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The battle of the law-cumentaries

Just weeks after the HBO debut of a film setting out to debunk what it calls the myths of tort reform, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for Legal Reform is set to release its own film examining what it calls America’s “lawsuit industry,” which it says is filled with “greed and corruption.”

The ILR-backed film, called “InJustice,” premiers on the ReelzChannel Monday night.

Last month the documentary “Hot Coffee: Is Justice Being Served?” was screened in Washington for an audience that included members of Congress and civil justice advocates before it debuted on the cable network. That film, by trial lawyer-turned-documentarian Susan Saladoff, took aim squarely at tort reform advocates – including the Chamber – who back  mandatory arbitration clauses, state law damage caps and judicial election systems that civil justice advocates say protect businesses at the expense of consumers, workers and ordinary Americans.

But the film drew sharp criticisms from business groups and tort reform advocates who said it portrayed a skewed vision of the nation’s litigation system and painted trial attorneys as heroes.

According to the Chamber’s blog ChamberPost, filmmaker approached the ILR two years ago with an idea of making a film on haw the “lawsuit industry” has “transformed the practice of law from a calling into a multi-billion dollar a year business.”

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