Over at Above the Law SOPHIST pairs up fictional attorneys and lets cast your votes for the least realistic.
Looks like I seeded Jack McCoy all wrong. Maybe McCoy is a realistic approximation of what you get if you combine Stalin, bushy eyebrows, and a totally incompetent criminal defense system.
5. Vincent Gambini (My Cousin Vinny) v. 8. Bobby Donnell (The Practice)
Legal movies portray “the law” as something grounded in common sense. But you cannot learn the law “from the streets.” Martial arts, yes; the 23 exceptions to the hearsay rule, not so much. Vinny failed the bar six times, yet won his first murder trial. That is impossible. I think The Practice did a good job showing the real life difficulties associated with going out there and “hanging a shingle.” Unfortunately, “Plan B” is also known as blaming a third party that had absolutely nothing to do with the instant crime. It’s a sophisticated defense strategy employed by eight-year-olds all across America.
2. Jake Brigance (Time to Kill) v. 3. Elle Woods (Legally Blonde)
The thought of random attorney nakedness should make you shudder. Instead, this unrealistic match-up is titillating. Did anybody go to law school with a girl that looked like Reese Witherspoon? Does anybody know a litigator preparing for a murder trial who maintains a full-body tan? I refuse to believe that I am the only JD out there that has to keep his shirt on for fear of scaring small children.
Maybe if Matthew McConaughey had followed that same code of conduct, I would have gotten his character’s name right the first time.