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Shows Promise

Texas criminal-defense lawyers of old could talk to their jury panels about the Bible, and safely assume that they were talking about a common cultural framework. Modern culture is electronic, and much more ephemeral. It's harder for a lawyer to find a cultural hook that catches most of the jury panel.

Once upon a time there was Murder One, but realistic TV dramas with innocent defendants have been thin on the ground lately. The problem with the government getting it right all the time on TV (well, one of the problems) is that the people who watch TV get conditioned to assume that the government gets it right all the time in real life. (I once asked a jury panel what their favorite lawyer TV show was, and weeded out the Law & Order watchers while keeping the Boston Legal fans.)

Here's the trailer for CBS's upcoming courtroom drama, The Defenders. As the name suggests, it's written from the perspective of the defense, unlike yet another vile Dick Wolf franchise (I'm a little disappointed that I'm not #1 on a search for vile Dick Wolf franchise unless you put it in quotes).

It's an innately entertaining cast and, while the producers are clearly trying to play down the sexiness of the job, even in the two-and-a-half minute trailer there are bits that make me immediately say, "been there, done that" (Jerry O'Connell's character taunting the prosecutor in trial).



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