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Last night I watched Angelina Jolie and John Malkovich in Changeling. I didn’t know anything about the movie when I sat down to watch it, other than that a little boy goes missing and the police return a different little boy to the first boy’s mother:

But this scene really struck me:

The movie goes on and the attorney who visited Ms. Collins (Jolie) ultimately has a hand in releasing several women who were wrongly held at a psychiatric ward. After that, the attorney cross-exams the police detective at the heart of the cover up. His cross examination results in the police chief being removed, the detective suspended, and, most importantly, new rules regarding the process that the police must follow to have someone committed.

People often criticize attorneys, and plaintiffs lawyers in particular. But notice in the film that when Ms. Collins is preparing to take on an entity as powerful as the L.A. Police, the first thing she says is that she better hire a lawyer. This movie relates just one example of how attorneys and the civil justice system have been used to protect the little guy from the oppression of the powerful.

This is why I’m proud to be a trial lawyer.

Oh yeah, and the movie was very entertaining. I would highly recommend watching it.

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