[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Law]]
!!Sergeant Max Greevey
->'''Played by:''' George Dzundza
-> ''"Seventeen-year-olds shouldn't be doing [[ThisAndThat the thing that makes babies]]."''

* BigFun
* DeadpanSnarker
* DroppedABridgeOnHim: Got shot in the first episode of Season Two.
* NiceCharacterMeanActor: WordofGod states that he was killed off due to cast tension. The [[SarcasmMode polite debate]] on abortion Greevey and Logan have was a result of the conflict between the actors.
** To elaborate, Dzundza thought that the show was going to be centred on him, as opposed to an ensemble, and he really didn't appreciate having to commute between New York and LA to do the filming, so they killed him off and replaced him with Sorvino.
* RaisedCatholic: '80s Catholic. It can be somewhat bizarre viewed thirty years later.
* WeHardlyKnewYe: He appeared in only one season of the show, which considering its length is absolutely nothing.
* WhyDidItHaveToBeSnakes: He hates walkup apartment buildings.

!!Detective Mike Logan
->'''Played by:''' Chris Noth
->'''Secretary''': ''Are you in charge of this ape?''
->'''Max Greevey''': ''My cross to bear.''

-> ''"She was a bottomless pit. Always 'give me your undivided attention'. And when my old man couldn't take it anymore and whacked her, she'd turn around and whack me. She got this look in her eye- I knew it was coming. And that cold witch in there... she's got that same look."''

* AbusiveParents: His dad hit his mom. His mom got drunk and hit him.
* AlcoholicParent: His LadyDrunk mother
* BreakoutCharacter: Most people with an opinion say it's not ''Franchise/LawAndOrder'' without Lennie Briscoe, but there's a good number who don't think it's Series/LawAndOrder without Lennie Briscoe ''or'' Mike Logan. His departure from the show was considered to be the loss of "the heart" of ''Series/LawAndOrder''.
* CartwrightCurse: [[spoiler:His partners sure do get shot a lot.]]
* CatchPhrase: "(''Criminal commits some crime and then does something mundane or fun?'')... ''[[CatchPhrase Now THAT is cold."]]''
* CowboyCop: Not so much a cowboy as he is a hothead, but the practical outcome can be pretty similar.
* DeadpanSnarker: Consistently. His partnership with Briscoe was a war of one-liners.
* EstrogenBrigadeBait: He's played by Chris "[[SexAndTheCity Mr. Big]]" Noth.
* FairCop: See immediately above.
* FatalFlaw: Mike has a very short temper.
* [[spoiler:ForgottenChildhoodFriend: The case that uncovered his RapeAsBackstory past kicks off with the death of a policeman who was Logan's friend when they were young.]]
* HollywoodAtheist: Due to his abusive childhood at the hands of religious individuals. Logan has no faith in the Catholic church as an ''institution'', but his thoughts on God are a bit less clear. [[spoiler:This thread is tugged again in the ''Criminal Intent'' series with a somewhat open resolution. He ''does'' make it inside a church again before death.]]
* HotBlooded: He's the first through the door when it's kicked down and the most likely to put his hands on a suspect.
* [[spoiler:ItsPersonal: After Max is killed, which is ironic given the bad blood between the two actors.]]
* NobleBigotWithABadge: During his time on the show, he makes comments that could variously be described as sexist, xenophobic, Islamophobic, and homophobic (although he seems to more or less get over that one in his final episode).
** He seems to be a misanthropist above all else and does show legitimate remorse when he sees how the black (and offensive) humour common in the force is taken by outsiders.
* PutOnABus: After punching out a homophobic city councilman (and probable murderer) for claiming they were NotSoDifferent, he was exiled to Staten Island. The MadeForTVMovie ''Exile: A Law & Order Movie'' brought him back five years later, and he eventually returns as part of the ''Series/LawAndOrderCriminalIntent'' cast.
* QuipToBlack: His designated job before passing the baton to Briscoe.
* [[spoiler: RapeAsBackstory: A friend set him up to be molested by a Catholic priest as a young boy.]]
* ReallyGetsAround: Mike has a lot of ex-girlfriends, given the number of references he makes to them and Briscoe's comments about his love life.
* {{Transplant}}: From the original series to ''Series/LawAndOrderCriminalIntent''.

!!Captain Donald Cragen
->'''Played by:''' Dann Florek
->''The entire city is enraged at the deaths of people who, normally, they wouldn't have time of day for.''

* TheAlcoholic: Part of his backstory.
* BaldOfAwesome: Bald. Fairly sarcastic, but awesome.
* ChuckCunninghamSyndrome: His departure wasn't explained until the episode "Bad Faith" three years later, which revealed that he was heading up the Anti-Corruption Task Force.
* ClearMyName: In "Blue Wall," in which he is suspected of corruption due to guilt by association.
* DaChief: First head of the 27th in the series.
* DeadpanSnarker: Merciless. Don't ask him about ''verbal altercations''.
* NoIndoorVoice: Considering the rate of turnover, can you blame him?
* TeamDad: Averted. He takes on this role in [=SVU=].
* {{Transplant}}: From the original series to ''Series/LawAndOrderSpecialVictimsUnit''.

!!Sergeant Phil Cerreta
->'''Played by:''' Paul Sorvino
-> ''Thirty years... charmed life... I never even... fired....''

* ByTheBookCop: Never uses any form of trickery, and is always polite to even the worst of suspects, but is still a very effective detective.
* CoolHat: The ushanka of awesome.
* CoolOldGuy: Same deal as Max.
* SuspiciouslySimilarSubstitute: For Max Greevey. They look so similar a casual viewer might not figure it out. [[spoiler:Except that only one of them dies for real.]]
** Both of them are rather large men. According to Jerry Orbach, while he was filming one of his first episodes on the streets of New York, a kid said to him, "You're the new fat guy, right?"
* WeHardlyKnewYe: One season and eight episodes. Replaced with Lennie Briscoe, the man who became the face of the franchise, so most people don't even remember Phil, even though he was on for longer than Greevey.

