Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Denver criminal defense lawyer / fictional defense lawyers

There are a lot of attorneys who do not care for fictional accounts of our profession. This Denver criminal defense lawyer is not one of them. I thoroughly enjoy Law & Order, John Grisham books, whatever, so long as it's done right. The courtroom still has some amount of romance for sure. One thing that is noticeable over the course of maybe my dad's lifetime, however, is that there are less and less criminal defense lawyers who take their place as the hero in these fictional accounts. Back in the day, a criminal defense lawyer could look on television or in the movies and books and see guys like Clarence Darrow, Atticus Finch, and Perry Mason taking on the man. These days, our lawyer heroes include Jack McCoy (the hard-boiled tough guy prosecutor from Law & Order), the JAG folks (who both prosecute and defend to be fair) and so on. It's a pretty sad state of affairs when the best defense lawyer character that immediately springs to mind is either Matthew McConaghy in the Lincoln Lawyer or Matthew McConaghy in A Time to Kill.

Obviously, to some extent this is just market research and desire not to be similar to anything that's come before. Nobody's going to make a heroic defense more awesome or more complex than Atticus Finch or the guy from Anatomy of a Murder. Of course, party of that is that there are too many Matthew McConaghys and not enough Gregory Pecks anymore. But does the lack of prevalance of heroic defense attorneys sort of symbolize our movement as a society towards a "tough on crime" stance? Probably. In the 1960s, people were very concerned about the power of the government and "the man." Defense lawyers became heroes who sort of spearheaded the fight against this. In the 80s and 90s, folks were very concerned about crime, which is when Law & Order and all those cop shows rose to prominence. With crime trending downward for the past 20 years, hopefully we will see a correction toward a more balanced view of the criminal justice system.

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