Judge Merrick Garland Takes the Bench for Shakespeare Theatre Company’s Virtual Mock Trial

Judges Amy Berman Jackson, Patricia Millett, and Neomi Rao will weigh in on A Midsummer Night’s Force Majeure--When Can the Show NOT Go ON?

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

“The funniest, most entertaining event in Washington.” ­­–Roll Call 

May 27, 2020, Washington, D.C.: Oyez, oyez, oyez! Shakespeare Theatre Company’s annual Mock Trial, “the funniest, most entertaining event in Washington” (Roll Call) is now in session–and online for the first time. On June 22, 2020, at 7:30 p.m. EST, audiences are invited to hear a mock appellate argument before a panel of judges, based on a legal issue arising out of a re-imagined plot point of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

The bi-annual Mock Trial event usually sells out in a matter of hours, filling over 700 seats in Sidney Harman Hall. This year, by moving the Mock Trial online the event is accessible for all with a reduced price, an affordable $50 admission, and free for current students.

This year’s Mock Trial promises to be “a Washington wonk’s dream” (The New York Times). In a case of art imitating life, the scenario from A Midsummer Night’s Dream will focus on a canceled performance of “Pyramus and Thisbe” and the legitimacy of the force majeure clause.

Kathryn Ruemmler, an attorney who formerly served as an official at the Department of Justice and White House Counsel to President Barack Obama, will be the Petitioner for Theseus, the Duke of Athens, who lost expected revenue after the canceled performances, and paid an advance to the acting company of “Rude Mechanicals.” Abbe Lowell (Winston & Strawn LLP), one of the nation’s leading white-collar defense and trial lawyers and a longtime member of Shakespeare Theatre Company’s Board of Trustees, will act as the respondent for the playing company, contending that turning the lead actor into a donkey is indeed an act of God and they should not be liable for any losses.

The case will be argued before a panel of judges presided over by Judge Merrick B. Garland, United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Judge Garland will be accompanied by Judge Patricia A. Millett, United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, Judge Amy Berman Jackson, United States District Court for the District of Columbia, and Judge Neomi Jehangir Rao, United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. As in the past, a Supreme Court Justice may join the bench as well.

Discounts are available for those wishing to virtually attend with their whole law firm. For group sales information and to reserve tickets, please call the Box Office at 202.547.1122 Monday-Friday, noon-6 p.m. 

Please visit the STC website for more information or to RSVP: https://www.shakespearetheatre.org/events/virtual-mock-trial/

Members of the Press who would like to cover the Virtual Mock Trial should contact STC’s Publicist at press@shakespearetheatre.org. 

The Shakespeare Theatre Company Bard Association is generously supported by Eversheds Sutherland LLP and Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP.

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.

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.