!!Detective Lennie Briscoe
->'''Played by:''' Jerry Orbach
->''If I was kidding I'd be wearing a Fez and no pants.''

* TheAlcoholic: A major part of his backstory as well as a plot point in one episode. [[spoiler: When introduced, he's sober. In "Aftershock," he falls off the wagon, which starts the chain of events that leads to Claire's death.]]
* TheAtoner: To his children. Not surprising, as he was raised Catholic.
* BadassGrandpa: Lennie was on the show a long time, so this came to apply, particularly after we got Ed Green.
* BreakoutCharacter: There is a large group of people who think it's not ''Series/LawAndOrder'' if it doesn't have Lennie Briscoe. He was the face of the show along with Jack [=McCoy=].
* TheCastShowOff: A striking {{aversion}}. Despite Jerry Orbach being a Tony Award-winning song and dance man who even recorded a solo album, Lennie Briscoe never sings a single note on the show, and at one point claims to be no good at music. However, Orbach did have a few occasions to display his talents at trick shots in pool.
* CoolOldGuy: Lennie Briscoe was the defining example on '90s television.
* DeadpanSnarker: Lennie ''made'' the QuipToBlack trope. One series of adverts for the show were titled ''Briscoe's Best.''
* DisappearedDad: Because of his drinking and divorce, he wasn't the best father.
* DirtyCop: There are hints of this in his past, when he was a drinker. In the present, it's a role he plays to the hilt to get snitches to trust him, but the audience never sees anything but decency from him. However, his knowledge of the dirty cop play book often gives him the inside track on cases.
* [[spoiler:CharacterDeath: Upon actor Jerry Orbach's death, both Detective Logan and Detective Green referenced Briscoe's (off-screen) death.]]
* KnownOnlyByTheirNickname Lennie's full name isn't seen or spoken until his final episode: it's Leonard J. Briscoe.
* NobleBigotWithABadge: It's downplayed in later episodes, but his first appearance has him make some pretty xenophobic remarks about Italians and Latinos.
* PapaWolf: He's offered a chance to put a hit on his daughter's killer, but it's never revealed what, if anything, Briscoe does with this information.
* QuipToBlack: The TropeCodifier.
* RevolversAreJustBetter: Lennie predates the regular issuing of automatics, so he keeps his .38 to the day he leaves the show.
* SherlockScan: When he first shows up at a crime scene, he immediately and correctly deduces that the uniformed officer on the scene was lying about what he was doing and where he was, and identifies both: eating donuts at a particular shop, based on the powdered sugar on his blues.
* SuspiciouslySimilarSubstitute: Averted; he's notably different from his predecessors. Where they were both fairly reasonable, well-adjusted family men, Briscoe is a snarky, cynical recovering alcoholic with two failed marriages behind him.
* {{Transplant}}: Orbach left the show to do [[Series/LawAndOrderTrialByJury Trial By Jury]], because his prostate cancer was getting worse and Trial By Jury, being a Law Procedural, made his work less demanding. Unfortunately, Orbach succumbed to his cancer, which had made him so weak that they had to re-write his last scene in the series to accommodate him.
* {{UST}}: Frequently flirts with Dr. Rogers, though it's hard to say what he actually feels. But he ''did'' take her to the opera once, according to her.
* YouLookFamiliar: Jerry Orbach played a defense attorney in a Season 2 episode.

!!Lieutenant Anita Van Buren
->'''Played by:''' S. Epatha Merkerson
* BlackBossLady: Black, the boss, a lady. What more can be said?
* DaChief: Second head of the house, from Cragen's departure to the very last episode.
** DontYouDarePityMe - [[spoiler: God help you if you try to baby her, she will not stand for it.]]
* NeverMessWithGranny: You will regret it. Granny has a force of personality and intensity that are enough to make you cower in fear, ''and'' she carries a gun.
* ReasonableAuthorityFigure: Especially when she first appeared. She replaced Lt. Cragen, who continually harped to his subordinates of what can't be done, she focused on directing her troops on what ''can'' be done.
* TwoferTokenMinority: Her original role on the show could easily be seen this way.
** Indeed, Merkerson has often noted that at the time she was hired, no black woman in the NYPD had yet risen to the rank of Lieutenant.
* YouLookFamiliar: S. Epatha Merkerson played a grieving mother in Season 1's "Mushrooms".

!!Detective Rey Curtis
->'''Played by:''' Benjamin Bratt
->'''Rey Curtis''': ''No, what you've got is a lot of nerve, Lennie, making it sound like I agree with you, ''partner''.''\\
'''Lennie Briscoe''': ''It never occurred to me that you wouldn't, ''partner''. What, you wanna see this scum bounce?''\\
'''Rey Curtis''': ''I wanna see him strapped down with a needle in his arm but I'm not gonna perjure myself to make it happen!''

