Justice With a Side of Hilarity

A snapshot at the past nine years of hilarious mock trials based on Orlando Shakes productions


With the 9th Annual John R. Hamilton Mock Trial scheduled for Tuesday, March 14, 2017, Advocates Kimberly A. Ashby, partner at Foley and Lardner LLP, and Nicholas A. Shannin, Esq. are busy investigating the facts and gathering evidence. This year’s trial will be the Senate Confirmation Hearing of Ferdinand, the King of Navarre (from Love’s Labour’s Lost) for the post of Secretary of Labour.

Since 2009, Orlando Shakes has hosted mock trials that explore contemporary legal thought using classic plays as their template. Each year, this event transforms the Margeson Theater into an interactive courtroom as actors from the show improv their way through a trial amidst a panel of celebrity judges. Here is a look back at all of the past trials over the years:

2009 – The Trial of Shylock – The Merchant of Venice’s Shylock was put on trial to determine if his famous bargain for a pound of flesh could be defended.

2010 – The Trial of Hamlet – Hamlet was tried for the murder of Polonius to determine if he was indeed insane at the time of the murder.

Advocate Nicholas A. Shannin and John P. Keller as Stephano featured in  8th Annual Mock Trial: Pericles vs. The Tempest.

2011 – Darcy v. Wickham – Pride and Prejudice’s Mr. Darcy brought a lawsuit for defamation against Mr. Wickham. Wickham, in response, claimed that Darcy deprived Wickham of his rightful inheritance.

2012 – The Trial of Friar Lawrence – This trial determined whether Friar Laurence was legally culpable for the untimely deaths of Romeo and Juliet.

2013 – The Trial of Othello – This trial explored the events that led to the tragic death of Desdemona by the hands of her husband, Othello.

2014 –The Trial of Nicholas Nickelby – Nicholas Nickelby was charged with the assault and battery of Headmaster Wackford Squeers.

Advocates Kimberly A. Ashby and Nicholas A. Shannin, Dameka Hayes as Ariel, and John P. Keller as Pericles featured in 8th Annual Mock Trial: Pericles vs. The Tempest.

2015 – Falstaff v. The Merry Housewives of Windsor –Mistresses Ford and Page from The Merry Wives of Windsor were sued for damages for false imprisonment by the opportunistic old bachelor, John Falstaff.

2016 – Pericles v. The Tempest – Pericles, Prince of Tyre, sued Mother Nature for intentional infliction of emotional distress.

2017 – Love’s Labour’s Lost – The Senate v. King of Navarre – This year’s trial will be the Senate Confirmation Hearing of the King of Navarre for the post of Secretary of Labour.

Did you love Orlando Shakes production of Love’s Labour’s LostClick here to purchase tickets to this year’s Mock Trial to see the cast navigate their way through the hysterical court case.