History Series / LawandOrder

6th Jul '16 3:41:38 AM Morgenthaler
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* CopsNeedTheVigilante: This franchise, with its passion for legal truthiness, was typically careful about this. Cops weren't allowed to break the rules and neither was anyone else. When someone did break a rule, it usually meant the DA's office had to tap dance on quicksand to keep the perp from getting away with it.
29th Jun '16 6:35:40 AM Toadofsteel
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* AcquittedTooLate: Victor Cruz in "By Perjury", where he was sentenced to death for a crime he didn't commit. The man who ''did'' commit the murder, Cruz's [[spoiler: corporate attorney who represented him in a class-action lawsuit against an airline, perjured himself on the stand to implicate him. So, Cutter pulls off an extremely compelling argument where he tries the attorney for the murder of Victor Cruz by perjury, since there wasn't any evidence against the attorney for the actual murder of which Cruz was convicted]].

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* AcquittedTooLate: Victor Cruz in ([[NamesTheSame no relation]] to the [[UsefulNotes/AmericanFootball wide receiver]])in "By Perjury", where he was sentenced to death for a crime he didn't commit. The man who ''did'' commit the murder, Cruz's [[spoiler: corporate attorney who represented him in a class-action lawsuit against an airline, perjured himself on the stand to implicate him. So, Cutter pulls off an extremely compelling argument where he tries the attorney for the murder of Victor Cruz by perjury, since there wasn't any evidence against the attorney for the actual murder of which Cruz was convicted]].
17th Jun '16 6:48:29 AM nirao01
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In the show's 20 seasons, [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Law_%26_Order#Casting_and_characters twenty-seven different actors have starred in the leading six roles]], with a substantial number of recurring guest stars. Notable long-running cast members include S. Epatha Merkerson as Lieutenant Anita Van Buren (Seasons 4-20), Sam Waterston as Executive A.D.A. (later D.A.) Jack [=McCoy=] (Seasons 5-20), Creator/JerryOrbach as Det. Lennie Briscoe (Seasons 3-14), Steven Hill as D.A. Adam Schiff (Seasons 1-10), Jesse L. Martin as Det. Ed Green (Seasons 10-18), Chris Noth as Det. Mike Logan (Seasons 1-5), former U.S. Senator Fred Dalton Thompson as D.A. Arthur Branch (Seasons 13-17), and Alana de la Garza as A.D.A. Connie Rubirosa (Seasons 17-20).

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In the show's 20 seasons, [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Law_%26_Order#Casting_and_characters twenty-seven different actors have starred in the leading six roles]], with a substantial number of recurring guest stars. Notable long-running cast members include S. Epatha Merkerson as Lieutenant Anita Van Buren (Seasons 4-20), Sam Waterston as Executive A.D.A. (later D.A.) Jack [=McCoy=] (Seasons 5-20), Creator/JerryOrbach as Det. Lennie Briscoe (Seasons 3-14), Steven Hill as D.A. Adam Schiff (Seasons 1-10), Jesse L. Martin Creator/JesseLMartin as Det. Ed Green (Seasons 10-18), Chris Noth as Det. Mike Logan (Seasons 1-5), former U.S. Senator Fred Dalton Thompson as D.A. Arthur Branch (Seasons 13-17), and Alana de la Garza as A.D.A. Connie Rubirosa (Seasons 17-20).
5th Jun '16 7:26:23 AM Ohio9
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* WeaponOfChoice: Almost all the older detective main characters carry Smith & Wesson model 36 revolvers, while the younger ones tend to carry Glock 19 semi-automatic pistols. This is realistic, as both guns were/are standard issue in the NYPD. The most notable exception is detective Fontana, who carries a Smith & Wesson model 19.
23rd May '16 10:29:05 AM Josef5678
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* DoNotPassGo: In "Blaze", 23 people die after a fire breaks out in a facility where a rock concert occurs. The detectives are disgusted by the fact that the owners of the facility would only have to pay two fines for building code violations (having no sprinklers inside, not having accessible exits), when those violations directly caused so many fatalities.
--> '''Briscoe''': 23 people dead. Someone's gotta do more than just pay a couple of bucks.
--> '''Random Cop''': If you ask me, they should go right to the needle. Do not pass go, do not pay two hundred dollars.
3rd May '16 2:20:25 PM ChaoticNovelist
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* GambitRoulette: "Lucky Stiff" involved a man [[spoiler: sleeping with his stepsister, murdering his father and stepmother, and making volatile financial stakes in his father's businesses. He was able to thus predict the values of the stocks of the companies and shares he was invested in by being constantly kept in the loop of his father's shady business practices. He thus used the same volatile financial stakes his father used, as part of a get-rich-quick investment scheme to rip off his stepsister]].



