Inaugural Art Braid Business Law Case Competition impacts clinical learning
Practice of legal reasoning an essential skill dear to late professor
Edwin Arthur Braid, Q.C. (1934 – 2020), or ‘Art’, the much-loved former Dean and Professor at Robson Hall, the University of Manitoba’s Faculty of Law, had many passions. He was well known for his kindness, his commitment to intellectual discourse, and his precision and clarity as a teacher, among other things. In addition to the multitude of positive attributes associated with him, Art Braid was known for his affinity for business law.
The Business Law Group (“BLG”), a student group focused on corporate/commercial law at Robson Hall, had long been exploring the idea of offering a practical learning opportunity for students interested in a transactional practice. The stars aligned when the BLG learned about generous funding made available for a private law competition through the Professor E. Arthur Braid Q.C. Fund.
The inaugural Art Braid Business Law Case Competition took place on Friday, March 17, 2023. The competition was hosted at Thompson Dorfman Sweatman LLP’s downtown offices in True North Square. This year’s case focused on raising funds for an early-stage, private Manitoba technology company.
The case competition was an excellent opportunity to introduce students to the process of legal reasoning, something of particular importance to Art. Teams, made up of 2-4 students, were provided with several suggestions for raising funds, such as issuing new shares, debt financing, property sale, venture capital, and crowdfunding. Students were required to review the case instructions, analyse each suggestion, and provide a recommendation based on their legal analysis, as if they were counsel for the company. Students presented their recommendation to judges, comprised of lawyers from the Manitoba Bar, acting as a “Board of Directors.”
At the conclusion of the case competition presentations, about 50 law students, lawyers, and articling students gathered in TDS’ Northern Lights Lounge for refreshments, remarks, and the announcement of the winning team.
Everyone in attendance was fortunate to hear remarks from John Stefaniuk, K.C., a partner at TDS, who spoke in a profound and eloquent manner about Art: who he was, how he lived his life, and what he meant to the Manitoba legal community. This was an excellent opportunity for students, most of whom were in their first-year at Robson Hall, to learn more about Art’s legacy. John shared some of Art’s passionate quotes, accounts of the genuine interest Art took in each and every student he encountered, and the resulting fondness that those who knew him experienced.
The competition’s judges made particular note that the level of expertise and presentation ability among the student competitors was demonstrably high. Congratulations to the winners of the inaugural Art Braid Business Law Case Competition: Alli Knox (1L), Zeynep Fattah (1L), and Kirsten Nynych (1L). Runners-up included: Ashveer Sohi (1L), Jaspreet Brar (1L), Eric Moon (1L), and Daniel Rosenthal (1L).
Student feedback from the event has been positive, and the BLG is excited by the opportunity to continue developing this event in the years to come. In addition to the funding provided for a private law competition by the Professor E. Arthur Braid Q.C. Fund, Thomson Reuters, the event’s presenting sponsor, generously assisted with significant funding contributions.
The BLG would like to extend its sincere appreciation to the family and friends of Art Braid and those who continue to support his legacy through donations in his name, to Thomson Reuters, presenting sponsor, for its generous funding, to TDS for being an excellent host, to John Stefaniuk, K.C. for his thoughtful remarks, to Dean Jochelson and the Faculty of Law for their support, to our judges: Don MacDonald, Kyle Mirecki, Amy Gelhorn, Katie Leung, and Paolo Aquila for the time they took to make this competition a possibility, to the entire BLG Executive team, especially Rebecca Penner (2L), Event Coordinator, who dedicated significant effort to making this event a possibility, and to all the students who competed and brought this competition to life. Without these individuals and organisations, the Art Braid Business Law Case Competition would still only be an idea.
Historically, the BLG has organized events where lawyers, articling students, and instructors have been invited to speak on subjects such as mergers and acquisitions, bankruptcy and insolvency, Indigenous business, real estate, in-house practice, and more. It is the BLG’s goal to facilitate education and professional development opportunities for the Robson Hall student community on matters related to corporate/commercial law.