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Chicago (2002) More than willing to continue to cover these trials and the actions of the celebrity attorneys. Whether that is good for the legal system or for justice is a question that remains unanswered. As we will discuss in Chapter 14, prejudicial pretrial publicity is a major concern in high-profi le cases. In a highly dramatic fashion, the movie Chicago illustrates the tension between law on the books and law in action. Law on the books projects the rules of law as abstract and absolute. Law in action, on the other hand, stresses real people and the subjectivity of facts. From arrest to sentencing, prosecutors, defense attorneys, judges, jurors, and probation officers are required to interpret what facts are most relevant and what conclusions to draw from those facts. That there may be disagreements in these assessments produces another theme of this book—law in controversy. 1. What do you think? Do the media have an obligation to ignore events concocted by lawyers simply to put a favorable spin on their clients’ situations? 2. How could you study whether television coverage of these trials has an influence on the trial or the verdict? 3. In what ways do modern celebrity attorneys such as Mark Geragos resemble the fi ctionalized Billy Flynn in Chicago?

Chicago (2002)

More than willing to continue to cover these trials and the actions of the celebrity attorneys. Whether that is good for the legal system or for justice is a question that remains unanswered. As we will discuss in Chapter 14, prejudicial pretrial publicity is a major concern in high-profi le cases. In a highly dramatic fashion, the movie Chicago illustrates the tension between law on the books and law in action. Law on the books projects the rules of law as abstract and absolute. Law in action, on the other hand, stresses real people and the subjectivity of facts. From arrest to sentencing, prosecutors, defense attorneys, judges, jurors, and probation officers are required to interpret what facts are most relevant and what conclusions to draw from those facts. That there may be disagreements in these assessments produces another theme of this book—law in controversy.

1. What do you think? Do the media have an obligation to ignore events concocted by lawyers simply to put a favorable spin on their clients’ situations?

2. How could you study whether television coverage of these trials has an influence on the trial or the verdict?

3. In what ways do modern celebrity attorneys such as Mark Geragos resemble the fi ctionalized Billy Flynn in Chicago?

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