The following lists all characters, major and minor, of the "mothership" Law & Order series.



!!Sergeant Max Greevey
->'''Played by:''' Creator/GeorgeDzundza (Season 1)

-> ''"Seventeen-year-olds shouldn't be doing [[SexualEuphemism the thing that makes babies]]."''

* BigFun
* DeadpanSnarker
* DroppedABridgeOnHim: Got shot in the first episode of Season Two.
* 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 (Seasons 1-5)
->'''Played by:''' Creator/ChrisNoth
->'''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: 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.
* FairCop: See immediately above.
* FatalFlaw: Mike has a very short temper.
* 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.
* ItsPersonal: After Max is killed, which is ironic given the bad blood between the two actors.
* MrFanservice: He's played by Chris "[[Series/SexAndTheCity Mr. Big]]" Noth.
* 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.
* 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.
* ReassignedToAntarctica: After publicly punching a homophobic politician, who got off a murder charge on a technicality, Logan is sent to Staten Island on the Domestic Disputes Department, a severe demotion for such a talent detective. The only reason he wasn't fired outright was because the politician in question was such a creep.
* {{Transplant}}: From the original series to ''Series/LawAndOrderCriminalIntent''.

!!Captain Donald Cragen
->'''Played by:''' Dann Florek (Seasons 1-3)
->''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 (Season 2, eight episodes of Season 3)
-> ''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.
* FamilyMan: One of the few L&O franchise characters to boast a relatively functional home life, he's dedicated to his wife and five children. With young victims in particular, Cerreta can be downright fatherly.
* PutOnABus: Shot by a gun dealer in "Prince Of Darkness", Cerreta accepted a desk job afterwards.
* SuspiciouslySimilarSubstitute: For Max Greevey. They look so similar a casual viewer might not figure it out. Except that only one of them dies for real. Both of them are rather large men. According to Creator/JerryOrbach, 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:''' Creator/JerryOrbach (thirteen episodes of Season 3, Season 4-14)
->''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. When introduced, he's sober. In "Aftershock," he falls off the wagon, which starts the chain of events that leads to Claire's death. He starts going back to AA after the events of that episode.
* 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.
* CharacterDeath: Upon actor Jerry Orbach's death, both Detective Logan and Detective Green referenced Briscoe's (off-screen) death, also from cancer.
* 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, and his present day relationships with his daughters are strained at best. [[spoiler: He blames himself for the death of his younger daughter Cathy, believing that if they'd had a better relationship she wouldn't have started dealing drugs and subsequently been killed by her former dealer.]]
* 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.
** Generally, if a defense attorney wants to make Briscoe look bad on the stand, they'll imply he's this, to varying degrees of success.
* EvilLawyerJoke: Briscoe was an absolute master of these.
--> '''Defense Attorney''': Why whack the defense attorney, why not the D.A?
--> '''Briscoe''': You kill the D.A, somebody might actually care.
* FatalFlaw: Briscoe had drinking problems.
* KnownOnlyByTheirNickname Lennie's full name isn't seen or spoken until his final episode: it's Leonard J. Briscoe.
** The nameplate on his desk, however, read Leonard W. Briscoe.
* NobleBigotWithABadge: It's downplayed in later episodes, but his first appearance has him make some pretty xenophobic remarks about Italians and Latinos.
* PapaWolf: Although he doesn't get along well with his daughters, he loves them both dearly and is devastated when one of his daughters is murdered near the end of the eighth season. Then, he's offered a chance to put a hit on his daughter's killer. [[spoiler: His daughter's killer later turns up dead, allegedly from a heroin overdose; whether or not Lennie was involved is left ambiguous.]]
* ParentalNeglect: Unfortunately, he was this to his daughters; his present-day relationships with them are strained as a result, and he deeply regrets it.
* 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.

