civil law; trials; jury; popular culture


As Judge Elrod’s comments suggest, the most well-known courtroom film classics, like 12 Angry Men, Anatomy of a Murder, or Witness for the Prosecution are about criminal trials. This fact may be unimportant because the distinction between criminal and civil trial films often is lost on the general public. Unanswered is whether the distinction between criminal and civil trials is important when determining the impact of the decline in real-life civil trials on American popular culture and courtroom films in particular. This question is the focus of this Article.