Walsh Family Law Moot & Negotiation Competition

SAVE THE DATE
Saturday, March 13, 2021

Note: Walsh events for 2021 will be held virtually due to continued unpredictability of Covid-19.

The annual Walsh event took place this year on March 7. While the Family Law Moot allowed law students to practise their advocacy skills in an appellate context, the Negotiation Competition allowed them to apply their dispute resolution skills to a realistic and compelling parenting dispute. This was the sixth year that the two competitions were brought together, and it allowed participants to experience the full spectrum of services provided to family law litigants in one fabulous weekend!

The 2020 Walsh Family Law Moot:

Students from six Ontario law schools prepared facta and argued the appeal of an interesting family law case. Teams from University of Toronto, Osgoode Hall Law School, University of Ottawa, University of Windsor, Western University, and Queen’s University competed. Awards were presented as follows:

Best Written Appellant Factum
Priyanka Bahl and Vlad Floca-Maxim (University of Ottawa)

Best Written Respondent Factum
Michael Dunk, Mohnaam Shergill, and Alice Xiao (Osgoode Hall Law School)

Top Oralist
Rory Smith (University of Toronto)

Second Top Oralist
Andrew White (Queen’s University)

First Place Team
Lauren Wildgoose, Hanna Yakymova, Ryan Chan, Rory Smith (University of Toronto)

Second Place Team
Priyanka Bahl, Vlad Floca-Maxim, Genevieve Brown, Zechariah Martin (University of Ottawa)

The 2020 Walsh Family Law Negotiation Competition:

Teams from University of Toronto, Osgoode Hall Law School, University of Ottawa, University of Windsor, Western University, and Lakehead University competed.  Awards were presented as follows:

Top Students: 
First Place – Lauren Konarowski (University of Ottawa)
Second Place – Daniel Cox (Lakehead University)
Third Place – Morgan Watkins (University of Toronto)

Top Teams:
First Place – Michael Leibovitch Randozza and Lauren Konarowski (University of Ottawa)
Second Place – Remy Sansanwal and Kayleigh Pink (University of Ottawa)
Third Place – Clare McCann and Samantha Charlebois (Lakehead University)

Best Negotiation Plan:
Ryan Hanna and Andrea McPhedran (Osgoode Hall Law School)

2020 Walsh Family Law Moot and Negotiation Committee

Chair: Carolyn Leach, AFCC-O Board member

Members: Brian Burke, Sina Hariri, Michael Zalev, Mary-Anne Popsecu and Kathy Batycky, Tanya Road

The Walsh Family Law Moot:

Chair:  Sina Hariri

Committee Members:  Erin Crawford, Jaclyn Mackenzie,  Golnaz Simaie, and Clayton Spencer

The Walsh Family Law Moot is a competitive moot for 2nd and 3rd year law students. The moot will require a factum with a page limit of 20 pages.

Judges: The moots will be judged by various members of the judiciary including Court of Appeal, Superior Court of Justice and Ontario Court of Justice judges, as well as senior family law practitioners.

Prizes: Awards and recognition will be given to the school with the highest cumulative points for both facta and oral arguments, and second highest cumulative score and oralist score.  Awards will also be presented for the best written appellant and respondent team facta.  Participating law schools and winning teams are recognized in the AFCC-O newsletters and on our website.  Winning team participants are also listed on our website.

There is no charge to law school participants.

If you are interested in participating in our Appellate Moot, please download our Walsh Family Law Moot Rules and Regulations:

Walsh Family Law Moot Details & Rules

The Walsh Family Law Negotiation Competition:

Co-Chairs: Mary-Anne Popescu and Michael Zalev

Committee Members:  Justice  Jennifer MacKinnon, Justice Heather McGee, Brian Burke, Faith Feldman, Susan Jack, Courtney Wile

The Walsh Family Negotiation Competition is a competition for 2nd and 3rd year law students. Working in teams of two, using facts for each partner in a family law dispute, the law students will negotiate with opposing teams in three successive rounds of increasing complexity.

Judges: The competition will be judged by various members of the judiciary including Superior Court of Justice and Ontario Court of Justice judges, as well as senior family law practitioners, in teams of three.

Prizes:
 Awards and recognition will be given to the teams for:

  1. Best Negotiation Plans
  2. Best Overall Negotiation Teams
  3. Best Individual Students

Participating law schools and winning teams are recognized in the AFCC-O newsletters and on our website. Winning team participants are also listed on our website.

There is no charge to law school participants.  Limited stipends may be available to registrants from schools outside of Toronto.