!!Lieutenant Anita Van Buren
->'''Played by:''' Creator/SEpathaMerkerson (Seasons 4-20)
->''Oh, am I sitting too close? What, I remind you of somebody? Your mother? Was she dark-skinned? [[ButNotTooBlack High yellow]]? Redbone? You're scared now, aren't you? You been scared for almost 40 years.''
* BlackBossLady: Black, the boss, a lady. What more can be said?
* ByTheBookCop: Demands that her detectives toe the line, and when they engage in unethical or illegal conduct (such as when Briscoe perjured himself to try and convict a cop-killer) she will chew them out for it.
* DaChief: Second head of the house, from Cragen's departure to the very last episode.
* DontYouDarePityMe: God help you if you try to baby her, she will not stand for it.
* DoWrongRight: When Lupo and Bernard are involved in the shooting of a suspect, Van Buren remarks that one of them killed the man... and the other needs to hit the target range.
* EarnYourHappyEnding: Van Buren finishes out the series engaged to her new boyfriend, and [[spoiler:after a grueling battle with cancer, the final moments of the entire series are her receiving a phonecall that she's in the clear.]]
* AFatherToHisMen: She tried several times unsuccessfully to have Logan transferred back to her unit, after he was exiled to Staten Island.
* GoodCopBadCop: As a ReasonableAuthorityFigure, Van Buren will sometimes step in and play Good Cop in contrast to her own detectives' Bad Cop. Some suspects might wish they'd stuck with the Bad Cops, though, as Van Buren can be a chillingly effective interrogator without ever raising her voice. In one episode she has a very sweet, kind chat with a suspect about their children -- and without even bringing up the crime at all, manipulates the suspect ([[spoiler:a mother who had killed her own son]]) into spontaneously breaking down and giving a full confession.
* HeroWithBadPublicity: See LimitedAdvancementOpportunities, below. However, this is touchingly averted in the series finale when her detectives hold a fundraiser to assist with Van Buren's medical bills. [[spoiler:The chief of police himself shows up with checks from various higher-ups, including the mayor of New York, telling Van Buren she's made a lot of friends in the city.]]
* LimitedAdvancementOpportunities: She applied to be Captain at one point, but a white woman with less seniority was promoted instead. She then sued the NYPD, which resulted in internal police politics coming into play making things harder for her and her unit, to the point where she was told by her superior she would have to resign to get her detectives the resources they needed; a judge later dismissed her lawsuit, and she never received a promotion in all of her time on the show.
* 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 Captain Cragen, who continually harped to his subordinates of what can't be done, she focused on directing her troops on what ''can'' be done.
* TheStoic: She remains an IronLady on top of her precinct even when [[spoiler:battling cancer and the attendant medical bills]].
* SuddenlyAlwaysKnewThat: Van Buren used to work vice, so when they need to find a suspect who's working as a truck stop prostitute, she effortlessly directs Lupo through his cover as [[FauxYay a gay trucker soliciting the guy for sex]]. Both Bernard and Lupo are hilariously taken aback by her expertise.
* TranquilFury: After Cutter ambushes her on the witness stand with invasive questions about her personal medical history. Van Buren's voice barely rises above its normal volume, but her anger is ''nuclear'' when she calls Cutter out afterwards.
* 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.

!!Detective Rey Curtis
->'''Played by:''' Creator/BenjaminBratt (Seasons 5-9)
->'''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.
* EvenTheGuysWantHim: [[ChickMagnet Not just women]] are attracted to him. In one episode, a guest detective makes a man as gay because he was checking Curtis out.
* ExpositoryHairstyleChange: He decides to cut his hair later in the series; symbolizing his more relaxed personality.
* FairCop: Considering that Bratt was cast to replace Noth, this was guaranteed.
* FatalFlaw: Curtis couldn't curb his infidelity.
* 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.
* RabidCop: His early appearances had him as this. He once pulled his service pistol on a biker simply because the guy referred to Curtis as a spic. Thanks to Briscoe and Van Buren's influence he mellowed out pretty quick.
* 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:''' Creator/JesseLMartin (Seasons 10-18)
->'''Defense Attorney''': ''Detective! Put a leash on your partner!''
->'''Lennie Briscoe''': ''We gave up, he chewed through all of ours.''

