What are the best legal movies of ALL time? I Strenuously Object Podcast takes a break from our recent string of heavy topics to have a little fun with a game show!
Noah and Bill each present to the court a movie with a legal theme. They then give their opening arguments, hoping to convince “we the jurors” that theirs is the best legal movie of all time.
Opening arguments are followed by a rebuttal, a spirited debate and tons of movie clips. Classic movies are up against more contemporary films, comedies battle dramas, and along the way the guys break down why their movie deserves to be called the best.
Ten movies will be presented but only ONE can be the best of ALL time. Play along with us, and maybe learn a thing or two about courtroom procedure, cross examination techniques, and what to never say to a judge.
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Please rise. Court is now in session.
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I strenuously object. A legal podcast brought to you by the Pittsburgh law from a Flaherty Fardo is now in session.
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All those seeking information about the law and legal matters affecting the people of Pittsburgh and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, half-baked opinions, and a dose of self-indulgence are invited to attend and participate.
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I want the truth! You can't handle the truth!
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The defense strenuously objects.
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Call the first witness.
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Good morning, Noah.
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Hello. Hey, I'm excited today.
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Who wants to have some fun?
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So I'm excited today. Today, you and I are going to decide the five best legal movies of all time, as determined by the two best lawyers ever.
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Bill, I like competition. I think everything in life should be a competition because it makes us better.
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And today, you and I are going to debate, and we're going to pick teams of legal movies.
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And at the end, we're going to allow our producer to decide who is better at picking legal movies.
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Now, what's interesting about this is we'll have to use our trial abilities as well, because we'll have to persuade Mike. Are you in?
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I am in.
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Hey, guys, I'm really looking forward to this.
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All right. Now, let's get some ground rules and let's make them up as we go along, because those are the best type of rules.
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We'll do five rounds. We'll flip a coin to see who goes first.
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Once a movie is picked, it's off the board. And all we're doing is drafting teams. You in?
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Yeah, I mean, we're going to have more than just the five greatest movies of all time then in this regard, right?
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We're going to end up picking 10 different movies to look at. But I like the draft format. It sounds like fun.
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Each round, there will be a winner. So the five will be the best and we'll see who has the list of the best movies.
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I am going to beat you so handily.
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And because I always like to think make things not only competitive, but a little bit more exciting.
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Let's gamble. Whoever wins, the loser will handle the next 10 consults that come in because they take time. Right?
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Sure. That sounds like a good bet. I'll take that.
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So we are playing. The loser will handle the next 10 consults that come in.
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I have a question. You know, on what basis am I judging these movie reviews? Do I have some criteria to go by?
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Mike, it's a show about nothing.
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This should be the show. This is the show.
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This. Just talk. It's about nothing.
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OK, all we've called this is the best legal movies, just like we're the best lawyers. It doesn't mean anything.
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You have to decide what's best. The listener has to decide what's best.
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We can use whatever criteria or guidelines we want to use individually for our arguments, but you'll decide.
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OK, I'm ready. Mike, pick a number between one and five hundred. Don't tell us. And Bill, you pick the number.
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You go first and I guess I'll go second. We'll see who's closer. You're allowed to go over.
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Three hundred fifteen. I pick three fourteen. Who's closer, Mike?
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You are, Noah. It was two thirty seven.
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Yeah, I mean, I had three hundred and thirteen options. He had two eighty six or whatever.
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And because I am so confident, I will I will defer my pick to the second half and I will let you pick first.
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With the first pick in the first round of the best legal movies of all time, who do you select, Bill?
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I select my cousin Vinnie. OK, pretty obvious. Go ahead. Are you ready, Bill? The hits are the hits for a reason.
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Yeah, I'm ready. And go. OK, so the thing to remember and understand about my cousin Vinnie, first of all, it's just hilarious.
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It's an excellent movie. It's super funny. Marisa Tomei won a best supporting actress nod for it.
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It consistently wins the various Bar Association polls about the favorite legal movies among lawyers.
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And one of the reasons for that, in addition to just plain being funny, is it's actually pretty competent and realistic when it comes to its portrayal of the law.
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Unlike what I think you will see with a lot of the movies selected later on this list, many of the best scenes in my cousin Vinnie are actual courtroom scenes,
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examinations of witnesses, things that are handled with a certain kind of detail and knowledge that comes from the fact that one of the main writers of the movie was apparently an attorney
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and knew enough about the law and favored realism in the approach.
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You've got scenes about tendering expert witnesses. You've got cross examinations. You've got competent evidentiary objections.
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I am happy to go in detail through the specific legal matters in this movie. It's a winner.
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Time. Is that all you got? Is that it? Well, I mean, the floor is now yours, counselor.
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So your arguments why my cousin Vinnie and I love my cousin Vinnie and it deserves to be in the top five.
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But it's not the greatest legal best legal movie of all time. And your argument is that it was selected by the Bar Association.
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You're relying on the opinions of our colleagues as the best legal movie. It makes sense unless you know them.
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OK, I don't have a lot of confidence in the thought process and movie selection by our legal community.
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The courtroom scenes. Great point. But they're not true.
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You never dealt into the accuracy of the legal content. And for that reason, my cousin Vinnie great movie, but not the best legal movie of all time.
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OK, let's talk about the accuracy of the movie. And obviously any movie is going to fudge the details a little bit here and there.
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Right. They don't delve into the specifics of pro hoc Vichay admission when it comes to getting Vinnie admitted to practice law in the state of Alabama when he's only licensed in New York.
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OK, they took some liberties there. You tell me one other movie that is able to both realistically and humorously deal with such a dry concept as tendering an expert witness.
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Your Honor, Ms. Vito's expertise is in general automotive knowledge. It is in this area that her testimony will be applicable.
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Now, if Mr. Trujada wishes to voir dire witness as to the extent of her expertise in this area, I'm sure he's going to be more than satisfied.
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Now, Ms. Vito, being an expert on general automotive knowledge, can you tell me what would the correct ignition timing be on a 1955 Bel Air Chevrolet with a three twenty seven cubic inch engine and a four barrel carburetor?
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It's a bullshit question.
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Does that mean that you can't answer it?
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It's a bullshit question. It's impossible to answer.
