Free Essay

Civil Action Reflection

In: Computers and Technology

Submitted By mights
Words 459
Pages 2
A Civil Action Trial Procedure
In the movie, A Civil Action, a civil lawsuit takes place between families of the victims of a small town Woburn, Massachusetts against the corporations Beatrice Foods, and W.R. Grace Company. The corporations are being sued by the families for indirectly killing their children by contaminating the water that runs through their town. The attorney that files a lawsuit against the big corporations is Jan Schlichtmann. This movie portrays a great example of a civil trial procedure in the U.S. Court.
The first stage of a civil trial procedure are the pleadings, which include the filing of complain, and motions to dismiss. A complaint was made by the families of Woburn, stating that the deaths of their children were the cause of the contamination of their town’s water supply. The complaints were made for the corporations Beatrice Foods, and W.R. Grace Company. Mr. Cheeseman, the attorney on behalf of Grace Company made a motion to dismiss the case but the judge ruled otherwise.
The second stage is the pretrial, where discovery of facts and motions for summary judgment take place. In A Civil Action, the discoveries began with depositions of witnesses by the victim’s family members, residents of Woburn, and employees that work for the factories that are being blamed for contaminating the water. Witnesses came up stating that they were experiencing events of abnormal health issues and that it could be correlated with contamination of the water. One factory worker testified saying that he had witnesses dumping of the factories waste into the water.
The final stages are the actual trial and post-trial, where Jury selection, opening statements, introduction to evidence, cross examinations and closing arguments take place. Jan, the plaintiffs’ attorney began the opening statements favoring his clients and stating that the two big corporations were in the wrong doing of contaminating the water and killing the children who were affected by it. Of course, the attorneys on behalf of the two corporations denied Jan’s arguments saying there was no correlation between the water contamination and the deaths. Jan introduced his evidence of geological studies of the water and soil, and the chemical that is contaminating the water, TCP. After the evidence, the cross examinations began where different witnesses from geologist to factory workers participated. This part did not go in favor for Jan because he asked “Why?” to one of the witnesses which backfired and made the case more difficult to win. Closing arguments were not stated because a deal was made between Jan and W.R. Grace Company, while Beatrice Foods was found not liable. At the end of the movie EPA filed a lawsuit against the two companies for being liable due to negligence.…...

Similar Documents

Free Essay

"A Civil Action" Overview

...After viewing the 1998 film “A Civil Action” and reading the article by Marc Galanter about “Why the ‘Haves’ Come out Ahead” we see that the framework applied to the American legal system by Galanter in his article at this point in time is held true in the film. What Galanter does is tell us about the two options that sides may be in a legal case. First there are the One-Shotters, which we will refer to as the OSs. These indivduals are often those who are not regulars within the legal system and often are only there once or maybe twice. A fine example of OSs are the husband and wife in a divorce case or the two parents in a custody case. As suggested by the name, these people usually are only in once. When it comes to the results that they expect it is often tangible. Because this is there one and only case, they are not concerned with a reputation in the courts but instead with real, physical, in a way, results. On the flip-side you have the Repeat Players which we will refer to as the RPs. These individuals, again as the name suggests, are those who frequent the courtroom and are often involved the same kinds of cases. These are what one would expect them to be such as the IRS trying people who did not pay their income taxes or a large corporation. Now the goals for a RP are very different than those of an OS. Instead of the tangible goals of the one-shotter, the RPs are out to often establish a reputation and establish relations to shape future decisions made in the courts...

Words: 1486 - Pages: 6

Premium Essay

Affirmative Action

...Affirmative Action July 2007 Abstract Affirmative action, in the United States, programs to overcome the effects of past societal discrimination by allocating jobs and resources to members of specific groups, such as minorities and women. The policy was implemented by federal agencies enforcing the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and two executive orders, which provided that government contractors and educational institutions receiving federal funds develop such programs. The Equal Employment Opportunities Act (1972) set up a commission to enforce such plans. Affirmative Action was evolved from the civil rights era, 1950’s through 1960 when African Americans fought to live as normal human beings. Dr. Martin Luther King, NAACP, and other black organizations fought racism by marches, rallies, and sit-ins. Despite the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King and other great activists, schools, universities, and public facilities were racially integrated. This was the time when Affirmative Action came into play, a century after the abolishment of slavery, United States finally after a Century began to address racism. President Kennedy was given credit for enacting important laws; Executive Order 10925 in 1961, which stated that Government contractors had to take affirmative action to ensure that applicants are employed without regard to race, creed, color or national origin. President Kennedy was pressured by civil rights movements to enact Affirmative Action. ......

