When Law and Order refers to past cases, are they REAL cases?

Maybe CSI can be included in this if someone knows the answer to that as well.
When Jack McCloy on law and order talks about The People Vs Wynomen (1978), is that an ACTUAL case from history? Or is it just a made up one to create debate? Or maybe its an actual case, but just uses a different title (eg its not People Vs Wynomen in real life, but its The People Vs Smith) but the precedent set by the case is still the same?

Whatever the answer is, is it done half the time, or just when some debate needs to be created?

I look forward to the answer :smiley:

I have seen episodes and gone “Hey! We just learned about that case in class!” so they probably do find real cases. If they don’t use real cases all the time, their writers are lazy because it takes all of 5 minutes to find a case on Lexis-Nexis.

I’ve never heard them faking a case. The Supreme Court cases they cite I often know. Adfmittedly, I’m not up on New York case law, so they could presumably be pulling the wool over my eyes on this point.

BUt I doubt it.

wow thats cool if they do

everythings so relevant :cool:

I’ve recognized one to two cases here and there. I know I’ve heard them mention “terry stop” once or twice.

Read about the CSI Effect here. A lot of forensic science on the show is fiction and totally unrealistic, but people believe it’s based on reality and expect the same kind of evidence when they are on juries. So I wouldn’t be surprised if many of the legal aspects were the same.

In the CSI thread, it’s easy to identify the actual bogus material. To draw the analogy, you need to identify the actual bogus case cites.

As I said above, I have never caught them on a made-up case.

This is not to say that the PROCEDURE shown on the show is realistic or accurate. But the case cites appear to be.

One of my girlfriend’s criminal justice lecturers, as a class assignment, had the class watch a fictional law-themed television program of their choice, and write a report on how closely it resembled real-life law proceedings. My girlfriend picked an episode of Law and Order.

Her report ran to 14 pages, and included such howlers as the defendant in a case successfully (!!) pleading with the police to reduce the charges against him after he had been indicted.

Yeah, it the CSI case, they want to punch things up, so they blur the science. In the world of case law, it’s different. If all you need is to find a reason to throw out or allow in a piece of evidence, it’s no that difficult to find a case on point. There’s all kinds of cases out there on all kinds of points, so you can always find something , and you can always make fine distinctions about what the case stands for, and if it applies in New York – it’s not like science, where you either can blow up an image in someone’s eyes in a surveillance camera, or you can’t.

To agree with what has been said, I know many of the cases they mention from my eighth grade civics class. Also, it is quite easy to look up cases in paper, too. I spent many a night on the floor of a local library reading and summerizing SJC decisions, both national and state (MA) level. I have to imagine that a show as long running and popular as Law & Order would have someone doing this, perhaps even a lawyer or paralegal. If they don’t, they should, as if it was expected of 13 year olds, who managed it well enough, it should be expected of them, too.