May 24 by GJEL Staff

4 Powerful Legal Documentary Films

People who follow the news in the United States are not strangers to disturbing legal stories that often dominate the headlines. From the Casey Anthony trial that concluded last month, to the Scott Peterson verdict years before, and even the controversial O.J. Simpson murder case nearly 20 years ago, it’s often difficult to avoid the day’s most followed legal stories. But there are thousands of legal stories that go unnoticed each year by much of the general public, or are nearly forgotten years later. In the four following examples, documentary film makers have exposed and revitalized those stories to create powerful documentary films discussing a variety of troubling legal issues. We’ve compiled the trailers for the films Hot Coffee, Capturing the Friedmans, Deliver Us From Evil, and Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father, along with short descriptions and reviews.

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Jun 24 by GJEL

Cars 2 Targets Distracted Driving (VIDEO)

As part of the new advertising campaign for this summer’s Pixar animated film Cars 2, Disney has released a public service announcement that warns about the dangers of distracted driving with the help of characters from the film. The short PSA is sponsored by the film studios and the Department of Transportation to spread the message that “only bad guys drive distracted,” and “one text or call could wreck it all.” The combined DOT and Cars 2 website provides additional information on distracted driving.

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Jun 17 by GJEL

Best Fictional Lawyers Bracket Predictions

It’s always fun to see lawyers portrayed on television. Some, like Law & Order’s Jack McCoy or Matlock’s Ben Matlock illustrate the most virtuous aspects of the justice system. Others, like Arrested Development’s Barry Zuckercorn or Lionel Hutz from The Simpsons essentially wrap up decades of lawyer jokes into one succinct character. To help separate the wheat from the chaff, legal tabloid blog Above the Law has developed a bracket of their readers’ favorite fictional lawyers. Click through for my predictions.

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Feb 01 by GJEL

Most Unlikely Courtroom Comedies

Last week, we brought you some of the most absurd attempts of replicating judicial in the most unlikely courtroom dramas. Ranging from Chicago to Miracle on 34th Street, it was clear that film writers are comfortable fudging the facts and realities when it comes to telling a compelling story. Not surprisingly, the same is true for legal comedies… to an even more outlandish extent. But since comedies typically aren’t bound by realism or attention to detail, the freedoms taken in the films described below are perhaps more forgivable than those taken in courtroom dramas. Take a look at our list, ranging all the way from Legally Blonde to Ghostbusters II.

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Jan 19 by GJEL

Most Unlikely Courtroom Dramas

I’m a total sucker for legal dramas. When done well, it’s a great format to build suspense and make important social statements. When done poorly, courtroom dramas can range from painful, to hilarious, to downright irresponsible with facts and details of legal procedure. Unfortunately, courtroom dramas are often absurdly bad, so we decided to take a look at some of the films with the most unlikely courtroom scenes relating to courtroom procedure, attorney conduct, or legal realities. Take a look, and let us know what we missed in the comments.

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