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It's impossible because you don't know the answer.
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Nobody could answer that question.
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Your Honor, I move to disqualify Ms. Vito as an expert witness.
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Can you answer the question?
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No, it is a trick question.
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Why is it a trick question?
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Because Chevy didn't make a three twenty seven in 55. The three twenty seven didn't come out until sixty two. And it wasn't offered in the Bel Air with a four barrel carb till sixty four.
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However, in 1964, the correct ignition timing would be four degrees before top dead center.
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OK, so there is the oft overlooked in legal movies actions of a dire of a witness and tendering an expert witness to qualify them to render opinions.
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Most watchers don't even necessarily know that an expert witness has to be tendered.
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But the person who wrote this movie and put it together did. And it's you know, it's a humorous version of it.
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But clearly, Ms. Vito demonstrates her knowledge amply.
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In addition to the tendering of an expert, I'd like to compare the two different crosses of a witness by the name of Mr.
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Tipton, who you may also know as Gritz guy.
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I think it's an illustrative point of what a good cross, a movie cross, but a good cross looks like and the damage that can happen if you ask the wrong questions on cross examination.
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Now, when you viewed my clients, how far away were you?
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About 50 feet.
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Oh, do you think that that's close enough to make an accurate?
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Mr. Tipton, I see you wear eyeglasses.
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Well, would you care to show those eyeglasses to the jury?
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Please. Thank you.
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Thank you. Now, Mr. Tipton, were you wearing the matte day?
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Yes, you see, you were 50 feet away.
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You made a positive eyewitness identification.
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And and and and and and yet you were not wearing your necessary prescription eyeglasses.
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They read in glasses.
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Could you tell the court what color eyes the defendants have?
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No more questions.
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OK, and so now compare that and mind you, up to this point in the movie, the openings hinted at a little bit.
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Basically, the public defender whose cross examination we just heard has has thus far been the more competent attorney or the you know, at the very least, he has been better than Vinny has, who has only had kind of disaster after disaster ensued every procedural step along the way.
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But we're about to undergo a kind of significant change in what his character and his performance as an attorney looks like.
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And it starts with this cross.
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So this is a bit of a long clip, I grant you.
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But, you know, I think it's worth the ride.
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Mr. Tipton, when you viewed the defendants walking from their car into the sack of suds, what angle was your point of view?
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They was kind of walking toward me when they entered the store.
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And when they left, what angle was your point of view?
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It was kind of walking away from me.
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So would you say you got a better shot of them going in and not so much coming out?
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You could say that.
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I did say that. Would you say that?
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Is it possible to two youths?
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To what? What was that word?
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Did you say youths?
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Yeah, two youths.
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What is a youth?
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Oh, excuse me, Your Honor. Two youths.
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Is it possible the two defendants entered the store, picked 22 specific items off of the shelves, had the clerk take money, make change, then leave?
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Then two different men drive up in a similar- don't shake your head, I'm not done yet.
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Wait till you hear the whole thing so you can understand this now.
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Two different men drive up in a similar looking car, go in, shoot the clerk, rob him, and then leave?
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No. They didn't have enough time.
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Well, how much time was they in the store?
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Five minutes? Are you sure? Did you look at your watch?
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You testified earlier that the boys went into the store and you had just begun to make breakfast. You were just ready to eat and you heard a gunshot. That's right, I'm sorry.
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So obviously it takes you five minutes to make breakfast.
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Right, so you knew that. Do you remember what you had?
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Eggs and grits.
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Eggs and grits. I like grits too. How do you cook your grits? You like them regular, creamy, or al dente?
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Just regular, I guess.
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Regular. Instinct grits?
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No self-respecting Southerner uses instinct grits. I take pride in my grits.
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So, Mr. Tipton, how could it take you five minutes to cook your grits when it takes the entire grit-eating world twenty minutes?
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I don't know. I'm a fast cook, I guess.
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I'm sorry, I was all the way over here, I couldn't hear you. Did you say you're a fast cook? That's it?
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Are we to believe that boiling water soaks into a grit faster in your kitchen than on any place on the face of the earth?
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I don't know.
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Well, perhaps the laws of physics cease to exist on your stove. Were these magic grits? I mean, did you buy them from the same guy who sold Jack his bean-sauce beans?
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Objection, Your Honor.
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Are you sure about that five minutes?
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Are you sure about that five minutes?
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I don't know. I think you made your point.
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Are you sure about that five minutes?
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I may have been mistaken.
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I got no more use for this guy.
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Hey, Bill, I just want to talk first about, I do love that cross-examination. That is one of the greatest courtroom cross-examinations you will ever see, right?
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But what it makes me think of is you don't know what kind of trial lawyer you have until you actually see them in court.
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And if you're not sure you have an experienced lawyer, you're at great risk. Is that fair?
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It's fair. But it's also such a great illustration of, you know, you tell young attorneys coming up not to ask questions on cross-examination you don't know the answers to, right?
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And we see Vinnie earlier on going to do his interview with the witness. So he's prepared. He knows what the answers and the timing are going to be.
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We don't see that from the public defender. And what do you have him doing? Oh, I got you on this glasses front.
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No, they're reading glasses. He didn't know the simple facts. You can't cross-examine a witness because he's got prescription glasses without knowing if he's far-sighted or near-sighted.
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And then to ask him to identify the eye color of the of the defendants, which he then does watch me prove how good I am right here in front of the jury.
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Oh, it's brutal. It's it's such a great example of of how an attorney can really botch examination, you know, by asking questions they don't know the answer to.
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Yeah. You wonder if they were sick the day they taught law at law school, right?
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And meanwhile, you know, you know, Vinnie's cross-examination is such an example of kind of having the patience to draw it out, laying in wait.
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And obviously, the drama at the end, you know, of him continuing to ask questions over top of the judge's gavel.
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You don't want to do that in an actual courtroom. Most of the time, the judge is not going to be happy with you. But it makes for great TV drama.
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Would you call Danny DeVito a good lawyer or a great lawyer in this movie?
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I would I would call Joe Pesci a good lawyer in this movie.
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You know, not all short Italian guys are the same. No, they strike all of that. Maybe.
