Monthly Archives: February 2011

True Grit – Movies For Lawyers – The Act Of Communication Point Of View

21 February 2011

We loved TRUE GRIT and highly recommend it as not only a great ride, but as a great learning tool for attorneys.

Joel and Ethan Coen are wonderful filmmakers. In addition to directing, they are also writers and adapters. TRUE GRIT is a spectacular achievement and offers us many lessons for both actors and attorneys.

Again, here is a situation that calls for wearing many hats. When directing, the writer is aware of what is being done, and when writing the director must be aware of what will be done. However, for each task the focus must be complete.

And with TRUE GRIT, there is another important lesson for the attorney. Here is a story that we all thought we knew. John Wayne won an Academy Award for this film, didn’t he? Didn’t this story already get told, several decades ago? (more…)

Acting Students and Trial Lawyers

16 February 2011

I teach young actors at Pomona College in Claremont California. And, along with my brilliant partner and wife, Katherine James, I teach trial lawyers. These two groups of folks have a lot in common.

The young students at Pomona are quite brilliant. Their analytical skills and insight into themes and their ability to express all this in writing is very highly developed. They keep track of a lot of information in their brains and for the most part are very adept at the intellectual side of acting and actor preparation. But, getting up, on their feet, and DOING is still a daunting prospect.

Similarly with the attorneys we work with, their intellectual/analytical skills are very highly developed. And they are comfortable with that. But, again, getting up and DOING is hard. (more…)

The Fighter – Movies For Lawyers – The Act Of Communication Point Of View

16 February 2011

THE FIGHTER is a film which we find has helpful lessons for lawyers that occurred in the making of the film.


Alan and I had the pleasure of watching a screening of THE FIGHTER in which the director, David O. Russell was there for a “talk back”. A talk back is when the audience has the chance to talk with someone who is involved with the film after the screening. Russell had with him the real man on whom the film is based (and for whom there were tons of fans there), fighter Micky Ward. This low (for Hollywood) budget movie was shot in 31 days. And here is where the lawyer lesson starts. Russell said that if there had been money, he would have told “the whole story”. The whole beginning of Micky’s life he found interesting and intrinsic to the story. And, of course, everything that happened after the “big fight” which is the climax of this film. However, because of these constraints, he was forced to tell a better story. (more…)

The Social Network – Movies For Lawyers – The Act Of Communication Point Of View

11 February 2011

THE SOCIAL NETWORK is a brilliant must-see movie for every attorney. This is what award winning filmmaking looks like. And, like so many films, it has great learning points for lawyers.


THE SOCIAL NETWORK is a remarkable achievement.

What a brilliant pairing of writer Aaron Sorkin and director David Fincher. I agree with Aaron Sorkin’s comment at the Golden Globes that director David Fincher was able to make typing or talking about typing dramatic. What can attorneys, who most often are pairing with themselves as both writer and director learn from this duo? (more…)

The Tempest – Movies For Lawyers – The Act Of Communication Point Of View

9 February 2011


Julie Taymor’s adapatation to film of Shakespeare’s last and greatest play, THE TEMPEST, captures all the magic and poetry of the text and achieves something remarkable. In film, the director captures and controls the attention and focus of the viewer through editing and cutting. By employing extreme close ups and tight shots of one and two actors, Tamor creates an intimate, personal story about relationships. The themes of forgiveness, power, aging and acceptance within the text are maintained here. But, what is most striking is how human and real the relationships are within the story. (more…)

Where the law and the arts meet – whether in the courtroom, the boardroom, on stage, on screen or in rehearsal.

8 February 2011

I am very pleased and excited to be announcing our new blog. It places us squarely in the 21st Century. Along with our monthly eblasts/newsletter, our Twitter account, our Facebook Page and now the Blog, we have every option available to communicate with our friends and attorney/clients. (more…)

The King’s Speech – Movies For Lawyers – The Act Of Communication Point Of View

2 February 2011

The KING’S SPEECH is a brilliant film. The performances, the writing, the direction, art direction….every aspect of the film making is exquisite. It is great fun and very uplifting. But further, for our purposes, the film captures quite wonderfully most of what we at ACT of Communication® have been doing with attorneys for the past 33 years. (more…)