Title

Ordinary Heroes Vs. Failed Lawyers-public Interest Litigation In Erin Brockovich And Other Contemporary Films

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

9-1-2008

Publication Title

Law And Social Inquiry-journal Of The American Bar Foundation

Department

Politics and Government

Abstract

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.

Volume

33

Issue

4

pp.

1045-1070

ISSN

0897-6546