The Rainmaker is an American drama film that was produced by Francis Ford Coppola in 1997. The film is based on John Grisham’s novel “The Rainmaker”. The central character in the film is a Rudy Baylor, a novice lawyer who had just graduated from the Law School at the University of Memphis and has no well paying job lined up for him. In a bid to find a meaningful employment, Rudy is forced to become an associate of personal injury lawyer Lyman “Bruiser” Stone whose main legal business is to solicit for clients from the local hospitals and neighborhoods. Finally, Rudy also manages to set up his own legal practice firm separate from that of Bruiser. Some of the choices made by Rudy in the film would differ with mine in several ways as will be discussed in the following sections of this paper.
Rudy’s decision to join Lyman “Bruiser” Stone in the legal practice as an ambulance chaser is outrightly a wrong move in the legal practice as far as ethics is concerned. First and foremost, Lyman is a ruthless personal injury lawyer who shows very little or no regard for integrity and respects for other people in the course of his legal business. In more than one occasion, the ruthless lawyer that Lyman “Bruiser” is has shown total disregard for ethics in his handling of clients and that his success lies on the principle of pitilessness. Even though Rudy never had the intentions of earning his livelihood in a deceitful manner at first, his partnership with Lyman ushered him right into the immoral culture of taking clients’ desolation as an opportunity for personal gains. This is the spirit behind their chasing potential clients in the neighborhood and at the local hospitals.
If I were Rudy Baylor, I would not have collaborated with Deck Shifflet at all so as to excel in the legal practice. Just like Lyman “Bruiser” Stone, Deck Shifflet (former insurance assessor) is equally unethical in his paralegal practices. Despite the fact that he (Deck) has serially failed his bar exam and cannot represent a client in a legal suit, he is very instrumental in gathering information necessary to sustain insurance lawsuits that concern insurance bad faith. In the long run, his quest for the much needed sensitive personal health information about their potential clients infringes the right of patients to privacy. As a result, it puts Rudy right in the center of a legal racketeering which should not be the case at all. Ethically, most of the private information irregularly unearthed by Deck from the patient health records should only be disclosed by the clients at their own volition but not by the third party as did Deck. This is clear indication that Rudy and his colleagues are not concerned with protecting their clients’ rights to privacy and that their core business is to look for an opportunity for personal gains through a lawsuit.
Secondly, Rudy’s move to convince Kelly Ricker, a young woman nursing her wounds at the hospital after she was battered by her husband (Cliff), to file for a divorce is largely misinformed and uncalled for. In as much as Cliff caused bodily harm to his wife Kelly by the use of a baseball bat, such as tremendous decision as to whether to stay on or leave her matrimonial home for good should have been left for her to make without the influence of the third party. In the fullness on time, it emerges that the Rudy was really out to see the couple divorce because he was attracted to the assaulted young woman and that the much anticipated divorce would accord him a mileage to win her love. Ideally, Rudy would have advised Kelly to file an assault case against Cliff but not a divorce. In addition, he should have advised her to consider divorce only if arbitration by the court fail to give her justice in the hands of her violent husband. As thing stand in the film, Rudy meddled in the family affairs of Kelly and Cliff due to his unreasonable vested interest.
Thirdly, Rudy’s decision to directly get involved in the physical confrontation between Kelly and Cliff was a serious offense and a grave unprofessional practice that I cannot accept allow myself into. In my case, I would only involve the police to help Kelly pack her things from her matrimonial home after the divorce file suit has been approved by the court. This is because the police are better placed to handle any form of anticipated resistance and physical confrontation that Cliff would have mounted to stop Kelly from leaving. For this reason, I would strictly blame the killing of Cliff by Kelly on Rudy. Furthermore, he is an accomplice to the murder of Cliff because he deliberately concealed the truth from the police by allowing Kelly to cheat the law enforcers that she single-handedly killed her violent husband in self defense.
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