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Real Lawyer vs. Movie Lawyer | Lawyer Reacts to A Few Good Men, 12 Angry Men, & Erin Brockovich

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I get asked a lot about whether being a practicing attorney is like being a lawyer on TV. Like most people, I love watching legal movies and courtroom dramas. It's one of the reasons I decided to become a lawyer. But sometimes they make me want to pull my hair out because they are ridiculous. Today I'm taking a break from teaching law students how to kick ass in law school. This one is just for fun. In this video I tackle some of the most famous courtroom scenes in Hollywood history including A Few Good Men, 12 Angry Men, The Dark Knight, and Erin Brockovich. Great dramas, but BAD lawyering. They are preposterous, but I still love watching them. SUIT UP! Even if you're not a lawyer, you can still dress like one. All of my suits are from BlackLapel (I've used them exclusively for over five years). Their custom suits are amazing, yet still ridiculously affordable. HIGHLY recommended: https://go.magik.ly/ml/f78n/ (affiliate link, which helps out the channel) I hope this will be the first video in a series of "Lawyer Reacts" videos. There are a lot of portrayals of lawyers in the media including movies and TV -- and a lot of cringeworthy lawyering. Got a movie or TV show you'd like me to critique? Let me know in the comments! Special thanks to Dr. Mike for the idea for this video (https://www.youtube.com/doctor_mike) Check out his channel for his medical review of doctors in the media. ======================================================== If you're going to law school get our Ultimate Pre-Law Checklist (FREE) here ➜ https://www.legaleagleprep.com/prelaw Learn learn how to get ready for law school, the 5 things you must do the summer before law school, and more . . . ======================================================== ★ Got law school questions? Ask in the comments! ★ Say hi on Facebook: ➜ https://www.facebook.com/legaleaglereacts ★ Tweet at us on Twitter @LegalEagleDJ
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Text Comments (4261)
LegalEagle (4 months ago)
Check out the new Lawyer Reacts video where I take on Suits, Law & Order, and L.A. Law https://goo.gl/iaBZAL
with a side of fries (12 hours ago)
You should review the bee movie
SovereignAure (5 days ago)
I have a question regarding the Al Pacino scene. If as a lawyer your client tells you in confidence that he committed the act he is accused of, but still wants to enter a plea of not guilty because he believes the prosecution is unable to prove it; are you obligated to essentially lie on his behalf by proffering his plea of not guilty; or would it be more proper to ask to be removed as his attorney? Edited for grammer/spelling mistakes.
Now you got me curious, have you ever wanted you punched a witness?
blindsightedkill (21 days ago)
27:00 what is a legal drama that has a mediator?
eliv127 (27 days ago)
question, on your cheek is that a scar, white stubble you keep forgetting to dye or other and if it is a scar how'd you get it, if you don't mind me asking?
JohnE9999 (1 hour ago)
Difference between military and civil law?
deejayhm (2 hours ago)
Military hearings / court martials are nothing like a normal court case. Regular lawyers would be lost in a court of military justice or a court-martial case.
ELVIS1975T (3 hours ago)
Why didn't you mention how Hollywood fake it was that Tom Cruise, a lawyer and a low rank officer blatantly curses ("SON OF A BITCH") to a GENERAL and gets away with it??? That looked cool in the film but it was such great BS! Common lawyers even don't curse against rapists and murderers like that, and to think that it would happen in a military court??? They may know about law but most in Hollywood people don't know anything about military, except for real soldiers like Oliver Stone.
androcus1 (5 hours ago)
Brock Turner verdict.
Hoàng Trung Kiên (8 hours ago)
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Dannyboy66 (14 hours ago)
To kill a mockingbird
Kndarp Patel (16 hours ago)
At 13:41 that should be Henry Fonda, not Peter Fonda
Greg Carter (23 hours ago)
SIDEBAR : Can you do the trials of Frank Castle in the punisher/ daredevil netflix series . would love to hear your thoughts
Alberto Chang (1 day ago)
Please react to movie Fracture Anthony Hopkins and Ryan Gosling
paulmd2010 (1 day ago)
I absolutely love your videos! They are great insight. I especially liked your its always sunny videos, and how you took the strangeness with a grain of salt, and humor.
Henry Fonda not his son, Peter Fonda
James Lawman (2 days ago)
Nicholson is the witness not the defendant, but he’s arrogant enough to admit it, because he doesn’t see what’s wrong with code reds, but he’s also not going to want to be coached on what he’s going to say because he thinks he’s untouchable.
Truth Hurts (2 days ago)
If you ever want to hear some screeching, ooking and eeking in a courtroom, go watch negroes in trial. It's hilarious how they clearly show that they don't belong in any modern human civilization.
shadow turtle yinyang (2 days ago)
you got the idea from f dr hope
Thomas Bonse (2 days ago)
Objection, insufficient time was allotted for Erin Brockovich and her testimony. I yield the remainder of my time to her.
