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"Law & Order: Trial by Jury"
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Reviews & Ratings for
"Law & Order: Trial by Jury" More at IMDbPro »

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22 out of 25 people found the following review useful:

A good start

Author: schappe1 from N Syracuse NY
4 March 2005

The original Law & Order was 50-50 a cop/lawyer show. SVU is 90% cops. This one is 90% lawyers. The biggest innovation is that we get to be a fly on the wall as the defense attorney plots his/her defense, which has absolutely nothing to do with truth or guilt. It's all playing the system. Tony Bill, in the premiere, calmly describes how he killed the victim and the attorney, Annabella Sciorra simply listens as if this is background information that might come up in the trial and have to be dealt with.

I'm a big Perry Mason fan, where the hero is obsessed with truth and guilt and all his clients are innocent, so this is quite a change. Mason represents what we'd like our justice system to be about. However Sciorra represents who we would want to hire if we committed a crime. She clearly sees her job as getting her clients off: that's what she's paid to do.

Frankly, I think the accused has a right to an aggressive defense that forces the prosecution to prove guilt beyond a shadow of doubt. But if the lawyer knows the client is guilty, responsibility should shift to dealing with extenuating circumstances that might lead to a self-defense or insanity plea or a reduced sentence. That might be better for the client than insisting on a not guilty verdict. And what must the feeling be for a lawyer who knows he/she got a guilty man off. If it's one of satisfaction, there is something wrong.

As to the show, it's promising. I'm hoping that not all defendants turn out to be guilty, (even though all of Perry's clients were innocent), as it kind of sends the wrong message. One of the things I liked about the original show is that they weren't always right and they didn't always win.

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19 out of 21 people found the following review useful:

Captures the "Order" side of things quite well

Author: canadianfreak_17 from Guelph, Canada
22 April 2005

I have watched almost every episode of TBJ that has aired since it came on and I believe that has given me enough time to make a fair judgement on this show. I've liked it from the very first episode and one of the major reasons why I've liked it is because it focuses entirely on the order side of things. Now I know with a name Trial By Jury that is expected but it not only looks from the prosecutors point of view (which is all wee see on the other 3 L&O installments) but we also see it from the defence side of view too. Defence lawyers meeting with their clients, counseling them on their trials. It is very interesting. I give it 7/10 so far. It has held my interest and I look forward to seeing what else it can offer.

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13 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

Will miss Trial By Jury

Author: jacobm111 from United States
24 October 2005

I am a huge fan of the all the different Law and Order shows. Of course, my favorite would have to be SVU.

When Trial by Jury came out I thought I would give it a try and really fell in love with it. The main actress Bebe Neuwirth is amazing - I believe she has been in a few of the other Law and Orders for small parts. Over time, I actually found I began to like it better than even Criminal Intent.

Without trying to sound too dramatic, I must admit I am a little frustrated they decided to cancel it. It didn't really have a fair chance I felt and especially for the time frame. Perhaps statistics show differently... I don't know, but to me... Friday night TV can't be good at 10pm - a lot of people are out on the town then.

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20 out of 30 people found the following review useful:

It Was A Career of Achievement

Author: CharlietheP from United States
4 January 2005

I cannot say enough about Jerry Orbach; I loved the guy and the way he delivered his lines, always believable of his character even if they weren't always great lines. I looked forward to seeing him on Trial by Jury, still pending at this moment. Also if only once or for a season, if Trial by Jury brings back Carey Lowell who has such natural beauty and who always delivered her lines as Jamie Ross as if it were all real and not acting, without chewing the scenery, talking out of the side of her mouth (Joisy?) or "reciting" woodenly, it's worth the viewing. I just wish Jerry O. had had that prostate exam; I could have watched him work forever. Maybe he could have even been allowed to sing "Try to Remember". I can dream, can't I?

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5 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

This had a lot of potential

10/10
Author: dee.reid from United States
16 August 2008

I really hated it when this show was canceled. I'm a "Law & Order" fan, so you can see that I eagerly anticipated this new spin-off series from "Law & Order" creator Dick Wolf. I tuned in like a loyal viewer every week for about two months and then just like that, it was gone. What a tragedy.

