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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.

Sources

Quotes.net: https://www.quotes.net/mquote/964619

The Washington Post, Opinion by Ronen Avraham and Kimberly Yuracko – April 29, 2021. The use of race- and sex-based data to calculate damages is a stain on our legal system. – https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/04/29/race-sex-based-data-legal-damages

Valuing Black Lives: A Constitutional Challenge to the Use of Race-Based Tables in Calculating Tort Damages by Kimberly A. Yuracko & Ronen Avraham  – California Law Review – https://www.californialawreview.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/2-YurackoAvraham.pdf

https://www.californialawreview.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/2-YurackoAvraham.pdf

Forbes.com – 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. – https://www.forbes.com/sites/robertwood/2021/03/15/how-irs-taxes-lawsuit-settlements-sometimes-twice/?sh=63d37cca490d