Why Is Vinny Shown To Be An Effective Lawyer? Does It Matter That He Isn’t Great At ‘Knowing’ The Law? 1. Why is Vinny shown to be an effective lawyer? Doe

1. Why is Vinny shown to be an effective lawyer? Does it matter that he isn’t great at ‘knowing’ the law?
2. What is the purpose of the court, as shown in the film? What are its strengths and weaknesses? Use two scenes to support your argument.

3. How did this film make you feel about the US court system? How might this movie be different if it were made today?

4. Much of this film also deals with challenges towards perceptions. Explain at least one situation in the film where any character has taken a negative/unfair/stereotypical 

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Assignment 2. DUE February 24th

For this assignment, you are expected to write a 2-3 page paper adhering to the guidelines in the syllabus. The film is My Cousin Vinny (1992).


My Cousin Vinny

(1992)

My Cousin Vinny deals with two young New Yorkers traveling through rural Alabama who are arrested and put on trial for a murder they did not commit, and the comical attempts of a cousin, Vinny Gambini, a lawyer who had only recently passed the bar exam after five unsuccessful attempts, to defend them.

“Two carefree pals (Ralph Macchio and Mitchell Whitfield) traveling through Alabama are mistakenly arrested, and charged with murder. Fortunately, one of them has a cousin who’s a lawyer – Vincent Gambini (Joe Pesci), a former auto mechanic from Brooklyn who just passed his bar exam after his sixth try. Vinny’s never been in court – or in Alabama – and when he arrives with his leather-clad girlfriend (Marisa Tomei), to try his first case, it’s a real shock – for him and the Deep South.”

My Cousin Vinny has been considered a classic of courtroom/law films. Many law schools use My Cousin Vinny as an example of courtroom procedure and trial strategy. Although the film is primarily a comedy, its value as a teaching tool, a view into court procedure, and the justice system has lasted over thirty years.

If you choose to watch My Cousin Vinny, please answer the following in their entirety:

· John Marshall Law School professor Alberto Bernabe wrote:

“Vinny is terrible at the things we do teach in law school, but very good at the things we don’t: “[How to] interview clients, to gather facts, to prepare a theory of a case, to negotiate, to know when to ask a question and when to remain quiet, to cross-examine a witness forcefully (but with charm) in order to expose the weaknesses in their testimony”

1. Why is Vinny shown to be an effective lawyer? Does it matter that he isn’t great at ‘knowing’ the law?

2. What is the purpose of the court, as shown in the film? What are its strengths and weaknesses? Use two scenes to support your argument.

3. How did this film make you feel about the US court system? How might this movie be different if it were made today?

4. Much of this film also deals with challenges towards perceptions. Explain at least one situation in the film where any character has taken a negative/unfair/stereotypical perception and changed it to their advantage or used it in a way to shift someone else’s perception.

My Cousin Vinny is available on HBOMax, Amazon, Roku, UT Library has a copy, and a few other formats.


Syllabus guidelines:

The short paper assignments will be 2-3 pages each, double spaced, Times Roman (or equivalent) 12-point font, with 1 inch margins. (Honestly, I don’t care exactly what font you use, but I expect it to be at a minimum 2 full pages (not one and a half, not one and three quarters). Also, if you turn in a Courier 14 font paper with 1.5 margins with triple spacing, don’t be surprised to see it heavily penalized. I stop reading after 5 pages on the short paper assignments. You will be given a list of movies (think 2-3) for each short paper assignment. You will select one of them to watch and write the paper. It is not designed to be comprehensive. They will be selected for specific reasons. The films selected will all (or partially… meaning at least on one format) be available on Netflix, Amazon Prime, YouTube (for some of the early ones), the library, or another similar service. You will be expected to watch the film and write a short paper discussing aspects of the film which will be included in the question prompt. The idea behind having a short list of films in each section is to facilitate class discussion while respecting not all students have the same tastes in movies.

2022© Shannon Bow O’Brien (do not reproduce or distribute without permission)

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