Western edges out win in tight OTLA Cup competition
The best in the west defeated the rest – but not without a fight. The OTLA Cup returned to be heard in Kingston where it began 23 years ago, but the University of Western Ontario is taking it home in 2015.
And what a Cup it was! Ten competitors and five witnesses from five of Ontario’s law schools were excellently prepared by their coaches to litigate a difficult motor vehicle accident case in Kingston’s historic Frontenac Courthouse.
The facts were not simple – there was an overworked and underslept junior lawyer in one car, a well-lubricated sports fan in another, a bar with free-flowing drinks and new wait staff, an intoxicated “hero” who stumbled onto the scene, and a municipality that may or may not have met its road cleaning obligations.
The students dealt with expert opinions, prior inconsistent statements, a sympathetic victim, and a whole lot more. There were squirming witnesses, crazy crosses, and preaching closing statements. It was an incredible show.
On hand to adjudicate was the Honourable Justice Brian Abrams, who not only volunteered to run the proceeding, but delivered pragmatic and pointed advice to the students who are well on their way to becoming great advocates.
Sean Lewis and Will Samson-Doel ultimately guided Western to victory, but it was a narrow decision made by an excellent jury including OTLA President Steve Rastin. Jessica Lastuk from Osgoode was declared the day’s best overall advocate. These were not easy winners to crown – each competitor and each team this year performed brilliantly.
With fewer and fewer cases going to trial we sometimes worry about Ontario’s future litigators. If this year’s OTLA Cup is any barometer, Ontarians are in good hands.
Derek Nicholson, OTLA Director and OTLA Cup Committee Chair, was on hand to organize the event and wishes to thank everyone involved for their very hard work in putting together this year’s Cup!
Congratulations to the 2015 OTLA Cup Winners!!
Tim Boland Award for Best Advocate
Jessica Lastuk, Osgoode Hall Law School
Bergeron Clifford Award for Best Team
University of Western Ontario
Sean Lewis & Will Samson-Doel
Will Davidson Award for Best Opening Statement
Sean Lewis, University of Western Ontario
Bruce T. Hillyer Award for Best Closing Statement
Jaime Mor, Osgoode Hall Law School
Greg Monforton Award for Best Examination-in-Chief
Jessica Lastuk, Osgoode Hall Law School
Bonn Law Award for Best Cross-Examination
Kristina Zilic, University of Ottawa
OTLA would like to thank the following sponsors and volunteers who made this event possible:
McKellar Structured Settlements
Nicholson Read / Beament Green
Oatley Vigmond LLP
Team Travel Sponsors
Connolly Obagi LLP – University of Ottawa
Lerners LLP – University of Western Ontario
Scarfone Hawkins LLP – University of Windsor
Fireman Steinmetz Daya LLP – Osgoode Hall Law School
OTLA Cup Committee Members
Derek Nicholson – Nicholson Read / Beament Green (Ottawa) [Chair]
Anna Szczurco – Lerners LLP (London)
John Michael Bray – Orendorff & Associates (Sudbury)
Jonathon Burton – Gluckstein & Associates (Toronto)
Michelle Jorge – Jewell Radimisis Jorge LLP (Toronto)
Nicole Corriero – Lofranco Corriero (Toronto)
Rikin Morzaria – McLeish Orlando (Toronto)
Sig Pantazis – Nicholson Read / Beament Green (Ottawa)
Tanis Bolt – T.L. Bolt Professional Corporation (Toronto)
Andrew Camman – Western
Ryan Breedon – Osgoode Hall Law School
Monique Jilesen – Osgoode Hall Law School
Joseph Griffiths – University of Ottawa
Yashoda Ranganathan – Queen’s University
Julian Johnson Steeves – Queen’s University
Monica Pathack – University of Windsor
Special thanks to Anna Szczurko for coaching assistance on the day of the event
The Honourable Mr. Justice Brian Abrams – Superior Court of Justice
Steve Rastin, OTLA President – Rastin & Associates (Barrie)
Donna Bradbury – Nicholson Read / Beament Green (Ottawa)
Jessica McClay – Nicholson Read / Beament Green (Ottawa)
James Page – Martin & Hillyer Associates (Burlington)
Veronika Hamza – Jewell Radimisis Jorge LLP (Toronto)
Fiona Babb – Jewell Radimisis Jorge LLP (Toronto)
Ramona Pimentel – Jewell Radimisis Jorge LLP (Toronto)
Ellen Drevnig – Collins Barrow
Ian Wollach – Collins Barrow