* TheAtoner: [[spoiler:He taught his girlfriend how to gamble, and it ruined her life.]]
* BadassInANiceSuit / SharpDressedMan: He's one of the more sharply dressed detectives on the show. His off-duty wear is pretty stylish, too.
* BrutalHonesty: He's very blunt with both suspects and his colleagues, part of what makes him a good complement to [[DeadpanSnarker Briscoe]].
* CharacterDevelopment: From a rash, short-tempered CowboyCop to mature, wise mentor to his younger partners.
* CowboyCop: Van Buren notes he already has some discipline issues for excessive force, and early on he tends to be much more physical with suspects than absolutely necessary.
* 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, usually mentioning his frequent trips to Atlantic City, though it's never known how severe a problem it was. It even comes back to bite him in the ass during "Burn Card"--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.
* GracefulLoser: After said downfall. He [[spoiler:thanks Lupo for being a good cop, even if it was Lupo's policework (in an effort to exonerate Green) that uncovered everything Green was trying to keep covered up.]]
* HeroicBSOD: In his final episode. [[spoiler:Van Buren even tells him there's a chance to rehabilitate himself, and to return to policework while fighting his gambling addiction. Green admits he's too exhausted to keep fighting.]]
* HonorBeforeReason: In his last episode, he adamantly refuses to speak in his own defense, even if [[spoiler:it means going to jail. Turns out he is protecting a girlfriend who is also a fellow gambling addict.]]
* RealMenEatMeat: Averted, he is a badass CowboyCop who also happens to be a vegetarian.
* RealMenGetShot: In S15E20, while trying to escort a reluctant witness to trial, he takes a round in the chest when an assassin guns the witness down. Green is seriously wounded, but he recovers from the injury and returns to the job.
* TallDarkAndHandsome: At 6'3", he's the tallest of the detectives on the mothership, and the third-tallest of all the detectives in the American versions (behind [[Series/LawAndOrderCriminalIntent Detectives Goren and Nichols.]])
* 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 (Seasons 15-16)
->'''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: Don't let his smooth talk and slick style fool you - if he has to get rough, he will.
* BlatantLies: Whenever he says he's "authorized", he almost certainly is not. He also loves weaving completely fabricated stories about his life and (non-existent) wife and kids in order to get closer to witnesses and suspects.
* {{Catchphrase}}: "We're authorized."
* CowboyCop
* CoolOldGuy
* DirtyCop: Subverted. 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. In truth he was actually SecretlyRich.
* JackBauerInterrogationTechnique: On more than one occasion. Don't [[AddedAlliterativeAppeal kill a cop or kidnap a kid]] near him.
* RabidCop
* RevolversAreJustBetter: Carries a .357 Smith & Wesson Model 19. Possibly a holdover from his days with Chicago PD, as that weapon was never authorized by NYPD.
* 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.

!!Detective Nick Falco
->'''Played by:''' Michael Imperioli (Four episodes of Season 15)
* 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. He was framed.
* ByTheBookCop: A pragmatic example: Falco is studying law, and as such is very concious about making sure he and Fontano don't do anything that could get their evidence suppressed by a judge.
* TemporarySubstitute: He replaced Ed Green for four episodes when Jesse L. Martin was filming ''Film/{{Rent}}''.
* WeHardlyKnewYe: Only appeared in four episodes as a regular, along with a guest appearance one season later.

!!Detective Nina Cassady
->'''Played by:''' Milena Govich (Season 17)
->'''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: Not mentioned again after Season 17, though the finale implied Van Buren was going to get her transferred out after one too many slip-ups.
* CowboyCop
* EnsignNewbie: Very young to have moved from being a uniform cop to a homicide detective. Van Buren in particular feels that she is too inexperienced and only got her gold shield because the brass wanted some good PR.
* 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.
** It's implied, actually, that when Nina was in the 97th, she did an undercover operation at a beauty salon that went out of hand. Her impulsive bravery in that situation was widely admired by the press, but the police believe that she did it to garner sensationalism.
* WeHardlyKnewYe