* TheAtoner: After cheating on his wife, he does everything he can to salvage their marriage. More generally, he's a faithful Catholic who plays by the rules and the least cynical of all the detectives to appear on the show.
* BackForTheFinale: In the final season we saw Van Buren attending his wife's funeral.
* BilingualBonus: His ethnicity and fluent Spanish enabled him to develop a rapport with witnesses and victims, garnering necessary information the detectives might otherwise not have gotten.
* ByTheBookCop: In his methods, yes, to the point of exasperating others.
* CharacterDevelopment: He starts off quite judgmental, aloof and self-righteous, which creates tension with the more laid-back Briscoe. A few years on the job (and a slip in his morality after he has a brief affair), he's more relaxed about things and has a better working relationship with Briscoe.
* ChickMagnet: While Mike Logan's success with the ladies was more of an InformedAbility, our boy Rey is ''quite'' popular with the females. Examples include Jamie from S6s "Aftershock", Lisa from the S7s LA trilogy, his female boss at OCCB who sexually harassed him, and about 80% of the women that are witness, suspects, friends of witnesses and suspects, and plain old friends who help out on cases.
* FairCop: Considering that Bratt was cast to replace Noth, this was guaranteed.
* HappilyMarried: His wife considers divorce after his affair, but they stay together. When Bratt decided to leave the show, Curtis stepped down to a desk job so he could spend more time with his wife (who had recently been diagnosed with MS).
* InspectorJavert: He has an initially unyielding black-and-white view of crime and criminals, but this softens slightly over time.
* RaisedCatholic: And ''how''. He's still faithful, as demonstrated several times throughout his run, and he often uses his knowledge of the faith to convince other believers to talk.
* YourCheatingHeart: Cheats on his wife in the Season Six finale, and is eventually so consumed with guilt over it that he spills the beans to his wife, who wouldn't have found out otherwise. His guilt gets even worse when his wife is diagnosed with MS.

!!Detective Ed Green
->'''Played by:''' Jesse L. Martin
->'''Defense Attorney''': ''Detective! Put a leash on your partner!''
->'''Lennie Briscoe''': ''We gave up, he chewed through all of ours.''

* CharacterDevelopment (from rash, short-tempered CowboyCop to mature, wise mentor to his younger partners)
* CowboyCop (at the start)
* CunningLinguist: Speaks fluent Spanish, as well as a decent amount of French and some Russian "enough to get a date".
* FairCop
* TheGamblingAddict: It's referred to several times, though it's never known how severe a problem it was. It even comes back to bite him in the ass during his final episode--he mentions that his despondency over Lennie's retirement and later, his death was enough to trigger a relapse, kicking off a chain of events that led to his downfall.
* ScaryBlackMan (he isn't actually, but he'll often pretend to be during interrogations). Which ironically leads to him being MistakenForRacist when he makes a sarcastic comment to a perp about the perks he gets for beating up black suspects.

!!Detective Joe Fontana
->'''Played by:''' Dennis Farina
->'''Suspect''': ''Is that a threat?''
->'''Joe Fontana''': ''A threat? No. A threat would be more like... 'If you stonewall this investigation any more I'm gonna break your jaw. And when you're on the ground, I'm gonna kick you 'till you spit blood you cheap shyster.' '''That''' would be a threat. '''This''' is more of a request.''

* BadassGrandpa
* {{Catchphrase}} ("We're authorized")
* CowboyCop
* CoolOldGuy
* DirtyCop: This was suggested in a long-running B-plot that backed up several episodes, due to the fact that he always had a money clip filled with at least a couple of grand on him, lived in an expensive condo, wore tailored suits, and drove a sports car, all on a cop's salary. But this was [[AvertedTrope averted]] when...
** SecretlyRich: ... it turned out that Fontana's grandfather was "the original Chef Luigi" (a BlandNameProduct alternative for Chef Boyardee), and that Fontana's been living off his share of the family fortune since he was a teenager.
* JackBauerInterrogationTechnique: On more than one occasion. Don't [[AddedAlliterativeAppeal kill a cop or kidnap a kid]] near him.
* RabidCop

!!Detective Nick Falco
->'''Played by:''' Michael Imperioli
* TheBusCameBack: For one episode, in which he's a murder suspect. And he's the one who keeps finding all the key evidence, even though he's on suspension. [[spoiler:He was framed.]]
* HeyItsThatGuy: He was a limo driver in a season 6 episode.
* TemporarySubstitute (he replaced Ed Green for four episodes when Jesse L. Martin was filming ''{{Rent}}''.
* WeHardlyKnewYe

!!Detective Nina Cassady
->'''Played by:''' Milena Govich
->'''Anita Van Buren''': ''What is your issue Cassidy? You're always leadin' with your chin, always playin' tough. It's not smart. A good cop never takes the bait, never escalates.''

-> ''"Mr. Glover, if I really had it in for your client, I could have dropped him with a justifiable shooting when I found him stabbing his own daughter to death. But I didn't. Because I exercised the control I learned in my training. That control is why your client is still alive today."''

* ActionGirl
* ChuckCunninghamSyndrome
* CowboyCop
* FairCop: The fairest of them all.
* NoodleIncident: How Nina got tagged "The Beauty Queen Detective" was barely addressed and only in her debut episode.
** NeverLiveItDown: The incident is one of the reasons her co-workers at the 27th have a hard time taking her seriously.
* WeHardlyKnewYe
* YouLookFamiliar (Melina Govich played a bartender in an episode in Season 16. She was also in the spin-off series {{Conviction}})

!!Detective Cyrus Lupo
->'''Played by:''' Jeremy Sisto
* TheAlcoholic: Started as DrowningMySorrows due to job related PTSD, but spiralled from there.
* BrokenAce: Lupo is introduced as a cool and mysterious anti-terrorism agent, but his past is filled with alcoholism and regret.
* CoolShades
* DeadpanSnarker
* PermaStubble
* QuipToBlack
* YouLookFamiliar (Jeremy Sisto played a defense lawyer in Season 17, ironically one episode before his introduction)

!!Detective Kevin Bernard
->'''Played by:''' Anthony Anderson
* ByTheBookCop
* EmbarrassingNickname: St. Bernard. It's why he does not like dogs.
* InternalAffairs
* PermaStubble
* PlayingAgainstType ([[TheShield Antwon Mitchell]] as a cop?
* YouLookFamiliar (Creator/AnthonyAnderson originally played a different detective on Series/LawAndOrderSpecialVictimsUnit)
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Order]]
!!Executive Assistant District Attorney Benjamin "Ben" Stone
->'''Dr. Edward Auster''': ''When you practice medicine, Mr. Stone, sometimes the patient dies.''
->'''Ben Stone''': ''And when you're a lawyer, Dr. Auster, some of the people you prosecute are convicted.''

