Famous Fictional Lawyers - Legal Representation in Pop Culture and the Media

Published: 29th September 2009
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From sublime to hilarious, fictional lawyers have entertained millions of people through books, televisions series and movies. From principled to bumbling to devious, these figures have left lasting impressions.

Atticus Finch, from Harper Lee's novel "To Kill A Mockingbird", and played by Gregory Peck in the film adaptation, is perhaps considered the most ethical and honorable lawyer of all time. Atticus fights for acquittal of a black man convicted of raping a white woman. Despite rampant slander and abuse against himself and his family, Atticus remains strong and committed in his support of the black man.

Perry Mason, created by Erle Stanley Gardner, was pivotal in more than 80 novels, a radio series, TV movies and a successful television series. Perry, a defense lawyer, usually accepted murder cases that seemed hopeless and somehow managed to get his client released at pre-trial hearings with unusual methods that were technically legal, with some help from his private investigator, Paul Drake, and secretary, Della Street.

Matlock, played by Andy Griffith, was a gruff small town attorney. He won nearly every case he had and, by the end of each episode, he would prove his client innocent and expose the real culprit. Matlock was an eccentric in many ways, which gave the long-running television series a comic aspect.

Vinny Gambini, a character played by Joe Pesci in the move "My Cousin Vinny" was the ultimately inept lawyer. He wrote the bar examination six times before he passed. The 1992 comedy film centers on Vinny's hilarious attempt to have his cousin and his cousin's friend acquitted of murder. "My Cousin Vinny" is considered one of the greatest legal movies made.

Dan Fielding, played by John Laroquette, was one of the quirky characters in the television situation comedy "Night Court". Dan Fielding was the prosecutor in a Manhattan night court whose main objective in life was to have sex. He would go to any lengths to accomplish his ambitions. Christine Sullivan (played by Markie Post), a public defender, was often Dan Fielding's target. Dan's egotistical tendencies and witty remarks earned him a notorious reputation and continual laughter.

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