Lawyers on Television
The fictional lawyer and reality courtroom programs have entertained us since the heyday of radio and the golden age of television and they have both influenced and been influenced by our perceptions of justice and the legal process. The crusading district attorney and the female lawyer with personal problems are characters the audience has admired and identified with for the past 70 years. Now that former prosecutors are legal analysts for talk shows and defense lawyers play themselves in sit-coms, the line between fact and fiction, entertainment and news, has blurred. Real judges hand down real decisions after 5 minutes of testimony at the same time that a year-long actual trial can be observed from the comfort of one's couch. For most people, this will be as close as they get to law.