CSU, Chico News

Nationally Recognized Civil Litigator to Speak at CSU, Chico

Date: 03-06-2012

Kathleen McPartland
Public Affairs
Alan Gibson
Department of Political Science

Jan Schlichtmann, one of the country’s eminent plaintiff’s attorneys, will speak on Wednesday, March 14 at California State University, Chico. Schlichtmann received national recognition for his representation of eight Woburn, Mass. families against W.R. Grace and Beatrice foods for contamination of the city water supply. Jonathan Harr’s “A Civil Action,” which told the story, became a best-selling non-fiction book and then a movie.

Schlichtmann will speak twice on March 14, both times in Performing Arts Center 144. His talks are free and open to the public. At 1 p.m. he will discuss the need for reform of the legal system in a presentation titled “The Third Branch v. Citizens United: The Root of the Evil.” At 4 p.m., he will talk about lessons he’s learned from his experiences as an environmental attorney in “Confessions of an Environmental Warrior.”

Schlichtmann specializes in the area of complex civil litigation, including consumer, environmental, product, toxic and mass tort litigation. In 1973, Schlichtmann graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and in 1977 earned his law degree from Cornell. While at law school, he clerked for the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee and after graduation joined the staff of the U.S. House Special Select Committee on Assassinations as special counsel.

Schlichtmann’s groundbreaking work in the Woburn case has been the subject of a number of national and international television and radio shows, press reports and magazine stories, including “60 Minutes” and “Nova,” as well as articles in legal and scientific journals and books.

“Jan Schlichtmann is one of the nation’s leading environmental lawyers and opponents of corporate wrongdoing and unchecked power,” said Professor Alan Gibson, Department of Political Science. “It is particularly fitting to host him at CSU, Chico because of our reputation as a leading ‘green’ university. He is a strong and courageous voice for sustainability and green policies.”

Pi Sigma Alpha, the Associated Students, the Institute for Sustainable Development, the College of Behavioral Sciences and the Department of Political Science are sponsoring Schlichtmann’s visit

For more information contact Gibson at 530-898-4952 or agibson@csuchico.edu.