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UCLA Professor Explains How Courtroom Movies Influence Common Beliefs About Legal System

Published on Mar 22, 2021

Professor Paul Bergman (Image courtesy UCLA)

Professor Paul Bergman, Professor of Law Emeritus at the UCLA School of Law, will host a webinar on Thursday, March 25, where he explains how courtroom movies influence popular beliefs about law, lawyers and the legal system, and how you should be able to determine fact from fiction when enjoying this type of Hollywood fare.

The webinar, Real to Reel Justice: Truth and Trickery in Courtroom Movies, is sponsored by Pasadena Village, a group of 140 older adults in Pasadena that are engaged cultivating new friendships, sharing meaningful experiences, encouraging involvement in the wider community and in helping one another in a time of need.

During the webinar, Professor Bergman will show entertaining clips from courtroom movies, both well-known and not-so well-known, to compare pop culture images to reality, and discuss legal and film history in an effort to help sort fact from fiction.

Bergman has been teaching at the UCLA School of Law since 1970. His teaching awards include a University Distinguished Teaching award and the Dickson Award for distinguished service and scholarship by a UCLA Emeritus Professor.

Bergman has given film clip-based presentations at legal conferences throughout the U.S. and has appeared on many radio and TV shows, including The Today Show. He has authored books on trial advocacy, evidence and counseling as well as three books on the legal system for non-lawyers. He also has written numerous law articles that have analyzed how law and lawyers are depicted in films and on TV.

In 1997, he co-authored “Reel Justice: The Courtroom Goes to the Movies” with Michael Asimow, which analyzed more than 60 films with courtroom scenes, including “Philadelphia,” “Anatomy of a Murder,” :Jagged Edge,” and “A Cry in the Dark.”

The webinar on Thursday will be on Zoom from 3 to 4 p.m. and is free to attend. Registration is required. To register, visit

For more information, call (626) 756-6037 or visit

The event is specifically hosted by Pasadena Village’s Cultural Activities Committee.

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