* BewareTheNiceOnes
* GentlemanSnarker: When he calls you "sir", it means he doesn't like you.
* RaisedCatholic
* SchiffOneLiner
* TheStoic: Ben had the emotional range of a brick. It made him all the scarier.
* TranquilFury: Masterfully portrayed in "Indifference". During the prosecution of a scumbag spousal/child abuser, the look he gives the aforementioned defendant makes it clear that he would beat the crap out of him if he could.

!!Assistant District Attorney Paul Robinette
-> ''"Don't tell me that tearing down a 200-year old justice system, no matter how flawed, is going to alter the consciousness of a society. Now, we're past the separate drinking-fountain stage. We're past legal discrimination. We're at the hearts and minds stage. And believe me, there's no quick fix."''
-->'''From "Out Of The Half-Light" (ep. 1-11)'''

->''Ben Stone once told me I'd have to decide if I was [[IronicEcho a black man who was a lawyer or a lawyer who was black.]] All these years, I thought I was the latter. All these years... I was wrong.''
-->'''From "Custody" (ep.6-14)'''

* AmoralAttorney: In his return appearances as a defence attorney
* BrotherChuck: although he has come back for the occasional guest appearance, and his departure was explained in a deleted scene in Season 4
* ButNotTooBlack: Frequently gets accused of this by other African Americans. Probably what led him to become a Malcolm X/Johnnie Cochran parallel.
* EightiesHair: The Flattop of Justice. The first time Robinette guest starred, Richard Brooks had notably shaved his hair.
* FaceHeelTurn
* HiddenDepths: The first episode that he guest-starred in proved him to be a more than competent attorney, competent enough to deadlock a jury. In contrast, when he was a regular Stone mostly had him do leg work.
* MalcolmXerox: When he comes back as a defence attorney, and slings race cards like Al Sharpton on meth.
* [[StrawCharacter Strawman Political]]: See above
* TokenMinority

!!District Attorney Alfred Wentworth
Appeared only in the pilot episode, and thus appears for the fewest episodes out of any regular cast member (1).

!!District Attorney Adam Schiff
->'''Adam Schiff''': ''You got what you wanted. Take the rest of the week off.''
->'''Jack [=McCoy=]''': ''It's Friday, Adam.''
->'''Adam Schiff''': ''So it is. See you on Monday.''

* CommanderContrarian: Schiff's style is to ''appear'' resistant to any idea. At least this way, he can outsource blame.
* GrumpyOldMan
* JewsLoveToArgue: He was big on arguing with [=McCoy=] especially, sometimes because [[WhatTheHellHero it needed to be done]] and sometimes just because.
* ParentalSubstitute: For both Stone and [=McCoy=]. His relationship with Stone was more nurturing, and Adam was disappointed when Stone chose to resign. Schiff's relationship with [=McCoy=], however, is more adversarial.
* SchiffOneLiner: Trope Namer
* TeamDad

!!Assistant District Attorney Claire Kincaid
* [[spoiler:BusCrash (quite literally. Claire was originally supposed to only be paralyzed in the car crash in the Season 6 finale and then PutOnABus, but when actress Jill Hennesey declined to return for a final episode in Season 7 she was killed off instead)]]
** Interestingly, Jill Hennessey has stated that [[spoiler: she wanted to return and was not aware that her character was killed off until someone watched the episode and told her.]]
* HelloAttorney
* TheMcCoy
* {{Retirony}}: She debates either resigning from the DA's office or quitting law altogether (and Jack talks her out of it) shortly before [[spoiler: she's injured/killed in a car accident]].
* WideEyedIdealist

!!Executive Assistant District Attorney Jack [=McCoy=] (later District Attorney)
->'''Jack [=McCoy=]''': ''Ask me how I sleep at night.''
->'''Connie Robirosa''': ''How '''do''' you sleep at night?''
->'''Jack [=McCoy=]''': ''Like a baby.''

* BreakoutCharacter: He didn't show up until the 5th season, but he became ''the'' face of the franchise, arguably even moreso than Lennie Briscoe. This was helped by the fact that, unlike Orbach, Waterston survived the series and Orbach's death made the District Attorney's office much more important.
* CommutingOnABus (after he becomes District Attorney)
** To elaborate, while his screentime got diminished he still had more of an active role than previous DAs.
* {{Determinator}} (The things he will do to get his way legally...)
* {{Irony}}: In Arthur Branch's last episode Branch says [=McCoy=] may one day fill his seat. [=McCoy=] responds that he has no mind for politics. The very next episode, [=McCoy=] is filling Arthur's seat as District Attorney.
* ItsPersonal: The deaths of [[spoiler:Claire Kincaid]], [[spoiler: ADA Ricci]], and [[spoiler:Alexandra Borgia]] cause him to go on legal [[RoaringRampageOfRevenge Roaring Rampages of Revenge]] of sorts. All come close to getting him disbarred.
** Specifically: [[spoiler:Following Claire's death]], [=McCoy=] later [[spoiler:collaborates with a judge to frame a drunk driver for first degree murder (the driver really killed the people, but was so intoxicated he couldn't form the intent needed for a murder charge. [=McCoy=] and the judge collaborated to keep evidence proving that the man was drunk out of court, so [=McCoy=] could falsely claim that he wasn't drunk and deliberately killed the people. It is implied that all this was because he was bitter that Claire's killer received a light sentence and wanted to see proper justice done for the victims in this case]]
** When a bit character, [[spoiler:ADA Ricci]], dies, [=McCoy=] [[spoiler: suspends habeas corpus]].
** After [[spoiler:Borgia]] dies, [=McCoy=] sets up a show trial with fake evidence and perjured testimony to try to trick the killer into a confession.
* JerkassFacade: Deliberately cultivates a reputation as a hardass, but frequently backs down when confronted with a defendant who legitimately deserves sympathy.
--> To Jamie Ross, "Then you can tell him he's dealing with a junkyard dog."

