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This popular TV drama depicted life in a large Los Angeles law firm. The plots were strongly character-based and dealt with both the personal lives and professional activities of the partners, associates, and staff. Scenes centered around the courtroom and the law offices. Often, an episode would open with a surprising twist, which would then be played out during the rest of the show. Written by
Tad Dibbern <DIBBERN_D@a1.mscf.upenn.edu>
Series co-creator Terry Louise Fisher, former deputy district attorney for Los Angeles County, former entertainment lawyer for 20th Century Fox, and producer-writer for Cagney & Lacey (1981), composed a form letter she was thinking of sending to lawyers who complained about the show: "Dear So-and-so: If I were a good lawyer, I'd still be practicing law. Instead, I'm stuck in Hollywood, making 10 times as much money. I hope you are as conscientious about your clients as you are about our show. Thank for your writing." See more »
Douglas Brackman, Jr.:
I'm more like my father than I thought. I wanted to be the lawyer he was, the man he was. Turns out we both just like to cheat on our wives.
See more »
I grew up watching L.A. Law as a teenager in the 1980s, right through to 'Finish Line' in 1994. It had so many elements that drew me to it, including the story lines that focused both in the professional & personal lives of the characters. The acting was rock-solid and most of the characters believable, and thoroughly human. In particular, these were Michael Kuzak, Grace Van Owen, Victor Sifuentes, Benny Stulwicz (the role that earned 'Darkman' Larry Drake an Emmy), Leland McKenzie, Ann Kelsey & Stuart Markowitz. Memorable episodes included the one where Benny goes before Judge Richard Lobel (Stanley Grover) to exercise his right to vote, one in which Jonathan Rollins (Blair Underwood) cross-examines an ethically bankrupt financial adviser (Richard Masur) into a fatal heart attack, one in which Grace prosecutes a gang member for a prison guard's murder then is targeted herself, one in which the despicable Rosalind Shays (Diana Muldaur) falls to her death in an open elevator shaft, and the Earl Williams trial in which Kuzak squares off against A.D.A. Margaret Flanagan (played by Veronica Cartwright of 'Alien' fame).
In later years, some of the characters came & went (as with any series); some of the new ones (such as A.D.A. Tommy Mullaney, Jane Galloway, C.J. Lamb & A.D.A. Zoey Clemmons) were quite likable, while others (Susan Bloom, Frank Kittridge) bordered on loathsome. The original characters were what really held the series together and made it so popular. Some of today's well- known actors (Larry Drake of 'Darkman' and Dann Florek of 'Law & Order' and 'Law & Order:SVU') got their big start with supporting roles in this series.
20 years after it ended its run, L.A. Law still has a popular following. It is beginning to see a DVD release now and here's hoping we see a complete series release. If any show is deserving of a widespread DVD release, this is it.
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