A Civil Action: Not A Typical Hollywood Film

A Civil Action is based on a true story and bestselling book. John Travolta stars in the 1998 film playing attorney Jan Schlichtman. Although the film is about the environmental poisoning of a small town’s water supply, the film is considered by many in the legal profession to be a realistic look at the economics or business side of operating a law firm. Race, class, and gender in relation to the money value of a client are expressed early in the movie as Schlichtman narrates reality:

“A dead woman less than a dead man. Single adult less than one who’s married. Black less than white. Poor less than rich. The perfect victim is a white male professional, 40 years old, at the height of his earning power, struck down in his prime.” — John Travolta as Jan Schlictman, Esq.

Picture of John Travolta

I like that the poster graphic reads justice has its price. Because in my experience, it’s so true.


How IRS Taxes Lawsuit Settlements, Sometimes twice by Robert Wood, March 15, 2021.
The value of a lawsuit for the plaintiff is the focus of this article. Recent changes in tax laws further challenge mistaken perceptions of the public who read or hear about large settlements.


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