!!Detective Cyrus Lupo
->'''Played by:''' Jeremy Sisto (Seasons 18-20)
* TheAlcoholic: Started as DrowningMySorrows due to job related PTSD, but spiralled from there.
* BadassBaritone: He has by far the deepest voice of any detective in the series. There's a reason Jeremy Sisto also voiced [[ComicBook/DCTheNewFrontier Batman]] after all.
* BrokenAce: Lupo is introduced as a cool and mysterious anti-terrorism agent, but his past is filled with alcoholism and regret.
* ClosetGeek: He's into graphic novels.
* CoolShades
* DeadpanSnarker
* FauxYay: Not quite often enough to become a RunningGag, but on two separate occasions Lupo goes undercover pretending to solicit sex from other men in order to catch a suspect.
* ItsPersonal:
** The case that brought him into the 27 was his brother's death ([[spoiler:via assisted suicide]]). Van Buren initially bars him from investigating for this very reason, but authorizes him when a second body pops up.
** Gets a CallBack in Green's last episode, with Lupo admitting Green helped him keep it together after his brother's death. [[spoiler:Which is why Lupo keeps investigating Green's case, determined to clear his name.]]
* LoopholeAbuse: Lupo loves attempting this, as he's studying to be an attorney himself and knows enough to find technically legal tactics during investigations. Often subverted however, as [[RealityEnsues defense attorneys jump all over evidence obtained this way]], frequently succeeding at getting it excluded from trial.
* NiceHat: Fond of his knit hat.
* PermaStubble
* PetTheDog: Literally -- Lupo investigated a dogfighting ring, which led him to adopt a pit bull.
* QuipToBlack
* SeriouslyScruffy: Fitting with his BrokenAce background, Lupo's often disheveled and sporting a five o'clock shadow. When he loses the stubble and starts dressing more nicely in later seasons, it's noticeable enough to draw remarks from other characters.
* TeethClenchedTeamwork: His failed attempts at LoopholeAbuse, mentioned above, often get him smacked down by Cutter or [=McCoy=] for causing needless difficulties at trial. In turn, as a former anti-terrorism agent, Lupo's BerserkButton is easily touched off by the DA's office stretching anti-terrorism laws to prosecute crimes that are plainly ''not'' terrorism.

!!Detective Kevin Bernard
->'''Played by:''' Anthony Anderson (Four episodes of Season 18, Seasons 19-20)
->'''Suspect''': ''Are you sure it [the Rapture] didn't happen?''
->'''Bernard''': ''I'm still here, aren't I?''
* BlueOniRedOni: He's the blue oni, far more cool-headed and controlled than his partner Lupo.
* ByTheBookCop
* ComicalOverreacting: He flashes his badge while interviewing a gold dealer, and is ''extremely'' put out when the guy prices his badge at $11. A scene later he's still venting to Lupo about it.
-->'''Lupo:''' You want it to be made out of solid gold?
* EmbarrassingNickname: St. Bernard. It's why he does not like dogs.
* HiddenDepths: In "Brilliant Disguise" he knows enough about fine art to identify that the 'Houdini' sculpture a suspect was bragging aboutwas the work of 'Houdon'. Lupo needed it explained to him.
* InternalAffairs: Though he hated it and took the first chance he could to get out of IA. Even so, he acknowledged that his time in IA was educational and made him see the importance of policing the police.
* PermaStubble
* RaisedCatholic: It was at Catholic school, fittingly, that he gained the EmbarrassingNickname listed above.
* RealMenLoveJesus: Implied in "Rapture," though he has little patience for the suspects professing the end of days.
* ReasonableAuthorityFigure: He's introduced as a hardass from IA investigating [[spoiler:Ed Green's shooting of a suspect]]. However, he takes it respectfully when Van Buren accuses him of only doing "50% of an investigation". And when Lupo angrily presents him with additional evidence, Bernard's willing to reconsider his seemingly airtight conclusions and even takes Lupo himself along to investigate.
* TheOneWhoMadeItOut: He grew up in a hard neighborhood, part of the reason he now favors a tough-on-crime approach that would make Abbie Carmichael proud.
* TwoFirstNames: His last name, Bernard, can also be used as a first name.


!!Executive Assistant District Attorney Benjamin "Ben" Stone
->'''Played by:''' Micheal Moriarty (Seasons 1-4)
->'''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
* CharacterDeath: Dies in February 2018, [=McCoy=] gives the eulogy at his funeral on "SVU".
* GentlemanSnarker: When he calls you "sir", it means he doesn't like you.
* GlassesPull: The reigning king of it on the series.
* OptOut: Resigns when one of his prosecutions results in the implied death of a woman who he had put on the stand as a witness.
* 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
->'''Played by:''' Richard Brooks (Seasons 1-3)
-> ''"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)'''

* EightiesHair: The Flattop of Justice. The first time Robinette guest starred, Richard Brooks had notably shaved his hair.
* AmoralAttorney: In his return appearances as a defense 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.
* 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 defense attorney, and slings race cards like Al Sharpton on meth.
* TokenMinority

!!District Attorney Alfred Wentworth
->'''Played by:''' Roy Thinnes
Appeared only in the pilot episode, and thus appears for the fewest episodes out of any regular cast member (1).

