WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LEGAL MOVIE AND WHY?
AS TOLD TO BETH TAYLOR
My Cousin Vinny.
particularly when Marisa Tomei is cross-
MICHAEL E. HERSHER / OF COUNSEL,
examined by the DA about her knowledge
of car repair and proves that you never
ask a witness a question when you don’t
know the answer. Also, at the end, when
Joe Pesci says he wanted to win the trial
all on his own and she says, “You win
case after case, and then afterwards you
have to go up to somebody and you have
to say ‘thank you’? Oh, my God, what a
It’s all about humility and gratitude.
KRONICK MOSKOVITZ TIEDEMANN & GIRARD;
SACRAMENTO; EMPLOYMENT & LABOR
My Cousin Vinny.
The movie is extremely funny, with
classic lines that almost everyone
knows—who can forget the “yutes” or the
discussion about grits, which helps to win
the case. More fundamentally, Vinny’s
representation of his cousin and friend
is just the type of work that all lawyers
should perform: Vinny takes an unpopular
case pro bono and wins. He uses his
imagination and common sense to defeat
what looks like an airtight case. While he
doesn’t treat the judge with respect, we
can give him a little dramatic license and
not be too critical. It is a movie that I can
watch again and again.
NANCY L. FINEMAN / PARTNER, COTCHETT,
PITRE & MCCARTHY; BURLINGAME; BUSINESS
Paul Newman’s desperate, almost
hopeless plea to the jury in The Verdict
was a thing of beauty. 12 Angry Men was
a brilliant portrayal of how jurors can be
moved by the relentless integrity of just
one. Gregory Peck in To Kill a Mockingbird
was iconic. Inherit the Wind was a
wonderful portrayal. Even Tom Cruise gets
a nod for getting the code red confession
from Jack Nicholson in A Few Good Men.
I don’t know a single trial lawyer who
has not fantasized about adopting the
Joe Pesci response in My Cousin Vinny:
“Everything that guy just said is bullshit.”
And the collective walk-out from the
discipline hearing in Animal House has
tempted many a trial lawyer as well.
CLEMENT GLYNN / NAME PARTNER, GLYNN
& FINLEY; WALNUT CREEK; BUSINESS