Words: 1211 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

How Far Were the Actions of the African Americans the Main Reason for the Advancement of the Civil Rights in the Period 1865-1980?

...How far were the actions of the African Americans the main reason for the advancement of the Civil Rights in the period 1865-1980? “Power concedes nothing without demand, it never has and it never will”[1]. Said by Fredrick Douglass in 1857, an escaped slave who had bearded the brunt of the slave years. He had come to the realisation that African Americans had a fountain of “power”; however that power that they possessed would never establish anything without a “demand”. Fredrick Douglass awoke the conscious of African Americans to make them realise that wanting to be free and wanting to achieve full civil rights was not enough, neither was enduring a life under white supremacy waiting for life after death to see a new dawn .Believing and hoping was not enough. “Power concedes nothing without demand” the solution is to be willing to work hard to establish it yourself by demanding what belongs to them. However using power in order to concede civil rights was a struggle which was acknowledged by Fredrick Douglass “Without struggle there is no success”. To achieve advancement in African American Civil Rights, African Americans had to undergo a process of struggle. A rainbow is not made without rain; you can not want rain without thunder and lightening being accompanied by it. To achieve full civil rights African Americans had to pay the price along the way which was persecution, de-humanisation and scrutiny. Martin Luther King being inspired by Fredrick Douglass said......

Words: 4801 - Pages: 20

Premium Essay

Reflection on the Speech of Civil Liberties and War

...I have learned a lot by attending this speech of “Civil Liberties and War, Commemorating the 70th Anniversary of Korematsu v. United States.” It is presented by Nihonmachi Outreach Committee(NOC). In the speech, there are three parts. They talked about community program, candlelight procession and reception. I was surprised that, it is really crowded. Most of the people are kind of old. However, I learned a lot by hearing this speech. Firstly, I learned about Nihonmachi Outreach Committee (NOC). It is a progressive organization based in the San Jose Japanese American community that is dedicated to educating the public about the incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II, and as a consequence, is committed to defending all people on issues of civil rights, equality, justice, tolerance and peace. And one of this main activities of NOC continues to be the annual Day of Remembrance(DOR) commemorating Executive Order9066 which ordered 120,000 Japanese Americans to concentration camps during World War II. From the first event in 1981, DOR has come to present some of the defining issues facing the Japanese- American community and a time to reflect on our history in the United States. Staring with the debate over redress/reparations to support for American Muslims today. DOR has provided a forum for the San Jose Japanese American community to come together to remember the lessons of the past and define the future. However, I have also learned about the......

Words: 383 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

The Civil Action

...The Civil Action (1988) is film that based on a true story of an environmental lawsuit, which took place in Woburn, Mass. In this movie, Jan Schlittman, a personal injury lawyer, agrees to represent a group of families whose children died from leukemia after a large corporation carelessly deposed toxic chemicals damaged the water supply for Woburn, Mass. This case becomes Jan’s obsession, even to the extent that he is willing to give up everything. When we look at the case in ethical way, we can find several individuals and entities acting unethically. In this paper, we are going to discuss three unethical activities and entity occurred in the movie, including the ways local tanneries deposed toxic chemicals, and try to cover it after the lawsuit has been filed; the defendant attorney’s behaviors throughout the movie; the judge’s position in the case. First unethical activity is the ways local tanneries carelessly deposed toxic chemicals. As we know that toxic chemicals is danger in any course, and need to handle and depose in proper way. However, the local tanneries dump directly to the land, which they call “swimming pool”. After long period of time, the soul was loaded with toxic chemicals, and leaked them to the water supply. This is unethical and morally wrong. Moreover, after t lawsuit has been filed, they rented a dump truck and destroyed the evidences to cover what they did. Second unethical activity is the defendant attorney’s behaviors throughout the movie.......

