Ace Attorney: Troisnyx. NOT.

The Tort Law module for Year 2 included a moot, which took place over a period of three weeks. The topic was similiar to that of our dissertation — it was defamation. Over the three weeks, Year 2 students were decked in suits, or dark colours and white, armed with bundles and case reports, standing tall and shouting “OBJECTION!” really loudly… well, you get what I mean. They were defending their case. But the reality lies in the outcome of the case: get an acquittal/a successful appeal or go hungry again. And in the case of us law students, the maxim reads: do the moot or fail your Tort Law module.


I’m not, and I never was, the best of debaters. I reluctantly did this moot. It has always come to pass that I was given the best evaluation/elected Best Speaker for the session, but my side would ultimately lose. Though I knew the possibility of this occuring was very high (and the facts were always assumed to be in favour of the respondents in the case we were given), I wanted to turn the case around, and for once, I put aside my memories of past debates and set a new target: to turn the case around so that it would be in the appellants’ favour, for once.

Friday was April Fools’ Day, but it wasn’t for me. It was the last day of mooting, and I was to have my moot on that day. I prepared my material the night before, and I only had three hours to prepare my work — my preparation for the moot was sandwiched between Mass and Quarant’ore (the Forty Hours Devotion to the Blessed Sacrament), the latter taking place at midnight. I prepared a print list, and I was relieved to have a burden shaken off me.

On the day proper, I was dressed in my favourite blouse (see picture ^_^), a brown A-line skirt (also my favourite), black tights and boots. I had makeup on me. After the 10:00 EU lecture, I did my job application for the Student Union, and went straight to the LRC to get my bundles printed. I borrowed a yellow highlighter from a friend (yellow is always the best option for bundles, I’ve seen it during my placement) and began highlighting the parts which I felt I’d use in my case. In the process of printing and highlighting, I discarded two pages, because I felt I wouldn’t be using them in the debate. Then I had a second lecture — on Commercial Law this time, and after that, I did a quick test run with the Student Union officer just so that I could build up my confidence. I felt, if a lay person can follow the debate and keep up with the page-turning, I should be alright.

Minutes before we were called into the seminar room, I tried keeping my calm by watching Ace Attorney: Phoenix Wright — a DS game about lawyers and court proceedings.

Our moot was supposed to take place at 3:30, but because the first group for the afternoon was not there, seminar tutor Ralph Camp called us in. There were three of us in the group — we were 2 against 1. The senior appellant spoke, followed by the senior respondent, and then it was my turn.

I had overestimated the amount of pages I was going to use for my bundle. I had twelve pages — take away the first pages of the case and you have nine — and I was only going to use four, I felt. For the “case”, I submitted that the Reynolds test was not meant to be a comprehensive checklist on which the defence of the media would fail, and that the client should be allowed the defence of honest comment.
The “judge” dropped a bombshell question on me, thinking that I’d be unable to answer… After thirty seconds of silence, I found a page in the bundle which I felt could help me in my case and said, “May I direct your Lordship’s attention to page 7 of the bundle…”

But no matter what I did, it just didn’t help me. The case was in favour of the respondent.


We were all given a “competent” note; I was the best evaluated of the three students, but we lost the case. This mirrors my past debates, does it not? I left the place shortly after our leg of the moot had ended. I was tired and dejected, to say the least.

I told my relatives in Essex about what had happened. I was positive I did not make any mistakes as far as the preparation and materials were concerned. The odds were indeed stacked against me. And I was told, if it’s for this, then I should have no regrets.

But in actual fact, I do.

Even when it came to debates taking place outside the law school, I was never able to hold my own. I can almost never come up with solid answers instantly — I sometimes take a day or two to find the right words. And here’s the worst part — I’ve lost every single debate I’ve taken part in. People see my track record and they’ll know I am not a person clients can rely on. In the event they do, they’d lose their case. I was harrowed after every debate. I felt I’d lose my sanity. And the more I’m going through it, the heavier my cross becomes. I AM NOT CUT OUT TO BE A LAWYER. If it takes all my previous debates… and the moot… to tell people that my strengths lie somewhere else, so be it.

During my two-week placement in MY, I watched court proceedings, dressed for the court and even fancied myself as an Ace Attorney. Now, reality strikes — I’m not an Ace Attorney. That can be left to Phoenix Wright and his group of prosecutors and defendants.

So why am I going on with LLB, you ask? It’s simply because I don’t deny that it’ll help me at some point. English law works best where the heart of common law is… in England and Wales! Nowhere else! I am here, in the place where law and history come alive, and it’s fascinating just to think that. For my preferred field of work (I want yearn to go on a musical journey), I’ll need intellectual property and a few things related to commerce. I’ll need Contract Law (for obvious reasons) and Tort Law (in the event defamation takes place). These are specialised areas of law which I believe I’ll have to keep track of (or at least have an awareness of), if I want to live my dream to the fullest. And I would want to live my dream in the place where law and history come alive.

For now, then, I’ll just carry this cross day by day. But I will NEVER forget the events that have led to me carrying this cross.


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