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I love that scene, too, Bill. I mean, it actually is interesting, the scene where they're quantifying Marissa Tomei as an expert, because that is the actual practice of law.
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That if you want to be an expert testifying at a trial, it's not necessarily that you have to have a Ph.D. or a master's.
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It's really do you have the experience, knowledge and information to help a juror understand basic information?
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And she was able to be qualified in this movie as an expert.
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Ms. Vito, what's your current profession? I'm an out of work hairdresser. Out of work hairdresser.
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Now, in what way does that qualify you as an expert in automobiles? It doesn't.
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Well, in what way are you qualified? Well, my father was a mechanic.
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His father was a mechanic. My mother's father was a mechanic.
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My three brothers are mechanics. Four uncles on my father's side are mechanics.
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Ms. Vito, your family's obviously qualified. But have you ever worked as a mechanic?
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Yeah, in my father's garage, yeah. What do you do in your father's garage?
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Tune ups, oil changes, brake relining, engine rebuilds, rebuild some trannies, rear ends.
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OK, OK. But does being an ex-mechanic necessarily qualify you as being an expert on tire marks?
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No. Thank you. Goodbye.
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Sit down and stay there until you're told to leave.
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Great scene. And I would designate that was factually accurate.
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Well, let me add one more before we move on. And this is not a comedic high of the movie.
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But I think it shows the subtle craft that the writers did with my cousin Vinnie in really understanding the law and the courtroom.
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And that's the cross-examination of the state's tire expert, this Mr. Wilbur. So let's listen to that.
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Is it possible two separate cars could be driving on Michelin model XGV 75R14s?
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Let me ask you this. What's the best-selling single model tire being sold in the United States today?
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The Michelin XGV.
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And what's the most popular size?
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The same size as on the defendant's car?
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But two faded green 1964 Buick Skylark convertibles?
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Excuse me. Why am I asking you? Is if the most popular size of the most popular tire is on the defendant's car?
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Look, here's something I don't think I've ever seen anywhere else.
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It's an incredible example of how you cross-examine, in this case, an expert you had very little notice on.
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But he kept the questioning short. He stayed only to the places where he could kind of keep the expert from running off the rails.
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This is just a really good example of what an effective cross-examination of an expert looks like.
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And it's not fireworks and it's not gotcha moments.
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It's just a good, solid example of cross-examination written by someone who obviously knows what that means.
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Yeah, I did love the cross-examination from a legal perspective. It is an excellent cross-examination.
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It's short. It's simple. He goes slow.
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And most importantly, he allows the expert to act like an expert.
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You know, he get he elicits answers that the expert wants to give him in an order to catch him.
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So it's a great classic examination and a great lesson for young lawyers that long and wild isn't always the way to be.
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So that's it. That's my case, right?
00:19:24,000 --> 00:19:28,000
Obviously, like any movie and especially a comedy, there's some liberties taken here.
00:19:28,000 --> 00:19:35,000
But as far as the way they actually handle the in courtroom examinations and the mechanics of it,
00:19:35,000 --> 00:19:44,000
there aren't many examples you're going to find in the cinema that are going to top those for excellent and entertaining, you know, legal movies.
00:19:44,000 --> 00:19:48,000
Excellent. All right. Well, look, it's not a bad selection.
00:19:48,000 --> 00:19:52,000
You're like the Steelers when they select a linebacker in the first round instead of a quarterback.
00:19:52,000 --> 00:19:57,000
But when you look at my first round selection, I select quarterbacks because I want to win Super Bowls.
00:19:57,000 --> 00:19:59,000
And I want to win this little competition today.
00:19:59,000 --> 00:20:13,000
So my first pick overall is a 1992 movie with a cast that includes Jack Nicholson, Tom Cruise, Demi Moore, Kevin Bacon, Kiefer Sutherland, Kevin Pullock and Cuba Gooding Jr.
00:20:13,000 --> 00:20:21,000
OK, it's a few good men. 1992. Are you ready, Noah? I'm always ready.
00:20:21,000 --> 00:20:23,000
All right. Here we go. And begin.
00:20:23,000 --> 00:20:29,000
Best legal movie of all time, hands down, is A Few Good Men. It has the greatest legal cast of all time.
00:20:29,000 --> 00:20:34,000
It has the greatest legal movie scenes of all time.
00:20:34,000 --> 00:20:40,000
And it has the most memorable line of any legal movie in the history of legal movies.
00:20:40,000 --> 00:20:43,000
I want the truth. You can't handle the truth.
00:20:43,000 --> 00:20:47,000
But it's just the beginning of the great lines in this movie.
00:20:47,000 --> 00:20:53,000
They include lines of I have a responsibility that you cannot fathom.
00:20:53,000 --> 00:20:59,000
Son, we live in a world that has walls and those walls have to be guarded by men with guns. Who's going to do it?
00:20:59,000 --> 00:21:06,000
You, you, Lieutenant Weinberg. I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom.
00:21:06,000 --> 00:21:11,000
You weep for Santiago and you curse the Marines. You have that luxury.
00:21:11,000 --> 00:21:17,000
You have the luxury of not knowing what I know, that Santiago's death while tragic probably saved lives.
00:21:17,000 --> 00:21:23,000
And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives.
00:21:23,000 --> 00:21:30,000
Greatest cast, greatest scenes. It involves murder. It involves military.
00:21:30,000 --> 00:21:40,000
And it is way more entertaining from a legal basis on the amount of time they spend in the courtroom than my cousin Vin.
00:21:40,000 --> 00:21:45,000
I would be interested in seeing how the numbers work out as far as which of these two movies,
00:21:45,000 --> 00:21:49,000
one of which A Few Good Men assuredly has a much longer runtime than does My Cousin Vinny.
00:21:49,000 --> 00:21:53,000
But what percentage of those movies are actually spent in the courtroom?
00:21:53,000 --> 00:21:59,000
I rather suspect there's more courtroom scenes, more meat on those bones in My Cousin Vinny than there is in A Few Good Men.
00:21:59,000 --> 00:22:04,000
Look, A Few Good Men is a great movie. It's given the name of our podcast for goodness sake.
