Serena Southerlyn
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Quotes for
Serena Southerlyn (Character)
from "Law & Order" (1990)

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"Law & Order: Smoke (#13.24)" (2003)
D.A. Arthur Branch: So Mrs. McGillicuddy had two boys, one who sat out on the porch all day, the other who went out and hunted for food. Then one day, war between the states breaks out and the Sarge says 'Ma'am, I'm sorry, but I'm going to have to take one of your boys into battle, it's your choice'. So what does she do?
A.D.A. Serena Southerlyn: It's hardly the same thing.
D.A. Arthur Branch: She looks the old sarge dead in the eyes and says 'My husband's down by the creek, take him'.

D.A. Arthur Branch: These parents traded one boy for another.
A.D.A. Serena Southerlyn: But they're both still alive.
Jack McCoy: We're prosecutors, Serena, not social workers.

A.D.A. Serena Southerlyn: How can we trust anything on something called "up-your-butt dot net"?

A.D.A. Serena Southerlyn: This is great. I'm the only one in this room who doesn't have a kid; why am I the only one who understands the impossible position these people were in?

"Law & Order: American Jihad (#13.1)" (2002)
[Discussing Arthur Branch, the new DA]
Jack McCoy: Nice fella.
ADA Serena Southerlyn: And his politics?
Jack McCoy: Nice fella.

[last lines]
D.A. Arthur Branch: Well, at least at his allocution, Landen apologized to the entire Muslim community.
ADA Serena Southerlyn: Olivet was right. He wasn't a true believer. He was just a humiliated adolescent.
D.A. Arthur Branch: All in all, I'd say we're damn lucky this was just one screwball kid.
Jack McCoy: Angry kid, full of rage. He was just looking for a target.
ADA Serena Southerlyn: Isn't that what a terrorist is?
Jack McCoy: What's scary is how easy it is to create one.

D.A. Arthur Branch: [Landen has decided to represent himself] That kid is an idiot savant.
ADA Serena Southerlyn: Or just an idiot.
D.A. Arthur Branch: Don't fool yourself. He just outlawyered our office, his own counsel, and the judicial branch.

"Law & Order: Who Let the Dogs Out? (#12.1)" (2001)
A.D.A. Serena Southerlyn: [after the Quinns have taken a plea bargain for 2-6 years in jail] I just got off with Animal Control. The dog was put down.
Jack McCoy: The Quinns' trial was the only thing keeping it alive.
D.A. Nora Lewin: Abused, tortured, and now destroyed.
A.D.A. Serena Southerlyn: Almost makes you wish you could reverse the sentences.

Sherri Quinn: [after the ferocious dog has been brought into the courtroom] You must have done something to him.
A.D.A. Serena Southerlyn: You mean something other than torturing him?

"Law & Order: Genius (#13.17)" (2003)
Ira Simpkis: Weren't you in my first year criminal law class? Back row, on the left. "A" minus, if I remember correctly.
A.D.A. Serena Southerlyn: "A".
Ira Simpkis: And you know, I was always surprised, I have to admit, that you never took my trial advocacy seminar, because we handled real cases and you might have benefited a little from the work.
A.D.A. Serena Southerlyn: No offense, but I didn't care for your clients.

Jack McCoy: [the defendant has asked for the death penalty] I don't know who was more shocked, Simpkis or me.
D.A. Arthur Branch: Yup, what fun is it hitting someone who won't hit back?
Jack McCoy: I never really thought of this as an exercise in fun, Arthur.
A.D.A. Serena Southerlyn: [approaching] Brace yourself for professor Simpkins' motions.
Jack McCoy: A motion to quash the agreed-upon sentence.
A.D.A. Serena Southerlyn: On the grounds that Warner isn't competent to negotiate on his own behalf.
Jack McCoy: He wants to die, so he's got to be crazy.
A.D.A. Serena Southerlyn: I've arranged for Skoda to examine him.
D.A. Arthur Branch: [to Jack] And you say this isn't fun.

"Law & Order: Shangri-La (#13.2)" (2002)
A.D.A. Serena Southerlyn: I thought you said no jury would convict Little Orphan Annie.
Executive A.D.A. Jack McCoy: I did. Lizzie Borden is a different matter.
[walks away]
Dr. Emil Skoda: This girl really got under his skin.
A.D.A. Serena Southerlyn: Ya think?

