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Encyclopedia > Legal drama

A legal drama is a work of dramatic fiction about law, crime, punishment or the legal profession. Types of legal dramas include courtroom dramas and legal thrillers, and come in all forms, including novels, television shows, and films. The Three Graces, here in a painting by Sandro Botticelli, were the goddesses of charm, beauty, nature, human creativity and fertility in Greek mythology. ... A novel is an extended work of written, narrative, prose fiction, usually in story form; the writer of a novel is a novelist. ... A television program is the content of television broadcasting. ... Film refers to the celluloid media on which movies are printed Film is a term that encompasses motion pictures as individual projects, as well as the field in general. ...


It is widely believed by most practicing lawyers that legal dramas result in the general public having misconceptions about the legal process. Many of these misconceptions result from the desire to create an interesting story. For example, conflict between parties make for an interesting story, which is why legal dramas emphasize the trial and ignore the fact that the vast majority of civil and criminal cases in the United States are settled out of court. Legal dramas also focus on situations where there is an obvious injustice or ones in which either the plaintiff or defendant is very interesting and unusual. As a result, things such as the insanity defense occur far more often in legal drama than in real life. Finally, legal dramas often focus on areas of the legal process which can be portrayed dramatically, such as oral arguments, and ignore areas which are less easily portrayed, such as researching a written legal brief. A lawyer is a person licensed by the state to advise clients in legal matters and represent them in courts of law (and in other forms of dispute resolution). ... A trial is, in the most general sense, a test, usually a test to see whether something does or does not meet a given standard. ... Civil law has at least three meanings. ... Criminal law (also known as penal law) is the body of law that punishes criminals for committing offences against the state. ... A plaintiff, also known as a claimant, or a complainant is the party who initiates a lawsuit (also known as an action) before a court. ... A defendant is any party who is required to answer the complaint of a plaintiff in a civil lawsuit before a court, or any party who has been formally charged or accused of violating a criminal statute. ... In a criminal trial, the insanity defense are possible defenses by excuse, via which a defendant may argue that they should not be held criminally liable for breaking the law, as they were mentally ill or mentally incompetent at the time of their allegedly criminal actions. ...


An incomplete list

Television shows that fall into this category include:

L.A. Law (1986 - 1994) was one of the most popular television shows of the 1980s and 1990s. ... Law & Order is the longest-running primetime drama currently on American television. ... Matlock is an American television legal drama starring Andy Griffith as Ben Matlock. ... Perry Mason is a fictional defense attorney who originally appeared in novels by Erle Stanley Gardner and who was portrayed by Raymond Burr in a television series which ran on CBS from 1957 to 1966. ... The Practice was a long-running (March 4, 1997 - May 16, 2004, eight seasons) ABC legal drama TV series created by David E. Kelley about a Boston, Massachusetts law firm. ... Boston Legal (working title Fleet Street) is an ABC television series that is a spin-off to the long-running legal drama The Practice. ...

See also


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For example, conflict between parties make for an interesting story, which is why legal dramas emphasize the trial and ignore the fact that the vast majority of civil and criminal cases in the United States are settled out of court.
Legal dramas also focus on situations where there is an obvious injustice or ones in which either the plaintiff or defendant is very interesting and unusual.
Finally, legal dramas often focus on areas of the legal process which can be portrayed dramatically, such as oral arguments, and ignore areas which are less easily portrayed, such as researching a written legal brief.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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