--> '''[=McCoy=]:''' Four minutes.
--> '''Defense Attorney:''' Always have to play the tough guy, don't you.
--> '''[=McCoy=]:''' Tough has nothing to do with this.
--> '''Defense Attorney:''' You feel for the woman, Jack. It doesn't make you weak.
--> '''[=McCoy=]:''' Three minutes.
--> '''Defense Attorney:''' I could win this case, y'know.
--> '''[=McCoy=]:''' Not when the judge instructs the jury on the definition of legal insanity.
--> '''Defense Attorney:''' Ten years is a long time.
--> '''[=McCoy=]:''' She killed a man.
--> '''Defense Attorney:''' A scoundrel. ... Ten years, ''or'' until a panel of three medical professionals certifies she's not a threat to herself or others.
--> '''[=McCoy=]:''' Doctors to be chosen by my office.
--> '''Defense Attorney:''' But in the private psychiatric facility of her choice.
--> '''[=McCoy=]:''' To be approved of by me and located within my jurisdiction. [[TheStoic One minute.]]
--> '''Defense Attorney:''' Done.
--> '''[=McCoy=]:''' I tell the judge. [stands up to leave]
--> '''Defense Attorney:''' It's not a bad thing, Jack.
--> '''[=McCoy=]:''' What?
--> '''Defense Attorney:''' Having a heart.
* MayDecemberRomance: Heavily implied with Claire; confirmed a couple of seasons after [[spoiler: Claire's death.]]
* NoIndoorVoice
* ParentalSubstitute: As noted by Linus Roache, there's a fairly adversarial father-son dynamic between [=McCoy=] and Cutter, but generally [=McCoy=] acts as a surrogate father to Cutter, who has little-to-no contact with his biological father.
** [=McCoy=]'s relationship with Schiff is a similarly adversarial father-son dynamic. Schiff and [=McCoy=] often tend to be at odds and argue far more than Schiff did with Stone but Schiff nonetheless acts as [=McCoy=]'s surrogate father and mentor. Of note is that fact that [=McCoy=] had a terrible relationship with his biological father, a racist Irish Chicago cop who abused him and his mother.
* RaisedCatholic
* SchiffOneLiner
* SleepingWithTheBoss: Is notorious for having had this kind of relationship with his assistants, all female. When he first came into the District Attorney's office, Claire Kincaid pointed out that he'd slept with all three of his previous assistants (and married one of them), to which Jack replied that all the relationships were mutually consensual. Then Claire declared that nothing of the sort would happen between herself and Jack, to which he agreed...only for them to get intimate later on down the line.
* TeamDad: Once he becomes District Attorney
* WhatTheHellHero: his actions have been called out by Schiff, his colleagues, the judges, the Bar Association disciplinary committee, and eventually himself.

!!Assistant District Attorney Jamie Ross (later Judge)
* HelloAttorney
* MamaBear: Her devotion to her daughter occasionally conflicts with the show, such that she debates quitting more than once and eventually is PutOnABus because of it. Her AmoralAttorney ex-husband uses it against her to help his client.
* ReTool: The character was originally a morally ambiguous ex-defense attorney who became a prosecutor after a client she got acquitted, went on to kill again. As such, she was originally a lot more underhanded and devious when it came to court room trickery. Sadly this was quickly dropped and the character was turned into a single mother SuspiciouslySimilarSubstitute of Claire Kincaid.)
* {{Transplant}} (from the original to ''Series/LawAndOrderTrialByJury'', although she was only a recurring guest character in the latter)

!!Assistant District Attorney Abbie Carmichael
->'''Abbie Carmichael''': ''I have a solution that will make us all happy.''
->'''Jack [=McCoy=]''': ''What's that?''
->'''Abbie Carmichael''': ''No deals for anybody. Let's hang 'em all.''

* BlondeRepublicanSexKitten: Albeit a brunette.
* HelloAttorney
* InspectorJavert: Often displays a black-and-white view of crime and criminals, to the point where in early season 9 she has zero sympathy towards a young woman she sent to prison on a minor drug charge who is now accused of arranging the murder of a guard who was abusing her (demanding sexual favors from her and threatening to harm her daughter if she didn't comply). It's especially disturbing considering that Abby is a rape survivor herself, yet her attitude towards the woman is essentially disbelief mixed with, "It's your fault for doing something that put you in jail in the first place".
* KnightTemplar: See above.
* RapeAsBackstory: Abbie was date-raped by a law student when she was a college freshman.

!!District Attorney Nora Lewin
* BrotherChuck
* TheMcCoy

!!Assistant District Attorney Serena Southerlyn
-> ''"Is this because I'm a lesbian?"''

