Civil rights attorney featured in documentary

June 21, 2010
Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

From IL reporter Rebecca Berfanger:

Some “First Impressions” readers might remember a blog post about a well attended Indianapolis screening of the film “William Kunstler: Disturbing the Universe.” The documentary is about infamous civil rights attorney William Kuntsler, and was directed and produced by his daughters who grew up hearing about his cases in the 1970s, 1980s, and early 1990s.

Indiana Lawyer covered it because Indianapolis was one of the first cities to show it, thanks to sponsorship from the Indianapolis International Film Festival, the Indianapolis law firm of Waples & Hanger, and the Indianapolis Museum of Art.

For those who missed the Feb. 18 showing at the IMA, which was followed by a lively discussion featuring Indianapolis civil rights attorneys, the film will be aired on PBS stations around the country starting Tuesday.

According to the websites of a few local affiliates, WTIU in Bloomington, which is also available on some Indianapolis satellite providers, WNIT in South Bend, and WFWA in Fort Wayne will air the documentary at 10 p.m. Tuesday. WNIN, available in southwest Indiana, will air the film at 9 p.m. Tuesday. All times are local.
It is not on the schedule for WFYI in Indianapolis, but it will also be available for viewing online Thursday through Sept. 21.

For those who don’t remember the blog or don’t recognize the name, they’ll at least recognize Kuntsler’s clients: revolutionaries who protested at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago; inmates who started a riot at Attica prison in New York in 1971 over inhumane living conditions; the American Indian Movement members who demonstrated at Wounded Knee, S.D., in 1973; a man convicted of and later exonerated for allegedly beating and raping a jogger in Central Park in 1989; a house cat named Tyrone who was held for crimes against humanity in a mock trial on TV in 1989; and those accused of bombing the World Trade Center in 1993.

Well, maybe Tyrone isn’t as well known or as controversial as the rest. But he still gets a mention in the film.

  • "Infamous?"
    I think it may be a bit strong to call William Kunstler. According to my old American Heritage dictionary from high school, "infamous" means "having an exceedingly bad reputation, notorious . . .3. convicted of a crime as treason or felony that brings infamy." I hope that is not what you intended about the colorful and controversial Mr. Kunstler.

Post a comment to this story

We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in Indiana Lawyer editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
  1. If a class action suit or other manner of retribution is possible, count me in. I have email and voicemail from the man. He colluded with opposing counsel, I am certain. My case was damaged so severely it nearly lost me everything and I am still paying dearly.

  2. There's probably a lot of blame that can be cast around for Indiana Tech's abysmal bar passage rate this last February. The folks who decided that Indiana, a state with roughly 16,000 to 18,000 attorneys, needs a fifth law school need to question the motives that drove their support of this project. Others, who have been "strong supporters" of the law school, should likewise ask themselves why they believe this institution should be supported. Is it because it fills some real need in the state? Or is it, instead, nothing more than a resume builder for those who teach there part-time? And others who make excuses for the students' poor performance, especially those who offer nothing more than conspiracy theories to back up their claims--who are they helping? What evidence do they have to support their posturing? Ultimately, though, like most everything in life, whether one succeeds or fails is entirely within one's own hands. At least one student from Indiana Tech proved this when he/she took and passed the February bar. A second Indiana Tech student proved this when they took the bar in another state and passed. As for the remaining 9 who took the bar and didn't pass (apparently, one of the students successfully appealed his/her original score), it's now up to them (and nobody else) to ensure that they pass on their second attempt. These folks should feel no shame; many currently successful practicing attorneys failed the bar exam on their first try. These same attorneys picked themselves up, dusted themselves off, and got back to the rigorous study needed to ensure they would pass on their second go 'round. This is what the Indiana Tech students who didn't pass the first time need to do. Of course, none of this answers such questions as whether Indiana Tech should be accredited by the ABA, whether the school should keep its doors open, or, most importantly, whether it should have even opened its doors in the first place. Those who promoted the idea of a fifth law school in Indiana need to do a lot of soul-searching regarding their decisions. These same people should never be allowed, again, to have a say about the future of legal education in this state or anywhere else. Indiana already has four law schools. That's probably one more than it really needs. But it's more than enough.

  3. This man Steve Hubbard goes on any online post or forum he can find and tries to push his company. He said court reporters would be obsolete a few years ago, yet here we are. How does he have time to search out every single post about court reporters and even spy in private court reporting forums if his company is so successful???? Dude, get a life. And back to what this post was about, I agree that some national firms cause a huge problem.

  4. rensselaer imdiana is doing same thing to children from the judge to attorney and dfs staff they need to be investigated as well

  5. Sex offenders are victims twice, once when they are molested as kids, and again when they repeat the behavior, you never see money spent on helping them do you. That's why this circle continues