Shakespeare and the Law: Othello

Boston Lawyers Chapter
Start : Monday, May 04, 2009 05:30 PM
End : Monday, May 04, 2009

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The Virginia Wimberly Theatre at the Calderwood Pavilion
527 Tremont Street
Boston Lawyers Chapter

Featured Speakers:
Wayne A. Budd
Brent Henry
Douglas P. Woodlock
Rya W. Zobel
F. Dennis Saylor IV
Nathaniel M. Gorton
Jennifer C. Braceras



  • Wayne Budd, Goodwin Procter; Ralph Boyd, Chairman & CEO, Freddie Mac Foundation
  • Brent Henry, Vice President and General Counsel of Partners HealthCare
  • Judge Douglas Woodlock, U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts
  • Judge Rya Zobel, U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts
  • Judge Dennis Saylor, U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts
  • Judge Nathaniel Gorton, U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts
  • Jennifer Braceras, former Civil Rights Commission
  • John Montgomery, Ropes & Gray
  • Daniel Kelly, McCarter & English

As in the past, the first hour features prominent judges, public officials and members of the bar performing an abridged version of a Shakespeare work. This is followed by a discussion of the legal and political issues addressed in the play and their application to today's headlines.

Shakespeare's Othello tells a story with strong echoes to today's political world. A charismatic African leader is asked to lead a white European nation at a time of crisis. The play challenges whether such assimilation is possible, especially after a daughter of a prominent white nobleman falls in love with and marries Othello. Othello is convinced by his deceitful and malicious aid that is wife is cheating on him with a white man; his jealousy and concern for his reputation proves his and his wife's undoing. Shakespeare's play implicitly asks whether race is a factor in this tragedy. This question serves as fitting backdrop for the discussion following the play. The participants will discuss whether Obama's election makes racial preference laws and regulations an anachronism, and whether the goals of the proponents of the civil rights struggle beginning with the abolitionists and up to the modern civil rights movement has been fulfilled. The participants will also discuss whether racial prejudice still exists in the political and corporate arena, and whether it will rear its head at the presidential level if Obama's programs are not successful.

The FREE event is the ninth in the series "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's Artistic Director Steven Maler and produced by McCarter & English partner Daniel J. Kelly. The Massachusetts Bar Association and McCarter & English, LLP serve as a co-sponsors of the event.


Registration details:

The event is free. Members of the public may gain admittance by RSVP'ing prior to the event to the Federalist Society c/o Dottie Moore at 617 449 6617 or