* HelloAttorney
* LipstickLesbian
* TheMcCoy: To the point where [[spoiler:it got her fired]].
* ShoutOut: Serena is named after one of Dick Wolf's kids.
* SweepsWeekLesbianKiss: She didn't kiss anybody, but the effect was much the same.
* SuddenlySexuality: Looking backwards you can see the attempts at foreshadowing, but they don't mean anything to anyone without hindsight. When she drops the bombshell in her final scene it's implied even her bosses didn't know.
** Interviews with Dick Wolf suggest that he wrote that scene just to shock the viewers and get them talking, implying that any and all foreshadowing was unintentional. This is reflected in viewer response, which was not 'Oh, that's so edgy' like Wolf expected, but more 'Oh, that's so cheap'.
* WideEyedIdealist

!!District Attorney Arthur Branch
* ButIPlayOneOnTV: Actor Fred Thompson's reputation as a "law and order candidate" (no pun intended) came more from his time on this show than on anything he'd actually said or done.
* GoodIsNotSoft: He was elected to make New Yorkers feel safer in the wake of 9/11.
* GoodOlBoy
* LargeAndInCharge
* TeamDad: Neither affectionate nor even really nice, but always ready with encouragement or to make an attempt at convincing before he ordered. Even when he fires Serena, he points out that she has the skills and mindset of a ''superb'' defense attorney...which simply don't work for a prosecutor.
* {{Transplant}}: Sort of. He became a regular cast member on spin off ''Series/LawAndOrderTrialByJury'', but he was still a cast member on the original series at the same time)

!!Assistant District Attorney Alexandra Borgia
->'''Arthur Branch''': ''So, what now? We pat each other on the back and break out the blue label?''
->'''Jack [=McCoy=]''': ''Alexandra always hated that.''
->'''Arthur Branch''': ''I just assumed she didn't like scotch.''
->'''Jack [=McCoy=]''': ''The whole old boy ritual. It was a little much for her.''

* [[spoiler:CruelAndUnusualDeath: She was kidnapped and viciously beaten. The beating caused her to vomit, but as she was gagged she choked on it. She ''choked to death on her own vomit''.]]
* [[DroppedABridgeOnHim Dropped A Bridge On Her]]
* [[spoiler: McLeaned: Rumor has it that her particularly brutal death was a result of actress Annie Parisse refusing to sleep with one of the show's writers.]]
** [[spoiler: That has been debunked. WordOfGod says she left because she felt unfulfilled in her role and wanted to explore different acting opportunities, and the reason she was killed off was because the writers had always wanted to murder an A.D.A.]]
* YouLookFamiliar: Annie Parisse played a stripper in a Season 12 episode. Supposedly, she wanted to play the same character and have her backstory be that she was working as a stripper to pay for law school, but the idea was vetoed.

!!Assistant District Attorney Connie Rubirosa
* FanServicePack: Between seasons 17 and 18.
* HelloAttorney
* TokenTwofer: As a woman and an Hispanic. She's willing to call out whites for not understanding racism or men for not understanding misogyny. To be fair, she also calls out a StrawFeminist for going over the line.
* {{Transplant}}: To Series/LawAndOrderLosAngeles.
* {{UST}}: With Cutter. She's jealous of his flirting with a legal assistant, and she knows very well that he's in love with her.

!!Executive Assistant District Attorney Michael Cutter
->'''Cyrus Lupo''': ''Is this some sort of sport to you?''
->'''Michael Cutter''': ''Stick with your law books, detective. On the page, the law is a much purer thing.''

* AwesomeMcCoolname
* BerserkButton: Don't EVER threaten Connie.
* CommanderContrarian
* {{Determinator}}
* FakeAmerican: Linus Roache hails from Manchester, England
* IconicItem (his baseball bat)
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold
* ManipulativeBastard
* [[StrawCharacter Strawman Political]]: At first, Cutter was portrayed as a Straw Republican, taking the conservative route just to be shot down by Jack. Now his arguments seem to be gaining weight, leading to a few cases of StrawmanHasAPoint.
* {{U|nresolvedSexualTension}}ST: At least one person tells Connie that Cutter carries a torch for her. He really does.
* WhatTheHellHero: Gets called on his more questionable actions often. One time when [=McCoy=] chews him out, he points out [=McCoy=] did the same thing, and [=McCoy=] has to remind him he got chewed out for what he did.
* {{Transplant}}: Plays a recurring role on Series/LawAndOrderSpecialVictimsUnit now that the original has been cancelled.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Psychologists]]
!!Dr. Elizabeth Olivet
A psychologist who often interviews people that are claiming to have insanity defenses, and who also assists with profiling defendants. She comes from an academic background, having earned her degree in psychology through a graduate research program. Olivet is generally non-confrontational when talking to her patients. Often inclined to believe that a given client is insane (or was during the time of the crime), and has disagreed with [=McCoy=] vehemently when she feels obligated to do so. Appears in 87 episodes between seasons 2-19.
* BrokenBird
* CowboyCop: When she goes after a SmugSnake gynecologist who raped one of her patients--only to become a victim herself.
* FakeGuestStar
* PromotionToOpeningTitles: Briefly.

!!Dr. Emil Skoda
A psychologist who handles the psych workups required when a defendant pleads an insanity defense, and who also assists in creating profiles of suspects. His background is in practicing medicine; he was a physician with a specialty in psychiatry before becoming an expert witness. Often disinclined to believe that a patient is insane, to the point of arguing with other psychologists (such as Olivet, and in one case, the criminal's victim) about it. Appears in 42 episodes between seasons 8-15, and 3 more in season 20.
* ChuckCunninghamSyndrome (Disappeared after the 2004 season as the actor (Creator/JKSimmons) got a job on ''Series/TheCloser'', but subverted when he appeared again for two episodes in 2010 with no warning.)
* HeyItsThatGuy (Hey, it's [[{{Spiderman}} J. Jonah Jameson]]!) Hey it's [[Series/{{Oz}} Vern Schillinger]]! Hey, it's the [[Series/TheCloser Pope]]!
* YouLookFamiliar: The actor playing Skoda has made numerous appearances on the show. Most notably, as the main bad guy for the first Law and Order/Homicide: Life on the Streets X-Over.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Medical Examiners]]
!!Dr. Elizabeth Rodgers
->'''Rogers''': ''You get used to the smell.''
->'''Det. Ed Green''': '''''No you don't.'''''

