Jackson attorney and former state justice Oliver Diaz spoke with MBJ-TV and MBJ editor Ross Reily this week about his involvement in the recently released HBO documentary “Hot Coffee.”
Directed by lawyer turned filmmaker Susan Saladoff, the movie premiered last year at the Sundance Film Festival. Diaz said it focuses on several high-profile tort litigation cases including the landmark “McDonald’s hot coffee” case and explores how corporations often spend large amounts of money to influence judicial elections.
“I’ve gone back and looked at how we got to the place we are with judicial campaigns. In Mississippi in 1990 the average Supreme Court race was run for $21,000,” Diaz said. “In the year 2000, when I ran, we were spending over a million dollars.”
Diaz served on the state court from 2000 to 2008 and was later charged and acquitted in federal court in connection with a judicial bribery case involving Gulf Coast attorney Paul Minor.
“Hot Coffee” isn’t the first time Diaz’s story has inspired an artist. His story also served as a basis for the novel “The Appeal” written by John Grisham, who once served with Diaz in the Mississippi House of Representatives.
For more on the film visit www.hotcoffeethemovie.com.