!!District Attorney Adam Schiff
->'''Played by:''' Steven Hill (Seasons 1-10)
->'''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.''

* BoringButPractical: He prefers to cut deals with suspects, which, while not as flashy and risky as trials, are much less expensive and ensure the suspect is punished.
* CatchPhrase: "Cut a deal."
* 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.
* PragmaticHero:
** He's personally opposed to the death penalty, but he's still willing to use it if the public demands it. He's also not above using the publicity of gruesome crimes and trials to get himself reelected. After all, he can't serve the justice system if he loses his position.
** Gets a CallBack in a season 18 episode when a witness wants a fairly mild favor from newly minted District Attorney [=McCoy=], who balks at starting a precedent of doing favors. Cutter remarks that Schiff would've done it with his eyes closed.
* SchiffOneLiner: TropeNamer
* SkewedPriorities: Played with. He often comes off as more concerned about a trial's impact on his chances for reelection than actual justice. However, when it comes down to it, unless his subordinates really push the boundaries of the law, Schiff will back them up during controversial trials.
* TeamDad
* WhoNeedsEnemies: If a personal friend of his appears in an episode then it's likely they're corrupt and will sell out Schiff and the DA's office at the drop of a hat.

!!Assistant District Attorney Claire Kincaid
->'''Played by:''' Jill Hennessy (Seasons 4-6)
* BusCrash: [[spoiler: 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
* InsultBackfire: When [=McCoy=] accuses her of "latent feminism," she immediately retorts that it's not latent.
* MayDecemberRomance: With Jack.
* TheMcCoy: Amusing, given her boss' name.
* {{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. Jack ends up feeling ''very'' guilty about this]].
* SleepingWithTheBoss: Although only indicated through very subtle ShipTease hints during her time on the show, during an episode sometime after [[spoiler: her death]], it is confirmed on screen that she had been sleeping with [=McCoy=], after her having told him when they first met that nothing of the sort would happen.
* WideEyedIdealist
* WhamLine: In "Aftershock," Claire has a conversation with a law professor who seems to be a former teacher of hers, talking about the execution she witnessed and her feelings on various aspects of the legal system in general. Then just as Claire turns to leave:
-->'''Mac''': You know, your mother would like you to come by one of these days for dinner.

!!Executive Assistant District Attorney Jack [=McCoy=] (later District Attorney)
->'''Played by:''' Creator/SamWaterston (Seasons 5-20)
->'''Jack [=McCoy=]''': ''Ask me how I sleep at night.''
->'''Connie Robirosa''': ''How '''do''' you sleep at night?''
->'''Jack [=McCoy=]''': ''Like a baby.''

* AbusiveParents: As revealed in "Aftershock" Jack's father was a policeman who drove him to succeed at all times and pushed him into law school rather than become a cop like him. He was also a chain-smoking drunk who regularly beat Jack's mother (and its implied he hit Jack as well). Jack still has something of a BrokenPedestal towards him, telling a Cutter that he still remembers when he realized that his dad was "a son of a bitch."
* BerserkButton: Bigots and children who get hurt are sore spots for him. So when he's prosecuting someone guilty of a hate crime or a crime against children, [=McCoy=] gets even more hostile towards the man or woman.
* 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.
* CharacterDevelopment: Becomes less reckless and ruthless as he got older, ''especially'' when he becomes the District Attorney, and reprimands Cutter's actions, just as other DA's did with him. To wit, in person he actually withdrew a plea deal at a hearing revolving around the surgery of young girl, much to Cutter's chagrin.
* 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...)
* HeroWithBadPublicity: Due to some of the questionable ethics and legality of stunts he pulled by the time he becomes the actual DA he doesn't get that much respect from the Legal Establishment.
* {{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.
** It is made even more explicit in the episode, "Burned," where [=McCoy=] prosecutes a boy who is obviously mentally ill and needs to be committed to a mental hospital. However, the boy's grandfather interferes with the plea bargaining and blatantly would rather risk his grandson being sent to regular prison than have a mental commitment draw attention to his own fragile mental health. At this, [=McCoy=] goes out of his way to prevent that when he could have simply stayed out of the way and score an easy conviction win.
* KarmaHoudini: He's done things that in real life would get you disbarred at best and imprisoned at worst. Yet, he some how ends up as DA.
* KnightTemplar: His behavior could dip into this if a case struck close to home or the the cause was justice in his opinion. He's been willing to tear into the First Amendment and equal protection laws if it means a conviction.
* MayDecemberRomance: Heavily implied with Claire; confirmed a couple of seasons after [[spoiler: Claire's death.]]
* OldSchoolChivalry: Subtle, but notice that every time he's speaking with a woman getting into a cab, he opens the door for her. Even if she's opposing counsel, a suspect, hindering prosecution, etc.
* ParentalSubstitute: As noted by Creator/LinusRoache, 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.
* 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. [[spoiler: After Claire's death, he doesn't get involved with any of his assistants again.]]
* 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)
->'''Played by:''' Carey Lowell (Seasons 7-8)
* 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.
* WhatTheHellHero: She calls out Adam Schiff after he seems gleeful that the horrific rape and attempted murder of a young child happened near an election since a conviction would boost his chances of reelection.