Wise-cracking doctor who figures out why people died. Blase about her job, to the point of eating lunch in rooms containing corpses. She at least once had to perform an autopsy in a full HAZMAT suit. Appears in 143 episodes throughout seasons 2-20.
* DeadpanSnarker: Big time. A scene with her and Briscoe is a sight to behold.
* FakeGuestStar: She's been on the show longer than any of the regulars.
* {{Transplant}}: Briefly to ''[[Series/LawAndOrderSpecialVictimsUnit SVU]]'', permanently to ''[[Series/LawAndOrderCriminalIntent Criminal Intent]].''
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Other police officers]]
!!Chief of Detectives Laird
Van Buren's superior. He supports her through her bout with breast cancer. Appears in 3 episodes in seasons 18-20.

!!Detective Tony Profaci
Another detective in the 27th precinct. Friendly and affable. [[spoiler: Was working for the mob.]] Appeared in 45 episodes in seasons 1-9. His replacements are even less known than he is.
* ExpositionFairy: Typically does the work that's too boring to show on-screen and shows up to give the info to the main duo.
* FaceHeelTurn
* FakeGuestStar

!!Detective Morris Lamotte
Detective who worked with the squad in seasons 9-10. Burly and cheerful. In one episode he went undercover to a Neo-Nazi rally.
* ChuckCunninghamSyndrome: Disappeared without explanation, to be replaced by Cordova.
* SuspiciouslySimilarSubstitute: To some extent he was a non-Italian Profaci.

!!Detective Cordova
A younger Latina detective who apparently replaced Morris Lamotte and lasted from Season 11 to season 14.
* ChuckCunninghamSyndrome: Replaced without explanation herself by a nameless African-American woman detective.
* SuspiciouslySimilarSubstitute: Like all of the other Profaci replacements, she does basically the same things running information and manning the phones.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Defense Attorneys]]
!!Danielle Melnick
[=McCoy=]'s friend and rival. Zealous, crusading attorney, who often takes on cases to make political points. Appeared 13 times, between seasons 2-17.
* CallBack: After "Open Season," where she is shot in TheTag, she disappears for several seasons. When she returns, she's using a cane.
* CharacterizationMarchesOn: In her first few appearances, she's just another of the show's revolving door of {{Amoral Attorney}}s who will work for anyone with the money to pay them. She didn't start being portrayed as a crusader until the episode "Hot Pursuit."
* CrusadingLawyer: Melnick is a civil rights extremist--she even defended a neo-Nazi who had shot a personal friend, because the principles were that important to her. Only problem is, they weren't as important to the defendant...
* WellIntentionedExtremist: ...who asked her to send messages to the outside world, in defiance of a communication ban. She did, believing that the ban was cruel and unusual punishment. The messages turned out to be the next target for her client's associates to kill. [[NiceJobBreakingItHero Oops.]]
* WhatHaveIDone: Once [=McCoy=] hit her with the results of her above actions.
* WorthyOpponent: She and [=McCoy=] are on much friendlier terms than he usually is with defense attorneys.

!!Professor Norman Rothenberg
A law professor who takes cases for rich clientele, Rothenberg delights in setting precedents that will help later cases -- even going so far as to throw one case in order to be able to appeal it and have the appellate court rule certain types of searches unconstitutional. He admits that he only cares about the law, not justice. Appeared in 8 episodes, between seasons 4-18.
* AmoralAttorney
* NoCelebritiesWereHarmed: In his first appearance, he is clearly a stand-in for Alan Dershowitz (just as his client is the DistaffCounterpart of Claus von Bülow).

!!Shambala Green
Generally worked for poor defendants. Was often involved on cases involving systematic oppression such as racism and oppression of mentally disabled people. Appeared in 6 episodes in season 1-4, and one additional episode in season 14.
* MalcolmXerox
* StrawFeminist
* WorthyOpponent: Ben Stone seems to have have a lot of respect for her, and vice versa.

!!Lawrence Weaver
Attorney for the rich. Known for being extremely well-prepared. Appeared in 7 episodes between seasons 4 and 12.

!!Arthur Gold
Shrewd attorney for the rich and high-profile. Stone had a rivalry with him. Appeared in 6 episodes between seasons 2-11.
* AmoralAttorney
* BatmanGambit: Gold could - and often did - goad Ben Stone into mistakes just by playing up his SmugSnake tendencies.
** One of these [[NiceJobFixingItVillain backfires on him]] when it allows Stone to pull a legal maneuver that wouldn't have been possible if he hadn't been manipulated into his action in the first place.
* {{Foil}}: Gold was explicitly designed to embody everything the relentlessly honorable Stone despised. (This is why he disappeared after Stone was replaced by [[GuileHero McCoy]]: not enough of a contrast.)
* ManipulativeBastard
* SmugSnake

!!Randall 'Randy' J. Dworkin, Esq.
A jovial and goofy lawyer, nicknamed 'Squirt', who at first disgusts [=McCoy=] but eventually earns his respect. His perpetual irreverence irritates judges, and his creative defenses often frustrate the prosecution. Only appears in 3 episodes in seasons 13-16, but memorable nevertheless.
* BunnyEarsLawyer
* HeyItsThatGuy Since when did Taub from ''House'' go to law school?
* [[spoiler: InformedAbility We never actually see him win a case, although he once managed to plea bargain a murder-2 charge down to manslaughter-1 with a maximum sentence]]
* LargeHam
* ObfuscatingStupidity
* WorthyOpponent: After [=McCoy=] learns that his Bunny Ears tendencies are an obfuscation for genuine legal talent. He warns his ADA not to dismiss him.
** During one trial they have a serious ''ex parte'' moment. They share a drink, each admitting they feel terrible about the trial. [=McCoy=] because he hates that he's winning using evidence produced by torture, Dworkin because he's defending a man who's vile trash and glad that he's losing.

