Saturday, 31 January 2009

External Moot

On Wednesday I took the 12 o clock train to Leeds to compete in a national mooting competition.
With five days to prepare for it instead of the month and a half everyone else had I was a bit flustered, I had prepared a script, which everyone in mooting says "don't use a script! Use cue cards instead" Thankfully a faithful Alie of the script approach said for me to stick to what I know how to do, know what you are going to say well enough so that you don't have to read off it.

We pulled into Leeds about 2pm, and went into Leeds University, got lost on the campus, eventually found the building and then I sneaked off for about 3 cigarettes in the freezing cold (the weather was against me) as I tried to calm down my nerves for the moot.

About 4pm the bundle arrived which the hosting team were supposed to prepare. I turned to the copy of Hadley v Baxendale to highlight it and found that it was a print off from Westlaw.
"That's ok" I thought, Hadley is a very old case from the 1850's I wasn't going to berate the other team for not having a copy of it. Then to my horror all the cases were print offs from Westlaw!!! Bad Bad Hosting team. After the hosting team left the room, I went absolutely mental, apologising to my lecturer for my use of fairly prolific language, calmed down and tried to find all my paragraphs in the relevant pages, which took about 20 minutes longer than I had expected due to having to number every page and then scrawl through the text to find my quotes.

The moot:
We awaited in the mock court room, myself being very nervous awaiting the moot judge Mr Simon Myerson QC, so I was doubly shitting myself. He arrived and we got straight onto it, however I forgot where I was and sat down immediately instead of waiting for Mr Myerson to sit down give the judicial nod so that we may rest our tired buttocks. My partner quickly said "Lost stand up!" No doubt the lecturer who accompanied us was slightly dying inside of shame.

The lead respondent for the hosting team started first and I was second. Their argument didn't follow their skeleton which we had been given, so I had lost my 5 minutes of very carefully planned rebuttals. Not too bad I thought, given that Mr Myerson was perhaps the most interventionist judge I have ever encountered whilst mooting, I'm sure it wasn't going to make much difference.

I got up to speak "May it please your Lordship my name is Lost and I appear for the respondents on the first ground of appeal" I referred his Lordship to the first case, and my first highlighted passage, and then all chaos broke loose! "Mr Lost I know the test in Hadley, how does it apply here to what the appellant's have said" "Well my Lord I was going to cover this in my second submission" and then I paused for thought flicked through my pages of notes and said "Yes my Lord if I may refer your Lordship to the case of Victoria Laundry".

It all went well, I think I must have been grilled for about 20-25 minutes, perhaps the low light of it all was being asked to re-read a passage substituting words with the facts of the present case, as I had to then look up the passage and get my stressful head around how to say it!

My highlight, well not until I found out afterwards was a certain emphasis on a particular phrase, which made my lecturer no longer worried about my performance and my partner wet himself slightly.
"If I may refer your Lordship to the case of H Parsons v Uttley Ingham Co, is your Lordship aware of the facts of this case?"
"No I'm not"
"The defendants..."
"Oh yes the Pig case"
"Yes my Lord top grade pigs"

All went well until the final point of my last submission which to be fair was pretty poor and thought up the night before.
"My Lord it is not disproportionate to place a burden of liability on party x, because ... etc"
"Well yes Mr Lost however that isn't a very good point is it?...."
"Yes My Lord, however it is my last point.."
To which I got a laugh and a "Very well Mr Lost"

When I sat down my partner had written me a very sweet note that read "That was magnificent" to which then my face lit up like a beam of hope and I couldn't stop smiling.

Judgement was delivered and we were declared the winners! (Of course we knew this from beginning ;) All in all a good moot, with lots of experience to draw from for the quarter finals of my internal mooting competition, where I shall be mooting in front of QCs/Barristers again!

Lets hope they are just as nice as Mr Myerson and buy us a drink afterwards too!

7 comments:

Android said...

Again, well done! Considering that you had less time to prepare and you were pretty nervous, you've dome amazingly well!

I am sure it will be one of many victories for you. :)

Law Minx said...

Excellent Result, Lost!! Simon obviously held your arguments up for great scruitiny and they withstood it ( added value there given that he sits as a Recorder), so your mooting capabilities are obviously going from strength to strength! :)

( You lucky DAWG, you - tisnt every day one is able to wring drinkies out of a Silk!)

Lost said...

Anon, I have emailed you back :)

I should really start charging for TFL advice!!

Android said...

Go, Lost! Nevermind charging - you could list this as 'pro-bono' your CV!

Good luck, Anon!

Lost said...

I've had about 20 people email me for advice!! I am always glad to help though.. I wonder if I could possibly list it on my CV... how would I list it even lol?

"I help faredogers get off"

I'm sure it would look delightful!

Simon Myerson said...

Oh dear - 'most interventionist Judge ever'. And to think I went home and told Mrs M that I'd kept quiet and let you all get on with it...

Still, well done and nice to meet you. Hope you win. ♠

Lost said...

Hello Mr Myerson, (I was told off for referring to you casually as "Simon")

I was unaware that you read my blog, so thought I would post freely! Any hyperbole is of course my own doing!!

It was a good moot, I'm glad I took part in the end, though the 5 days of not sleeping could have been avoided.

Thank you for that well needed drink.