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What a great summer we had this year! I can’t recall a summer with better weather. But unfortunately, the cooler months are closing in fast. In case you find yourself looking for something to do on a chilly Friday night, here are my top five legal themed movies to rent. Because everyone loves courtroom-based entertainment as much as us lawyers do…right?
1. The Verdict: Paul Newman brilliantly portrays a washed up lawyer given one last chance to win a big case. He’s asked to represent a woman in a coma due to a doctor’s malpractice. The law firm representing the doctors goes to great lengths to cover up their client’s errors.
2. A Few Good Men: Tom Cruise plays an inexperienced JAG lawyer asked to defend two marines accused of murdering a fellow marine. Jack Nicholson plays Col. Nathan Jessup, the egotistical commanding officer that covered up the fact that the death was due to a hazing ritual ordered by him.
3. My Cousin Vinny: Perhaps the funniest legal movie ever made. In this film Joe Pesci plays a street smart New York lawyer that finds himself trying his first case when his cousin is mistakenly accused of murdering a convenience store clerk while traveling through a small southern town. His unpolished style works against him, but his fiancé, played by a young Marisa Tomei, hysterically holds the key to cracking the case.
4. Erin Brockovich: Julia Roberts portrays a single mother that is hired by a local attorney. Despite the fact that she has no prior experience in the legal field, she almost single-handedly brings down a California power company that has polluted the city water supply, making countless citizens ill.
5. A Civil Action: Families of children who died due to contact with a polluted water supply sue the company responsible for dumping toxic waste into it. The suit proves to costly and almost bankrupts the law firm headed by John Travolta.
So fire up those Blue Rays and digital downloads. Oh…and don’t forget the popcorn!