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The Firm is a 1993 American legal thriller film directed by Sydney Pollack and starring Tom Cruise, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Gene Hackman, Ed Harris, Holly Hunter, Hal Holbrook, and David Strathairn
Release date : june 30, 1993
Director : Sydeny Pollack.
Story by : John Grisham
Screen play : john Grisham, Robert towne, David Rabe, David Ravfiel. Awards: people choice award for favorite drama movie
The Firm follows the main character, Mitch McDeere, as he graduates from Harvard Law School with honors, interviews for an associate position at various prestigious law firms, and During his first few months as a lawyer. Throughout the movie, Mitch is faced with many personal ethical issues, such as balancing work-life demands and drinking on the job, as well as business ethical issues. Each decision Mitch makes, is evaluated and acted upon from a different stage of moral development, according to Kohlberg’s theory and other ethical frameworks. The Firm portrayed the business environment in a very negative light. The first few scenes show the different law firms offering more money than other firms to entice Mitch to accept their offer of employment. Each deal included more and more benefits, perquisites, and additional money and bonuses. This cast the business environment as a cut-throat competitive and money driven realm of society. Later in the film, after Mitch accepted an associate lawyerposition with Bendini, Lambert, & Locke (the law firm), the business environment is further portrayed as corrupt and deceitful. As part of Mitch’s employment offer, he is given a fullyfurnished home. However, the firm wire-tapped and bugged the home to monitor Mitch’s personal life, to ensure he and his wife, Abbey, would always act in the firm’s best interests. Finally, it is revealed that only 30% of the firm’s clients are real people, some of the “companies” the firm invests in do not actually exist, and much of the profit the firm received is from money laundering, drug smuggling, and its ties to the Chicago Mob. These ties to the Mob also resulted in the deaths of four attorneys who all attempted to “blow the whistle” on the firm. These are all well-kept secrets from those outside the firm and new associates. After the firm is able to gain an associate’s trust or establish enough coercive power, they are told about the true operations and activities that keep Bendini, Lambert, & Locke in business. All these elements combined present business as a damaged industry. 2
Multiple business ethics issues were raised in The Firm. From Mitch McDeere’s perspective, he was pressured throughout to choose between cooperating with the FBI’s investigation, acting in the best interests of the firm and mob, giving in to his wife and leaving the firm, breaking the confidentiality of the attorney-client privilege, and whistleblowing activities within the firm. From the law firm’s perspective, the partners and associate attorneys knowingly operated unethically. They routinely altered financial documents, accepted money earned illegally, overcharged their clients for legal work, and worked with the Mob to cover up murders of any attorney that tried to leave the firm or report Bendini, Lambert, & Locke to the FBI. Despite the numerous business ethics issues in The Firm, the three major dilemmas are Mitch’s decision whether he will help the FBI gather information about the firm, comply with the culture of the firm and the Mob, and if he will uphold his oath as an attorney. Early in his career, Mitch was contacted by FBI agents who were currently investigating Bendini, Lambert, & Locke. They wanted Mitch’s...
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