Robert A. Clifford, founder and senior partner of Clifford Law Offices, will once again team up with Dan Webb of Winston & Strawn to re-try the case of Socrates, sponsored by the National Hellenic Museum.
Clifford and Webb defended Socrates 10 years ago on charges of corrupting young people with his ideas and disrespecting the Greek gods. In the real trial in 399 B.C., Socrates was put to death by hemlock. In the mock trial 10 years ago, he was found guilty, but his life was spared. Sarah F. King, partner at Clifford Law Offices, will join the defense team. With the issues at hand still pertinent to today, it will be interesting to see if the sentiment has changed.
Patrick Collins, partner at King & Spalding, will present the People’s case prosecuting Socrates along with Tinos Diamantatos of Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP, and Julie Porter of Salvatore Prescott Porter & Porter PLLC.
Actor and Second City alumnus John Kapelos (The Shape of Water, The Breakfast Club, Forever Knight) will portray Socrates.
The members of the audience will have a chance to cast a vote, but the judges will have the final word. They are Illinois Supreme Court Justice Joy Cunningham, Federal District Court Judge Jorge L. Alonso of the Northern District of Illinois, and Cook County Circuit Court Judges Anthony C. Kyriakopoulos and Anna H. Demacopoulos. The event qualifies for one hour of continuing legal education credit for lawyers.
Featured jurors at the trial include Hon. Louis G. Apostol, Public Administrator of Cook County; Monica Eng, Reporter at Axios Chicago; Toby Eveland, Managing Partner at Saul Ewing; Andrea Hanis, Editor of Chicago Daily Law Bulletin; John Howell, Host at 890 WLS AM; Tony Karman, President and Director of EXPO CHICAGO; Eleni Katsoulis, Senior Counsel of Northwestern Memorial Healthcare and President of the Hellenic Bar Association; Young Richard Kim, Associate Professor and Head of Classics and Mediterranean Studies at the University of Illinois Chicago; Johnny Mars, DJ at 93 WXRT FM; Dan Mihalopoulos, Investigative Reporter at 91.5 WBEZ FM; Jim Sotos, Managing Partner at Sotos Law Firm; Georgia Tasiopoulou, Consul of Greece in Chicago; and alternate juror George Bellas, Partner at Bellas & Wachowski Attorneys at Law. Andrea Darlas of WLS-AM will serve as emcee throughout the evening.
The event takes place tonight, May 22, 2023, at 7 p.m. at the Harris Theatre, 205 E. Randolph, Chicago. Tickets are limited: $100 per person and $50 for students (must present valid ID). For tickets call 312-655-1234, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or purchase online.
If you would like to speak to one of the attorneys involved about the trial or executives at The Hellenic Museum, please contact Clifford Law Offices Communications Partner Pamela Sakowicz Menaker at 847-721-0909.
Support for The Trial of Socrates is generously provided by lead sponsors The Jaharis Family Foundation, Calamos Investments, and Clifford Law Offices.
“Utilizing some of today’s premier legal minds in a contemporary courtroom setting, The Trial of Socrates will continue our exploration of how the ancient Greeks grappled with timeless controversies that continue to shape modern society,” says NHM Trustee Konstantinos Armiros, counsel at Saul Ewing LLP. “This is a rare opportunity for people to see some of the best attorneys in the nation argue a historic case with unscripted, authentic drama and legal acumen.”
“The Trial of Socrates forces us to confront some of the most difficult questions about democracy and liberty, including what limits free societies can put in place to protect themselves while still maintaining their freedom,” says NHM Director of Research and Content Katherine Kelaidis, Ph.D. “There are no easy or obvious answers to these questions, hence why we are still asking them 2500 years after Socrates’ death.”
Socrates’ trial has fascinated and troubled generations who have struggled to comprehend the death of one of history’s greatest philosophers at the hands of a lawful jury. Convicted in Athens in 399 B.C.E. of impiety and corrupting the youth, Socrates’ pursuit of wisdom was seen as a threat to the survival of Athenian democracy. NHM’s The Trial of Socrates invites audiences to consider anew the fragility of democracy, the limits of freedom, and the imperfection of human justice. Guests at the Trial are invited to participate by exploring the arguments of each side and submitting their “guilty” or “not guilty” vote to literally tip the scale and make their verdict heard, in the style of the courts of ancient Athens.
The dynamic NHM Trial Series highlights the enduring relevance and value of Greek thought and history. It has grown both in reputation and following since its inception in 2013. In 2016, NHM’s The Trial of Antigone was broadcast on WTTW TV (PBS Chicago), and in May 2017 it was nominated for a Midwest regional Emmy. Subsequent NHM Trial Series events have also aired on public television and received regional Emmy nominations. Since 2017, the annual event has been qualified by the Illinois Attorney Registration & Disciplinary Commission (IARDC) for continuing legal education (CLE) credit. Attorneys attending the event can register for CLE credit on-site.
About the National Hellenic Museum
The National Hellenic Museum (NHM) is the premier US museum dedicated to sharing Greek history, art, and culture, from ancient times to the present day, including the modern Greek American experience. NHM preserves the Hellenic legacy and makes this rich heritage relevant today through its extensive collection of more than 10,000 physical artifacts, hundreds of oral histories, exhibitions, educational programs, and special events. Originally founded in 1983 and located in Chicago’s historic Greektown neighborhood since 2011, the museum provides lifelong learning for the community and sparks inquiry and discussion about the broader issues in our lives and society. Regular museum hours are Thursday through Sunday from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. For more information, visit nationalhellenicmuseum.org or call 312-655-1234.