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Annual Mock Trial

“A Washington wonk’s dream” –The New York Times

Each spring, the Shakespeare Theatre Company’s Bard Association hosts an annual Mock Trial and Dinner that has become one of the most anticipated events on our calendar. Hailed as “an evening of high farce before the high court” by Legal Times, STC’s Mock Trial assembles a panel of judges to hear a case based on one of the season’s mainstage plays, argued by notable attorneys from DC and beyond.

The Mock Trial was conceived in in 1994 by Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy to explore the connection of classical theatre and modern-day law. Today, known for selling out in a record-breaking two hours, Mock Trial has hosted such prominent law professionals as Supreme Court Justices, Samuel Alito, Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Elena Kagan, and Sonia Sotomayor, as well as Chief Judge Merrick Garland, Judge Douglas Ginsburg, Judge Brett Kavanaugh, Judge Patricia Millett and Judge David Tatel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

Join us for an unforgettable event heralded as “The funniest, most entertaining event in Washington,” by Roll Call magazine.

Mock Trial Scenario Committee
Abbe D. Lowell, Chair
Jerry Block
Barry Coburn
Burton Fishman
Jessica Markham
Lloyd Randolph
John Vogel
Carolyn Wheeler

2015 Annual Mock Trial:

On May 11, 2015, a panel of judges led by Supreme Court Justice, Ruth Bader Ginsburg convened at Sidney Harman Hall to hear The Trial of Don Quixote and, once again, the Shakespeare Theatre Company’s Mock Trial exhibited the continued and inspiring relevance of classical theatre.  The event was full of wit and charm, delighting attendees with pop culture references and some slight modifications to 17th century history. In the end, the audience and bench agreed that the decision to appoint Antonia as guardian of the “mentally incompetent” Don Quixote should be overturned.

The scenario can be found here.

The Bench:
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, US Supreme Court, presiding
Justice Stephen Breyer, US Supreme Court
Judge Merrick Garland, Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit
Judge Patricia Millett, US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit
Judge Amy Berman Jackson, US District Court for DC

Counsel for the Family Court:
Carter G. Phillips, Sidley Austin LLP

Counsel for Don Quixote:
Thomas C. Goldstein, Goldstein & Russell, P.C.

Court Marshal:
Adam Liptak, New York Times

Special Guest Presenter:
Robert Aubry Davis, WETA TV

About the Bard Association

The Shakespeare Theatre Company’s Bard Association offers lawyers and other individuals with legal ties the opportunity to experience classical theatre at its finest while building both personal and professional relationships. This unique affinity group provides a valuable connection between the legal community and the arts, through networking opportunities, enriching panel discussions and programs, including the popular Mock Trial event. The panel discussions and other events conduct in-depth examinations into the roles of lawyers and legal issues in many Shakespeare plays and other classic theatre pieces.

Bard Association members receive exclusive pre-sale tickets for the Mock Trial and Shakespeare and the Law events.

Membership in the Bard Association transforms the individual experience from occasional ticket buyer to dedicated patron of the Shakespeare Theatre Company. Members of the Bard Association enjoy exclusive benefits such as advance ticket purchase for the Mock Trial and Shakespeare and the Law events, “behind-the-scenes” access to the theatre and the chance to create a greater awareness of the importance of the arts. This group is unique to the region and provides a valuable connection between the legal community and the arts world.

A list of Bard Association membership benefits can be found here.

Join today!

Past Participants

2014 – Measure for Measure by William Shakespeare

Bench
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (presiding)
Justice Stephen Breyer
Chief Judge Merrick Garland, U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit
Judge David Tatel, U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit
Judge Patricia Millett, U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit

Advocates
Roberta Kaplan, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, LLP
Kathleen M. Sullivan, Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP

2013 – Coriolanus by William Shakespeare

Bench
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (presiding)
Justice Stephen Breyer
Justice Samuel Alito
Chief Judge Merrick Garland
Judge Douglas Ginsburg
Judge Brett Kavanaugh
Judge David Tatel

Advocates
Lisa S. Blatt, Arnold & Porter LLP
Seth Waxman,Wilmer Hale LLP

2012 – Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare

Bench
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (presiding)
Justice Samuel Alito
Justice Elena Kagan
Judge Merrick Garland
Judge Douglas Ginsburg
Judge Brett Kavanaugh

Advocates
Sandy Ain, Ain & Bank
Reid Weingarten, Steptoe & Johnson

2011 – An Ideal Husband by Oscar Wilde

Bench
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (presiding)
Justice Samuel Alito
Justice Sonia Sotomayor
Judge Douglas Ginsburg
Judge Merrick Garland
Judge Brett Kavanaugh
Judge David Tatel

Advocates
Irv Nathan, DC Attorney General
Beth Wilkinson, Paul Weiss

2010 – Henry V by William Shakespeare

Bench
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (presiding)
Justice Samuel Alito
Chief Judge Paul Michel
Judge Janice Rogers Brown
Judge Merrick Garland
Judge Brett Kavanaugh
Judge David Tatel

Advocates
Viet Dinh, Bancroft & Associates
Miguel Estrada, Gibson Dunn
Greg Garre, Latham & Watkins
Kannon Shanmugam, Williams & Connolly