Video Clips and Subject Links

Collected by topic 



The Nature of Law 

Legal Legitimacy :

Breyer on Bush v. Gore : Justice Breyer explains that the most remarkable aspect of Bush v. Gore was that the people did not march in the streets in protest.

The link that follows is for the scene from "Man of the Year" where Jeff Goldblum' s character (the company's general counsel) explains that the fact that there is a computer glitch in the Presidential election is irrelevant, as long as everyone believes that the process was fair. I usually pause the clip on the spot where he says, "Perception of legitimacy is more important than legitimacy itself.  That's the greater truth." While this statement may appear cynical when discussing an election that should have a tabulated result, it may be a blunt yet fair assessment of the nature of legal legitimacy. Nature of Legitimacy 

  Courts, Dispute Resolution & The Legal System

Attorney's fees : Students seem surprised when forced to face the reality that the private practice of law is a business - the provision of legal services for a fee. I encourage them to be educated consumers of legal services and to address the issue of fees up front.  Lawyers are not shy about discussing fees (as evidenced in these clips), they shouldn't be either. (Note:  there are hundreds of these on  This is a sampling).

Credit Cards Accepted ; No Money Down (and a winning smile) ; Fixed Fee ; Contingent Fee ; Contingent Fees Explained ;

Juries : An Assistant DA advises colleagues to pick the most biased jury possible. "Don't pick Blacks from the inner city, they're less likely to convict." "Don't pick smart people, they will actually think about the words, 'reasonable doubt'." There is educational value in the sticking properties of the shock factor. Selecting a Jury

This is Frank Galvin's (Paul Newman) summation in "The Verdict." It is one of the all time great legal movie scenes.  Galvin appeals to the jurors' innate sense of justice, subtly urging them to ignore the judge's legal rulings that excluded his evidence.  It raises issues of jury nullification and the very nature of law and the legal system. The Verdict

Civil Procedure  : Civil Burden of Proof ; Service of Process

Discovery (generally): What is Discovery?

Not a video, but a link to the Response to Production of Documents in NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon's divorce. It shows students that objections may be made. Response to RFPD

DepositionsWhat is a Deposition?

Students are often surprised to learn that lawyers prepare witness testimony.  Many are under the impression that such conduct is not allowed.   Preparing a Deposition Witness

This witness wasn't all that well prepared. Warning, graphic language! Was that a "yes" or a "no"?

So much for legal professionalism. Warning, graphic language! Pugilistic Professionals

Glib Lawyer 

Courts and Trials:

From "My Cousin Vinny":  Brooklyn lawyer Vinny Gambini (Joe Pesci) is struggling through his first trial - defending his younger cousin against an erroneous murder charge in Alabama.  In this clip, he shreds an eyewitness's testimony with a sharp mind and a "New Yawk" swagger.   I guess it's not surprising that I use this clip to consider the unreliable nature of eyewitness testimony. Cross Examination of Sam Tipton

This is great commentary from the Movie "Chicago." It equates the trial process to a circus, squarely addressing the issue of "trial as a search for truth." It;s a little long, but It's worth it. Razzle Dazzle

Avoiding litigation is sound advice in my opinion. Litigating Business Disputes

ADR: What is Mediation?Mediation Service

           Constitutional Issues         

Freedom of Speech:

This is the scene from "The American President" where President Shepard (Michael Douglas) barges into a press conference to unexpectedly address allegations from an opposing candidate that he is a member of the ACLU and that his girlfriend once burned an American flag in protest.  The free speech argument is compelling.  I think the writers of this script were trying to write what Michael Dukakis supporters wished that he had said back in 1988 (with the exception of the girlfriend part, of course). The American President Speech

Introduction for Kasky v. Nike - Commercial Speech. Marc Kasky 

Federal vs. State Power:

This is a clip from "Eyes on the Prize" about the State v. Federal standoff over the Little Rock Nine.  I use it show that there are real issues regarding Federal or State authority, prior to discussing Gonzales v. Raich, the medicinal marijuana case. I am shocked to learn that many of my students tell me that until they saw this video, they were unaware that such events had taken place. That makes this clip all the more important to me as a resource. Standoff in Little Rock



Business Ethics :

I sometimes open this topic tongue in cheek : Wormwood Bayne

One commentator's take: Ben Stein on Lack of Community

This is 1 of 4 videos that I have found about winners of the Oregon Business Ethics Award. From this link search youtube for "Business Ethics Success Story" and you should see them all : Business Ethics Success Story




Consent? : A Hockey incident.