00:22:04,000 --> 00:22:12,000
Objection overruled. Oh, no, no, no. No, I strenuously object. Oh, wow. Strenuously object and I should take some time to reconsider.
00:22:12,000 --> 00:22:19,000
I'm not here to run down A Few Good Men. You Can't Handle the Truth is a great line.
00:22:19,000 --> 00:22:28,000
Honestly, other than that cross-examination, nothing else that happens in an actual courtroom in A Few Good Men is particularly memorable.
00:22:28,000 --> 00:22:35,000
The other stuff is good. It's a well-acted movie. It's an interesting movie. It keeps your attention throughout.
00:22:35,000 --> 00:22:42,000
But if what I want is courtroom fireworks, I have one really big firework and that's it. That's the list.
00:22:42,000 --> 00:22:49,000
That's awful because what holds your attention more than the drama of the courtroom scenes in A Few Good Men?
00:22:49,000 --> 00:22:56,000
I mean, the cross-examination of Jack Nicholson, the scenes where he wouldn't answer the question
00:22:56,000 --> 00:23:02,000
and the judge forces him to answer the question and not let him leave the witness stand, that is legally and factually accurate.
00:23:02,000 --> 00:23:13,000
That is how it plays out. Stopping a murder trial in the middle that acquits two accused individuals and ending the trial.
00:23:13,000 --> 00:23:17,000
What is more dramatic than that, Bill? It is the best legal movie of all time.
00:23:17,000 --> 00:23:22,000
All right. Look, I think you just lost by forfeit. The trial doesn't end in an acquittal.
00:23:22,000 --> 00:23:27,000
The trial goes to a verdict and the defendants are still convicted of conduct unbecoming.
00:23:27,000 --> 00:23:35,000
You have completely incorrectly remembered the end of this memorable, wrapped movie of yours. I think that's it. I went in a walk.
00:23:35,000 --> 00:23:39,000
Okay. It's time for my evaluation of both your presentations.
00:23:39,000 --> 00:23:46,000
To our listeners, though, I want to say before I do this that if you disagree with my decision or you just flat out think that I got it wrong,
00:23:46,000 --> 00:23:56,000
please let us know in the comments on Instagram at I strenuously object podcast or you can send us an email at I object at PGH firm dot com.
00:23:56,000 --> 00:24:00,000
And we'll read and probably debate your comments in a future episode.
00:24:00,000 --> 00:24:09,000
Okay. So anyway, first, I love that in cousin Vinny, he goes so far to get the accent right that he says acts instead of ask.
00:24:09,000 --> 00:24:13,000
That is our little touch that I think is is brilliant.
00:24:13,000 --> 00:24:19,000
I like the fact that you two guys are debating the accuracy of these movies, the legal accuracy.
00:24:19,000 --> 00:24:28,000
One of the things that I dislike is when movies go too far away from the truth, the accuracy of whatever it is they're talking about just to create drama.
00:24:28,000 --> 00:24:34,000
My uncle was a pilot and he says almost every movie that shows flying is wrong in some way.
00:24:34,000 --> 00:24:38,000
He can't enjoy flying movies at all. He just can't do it.
00:24:38,000 --> 00:24:48,000
So the fact that you both are very passionate about these two movies and also see them as very accurate is puts them in high regard for sure.
00:24:48,000 --> 00:24:53,000
Now, I must also say, full disclosure, I've never seen either one of these movies.
00:24:53,000 --> 00:24:59,000
So I am relying only on what I know in pop culture and what I've just been presented right here.
00:24:59,000 --> 00:25:03,000
So I'm probably the perfect person to to judge these two presentations.
00:25:03,000 --> 00:25:09,000
I have not seen the movies. So which presentation makes me want to see the movie is what I'm going for.
00:25:09,000 --> 00:25:15,000
The problem with A Few Good Men is that that line is obviously the climax of the film.
00:25:15,000 --> 00:25:27,000
So that we've I've seen the pinnacle moment of that film so many times in popular culture that it's not it cannot possibly have the same experience.
00:25:27,000 --> 00:25:32,000
The first time you guys saw that movie and didn't know that that line was coming or that moment was coming.
00:25:32,000 --> 00:25:47,000
So in that sense, like the drama of that whole courtroom scene kind of is taken away in the same way that in 2001, the also Sprock Zarathustra theme has been so overused that it has no it doesn't have the grandeur anymore
00:25:47,000 --> 00:25:53,000
because we've heard it in commercials and things like that. It kind of robs it of its power.
00:25:53,000 --> 00:25:58,000
On the other hand, My Cousin Vinny, a comedy is lighter and easier to watch.
00:25:58,000 --> 00:26:13,000
So it's more appealing in that way. And to know that it also contains a certain elements of real accurate legal proceedings kind of intrigues me to see that this light what seems to be a light comedy actually has some real law.
00:26:13,000 --> 00:26:21,000
And I didn't know it was written by a lawyer. So that kind of I'm leaning towards My Cousin Vinny for those reasons.
00:26:21,000 --> 00:26:31,000
Well, I give kudos where kudos are due. Bill, you win round one from a guy who's never seen either movie, which is why I still think you may be a better lawyer than me. But that's OK.
00:26:31,000 --> 00:26:39,000
One nothing. Yale Bill. That's right. I'll take my early lead. But you you get to take the honors now, right?
00:26:39,000 --> 00:26:50,000
I will take the honors now and we'll alternate. But that's fine. I'll lick my wounds. We'll go to the second round.
00:26:50,000 --> 00:26:55,000
With the second selection in the best legal movies of all time.
00:26:55,000 --> 00:26:58,000
I am selecting.
00:26:58,000 --> 00:27:00,000
00:27:00,000 --> 00:27:03,000
With Matthew. OK.
00:27:03,000 --> 00:27:07,000
And you want to start me.
00:27:07,000 --> 00:27:09,000
00:27:09,000 --> 00:27:21,000
So the Rainmaker 1997 Matt Damon's a rookie lawyer. He's a real maverick. Can't fit in anywhere. So he he meets this bruiser, this older lawyer who runs some strip joints.
00:27:21,000 --> 00:27:27,000
And he doesn't have any work and the guy offers him just a percentage of what he makes. So it's all about this young hungry lawyer.
