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Handicapping the Sweet 16 Field for ATL's 'Fictional Lawyer Madness'

I have been keeping a close eye on Above the Law's Fictional Lawyer Madness contest, in which its readers vote on their favorite fictional TV and movie lawyers over the past 30 years. Now that the field has been trimmed to 16, let me weigh in here with my predictions and some odds-making. Here are the remaining contenders, ranked from least likely to win to the favorite:

16. Gerald Broflovski, "South Park" (100:1) -- low name recognition, bit player.

15. Alan Shore, "Boston Legal" (100:1) -- who?

14. Barry Zuckerkorn/Bob Loblaw, "Arrested Development" (100:1) -- no chance.

13. Jake Brigance, "A Time to Kill" (100:1) -- which Grisham lawyer character is this again? No way.

12. Patty Hewes, "Damages" (90:1 ) -- no class action lawyer is going to win this contest.

11. Harvey Dent, "The Dark Knight" (90:1) -- good movie, unremarkable lawyer.

11. Bobby Donnell, "The Practice" (75:1) -- chicks dig Dylan McDermott, but not enough to win.

10. Denny Crane, "Boston Legal" (45:1) -- Now we're getting somewhere. Hard to bet against Captain Kirk but this is a different character. Dark horse.

9. Harvey Birdman, "Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law" (35:1) -- uh oh, a #2 seed that I have never heard of. If this guy wins then I am officially old.

8. Ben Matlock, "Matlock" (30:1) -- Good name recognition from the AARP crowd, but that won't be enough.

7. Daniel Kaffe, "A Few Good Men" (25:1) -- the guy who "CAN'T HANDLE THE TRUTH" according to Jack Nicholson. Good character, but his chance are falling along with Tom Cruise's popularity (see, e.g., "Knight and Day").

6. Elle Woods, "Legally Blonde" (15:1) -- lovable character who may appeal to female voters. Somewhat forgettable.

5. Jack McCoy, "Law and Order" (10:1) -- has been in your face for a decade but does not have the mojo of some of the bigger names below.

4. Arnie Becker, "L.A. Law" (7:1) -- would have been the clear favorite in 1993, but many voters may not know Arnie well enough. Success may depend on the extent to which "L.A. Law" re-runs are still out there.

3. Lionel Hutz, "The Simpsons" (4:1) -- could ride "The Simpsons"' tidal wave of popularity to the championship; lacks the depth of character of some others, possibly due to being a cartoon figure.

2. Vinnie Gambini, "My Cousin Vinnie" (3:1) -- an all-time classic lawyer character. Massive name recognition, many recognizable quotes ("two yoots").

1. Jackie Chiles, "Seinfeld" (2:1) -- legendary trial lawyer from "Seinfeld" who often represented Kramer. His wisdom about whether to put the balm on one's lips in a hot coffee case ("You put the balm on? Who told you to put the balm on? I didn't tell you to put the balm on. Why'd you put the balm on?") and his steadfast belief that his opponent's position is "outrageous, egregious, and preposterous" are well-known to all 21st century lawyers. I see a Chiles-Gambini final, with Chiles going all the way.

Posted by Bruce Carton on June 24, 2011 at 04:19 PM | Permalink | Comments (9)


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