It is a question that has divided law offices and torn apart friendships. Who is the best fictional lawyer of all-time?
And now we have the technology to answer the age old question in the most democratic way possible – an NCAA-BuzzFeed style tournament.
There were a few surprises last round – top seeds Henry Drummond (sorry olds) and Dan Fielding both made early exits. Will there be any surprises this round?
What qualities does the best fictional lawyer possess? Maybe they display realistic courtroom skills. Perhaps they carry the TV show or movie. Maybe they charismatic and charming. But there is no 3-part functional and objective test to be employed here. It is totally up to you.
Forget who the fictional lawyer is? Click the links for a video reminder.
This week cartoon lawyers and hour-long drama lawyers will face off and the winners of the head-to-head battles will advance to the second round. Make sure to check back next week to vote in the second part of the first round where cartoon and hour-long drama will do battle.
Download the up-to-date PDF here.
Voting for this round closes on December 16th at 5pm
Lionel Hutz vs. Steve Dallas
Lionel Hutz is a consummate professional. A master of continuing legal eductions, “Mr. Simpson, don’t you worry. I watched Matlock in a bar last night. The sound wasn’t on, but I think I got the gist of it.” and court room tactics, “Don’t worry, Homer. I have a fool proof strategy to get you out of here: surprise witnesses, each more surprising than the last. I tell you, the judge won’t know what hit him!” There is a reason why Hutz is the number one seed.
Steve Dallas was first introduced as an obnoxious frat boy in the college strip The Academia Waltz, which ran in the University of Texas’s Daily Texan during the late 70s. Steve then reappears in Bloom County after graduation as a self-employed, unscrupulous lawyer. Ya, there is a reason Dallas is the last seed in the cartoon category.
Johnnie Cochran vs. She-Hulk
Cartoon Jonnie Cochran mounted one of the best defences of all time: “No! Ladies and gentlemen of this supposed jury, it does not make sense! If Chewbacca lives on Endor, you must acquit! The defense rests”
She-Hulk (Jennifer Walters) has been a member of the Avengers, the Fantastic Four, Heroes for Hire, the Defenders, Fantastic Force, and S.H.I.E.L.D. As a highly skilled lawyer, she has served as legal counsel to various superheroes on numerous occasions.
Phoenix Wight vs. Foggy Nelson
Phoenix Wright may not have the name recognition as some of the lawyers on this list but he should. The court system, burdened by the massive number of crimes being committed, introduces a new trial system: the bench trial system. Both prosecution and defense face each other in open court, and have three days to make their case before the judge renders a verdict – Anime Style.
Foggy Nelson is the rock that grounds Matt Murdock in Marvel’s Daredevil comics. A man of principle and humility some see Nelson as the driving force and steady hand behind the Nelson and Murdock’s law practice.
Harvey Birdman vs. Michelle the Lawyer
Harvey T. Birdman of Birdman and the Galaxy Trio is an attorney working for a law firm alongside other cartoon stars from 1960s and 1970s Hanna-Barbera cartoon series. When Shaggy and Scooby-Doo need a lawyer after a big drug bust Harvey Birdmanis the go-to lawyer.
Michelle the Lawyer may have lost her first ten cases because she stated that she agreed with what the prosecutor’s opening statement about her client but she is the best angel lawyer out there.
Hyper-Chicken vs. Lawyer Morty
Hyper-Chicken is a simple alien lawyer from a backwoods asteroid and has both defended and prosecuted members of the Planet Express crew. Despite being incompetent, he often manages to win his cases and if he doesn’t, he usually tells his clients to plead insanity.
Lawyer Morty is a Morty who poses as a lawyer at the Council of Ricks. He is put on Morty and Summer’s side for their quarrel against the Council of Ricks in The Rickshank Rickdemption, where he is shown to be less of a serious lawyer and only there because “he’s fun”. He apparently has a pog collection.
Harvey Dent vs. Robin
Harvey Dent is a handsome young District Attorney but a mobster throws acid in his face during a trial, scarring half his face. Driven insane by his reflection, he renames himself Two-Face and goes on a crime spree, deciding with a flip of his lucky coin whether to break the law or perform acts of charity.
Robin, also known as Dick Grayson, found time after fighting crime to further his education and attained his law degree. Eventually, he became a practicing attorney in the law firm that eventually becomes Cranston, Grayson and Wayne.
Blue-Hired Lawyer vs. Judge Dredd
Blue-Haired Lawyer, is Springfield’s most prominent lawyer known for his pasty face, blue hair, New York accent, and nasal voice.
Judge Dredd is a law enforcement and judicial officer in the dystopian future city of Mega-City One, which covers most of the east coast of North America. He is a “street judge”, empowered to summarily arrest, convict, sentence, and execute criminals.
