In the film, A Civil Action, Trial Procedure was shown throughout the entire movie. There are many steps that need to be completed before a verdict and judgment can be reached. These steps are the pleadings, methods of discovery, pretrial hearings, jury selection, opening statements, introduction of evidence, cross examinations, closing arguments, instructions to the jury, and the verdict and judgment. The case in this movie was actually called Anderson v. Cryovac. The plaintiffs are the Anderson family, the Gamache family, the Kane family, the Robbins family, the Toomey family, and the Zona family. The plaintiffs’ attorneys are Jan Schlichtmann, Joe Mulligan, Anthony Roisman, Charlie Nesson, and Kevin Conway. The two co- defendants are W.R. Grace and Beatrice Foods. The two co-defendants’ attorneys are William Cheeseman, Jerome Facher, Neil Jacobs, and Michael Keating. In the pleadings, a complaint needs to be filed by the plaintiff with the court and the defendants. In this case, the complaint was filed for wrongful death and injunctions. The complaint was given to both companies on May 14, 1982. Then, the defendants must answer within twenty-four hours of receiving the complaint to the summon or risk losing the case by default of the court. W.R. Grace denied the allegations against them. Also, their other defenses was that the complaint didn’t state any cause of action, in the complaint the company named was misnamed, the company followed the due of care at all times and acted in “good faith,” and the claims against them are barred. The next step is the methods of discovery. The Methods of Discovery is when both parties present all the evidence that they have. Both parties have the right to interview all witnesses of all the ... ... middle of paper ... ...is presented, both parties have to rest their cases. Before the jury decides a verdict, the last step in the trial process is the closing arguments. There were no closing arguments because the parties had to settle on nine million dollars. They did this because the plaintiff’s attorneys went bankrupt due to this case and they couldn’t afford to invest any more money into the case. Beatrice Foods ended up being not liable for the deaths of children so they were allowed to leave the case. Due to this, only W.R. Grace had to settle with the plaintiff. Later on in 1988, Jan Schlichtmann brought this case to the EPA’s attention and the EPA decided to bring lawsuits against the companies. W.R. Grace and Beatrice Foods ended up having to pay for their huge mistake. They had to pay for the largest chemical cleanup in the Northeastern which cost sixty- four million dollars.
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Arnold & Porter chose to sue Pittston rather than the Buffalo Mining Company because the value of the corporation allowed for adequate compensation to the victims. Author and head lawyer for the plaintiffs, Gerald M. Stern, writes that the original goal was sue to sue for $21 million for the disaster to have a material effect on the cooperation (51). To avoid responsibility Pittston attempted to prove that the Buffalo Mining Company was an independent corporation with its own board of directors. The lawyers for the plaintiffs disproved this claim by arguing the Buffalo Mining Company never held formal meetings of the board of directors and was not independent of the parent company. During this case Pittston’s Oil division had applied to build an oil refinery in Maine. The ...
Negligience is the major key to be considered. Most businesses only care about profit and neglect the hazard they pose on the environment. The two companies were making so much money that it wouldn’t cost a lot to clean up considering the profit they make. They eventually paid $69million but what about the destiny that has been destroyed because of their negligence. They knew dumping of these chemicals was polluting the local water and causing life threatening health issues but they never cared.
One prevalent theme found throughout the book is the conflict between finding the truth and the judicial process. The two are almost always incompatible with each other in the courtroom, and A Civil Action illustrates that quite well. The fight for the truth was taken over by trial tactics used by the defendant, whose goal was to keep the truth from getting out. It is natural for the plaintiff and the defendant to use tactics to create the verdict rather than using the facts of the case because both aim for success. Misinformation, partial truths, and hidden facts are common in the courtroom and one scene of A Civil Action shows how it can change the whole trial. People of the courtroom can manipulate the trial so the odds are in their favor. Rarely is truth ever the main focus.
In the film, “Simple Justice” the ‘separate but equal’ of Plessy v. Ferguson (1896) to the unanimous 1954 overturn of Plessy in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka without discussing the tortuous legal and political path that resulted in eventual public school desegregation. It caused a huge diversity among the schools, for whites and blacks but it wasn’t enough because people kept questioning about Plessy v. Ferguson, especially of Jim Crown laws regarding the changes they wanted to have. Therefore the film “Simple Justice” indicates the Supreme Court ruled in Brown v. Board of Education that segregated schools were unconstitutional, and something necessary was needed to be done.