00:27:27,000 --> 00:27:37,000
And he ends up signing up this insurance fraud case. And from a legal perspective, this deserves to be at the top of the best legal movies of all time because of the legal drama associated with it.
00:27:37,000 --> 00:27:52,000
It not only has from the beginning to the end of an entire case, including a very dramatic trial, it also has a shocking courtroom moment involving a cross examination of Jackie LeManchic, which I will play in a moment.
00:27:52,000 --> 00:28:11,000
But and it also has a victory of a single young lawyer over a team of seven lawyers and the David Glyath legal drama that unfolds in the Rainmaker makes it one of the best legal movies of all time.
00:28:11,000 --> 00:28:14,000
The Rainmaker is fine. I like the Rainmaker well enough.
00:28:14,000 --> 00:28:31,000
I don't think it merits a pick this high in our order. And I'll point out that part of the reason for that is the key plot point here of the the missing subsection U, which is then discovered and introduced into evidence and is quote unquote stolen work papers.
00:28:31,000 --> 00:28:49,000
Like there's some sort of specific stolen work papers statue that John the statute that John Voight keeps talking about is a ludicrous artifice. There is no judge who's going to not allow that information when it becomes clear that the copy of the manual produced in discovery was missing a section.
00:28:49,000 --> 00:29:01,000
Now the day of trial you found this section and John Voight says well they stole it. The court doesn't care that they stole it. The court cares that they lied to you during discovery and didn't provide it. It gets in immediately.
00:29:01,000 --> 00:29:09,000
Bruiser doesn't have to call in from afar to point them in the direction of the applicable case law that is immediately admissible. No drama.
00:29:09,000 --> 00:29:12,000
Where's the time limit on this? Isn't he on a time limit?
00:29:12,000 --> 00:29:37,000
Did we throw the response time limit out the window? Let me just add this and I'll get back to your section U and I want to play the clip. But not only does this have the beginning to the end, this also has the greatest deposition scene of all time because we've seen this happen before where Matt Damon's going to go to a deposition and he goes into this big law firm and there's six, seven lawyers on the other side and he asks for the person who he noticed and the other side said well he's not here.
00:29:37,000 --> 00:29:44,000
I think maybe it's appropriate to start with the corporate designee Jack Underhall here.
00:29:44,000 --> 00:29:47,000
I don't think so.
00:29:47,000 --> 00:29:48,000
I beg your pardon.
00:29:48,000 --> 00:29:53,000
Well you heard me. I wanted to start with Jackie Lemanchick, the claims handler.
00:29:53,000 --> 00:29:56,000
I think it's best we start with Mr. Underhall.
00:29:56,000 --> 00:30:08,000
With all due respect Mr. Duman, this is my deposition. I'm going to call these witnesses in the order in which I see fit. So I'd like to start with Jackie Lemanchick. Maybe we should just go call the judge.
00:30:08,000 --> 00:30:12,000
Oh I don't believe we have to get pugilistic this time of the morning.
00:30:12,000 --> 00:30:15,000
I'm not in the meaning to be pugilistic.
00:30:15,000 --> 00:30:22,000
We're simply having a little problem with Jackie Lemanchick, this Polish woman.
00:30:22,000 --> 00:30:25,000
What sort of problem?
00:30:25,000 --> 00:30:28,000
She doesn't work here anymore.
00:30:28,000 --> 00:30:30,000
Was she fired?
00:30:30,000 --> 00:30:32,000
00:30:32,000 --> 00:30:34,000
Well where is she now?
00:30:34,000 --> 00:30:47,000
Well she's no longer working for our client and we can't produce her as a witness so let's move along.
00:30:47,000 --> 00:30:52,000
All right, Russell Crockett. Anybody in the room named Russell Crockett?
00:30:52,000 --> 00:30:56,000
He's gone too. Downsized.
00:30:56,000 --> 00:31:00,000
Downsized? What a coincidence.
00:31:00,000 --> 00:31:02,000
Clients going through a periodic downsizing.
00:31:02,000 --> 00:31:05,000
Yeah well that will happen won't it?
00:31:05,000 --> 00:31:11,000
How about Everett Lufkin, Vice President of Claims? Has he been downsized too?
00:31:11,000 --> 00:31:14,000
No, he's here.
00:31:14,000 --> 00:31:17,000
You're Everett Lufkin?
00:31:17,000 --> 00:31:30,000
My congratulations Mr. Lufkin on your miraculous survival of the carnage of late here at Great Benefit.
00:31:30,000 --> 00:31:40,000
I may not be 100% today but I'm here in spirit.
00:31:40,000 --> 00:31:43,000
00:31:43,000 --> 00:31:44,000
00:31:44,000 --> 00:31:51,000
I'm just wondering, do you even remember when you first sold out?
00:31:51,000 --> 00:31:56,000
Now you're an arrogant little peasant aren't you?
00:31:56,000 --> 00:32:00,000
I advise you mind your manners. You're in the big water now.
00:32:00,000 --> 00:32:10,000
Mind my manners? I come up here from Memphis to depose four people, two of whom are not here.
00:32:10,000 --> 00:32:13,000
Can you tell me to mind my manners?
00:32:13,000 --> 00:32:17,000
What's your dime? What's your call son?
00:32:17,000 --> 00:32:24,000
I'm going to depose him, Mr. Lufkin over there. Then I'm on back up and I'm going to go back to Memphis.
00:32:24,000 --> 00:32:27,000
Tell me you didn't enjoy that part at least.
00:32:27,000 --> 00:32:36,000
Oh it was fun and it's exactly how I would expect a firm of that stature representing an insurance company of that size to behave.
00:32:36,000 --> 00:32:46,000
As a plaintiff's attorney, it's a little bit dialed up to 11 but I love the way they portray the insurance company and the insurance company's lawyers in this.
00:32:46,000 --> 00:32:50,000
And the way that they just deny all the claims as a matter of course.
00:32:50,000 --> 00:33:00,000
But I do offer as my second exhibit of Unrealism, there is this ridiculous jury selection scene that goes on.
00:33:00,000 --> 00:33:12,000
And it's fun drama, right? Matt Damon knows that his office has been bugged by opposing counsel so they have a make believe conversation with a fake juror where it looks like this juror is on the take.
