Integrity Legal

3rd May 2009

On the weekend we try to put something less than serious up on the blog just to lighten things up, I figured my list of funny lawyers would do just that.

Oliver Platt: Jeremy

Oliver Platt has the distinction of playing not one, but two roles in which he is a humorous attorney. I have always liked his small  part in the film Indecent Proposal because he plays the ruthless lawyer so well. When Woody Harrelson’s character calls to tell him that he has accepted an offer of 1 million dollars for one night with his wife, Platt’s character’s immediate response is, “I could have gotten you two!” He is the stereotypical over-the-top go for the throat attorney and it is pretty funny to watch.

Danny Devito: Deck Shifflet

In the film, The Rainmaker, Danny Devito plays Deck Shifflet, self described, “para-lawyer,” who fits the definition of ambulance chaser to a T. In the film Devito’s character has sat for the bar exam numerous times, but has never been able to pass it. When the main character played by Matt Damon asks if he has a problem with blatant ambulance chasing, Devito’s reply sums up his whole personal code regarding the legal profession: “Fight for your clients, refrain from stealing their money and try not to lie, you know, the basics.” Not exactly a good code of ethics to be instilled in an attorney, but the way Devito delivered the line gives me a chuckle every time I think of it.

Randy Quaid: Caddy Shack 2

I have never been the biggest fan of Caddy Shack 2, but I liked Randy Quaid’s character simply for the scene in which he turns one of the golf greens into an ice hockey style competition complete with pads and deflections of other players golf shots.

Joe Pesci: My Cousin Vinny

There is nothing better than a lawyer in a full leather suit. My Cousin Vinny is one of the funniest legal movies of all time and it is made all the better by a stellar performance by both Joe Pesci and Marisa Tomei (although some have wondered whether Tomei’s performance was truly oscar worthy). My favorite scene in the film occurs early on when Vinny’s clients are asking him his credentials, specifically how many times he sat for the bar. When he tells them he sat for more than two, one of his clients replies, “so third times a charm, right?” To which Vinny replies, “no actually for me, the seventh time’s a charm.” Needless to say this did not instill great confidence in Vinny’s legal acumen, but in the end Vinny saves the day.

Lewis Tulley: Rick Moranis

Quite possibly the funniest lawyer ever portrayed on film, Rick Moranis’s performance as Louis Tully in Ghostbuster’s 2 may be the most hilarious courtroom scene ever. As a hint to Mr Tully’s oratory one must read his opening statement to the court:

Your Honor, ladies and gentleman of the audience, I don’t think it’s fair to call my clients frauds. Sure, the blackout was a big problem for everybody. I was trapped in an elevator for two hours and I had to make the whole time. But I don’t blame them. Because one time, I turned into a dog and they helped me. Thank you.

Although Louis Tully may have seemed like a meek wallflower at the beginning of the trial toward the end he brought in the bigs guns when the unhelpful judge wanted the Ghostbusters to help they told him to speak to their attorney: “And that’s me! My guys are still under a judicial mistrangement order… that blue thing I got from her! They could be exposing themselves!” And you don’t want them exposing themselves!

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Thanks for reading my little rambling blog post today.

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2 Responses to “5 of the Funniest Lawyers in Movies”

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