Gdicf, Seriously! (2 days ago)
The Tom Cruise Kevin Bacon mix up, hilarious!
sign543 (2 days ago)
OBJECTION! His name is HENRY Fonda. :)
Mitche23 (3 days ago)
So no surprise witnesses?
inkulu (3 days ago)
Given pre-trial disclosure, how would you not know that evidence was coming to therefore require witness summons for rebuttal that were not initially disclosed?
Tyler Emerson (3 days ago)
Love this channel. I recently watched "12 Angry Men" again, and the "new knife" sequence got a snicker from both my dad and I (he's an attorney, too). However, after thinking about it, I thought it provided an interesting question. Jurors are - by law - required to consider only the evidence presented at trial, this is true. However, the law in most American jurisdictions also permits jurors to use their own histories and experiences as filters through which to view the evidence as it comes in. I had this recently happen in a criminal trial when the prosecutor introduced a number of big, scary-looking guns as evidence that the defendant was inherently violent, but it had the opposite effect on the jury because in that particular jurisdiction it would not have been unusual for several members of the jury to own a large number of big, scary-looking guns, as well. We see it in civil circumstances as well, such as car accidents when a defendant talks about how busy the intersection was that night. But if a juror happens to live in the neighborhood, they are more than welcome to suggest in the jury room that the intersection is never busy because they drive by it all the time and it goes to weight of the evidence ("when that witness said it was busy, I don't believe it because that intersection is NEVER busy!") When I first watched that scene, I figured immediately that the juror happened to also own an identical knife (which he would be free to bring up in terms of suggesting the weight that the assumed uniqueness of the item happened to have). If he was walking through the neighborhood because he lived nearby, and during that walk he happened to walk into a store and see the same knife, it's a part of his history and experience through which he can view the evidence (how unique is it, really?). There's a gray area when it comes to jury deliberations about what is permissible and what is not with respect to the manner in which they use their histories and experiences to filter evidence in coming to factual conclusions. The film never answers the question whether his discovery of the same knife was coincidental, or whether he was actually conducting his own investigation of the case which would be impermissible.
Jackson Cabot (3 days ago)
It was a good decision to make the movie screen bigger in later videos of this series. Great videos so far, Mr. Stone and I hope to see more.
K Q-K (4 days ago)
The wait for him to say "I'm kidding" felt like a decade...
Rhaenyra Reigns (4 days ago)
Hey, nice ending tune. <3
Rhaenyra Reigns (4 days ago)
*TIME STAMPS:* @00:42 - "A Few Good Men"; @10:35 - "12 Angry Men"; @15:42 - "And Justice For All"; @19:32 - "The Dark Knight"; @22:35 - "Erin Brockovich".
ReverendSyn (4 days ago)
*Objection:* I really don't think any person in history has ever gone to a movie with lawyers in them expecting a treatise on realistic legal etiquette or proper legal proceedings. That's like going to watch Resident Evil and expecting to see proper HAZMAT procedure. Or bitching about Star Wars because there are sounds in the vacuum of space.
Chris Virginio (4 days ago)
Can you layer My Cousin Vinny?
leslie50heshy (4 days ago)
It's HENRY Fonda in 12 Angry Men, not Peter
Reggie R2 (5 days ago)
I like this vid. You should have broken them up though. its long.
Trigger Namus (5 days ago)
objection: if you punch a witness attempting to take you out does that make you guilty?
edward layer (5 days ago)
Are there three Ts in rebuttal?
Ramiro Northcutt (5 days ago)
I object.. why do you care about your suit but not your beard
asian_swaggy (6 days ago)
DrakeKesda (6 days ago)
Objection: That's not Peter Fonda, it's his father, Henry. Love your videos, though.
RtDK (6 days ago)
Anyone ever tell you you look like Bryan Reynolds?
Nicole Joyner (6 days ago)
So I have a general inquiry about law vs obligation to the client. You say that a lawyer can't knowingly lie or knowingly let the client lie but you are also not allowed to tell the court outright he's guilty? You have said if the attorney has an issue with the client he can choose to not be their lawyer anymore but if they all have rights to an attorney doesn't this have potential to just happen all over again? There is a specific episode of SVU let me look it up.........Law & Order: SVU episode titled Confidential and description perfectly sums up my confusion / question: An attorney confesses that she had knowledge that her client committed a 22-year-old murder that another man was serving time for, but could not come forward because of attorney-client privilege.
heath matlock (7 days ago)
I didn’t know jim from the office was a lawyer
Sara Thomas (7 days ago)
Why doesn't hair grow in that one place on your face? I have scars that do something like that. It's not a shot against you. Ypu're a beautiful man. I'm just curious.
Wise Guy4U (7 days ago)
This LegalEagle looks like he is related to John Hamm.
