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Nelligan O’Brien Payne First-Year Moot Court Competition 2008

On November 8, 2008, some 80 first-year students participated in the preliminary round of the Nelligan Moot Court Competition.

The case under appeal at the Supreme Moot Court of Fauteux Hall was a recent decision of the Ontario Court of Appeal, Walford v. Jacuzzi Canada (2007) 87 O. R. (3d) 281.  In Walford, the Court of Appeal overturned, by a 2-1 majority, the decision of the trial judge and awarded Ms. Walford $3.6 million in damages for injuries that she sustained in a backyard swimming pool accident.

Twenty hearings were heard over the course of the day, and each of these hearings had a panel of three judges. Seventeen judges came from Nelligan O’Brien Payne together with another 11 lawyers and judicial clerks from the community. Professors Anthony Daimsis and David McNairn together with third-year student, James Wishart, rounded out the Saturday judging panels.

Four students advanced from the preliminary round to the final hearing:

  • Fida Hindi and Natalia Werhun for the appellant;
  • Greg Gapski and Billeh Hamud for the respondent.

The following participants were runners-up and received honourable mention for their performance at the preliminary hearings:

  • Appellant runners-up: Amy Avis and Taylor Casement
  • Respondent runners-up: Amanda Sarginson and Nicole Kozicki
  • Best Factum runners-up (tie): Samira Ahmed and Joanna Reznick (appellant) and Michael F. Ahmadi (respondents)

On November 10, 2008 the final round of the Competition was held at the Faculty of Law.  The Honourable Mr. Justice Marshall Rothstein of the Supreme Court of Canada, along with the Honourable Madam Justice Maria Linhares de Sousa and the Honourable Mr. Justice Denis Power of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice (East Region) participated in the final hearing.  Justice Power, together with John Nelligan, founded the Nelligan Power law firm in 1965.

In a very close decision by the judges, Greg Gapski and Billeh Hamud won the John P. Nelligan Cup as the top team of advocates. Greg won the top oralist award. Fida Hindi and Natalia Werhum received runner up awards.

The prize for the best factum was awarded to Andrew Christie and Jonathan O’Hara.

The County of Carleton Law Association (CCLA) Prize for Best Factum includes free registration and an invitation to speak at the upcoming CCLA Solicitor’s Conference to be held at Montebello Que. in May 2009.  Andrew and Jonathan will deliver a paper on Walford v. Jacuzzi to the lawyers attending the conference.

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Last updated: 2009.12.15