News and Announcement

Movie: My Cousin Vinny

Friday, December 13, 2013

On 27 December 2013, Center for Law and Policy screened My Cousin Vinny to the first batch of LL.B. candidates at UMT School of Law and Policy. The movie was also a part of the course Skills Development-I taught by Syed Imad-ud-Din Asad [LL.M. (Harvard); Founder and Director, Center for Law and Policy; Founding Director and Associate Professor, UMT School of Law and Policy] in the LL.B. program.

My Cousin Vinny is a 1992 American legal comedy written by Dale Launer, directed by Jonathan Lynn, and starring Joe Pesci, Ralph Macchio, Marisa Tomei, Mitchell Whitfield, Lane Smith, Bruce McGill and Fred Gwynne.

Bill Gambini and Stanley Rothenstein are two friends from NYU who just received scholarships to UCLA. They decide to drive through the South. Once they arrive in Alabama, they stop at a local convenience store to pick up a few snacks. But, no sooner than they leave the store, they are arrested. They had thought that they were arrested for shoplifting, but they were arrested for murder and robbery. Worse, they are facing execution for this crime. Bill and Stan do not have enough money for a lawyer, so the good news is that Bill has a lawyer in his family, his cousin, Vincent Laguardia Gambini. The bad news is that Vinny is an inexperienced lawyer who has not been at a trial. However, with the insistent moral encouragement of his girlfriend, Vinny somehow accomplishes the impossible and wins grudging (if very irritated) respect from all concerned, for once studying as if his life depended on it.

The movie was followed by a thorough discussion, led by Professor Asad, about responsibilities of lawyers, professional ethics, and court procedure.

There have been many courtroom dramas that have glorified American legal system. My Cousin Vinny is not one of them. Lawyers have praised the comedy's realistic depiction of courtroom procedure and trial strategy.

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