October 30, 2006 Environmental Law Is Subject of Film and Panel Discussion to Be Held on Nov. 15

Event Features Screening of “A Civil Action,” Starring John Travolta

Press Contact: Audrey Fischer (202) 707-0022
Public Contact: Alisa Carrel (202) 707-9838

“A Civil Action” (1998), starring John Travolta, will be shown at the Library of Congress at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 15, in the Mary Pickford Theater, located on the third floor of the James Madison Building, 101 Independence Ave. S.E., Washington, D.C.

The event, which is sponsored jointly by the Law Library of Congress and Tufts University, is free and open to the public. Tickets are not required, but seating is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis. The film screening will be preceded by a 6 p.m. reception in the foyer of the Pickford Theater and followed by a panel discussion.

Based on a true story, “A Civil Action” follows the case of families whose children died as a result of toxic waste dumping and the lawsuit they filed against the two companies they believed were responsible. The case was so difficult to litigate that the lawyers involved were nearly bankrupted in the process.

In addition to Travolta, the all-star cast includes Robert Duvall, William H. Macy, John Lithgow, James Gandolfini, Sydney Pollack, Tony Shalhoub and Kathleen Quinlan. The Academy Award©-nominated film won five awards including a Screen Actors Guild Award to Robert Duvall for outstanding performance by a male actor in a supporting role.

Following the film, Law Librarian of Congress Rubens Medina and Tufts University President Lawrence S. Bacow will host a discussion about environmental law issues, such as those addressed in the film.

Medina was appointed Law Librarian of Congress in 1994, having held the position of chief of the Hispanic Law Division since 1971. Medina began his legal studies in his native Paraguay, where he became a lawyer and taught at the National University of Ascunción. He came to the United States in 1964 to pursue advanced legal research and study under fellowships from the University of Wisconsin’s Land Tenure Center and from the Organization of American States. He earned a Master of Science degree in legal institutions from the University of Wisconsin at Madison and a Ph.D. in law and sociology from the same institution.

A lawyer and economist whose research focuses on environmental policy, Bacow is a frequent keynote speaker on higher education and environmental issues. Prior to being appointed president of Tufts in 2001, Bacow was the chancellor of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Lee and Geraldine Martin Professor of Environmental Studies. President Bacow received a bachelor’s degree in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a J.D. from Harvard Law School and a master’s degree in public policy and Ph.D. from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.


PR 06-203
ISSN 0731-3527