00:33:12,000 --> 00:33:17,000
And they manage to get John Voight or whatever his character's name is to walk into the trap.
00:33:17,000 --> 00:33:21,000
But the trap itself makes no sense. Anyway, let's play the clip first.
00:33:21,000 --> 00:33:29,000
Ladies and gentlemen, what I'm about to ask is the most important question of the day.
00:33:29,000 --> 00:33:35,000
It's a simple question, can be answered yes or no. Listen carefully.
00:33:35,000 --> 00:33:42,000
Have any of you all been contacted about this case?
00:33:42,000 --> 00:33:46,000
This is serious business. Bingo.
00:33:46,000 --> 00:33:49,000
We need to know now.
00:33:49,000 --> 00:33:52,000
Let me ask it another way.
00:33:52,000 --> 00:34:01,000
Did any of you all have a conversation recently either Mr. Rudy Baylor or directly behind him is the debt shipper? Objection, your honor.
00:34:01,000 --> 00:34:04,000
This is an outrage. What are you doing, Mr. Drummond?
00:34:04,000 --> 00:34:09,000
Your honor, we have reason to believe that this panel has been tampered with.
00:34:09,000 --> 00:34:13,000
He's accusing me. I don't understand what you're doing, Mr. Drummond.
00:34:13,000 --> 00:34:19,000
Well, neither do I, your honor. Neither do I. Approach to the bench, please.
00:34:19,000 --> 00:34:23,000
Your honor, this panel has been tampered with. Who approved for you?
00:34:23,000 --> 00:34:27,000
I can't say without divulging confidential information on them.
00:34:27,000 --> 00:34:30,000
You're just out of your mind. You're acting rather bizarrely.
00:34:30,000 --> 00:34:33,000
I think I can prove it.
00:34:33,000 --> 00:34:38,000
He's accused us of something like that? Tampered with our own behind. It's ridiculous.
00:34:38,000 --> 00:34:42,000
Just allow me to finish questioning the panel. I think the truth will come forth.
00:34:42,000 --> 00:34:45,000
Any objection, Mr. Baylor?
00:34:45,000 --> 00:34:48,000
No objection. Very well, proceed.
00:34:48,000 --> 00:34:50,000
00:34:52,000 --> 00:34:55,000
What in the Sam Hill is going on out there?
00:34:55,000 --> 00:34:58,000
I've got just lawyer stuff.
00:34:58,000 --> 00:35:09,000
Mr. Porter, I'm going to ask you a direct question, and I'd appreciate an honest response.
00:35:09,000 --> 00:35:13,000
You ask an honest question, I'll give you an honest answer.
00:35:13,000 --> 00:35:21,000
Fair enough. Did you, Mr. Porter, or did you not have a phone conversation a few days ago with Mr. Rudy Baylor?
00:35:21,000 --> 00:35:23,000
00:35:23,000 --> 00:35:26,000
I thought you were going to give me an honest answer.
00:35:26,000 --> 00:35:28,000
I gave you an honest answer.
00:35:28,000 --> 00:35:30,000
Are you sure, Mr. Porter?
00:35:30,000 --> 00:35:32,000
I'm damn sure.
00:35:32,000 --> 00:35:41,000
Mr. Porter, in a courthouse, in a courthouse in the United States, in a courthouse of justice, state of Tennessee, I say you did not provide an honest answer.
00:35:41,000 --> 00:35:43,000
Don't call me a liar.
00:35:43,000 --> 00:35:45,000
Oh, you're a liar.
00:35:45,000 --> 00:35:47,000
Get out of the court!
00:35:47,000 --> 00:35:49,000
Hey, get up on your knees!
00:35:49,000 --> 00:35:51,000
Get out of the court!
00:35:51,000 --> 00:35:54,000
Look, what is he trying to accomplish?
00:35:54,000 --> 00:36:02,000
Yes, he gets a guy who he thinks is a bad juror for him thrown off the jury. He has peremptory challenges. He can just do that.
00:36:02,000 --> 00:36:09,000
He doesn't need to run this scam of getting the guy to jump out of the jury box and attack John Voight.
00:36:09,000 --> 00:36:12,000
When that happens, OK, I say when that happens.
00:36:12,000 --> 00:36:18,000
I assume in the history of the law, some prospective juror has physically attacked an attorney once, right?
00:36:18,000 --> 00:36:24,000
But if that were to ever happen, the whole jury gets excused. You start over selection again.
00:36:24,000 --> 00:36:31,000
This isn't like some sort of waivable prejudice where the judge is going to let the rest of the jury who just saw this happen sit.
00:36:31,000 --> 00:36:36,000
Like, congratulations, you've now got all of those jurors thrown out and you have to start again.
00:36:36,000 --> 00:36:39,000
That's all that you would actually accomplish with this strategy.
00:36:39,000 --> 00:36:47,000
Well, you know, the only thing I'll say in response to that is, number one, John Voight is a fabulous lawyer in this movie.
00:36:47,000 --> 00:36:56,000
And if you enjoy entertainment and legal drama, he's he's he is the prototypical lawyer and he's really good.
00:36:56,000 --> 00:37:01,000
Hey, you don't think? Sure, that's John Voight's pencil.
00:37:01,000 --> 00:37:03,000
John Voight's teeth marks.
00:37:03,000 --> 00:37:14,000
But I agree with you on that hold. Getting that juror dismissed was factually inaccurate, though that may have little to do with being ranked in the best legal movies of all time.
00:37:14,000 --> 00:37:18,000
One more one more clip from the Rainmaker that I think is worth noting.
00:37:18,000 --> 00:37:21,000
As the jury reached the verdict. Yes, we have, Your Honor.
00:37:21,000 --> 00:37:26,000
Is it written on paper according to my instructions? Yes, sir. Please read the verdict.
00:37:26,000 --> 00:37:38,000
We, the jury, fine for the plaintiff and award actual damages in the amount of one hundred and fifty thousand dollars.
00:37:38,000 --> 00:37:51,000
And we, the jury, fine for the plaintiff and award punitive damages in the amount of fifty million dollars.
