Best Legal or Criminal Defense Shows (Part 1)

I was having some pizza at Vino’s and Law and Order: Criminal Intent was on. You may assume I like this show because it is ostensibly related to what I do. You know what they say about assuming though. Frankly, most legal or criminal shows absolutely bore me or even get me riled up with trite inaccuracy or glib stereotypes. I think there are a few standouts that I could recommend to folks and actually enjoy watching though. Here are a few of my favorites….

The Wire is an HBO series that focuses on the interactions between the police and those who distribute drugs in the City of Baltimore. The main drug dealers start out as petty criminals and end up increasing their “community ties” as they need to spend their illicit profits somewhere. As their empire grows, so does their relationships with local politicians, business owners, and certain facets of law enforcement. I consider The Wire to be a “smart” show, though it has no problems deviating into crass subject matter or keeping language clean. Perhaps the most interesting aspect to this show is the 5 Season approach. While the “how the drug trade impacts the city” theme is consistent through each of these seasons, each season also focuses on an area of society. For example, one season looks at the local Baltimore school system and one focuses on local politics.

Damages is a series focused on a high-powered female attorney played by Glenn Close. I did not think I would like this show, but I was wrong. Close’s character is as devious as she is both corrupt and strong. While the authors take a certain degree of dramatic license by including more murders and graft than we can rightly attribute to high stakes litigation, there is a certain truth to the madness. When powerful people are on the opposing side of a brutal complaint and litigation, things can and do get nasty. If a board of directors or CEO of a major company is insulated and afraid of near nothing – is an aggressive plaintiff’s attorney the best cure for that? I do not know the answer, but I know we all need to understand we may need to account for our actions.

Circle of Greed is a book written on a famous class action attorney. For a real-life version of Damages, please consider giving it a read. You may be saddened to discover that those type of lawsuits (derivative shareholder class action complaints) have largely been eviscerated by the US Supreme Court in recent years.

…….and more to follow, please send me any requests for reviews. I’ll do my best to provide prospective and useless, biased opinions.