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The annual MOCK TRIAL at the Shakespeare Theatre is always fun. Last night was no exception. This is a production of the BARD Association whose members are Shakespeare Theatre supporters and Mock Trial enthusiasts. The chair of the Bard Association is Abbe Lowell who appeared in a video to welcome everyone because he is currently representing John Edwards at his trial in North Carolina. Ably stepping in as MC was Nick Allard of Patton Boggs who was introduced with the announcement that he has accepted the position of Dean at the Brooklyn Law School. This year the mock trial was Ado, I do, Adieu: Claudio v. Hero being heard by the Supreme Court of Messina.

Brad Luna
Brad Luna

The evening began with a dinner for those who bought the $350 tickets. It was held in the downstairs theatre room at Harman Hall. I had the honor of sitting next to attorney Paul Smith, a personal hero of mine, who often appears before the Supreme Court and won the Lawrence v. Texas case. He is currently fighting the battle against DOMA.

In the roles of the Supreme Court of Messina were Supreme Court Justices’ Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Elena Kagan, and Samuel A. Alito. Sitting alongside them were Judges’ Merrick Garland, Douglas Ginsburg, Brett Kavanaugh and David Tatel. Reid H. Weingarten of Steptoe and Johnson LLP appeared as Counsel for Count Claudio, and Sanford K. Ain of Ain & Bank. PC, Counsel for the appellee Lady Hero of Messina.

That set the stage for a hilarious evening with laughs coming one after the other. The hearing was to appeal the lower courts ruling that Claudio’s marriage was a sham, he had to pay alimony and that he could keep the dowry. Weingarten had the difficult job of trying to say that the marriage was real and that it should continue and tried to do so without besmirching Lady Hero’s honor even though as he casually mentioned those young studs she hired for protection seemed to have other jobs as well.

While the entire evening was fun and all the Justices appeared to get into the act with some great questions and one-liners there were a couple of moments where Justice Alito actually looked a little uncomfortable. One was when one of the other judges included references to Obamacare in a question to Hero’s attorney Sandy Ain. Ain, quick on his feet, responded “Your honor, I would be happy to answer that but since we don’t have three days and six hours could we return to discussion of the dowry in the twenty minutes I do have”. Ain then got in another laugh line when asked if Lady Hero had all the money she needed and could shop to her hearts content without the alimony. Ain responded that she actually shops at Loehmann’s, then paused and looked at Alito and said that Justices’ Kagan and Ginsburg could explain that to him later.

The evening benefitted the Shakespeare Theatre’s education programs which will again benefit from next Monday evening’s Will on the Hill program when members of Congress take to the stage to do a reading from a script worked to resemble a Shakespearean play. For those that haven’t been to a performance of Will on the Hill I highly recommend it.