January 1, 1999 |
The Movie: "A Civil Action." The Costume Designer: Shay Cunliffe, whose credits include "City of Angels," "Lone Star," "Multiplicity," "Mrs. Soffel" and the television series "Fallen Angels." The Setup: True story of Jan Schlichtmann (John Travolta), a personal injury lawyer in Boston who takes on a daunting environmental lawsuit against two mighty corporations. One of his toughest opponents is attorney Jerome Facher (Robert Duvall).
December 25, 1998 |
"A Civil Action" comes close, achingly close, to greatness. Finely cast, classically shot, written and directed with sureness and skill and based on a book compelling enough to stay on bestseller lists for two years, it's a story told so confidently and well that it seems fated to succeed. But as proficient a job as writer-director Steve Zaillian and his team do, "A Civil Action" has unmistakably unraveled by its close.
December 29, 1998 |
The elusiveness of truth is an idea woven throughout the movie "A Civil Action," which chronicles the real-life legal battle waged by eight Boston-area families against two corporations they held responsible for their children's deaths. Robert Duvall, who plays a lawyer for one of the accused companies, insists that truth can only be found "at the bottom of a bottomless pit."
October 17, 1995 |
Meet Jan Schlichtmann, personal-injury lawyer on the brink of self-destruction. It is July, 1986, and Schlichtmann's black Porsche 928 has just been repossessed. His luxury condo, with a view of the Charles River, is about to be foreclosed, his office furniture removed for non-payment of rental fees. Nor has he paid the salaries of his loyal staff in months, nor the cleaning bills for his hand-tailored Dimitri suits and silk Hermes ties, now held hostage by the dry cleaner.
July 26, 2004 |
Before John Edwards launched his run for the vice presidency, the Bush campaign said it was itching to run against a trial lawyer. "Bring on the ambulance chaser," then-White House spokesman Ari Fleischer beckoned. Last week, Vice President Dick Cheney was on the stump in Ohio blaming rising healthcare costs on "runaway litigation" and backing a $250,000 cap on medical malpractice awards, a tort reform proposal that the Kerry-Edwards ticket opposes.
March 30, 2006 |
SAN ANTONIO -- On nearly every block surrounding the former Kelly Air Force Base, small purple crosses sprout from front lawns, marking the homes where cancer has struck. The residents call their neighborhood the "toxic triangle," alleging that the Air Force poisoned it with an industrial solvent, trichloroethylene, or TCE. It was casually dumped at the base for decades and spread for miles through a shallow aquifer under 22,000 nearby houses.