A.D.A. Serena Southerlyn: So being sixteen forever wouldn't be so bad.
Executive A.D.A. Jack McCoy: That must've been one hell of a prom night.

"Law & Order: Ain't No Love (#15.13)" (2005)
D.A. Arthur Branch: [to Serena] You're fired.
ADA Serena Southerlyn: [pauses, shocked] Is this because I'm a lesbian?
D.A. Arthur Branch: No, no... of course not.
ADA Serena Southerlyn: Good... that's good...

ADA Serena Southerlyn: [after being fired] Is this because I'm a lesbian?

"Law & Order: Sheltered (#13.22)" (2003)
[last lines]
Jack McCoy: There's always a chance Justin could be rehabilitated, Arthur.
D.A. Arthur Branch: Four dead? I don't think he's earned that chance. And I also think my senior prosecutor should agree with it.
Jack McCoy: I do.
A.D.A. Serena Southerlyn: But...?
Jack McCoy: I'm a father.

"Law & Order: Star Crossed (#13.14)" (2003)
A.D.A. Serena Southerlyn: He wouldn't be the first person with an 80 IQ to confess to a felony.
Jack McCoy: Or to have a room on death row.
D.A. Arthur Branch: What I don't get is why his attorney didn't have him tested before he invited our shrinks to sit down with him.
Jack McCoy: Two words: Dean Connors.
D.A. Arthur Branch: Is that supposed to ring a bell?
Jack McCoy: Dean's not a bad sort, he's just morally opposed to hard work. I don't think he's tried a case in ten years.
D.A. Arthur Branch: You gotta love a fighter who won't throw a punch.

"Law & Order: Kid Pro Quo (#13.20)" (2003)
Jack McCoy: Scofield has been standing over the oven for twenty-five years. He thought it was about time he got a taste of the pie.
A.D.A. Serena Southerlyn: Now Scofield's out and Anchin's in: that's going to be a hard pill for the parents of the Knowles School to swallow.
D.A. Arthur Branch: Oh, they'll get over it, once they forget about where his money came from.
Jack McCoy: It's the American way: yesterday's robber baron is tomorrow's philanthropist.
A.D.A. Serena Southerlyn: What you're really trying to say is cash trumps merit every time...
D.A. Arthur Branch: ...and twice on Sundays!

"Law & Order: Equal Rights (#12.18)" (2002)
D.A. Nora Lewin: [referring to the defendant, who is using battered woman syndrome as a defense to murdering her husband] What choices does a woman in that situation really have?
A.D.A. Serena Southerlyn: If someone hit me, I would leave, and if I couldn't, I'd hit them back.
D.A. Nora Lewin: Well, not everyone takes Tae Bo.

"Law & Order: Armed Forces (#12.2)" (2001)
A.D.A. Serena Southerlyn: Gardner's accepted our offer of man two. She intends to ask the judge for the minimum.
Jack McCoy: A mayor and an oil executive. I'm sure she'll make a strong case. I think there were mitigating factors.
A.D.A. Serena Southerlyn: Based on what they did or who they are?
Jack McCoy: They were kids. Kids armed to the teeth, put in a place where most of the time they couldn't tell who was for them and who was against them. We need to be careful how we judge.

"Law & Order: True Crime (#13.3)" (2002)
[last lines]
D.A. Arthur Branch: Well, you won the kewpie doll. Toss one pitch, knock over two bottles.
A.D.A. Serena Southerlyn: Don't you mean tossed one illegal pitch?
D.A. Arthur Branch: Well, Bob Gibson made the Hall of Fame throwing a spitball. "Rules or no rules," he said, "pitchers are gonna throw spitters. It's a matter of survival."
Jack McCoy: Why doesn't that comfort me?

"Law & Order: Dazzled (#12.20)" (2002)
A.D.A. Serena Southerlyn: What happens when you mix midazolam with wine?
Dr. Elizabeth Rodgers: Like they say, "Don't operate any heavy machinery."

"Law & Order: Coming Down Hard (#15.4)" (2004)
A.D.A. Serena Southerlyn: I was doing catch-up on discovery.
D.A. Arthur Branch: Discovery? You're halfway through trial.
Jack McCoy: The defense disclosed dozens of boxes of paperwork. They're trying to drown us.
A.D.A. Serena Southerlyn: They have nine paralegals, and we just have me. But I don't think they meant to disclose this.
Jack McCoy: [Serena hands him a sheet of paper] Miss Southerlyn, you've outdone yourself.
D.A. Arthur Branch: Do I get to see it?
[Jack hands the paper over]
D.A. Arthur Branch: Well, let's see if Dr. Cedars can wiggle his way out of this one.