Rob Welch (7 days ago)
Can you do the top 5 most realistic law movies please?
Chad Hero (7 days ago)
Here's the deal, since the Marines were low ranked and the "code red" is something that is somewhat common, there is reasonable expectation that they thought they were obeying a legal order (we know that they were ordered to do it). At that point, they would be acquitted because everything that happened was a result of them following an order in which they believed was legal. Also, all military cases have an automatic appeal, so they would CERTAINLY win that
Samuel Jones (8 days ago)
Objection! It's Henry Fonda.
Guy Desaulniers (8 days ago)
Objection: when Jack Nicholson's character was asked if he ordered the code red his only options would be to tell the truth, plead the fifth, or commit purgery. Plus he was a high ranking hothead.
SailorIda3 (9 days ago)
That guy at 15.28 sounds a LOT like Radar from Mash :)
antiheartless45 (9 days ago)
Have you tackled Ace Attorney?
Fertv (9 days ago)
Your opening clip from The Dark Knight was filmed in an actual courtroom: Circuit Court of Cook County - Daley Center, Chicago.
Giraffe of Justice (9 days ago)
Can you do a video on Legally Blond?
Nathan Moore (9 days ago)
Do some law scenes from Star Trek Next Generation. There were quite a few.
Military courts don't have juries they have military tribunal
3:10 it doesn't qualify as a speculation if a commanding officer receives acknowledgement of the order given it is not Jack Nicholson speculating that his order was received clearly it was him knowing that his order was received clearly because it had to have been acknowledged by the person who received the order military doctrine the way the chain of command works the way giving an order works this is why the court system for military courts is quite a bit different from civilian Court
Pavel Adamek (1 day ago)
Agreed. Jessup knew, based on previous experience, that his orders were routinely clearly understood based on the actions arising from them.
Yeah but that first ones a Jag Court and the military court system is quite a bit different from the civilian court system and if I'm not mistaken last-minute rebuttal witnesses while they are allowed they usually have to jump through more hoops than they would in a civilian Court
Pavel Adamek (1 day ago)
The two "rebuttal witnesses" were only presented to Jessup. As you can see, Galloway was explaining to the judge who they were and Ross was objecting, so there had been no hoops; Kafee just brought two blanks to shoot at Jessup and he did not even need them. In the event of their being rejected, Kaffee would only lose one of this tricks.
wagrhodes13 (10 days ago)
I have been wondering, why doesn't a case like Wells-Fargo, which systematically defrauded hundreds of clients, draw up RICO charges? I realize that using the RICO Act against legal enterprises is not the original intent, but as far as I know there was evidence of systemic encouragement of and incentives for illegal activities such as fraud and identity theft.
David Dunn (10 days ago)
Objection in terms of civil suit yes but in a military trial referring to orders and chains of command And if were to say well maybe,  possibly..I don't know.... you have a very shitty commander and army
David Dunn (10 days ago)
Objection..wasn't jack just called to trial and not coached by bacon ...at all
Capn Cummings (11 days ago)
Al Pachino. The biggest over actor of all time.
Josh Hensley (11 days ago)
Also..that's not " kevin bacon"
Josh Hensley (11 days ago)
U should do one on the movie " my cousin vinny" if u haven't already
Simon-Pierre Dupuis (11 days ago)
That pause was so long ".....I'm kidding" hahaha, well played...wellplayed.
Shaojie H (12 days ago)
Please do The Good Wife if you haven't already.
Filip Poutintsev (12 days ago)
Such great videos! Thanks for going this!
Belltrixe _ (12 days ago)
yay! starts with Harvey Dent!
Derek Wall (12 days ago)
$20,000,000 divided by 400 people works out to $50,000 for each person. so in the case of california vs PG&E where the settlement reached $333,000,000 and divide that up by 400 that works out to $832,000 per person. now i am not sure how each plaintiff is paid in a class action suit because i don't know if the money is divided up equally.
Mystikal 36 (14 days ago)
Ass Action Lawsuit
DeltaFoxtrotWhiskey3 (14 days ago)
12:56 A jury is not allowed to bring in new evidence...never mind the fact he may have been committing a crime to bring that knife (weapon) into the court to begin with.
DeltaFoxtrotWhiskey3 (14 days ago)
At 2:56 People make the assumption that someone understood what they said every day. If Col. Jessep had given an instruction to a subordinate, and that subordinate did not ask questions or have a confused expression and was later found by Col Jessep to have actually carried out said instructions, then it's not a stretch for Jessep to be asked if the Marine had understood the orders. Is it?
Sean Moroney (14 days ago)
Have you covered Philadelphia yet? Seems accurate to me but I haven't a clue.
Andrew Williams (14 days ago)
Take a drink every time he says 'uh' or 'um'.
