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Famous Trials and Historic Litigation


General Information (1)
Criminal Law (10)
Civil Rights and Liberties (8)
Health and the Environment (9)

Browse all the Lawforwa Resources on Famous Trials and Historic Litigation

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Famous Trials
Source: University of Missouri-Kansas City, School of Law

Documentation and summaries of some of the most famous trials from 399 B.C. to present, as compiled and written by Professor Douglas Linder. Information for many trials includes newspaper accounts, trial records including transcripts, Supreme Court arguments and decisions, letters or diary entries, images, chronologies, and Linder's summaries. Trials include: Trial of Socrates, Trial of Jesus, Trial of Galileo, Salem Witchcraft Trials, John Peter Zenger Trial, Boston Massacre Trials, Mutiny on the Bounty Court-Martial, Burr Conspiracy Trial, Amistad Trials, Dakota Conflict Trials, Lincoln Conspiracy Trial, Johnson Impeachment Trial, Susan Anthony Trial, Louis Riel Trial, Lizzie Borden Trial, Three Trials of Oscar Wilde, Bill Haywood Trial, Sheriff Shipp Trial, Triangle Fire Trial, Black Sox Trial, Sacco-Vanzetti Trial, Leopold and Loeb Trial, Scopes "Monkey" Trial, Sweet Trials, Scottsboro Boys Trials, Hauptmann (Lindbergh) Trial, Nuremberg Trials, Alger Hiss Trials, Rosenberg Trial, Lenny Bruce Trial, Mississippi Burning Trial, Chicago 7 Trial, My Lai Courts Martial, Charles Manson Trial, John Hinckley Jr. Trial, Chamberlain "Dingo" Trial, McMartin Preschool Trial, LAPD Officers' (King Beating) Trial, O.J. Simpson Trial.
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The Rodney King Beating Trials
Source: University of Pittsburgh School of Law

Discussion of the Rodney King beating incident which occurred during the 1991 Los Angeles riots, authored by Professor Douglas Linder of the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law. Includes an analysis of the subsequent trials involving LA police officers, excerpts of testimony, and a description of key evidence, including the video.
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The Scottsboro Boys
Source: Court TV

Information on the Scottsboro rape case, including the racial tensions surrounding it, its impact on due process and the right to adequate legal representation, and the trials and appeals themselves which occurred in the 1930's. Includes biographies of the key players in the case and summaries of the two Supreme Court decisions involved.
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Engel v. Vitale
Source: FindLaw

The complete 1962 U.S Supreme Court opinion in Engel v. Vitale, which held that the government may not compose an official prayer and require that it be read in public schools at the beginning of each school day.
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Abington School Dist. v. Schempp
Source: FindLaw

The complete 1963 U.S. Supreme Court opinion in Abington School District v. Schempp, which held that public schools can not require that passages of the Bible be read at the beginning of the school day.
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Erin Brockovich (Anderson v. Pacific Gas & Electric)

Erin Brockovich's case (Anderson v. PG&E) told in a story form by lawyer Carole Bos. It describes the background and outcome of the case, which involved chrome 6 contamination in Hinkley California, and includes excerpts of transcripts, trial briefs, PG&E statements issued before and during the trial, and other documents.
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A Civil Action: The Real Story
Source: Boston Phoenix

This article explains the real story on which the movie "A Civil Action" is based. It describes the background of the case (which involved contamination of groundwater in Woburn, Massachusetts), the trial itself, and its aftermath, and includes excerpts of interviews with Anne Anderson, a plaintiff in the case.
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County of Allegheny v. American Civil Liberties Union
Source: Cornell University Law School

A case summary and complete opinion of the U.S. Supreme Court in the County of Allegheny v. American Civil Liberties Union. The case, decided in 1989, involved the constitutionality of holiday displays on public property in Pittsburgh. Includes the syllabus (summary of the case), final ruling, and judges' opinions. Justice Blackmun delivered the court's opinion.
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Dentists Sued in Texas Over Mercury Fillings
Source: Vaccination News

