October 1, 2014  

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Former Judge Diaz To Discuss Infamous Hot Coffee Lawsuit and Documentary

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It may be the “coffee spill heard ‘round the world,” but a documentary about the infamous lawsuit filed by a woman who was burned by McDonald’s coffee reveals more than what was reported in the media.

Hosted by The University of Southern Mississippi Paralegal Society and Department of Political Science, International Development and International Affairs, the event will be held in the Liberal Arts Building, room 108 on April 16 at 5:30pm.  The event is free and open to the public.  Refreshments will be served.

The film tells the story about what really happened to Stella Liebeck, the Albuquerque woman who filed a lawsuit against the fast food giant after she was burned by a hot cup of coffee.  The documentary will also explore how and why many in the media followed the case so closely and examine tort reform in America. 

Immediately following the documentary, former Mississippi Supreme Court Justice Oliver Diaz will lead a discussion about the lawsuit and the aftermath of the case.  Diaz, who is featured in the documentary, will talk about the litigation process involved in the hot coffee case. 

Subrina Cooper, director of Paralegal Studies, often uses the Hot Coffee case as an example in her classes. 

“This lecture is a great opportunity for students in paralegal studies and political science to see what the civil justice system is really about.  Not everything one reads about is true,” said Cooper.

“Any time students can interact with a Mississippi Supreme Court Justice is a good learning opportunity for the students.  Diaz will hold a question and answer session at the lecture which will also benefit the students,” she said.

For more information about the USM Paralegal Society or the Department of Political Science, International Development and International Affairs, visit www.usm.edu/political-science-international-development-affairsor call (601) 266-4310.