GrimReaper42666 (14 days ago)
LegalEagle would love to see you do a video on the movie Time to Kill with Matthew McCoughney and Samuel L Jackson.
RE H (14 days ago)
"How long have you been beating your wife?" Isn't that an example of begging the question?
Nevermind (15 days ago)
I searched for law movie and this is what I found. I'm approaching my third year in law school and when I do watch law movies, I often pause it and explain to my wife how it would actually play out. Mostly objections for speculation, unresponsive and badgering the witness, also introduction of evidence. I'm glad to see I'm not the only one to do this. Keep up the good videos, I enjoyed it.
Brion Lund (15 days ago)
That's not Kevin bacon? That's Jack Nicholson.
Kelly Mou (15 days ago)
react to legally blond please !!!!
sandman365TTi (15 days ago)
I object! Jessep was not on trial he was only a hostile witness very hostile. And there was no jury only 1 judge advocate
Captain Chaos (16 days ago)
Your comment about "beyond a reasonable doubt" meaning "about 95% to 99% certain" nicely illustrates what a *horrible* system lay jury trials are. 95% means that *one in twenty* convictions will be wrong! And that is supposed to be an incredibly high standard?!
Paul T (16 days ago)
Companies like PG&E are why the death penalty needs to be introduced for individuals who are directly involved on the board of directors or above a certain point within any company that knowingly commits criminal acts that result in death or illness.
Amani Lee (16 days ago)
Wasn't A Few Good Men a military court? I don't think they have a jury and follow the same rules as civilian courts.
Jamra (17 days ago)
OBJECTION: You misspelled Rebuttal
uccruzman (17 days ago)
Movie for analysis: A Time to Kill. This movie raises a lot of legal issues such as attorney-client privilege, jury nullification, racial bias, etc.
Matthew Newman (17 days ago)
objection!! do devil's advocate!!
Roger Cline (17 days ago)
Question: Are jury deliberations monitored? In the "12 Angry Men" clip, if Henry Fonda had brought in the duplicate knife, would the judge or attorneys ever know about it in order to declare a mistrial?
Erika Patsyfras (18 days ago)
Just FYI, that was Henry Fonda in "12 Angry Men" not Peter. Otherwise, good vid.
Romi C (20 days ago)
I watched the movie Howl (based on real events) and I didn't understand it. My biggest question is why someone would be in a trial for obscenity after a poem in a country like America, supposedly the fathers of free speech and such.
iniksbane (20 days ago)
Maybe I missed something. In my experience in criminal trials the defense interviews the key prosecution witnesses, so there would be a transcript. Not exactly sure if that differs from a deposition.
William Hughes (20 days ago)
how about ( Law abiding citizen )
Carl Wawrina (21 days ago)
Please do a segment on the film "Law Abiding Citizen." I enjoy your channel! Thanks.
Christopher Crepon (22 days ago)
Do you work in Tort law mostly?
Christian Burrell (22 days ago)
I know you say that your channel is to help new law students; but you perhaps have a great untargeted audience with your ability to explain how all this works to the public. I am not a law student at all, but I find your explanations very good and easy to follow. Thank you,
kevin owens (22 days ago)
Objection You said Peter Fonda it is actually Henry Fonda
Fluffy Milk Cow (23 days ago)
00:06 OBJECTION!! that doesn't sound like a funny story...
Sarah Conolly (23 days ago)
I'm sorry but is no-one going to mention how HILARIOUS AND WTF ENDUCING that cold open was
Jeremy Villalobos (23 days ago)
Review "my cousin viny"
Robert Pirlot (23 days ago)
%100 percent Trump would admit on the stand he colluded with the Russians and All other Crooked things he has done. That's why you NEVER put a baby on trial.
GrixieKong (23 days ago)
What about the legal defense of, “You’re a crook, Captain Hook! Judge, won’t you throw the book at a pirate-“
Jack Hammer (23 days ago)
would love to see "find me guilty"
Jack Hammer (19 days ago)
Since it's also based on a true story
Caren Hall (24 days ago)
Is it Ok to bring up the other side's other jobs in a court case? Like, If I had a salvation army employee(who introduced themselves as Salvo's employee) call a locksmith to break in my home's door and he tells the court he's also a police officer so it's legal, am I within my rights to kick up 'big stink' because he introduced himself as a charity worker to me and was told to leave the property?
Keith W. (23 days ago)
Objection: "so funny story that also happened to me in court and I also punched the witness" WHAT?! lolol
Jiggs (24 days ago)
why am I here?
Captain Vegas (25 days ago)
22:54 Love your videos, but the actress's name isn't "Julia Robertson."
curbotize (25 days ago)
You're like McSteamy in lawyer form.
Peter Hornaday (26 days ago)
Do midnight in the garden of good and evil
MillenniumActress (26 days ago)
It's such a pleasure to see you on screen. So articulating and handsome~.

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