Taking Grief To The Courtroom

As America has become tragically familiar with high school shootings, the next step has become familiar too: after the funerals come the lawsuits.

"You do that because you've been robbed of a son, you do that to institute public policy. To do nothing would be an insult to Isaiah," said Sam Riddle.

Riddle is helping the family of murdered Columbine High School student Isaiah Shoeles get through these difficult days. The family has already talked to a lawyer about suing the school district for dismissing complaints about violence and racism at Columbine. "The school system right now and other elements in Colorado are definitely more accountable than some would want to believe," Riddle said.

At least one other family is already considering legal action too, reports CBS News Correspondent John Blackstone. But some lawyers' groups are warning against a rush to the courthouse.

"It's not an easy thing to go through a lawsuit," said Marc Kaplan of the Colorado Trial Lawyers Association. "These people are going to have to relive a terrible event. And it's going to be traumatic for them."

And perhaps traumatic for the entire community. "I think when you get down to it, it doesn't really help at all. It only extends your sorrow," said Colorado resident Casey McCartney. "I think that people need to start looking toward hope and looking toward the future and looking towards how we get past this," said Claudette Bailey, who also lives in the state.

In Paducah, Kentucky, families of those killed in the high school shooting there are now suing the makers of violent movies and video games. In Littleton the first target may be the community itself -- the county, the sheriff's department and the school, for ignoring the warning signs.

Victoria Buckley, Colorado's Secretary of State, says the desire to sue is understandable. "Not always do they want the money, it's the way that they feel that their voice can be heard," Buckley said. "It's a way for them to address their fears, I guess, and for their anger."

For many of those who have loved and lost, the search for answers in Littleton will almost inevitably lead to a courtroom.