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DE CASTRO, ARNOLD V.

TORTS AND DAMAGES

AB LEGAL MANAGEMENT 7:00 PM-8:30PM

THE JUDGE

“The Judge” is a film about a murder case. The twist here is the fact that the Judge
himself, Joseph Palmer is the suspect and that Hank Palmer, the lawyer defending him is both
his own son and the one who feels betrayed by him.

Main character Hank is a successful defense attorney living in Chicago. He is separated


from his family in a small town in Indiana for many years. Glen, his brother, send him the news
that their mother died. It then appears that hank is going through divorce with his wife and trying
to fight for the custody of his young daughter as he leaves his home to reunite to his family.
After arriving at the funeral, Hank sees his father in his courtroom presiding over a case. Judge
Joseph after his wife’s funeral goes shopping and the next morning Hank notices damage to his
father’s car. While on the plane to return home to Chicago, he is called by Glen who informs him
that their father is being questioned by the police about a fatal hit and run. It turns out that blood was
found on Joseph's car which matches that of the victim, Mark Blackwell, who the judge once
sentenced to 30 days in jail and who then went on to kill a 16-year-old girl. Joseph is taken to court
as the sole suspect. Hank being the son and at the same a lawyer tries to prepare his father,
Joseph, for the trial knowing that this case will be a tough one. Joseph on the contrary, refuses the
help rendered by Hank. Joseph chooses a local inexperienced lawyer instead of Hank which leads
to a disastrous preliminary hearing and due to this, Joseph then employs his son. During the trial,
Prosecutor Dwight Dickham pushes for first degree murder and manslaughter, a lower degree type
of murder characterized as an act committed without malice. The judge's story proves to have some
inconsistencies and he claims to not be able to remember hitting Blackwell, but this is mostly due to
the chemotherapy he is undergoing which he has hidden from everyone but his wife. Despite Hank's
attempts to paint Joseph as confused and senile, the judge is found guilty of voluntary manslaughter
but cleared of murder charges, and sentenced to four years in prison. Through seven months of
serving as well as through considerate parole, Joseph is released from prison. But after knowing and
realizing that his son Hank is the best lawyer, Joseph dies in the boat. One time in the trial, Joseph
expresses to Hank his expectation that Joseph’s legacy will be imperfect if he is proven guilty of the
murder case. This instance makes Hank felt being accomplished as he notices that the courtroom’s
flag is flying at half staff contrary to his father’s expectation. This clears the fact that the court
recognized Joseph as a judge with a good legacy. On the other hand, Hank’s daughter is also
present suggesting he won the custody battle. A large number of the community pays their respect
to the judge but Hank leaves to go to the courthouse to bring his father's hat to his bench. He spins
the judge's chair, while he stands contemplating. When the chair stops, it is facing him, as if to invite
him to take his father's place.

The said film is a good one. Allow me to point out my view regarding the film. First, it is good
for it provides the reality that in life, especially in the family, there are misunderstandings arising. The
family as the basic social institution plays a vital role in forming the perception or even the outlook of
one of the member of the family towards life. Just like Hank. Hank became to feel that he was
betrayed by his father Joseph because of the latter’s attitude or disciplinary actions imposed to him
when he was a child. It was also revealed in the film that Joseph blamed Hank for the injury that
cost his brother Glen his baseball career. Second, in relation to my first view about the film, it’s
good for emphasizing that the actions of the parents towards their children are for the sake of
the latter. It is emphasized in the film in a conversation between Hank and his father. Judge
Joseph Palmer said, "Was I tough on you? Yes! I did what I thought was right." In this conversation,
Hank and father Joseph finally hash out some unresolved issues about Hank's childhood. Joseph
admits that he was tough on Hank but states that he did it for a good reason. On my own point of
view, there is always a good reason why our parents is imposing some actions which I think is for
own sake. Even though they are not expressive, I always believe in pour parent’s heart there is
always love for us. Third, the film is good for portraying the equality between citizens of the State.
Why? Because the film portrayed that even judges are equal to every citizen for the justice to be
served. No one is considered rich or poor, judges or just ordinary people in the eye of the law.
Justice should always be served. Fourth, in connection with my third point of view, In can say that
the movie is good for providing the fact that the law excepts no one in terms of abiding it. Judge
Joseph in the film as a suspect has undergone proceeding and trials just like an ordinary citizen.
Exalted position is not an excuse to comply to the process of serving justice in the land. Last and the
most important is that through this movie, my belief becomes firm that even though all of the people
in the world left us, our family is still the most strongest foundation which will always provide
unconditional love. Unconditional love, in the sense that no matter what misunderstandings or hatred
arise, there will still be love that will reunite every member of the family.