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Best Courtroom Movies – True Believer

Best Courtroom Movies – True Believer

Long before he was Iron Man, Robert Downey, Jr. played a young lawyer in the movie “True Believer” in support of James Woods, whose character was based on Tony Serra, a noted criminal defense attorney in California during the latter half of the 20th Century. In 1983, Serra won an acquittal for Chol Soo Lee, a Korean-American immigrant, who had been convicted of murder in 1973 and sentenced to life imprisonment in San Francisco. The film inspired a spin-off television series, Eddie Dodd, starring Treat Williams in the title role. In 1970, Serra successfully defended Black Panther leader Huey Newton in a murder trial. He had many other high-profile criminal clients including organized crime boss, Raymond...

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Laws Every American Citizen Should Know

Our rights as Americans, if not humans, are legitimate, collective, or moral codes of freedom or privilege. The Bill of Rights further defines these rights and prohibits Congress from enacting laws that restrict these rights. In furtherance of the protection of these rights, individuals who are American citizens must know and be aware of the following specific hallmark laws, rules, and regulations. Freedom of Information Act The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) gives every American the right to see and use records from any government establishment to promote transparency and accountability. Any individual may request information under FOIA. Federal agencies must disclose any information requested...

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Best Courtroom Movies – Anatomy Of A Murder

Best Courtroom Movies – Anatomy Of A Murder

Almost any movie featuring Jimmy Stewart would be high on my list of must-see films, but a courtroom drama featuring him would be at the top of the list. Michael Asimow, UCLA law professor and co-author of Reel Justice: The Courtroom Goes to the Movies (2006), described the film as "probably the finest pure trial movie ever made." Anatomy Of A Murder directed by distinguished director, Otto Preminger, was written by former Michigan Supreme Court Justice John D. Voelker under the pen name Robert Traver. The novel was based on a 1952 murder case in which Voelker represented the defendant. The judge in the film was played by Joseph N. Welch,...

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Best Courtroom Movies – Miracle On 34th Street

Best Courtroom Movies – Miracle On 34th Street

Most present-day law students are probably unfamiliar with the late actress Natalie Wood who gained success and popularity as a child and adult actress before her untimely death in a drowning accident in 1981. Wood was given a starring role at the age of 8 in 1947’s Miracle on 34th Street which involves a young attorney asserting in court that a Macy’s Department Store Santa Claus is the real Santa Claus. Her assertion that this man, known as Kris Kringle “IS Santa Claus” is just one of the movie’s many highlights. The film, released in May because studio head Daryl F....

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Latest On Coronavirus And The LSAT

Latest On Coronavirus And The LSAT

State bar examinations have not been the only institutions affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The LSAT (Law School Admissions Test) has also been affected. Undergraduates have also had to deal with the uncertainty of pursuing a legal education. Because of this continuing uncertainty, the Law School Admissions Council (LSAC) has chosen to deliver all remaining LSAT administrations through April 2021 through an online, remotely proctored test, instead of in-person. As a mechanism to enable candidates to take the LSAT and continue moving forward in their quests for law degrees and becoming lawyers, the LSAC developed an online, remotely proctored application called...

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Best Courtroom Movies – The Verdict

Best Courtroom Movies – The Verdict

Frank Galvin is a Boston attorney struggling with alcoholism and failure. He makes one last stab at respectability and redemption in Sidney Lumet’s 1984 film The Verdict. Played by Paul Newman, Galvin is formerly the member of an elite Boston law firm almost disbarred for jury tampering. He turns to alcohol and taking bad personal injury cases as a sole practitioner. Cast: Paul Newman as Frank Galvin Charlotte Rampling as Laura Fischer Jack Warden as Mickey Morrissey James Mason as Ed Concannon Milo O'Shea as Judge Hoyle Lindsay Crouse as Kaitlin Costello Price Edward Binns as Bishop Brophy Julie Bovasso as Maureen Rooney Roxanne Hart as Sally Doneghy James Handy as...

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The CDTA: Pushing Forward In 2020

The CDTA: Pushing Forward In 2020

The Fall of 2020 is here and the semester’s abrupt transition to distance learning is in full swing. Faculty and students are taking full advantage of the California Desert Trial Academy College of Law’s (CDTA) online learning platform, now in its ninth year of operation. Everyone at the CDTA has united to overcome the universal challenges that arise as a result of a forced emphasis on the virtual classroom. As a result, the CDTA is pushing successfully forward in 2020 as we approach our tenth anniversary. There are many students with limited access to online learning tools because the educational institution they...

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Best Courtroom Movies – 12 Angry Men

One of the most significant courtroom movies of the 20th Century is 12 Angry Men made in 1957 and directed by Sidney Lumet. Interestingly, in 1982, Lumet would direct what many consider another classic courtroom film, The Verdict, starring Paul Newman. The film notably almost exclusively uses one set - a jury deliberation room - where all but three minutes of the film takes place. Cast: Martin Balsam as Juror 1, the jury foreman. John Fiedler as Juror 2, a bank worker. Lee J. Cobb as Juror 3, the owner of a courier business. E. G. Marshall as Juror 4, a stockbroker. Jack Klugman as Juror...

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Answering The Question: Why Did I Become A Lawyer?

Answering The Question: Why Did I Become A Lawyer?

Years from now, after you have graduated from law school, you go out for a cup of coffee and, while enjoying it, initiate a conversation with a stranger. Ultimately, this stranger asks  “Why did you become a lawyer?” How do you answer it? Is your response as simple as “I love the law” or “for the money.” Or is it a longer, more well-reasoned response? So what is the best answer to the question "Why do I want to become a lawyer?" or "Why did I become a lawyer?" Because: I possess and convey knowledge of the ability to communicate and negotiate...

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