If you are interested in participating in the Walsh Family Law Negotiation Competition, please download further Information and Rules:

Walsh Negotiation Competition Details & Rules

Sponsoring The Walsh Family Law Moot & Negotiation Competition:

Sponsorship opportunities are available to assist with travelling costs for students and their professors, the costs associated with renting Osgoode Hall, breakfast for all participants including the volunteers and an awards luncheon for all participants including the volunteers, amongst other associated costs.

Please download the below Sponsorship Flyer for information on levels of sponsorship and amounts.

AFCC-O-Walsh-Sponsorship-Form 2020

If you are interested in sponsoring the 2020 Walsh Family Law Moot and the Negotiation Competition, please contact Tanya Road at: tanyaroad@tnroadlaw.com

SPECIAL THANKS TO OUR 2020 SPONSORS!

Friday Reception Host:

Saturday Luncheon Sponsor:

Gold Level Sponsors:

Silver Level Sponsors:

Bronze Level Sponsors:

The Honourable George Tucker Walsh was a Pioneer in the Growth and Development of Family Law in Ontario

A pioneer in the growth and development of family law in Ontario, Justice Walsh passed away on December 28, 2017, at the age of 92.

Justice George Walsh was called to the Bar of Ontario in 1950 and practiced law with his father, until the latter was appointed to the Supreme Court of Ontario in 1958. Justice Walsh was appointed a Queen’s Counsel in 1960 and continued to practice law, with an emphasis on family law.”

In 1978, Justice Walsh was appointed to the Supreme Court of Ontario where he was immediately put in charge of the Family Law Division. At the time, spousal support was still called alimony and a woman’s entitlement to support depended on English law as it existed before Confederation. All divorces had to be heard in court and trials lasted weeks. There was an enormous backlog of cases waiting to be heard.

Justice Walsh, together with Justice Gertrude Speigel, was at the forefront of the work to simplify, expedite, and humanize family law. Gowns largely disappeared, and litigants, lawyers, and judges met informally. Discussions, offers, and settlement began to occur more frequently as family law belatedly entered the 20th Century.

Known as the ‘dean’ of the family law Bar, Justice Walsh’s philosophy was: resolution where possible; if not, timely adjudication. His objective was to reduce the cost of resolving family differences and issues, including the direct cost to the litigant and the indirect cost to the taxpayer, all of which had to be done without in any way reducing the quality or caliber of justice and the availability and timeliness of justice in the community. In his honour, the country’s first family law moot competition, the Walsh Family Law Moot, was held in Toronto in 2013 and it continues to be held annually with attendance growing every year.

The Walsh Family Law Moot and Negotiation Competition is named to recognize the outstanding contribution made by Justice Walsh to the development of family law in the province of Ontario.

Legacy and Transition

The Walsh Family Law Moot and Negotiation Competition is now a well-established event. In 2019, AFCC-O hosted the 7th annual moot and the 5th annual negotiation competition. Ontario Court of Justice senior lawyer, patti cross, was the driving force behind the appellate moot, and Superior Court of Ontario Justices Jennifer MacKinnon and Heather McGee developed the negotiation competition and still remain involved. The moot was organized for the first six years by lawyer Steve Benmor. The negotiation competition was very capably run by lawyer Tami Moscoe, and Elizabeth Hyde a lawyer/mediator. Lawyer/mediator Jennifer Suzor was a terrific sponsorship chair over the years. Since AFCC-O assumed responsibility for the event in 2016 a Board member has chaired the committee that coordinates the two competitions. Former AFCC-O President Justice Gerri Wong had that responsibility for two years, and President-elect Justice Philip Clay has chaired in 2018 and 2019. Current AFCC-O President, lawyer Brian Burke has been a major contributor as a member of the coordinating committee.

The leadership team began transitioning after the 2018 competition. We now have an  excellent new coordinating committee who are supported by a large team of volunteers many of whom have worked on the Walsh events since their inception.

Provided by: Justice Philip Clay, OCJ, AFCC-O Board Member

The AFCC-O Offers Complimentary Student Membership to Participants:

To recognize and thank the law students for their participation in the competitions, the AFCC-O is pleased to offer free AFCC-O memberships for all the students involved, helping our next generation of family law lawyers.

The AFCC-O wants to thank our AFCC-O members and other supporters who agreed to participate in, or sponsor, these important events. The Walsh Family Law Moot & Negotiation Competition remains an exciting collaborative opportunity between the Ontario Court of Justice, the Superior Court of Justice, law schools, legal academics, family lawyers, family justice partners and the AFCC-O.