Perhaps if Jerry Orbach hadn't died, then maybe it would have had a proper run on television. I was really upset about his death, and maybe that's why NBC felt that this show just couldn't go on without him since his character was to have a significant role on it. That's just my speculation, I don't really know why it was canceled.

"Law & Order: Trial by Jury" focuses on the actual judicial process, including arraignment to sentencing, and the prosecutors and defense attorneys and their behind-the-scenes activity. If I were a law student, I'd be taking notes, but as a criminal justice major, I could probably do better with the other spin-offs, but that's just me.

This was a great show. Like the original and other two spin-offs, "Law & Order: Trial by Jury" is gritty and intense courtroom drama at its best.

How and why it was canceled is beyond me. It just had so much potential to go a great many places. Now it's been relegated to reruns on television.

10/10

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6 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

I expected more from this show

Author: ejhutchaz from United States
20 November 2005

I'm a long time fan of Jerry Orbach, and all the Law & Order series, and couldn't wait for this to start, even tho Jerry had died before it was aired. Based on the second half of the title "Trial by Jury", I was expecting to see jury involvement as they deliberated to reach their verdict. That never happened. I watched the entire run and what I saw was disappointing. Outside of Jerry, and Amy Carlson there were no likable characters. The BIGGEST problem was the lead actress Bebe Neuwirth. While she was great on Cheers and Fraiser, she looked, and came across, cold and hard and unlikeable - and this show needed "likeable" after it lost Jerry. Her wardrobe, makeup, and hair style didn't help either, she just appeared as a cold hard Bitch. What this show needed was Angie Harmon, or Carey Lowell to keep your interest and hold the show together. For me it just came across as a watered down copy of the original, and I wasn't surprised when it died.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Remember Lennie Briscoe

Author: Dale McCartney from United States
1 March 2006

It's hard to believe how much Jerry Orbach has aged from the time he left the original Law & Order series to the beginning of Trial by Jury. His hair was completely gray and his voice was a little gruff. I wish he were still around to portray Lennie Briscoe on any L&O series, but unfortunately, that won't happen. I just wish the writers of the original series would mention the fate of Lennie Briscoe since retiring from the 27th precinct to show how the other characters felt about their friend and co-worker. I've watched Trial by Jury and even after Jerry Orbach passed away, I don't think the writers ever mentioned his character's death through the other characters, such as Hector Salazzar or Lt. Anita Van Buren from the original series.

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8 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

Not hard to see why this has failed.

6/10
Author: Boba_Fett1138 from Groningen, The Netherlands
27 February 2008

OK maybe it was a bit too harsh to cancel this show after only 1 season and no, perhaps it was never given a fair chance and this still could had turned into yet another great watchable series of Law & Order episodes but I can also really understand why they just pulled the plug out of it.

Like most "Law & Order" watchers I always enjoyed most the second part, in which the prosecution of the crime in court took place. So having a "Law & Order" spin-off ENTIRELY focusing on the court part sounded like an awesome idea. It however never really worked out as it could had because of multiple reasons.

When the regular "Law & Order" first started off in 1990 there were zero female characters in it. They slowly changed it by inserting more female roles, such as Lt. Anita Van Buren (S. Epatha Merkerson) and A.D.A. Claire Kincaid (Jill Hennessy), presumably because there was a demand for female characters. This "Law & Order" spin-off has 2 female characters as its main leads. Nothing wrong with having female leads but by watching this it becomes obvious that the "Law & Order" franchise just isn't ready yet to have female leads. The "Law & Order" universe always has been sort of a man's world, with strong tough male characters, as cops and prosecutors and everything around that. When a woman ever acts tough it's always the danger that she comes off as a bitchy type of character instead of tough. It then is also much harder to really care or sympathize ever for any of those characters. S. Epatha Merkerson still gets away with it in "Law & Order" and so does Mariska Hargitay in "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" but that's because they are great actresses. Unfortunately Bebe Neuwirth and Amy Carlson weren't really. It was also a bit too obvious that they were cast more because of their looks. Looks that by the way really didn't fitted the parts they were playing.

But also the approach of storytelling made this show pretty poor to watch at times. We never got to see whatever really happened because the episodes obviously always started off with the prosecution part. It was often is if you had missed the first part and often it took a long time before you got an idea what crime had been committed. It made it painfully obvious that the "Law & Order" franchise shall always need the cop part of it.