00:37:51,000 --> 00:37:56,000
Bill, have you ever heard words so beautiful in all your life?
00:37:56,000 --> 00:38:09,000
It's a great award. On the other hand, that punitive damages award is so far in excess of the compensatory damages that in any state in the union, even the ones that don't have established law that they have to be proportional.
00:38:09,000 --> 00:38:12,000
Congratulations. You just found yourself grounds for an appeal.
00:38:12,000 --> 00:38:24,000
I don't understand why the movie ends with the insurance company declaring bankruptcy. All the insurance company is going to do is file an appeal and then settle the case for significantly less than the fifty million dollars that was awarded.
00:38:24,000 --> 00:38:30,000
All right. Second round pick kid. You're up. So, Bill, what's your next offering?
00:38:30,000 --> 00:38:40,000
With my second selection, the fourth overall pick and the second of the second round, I select the Devil's Advocate.
00:38:40,000 --> 00:38:47,000
Are you ready to begin? Oh, I am. You would.
00:38:47,000 --> 00:38:56,000
And go. Okay. So this movie, I am a sucker for apocalyptic thrillers and drama of this sort.
00:38:56,000 --> 00:39:04,000
This one happens to take place in the in the context of a law firm and has some really excellent court scenes on top of everything else.
00:39:04,000 --> 00:39:13,000
But I mean, this is shouty Al Pacino at his shouty Al Pacino best. It's Keanu Reeves doing the opposite fish out of water as my cousin Vinny.
00:39:13,000 --> 00:39:31,000
Right. My cousin Vinny was a New Yorker down in the South. Here we got a southerner up in New York talking with a little bit of drawl and, you know, turning out to have been the spoiler alert here, turning out to have been the the child of Satan and hired by the law firm run by his father.
00:39:31,000 --> 00:39:37,000
It takes some twists and turns in there that if you start off thinking legal drama, you don't quite see coming.
00:39:37,000 --> 00:39:44,000
But it's an interesting play on the exact dynamic you see in so many of these movies. Young hotshot lawyer called up to the big leagues.
00:39:44,000 --> 00:39:51,000
They're throwing money at him and it's going to change his life. We see that all the time. But I'm not with the devil.
00:39:51,000 --> 00:40:01,000
Yeah. OK. Look, I love Al Pacino. I love the devil's advocate, but it also contains the worst movie line and acting performance of all time.
00:40:01,000 --> 00:40:10,000
I don't lose. I win. I win. I'm a lawyer. That's my job. That's what I do.
00:40:10,000 --> 00:40:25,000
OK, it doesn't deserve to be in the top five. Not only that, it wasn't believable from a legal basis. I mean, this criminal defense lawyer is licensed in New York and then he immediately gets this murder trial.
00:40:25,000 --> 00:40:33,000
And then he unethically puts his witness on the stand, even though she he knows she's lying. And there's the great scene. How do you know she's lying?
00:40:33,000 --> 00:40:40,000
So I'm glad you went second round. I feel confident on the Rainmaker in terms of best legal movies.
00:40:40,000 --> 00:40:49,000
Is it bad that my immediate response here is, first of all, to want to to make reference back to the Rainmaker when the judge is yelling at him to get a license?
00:40:49,000 --> 00:40:56,000
Where is Mr. Stone? Honestly, your honor, I don't know. He was supposed to meet me here and I don't know where he is.
00:40:56,000 --> 00:41:02,000
Well, why doesn't that surprise me? So what do you want? You want to continue?
00:41:02,000 --> 00:41:09,000
No, your honor, I am prepared to argue this motion. Are you a lawyer?
00:41:09,000 --> 00:41:18,000
Well, I just just pass a bar and these are my clients. Mr. Stone filed this on my behalf until I pass a bar.
00:41:18,000 --> 00:41:25,000
Well, you got a hell of a lot of nerve walking into my courtroom without a license. Now get the hell out of here. Get your license and then you come back.
00:41:25,000 --> 00:41:28,000
Get a license. Come back when you got a damn license.
00:41:28,000 --> 00:41:37,000
Look, we're talking about a movie where Satan himself is running a law firm because it lets him get his get his fingers into everything.
00:41:37,000 --> 00:41:44,000
Right. We're not expecting the heights of realism here, although I would submit and will propose for your acceptance.
00:41:44,000 --> 00:41:50,000
The Rainmaker had a jury selection scene that we both just talked about and how how problematic and unrealistic it is.
00:41:50,000 --> 00:41:57,000
I give you what I think is a much more realistic depiction of jury selection from the devil's advocate.
00:41:57,000 --> 00:42:02,000
I think Keanu here is consulting on jury selection.
00:42:02,000 --> 00:42:05,000
All right, Mr. Plintine, let me ask you this.
00:42:05,000 --> 00:42:12,000
Do you think as a juror you would be able to set aside any prior opinion you might hold about the savings alone industry?
00:42:12,000 --> 00:42:19,000
That was a question, sir. What do I like bankers? Your honor, may I have a minute, please, to confer with my colleagues?
00:42:19,000 --> 00:42:27,000
You may. While you're at it, let's get rid of number four, six, and I'd say lose number 12, except the prosecutor's gonna fuck up and do it for us.
00:42:27,000 --> 00:42:32,000
Number six? You're kidding, right? She's my first choice. She's my first pass.
00:42:32,000 --> 00:42:39,000
And four? With the dreadlocks? That's crazy. That's a defendant's juror if I ever saw one of his.
00:42:39,000 --> 00:42:41,000
Did you see his shoes?
00:42:41,000 --> 00:42:49,000
Look, kid, maybe down in Florida you are the next big thing. This is New York, Manhattan. We're not squeezing oranges here.
00:42:49,000 --> 00:43:02,000
He polishes those shoes every night. He makes his own clothes. He may look like a brother with an attitude to you, but I see a man with a shotgun under his bed and woe betide the creature who steps into his garden.
00:43:02,000 --> 00:43:13,000
And number six? Your favorite? She's damaged goods. She's a Catholic school teacher. Believes in human frailty?
00:43:13,000 --> 00:43:21,000
No. There's something missing from her. She's wrong. She wants on this jury. Somebody hurt her and she wants revenge.
