Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Anger Management

Sunday night the Missus and I went to the George Street Playhouse in New Brunswick to check out its production of "Twelve Angry Men". Remarkable stuff. The Playhouse's production is only playing through next weekend so if you have not seen this go-round you have only a limited window of opportunity in which to check it out. Console yourself by renting the 1957 version with Henry Fonda, Lee J. Cobb and the rest of the dozen. You shall not be disappointed.

As an attorney I enjoy this particular play because while it is set entirely in a courthouse, it is set entirely within the confines of the jury room. The jury room is the part of the courthouse to which a trial attorney is granted no access. It is the part of the courthouse over which a trial attorney has no ability to assert control while the jurors are gathered together doing their deliberating. Trying a case is equal parts exhilirating and anxiety-provoking. During the time that you spend in the jury's company, you interact with them continuously but you hear from them rarely - if at all. You spend the trial hoping that the aspects of your case that you feel are the most important are the aspects of it that resonate most deeply with the jury. Truth is you never know. At least until the verdict is announced. The play dramatizes beautifully the manner in which the jury's deliberative process works. Very cool stuff.

Even as just a regular old human being, I enjoy this play because it teaches us a great deal about the way in which people relate with one another. You need not punish yourself needlessly by going to law school and passing a Bar exam to appreciate it on that level. Trust me on this last point. Skip law school. Head to Netflix. You will be happy that you did.

Joy derived from anger. Ah, the mysteries of life.

-AK

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