* GreyAndGrayMorality: Lots. Especially in "Prisoner of Love": Greevey wants to be taken off the case because he's a Catholic, and he feels sickened because the victim was a BDSM sex worker. Later, when interviewing the daughter of the victim, who died from hanging, she says that her father never would have committed suicide. When asked why, she says that it's because he's a Catholic.

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* GreyAndGrayMorality: Lots. Especially For instance, in "Prisoner of Love": Greevey wants to be taken off the case because he's a Catholic, and he feels sickened because the victim was a BDSM sex worker. Later, when interviewing the daughter of the victim, who died from hanging, she says that her father never would have committed suicide. When asked why, she says that it's because he's a Catholic.



* StereotypeReactionGag: [=McCoy=] is notorious for putting his [=ADAs=] on when he wants to portray something sympathetic toward the jury. Most notably when he asks Claire to cross-examine a battered woman, and she calls him out on this. [=McCoy=] acts surprised and replies, "I just want to win."

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* StereotypeReactionGag: [=McCoy=] is notorious for putting his [=ADAs=] on when he wants to portray something sympathetic toward the jury. Most notably Such as when he asks Claire to cross-examine a battered woman, and she calls him out on this. [=McCoy=] acts surprised and replies, "I just want to win."



* StrictlyFormula: With certain notable exceptions, every episode would begin with the commission / discovery of a crime (often, but not always, a murder) and would follow the police investigation through the viewpoint of the two main detectives assigned to the case. At about the halfway point, they would make an arrest, and the point of view would switch to the prosecutors as they prepared and conducted the prosecution in court or tried to make a deal with the suspect. Certain other scenes also tended to be codified as part of the formula:

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* StrictlyFormula: With certain notable exceptions, every episode would begin with the commission / discovery of a crime (often, but not always, a murder) and would follow the police investigation through the viewpoint of the two main detectives assigned to the case. At about the halfway point, they would make an arrest, and the point of view would switch to the prosecutors as they prepared and conducted the prosecution in court or tried to make a deal with the suspect. Certain other scenes also tended to be codified as part of the formula:



* WorthlessForeignDegree: In the first episode, an Indian doctor is reticent to testify against his prestigious boss, because doing so would get himself fired. And in the medical world, social skills are far more valued than integrity and expertise, as portrayed in the episode.
* WrongGenreSavvy: The rich families who ''don't'' get away with their crimes are usually this. Notably the politician in "Family Hour", who is a belligerent SmugSnake throughout the entire proceeding.

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* WorthlessForeignDegree: In the first episode, an Indian doctor is reticent to testify against his prestigious boss, because doing so would get himself fired. And in In the medical world, social skills are far more valued than integrity and expertise, as portrayed in the episode.
* WrongGenreSavvy: The rich families who ''don't'' get away with their crimes are usually this. Notably this such as the politician in "Family Hour", who is a belligerent SmugSnake throughout the entire proceeding.



