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Best in the West, Robson Hall team claims 2nd place and Best Closing Argument at Sopinka Cup

After winning the MacIntyre Cup as top team in the Western Moot, Robson Hall team of Yassir Al-Naji and Ben Johnson came second to only one other team at the national final trial moot

March 21, 2018 — 

Judy Kliewer, General Counsel for Public Prosecution Service of Canada, together with Judges Tim Killeen [LL.B./79] and Raymond Wyant [LL.B./77], helped prepare Robson Hall’s trial moot team for competition this year. She shares the following summary of the team’s performance in Ottawa at the Sopinka Cup, the national trial moot competition, won this year by the McGill University team.

As coaches, we are extremely proud of our team, Yassir Al-Naji and Ben Johnson, who placed second in the Sopinka Cup Moot Trial Competition held in Ottawa March 16-17, 2018.  In addition, Yassir’s powerful closing submissions – in a Crown case that had almost no merit – earned him the prize for best closing address! 

Yassir and Ben were selected from 8 students who competed in U of M’s Solomon Greenberg Moot in November, 2017, to represent U of M in the Western regional competition hosted by our school in February.   Their talent and skills were quickly apparent as the practicing commenced, and we were not surprised when they won first prize in that competition to bring the MacIntyre Cup back to Robson Hall.   With this win, they advanced to the Sopinka Cup competition to compete against teams from seven schools across Canada that had also advanced from other regional competitions.  Ben and Yassir spent many long hours in three short weeks preparing for the Sopinka Cup, building and perfecting the same case, though this time advocating for the Crown.  Their performance at the Sopinka Cup was truly outstanding! 

Yassir and Ben will surely join us in thanking their third-year classmate, Caroline Lacey, for her unwavering support and contribution to their success.  She spent the long evenings and Saturday mornings with the team to play the role of any one of the sordid witnesses so that Ben and Yassir could craft their examinations.

We congratulate Yassir and Ben on their hard work, dedication and their success!

Judy Kliewer, General Counsel
Judge Tim Killeen
Judge Raymond Wyant

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