The criminal trial process is able to reflect the moral and ethical standards of society to a great extent. For the law to be effective, the criminal trial process must reflect what is accepted by society to be a breach of moral and ethical conduct and the extent to which protections are granted to the victims, the offenders and the community. For these reasons, the criminal trial process is effectively able to achieve this in the areas of the adversary system, the system of appeals, legal aid and the jury system.
...ll this process is valid and legally much needed. As mentioned in "present the evidence", evidence is tested and weighed even before the court proceeding, if it doesn’t meet the conditions, it will fail during the trials. This proves the importance of each and examination process.
The use of evidence and witnesses is a mechanism in which the law attempts to balance the rights of victims and offenders in the criminal trial process. Evidence used in court are bound by the Evidence Act 1995 (NSW) and have to be lawfully obtained by the police. The use of evidence and witnesses balance the victims’ rights to a great extent. However, it is ineffective in balancing the rights of offenders. The law has been progressive in protecting the rights of victims in the use and collection of evidence and witness statements. The Criminal Procedure Amendment (Domestic Violence Complainants) Bill 2014, which amends the Criminal Procedure Act 1986, passed the NSW Legislative Council on 18 November 2014. The amendment enables victims of
Dan Locallo is a very contradicting man. When he began his career as a prosecutor he was anything but polite to the defense lawyers. Locallo himself describes himself as “kind of an asshole” towards defense lawyers (Courtroom 302, 59). During his time as a prosecutor, Dan Locallo became intrigued by the opportunity to become a judge. When Steve Bogira asked Locallo why he wanted to become a judge, his reply seemed simple. Locallo claimed that he never wanted to become a judge because of a “power-trip” he does claim that “the power of attraction was a great influence” (Courtroom 302, 59). However, Locallo admits that the real reason why he wanted to become a judge was because he would have the “ability to make decisions, to do justice” (Courtroom 302, 59). As a judge, Locallo seems to express three different personalities, which tend to change depending on the current case at hand. His personalities are being compassionate judge, being an understanding judge, or being a hard-nose tough judge. Each of these personalities are not only determined by the case, but also by whether Locallo will profit on the long run; whether or not he will get reelected as a circuit judge at the end of his term.
A plaintiff is somebody that brings a case. In this case, it’s Ann Anderson, the Canes family ,Tombies, Sonas, Robins, and A Fieros in the film titled A Civil Action (1). There were 12 leukemia deaths over the past 15 years, 8 of them being children (1). Ann Anderson is just one of the victims that lost her son to leukemia. She open-mindedly wants to know if the water they were drinking had anything to do with it. There were complaints in the neighborhood that the water had a strange taste, consequently, she decides to gather the families that have lost loved ones. Jan Schlichtmann takes on this eight million dollar case. It forces Jan and his team to give up everything they have in order to win the case, including their house mortgages(1).
The story starts with the very laborious job of jury selection. The tobacco industry has on their payroll a man by the name of Rankin Fitch. Fitch foresees the selection of the lawyers and consultants. Fitch and the consultants foresee the selection of the jurors. Each perspective juror is investigated and watched. The defense as well as the plaintiffs want to secure a verdict so they only want jurors sympathetic to their side. Fitch along with Rohr, the plaintiff's lawyer, also had high priced detectives tailing perspective jurors. Anyone who was the least bit wrong for their cause had to be eliminated from the process.
“Witness for the Prosecution” superbly demonstrated a realist view of the operating procedures in a courtroom. The actors within the courtroom were easy to identify, and the steps transitioned smoothly from the arrest to the reading of the verdict. The murder trial of Leonard Vole provided realistic insight into how laws on the books are used in courtroom proceedings. With the inferior elements noted, the superior element of the court system in “Witness for the Prosecution” was the use of the adversary system. Both sides of the adversary system were flawlessly protrayed when the prosecution and defense squared off in the courtroom.
Most countries in the world today do not use juries, and only a small percentage of cases in the United States are decided by juries. So it has been proven successful and holding trials without juries are certainly a possibility for our future. In may in fact be in society’s best interest to change or rather improve a system that is outdated and doesn’t always serve the people justice. A person has a right to choose between a jury of his peers of a bench (judge only) trial. It’s likely that citizens may prefer a jury trial as they may feel that pool of random citizens may be less critical or harsh than a judge, but in all honesty, if we’re talking about fairness, a judge who is an informed and trained professional definitely has a better idea of how to sentence a person on trial and looks at the evidence in a holistic way. A bench trial is better because it’s more efficient and cost-effective, judges are well-educated professionals, and juries may be biased or incompetent.