Legal Minds in the Metaverse: Highlights from the 3rd Annual VR Moot Competition

Faculty of Law - Common Law Section
Student experience

By Common Law

Communication, Faculty of Law

For the third year in a row, the Faculty of Law (Common Law Section) has made it to the metaverse.
On Nov. 18, it hosted the finals of its annual LeClair x uOttawa Metaverse Moot competition partially in person and partially in virtual reality (VR).

The Faculty is known nationally, worldwide – and now universe-wide – for its excellence in mooting competitions, where teams of students prepare written submissions on a legal point and then argue their case in front of a panel of judges. 

This year’s finals were presided over by three human judges - Ron LeClair of LeClair and Associates, which sponsors the moot, Brian Casey, an arbitrator with Bay Street Chambers and Prof. Celine Braumann. 

judges students

At issue was a lawsuit by an employee of the prestigious Fauteux Vineyard who slipped on some clear liquid on the floor during a lunch time poker game and sustained serious injuries.  

The moot problem raised complex legal questions concerning the duty of care owed by the Winery to its employees, the potential impact of assumption of risk, and the possibility of contributory negligence, etc. 

To add an even more cutting-edge issue, the students also had to argue over whether an expert report generated by ChatGPT should be allowed to be introduced as evidence. 

The 2L students on the two sides - Kasia Knap and Jessica Knezy represented the claimant and Mathew Seeburger and Sean MacLeod the respondents - physically presented their arguments in the Fauteux Hall courtroom.  


Then the claimants asked to present Virtual Exhibit A and everyone (the three judges and four mooters) put on headsets and were transported to the virtual wine cellar. They made their virtual arguments as avatars and then came out of VR and continued their arguments in the physical courtroom.


“Our mooting program persistently shatters conventional boundaries, with our students at the forefront of this transformative journey,” says Professor Anthony Daimsis, who supervises the mooting program in the Common Law Section.

“Unquestionably, mooting stands as the premier method for equipping law students with the requisite skills for legal practice. Moreover, the incorporation of avant-garde technology and contemporary subjects such as Artificial Intelligence, which are currently revolutionizing our field, provides our students with an additional advantage.”


The LeClair x uOttawa Metaverse Moot was established in 2022 by then-student Ritesh Kotak. Kotak is a tech entrepreneur who left a career in policing to pursue his MBA, then obtained his Juris Doctor in 2022. The metaverse project is generously funded through to 2026 by LeClair and Associates.  

“This year’s moot was probably the most realistic application of this technology, the ability to recreate a scene and be transported virtually into it.” said Kotak. “The technology allows us to present evidence in ways we couldn’t before. 


“It is great to see the progression of this moot. The first year was the first moot in the metaverse, the second year was the introduction of virtual evidence and this year was scene recreation. We are already planning something even more ambitious for next year.” 

Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, Arif Virani, brought recorded greetings, recalling his participation in a moot competition 25 years ago. 

“I'm a debater at heart, and I really enjoyed the deep dive into a legal problem in order to argue my point. Those experiences have stuck with me, helping drive my passion for understanding how the law works,” Virani said. 

masked judges & students

“What we argue is important, and so is how we argue, and your Moot is a trendsetter in that regard.” 

He said there is no question that our legal world is changing, and the Moot is “demonstrating just how we can adapt to these very rapid shifts.” 

“Before the pandemic, a VR courtroom was more of a blue-sky idea. Now with almost four years of remote learning and working under our belts, we can see this as a viable option in the not-too-distant future. 

“When I think about the potential here, my mind goes to how to access justice, and how that has been improved by remote hearings and virtual courts. Virtual reality takes this a step further to a place we really cannot get to on a Zoom call. 

“Being able to read body language, observe nuances, feel more connected to the proceedings. In a court setting, this is invaluable for all parties. I look forward to seeing how this technology can be applied in the future to help make our justice system more accessible, more fair, and more responsive.”