On Wednesday, January 29, 2014, former prosecutors Patrick Fitzgerald and Patrick Collins with attorneys Dan Webb and Bob Clifford of Clifford Law Offices participated in a mock trial at the University of Illinois at the UIC Forum.
The case was the Trial of Orestes, the Greek mythological figure for matricide.
Robert A. Clifford and Dan Webb defended Orestes. According to the myth, the son of Agamemnon was charged with killing his mother and later admitting it with no remorse. Counsel for the prosecution was Patrick J. Fitzgerald and Patrick M. Collins.
These are the same sides that were drawn in last year's popular Retrial of Socrates hosted by the National Hellenic Museum in Chicago.
The event hosted by the National Hellenic Museum in Chicago drew a packed audience of about 1,000 people.
Clifford and Webb based their arguments on Greek law of 5 B.C., which held that the gods ordered Orestes to avenge justice. "Orestes followed the rules of the gods," Clifford told the audience, and if he did not, his life would be forever doomed. "Context matters," Clifford argued.
The prosecution repeated the argument of murder being wrong, morally and legally, but ultimately, this did not resonate with the audience.
Webb stated that the murder "Is the principle of divine law...It is a justifiable killing, not a murder."
Clifford and Webb demonstrated that Orestes' motive was not greed or revenge but was based on the orders of Apollo through Zeus to commit the act.
The audience overwhelmingly voted in favor of acquittal of Orestes.
Another case (albeit mock) won by trial attorney Robert Clifford.