But it also must be said that "Law & Order: Trial by Jury" had the unfortunate faith that Jerry Orbach died after filming only 2 episodes. It was obvious that Orbach was supposed to carry the series, in at least its first season, since he was already an established and well known face in the "Law & Order" franchise. They knew they were taking a risk with it because I believe that he was already seriously ill when this show began production. In the second episode he was already that sick that he couldn't speak anymore and they changed the final scene of that episode so that he could whisper, simply because he couldn't speak louder anymore. That scene is still a real special one to watch, just because it makes you realize how sick he was at that time and because it was his last ever shot sequences within a Law & Order series and in anything else really. After his death, Kirk Acevedo had to carry things on his own but he and his character just weren't good enough. The series also still had Fred Dalton Thompson as an already established face within the Law & Order franchise but his part only was always 3 minutes long at most. He wasn't just as much as Steven Hill got always used in "Law & Order", which also seemed like a great missed opportunity to me.

Also the way they wanted to show things from the 'presecuation' way was also quite poor at times. Basically the only thing that makes this thing differ from the prosecution sight shown in "Law & Order" is that we now always get to see the judge entering the courtroom from his/hers office and we often get a look into the jury room, while they are deliberating. Quite lame all if you ask me.

But also the stories for the different episodes just weren't much good. They are definitely not among the best written ones for any Law & Order series. It made some of the episodes just bad and terribly uninvolved to watch. Basically the greatest episode was the crossover one with "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" called night/day, starring also Angela Lansbury and Alfred Molina.

Obviously not the worst show that ever aired but I also won't exactly miss it either and you're basically still better of watching "Law & Order" or any of its other spin-offs.

6/10

http://bobafett1138.blogspot.com/

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Jerry Orbach's death and uninspired scripts doomed this show

6/10
Author: calvinnme from United States
25 July 2015

Trial By Jury failed to live up to its potential. The first few episodes held out the promise of an in-depth look at how the legal system works from all angles, including the jury, but this was quickly altered to a focus on the Bebe Neuwirth character and her investigators. In effect, it became an hour-long version of the second half of the original L&O. Still, the show was interesting and entertaining, and its crossovers with other L&O shows were fun. I enjoyed Neuwirth, both her acting and her character. I wasn't put off at all by her terse manner or cynicism, and I think she had pretty good chemistry with her female sidekick. Some of the story lines did seem to be retreads of stories from other L&O shows, but if the writers could have managed to overcome that trend, and stayed true to the show's original potential, then it might have been another strong entry in the L&O franchise.

I do have to say, however, that even though I liked the show, the fact that its creativity started waning after a few episodes caused me to be less disappointed by its cancellation than I might have been. Jerry Orbach, who was intended to be a regular on the show playing Lenny Briscoe, could have been the sympathetic character this show was missing, but his worsening illness and then death put an end to those plans and probably this show. He was only able to show up during the first two episodes, and even then he looked quite ill. These days, networks aren't generally willing to give a series time to come into its own. If you don't produce ratings in the first half dozen outings, its generally cancellation time.

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Inaccurate

2/10
Author: soco-02851 from United States
27 January 2017

For this episode, you have the description wrong. This Law & Order episode is actually based on Abner Louima. Louima was a Haitian who after interceding in a fight between men and women was identified by a NYPD police officer as the one who sucker-punched him. Based on that officer's statement, Louima was arrested. Following his arrest he was assaulted along with sodomized in the NYPD bathroom. Louima did not die from the assault that took place on August 9, 1997. The case that this Law & Order references to slightly is that of Amadou Diallo which took place on February 4, 1999. Diallo was a Guinea immigrant who was in the process of entering his apartment. 4 NYPD officers in plain clothes mistakenly took him for a serial rapist. Diallo was in the process of reaching for his wallet which the officers could not see due to the porch light being blown. They proceeded to fire their weapons at Diallo 42 bullets times based on one officer mistaken Diallo's wallet for a weapon. Due to all public attention that this incident received, the trial had to be moved to Albany, New York where all four NYPD officer's were acquitted of the crime. I ask that you please correct this mistake since both are not only well known cases but in all fairness to those it affected.

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