Danny Bonaduce and Johnny Fairplay at the Reality TV awards - Who is the tortfeasor?  Bonaduce/Fairplay

Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress: 

Extreme and Outrageous Conduct? : Members of the Westboro Baptist Church protest at military funerals. 

This clip form The People vs. Larry Flint, opens with a reporter setting the scene, "God vs. the Devil; America's minister vs. America's pimp. "This clip recreates the oral argument before the US Supreme Court in the case of  Hustler v. Falwell Students have the opportunity not only to consider the Freedom of Expression arguments but to see what an an appellate argument looks like at the highest level (and to hear the "Oyez, oyez . . . " opening as well). It's a bit long, but I usually cut it off after the oral argument. Freedom of Expression

Defamation: This one is from Australia, but it still works.  If You Must Defame, Do It Properly 

In referring to the now late Evel Kneivel, says that he is "proof that you are never to old to be a pimp." Who Are You Callin' a Pimp?

Negligence:  Note the opening title and contemplate the effectiveness of this marketing tool. Comparative Fault


Product Liability:  Product Misuse? Forseeable?ATV Front FlipATV Back Flip


      Commercial Law       

Contracts : 

The value of a written contract: Lease Agreements 

This one is absolutely worth taking the time to fit Powers of Attorney into the curriculum: Power of Attorney 

Satisfying the Statute of Frauds 

In this Mastercard ad spoof, Red Sox fans are asked what they would give in exchange for the Red Sox winning the World Series. Its funny, but warning! there is a reference to male  genitals. Go Sox!

Sales Contracts: Animals 

Negotiable Instruments :

I feel that one of the reasons why Commercial paper/negotiable Instruments is a tough subject for undergraduates is that they must first be made aware of the existence of the commercial paper trade. In general contract law, the examples are easily understood (A contracts with B for B to paint A's house). The same is true for Sales (A orders 1,000 black widgets from B). But when you start an example, "A is the holder of a non-interest bearing promissory note payable in 2 years  issued by B, but is in need of immediate cash . . ." you are starting a lesson in a deep hole.  This video helps, I think. We Buy Notes

Business Organizations: Overview

This video is so dreadfully bad.  I use it to prove to the class that my lectures are not the worst way to present this material. I usually can only stand about a minute of this. Insanely Bad Bus Org Summary


           Intellectual Property         

Copyright : 

The Rubinoos v. Avril Lavigne v. The Rolling Stones : Rubinoos/Lavigne ; Stones (with some Gen X mis-titling!)

Excellent copyright website with audio clips to compare some of the subject material of some famous music copyright infringement controversies - George Harrison and the Chiffons; ZZ Top and John Lee Hooker, etc.  Copyright Site

This is outstanding commentary by "Weird Al" Yankovic. The song mocks the RIAA's effort to crack down on illegal downloading. Students like it and it works as a starting point for discussion of copyright policy and procedure. Don't Download This Song

This video takes snippets of animated Disney material to give a lesson on copyright law, specifically addressing fair use.  Notice the altered text in the simulated FBI notice in the beginning.  It's a bit long, but may be worth the class time or at least an assigned viewing task. Fair Use as Told in Disney Animation


Criminal Law 

Criminal Law : 

After the peak of post -Enron, Worldcom, etc. prosecutions, it appears that the pendulum is now swinging back in a direction that disfavors criminal prosecutions of corporations.  I don't know if that represents a change in the legal environment or in the political climate (prosecutorial cooling instead of global warming). This Democracy Now report follows a front page NY Times article from April 2008. Democracy Now on Deferred Prosecution Agreements




Employment Discrimination:  In Ledbetter v. Goodyear, The US Supreme Court determined that Lilly's Ledbetter's claim for  disparate treatment (lower pay) was time barred. The ruling has a potentially chilling effect on discrimination claims.  Lilly gives us a nice introduction for a discussion of her case. Disparate Pay

Employment Law: Employee or Independent Contractor?