Film Series

A Civil Action: Screening and Conversation

October 23, 2006

John Travolta stars as real-life personal injury lawyer Jan Schlictmann, who represents several families suing a large corporation for leaking toxic waste into the water supply, causing fatal cases of leukemia, in high-stakes litigation that could make or break his entire career.

FOLCS was joined by journalist and former prosecutor, Jack Ford, for a screening and discussion of A Civil Action.

Denny Chin

Judge Denny Chin is a United States Circuit Judge for the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. He was sworn in on April 26, 2010.

Judge Chin graduated from Princeton University magna cum laude in 1975 and received his law degree from Fordham Law School in 1978. After clerking for the Honorable Henry F. Werker, United States District Judge for the Southern District of New York, he was associated with the law firm Davis Polk & Wardwell from 1980 to 1982. He served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Southern District of New York from 1982 until 1986, when he and two of his colleagues from the U.S. Attorney’s Office started a law firm, Campbell, Patrick & Chin. In 1990, he joined Vladeck, Waldman, Elias & Engelhard, P.C., where he specialized in labor and employment law.
From September 13, 1994, through April 23, 2010, Judge Chin served as a United States District Judge for the Southern District of New York. He presided over both civil and criminal cases, including cases involving Megan’s Law, the Million Youth March, Al Franken’s use of the phrase “Fair and Balanced” in the title of a book, the Naked Cowboy, the Google Books settlement, and the United Nations Oil for Food Program. He also presided over the trial of an Afghan warlord charged with conspiring to import heroin and the guilty plea and sentencing of financier Bernard L. Madoff.

Judge Chin was born in Hong Kong. He was the first Asian American appointed a United States District Judge outside the Ninth Circuit. He is presently the only federal appellate judge of Asian American descent on active status in the country.

Jack Ford

Jack Ford, a former prosecutor, anchors the daily trial program Jack Ford Courtside on In Session. Ford was one of the original on-air anchors at the network’s inception in 1991.

After graduating from law school, Ford spent three years as a prosecutor in New Jersey before entering private practice. A well-respected trial attorney, he successfully handled such high-profile cases as the Northeast’s first death penalty trial, one of the nation’s first corporate homicide cases, and Wall Street insider-trading scandals in the late 1980s. In addition, Ford was an Adjunct Professor of Law at the Fordham Law School and authored articles for various legal publications.

Ford began his television news career in 1984 as the Legal Commentator for WCBS-TV in New York. In 1991, he joined the newly formed Courtroom Television Network as one of its first anchors. In 1994, Ford joined NBC News as Chief Legal Correspondent, reporting on major cases and legal issues for NBC Nightly News, The Today Show, and Dateline, in addition to serving as co-anchor for The Weekend Today Show. In 1999, Ford became an Anchor/Correspondent for ABC at both Good Morning America and 20/20. He also hosted the ESPN show The Sports Reporters II from 2002 to 2003 and later was co-host of the nationally syndicated talk show Ali & Jack.