a much more restrictive usage of the term and generally only allows for its use when referring to the competition as a whole.

With Goodman over on the 17th (coincidentally my Mother’s birthday; Happy belated and thanks for understanding why I wasn’t coming home for it!) it was back to the final editing of my Advanced Advocacy paper and preparation for oral arguments. I am probably one of the few people who selected to take Advanced Advocacy without sitting on UDM’s Moot Court Board. I took it because I wanted to improve my writing skills. They have always been my weak point and as so much of law is writing I figured it was a good idea to try and up my skills before graduation, plus UDM requires that each student take an upper level writing course. The course is primarily offered as the mandatory writing component for Moot Court members but provides a great chance to work on your written advocacy. The course itself is open to upper year students with priority given to Moot Court members. It focuses around the creation of an appellate level brief culminating in an oral argument based on your writing. It’s a demanding course for the 2 credits which students receive but well worth the time and effort, and a unique feature of UDM. I haven’t necessarily been able to put as much time as I would have liked into it this year but the advice I have learned from it will decidedly serve me well in my legal career. In keeping with my previous attempt to link you into more vetted information here’s a link to the class description: http://www.law.udmercy.edu/index.php/advanced-advocacy-course

The third thing keeping me incredibly busy this month has been the Law Games moot. I am the chair of the University of Windsor Moot Court Committee this year and as part of that am overseeing the running of the moot for Law Games. Law Games, or Jeux Ridiques as it’s called in French, is a Canadian inter-university competition between law schools. It is held annually and involves a variety of fun and friendly contests between schools from across the country, including those studying Quebec’s civil law tradition. Most of the activities in involve fun contests such as inner tube water polo or hockey. The moot is the one more serious element of the games. It is also intended to be bilingual in order to fully allow people from both English and French speaking schools to participate. (If anyone with adequate French skills is interested in judging please let me know! – This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

I, along with my committee have spent the last month and a bit putting together the problem for the moot. The problem has been set for a while. The problem has been with ensuring we can provide an appropriately professional translation. I grew up in Ottawa and my French skills are okay. That definitely does not qualify me to be in charge of translating legal materials, but it does give me a really strong appreciation for how often French gets short changed in ‘bilingual’ documents, events or services. One of my main goals for this year’s moot is to ensure that we truly are delivering as bilingual a mooting experience as possible given the resources available to us in the southern tip of Ontario. But for now the translation is done and we’re on to the next step.

All of this basically gets me caught up to the present in terms of school work. There are, however, 2 other things I’d like to take a little time to tell you about before diving back into the rest of my work.

The first of these is that I’m writing this on a train. I am currently on my way back to Windsor after spending the American Thanksgiving weekend in Quebec City. Law school isn’t all work and Detroit/ Windsor is ideally situated as the gateway to a whole bunch of amazing travel destinations. For example Chicago is a mere 5 hour drive and Toronto is about 3 and a half. Windsor is situated at the end of Via Rail’s Quebec-Windsor Corridor which offers commuter train service linking cities across Canada’s two most populous provinces. The train also comes equipped with free wifi and lots of leg room perfect for catching up on work or sleep once you get tired of taking in the scenic countryside.

The second thing, and last before I leave you for today, is the Christmas Wonderfest Holiday Market. A couple of corporate sponsors have gotten together to create some holiday magic in downtown Detroit. From last weekend through to the end of December local businesses have been transported into empty store spaces on Woodward to create a festive mini market every Thursday through Sunday. The result is a colourful strip of local industry along with the usual holiday tree and public skating at Campus Martius. I walked along the strip after finishing my oral argument not realizing that nothing but the rink was open on Wednesdays but am now plotting a return visit for my lighter schedule in the coming weeks.

It’s been a jam-packed and exciting November but I’m now ready for December and my holiday nap.

Blog posted from Kingston, ON, Canada View larger map

About the author

Kathleen Moxley

Hi,
I'm a 3L Dual JD student, originally from Ottawa and now living in Windsor. I did my undergraduate degree in Political Studies with a minor in Psychology from Queen's University, Kingston. I love to ski and generally just get outside and explore new things. You can contact me at moxleyka@udmercy.edu.