Ordinary Heroes Vs. Failed Lawyers-public Interest Litigation In Erin Brockovich And Other Contemporary Films
Law And Social Inquiry-journal Of The American Bar Foundation
Politics and Government
Although feature films may overpraise lawyers and civil courts as means of securing justice, they caricature lawyers and litigation. Analysis of Erin Brockovich (directed by Steven Soderbergh and produced by Danny DeVito, et al., 2000) reveals four motifs-two favorable and two unfavorable to public-interest litigants and litigation-that characterize similar films in the last decades: Class Action (1991), The Rainmaker (1997), The Sweet Hereafter (1997), A Civil Action (1998), The Insider (1999), Runaway Jury (2003), and North Country (2005). These filmic populist romances promote ordinary heroines (mostly) who redeem a problematic system through common sense and everyday virtue rather than through laws, lawyers, and litigation.
McCann, Michael, and William Haltom. 2008. "Ordinary Heroes vs. Failed Lawyers-Public Interest Litigation in Erin Brockovich and Other Contemporary Films." Law And Social Inquiry-journal Of The American Bar Foundation 33(4): 1045-1070.