Two CWRU Teams Advance to the National Rounds of the BLSA Mock Trial Competition

Black Law Student Association mock trial winners
PIctured are BLSA team members (L-R): Makela Hayford, Nadia Haile, Francesca Veres, Sally Enoh, Akua Oppong, Aanya Myrie-Silburn, Marleni Chavana, Magda Phillips and Ryn Wayman.

The Black Law Student Association (BLSA) at Case Western Reserve University School of Law is advancing two teams to the 2022 National BLSA Constance Baker Motley Mock Trial Competition in Memphis, TN, in March, following outstanding performances at the Midwest qualifying rounds, which took place in St. Louis, MO, from Feb. 2–4.

CWRU BLSA Team Blue, composed of Makela Hayford (3L), Nadia Haile (3L), Sally Enoh (3L), and Francesca Veres (1L), finished second overall. CWRU BLSA Team White, composed of Ryn Wayman (1L), Magda Phillips (2L), Aanya Myrie-Silburn (1L), and Marleni Chavana (1L), came in fourth. Team alternates are Akua Oppong (1L) and Heavenly Aguilar (1L).

Hayford was honored as Best Advocate for the Midwest Region for the second year in a row.

This year’s mock trial problem was a criminal murder trial. Each team is composed of four advocates who conduct jury trials in pairs. The advocates are required to memorize and perform witness roles, give opening and closing remarks, give direct and cross examinations, make pretrial motions in limine, and argue evidentiary objections to a presiding judge. Teams are allotted 75 minutes to present their entire case before the jury. 

McClellon Cox, Esq. (LAW ’19) and Demari Muff (LAW ’20) coach the BLSA Mock Trial teams. 

“We are pleased with both teams’ performance in St. Louis," said Cox. "They prepared extensively over the months and weeks leading up to the regional competition. I am happy that their hard work is being rewarded. Demari Muff and I look forward to working with the team over the next month to prepare for what is sure to be a challenging National Championship run.”

The CWRU BLSA Mock Trial Program was resurrected in 2019 after several years of inactivity. Coaches Cox and Muff competed on the 2019 team as students, winning third place at the Midwest BLSA Mock Trial Competition and third place at the National BLSA Mock Trial Competition. CWRU BLSA returned to its winning tradition in 2021, claiming the first-place trophy at the 2021 Midwest BLSA Mock Trial Competition, which took place over Zoom due to the pandemic. Hayford, Haile and Enoh competed on the 2021 team.