Lawyers e-Journal

Thursday, May. 29, 2008
Image for Shakespeare in the law
Photograph by Andy Brilliant
Moderator and host Kenneth W. Starr listens to comments from Michael Greco. Also pictured (left to right): Prof. Nicholas Rosenkrantz, Hon. Robert Cordy and Hon. Dennis Saylor.

Prominent lawyers and judges headline eight annual Shakespeare and the Law event

Federalist Society and Commonwealth Shakespeare Company team up for reading and discussion of King Lear

On May 21, more than 300 people packed the Cutler Majestic Theatre to see a reading of Shakespeare's King Lear and hear a debate on the political and legal themes in Shakespeare's monumental work about a king giving up power to his daughters and the chaos and lawlessness his surrender of power causes.

The event was presented by the Boston Lawyers Chapter of the Federalist Society and Commonwealth Shakespeare Company, known for providing free Shakespeare on Boston Common each summer. Fourteen judges, political officials, and prominent Boston lawyers participated in the reading, including former Governor Paul Cellucci.

Former ABA President Michael Greco took on the role of Lear while federal district court judge Patti Saris, Supreme Judicial Court Justice Judith Cowin, and president-elect of the American College of Trial Lawyers, Joan Lukey, played his daughters. The event was hosted by former Whitewater Independent Counsel Ken Starr, who now serves as Dean of Pepperdine Law School.

The event's producer, Dan Kelly, the Chair of the Lawyers Chapter and partner at McCarter & English, noted that this was the eighth of a Shakespeare and the Law series, which began in 2000 with a reading of The Merchant of Venice.

According to Kelly, “The timeless truths in Shakespeare's works provide a marvelous vessel for a civilized debate and discussion of today's political and legal issues. The event draws a diverse group of participants who bond together through the rehearsal and performance process, and who, despite their political differences, celebrate the beauty and universality of Shakespeare's words.”

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