* XanatosGambit: In "Empire", [[spoiler: a business mogul who used Creator/JuliaRoberts' character to kill a public figure did it to subvert the approval he needed to finance a bond to construct a large football stadium. The prosecution is successfully able to convict the mogul for murder; however, the trial itself bought him just enough time to fully subscribe his bond to the construction of the stadium. In addition, he becomes a VillainWithGoodPublicity in the end, as the construction of the stadium carries his name, and thus his power, with it. To put the icing on the cake, Creator/JuliaRoberts' character, who contributed to the murder in the first place, gets away scot-free by [[BewareTheNiceOnes portraying herself as a poor, poor girl seduced by Det. Curtis]], and thus also profits from said construction]].
* XanatosRoulette: "Lucky Stiff" involved a man [[spoiler: sleeping with his stepsister, murdering his father and stepmother, and making volatile financial stakes in his father's businesses. He was able to thus predict the values of the stocks of the companies and shares he was invested in by being constantly kept in the loop of his father's shady business practices. He thus used the same volatile financial stakes his father used, as part of a get-rich-quick investment scheme to rip off his stepsister]].
29th Apr '16 10:33:00 PM foxley
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* CripplingTheCompetition: Subverted in a based on the Tonya-Nancy saga. When a tennis player's wrist is broken, suspicion falls on her rival. It turns out that the girls were actually friends and arranged the attack because she wanted to quit but knew that her [[StageMom Stage Dad]] wouldn't let her otherwise.
18th Apr '16 12:35:16 PM Hossmeister
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* YouLookFamiliar:
** A particularly weird case: While Lennie Briscoe became the face of the franchise for the better part of the series, actor Jerry Orbach first appeared in the second season as defense attorney Frank Lehrmann. Every bit as much of a DeadpanSnarker as his later detective character, Orbach's attorney character is remembered for the line "It's called plea bargaining, not plea scalping!"
** Equally strange examples include S. Epatha Merkerson playing the bereaved mother of a murder victim years before she was cast as Lieutenant Van Buren, and Annie Parisse playing the stripper girlfriend of a defendant shortly before being cast as ADA Borgia. Parisse allegedly wanted to play the same character and claim that she had been working as a stripper to pay for law school, but Dick Wolf wasn't keen on the idea.
*** Not without reason; in story, initially Jack wasn't keen on Abby becoming his assistant due to her inexperience- she'd been an ADA for five years at that point. Given the short timespan between Annie Parisse's appearance as a stripper and her debut as Borgia, it would stretch credibility that she went from paying her way through law school to climbing the ranks of the DA's office in such a short amount of time.
** Additionally, a clean-shaven Jeremy Sisto appears as defense attorney Clint Glover in the season finale of the 17th season. In the very next episode, he returns as a scruffy Detective Cyrus Lupo and continues this role for the rest of the series.
** Several character actors appeared numerous times in the series, each time in a different role. As an example: comedian Larry Miller appeared three times -- twice as a husband who hired people to murder his two wives, and once ''as himself''. During his appearance as himself, Miller's "resemblance" to the wife-murderer is lampshaded by Detective Green.
*** It's a bit off-putting when a certain actor (Paul Calderon, to be specific) appears as a pedophilic child rapist who pours insecticide on a 10-year-old girl in one episode, reappears as a particularly good lawyer in another, and then reappears as a decorated war veteran acquitted for assaulting and killing a college student in another.
** Zeljko Ivanek made one appearance on Law and Order as a smug corrupt businessman, convicted for murdering an elderly man who swindled money from him (which he had, in turn, swindled for his wealthy friends) who managed to get acquitted after the police actually find the body years later. After that, he made at least two appearances as his [[Series/HomicideLifeOnTheStreet Homicide]] character before making another appearance as a different character. Ivanek also appeared on SVU alongside [[JustForFun/JohnMunch Richard Belzer]], who he had previously starred with in Homicide.
** Tamara Tunie appeared as a defense attorney in the L&O episode "Deadbeat" before she landed a role in ''Series/LawAndOrderSpecialVictimsUnit'' as Dr. Melinda Warner.
15th Apr '16 1:39:10 PM skidoo23
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* KilledOffForReal: Ironically, Kincaid's actress, Jill Hennessey, thought that her character [[spoiler: actually survived the car crash, but remained in severe paralysis or something of the sort. Only after her friend watched Kincaid's final episode and told her what happened that she discovered that Kincaid actually was killed]].

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* KilledOffForReal: During the show's run, several ongoing characters were killed off:
** [[spoiler: Max Greevey]]
** Lennie Briscoe. After the death of actor Creator/JerryOrbach, who at the time was playing the character in the ''Trial By Jury'' spin-off, the character's death was also acknowledged on the parent series.
** [[spoiler: Claire Kincaid.
Ironically, Kincaid's actress, Jill Hennessey, thought that her character [[spoiler: actually survived the car crash, but remained in severe paralysis or something of the sort. Only after her friend watched Kincaid's final episode and told her what happened that she discovered that Kincaid actually was killed]].killed. Her death was furthermore confirmed on screen in a later episode.]].
** [[spoiler: Alexandra Borgia]]
15th Apr '16 1:31:40 PM skidoo23
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* NoHuggingNoKissing: One longstanding aspect of the series was that it rarely if ever delved deeply into the personal lives of the main characters. This is particularly the case for Jack [=McCoy=] and Claire, who carried on a relationship during much of their partnership that was indicated by very subtle ShipTease moments that led to fans debating if anything was actually happening or not due to the absence of overt signs of affection. It wasn't until some time after Claire was [[spoiler: KilledOffForReal]] that a line of dialogue finally confirmed that the relationship did happen.



* ShipTease: very rare given the show's avoidance of going too deep in to the personal/off-duty lives of the main characters. A notable exception is [=McCoy=] and Claire, whose relationship was the subject of numerous, and sometimes ''extremely'' subtle ship-tease moments, which led to debate among fans as to whether a relationship actually occurred. It wasn't until some time after [[spoiler: her death]] that an episode confirmed that the two had had an affair while working together, [[spoiler: and that she wasn't the only A.D.A. he'd gone to bed with.]]



* SimpleCountryLawyer: Arthur Branch ''loves'' to play with this trope.
** He subverts it, however, as a character. He understands that many people view him as an uneducated "momma's boy" type (with a degree from Yale Law School) and is able to manipulate the politics of his position effectively.


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* SimpleCountryLawyer: Arthur Branch ''loves'' to play with this trope.
** He subverts it, however, as a character. He understands that many people view him as an uneducated "momma's boy" type (with a degree from Yale Law School) and is able to manipulate the politics of his position effectively.


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** A rare male example occurs with [=McCoy=] when his multiple affairs with his assistants become a point of discussion.
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