Matt Murdock vs. Margot Yale
Matt Murdock blinded by a radioactive substance that falls from a truck after he pushes a man to safety from the oncoming vehicle. While he no longer can see, the radioactive exposure heightens his remaining senses beyond normal human ability and gives him a “radar sense”. After his father is killed by gangsters Matt seeks out revenge as the superhero Daredevil. But he also had time to attend Columbia Law School.
Margot Yale is an Assistant District Attorney in New York and an advisor to the NYPD Gargoyles Taskforce – despite the fact the Gargoyles have saved her life numerous times.
Ben Matlock vs. Denny Crane
Ben Matlock is a renowned, folksy yet cantankerous defense attorney who is worth every penny of his $100,000 fee. Known for visiting the scene of the crime to discover clues otherwise overlooked and his down-home style of coming up with viable, alternative theories of the crime in question while sitting in his office playing the banjo or polishing his shoes.
Denny Crane is a renowned attorney of some fifty years of practice, who claims to have won 6043 cases and will never lose one.
Claire Kincaid vs. Alan Shore
Claire Kincaid is an idealistic, outspoken feminist and agnostic who becomes increasingly disillusioned with her job. She is vocally pro-choice, opposes the death penalty, and has ambivalent feelings about drug prohibition. Sounds like a great ADA.
Alan Shore is a brilliant lawyer, extremely intelligent and very well-informed, which aids him immeasurably in his job as a lawyer. With a strong moral core, Alan is nevertheless not above obtaining ethical outcomes through unethical means.
Sam Seaborn vs. Harvey Spector
Sam Seaborn’s trademark — both his greatest strength and greatest flaw — is his unflinching idealism. His unwavering faith in and love for the American political process and the positive impact that government can have in its citizens’ lives define his character. Sam believes in doing the right thing simply because it is right, even when the consequences might be politically disastrous.
Harvey Specter is an attorney and is name partner at Zane Specter Litt. Prior to private practice he work as an assistant for New York District Attorney.
Horace Rumpole vs. Ally McBeal
Horace Rumpole‘s skill at defending his clients is legendary among the criminal classes. Cross-examination is one of his favourite activities, and he disdains barristers who lack either the skill or courage to ask the right questions. His courtroom zeal gets him into trouble from time to time. Rumpole’s chanciest encounters stem from arguing with judges, particularly those who seem to believe that being on trial implies guilt or that the police are infallible
Ally McBeal attended Harvard Law School with Billy Thomas who she had had a relationship since they were eight years old. Billy, however, left Harvard to attend University of Michigan Law School, breaking Ally’s heart. After leaving her previous job due to sexual harassment she joins the firm Cage & Fish and is horrified to find that she will be working alongside her ex Billy.
Alicia Florrick vs. Arnie Becker
Alicia Florrick was a junior associate at the firm Crozier, Abrams & Abbott, where she had the highest number of billable hours for any associate. Sometime during her job, she met and eventually married Peter Florrick, who was at the time the Cook County State’s Attorney. After her two children were born, she left work to be a stay-at-home mother and a good political wife. But Alicia returned to the courtroom to support her family after a sex-tape disgraced her husband.
Arnie Becker was a partner at McKenzie, Brackman, Chaney and Kuzak. He did law stuff. In Los Angeles. He is on this list because the olds demanded it.
Perry Mason vs. Patty Hewes
Perry Mason lawyer is a renowned lawyer who fights hard on behalf of his clients and who enjoys unusual, difficult or nearly-hopeless cases. He frequently accepts clients on a whim based on his curiosity about their problem, for a minimal retainer, and finances the investigation of their cases himself if necessary.
Patty Hewes, the daughter of a judge, grew up surrounded by the legal system and a desire to become a lawyer. However, her notions of justice were warped by the physical abuse she suffered at the hands of her father, who to his peers was a fair and honest judge but in private, was a sadistic bully. As such, Patty developed a hatred for those who use their positions of power to bully and torment others.
Sandy Cohen vs. Jack McCoy
Sandy Cohen was originally a public defender, which brought him into contact with troubled teen, Ryan Atwood, whom he eventually adopted and took on as his own after his mother abandoned him. He has since then gone into private practice in a law firm, before going to start his own law firm and finally taking over his late father-in-law’s company, the Newport Group.
Jack McCoy quickly established himself as a more unconventional, ruthless litigator. He often bends—and sometimes breaks—trial rules to get convictions, finds tenuous rationales for charging defendants with crimes when the original charges fail to stick, and charges innocent people to frighten them into testifying against others. McCoy has been found in contempt of court 80 times for such behavior, and his tactics occasionally incur negative publicity for the DA’s office.
Saul Goodman vs. Carrie Barr
Saul Goodman is an Albuquerque-based lawyer who embraces his tendencies as a former scam artist and begins to represent criminals while himself becoming involved in the city’s criminal world.
Carrie Barr was the third original partner at Barr, Robinovitch and Tchobanian, though she didn’t make it to the end of the series alive. She eventually found love in a second marriage with prosecutor Dillon Beck, but then was cruelly mowed down by a drunk-driving judge an episode after their wedding.