National Hellenic Museum names judges, lawyers and jurors for its 7th Trial Series event: The NHM Trial of Hellen of Troy 

In a live, unscripted courtroom debate, prominent judges, lawyers and jurors consider the circumstances of “the face that launched a thousand ships”


CHICAGO (Feb. 12, 2020) — The National Hellenic Museum (NHM) will explore the role of historic figure Helen of Troy, “the face that launched a thousand ships” in the start of the Trojan War. This 7th annual NHM Trial Series event will be held 6:30 p.m.-9 p.m. March 5, 2020, at The Harris Theater for Music and Dance, 205 East Randolph Drive, Chicago.

In both ancient and modern times, people have argued about whether Helen, wife of the Spartan King, went willingly with Prince Paris of Troy, or if she was kidnapped by the Trojan prince. According to Spartan law, a member of the monarchy who committed an adulterous act was considered a traitor.

“The question of Helen as victim or adulteress is particularly timely during National Women’s Month, and during the ‘Me Too’ era,” said NHM Resident scholar Katherine Kelaidis. “It is Helen, not her alleged abductor Paris, who is on trial – which may seem rather absurd to a modern audience.”

The Trial of Helen of Troy will be an evening of compelling debate by reputable lawyers, and astute opinions of notable judges and jurors. Guests are invited to participate by exploring the arguments of each side and submitting their guilty or not guilty vote to literally tip the scale and make their verdict heard.

Presiding over the event will be two U.S. District Judges, The Honorable Charles P. Kocoras and The Honorable Sharon Johnson Coleman, and The Honorable Anna H. Demacopoulos who serves on the Cook County Circuit Court.

“Being part of the NHM Trial Series is a delight,” said Kocoras, who has served as a presiding judge throughout the Series. “The historic topics we explore bridge our current trial process to its ancient roots, and often have parallels to issues we face today.”

Six attorneys – Robert A. Clifford, Patrick M. Collins, Tinos Diamantatos, Patrick J. Fitzgerald, Pamela Stratigakis and Dan K. Webb – will form teams for the prosecution and for the defense. Among the jurors offering opinions before the audience-jury casts its votes will be Cook County Public Administrator Lou Apostol, ABC-7 Chicago Anchor Ravi Baichwal, Author and Journalist Mark Caro, WGN-TV Reporter Meghan Dwyer, Chicago Tribune Columnist Heidi Stevens and Northwestern University Department of Classics Fellow Jennifer Weintritt, Ph.D.

The NHM Trial Series has grown both in reputation and following since its inception in 2013. In 2016, the NHM Trial of Antigone was broadcast on WTTW-TV (PBS Chicago) and in May 2017 it was nominated for a Midwest regional Emmy. Subsequent NHM Trial Series events have also aired on WTTW-TV and received regional Emmy nominations. Since 2017, the annual event has been qualified by the Illinois Attorney Registration & Disciplinary Commission (IARDC) for continuing legal education (CLE) credit. Attorneys attending the event at guests can register for credit on site.

Doors will open for The Trial of Helen of Troy at 6 p.m. Tickets are $100 per person in advance and can be purchased online or by calling the Harris Theater Box Office at (312) 334.7777. Sponsorships also are available.

For more information, visit or call (312) 655.1234.