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Release: Immediate

(Editors Note: Jan Schlichtmann will be available to meet with the media at 1:30 p.m. Feb. 24 in the Old Gold Room of the IMU.)

"A Civil Action" lawyer to speak at UI about environment and the law

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Jan R. Schlichtmann, the lawyer whose wrongful death case against W.R. Grace and Beatrice Foods was the subject of the best-selling book, "A Civil Action," will speak at the University of Iowa Feb. 24 at 7:30 p.m. in the Main Lounge of the Iowa Memorial Union. His lecture, "Can there be environmental justice for all?" is free and open to the public and is sponsored by the University Lecture Committee.

In 1986 Schlichtmann received national prominence when he represented eight Woburn, Mass. families who sued W.R. Grace and Beatrice Foods for contaminating the Woburn City water supply. Schlichtmann's career and involvement in the Woburn case is chronicled in "A Civil Action," which is now a major motion picture starring John Travolta as Schlichtmann.

Schlichtmann concentrates in the area of plaintiff's complex civil litigation including product and toxic tort litigation. He is a 1973 Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and a 1977 graduate of Cornell University College of Law. While at law school, he clerked for the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee and taught a college level course in communications law at Cornell. After graduating from law school Schlichtmann joined the staff of the U.S. House Special Select Committee on Assassinations as special counsel.

In 1978 Schlichtmann began private practice in Massachusetts, gaining notoriety as a trial lawyer in the field of complex litigation. Schlichtmann has served on the faculty of the New England School of Law and Suffolk Law School's continuing legal education program and has been on the faculty of the National Judicial College, Reno, Nev.

In 1990 Schlichtmann, as a member of a special legislatively mandated committee, helped draft a complete revision of the Massachusetts Hazardous Waste Cleanup Statute that was enacted into law July 1992.

For more information about this Lecture Committee event, contact Ben Lewis, event coordinator, (319) 341-0588. Also available to speak about Schlichtmann and environmental law are: Jenna Bednar, an assistant professor of political science who teaches a class in which "A Civil Action" is required reading, (319) 335-2342; Seth Nieman, president of UI Environmental Coalition, (319) 466-1083; and Ken MacDonald, an assistant professor of geography, (319) 335-1137.