00:43:21,000 --> 00:43:26,000
How the hell do you know that? I don't know.
00:43:26,000 --> 00:43:32,000
What I want to point out here is the way in which Keanu is basically a magician, right?
00:43:32,000 --> 00:43:41,000
He just looks at these jurors and he knows that one's got psychological damage and is trying to get on this jury to punish someone.
00:43:41,000 --> 00:43:45,000
I think that more accurately reflects what real jury selection looks like.
00:43:45,000 --> 00:43:53,000
None of us really know, you're guessing based on virtually no information, which of these people is on your side and which of them is not.
00:43:53,000 --> 00:43:59,000
It helps, I suppose, if you're some sort of demon spawn to have the sort of magical powers in question.
00:43:59,000 --> 00:44:12,000
But I think it's an interesting take on an area where the general public and frankly most attorneys, we're all playing guessing games on that, right?
00:44:12,000 --> 00:44:19,000
Yeah. And I think it's another reason why your movie just fell on the sword or you fell on the sword because I think that argument you just said kind of hurt you.
00:44:19,000 --> 00:44:24,000
But look, I want to help you. I want to bring you back up. I'm about empowering people. Great lines.
00:44:24,000 --> 00:44:33,000
I mean, are we negotiating? A lot of potential clients down there. Are we negotiating? Always.
00:44:33,000 --> 00:44:43,000
What about the money? Can you summon your talent at will? Can you deliver on a deadline? Can you sleep at night?
00:44:43,000 --> 00:44:50,000
When do we talk about money? Money? That's the easy part.
00:44:50,000 --> 00:45:00,000
If there's any doubt to recommend on what the best legal movie is, you have not only Keanu Reeves with the worst line ever, you've got Charlize Theron, who is awful in this movie.
00:45:00,000 --> 00:45:04,000
I mean, both of them are just awful and you're recommending it. It just doesn't make sense.
00:45:04,000 --> 00:45:12,000
I mean, I just don't agree with your subjective assessment of their performances. Look, everyone's a little over the top. They're going for it in this movie, right?
00:45:12,000 --> 00:45:20,000
That's consistent with what it's trying to be. But for all the talk of how you don't like Keanu's performance, I just have one other thing to add.
00:45:20,000 --> 00:45:28,000
Keanu, as attorney, doing the opening for Craig T. Nelson, who I can really only ever think of as coach anyway.
00:45:28,000 --> 00:45:30,000
Coach. I love coach.
00:45:30,000 --> 00:45:42,000
But here's his open for Craig T. Nelson, which I think is actually a reasonable and effective open, despite your criticism of his performance.
00:45:42,000 --> 00:45:53,000
Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I know you've spent all morning listening to Mr. Brueggeau talk. I know you're hungry. What I need to tell you won't take very long at all.
00:45:53,000 --> 00:46:03,000
I don't like Alexander Cullen. I don't think he's a nice person. I don't expect you to like him.
00:46:03,000 --> 00:46:09,000
He's been a terrible husband to all three of his wives. He's been a destructive force in the lives of his stepchildren.
00:46:09,000 --> 00:46:20,000
He's cheated the city, his partners, his employees. He's made hundreds and thousands of dollars in penalties and fines over the years. I don't like him.
00:46:20,000 --> 00:46:27,000
I'm going to tell you some things during the course of this trial that are going to make you like him even less.
00:46:27,000 --> 00:46:32,000
But this isn't a popularity contest. It's a murder trial.
00:46:32,000 --> 00:46:47,000
And the single most important provable fact of this proceeding is that Alexander Cullen was somewhere else when these horrible crimes took place.
00:46:47,000 --> 00:46:56,000
Now, the state, the state's going all out here. They've got this whole team here. They're throwing everything but the kitchen sink at this case.
00:46:56,000 --> 00:47:11,000
I want one thing from you. That's it. One thing. I want you to ask yourself, is not liking this man reason enough to convict him of murder?
00:47:11,000 --> 00:47:13,000
Enjoy your lunch.
00:47:13,000 --> 00:47:19,000
Great opening statement. Kudos. It's short, it's simple, and it's consistent.
00:47:19,000 --> 00:47:31,000
Well, I think it's interesting that both of these movies that you guys picked go in the direction of being less accurate in terms of legal facts.
00:47:31,000 --> 00:47:37,000
And that's okay. Again, if the drama holds up, I don't mind something being a little loose with the rules.
00:47:37,000 --> 00:47:48,000
I also think it's interesting that both of them have the sort of cliche Southern drawl lawyer that you tend to hear as a cliche all the time.
00:47:48,000 --> 00:47:58,000
But I'm going to have to say that just for me personally, things with like gods and devils and angels and spirits don't really grab me.
00:47:58,000 --> 00:48:05,000
So if I had to go with one of these movies, I'd go with The Rainmaker. And again, I've not seen either one of these.
00:48:05,000 --> 00:48:14,000
Yes. Excellent movie. And it is the right choice, Mike. Very good. I question your metaphysics, but not your decision, your honor.
00:48:14,000 --> 00:48:18,000
00:48:18,000 --> 00:48:28,000
So we're going to take a break here, add a little suspense to the game, and we'll be back with part two, the final three rounds of the five best legal movies of all time.
00:48:28,000 --> 00:48:36,000
In the meantime, please rate and review our podcast and tell your friends. Help us grow this thing. Good reviews really help.
00:48:36,000 --> 00:48:44,000
Follow us on Instagram at I Strenuously Object podcast, or you can email us at iobject at pghfirm.com.
00:48:44,000 --> 00:48:51,000
Leave us a comment. Let us know your thoughts about the game or you can DMS questions for future episodes about any legal matter.
00:48:51,000 --> 00:48:58,000
So thanks for listening. And as usual, hey, I get to say it this time. Here is some parting advice.
00:48:58,000 --> 00:49:02,000
Get a license! Come back when you got a damn license!
00:49:02,000 --> 00:49:04,000
Noah, are we adjourned?
00:49:04,000 --> 00:49:21,000
We are adjourned.
Is Artificial Intelligence coming for your job? What can humans do that AI will never be able to do?
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So here they are, the 5 things we really, really want to be able to tell the jury, but are not allowed.