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To litigate or not to litigate?

Gazette staff December 5th, 2012

“Here’s a fish hangs in the net, like a poor man’s right in the law.”

Credit: Brad Gregg

“The law hath not been dead, though it hath slept.”

“If it doesn’t fit, thou must acquit.” Those lines were penned by William Shakespeare, whose plays took a great interest in the workings of the law and the dramas of the court. (That last one might not be his. Who knows? We weren’t English majors.)

At the University of Oklahoma, students from the English and Constitutional Studies departments have the opportunity to study the Bard’s works in light of legal and ethical theory. The Shakespeare Moot Court class will study five plays and then argue the cases, mock-court style. We wonder if the class will gloss over that whole “let’s kill all the lawyers” bit from Henry VI.

The Oklahoma Daily reports that professors David Anderson and Andrew Porwancher modeled the class on a graduate course originated at McGill University. The students will be divided evenly between literature and law majors.

Chicken-Fried News will be first in line at the mock-court performances, which will be open to the public. Will the proceedings be like those on Law & Order, with a tough but beautiful female assistant D.A.? Or will they be more like those on Judge Judy, with plaintiffs being scolded for entrusting their car to some guy who they knew good and well was a dirtbag? Or will the judge crack wise, like Harry on Night Court?

OK, so most of what we know about the law came from TV. Hey, not everyone is a Shakespeare scholar.

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