Words: 629 - Pages: 3

Free Essay

Actions

...his or her actions and behaviors depending on the scenario or the type of situation at hand. Values are established and implanted in the early stages of life, but each individual person interprets his or her own values differently, and their actions and behaviors show how values are being perceived and displayed by the individual. People act off of their individual values that are embedded within them, and the actions and behaviors of individuals are a mere image reflection of his or her personal values. Dr. Pepper states “that diversity drives our success and helps us win in the marketplace” (Dr. Pepper, 2012). That is why Wal-Mart is such a number one leading diverse company that keeps growing and expanding services worldwide. The ability to analyze the alignment between personal values, actions and behaviors is being able to achieve the understanding of values and how it leads one actions and behaviors. Individual values that demonstrate positive attitude, positive thinking, and wanting to positively achieve established goals leads to positive actions, behaviors and outcomes. Wal-Mart core values are incorporated into the culture and belief of the company which is to provide service to customers, respect for all individuals, continue to strive for excellence, and always act with integrity. Wal-Mart continues to promote values positively through the employees that work for the company because it builds a bond, a stronger company, promotes positive behavior, actions,......

Words: 307 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Tort and Civil Action

...A sum of money awarded in a civil action by a court to indemnify a person for the particular loss, detriment, or injury suffered as a result of the unlawful conduct of another. Compensatory damages provide a plaintiff with the monetary amount necessary to replace what was lost, and nothing more. They differ from Punitive Damages, which punish a defendant for his or her conduct as a deterrent to the future commission of such acts. In order to be awarded compensatory damages, the plaintiff must prove that he or she has suffered a legally recognizable harm that is compensable by a certain amount of money that can be objectively determined by a judge or jury. One of the more heated issues facing the U.S. legal system during the past quarter century has been the call for reform of states' tort laws. health care providers and other organizations have sought to limit the amount of damages a plaintiff can receive for pain and suffering because they claim that large jury awards in Medical Malpractice cases cause premiums on medical insurance policies to rise, thus raising the overall costs of medical services. California took the lead in addressing concerns with rising medical costs when it enacted the Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act, Cal. Civ. Code § 3333.2 (1997). The act limits the recoverable amount for non-economic loss, such as pain and suffering, to $250,000 in actions based on professional Negligence against certain health care providers. Although the statute has......

Words: 357 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Scenario Involving Civil Liability and Civil Action

...Scenario Involving Civil Liability and Civil Action Jacquelyne Anderson Professor Phillip Edwards CJ499-01 September 14, 2014 In this scenario project I will identify four alleged crimes and one criminal civil action. In addition, I will apply principles involving criminal law relevant to the criminal justice practice, and I will demonstrate my understanding of civil liabilities relative to criminal justice agencies, and practitioners. Furthermore, I will identify case laws relevant to the possible civil action that could be brought against the police officer, the department and the city. After addressing these issues, I will have described a scenario involving a civil liability and a civil action. When identifying the four alleged crimes and the one criminal civil action, regarding this scenario project, the four alleged crimes are: 1) attempted robbery, 2) drug possession, 3) carrying a gun, and 4) assault and battery. After speaking to a female victim, Officer Jones noticed an individual who partially fit the description, and walked toward them. Officer Jones identified himself, and told the individual to stop. Unfortunately, this individual did not stop, and kept on walking from the officer, and the officer shouted again identifying himself, but this time the individual stopped. When the individual stopped he looked at the officer and there was a big bulge in his right pocket, but refused to put his hands where the cop could see them. The subject began...