An article by Dick Stanley, for the Cox News Service, which describes the suit filed by California lawyer Shawn Khorrami, on behalf of an autistic boy, against the American Dental Association, Texas Dental Association, dentist Taylor McKewen, and many corporations that manufacture amalgam fillings. The suit alleged that fillings containing mercury caused autism in Cody Wyatt Botter.
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Source: The Washington Post

An archive of articles and information on the Enron lawsuit. The website also includes a link to a timeline outlining the fall of Enron.
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Ted Kaczynski/Unabomber
Source: by Farlex

Information about Unabomber Ted Kaczynski, including his biography, manifesto, bombings, and apprehension and trial.
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The Menendez Brothers
Source: Court TV

Profiles the Menendez Brothers murder trial. Includes a detailed trial timeline and key documents relating to the case.
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Exploring Amistad
Source: Mystic Seaport, The Museum of America and the Sea

Information on the Amistad case, including the Atlantic and Cuban slave trades, the revolt on the Amistad, the subsequent Amistad trials occuring in 1839 through 1841, the people involved in the Amistad case, and the case's place in history. Includes a timeline of legal proceedings.
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Lead Paint

Current information about lead paint lawsuits written from the perspective of defendants involved in the litigation. The site argues against the merit of cases brought about lead paint. Includes a state-by-state breakdown of litigation, summaries of key cases, descriptions of legal issues, and descriptions of some of the federal, state and non-profit programs addressing lead paint.
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The Salem Witch Trials

This site, originally created by Tim Sutter, includes an essay on the Salem witch trials, which describes the politics and other circumstances that might have caused the witch trials, the trials themselves, and their aftermath. Also includes links to trial transcripts, lists of accused and afflicted persons, and a timeline.
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The Rosenbergs: A Case of Love, Espionage, Deceit, and Betrayal
Source: Court TV

Profile of the Rosenberg case, in which Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were charged with espionage for giving American atomic secrets to the Soviets during World War II. Includes information about the Rosenbergs, the trial, sentencing, and the other people involved with the case.
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O.J. Simpson Murder Case
Source: Court TV

Profiles the O.J. Simpson murder case. Includes a detailed trial timeline; descriptions of the key players in the case; photos; a video of Johnny Cochran's closing argument; transcripts and videos of interviews or testimony of Simpson, Robert Shapiro, Mark Fuhrman, Keto Kaelin, and others involved; and key documents relating to the case.
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Lindbergh Trial - The Trial of the Century

Information on the Lindbergh kidnapping and Hauptmann trial, including an overall story, a timeline, and a photo gallery.
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Government Lawsuits Against the Lead Industry
Source: Alliance for Healthy Homes

Brief summary and analysis of government lawsuits about lead paint written from the perspective of a group that advocates for children's health issues. Includes a description of the benefits of litigation.
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Source: ExxonMobil

ExxonMobil's web page on the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill. Includes Exxon's response to the spill including cleanup efforts and measures to prevent future spills, the condition of Prince William Sound, and appeal of the punitive damages award entered against Exxon.
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Exxon Valdez Oil Disaster
Source: Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP

Information about the Exxon Valdez oil spill of 1989, compiled by Lieff Cabraser Heimann and Bernstein, a law firm that represented plaintiffs in litigation against Exxon, Alyeska and other defendants. ncludes a brief summary of the litigation, an opinion article written in 1996 by William B. Hirsch, a glossary of terms, and a list of thought questions. Hirsch's article describes the litigation from the perspective of the plaintiffs in the case. It includes information on the claims and defenses raised in the case, discovery, court rulings, judgments, verdicts, punitive damages awards, appeals, and settlements reached.
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Exxon Valdez Oil Spill

Summary of the Exxon Valdez oil spill. Describes what happened on the day of the spill; follows the aftermath of the disaster, including the criminal and civil trials; and supplies many links to related topics.
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Scopes Trial
Source: Information Please

Summary of the 1925 Scopes trial, in which a biology teacher was convicted of violating the Tennessee anti-evolution act by teaching Darwin's theory of evolution in his biology class. Describes the theories of defense, including separation of church and state, argued by Scopes' attorneys, including Clarence Darrow.
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Tobacco Information Zone
Source: Washington State Office of the Attorney General

Information on the 1998 settlement between the state and the tobacco industry.
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