All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players… (William Shakespeare, As You Like It).
All the world’s indeed a stage and we are merely players
Performers and portrayers, Each another’s audience outside the gilded cage (Neil Peart, RUSH, Limelight).
I know the origin of this thought was the Bard, but it is the RUSH song that plays in my head as I write this. I’m thinking of how the lead trial attorney, or attorneys, are on a stage when they are in a trial. They are the “lead singer” and are at center stage, in the spotlight. The lead singer role is a tough one, though many people thrive on it, musically or as attorneys (and yes, some attorneys suffer from “lead singer syndrome” too, but that’s another topic). What I wanted to post about today is an idea I had once when watching Ozzy Osborne on stage. Well before his entrance to the stage, someone, a roadie most likely, staged his stuff on the stage. A microphone on a stand, probably an X for where he was to stand, and most importantly, a bucket (or buckets) of water. I’d imagine Ozzy is escorted to the entrance stairs and pointed in the right direction; from there, the show is his. The people behind the scenes for this, or any show, make it happen. Managers, stage supervisors, roadies, lighting team, hair stylists (whose job is to make his hair pretty until he dumps one of those water buckets on his head after about the 2nd song) are part of the team. I don’t expect any water buckets in a courtroom, but the analogy holds. There are paralegals, secretaries, associates, trial tech teams and more who ensure that the stage is set in the courtroom. In this analogy, I see our role as trial consultants as a coach or trainer getting the lead attorney ready for the show. Let the show begin!
David ended his part of this post by saying, “Let the show begin,” which reminds me of a song written by Rolf Kempf, sung by Judy Collins, then popularized in 1973 by one of my all time favorite bands, Alice Cooper. The song is “Hello Hooray” and it begins with the lyrics “Hello. Hooray. Let the show begin. I am ready.” I think about this song when I observe my clients, some of whom are actors and singers in addition to being attorneys, walk up to the lectern and begin to captivate their audience (the mock jurors or actual jurors) with the story of their case. If this is happening during a mock jury, someone at Magnus has gone to a lot of effort to get us to the point when our client “takes the stage.” We have secured a place to work; recruited all of the research participants; packed, unpacked, then set up copious amounts of cameras, TVs, cables, and other equipment; arranged for everyone’s meals and sleeping rooms; and engaged in weeks or months of planning for the big day. If this is happening in the context of an actual trial, numerous people and organizations have come together in the courtroom for the parties’ day in court. No matter how one looks at it, it’s a pretty big deal when the attorney finally gets a chance to persuade a jury that his or her client should prevail. It takes a special kind of person to stand up in a courtroom and represent a client and it takes many people behind the scenes to make it happen. Ozzy Osbourne, Alice Cooper, and RUSH make it seem simple, but they cannot do what they do without excellent assistance. Hello! Hooray!