Independent film producer Brian J. Kelly introduces his feature-length film “InJustice,” a documentary about how many trial lawyers have used class-action lawsuits not to seek justice for their clients, but instead engage in profiteering, during a screening Aug. 14 at the Charleston Marriott. The screening was hosted by West Virginia Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse. (Photo by Lawrence Smith)
CHARLESTON – An in-depth film about the American legal system has been screened across the country and, now, Charleston.
The film, InJustice, premiered in 2011 on television, but after its premiere, producer Brian J. Kelly said he started receiving requests from universities wanting to show the film to students and people who had not seen the film the first time wanting the chance to see it.
“People who hadn’t seen the film before wanted to see it,” Kelly said. “We were getting requests from universities wanting to show it to their students—and not just law students.”
Kelly said they decided to do a series of screenings of the film, which will continue throughout the fall.
“We became really involved with social media this year to help spread the word about the film,” he said. “We’ve been screening the film in many places so far, and now we’re here in Charleston.”
The Charleston screening of the film was held at the Marriott Tuesday evening.
InJustice is the first-ever, feature-length documentary film about the American legal system and it shows how “the class action lawsuit… was skillfully managed by a small group of trial attorneys who manipulated legal rules, procedures… to become an international enterprise that rivals the scope and profits of Fortune 500 corporations,” according to the film’s description.
Kelly said the idea for InJustice came from when he read a Reader’s Digest article titled “The $40 billion scam: How slick lawyers have turned a genuine health crisis into a ripoff you won’t believe,” which detailed a scam involving silicosis diagnoses in Corpus Christi, Texas.
“There needed to be a closer look at corruption of the justice system,” Kelly said. “InJustice is an investigative documentary that looks into this.”
He said InJustice takes a closer look at high-profile cases and high-profile attorneys, such as Richard “Dickie” Scruggs, who was a prominent trial attorney in Mississippi.
Scruggs was indicted for attempted bribery and was sentenced to five years in prison for bribery in 2008 and then to seven years to run concurrently with his five-year sentence for mail fraud in the corruption of a public official in 2009.
InJustice also takes a closer look at other lawsuit scams and abuses, such as asbestos litigation, the Fen-Phen diet scandal and tobacco litigation with mega-million dollar settlements.
The film won the 2011 Peer Award for Best Documentary. It is a narrative largely told by attorneys in their own words about what is wrong with the legal system and who is to blame.
Kelly is a seasoned commercial director, as well as a producer, and is co-founder of Single Malt Media. He has been working in television development and production for more than 20 years.
For more information about InJustice, or to purchase the film, go to www.injusticethefilm.com.