Warmest congratulations to all the teams who participated in the 2013 Environmental Law Moot court this weekend. Law students from across the country gathered to argue the appeal that the Supreme Court of Canada might have heard in Smith v. Inco, demonstrating a high degree of passion and ambition. It was my honour and pleasure to help judge one of the rounds, an experience I look forward to every other year. Thank you to all the volunteer judges, the coaches, the sponsors, the organizers and the Court of Appeal for graciously hosting the day.
A few tips for future participants: Remember to breathe, look the judges in the eye, and speak clearly. Be the most reasonable person in the room. Don’t react visibly to your opponent’s argument. Questions from the panel are a gift, not an attack; make sure you answer them.
Ask a friend to make a video of your argument, and watch it with them, before you come to court. Watch it again with the sound off. Don”t cringe: take notes, then try again. If you get a chance, take a drama class. Everyone has room to improve, and almost everyone gets better with practice. Good luck!