For the third year in a row, Harvard Law School has won the Northeast Black Law Students Association’s Trial Advocacy competition. HLS sent two teams to the competition this year, and, for the second consecutive year, HLS took both first and second place.

Eighteen trial teams from across the Northeast Region participated in the competition, which was held Jan. 27-30 at Foxwoods in Mashantucket, Conn.

The two Harvard BLSA teams advanced to the final round to compete against each other for the championship title. The first place team consisted of Mostafa Abdelkarim ’11, Anthony Hendricks ’12, Ieshaah Murphy ’12, and Nneka Ukpai ’11.  The second place team consisted of Jamahdi Blueford ’13, Jamila Hollins ’13, Charles E. Redmond II ’11, and Richard Young ’13.  Young won the Best Advocate award for the entire competition.

“The teams are eternally grateful for Criminal Justice Institute Clinical Instructor Dehlia Umunna,” said Ukpai. “Without her patience and late nights, these victories would have been literally impossible.” The teams also credited Professor Ronald Sullivan for assisting in the preparation of motions in limine, motions to suppress, and evidentiary arguments.

The defendant in this year’s case was a member of a church that practices polygamy.  With an extremely complex fact pattern, the case involved charges of conspiracy to kidnap, child sex trafficking, and selling children to promote child pornography. In the final round, Abdelkarim, Hendricks, Blueford and Young represented the prosecution; Ukpai, Murphy, Hollins and Redmond represented the defense.

As a result of their victories, both teams have advanced to the national competition, which will be held March 9-13, 2011 in Houston, Texas.