Andrew Carvajal and Alexandre Bien-Aimé take 2009 Guérin Cup


This weekend, the team of Andrew Carvajal (left) and Alexandre Bien-Aimé (right) took First Prize at the Quebec Round of the Sopinka competition, also known as the Guy-Guérin Cup. Four teams took part in this competition, which was held at the Montreal Courthouse.

Alexandre also won the individual prize for “Best Opening Statement” and Andrew for “Best Pleader”.  According to Professor Ron Sklar (centre on photo), “Both were at the very top of their game in the nearly four-hour trial.”

The Sopinka is a criminal trial moot, complete from Crown's opening statement to its closing statement.  This year's case involved dangerous driving causing two deaths.  The main issue was whether the accused and one of the deceased were drag-racing at the time of a collision, killing the deceased and another driver, or whether the accused was speeding to escape from the deceased.

In this trial, the McGill team represented the defence. 

Alexandre Bien-Aimé and Andrew Carvajal will now go to Ottawa in mid-March for the national Sopinka Cup competition.  It is expected they will switch over to the Crown's robes. 

They are coached by criminal defence lawyer Julio Peris, Crown Prosecutor Lori Weitzman, defence lawyer Suzanne Costom, as well as Professor Ron Sklar.  

The Sopinka Cup was established in 1999 to honour the late Supreme Court of Canada Justice John Sopinka and to encourage law schools to train students in the art of oral advocacy.

The Faculty warmly congratulates Andrew and Alexandre, and wishes them the greatest success in Ottawa next month.