Monthly Archives: December 2011

Miracle On 34th Street — Movies for Lawyers — The Act Of Communication Point Of View

23 December 2011

From Katherine:

In honor of the season, I want to tell you just why I believe every lawyer should watch Miracle On 34th Street at this time of the year.

I think that the essential attorney-client relationship is reflected in this wonderful film. Is there a client better suited to a lawyer than Kris Kringle to Fred Gailey? Fred takes on a real challenge when he agrees to represent Kris.  First, he and Kris are friends. He has already extended himself in friendship by allowing Kris to live in apartment. Some lawyers would say, “I need to find another attorney for you – I am too close to you to have any kind of distance.” But Fred is able to remain Kris’ friend AND represent him. There are some amazing attorneys with whom I work who are able to do this, too. And they are in my heart whenever I watch this film.

The next thing that Fred does is that his decision to represent Kris causes his big firm to decide that they can do with one less associate. They want him to relinquish the representation. But he refuses and opens his own firm instead. There are wonderful attorneys I know who at this very moment are either happy they did the same thing at some point in time. There are others who are standing on the brink at this very moment. They are in my heart this season as I watch this film.

The brilliance of that court room series of scenes – how Fred is able to come up with his amazing and creative way of “pulling it off” is truly inspiring to me every time I see this film. So many attorneys are just amazing to me – the fantastic ideas they come up with – the creative breaking with “the norm”. They are in my heart always.

TIP: Take a moment to reflect on how proud you are of what you have done this year.



Anonymous — Movies for Lawyers — The Act Of Communication Point Of View

8 December 2011

From Katherine:

Oh…my…gawd. You know when you think something is going to be bad and it is even worse than you thought it was going to be? Think transition in childbirth without drugs. Been there! And now I’ve also been to ANONYMOUS.

Yes, it is true – I was set up to hate it. As the daughter of a Shakespearean scholar, of course the idea that someone other than Shakespeare wrote his plays is going to be a hard premise for me to swallow. BUT if the fiction created from wild speculation and rumor made a good film, I might have had a good time. Come on, who didn’t adore SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE? BUT THESE FILMMAKERS ARE NO TOM STOPPARD. Browne Greene, who saw the film with us said, “It’s like Oliver Stone meets Shakespeare!” Perhaps he said it best. Of course, most of the folks who have suffered at the hands of Hollywood filmmakers in the “retelling” of their life stories are alive and can complain. Nothing like folks in this film who have been dead since the 1600s and can’t possibly speak up and say, “Are you insane???”

How inauthentic is it? Let’s say we were telling the story of my life. I happened to be in San Francisco studying at The American Conservatory Theatre during the time the Patty Hearst was held hostage in the Bay Area. If these folks were telling that story, not only would Patty and I meet – we’d be first year students together at A.C.T. Heck, we’d do a Friday scene together – probably something from a Tennessee Williams play. No doubt we’d rehearse in SLA headquarters and I would be none the wiser, although I might clean her gun for her. GOT IT?

Now, what can lawyers learn from ANONYMOUS? Don’t make stuff up. How often have I been in a room and an attorney says, “The facts are the facts are the facts?” I like that about the law. Once in a while I’m in a room and an attorney says, “We haven’t got any evidence of this, but we can set it up and imply it.” Maybe if that is your inclination you should stop practicing the law and start making ridiculous “historical fiction” films instead.

TIP: Don’t make it up. The facts are the facts are the facts.