People's Court: Geek Edition

As already discussed, I have a love/hate relationship with Hollywood’s depiction of lawyers.  But because I still can’t stop watching the lawyer shows, I started thinking about who I would use to put together my own legal dream team.

Below is my first stab at a fantasy line-up of characters for a legal drama.  For them to qualify, the characters have to come from movies or TV and the actors portraying them must be alive.  I’ll have to do another fantasy line-up sometime using dead actors, just so I can talk about Judge Smails.  For now, however, let me present the cast of characters for “Geek Law: Season 1.”

The Judge: Giles from Buffy the Vampire Slayer has to be the judge.  First of all, he’s English, so he’d wear the white wig, which would be awesome.  His research experience, both as a librarian and a Watcher, would also be a huge asset.  As a litigator, and particularly in e-discovery, I’ve found that it always helps to be before judges who know the area of law you’re addressing, such as Judges Peck, Facciola, and Scheindlin.  I’m confident Judge Giles would also prepare before each case to be similarly knowledgeable.  He’s also been both a good guy and a bad guy, which would help him temper justice with mercy.  Finally, if he can take on evil Willow, he can handle mere attorneys.

The Law Clerk: Dr. Sheldon Cooper would be fun, just because he knows he’s smarter than everyone else.  His knowledge and brilliance could be an asset to Judge Giles, although he would be nearly impossible to handle.  Poor Giles is used to dealing with a lot of insufferable superheros (which Sheldon practically is), however, and Sheldon would provide comic relief.  Plus, with his eidetic memory there wouldn’t be a need for a court reporter.

Bailiff: I know I’m breaking my own rules, but I can’t resist making Ronnie the Limo Driver the court bailiff.  He has an IMDB page and he plays a caricature of himself (I hope) on the Howard Stern Show, so I’m letting him slide.  He’s already shown he can handle dangerous security situations (he kept Teddy alive in the face of Artie Lange’s wrath) and he’s got lots of great catch phrases (“whoa, whoa, whoa, stop the clock”), so I would expect him to be the break-out star of the show.  BabaBooey!

Plaintiff’s Lawyer: Wonder Woman is my pick for the plaintiff’s lawyer.  It has to be a superhero, because they’re always sticking up for the little guy facing overwhelming odds.  Wonder Woman’s lasso of truth makes her the obvious choice.  Who cares if she doesn’t have an army of associates and paralegals – all she needs to do is throw that lasso around the witnesses to get all of the evidence she needs.  Now that my dream of Lauren Graham playing Wonder Woman in a movie written by Joss Whedon has been crushed I may have to replace it with the dream of Lauren Graham playing Wonder Woman in my legal drama.

The Investigator: Wonder Woman would still need an investigator, so I’d use Kalinda from The Good Wife.  I love her, I want to hang out with her, and I want her clothes, so you’ll see me write about her a lot.  Anyway, she would be a huge help to Wonder Woman in finding the smoking gun (and talk about a bad ass duo!).

Defense Partner: There are so many easy choices for this role, from Denny Crane to Dan Fielding to Ellen Barkin.  And while my choice is obvious, I can’t help it – Jeff Winger is too much fun to watch, regardless of whether he’s making an impassioned speech or acting like he doesn’t care when you know he secretly does.  And while I don’t know what’s going to happen to Community now that Dan Harmon has been booted, I do know that Jeff would be perfect for my show.

Defense Associate: Star Trek’s Data is the perfect big defense firm associate because he doesn’t need to eat, sleep, or take bathroom breaks.  In fact, I secretly wonder if big firms have a program underway to create a real-life Data, so they can stop dealing with annoying associates who want to have dinner with their family, go to the doctor, and/or sleep.  Data would also be perfect for handling all of the e-discovery issues that come up.  Technology-assisted review is a hot topic in e-discovery right now and Data is technology-assisted review personified.  He can review millions of bytes of data with the speed and precision of a computer, but with the understanding of a lawyer.

Defense Firm Receptionist: Agnes DiPesto would have to be the receptionist for the big defense firm.  I don’t have any reason for selecting her beyond the fact that she’s adorably wacky and could be another source of comic relief, which is always handy

So there you have it, the initial cast of Geek Law.  There would also be plenty of attractive extras and guest appearances, maybe even a few musical interludes, although there would be no dancing babies!  And next season I’ll bring in a new cast, filled with all of my favorite dead actors.

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Jessica has been litigating business and IP disputes for the past decade. During that time, she’s dealt with clients, lawyers, and judges who have varying degrees of appreciation for the challenges of managing discovery in an electronic age. Until the fall of 2011, she was an attorney at a large, Texas-based law firm, where she represented clients in state and federal court nationwide. That fall, she made a long-desired move back to the Midwest and is now a partner at Hansen Reynolds Dickinson Crueger LLC, a litigation boutique based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where she continues to litigate while also consulting with business and law firms on e-discovery issues (before, during, and after litigation arises).