Continuing Legal Education

Defamation, The Play - When Cultural Biases Collide with Our Legal System

October 4, 2012
3:00 – 5:00 p.m.
2.00 MCLE hours, including 2.00 Professional Responsibility MCLE credit hours (PMCLE credit subject to approval)

ISBA Regional Office
20 S. Clark Street, Suite 900
(map and directions)

Masters Series
A brilliant, shifting jigswaw puzzle of a courtroom drama. DEFAMATION holds the audiences own prejudices under a powerful lens, and does not let us go except by the way of unsettling self examination. No one escapes the jury’s deliberations unchanged.  Rabbi Debra Kassoff


The lack of diversity among Illinois lawyers – and the impact this has on our legal system – continues to concern the Illinois Supreme Court’s Commission on Professionalism. Join us for this educational, old-fashioned courtroom drama in which a civil suit proceeding is acted out by an entertaining cast of characters!

The Story: An African American woman from the South Side sues a Jewish real estate developer from the North Shore for defamation after being accused of stealing his watch and causing her financial harm.

The program opens with details of the case, followed by plaintiff, defendant and key witness testimonies. Once both sides have argued their case, the audience will act as jury. The seminar closes with a brief discussion, led by Shayne Aldridge and Allison Wood.

The Purpose: The program challenges our preconceived notions of race, class, ethnicity, and religion and forces us to acknowledge what happens when cultural biases collide with our legal system. Come discover how diversity – or lack thereof – affects all aspects of our profession!

Program Speakers:
Shayne L. Aldridge, Law Office of Shayne L Aldridge, Pleasant Plains
Allison L. Wood, Legal Ethics Consulting, P.C., Chicago


My students in Constitutional Law and I had the immense privilege of attending a recent production of Defamation by playwright Todd Logan. The play is extraordinarily well written-- provocative and engrossing; subtle yet resolutely inviting (if not demanding) that we reflect upon our prejudices. The discussion with the actors following the play is integral to the production and brilliantly enhanced the experience. Bravo!!!! Susan Connor, Professor of Law, The John Marshall Law School, Chicago
From about the first five minutes of the play to this moment I have been considering the circumstances in DEFAMATION and the culture issues. It is an incredibly thought-provoking play that I enjoyed from beginning to end. John Friedman, Attorney-at-Law