To Kill A Mockingbird is a product of American realism, and it is a rare and worthy treasure.

— James Powers, Hollywood Reporter

To Kill A Mockingbird: The Arc of Justice: The Law and Civil Rights

Film • Oct 16

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This film is a part of our JURISCINEMA: The Law on Screen series.

Monday, October 16 at 6:30pm

Director: Robert Mulligan

Based on Harper Lee’s Pulitzer-Prize winning novel, To Kill a Mockingbird is one of the most beloved legal films of all time. Set in 1930s rural Alabama, To Kill a Mockingbird is the story of Atticus Finch, an attorney defending Tom Robinson, an African American man falsely accused of assaulting a white woman before an all white jury. Released seven years after the murder of Emmett Till and two years before the Supreme Court case Swain v. Alabama emboldened attorneys’ use of peremptory challenges to create all-white juries (a decision later overturned in Batson v. Kentucky), To Kill a Mockingbird is a moving story of the fight for justice in the face of deeply entrenched institutional racism that remains as powerful and relevant today as it was at the time of its release.

A conversation with Luther J. Battiste, III and M. Malissa Burnette follows the screening.

Luther J. Battiste, III entered the political arena in 1983 and made history by becoming one of the first two African-Americans elected to Columbia City Council since Reconstruction. He served fifteen years as a member of the Columbia City Council including two terms as Mayor Pro Tempore. In 1998, the City of Columbia dedicated to Luther J. Battiste, III the Monument and Plaza in honor of his dedicated service as a public servant. Battiste has served as president of the Columbia Lawyers Association, the Richland County Bar, Association, the South Carolina Trial Lawyers Association, and The Southeastern Region of the American Board of Trial Advocates (SEABOTA).

Malissa Burnette is a partner in the Burnette Shutt & McDaniel law firm in Columbia. Ms. Burnette has been a Certified Specialist in Employment and Labor Law since 1993. Ms. Burnette has been involved in several ground-breaking cases, including Mellette. v. Jones, which opened the doors of The Citadel to female students, and Tara Bailey v. SC High School League, which allowed girls in South Carolina public schools to play contact sports. In 2014, she represented Police Chief Crystal Moore of Latta, SC, and achieved her reinstatement. Chief Moore had been fired by the Mayor, who was caught on tape in a homophobic tirade. In 2014, Ms. Burnette was one of the lead attorneys in Condon and Bleckley v. SC Attorney General Alan Wilson, South Carolina’s marriage equality lawsuit that was upheld by the United States Supreme Court in June 2015.

Thank you to our sponsors:
Burnette Shutt & McDaniel, P.A
John and Nancy Freeman
Richland County Bar Association

1962. USA. 130 minutes. This film is not yet rated by the MPAA.