The Firm. The Firm's primary focus is on Mitch McDeere, who graduated third in his class at Harward Law School. Mitch has recently married his girlfriend from college, Abby, his brother Ray is serving a prison term, and his other brother, Rusty, died in Vietnam.
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The Firm's primary focus is on Mitch McDeere, who graduated third in his class at Harward Law School. Mitch has recently married his girlfriend from college, Abby, his brother Ray is serving a prison term, and his other brother, Rusty, died in Vietnam.
Mitch has offers from law firms in New York and Chicago but eventually decides to join Bendini, Lambert and Locke, a small tax law firm based in Memphis. The firm seduces him by offering him a large salary and a large house, as well as paying off his student loans. Soon after he joins, his new colleagues help him study and pass his bar exam..
Two of Mitch's colleagues die in a scuba diving accident in the Cayman Islands the week he starts at the firm; Mitch finds the deaths unsettling, but ignores it to work hard, faced with the prospect of becoming a partner after only a few years. Then, an FBI agent, Wayne Tarrance, confronts Mitch, and he learns gradually that the firm is actually part of the white collar operations of the Morolto crime family of Chicago. For years, the Moroltos have lured new lawyers from poor backgrounds into the firm with promises of wealth and security. By the time a lawyer is aware of the the firm's actual operations, he cannot leave. No lawyer has actually escaped the firm alive, as the death of his two colleagues makes him so aware. Mitch learns that his house, office and car are bugged. He and Abby are also routinely followed, making his meetings with the FBI dangerous. Pressure from both the firm and the FBI, who warns him he will regret not cooperating later on, if he chooses to ignore the problem, force Mitch to make a decision quickly.
[…]Rudy already has one case, a case of insurance bad faith, which he passionately believes in. He represents a poor family, Dot and Buddy Black whom he met through a class visit to a community centre. The case could be worth several million dollars in damages, but his personal life is falling to pieces and he is about to declare himself bankrupt. When his employer is raided by the police and the FBI, he and Deck set up in practice themselves and file suit on behalf of the Blacks, whose son Donny Ray is dying of leukemia but almost certainly could have been saved with a bone marrow transplant since he has an identical twin brother, a fact which would make the procedure virtually certain to work due to the perfect genetic match. The procedure should be covered by their insurance company, Great Benefit Life Insurance.
Before the trial commences, the Blacks' son dies. The case goes to trial and Rudy uncovers a scheme Great Benefit ran throughout 1991 to deny every insurance claim submitted, regardless of validity. Great Benefit was playing on the odds that the insured would not consult an attorney (which Dot Black didn't until it was too late for Donny Ray). A former employee of Great Benefit testifies that the scheme generated an extra $40 million in revenue for the company.
Widow Celeste Wood is suing a tobacco company for sending her husband to an early grave. She hires a lawyer named Mr. Rohr, who has had mixed results in court cases before, never one this big. The judge in the case is found out to be Judge Harkin, who is about to have the largest case he has ever seen in his courtroom.
On the defence are the tobacco companies. In particular a tobacco company known as Pynex and its head, Mr. Jankin. It is part of a group known as the Big Four, a small group of very powerful and influential cigarette companies that has joined forces to defend their names. Together, they have formed "The Fund" - a seemingly bottomless well of money intended to be used in the cases such as this.
They hire Rankin Fitch - an expert who has helped to "win" cases like this before. He is virtually unknown to everyone else in the world, except for the rich companies. He does not get directly involved in courtroom, but prefers to remain hidden and let Mr. Cable, another lawyer take care of the talking.
Clay Carter is a public defender, dreaming of one day joining a big law firm. Reluctantly, he takes on the case of Tequila Watson, a man accused of a random street killing. Clay assumes that it is just another D.C. murder.
Clay soon learns of a pharmaceutical conspiracy, with the help of the mysterious Max Pace, and finds himself landing a huge settlement. Soon Clay finds himself being one of the legal professions biggest tort lawyers. Unfortunately, this sudden fame isn't without a price.
This is the true story of Jeffrey Wigand (Russell Crowe), a man who signed a confidentiality agreement before getting fired from a big tobacco company. Hotshot *60 minutes* producer Bergman (Al Pacino) asks Wigand to decipher some technical documents, and soon realizes there's a bigger story hiding inside Wigand. On top of that, Wigand is recruited to testify in Mississippi for a case that claims cigarettes *are* addictive. The *60 minutes* piece will eventually be pulled because of corporate pressure. Wigand deals with his personal dilemma, and Bergman battles the corporation.
Erin Brockovich is an unemployed single mother of three who, after losing a personal injury lawsuit against a doctor in a car accident she was in, asks her lawyer, Edward L. Masry, if he can find her a job in compensation for the loss. Ed gives her work as a file clerk in his office, and she runs across some files on a pro bono case involving real-estate and medical records against Pacific Gas and Electric Company.
Erin begins digging into the particulars of the case, convinced that the facts simply do not add up, and persuades Ed to allow her further research. After investigation, she discovers a systematic cover-up of the industrial poisoning (Hexavalent Chromium) of the town of Hinkley's water supply that threatens the health of an entire community. She finds that PG&E is responsible for the extensive illnesses residents of Hinkley have been diagnosed with and fights to bring the company to justice.
Silkwood is a 1983, Oscar-nominated film which dramatizes the story of Karen Silkwood, who died under suspicious circumstances while investigating alleged wrongdoing at the Kerr-McGee plutonium plant where she worked
Jan Schlichtmann (John Travolta) is a successful lawyer who has started his own practice. Early legal victories have made him wealthy and one of Boston's most eligible bachelors. All of this begins to collapse after Jan begins activity on one of his firm's cases, a lawsuit on behalf of the parents of deceased children in a small industrial town against the companies they believe to have polluted their water. The pollutant in question is trichloroethylene, an industrial solvent, and it appears to have caused fatal cases of leukemia and cancer, as well as a wide variety of other health problems, among the citizens of the town.
Jan believes that this case will be easily won, resulting in a fortune for him and the families and prestige for his firm. However, the huge expenses in both time and money incurred in the class action suit soon begin to take their toll on his finances, ambitions, and career.
The story is about a lawsuit concerning injuries caused by a defective automobile. The suit takes on a personal dimension because the injured plaintiff's attorney (Hackman) is the father of the automobile manufacturer's attorney (Mastrantonio). The central premise of the film is roughly analogous to the controversy surrounding the Ford Pinto.
The auto manufacturer in the film also utilizes a "bean-counting" approach to risk management, whereby the projections of actuaries for probable deaths and injured car-owners is weighed against the cost of re-tooling and re-manufacturing the car without the defect (exploding gas tanks) with the resulting decision to keep the car as-is to positively benefit short term profitability.
The film makes remarks concerning challenges brought about by "dumping" by Japanese car makers (temporarily selling below cost to grab market share, then raising prices exorbitantly after driving competition out of business), and the increased need to cut costs to keep pace with Asian car makers (Korea, Japan, China, etc.) that don't pay anywhere near the union wages of Detroit's auto workers.