Who doesn’t love a “Top 5” list? The only thing better is a “Top 10” list, but we don’t have all day to write these things.
Lawyers face a lot of negative stereotypes. We know, "life's not fair." Yet, like mobsters, the silver screen loves them, and so do we.
Without further ado, here are our Top 5 Movie Lawyers:
5. Hank Palmer - "The Judge" (Robert Downey, Jr.)
Credibility is everything, and when Hank Palmer tells you that he finished #1 in his class at Northwestern, you believe him. He's the full package. He has the look of a lawyer, he knows the law inside out, and he has a LOT of money in his bank account. He's also a bit of a jerk. Like we said, the full package.
Nevertheless, even this Uncle Scrooge wanna-be proves that he has a heart and comes to his family's aid. Don't you love when that happens?
4. Fletcher Reede - "Liar Liar" (Jim Carrey)
Fletcher Reede is a sleezy, two-faced, win-at-all-costs, family-disappointing divorce lawyer. And he's BRILLIANT. Good or bad, you can't deny when somebody is talented, and this gentleman has more flamboyance and showmanship than any other person on this list. Add in the twist that this liar literally loses his ability to lie, and you have an exceptionally entertaining divorce trial.
3. Daniel Kaffee - "A Few Good Men" (Tom Cruise)
It takes a lot to go out and fight when you know you're fighting a losing battle. It takes even more to win that battle. That is exactly what Lt. Daniel Kaffee did, with confidence and poise. His goal all along was to do what he believed was right, and he fought for it with everything he had. How can you not respect a guy like that?
2. Martin Vail - "Primal Fear" (Richard Gere)
Martin Vail is probably the most experienced lawyer on this list, and it shows. He's rich, he's successful, and he hasn't found a camera that doesn't love his face (or that he doesn't love standing in front of). However, conceited as he may be, he learns that fame and fortune cannot buy the things we really want: Happiness and satisfaction. So, when Mr. Vail has the opportunity to make a positive difference in the world (or so he thinks), he charges forward, without hesitation. The result is one heck of a courtroom drama.
1. Vincent LaGuardia Gambini - "My Cousin Vinny" (Joe Pesci)
What makes someone the best? Is it talent, hardwork, or a good success rate? Maybe it's all of the above. Maybe it's not. Vincent LaGuardia Gambini ("Vinny") is certainly talented. He is also a hard worker. Does he have a good success rate? Absolutely not. This is a man that flunked the bar exam five times and probably never stood in a courtroom. Not until the mess of a murder trial he found himself knee-deep in.
Yet, we have never met a lawyer that knew of Vinny and didn't love him. Placed in the toughest of circumstances, Vinny showed us that he may not know all of the rules (yet), but that the heart of a lawyer comes out when he/she is fighting for justice. In this case, it was defending two innocent young men.
Vinny showed himself to be a master of cross-examination by discrediting every witness against him without accusing a single one of being a liar. He is as flawed as the rest of us, but he had the courage to fight for what was right, even if it meant having to look bad at times. Vinny gives lawyers a good name, and we just love him.
Have a wonderful day!