Magic almost got an interesting legal test. As detailed in a report from The Associated Press, lawyer Steve Leventhal was almost barred from performing magic for jurors during trials.
In a personal injuries case filed in Philadelphia County, Penn., plaintiff’s attorney John T. Dooley filed a motion asking the judge to not allow Leventhal, attorney for the defense, to do any magic tricks during the trial. Dooley also wanted no mention of Leventhal’s career as a professional magician. The case was settled for $1.2 million in March, so there was never a resolution to the order; thus, no legal precedent was set.
Columnist David Pannick argues that no such motion should ever be filed again:
Counsel are not required to stick rigidly to the point. They are allowed to illustrate their case by the use of literature, fable and even the lyrics of pop songs … Many successful advocates have pulled large rabbits out of the smallest of hats.