Civil rights attorney featured in documentary

June 21, 2010
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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.
 

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  • "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.

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  1. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  2. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  3. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

  4. I am the mother of the child in this case. My silence on the matter was due to the fact that I filed, both in Illinois and Indiana, child support cases. I even filed supporting documentation with the Indiana family law court. Not sure whether this information was provided to the court of appeals or not. Wish the case was done before moving to Indiana, because no matter what, there is NO WAY the state of Illinois would have allowed an appeal on a child support case!

  5. "No one is safe when the Legislature is in session."

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