What I Learned From Television: Lawyers and courtrooms in the real sense
Published: Sunday, March 3, 2013
Updated: Monday, March 4, 2013 00:03
I have shadowed lawyers and been to courtrooms before and while they can be interesting to watch, 99 percent of trials are not the O.J. Simpson case. I’m sure there are dramatic and surprising moments in court rooms here and there, but television has led me to believe that courtrooms are like carnivals for adults.
In real life, both the prosecutor and the defense lawyer have to have access to each other’s list of witnesses, evidence and other information to prepare for it. While there are exceptions made sometimes and legal loopholes, generally a failure to provide this can lead to a claim of mistrial. Yet, on TV lawyers are magicians and can do whatever they want. There is always a surprise witness who walks in the courtroom causing a gasp from the audience, jury, defendant and the judge, who for some reason is enjoying losing control of the courtroom. While the other lawyer will scream objection the judge will overrule them and threaten to place them in contempt. I don’t know if in real life judges can just throw that around whenever they please, but in TV they seem to threaten everyone with it left and right. It reminds me of the way Oprah used to give out free stuff to her audience. Also, why are the people in the courtroom always gasping or yelling or something? There’s not a single courtroom in the country where this would be acceptable or likely since these people are usually there for their families and not likely to make a scene.
While people are placed under oath when testifying, people lie all the time on TV. Lying under oath is a crime, but who’s going to prove they lied? Let’s say somebody murdered someone and framed the defendant. They are obviously not a moral person, yet the moment they lie and a lawyer reminds them that they are under oath they always change their story and suddenly are trapped into revealing the truth. I’m sorry “Law and Order,” but why would they do this. Why would somebody suddenly incriminate themselves when there was no proof they were lying because they suddenly felt bad? If they didn’t feel bad when they stabbed the victim 3457 times why would they suddenly not want to be thought of as a liar? In the movie “A Few Good Men,” Tom Cruise plays a lawyer who questions Jack Nicholson and angers him in the final scene into revealing the truth and admitting to his involvement in a crime. Why the hell would something like this happen? All he had to do was keep his mouth shut or plea the 5th amendment and he could forget all this business once the trial ended, but for some reason Jack Nicholson had the mood swing of a teenager beginning puberty.
There is always some lingering sexual tension between the two lawyers. A lot of lawyers, judges and people in that business will know each other and since they work in the same area why wouldn’t they? However, the idea that their past sexual encounters are going to come out in the middle of the courtroom and stand in the way of their case causing an argument in front of a judge is just ridiculous. Judge Judy wouldn’t stand for this and a real judge on a murder case wouldn’t either. On a side note, judges are always angry and extremely hostile and just one inch away from an emotional breakdown. A judge is a very good job with great pay so I have no idea why they are so unhappy all the time. Uncle Phil on the Fresh Prince was always so angry and complaining, but maybe those were just warning signs of diabetes.