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A CIVIL ACTION BOOK

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A Civil Action [Jonathan Harr] on myavr.info *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. This true story of an epic courtroom showdown, where two of the nation's. Start by marking “A Civil Action” as Want to Read: A Civil Action is a non-fiction book by Jonathan Harr about a water contamination case in Woburn, Massachusetts, in the s. See all 5 questions about A Civil Action. A Civil Action is a non-fiction book by Jonathan Harr about a water contamination case in Woburn, Massachusetts, in the s. The book became a best-seller.


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A Civil Action was made into a movie starring John Travolta and Robert Duvall. a #1 national bestseller and winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award. A Civil Action was made into a movie starring John Travolta and Robert was a #1 national bestseller and winner of the National Book Critics. Sign me up to get more news about Nonfiction books. A Civil Action reads like a fast-paced legal thriller and brilliantly captures the high drama of the.

Anne Anderson believed that Schlichtmann was patronizing toward the Woburn families, kept them from having any control over their own case, and used them "simply as a vehicle for his own ambition, for his own fame and fortune" [p.

Do you agree with any of her complaints? Judge Skinner believes that the primary motivation in lawsuits over the death of children is "an overwhelming sense of personal guilt.

Is Judge Skinner biased toward the defense, as Schlichtmann believes him to be? The questions that Judge Skinner sets for the jurors ask "for answers that were essentially unknowable….

The judge was, in effect, asking the jurors to create a fiction that would in the end stand for the truth" [p. Do these questions indeed demand too much from a jury of non-experts? Harr suggests that perhaps the case was one "that the judicial system was not equipped to handle" [p.

A Civil Action Reader’s Guide

Is this true? How else might it be handled and settled? Is this fair? Do all of these courtroom tactics finally serve to reveal or to obscure the truth?

Is res judicata—the principle that a judgment must remain once it has been decided in court, even in the face of new and conflicting evidence— a reasonable or an unreasonable principle?

After their decision, the jurors each "had some misgivings, but on balance they felt they had done the best they could" [p.

Is that good enough? If not, what might be done to improve the situation? Schlichtmann's colleagues discovers a Krugerrand in an office drawer and rushes the coin to a bank to make a loan payment, briefly postponing a foreclosure action.

Lawyers for Beatrice and Grace wanted to force Mr. Schlichtmann to settle before the trial; a pretrial settlement would have kept Mr.

Schlichtmann in business but perhaps would have sold the interests of the families short. Thus comes a moment of pure courage when Mr.

Later the jury absolved Beatrice of liability. The jury did find Grace liable, but another round of testimony would have been required before damages could be awarded.

Schlichtmann was so strapped that he had little choice but to take whatever Grace dangled.

Schlichtmann's share. Then evidence turned up suggesting Beatrice might actually be at fault. Schlichtmann spent many months in an unsuccessful attempt to reopen the case, and for that additional effort earned nothing.

A civil action

By the end, "A Civil Action" shows that the compensation the Woburn families received was determined mainly by random legal quirks and the personalities of the lawyers and judges involved. The book leaves one wondering: Is this any way for society to settle its disputes?

It also leaves one wondering about current proposals in Congress that would sharply lower the awards plaintiffs can win for personal injury. Though in recent years juries have sometimes conferred excessive awards, it is important to bear in mind that in any contest between personal injury lawyers and corporations, the corporate side holds what is by far the most important advantage, namely the funds with which to finance a stall defense. Harr does not overdramatize individual scenes, but he does depict a world containing three types of people: innocent victims, lonely crusaders and the malignant pawns of the corporate state.

Schlichtmann is described as a driven child of the 60's who comes to covet the Dmitri suits and Porsche 's that the big-boy lawyers have, and yet never forgets that law is the pursuit of justice. By the end of "A Civil Action," he has practically driven himself to madness by demanding justice -- if this were a movie, the character would have "best actor nomination" written all over it.

Facher is depicted as intelligent, meticulous and bereft of human feeling -- the sort of lawyer who long ago traded his soul for the riches that come with being willing to do or say anything a corporate client wants.

Harr suggests that perhaps the case was one "that the judicial system was not equipped to handle" [p.

Is this true? How else might it be handled and settled? Is this fair? Do all of these courtroom tactics finally serve to reveal or to obscure the truth? Is res judicata —the principle that a judgment must remain once it has been decided in court, even in the face of new and conflicting evidence— a reasonable or an unreasonable principle? After their decision, the jurors each "had some misgivings, but on balance they felt they had done the best they could" [p. Is that good enough? If not, what might be done to improve the situation?

See a Problem?

Donna Robbins believes that she and her fellow plaintiffs have succeeded in teaching corporate America a lesson; Reverend Young, on the other hand, thinks that the Grace executives and attorneys have reason to celebrate. With which of these opinions do you agree?

Does the final settlement represent a victory, a loss, or a compromise? Schlichtmann says that greed is "our motivating factor" [p.

Book Review – Law Student Special – A Civil Action

Is it in fact primarily greed that drives these lawyers? What other motivations drove Schlichtmann during the Woburn case? Do you find Schlichtmann to be self-indulgent or self-abnegating? Selfish or honorable? What are your reactions toward Jan Schlichtmann as a lawyer?

As a person?He sacrified everything--home, friends, and reputation--not for money, but for what he believed to be the truth. Notwithstanding and despite his inexperience, he was energetic and aggressive. Quotes from A Civil Action.

Do you agree with him? Back to Cannabis Professional.

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