Lawyers e-Journal

Wednesday, May. 23, 2007
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U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Stephen G. Breyer

Justice Stephen Breyer and others take on Shakespeare’s “Measure For Measure”

On Tuesday, June 12 at 5 p.m, Supreme Court Justice Stephen G. Breyer will host a discussion and debate at Boston's Shubert Theatre on the art and practice of judging, framed by a staged reading of Shakespeare's "Measure for Measure." The event, free to the public, is the seventh in a series, entitled "Shakespeare and the Law," produced by the Boston Lawyers Chapter of the Federalist Society, in conjunction with Commonwealth Shakespeare Company. The event is directed by CSC Artistic Director Steven Maler and produced by McCarter & English partner Daniel J. Kelly. The Massachusetts Bar Association serves as a co-sponsor of the event.

As in the past, the first hour will feature prominent judges, public officials and members of the bar performing an abridged version of one of Shakespeare's works.

Federal judges Mark Wolf and Nancy Gertner and former U.S. Attorney Wayne Budd will take on the lead roles of Angelo, Isabella and Vincentio. Rounding out the cast will be former Governor Paul Cellucci, federal judges Douglas Woodlock, Rya Zobel, Patti Saris, Dennis Saylor and Nathaniel Gorton, Supreme Judicial Court Justices Robert Cordy and Judith Cowin, U.S. Civil Rights Commissioner Jennifer Braceras, Wilmer Hale Managing Partner Bill Lee, Ropes & Gray Managing Partner John Montgomery and Attorney General Martha Coakley.

Breyer will host and preside over the discussion following the play. Jan Crawford Greenburg, ABC News legal correspondent and author (most recently, "Supreme Conflict: The Inside Story of the Struggle for Control of the United States Supreme Court"), and Daniel J. Kornstein, attorney and author of "Kill All the Lawyers; Shakespeare's Legal Appeal," will moderate.

Extending this theme, a discussion following the play will address, among other topics, the judicial selection process, whether political or social predispositions can affect a judge's decision, whether it is fair to label a judge as "conservative" or "liberal," and how far a judge can go when he or she believes that strict enforcement of the law will produce an unfair result. Audience members are encouraged to ask questions and join the debate.

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