The Wild, Wild West

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:


Event Sponsors

BridgePoint Financing

Collins Barrow

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)


Team Coaches

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

Written by

Sig Pantazis currently practices in all areas of law with a focus on Personal Injury and Environmental. Sig joined Nicholson Read Personal Injury Lawyers in 2011 following his call to the bar. He obtained his Bachelor of Technology at the Memorial University of Newfoundland, and graduated from the University of Ottawa Law School.