The Merchant of Venice: The Trial

July 27, 2016


Venice, Italy

Cleary Gottlieb partner Mario Siragusa took part, as defender of the Republic of Venice and Antonio, in a “mock trial” held in Venice, inspired by William Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice, on the occasion of the fifth centenary of the creation of the Ghetto of Venice and the fourth centenary of Shakespeare’s death.

The proceeding, Shylock v. Antonio, was held at the Scuola Grande di San Rocco, before a court, presided over by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg of the U.S. Supreme Court and composed of U.S. Ambassador to Italy John R. Phillips, professor Laura Picchio Forlati of the University of Padua, professor Richard Schneider of Wake Forest University and Venice lawyer Fabio Moretti.

The proceeding was held according to the rules of the Supreme Court, with a brief introduction by each lawyer, a series of questions from the judges and, pending the verdict, a debate between academics on The Merchant of Venice. The event, organized by the University Ca’ Foscari, is part of a series of initiatives for the 50th anniversary of the ghetto, which include a special production of The Merchant of Venice in Campo del Ghetto Nuovo by Compagnia de’ Colombari.