Michigan Supreme Court Chief Justice Bridget McCormack, legal scholar and practitioner Leonard M. Niehoff, and acclaimed actor John de Lancie explore the work of the courts and the law; how the human impulse for narrative performance and drama informs the inner workings of the courtroom; and how the courtroom is represented on stage and screen. This program will kick off the 2019-2020 Roman J. Witt artist residency project, Witness Lab, a courtroom installation and performance project opening at UMMA on February 15, 2020.
Chief Justice Bridget Mary McCormack joined the Michigan Supreme Court in January 2013, and became Chief Justice in January 2019. As the Chief Justice, McCormack has promoted statewide initiatives devoted to improving the courts service to the public, and in particular delivering on a promise that courts are independent, accessible, engaged with their communities and efficient.
Leonard M. Niehoff is a nationally prominent law practitioner, professor, and scholar in three fields: media law and the First Amendment; higher education law; and trial and appellate litigation. Niehoff is at work on a forthcoming book about the Salem witch trials.
Best known for his role as “Q” on Star Trek: The Next Generation, John de Lancie’s film and television credits are numerous and include The Hand that Rocks the Cradle, The Fisher King, Breaking Bad, and West Wing. He recently returned from a national tour of the “Scopes Monkey Trial” with Ed Asner where he played Clarence Darrow, and is the first recipient of the Clarence Darrow Award. De Lancie is currently at work on a play about the 2005 Kitzmiller vs. Dover School District trial.