Words: 995 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Affirmative Action

...RUNNING HEAD: HRM Incident 2: So, What’s Affirmative Action? Incident 2: So, What’s Affirmative Action? MGT 331: Management of Human Resources Professor Bettis Katie Farrier March 15, 2015 Affirmative Action Case Analysis Background Alex and Michael of Supreme Construction Company received confirmation of being the lowest bidder on the government project for NASA. They have 75 employees, making them susceptible to compliance with Affirmative Action laws, workers employed to their representation in relevant labor markets. Answering the Questions 1.) Supreme must submit an Affirmative Action Plan (AAP) because the Office of Contract Compliance Program (OFCCP) requires them to do so due to their number of employees and amount of their contract. They have 75 employees at Supreme and the OFCCP says contractors are governed by the Equal Opportunity clause. When bidding government contracts, companies with more than 50 employees must submit an AAP. Although the Civil Rights Act of 1964 states that companies with 100 or more employees must comply with the rules, the threshold of the OFCCP is 50+ employees. Also, the OFCCP requires contracts more than $50,000.00 to submit an AAP. Supremes’ contract is $1,982,000.00. They must submit a plan that explains how they comply with the Equal Opportunity clause. The report will include the plan and an annual EEO-1 report. 2.) The Affirmative Action Program is designed to provide equal employment opportunities and proper......

Words: 514 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

British Actions During Civil War

...The early stages of the American Revolution, the British were in a bit of an unstable circumstances with their government. After the British handled the parliament situation they tried to reform the British Empire. The first step of the reform was the Navigation acts. The navigation acts, were a set of acts that restricted ships from navigating from the Britain and to the colonies. The navigation act lasted for over 200 years. After the French and Indian war, on October 9, 1763, King George III enacted the proclamation of 1763. This proclamation came about by the Great Britain acquired French territory next to the colonies or in the present day mid west. This forbid settles from settling past a line around the Appalachian Mountains. The British restricted settlers and it was very clear they also tried to make the settlers in the colonies very hard and troubled. The colonies did not take these acts and proclamations lightly. Americans quickly resisted the British reformed acts. The American Resistance began after the British Parliament by quickly constructed the Sugar Act of 1764. This act set the presidency that the American colonies could act in the same manner in the British. This act was started because during the long standing Navigation act, the British paid the revenue raising taxes, now with Sugar act this turned the tables and the colonies were now taking the brunt of that. The British parliaments goal was to raise 100,000 pounds, which some sources even say that......

Words: 592 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Civil Action

...A Civil Action We live on the blue planet; a planet that is named after the abundant presence of water on its surface. So yes there is a lot of water but how much of that water is actually useful to us? Most of the water on Earth is deposited in seas and oceans i.e. it is salty. The human species cannot digest saltwater hence the only water that is useful to us is in the handful of lakes, ponds and under the ground surface. Thus our illusion of there being enough water for us to live on for generations needs to be break. After watching the Civil Action, I realized how much the people around me and I take water for granted. Because it is available to us readily, we do not even think twice about our usage patterns. But we need to realize that the situation depicted in the Civil Action is real and much more common than we think it is. There are people in this world who do not have access to clean drinking water and there are also people who are being lied to about the cleanliness of their drinking water. Water is a basic necessity of life because we need it to survive; in simple words, it is our basic human right. But as seen in the Civil Action, there are many people in this world who are being deprived of their basic right. In the current world, companies like those depicted in the movie are chasing after monetary things like profit and in the process are neglecting safety and health. But is money more important than health? I don’t think so. The Civil Action was a......

Words: 637 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Civil Rights and Civil Liberties

...The Thirteenth Amendment ended slavery and African American slaves gained their freedom during the Civil War; however, this did not mean they were fully integrated into American society. After the war, Southern Whites faced a crisis. The emancipation of slaves and the Fourteenth Amendment’s guarantee of citizenship undermined their assertion that citizenship was for Whites only. The clear line between Whites who ruled and Blacks who were ruled became vulnerable. Since Whites slave owners could no longer treat the former slaves as non-citizens, they sought to strengthen this distinction by restoring slavery as best they could. Imposing disabilities on Black civil rights that limited their access to full citizenship was a goal to reach. Within months of the Civil War’s end, former Confederate states passed Black Codes to regulate the behavior of the former slaves as well as their status. Congressional Reconstruction was still a year away, and white Democrats who governed state legislatures passed laws that restricted the liberty of the former slaves. Although Black Codes granted African American certain rights such as legalized marriage, ownership of property; the laws prohibited interracial marriage for the fear of weakening the White race, denied them the rights to testify against Whites in court, jury service and the right to vote. The Black Codes also forced African Americans to labor and constrained their freedom of movement. Individuals not under control of white land......

