As a plaintiffs’ lawyer in Oregon, Susan Saladoff occasionally made short films of her clients. She represented people claiming medical malpractice, and if she could capture video of what they were going through, she reasoned, they had a better chance of getting a quick settlement.

Saladoff’s latest film won’t lead to any settlements, but it’s appearing on many more screens and will get more attention. Three years ago, she dropped her legal career and started work on what has become Hot Coffee, a pro-plaintiff documentary that’s a call to arms over tort law, jury awards and judicial elections. The film has been making the rounds at festivals nationwide. Screenings are scheduled this week in New York and Washington, and the film is set for its public debut on HBO on June 27.

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