Rule of Law
A newly-disabled outlaw and country lawyer in Tennessee lead a class action lawsuit that affects the rights of 55 million people.
Directed by Dan Iacovella
Produced by Dan Iacovella, Carolina Fernandez
Written by Dan Iacovella
Narrator: Jamie Leigh Allen
Directors of Photography: Dan Iacovella, Ash Wright
Web Designers: Bill Cusano, Abe Fallon
Editor: Dan Iacovella
Executive Producer: W. Wilder Knight II
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RULE OF LAW shares the story of a newly-disabled outlaw in rural Tennessee whose local court case on minor traffic violations evolves into a landmark class action lawsuit before the U.S. Supreme Court where the rights of 55 million people and the Americans with Disabilities Act itself are at stake. A lawyer from one of the smallest counties in the country represents the outlaw and takes it to the highest court in the land to debate issues of sovereign immunity and due process.
It reveals how questions of civil rights affecting a broad spectrum of people can arise out of the most unlikely sources, how a good lawyer should never ignore any client and should look for constitutional issues in whatever thorny problems his/her clients have, how slow the legal system is, how unresponsive government lawyers can sometimes be and how anyone, no matter what their history, along with a single small-town lawyer can work together to help millions of people.
Grade Level: 10 - 12, College, Adults
US Release Date: 2017
Copyright Date: 2016
DVD ISBN: 1-941545-70-X
"Compelling...Rule of Law illustrates the human dimensions of the case as well as describing a complex doctrinal case in ways that are understandable to legal experts and novices alike. The links to key documents in the case, as well as related documents and supplemental interviews, make this an important resource for law professors, law students, disability rights advocates, and people with disabilities themselves. It is an invaluable teaching resource."
Robert Dinerstein, Professor of Law and Associate Dean for Experiential Education, Director, Disability Rights Law Clinic, American University
"Rule of Law provides a rich and thoughtful portrait of an important case in the disability rights movement. Looking deeply into the human and strategic considerations, it will be of use to students and teachers in a variety of disciplines."
Michael Waterstone, Dean and Senior Vice President, Loyola Law School, Loyola Marymount University
"Excellent film...demonstrates that the ADA remains unfinished business...Rule of Law is educational and inspiring, showing students the role all of us must play in remaining vigilant in our advocacy for equality for persons with disabilities."
Dr. Steven Meyers, Assistant Professor of Law, Societies, and Justice, University of Washington
"Rule of Law is the story of how a man with one leg and a small town lawyer reminded the American legal system that the most fundamental of all American rights is the right of a person 'to stand up.' While this film provides valuable background on the evolution of a leading civil rights case, it most importantly reminds us that we can only judge a law when we are confronted by its impact on human life."
Greg Randall Lee, Professor of Law, Widener University
"Rule of Law is such an important story of how everyday people can change the world for the better. Watch how one man fights for his legal rights, how the legal system treats him throughout that fight, and how a country lawyer stands by him for years, successfully enforcing the law for the benefit of 50+ million people with disabilities. A must-see for anyone who is a fan - or critic - of American democracy."
Christopher H. Knauf, Esq., Civil rights attorney, Knauf Associates
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"Such an important story of how everyday people can change the world for the better." Christopher H. Knauf, Esq., Civil Rights Attorney
Multiple resources for a complete study of the case and its context:
* Watch: 2˝ hours of extended interviews
* Listen: Two MP3 audio files of the Supreme Court's Hearing and Opinion in Tennessee v. Lane
* Read: Legal documents related to the case in PDF format
* Web links (see below under Links)
The video extras are accessible through the scene selection menus and the other documents and
audio are accessible via the DVD-ROM portion of the disc.
Also includes SDH captions for the deaf and hard-of-hearing and scene selection.
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... more Reviews
"Rule of Law preserves the important history of much of Tennessee v. Lane, a watershed case about the fundamental right of access to courts for all Americans. This one-hour documentary will be useful for educators, policy makers, law makers, and anyone interested in the civil rights litigation supporting the Americans with Disabilities Act."
Dr. Ani Satz, Professor of Law, Professor of Public Health, Emory University