Culture Meets Class During the ABA Annual Meeting
Don Giovanni, opera singers, lawyers and a civil suit ordinarily would have nothing in common, but on Aug.8 at the ABA Annual Meeting, the Section of Litigation hit a high note with Don Giovanni, the Class Action.
Main characters from Mozart’s opera Don Giovanni took the stand in a suit against Giovanni’s estate to determine whether the 2,000-plus women seduced by his charming ways should be certified as a class. Giovanni received
special clearance from hell to attend the hearing.
Opera singers trained by Martina Arroyo, a former opera singer at the Metropolitan Opera, played the witnesses and mostly sang their testimonies—excerpts taken from the original opera—on the witness stand.
The plaintiffs’ lawyers, Sheldon Finkelstein and Dori Hanswirth, and defense lawyers Steven Richman and Jacqueline Becerra questioned them in spoken dialogue. U. S. District Judge John Koeltl presided.