"Law & Order: Cut (#15.6)" (2004)
D.A. Arthur Branch: Cosmetic surgery. It's an epidemic in this country. Whatever happened to aging gracefully?
A.D.A. Serena Southerlyn: Only a man would say that without a trace of irony. Men age gracefully, Arthur. Women just age.

"Law & Order: Ill-Conceived (#14.10)" (2003)
A.D.A. Serena Southerlyn: [looking from Vanessa, as she walks away, to Jack] Am I missing something here?
Executive A.D.A. Jack McCoy: Inevitable discovery.
A.D.A. Serena Southerlyn: That's not what I meant.
Executive A.D.A. Jack McCoy: No, but it's how we get the gun back in.

"Law & Order: The Ring (#13.5)" (2002)
A.D.A. Serena Southerlyn: People ask that the suspect be remanded without bail, Your Honor.
Judge Janice Goldberg: What are we having today, a special on chutzpah? Bail is set at $500,000. Do you have that on you, Mr. Hagen, or do you need a few minutes?

"Law & Order: Girl Most Likely (#12.17)" (2002)
A.D.A. Serena Southerlyn: [referring to Alicia Milford] You can't seriously be considering "outing" her into a guilty plea!
Jack McCoy: Well, don't we manipulate the system every day? Threaten to take children from parents? Embarrass spouses with their partners' infidelities?
D.A. Nora Lewin: This is different, Jack.
Jack McCoy: Why?
D.A. Nora Lewin: Well, it plays into the notion that there really ***is*** something wrong with being gay. We run the risk of seeming like bigots.
Jack McCoy: I don't see how we can abandon a viable negotiating tactic because it's politically incorrect.

"Law & Order: Slaughter (#12.19)" (2002)
A.D.A. Serena Southerlyn: [after reading off a list of people who died because of the infected meat] Jack, these are all children.

"Law & Order: Couples (#13.23)" (2003)
A.D.A. Serena Southerlyn: The defendant killed her husband, your honor.
Gwen Berman: She ran him over four times with her car.
Judge Janice Goldberg: I admire her restraint.

"Law & Order: Bodies (#14.1)" (2003)
[discussing a serial killer's defense attorney]
D.A. Arthur Branch: Yeah, who is that stupid S.O.B. anyway?
ADA Serena Southerlyn: Tim Schwimmer, legal aid, and he isn't exactly stupid.
D.A. Arthur Branch: He listened to his client when he told him about fifteen other bodies?
ADA Serena Southerlyn: Yes.
D.A. Arthur Branch: He then confirmed his client was telling the truth by taking a peek at those bodies?
ADA Serena Southerlyn: ...Yes.
D.A. Arthur Branch: Fine. What's dumber than stupid?

"Law & Order: Paradigm (#15.1)" (2004)
D.A. Arthur Branch: We can't have Iraqi assassins roaming the streets of New York executing Americans.
A.D.A. Serena Southerlyn: I still think we should have handed her over to the military. We could have just ducked the whole issue instead of trying to set policy.
D.A. Arthur Branch: And I can't believe I have pusillanimous pussyfooters on my own staff!
Jack McCoy: I don't think Spiro Agnew is the person to be quoting here, Arthur.
D.A. Arthur Branch: If the shoe fits.

"Law & Order: 3 Dawg Night (#12.9)" (2001)
[last lines]
D.A. Nora Lewin: Have we set a grand jury date for Ms. Lawrence?
Jack McCoy: And call what witnesses? The only ones we can find are two men who'd rather go to jail than tell the truth.
D.A. Nora Lewin: So we indict Collins for perjury.
Jack McCoy: We can't prove he lied.
D.A. Nora Lewin: Lawrence and Collins both walk?
Jack McCoy: We got dissed. Apparently two careers are worth more than a person's life.
A.D.A. Serena Southerlyn: In a weird way, the dismissal hurt Collins more than the indictment. When his fans found out he wasn't the killer, his CD dropped ten places on the charts.
Jack McCoy: At this rate, he might have to go out and actually shoot somebody.