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Law Practice Management and Technology

The Bottom Line Volume 38, No 1 April 2017

Message from the Chair

By Peter Brewer

Greetings from the Chair, or at least from the person sitting in it. I am bothered by the increasing pessimism and negativity that has become pervasive in our society since the presidential election. I have heard many people echo my own thoughts and actions, saying that they avoid turning on the television, reading the news, or even checking in on Facebook. It seems the negativity is everywhere, perhaps justified, but nonetheless unpleasant, tiresome, and probably unhealthy for us and for society.

In reaction to this I felt like it might be a good idea to look for a little diversion. Divertente, in Italian (same root) means funny or entertaining. Let’s have some fun and entertainment. Let’s explore some of the best “legal” movies of all time. One can find a number of lists or compilations on the Internet by exploring such search phrases as, “Best Legal Movies”, “Best Law School Movies” or “Best Trial Movies.” While people have different opinions on and reactions to movies, there are a few that seem to end up on everyone’s list(s).

Some of the ubiquitous titles are, “To Kill a Mockingbird”, “Twelve Angry Men”, “Judgment at Nuremburg”, “Erin Brockovich”, and a personal favorite of mine, “Witness for the Prosecution.” If you haven’t seen “Witness for the Prosecution” (1957) I highly recommend it. Perhaps it is because the stubborn and curmudgeonly Charles Laughton, playing the barrister Sir Wilfred Robarts, is so funny and loveable and perhaps reminds me of myself, at least the curmudgeonly part. The movie has more twists and turns than Lombard Street, and will keep you guessing until the end.

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