Too few films take on the art of arguing as a subject; we could certainly use more of them, but until then, Lumet's window into strained civic duty will continue to serve mightily.

— Joshua Rothkopf, Time Out

12 Angry Men: Im/partial Juries

Film • Oct 2

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

Monday, October 2 at 6:30pm

Director: Sidney Lumet

In the classic courtroom tale that launched Sidney Lumet’s career, twelve (white) jurors deliberate a racially-charged murder case behind closed doors. When juror # 8 dissents (a career defining performance from Henry Fonda), questioning his peers’ ready insistence on the defendant’s guilt, tensions and biases quickly come to the fore. Set during the decline of HUAC and in the midst of the Civil Rights movement, the film is a thoughtful study of a divided America.

Underlying the film’s dramatization of antagonism amongst jurors who privilege either stringent retribution or reasonable doubt as cornerstones of the justice system is the long and fraught history of American juries. Though frequently referenced, the meaning of a jury of one’s peers remains heavily contested and has been the subject of Supreme Court scrutiny as recently as 2017( Pena-Rodriguez v. Colorado ).

A conversation with Dave Maxfield of the Richland County Bar Association follows the screening.

Dave Maxfield is the President of the Richland County Bar Association, he is the three-time Chairman of the Consumer Law section of the South Carolina Bar and a member of the National Association of Consumer Advocates (NACA) and Public Investors Arbitration Bar Association (PIABA). For over 20 years, he has represented individual consumers in cases against banks, credit reporting agencies, debt collectors and insurance companies. He has obtained one of the highest punitive damage verdicts in America against a creditor in a credit reporting case, and has secured numerous significant recoveries on behalf of consumers in individual cases.

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

1957. USA. 96 min.