Lights, Camera, Alex: No One’s Greater than Spader
- Oct 07, 2011
- Legal Life, Legal TV Shows
If any of you live with or know someone whose profession is one oft-featured on television or in film (lawyer, doctor, etc.) then you are surely well acquainted with the incessant, “That’s not how it happens in real life!” bellyaching.
Well I hope you like it, because here comes some more!
As part of reading this post, I’m going to ask you to drink in one minute and forty-four seconds of Boston Legal, courtesy of this performance by James Spader:
All set? Perfect. Now, let’s rant.
For starters, let’s take the 0:25 mark. It is fairly irregular to interrupt opposing counsel during closing. However, if one is going to go this unusual route, our fair Alan Shore certainly gave opposing counsel good reason. Bringing up something as emotional as terrorism during what appears to be a civil trial about water contamination would certainly be objectionable and the evil corporate lawyer would want to preserve his client’s rights on appeal. However, sometimes it’s good to just let opposing counsel make points that are totally unrelated to the trial because it makes them look dumb. Which brings us to…
…the 0:37 mark. There is no way the corporate lawyer objects here. If your opponent has fallen on his own sword, do you pick him up, dust him off and call a medic? Hell no! You let the bastard writhe in agony. If opposing counsel is speaking gibberish and making an ass of himself, you let him continue on as though nothing odd is happening. (Okay, maybe you snicker a little.)
When Alan Shore starts saying things like, “Apple trashcan is pig from God” it would behoove our evil corporate lawyer to let him hang himself. One, it’s hilarious. Two, it helps evil corporate lawyer’s case. Three, plaintiff will likely have good grounds for appeal due to ineffective assistance of counsel, which means that evil corporate lawyer can collect more fees for defending evil corporation a second time. Everybody wins!
The rest of the clip is mostly just good ol’ Spaderiffic fun. I can only imagine how many takes he had to do to get through that scene without laughing. Until next time, remember: “It is cheese, breath, and wind.” Or is it cheese, breath and wind? Aaaaah, the oxford comma is a truly wondrous thing.
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