All lawyers groan knowingly and nod sagely at the TV while watching courtroom dramas because we know there will always going to be something ridiculous. No witness will spontaneously confess. No judge will look kindly on you if you come up with last-minute evidence.

However, we won’t be deterred from watching by something as minor as histrionics and absurdity. And, to be fair, television and movie courtroom escapades have often favorably shaped the ways other people think of our profession. Certainly your friends and neighbors think you lead a much more dramatic life than you actually do. So let’s give in to the guilty pleasure of figuring out what the best and worst cross-examination moments in television and movies are.

Let’s do this. We’ll do the best three first so that you feel fortified to deal with the worst three.

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  1. weston says:

    I think the best cross examination on film (although the movie itself was overall a big disappointment after reading the book) was the cross of the medical examiner in Presumed Innocent.

  2. Truth in Comedy says:

    How could you not include the grits cross-exam from My Cousin Vinny?

  3. Why didn’t the Hulk have a moustache and goatee? Bizarre.

  4. P.J. of NY and MPLS says:

    Right. The Grits cross-exam is brilliant.

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