!!Neil Gorton
Jamie Ross's ex-husband. He started off only defending the innocent, but eventually attracted the attention of a client who was guilty of violent crimes but had very deep pockets. Gorton and Ross got the man acquitted, and he went on to commit more crimes. Gorton is willing to do anything to win a trial, including exploiting the terms of his divorce sesttlement with Ross (which requires them to spend a set number of hours with their children; Gorton, who runs a big law firm, can delegate to his assistants so he can spend the requisite number of hours at home, but Ross, working for the government, can't, putting her custody of the children at risk).
* AmoralAttorney
* DisappearedDad
* EvilSoundsDeep
* HeyItsThatGuy: Daniel Holtz from ''Series/{{Angel}}''.
* SmugSnake

!! Marcus Woll
A stereotypically oily defense attorney, who's an ex-DA. Turned out be more corrupt than anyone suspected.
* AmoralAttorney
* EvilAllAlong: Arranged to have a defense witness murdered while with the DA's office.
* FaceHeelTurn
* SmugSnake
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Judges]]
!!Judge Gary Feldman
A judge with political ambitions, who wanted to base his campaign around targeting drunk drivers. He collaborated with [=McCoy=] to hide evidence in a case involving a drunk driver that killed three people. When [=McCoy=] backed out of the scheme, he vowed revenge and went on to run against Adam Schiff. He was backed by Carl Anderton ('Burned'), who wanted revenge on Schiff for his own reasons. Appeared 3 times in Season 8.
* AmoralAttorney
* CorruptPolitician
* KnightTemplar

!!Judge Morris Torledsky

An arraigning judge who enlivens his boring job with witty comments to his judgments.

* DeadpanSnarker


!!Judge William Wright
A judge whose defining characteristic was disagreeing with [=McCoy=] on everything. Notable appearances included setting aside a 'guilty' verdict for three boys convicted of raping a mentally disabled girl ('Damaged') and setting aside a 'guilty' verdict when [=McCoy=] convicted a gun dealer of murder due to his unethical business practices ('Gunshow'). In his final episode, 'Dissonance,' Nora Lewin threatened that she would destroy him unless he judged the trial fairly. Appeared in 4 episodes between seasons 8-11.
* DependingOnTheWriter Whether Wright is reasonable or not varies drastically depending on the episode that he's in. In 'Gunshow,' the episode takes his side, indicating that the gun dealer, while evil, hadn't actually violated any law, and that [=McCoy=] was basically engaging in prosecutorial misconduct by trying to get him convicted for being a bad guy, not for violating any actual statute. In 'Damaged,' on the other hand, Wright is shown as a heartless and stupid jerk who refuses to even consider that the mentally disabled girl could have been raped, even though [=McCoy=] provided ample evidence that the girl was incapable of consenting to sex.
* NotIfTheyEnjoyedItRationalization: Wright's reasoning for why he wouldn't reverse his decision to set aside the guilty verdict in 'Damaged.'
* WhatTheHellHero: Calls out the jury for convicting the three boys of rape.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Politicians]]
!!Carl Anderton
An old friend of Adam Schiff's. When his son was arrested for murder, he refused to allow his grandson to plea to an insanity defense, even though it would get his son better treatment. It turned out that this was because his grandson's insanity was genetic, and if it were known that his son had the illness, people would suspect him of having it too. When Schiff refused to allow him to sacrifice his son, Anderton sponsored Judge Feldman in the forthcoming election for District Attorney. Appeared 3 times in season 8. Played by Robert Vaughn.

!!Governor Donald Shalvoy
At first an ally of [=McCoy=], he turned against the district attorney when [=McCoy=] said he'd reveal that Shalvoy was seeing prostitutes as part of a case. Shalvoy then sabotaged the case and began trying to destroy [=McCoy=], going so far as to sponsor someone to run against him in the next elections. He appeared 4 times in seasons 18-19.
* ChronicBackstabbingDisorder (he tries to bring down former ally Jack [=McCoy=] after the latter attempts to expose his use of prostitutes, he then offers to take down new ally Joe Chappel, [=McCoy=]'s rival for District Attorney, to bribe [=McCoy=], and then sells out his own WIFE to keep from losing his position as Governor)
* CorruptPolitician
* NoCelebritiesWereHarmed (he started out as a thinly vieled {{Expy}} of New York Governor Elliot Spitzer, but in subsequent appearances grew into his own character)
* OurPresidentsAreDifferent: President Corrupt and President Playboy.
* SmugSnake
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Others]]
!!Deborah Curtis
Rey Curtis' wife.
* [[spoiler:BusCrash]]
* IllGirl

!! Cathy Briscoe
Briscoe's daughter, who isn't very close to him. Gets caught up in a drug operation, with fatal consequences.

!!Dr. Valerie Knight
Van Buren's doctor, who treated her when she developed ovarian cancer. Appeared in 4 episodes in season 20.
[[/folder]]
----