UH Law Center team wins National Trial Competition

Baynes

The Law Center team of Barira Munshi, left, Travis Holland, and Ashley Ellerin took top honors in the John L. Costello National Criminal Law Mock Trial Advocacy Competition.

Feb. 9, 2015—University of Houston Law Center students Ashley Ellerin, Travis Holland, and Barira Munshi won the Costello National Criminal Mock Trial Advocacy Competition hosted this past weekend by George Mason University.

The event featured 32 teams and was held at the Fairfax County Courthouse in Virginia.

The UHLC students beat teams from Illinois, BYU, Emory, Penn, and Buffalo on their way to the championships.

This year, students tried a criminal case in which the defendant was accused of murdering her husband by pouring gasoline around the bed while he was sleeping and setting the house on fire. She claimed self-defense and argued that she suffered from battered women’s syndrome.

“The team’s effective use of case law, and their trial skills and mastery of evidence contributed to this win,” said Jim Lawrence, director of the Blakely Advocacy Institute. “They did a fantastic job.”

Ellerin, Holland, and Munshi advanced to the finals as the highest scoring prosecution team, beating Buffalo which represented the defense. Coaches for the winning team were UHLC alums Jackie Houlette and Julie Gray.

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