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Howard Da Silva,
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Recent law school graduate (Robert Reed) joins his father (E.G. Marshall) as the pair tackle challenging legal cases, often involving issues which were highly touchy for the times (abortion, euthanasia, "un-American" activities, movie censorship). In most the freshly minted lawyer has much to learn from his father's extensive legal experience. Written by
Ed Stephan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
From the early Sixties came this show which one viewer described as that era's Law and Order. It wasn't that, it couldn't be that because the Prestons were defense attorneys. Still the cases raised some of the legal issues that Law and Order raises. The Defenders whatever else it was, was not a who done it show like Perry Mason.
E.G. Marshall and Robert Reed played the father and son law firm of Preston&Preston. E.G. as Lawrence Preston was a widower and Reed was his son Kenneth. What I remember was these two guys apparently had no personal life at all. I can't remember a single episode where these two weren't on the clock defending all kinds of clients.
But lawyers and law students loved this show as it took on some really important issues. The episode that I remember best was one involving the McNaghten Rule which evolved from an English murder case in which a guy named McNaghten killed Prime Minister Robert Peel's Secretary, thinking it was Peel. The poor demented jerk thought that the government was plotting against him personally. That case set a standard for a successful insanity defense, that someone like McNaghten had to be unaware of the difference between right and wrong when he committed the homicide.
I still remember Marshall saying that in behalf of his client the McNaghten Rule should be repealed. He certainly gave it one good effort in trying to repeal about a 120 years of Anglo-American jurisprudence. The rule's been modified, but never repealed. But that was typical of the stuff the Prestons did. No arraignments in night court for this duo.
The scripts though were intelligently written even if you didn't agree with what the Prestons were doing. Proof that entertainment can be intelligent and informative, the show ran for four years.
I wish that TV Land would pick up this series.
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