Lawyer Chris by Day, Magician Kristoff by Night

Christopher Harristhal shows off his sleight-of-hand chops

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By Trevor Kupfer on July 18, 2019


Christopher Harristhal is a business litigator with an employment focus at Larkin Hoffman in Bloomington, Minnesota. But he’s also been performing as a magician for decades. His obsession began when he was 6, watching his older brother do tricks with a silk handkerchief.

“It drove me nuts,” he says. With the aid of countless books and props, “for the next 15 years, I tortured him at every turn with, ‘Pick a card, any card,’” Harristhal says.

While Harristhal loves magic in its own right, it’s also “cross-training for trial work,” he says. The parallels are many—from the preparation and performance that must win over a captive audience to selecting both a good jury member and a good crowd participant. “A lot of magic is reading people, and I think the better lawyers are also really good at reading people,” he says.

Harristhal’s story was featured in the 2019 issue of Minnesota Super Lawyers Magazine.

“When you’re standing in front of an audience and you’re trying to fool the pants off them, that’s hard. … Talking to a jury or a judge, by comparison, just struck me as so much easier. You don’t have to do sleight of hand at the same time as reading the panel and entering questions.”

Christopher Harristhal

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