A Civil Action by Jonathan Harr

522 Words 3 Pages
A Civil Action by Jonathan Harr

A Civil Action is based upon a true story that Jonathan Harr, a former staff writer of New England Monthly describes a case that in the legal system that is fascinating and compelling. The story of a impracticable quest by an idealistic young personal-Injury lawyer, whose aim was to prove that two conglomerates, Beatrice Foods and W.R Grace, allegedly polluted the water in Woburn ,Mass. a Boston suburb, with carcinogens. Jan had hoped that a victory would send a message to the boardrooms to America and felt that the culture of Leukemia in Woburn guaranteed his success. He never realized that he would be comforted with problems in the justice system.

First with the federal courts, which were not
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On his fourth try the defense attorney failed to deliver all relevant documents to Schlichtmann's team.

Jan Schlitmann was a lawyer in the upper bracket as far as money was concern. He lived in a luxury condo, worn only hand-tailored Dimitri suits and silk Hermes ties, Bally shoes and drove a Porsche. Schlitmann not only was a well to do lawyer, he also was a lawyer that believed in justice, whether he got paid or not, in regards to this case. He spent nine years of his life, lost all of his assets, gave up his personal possessions and personal life to see this case to the end, and justice would be served.

The case against Beatrice was thrown out, and the plaintiffs accepted a sum of eight million from Grace. Personally bankrupted, Schlitmann considers himself a failure. Also the demands of the case coupled with self-delusion and sometimes poor professional judgement bankrupted the plaintiff's lead attorney emotionally and financially. The case took two years, Anne and Zonas hired an attorney to check the legal express 80 thousand more than necessary. Grace spent 7 million in legal defense plus millions that Beatrice spent.

Jan got 2.2 million not his entitled 40 percent, and in the end Schlitmann had only 30 thousand dollars left. He was dept free, but there was no money left over for him to reclaim his Porsche. His ideas of the civil justice system was dead, and he resolved not to practice law again. It was his good friend Harr…