Mr James Kavanagh, one of Her Majesty’s Counsels Learned in the law.
Scott and Stewart (Claude Dancer and Paul Biegler) were tops in Anatomy of a Murder, as was their judge, a small role by the real lawyer who finally embarrassed Joe McCarthy during his reign of terror. Joesph Welch. A real life legal hero. This is my favorite lawyer movie.
As for TV, there can be only he who must comply to She Who Must Be Obeyed. The one and only Horace Rumpole as played by the one and only Leo McKern.
Abby Carmichael, as played by Angie Harmon, on Law & Order. That bitch is one rockin’ prosecutor!!
I’d also nominate Billy Flynn from the Bob Fosse musical Chicago. The original Jerry Orbach version, of course; not the pathetic Richard Gere version.
You can’t have Denny Crane without Alan Shore.
Also from the DEK stable I’d have to nominate Harry Korn, Adam Branch and Tommy Jefferson.
For non DEK lawyers, I’ll go with Lindsay McDonald, Lilah Morgan, Holland Manners and Marcus Hamilton of Wolfram and Hart.
Al Pacino in And Justice For All
Maximilian Schell in Judgment at Nuremberg
Jack McCoy! That’s for TV.
Atticus Finch is THE BEST male attorney in the history of fiction.
When he gets the ridiculous guilty verdict, he packs his suitcase, can hardly pause at the acclimation of the black balcony, and heads home to hit the appeal.
So fucking sad and brilliant.
Props for the Schell nomination! I almost did so myself. The other two are also excellent!
Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law
“Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I’m just a caveman. I fell in some ice and later got thawed out by some of your scientists. Your world frightens and confuses me…”
Favorite: Felix Unger on The Odd Couple.
Least Favorite: Ben Matlock. He don’t know spit about lawyering.
For movies I have to go with Atticus Finch.
My TV faves are Diane Lockhart(The Good Wife) and Harriet Korn(Harry’s Law).
IIRC, he didn’t invent the Venus Butterfly. A client told him about it.
Alan Shore and Horace Rumpole
You were serious about that?
I’ throw in (unasked) Marisa Tomei as hottest Expert Witness.
Not even a close second to Rumpole.
No Saul Goodman yet?
Or yeah, Lionel Hutz.
There is also a 1960 episode called “The case of the Prudent Prosecutor” where a friend
of Hamilton Burger is indicted for murder. Burger recluses himself from the case and asks Perry Mason to defend his friend. At one point during the hearing when the substitute DA
is objecting to a Mason question, Burger mutters “Be quiet, you fool”. After Mason gets the client off, at the victory dinner Burger says “I feel like I finally won one.”
Favorite lawyer: Richard Fish of “Ally McBeal”. Lots of great Fishisms, especially the first one “If we help someone along the way, that;s fine, but I am in this for the money. The piles and piles of money”.
Fun fact: That tlhIngan advocate was Colonel Worf, father of Mogh, father of Lt. Commander Worf.
Fred Gailey, Miracle on 34th Street
Jeremy, in Indecent Proposal