Thurgood Marshall Trial Team sweeps first, second, third places at regionals

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The University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law’s Thurgood Marshall Trial Team placed first, second, and third at the National Black Law Students Association Mid-Atlantic Region’s Constance Baker Motley Mock Trial Competition, Feb. 17-18, winning all of the mock trial advocacy awards of the competition. Additionally, Colin Forrest ‘24 (top, left), won the Best Advocate award for the competition.  

The win qualifies Maryland Carey Law’s three teams to go on to nationals to compete against the top three teams from each of the six regional matchups. The national competition will take place in Washington, DC, March 8-12.  

“I am very proud of our team's accomplishments over the weekend,” said Jonathan Mack ‘24 (top, middle), captain of the first-place team. “None of this would have been possible without our coaches and everyone’s willingness to put in an ample amount of hard work and effort in preparing for competition. We are all very excited and looking forward to the national competition in Washington D.C.” 

Advocates were evaluated on their overall courtroom presence, command of the Federal Rules of Evidence and Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, teamwork, and timeliness and accuracy of objections. Each trial lasted approximately four and a half hours and simulated a criminal trial proceeding with opening statements, direct and cross-examination of witnesses, and closing arguments. The competitors went up against teams from law schools including Washington and Lee and Penn State Law. 

This year's teams:  

1st place team: Colin Forrest ‘24, Jonathan Mack ‘24 (team captain), Amirah Loury ‘24, and Deanna Thomas ‘23 

2nd place team: Aurie Serrette ‘24, Olivia Ayd ‘24, Christopher Daffin ‘24 (team captain), Elizabeth Alfonso ‘24 

3rd place team: Alaina Cohen ‘24, Tamia Morris ‘23, Queen Nwangwu ‘24, Isaac De La Cruz ‘24 
Derrick Milburn ′13, an attorney at the Department of Homeland Security, is the team’s head coach and a former team member. Coaching assistants are Sakkara Turpin ′14, Venable, LLP; Trevonne Walford '15, Kahn, Smith, & Collins, PA; Meryl Seidel '19, Maxim Healthcare; Zara Thomas ‘19, Montgomery County State’s Attorneys; and Emelia Hall, Mullins, Riley, & Scarborough, LLP. 

Student coaches included Junior Dufort ‘23 and Samuel Kebede ‘23.  

Our victory was truly a team effort,” said Milburn, reflecting on the continued success of the Thurgood Marshall Trial Team, now in its 15th year. Milburn credits support from "faculty, BLSA alumni, fellow students, and members of the bar who all graciously volunteered their time and efforts to support our students.”