Words: 1356 - Pages: 6

Premium Essay

Civil Action

...The movie Civil Action is about personal injury lawyer named Jan Schlichtman who sues two major companies, Beatrice foods, and Grace Industries. Jan becomes too emotionally attached to the case. At first he is all about the money then it becomes more than that to him and he gets to involved in finding the truth, and his judgment becomes slighted. Throughout the movie and the case; civil trail procedure is shown from jury selection to the verdict. In the movie Jan starts out as a rich millionaire personal injury lawyer who is also one ofBoston’s top 10 bachelors. Then an orphan case one day had landed on his desk, and this case was filed by the town ofWoobergfor the wrongful death of eight children. Jan said no to the town at first and told them that there was no money involved for him so he would not do it, but he then got curious and did some research and found that 2 major companies were involved in this case. The companies Beatrice Foods and Grace Industries. So then Jan decides that now he has the opportunity to make a lot of money so he tells the town he has reconsidered and will do the case. Once the complaint is filed and the two companies are summoned to the pre trail court, the two lawyers for the companies are Mr. Cheeseman for Grace and Mr. Facher for Beatrice. Grace Industry’s lawyer Mr. Cheeseman tried to overturn the case by using Rule 11. Rule 11 is a very old and ridiculous rule that has not been used in decades so then his appeal is overturned. After the......

Words: 700 - Pages: 3

Free Essay

Civil Action

...Civil Action Assignment 3 1. An expert witness is a witness who has knowledge beyond that of the ordinary lay person enabling him/her to give testimony regarding an issue that requires expertise to understand. Experts are allowed to give opinion testimony which a non-expert witness may be prohibited from testifying to. 2. Both sides had to bring in experts in regards to the chemicals that the wells were contaminated with. Then they had to bring in experts in ground water movement, they had to prove chemicals were dumped, and had to prove the chemicals made the people sick. Proving of causation was the reason why so many experts were called on. Every aspect of the evidence had to be proven to be as solid as possible to be allowed in court. 3. Hydrogeologist, Geologist, Engineering Geologist, Soil scientists, Geochemist 4. The first issue is money. Experts are paid for their time and even though it creates a substantial incentive for the expert to advocate a party's position that is not supported by available research and data. This problem is particularly acute with the professional witness, who makes her living testifying as an expert. A professional witness is highly motivated out of self interest to develop relationships with lawyers because those relationships are the expert's lifeblood. The more effective the expert is in advancing the lawyer's case, the greater the likelihood the expert will be retained again. The Safeguards of the Adversary......

Words: 577 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Affirmative Action

...Affirmative Action Initiatives were created in order to correct the wrongs of discrimination and to make equal opportunity a reality. Affirmative Action Initiatives were created by law to ensure equal rights for minorities and women as it pertains to college admissions and promotions within the workforce. The affirmative action initiatives have been scrutinized since its inception. The creation of the initiatives was the first step in a long battle to end discrimination. The original intent was to be aggressive with non-discrimination and to racially integrate the workforces. Affirmative action, originally (Consortium Journal Hospitality & Tourism, 2010) implemented as a means of righting past wrongs and leveling the playing field for minorities and women, has in some circles become a bad word synonymous with quotas, privilege, and reverse discrimination. Although the Initiatives were coined and created in 1961, it wasn’t until the Civil Rights Act in 1964, that racial discrimination was actually prohibited in the workforce. Those for the affirmative action initiatives view them as a positive. Opponents of the Initiatives believe the harm of racial discrimination has dissipated therefore affirmative action is not necessary. Those against believe that race based policies make minority achievement a white allowance and the failure of minorities a group stigma. Those against also believe the Initiatives were created as a means of compensating for all racially......

Words: 2027 - Pages: 9