!!Assistant District Attorney Abbie Carmichael
->'''Played by:''' Creator/AngieHarmon (Seasons 9-11)
->'''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.
* DistaffCounterpart: When Abbie suggested they "hang 'em all" in her first episode, [=McCoy=] struggled not to laugh. For those not in the know, [=McCoy=] was once dubbed "Hang 'Em High [=McCoy=]" for his Draconian approach.
* 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 Abbie 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".
** She eventually relents and convinces [=McCoy=] to set up a good deal for the woman.
** When she's at an arraignment hearing, there's a venom in her voice as she makes the people's case why the defendants should not be given bail as opposed to the other ADA's who did this part of their job with a strict professionalism.
* KnightTemplar: She's ''very'' keen to push for the Death Penalty and if that's not an option the most severe charge and sentence. In short, don't expect any mercy from her.
* RapeAsBackstory: Abbie was date-raped by a law student when she was a college freshman.
* SmugSmiler: Whenever the Prosecution drops the bomb on the Defendants with new evidence or a witness that nails, she ''loves'' doing this.

!!District Attorney Nora Lewin (Seasons 11-12)
->'''Played by:''' Dianne Wiest

* BewareTheNiceOnes: A sweet woman who is new to her job and nervous about having to fill the shoes of Adam Schiff. She will also take you down if you threaten her office or anyone in it.
* BrotherChuck
* ChuckCunninghamSyndrome: After the end of season 12. It's never explained in the show, but a companion book by Dick Wolf called ''Law & Order: Crime Scenes'' clarifies that she found herself disenchanted with the position of district attorney and chose not to run for election when her interim term was up.
* TheMcCoy: She and Serena share this trait, which was part of why she chose to hire Serena after Abbie left.
* PragmaticHero: Like her predecessor, she is personally against the death penalty but recognizes that completely avoiding it might cause the DA's office to be seen as too soft on crime.

!!Assistant District Attorney Serena Southerlyn
->'''Played by:''' Elisabeth Rohm (Seasons 12-14, thirteen episodes of Season 15)
-> ''"Is this because I'm a lesbian?"''

* {{Gaydar}}: In an unintentional bit of foreshadowing, she correctly picks up on a PsychoLesbian (who had been presenting herself as a mere concerned witness) as the real culprit in a murder, rather than the person they actually have on trial.
* 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: The reveal was so notoriously out of left field that it provides the trope page quote. 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'.
* StrawmanPolitical: Serena existed as the FoxNewsLiberal of the show, offering weak liberal talking points only to be invariably slapped down by Branch.
* WideEyedIdealist

!!District Attorney Arthur Branch
->'''Played by:''' Fred Thompson (Seasons 13-17)
* BrotherChuck: When Fred Thompson decided to return to politics, Arthur was abruptly written out with Jack taking his place as DA. He was mentioned once or twice, afterward.
* GoodIsNotSoft: He was elected to make New Yorkers feel safer in the wake of 9/11.
* GoodOlBoy
* LargeAndInCharge: At 6'6", he was most certainly this (and to date, the tallest character/actor in the ''Law & Order'' universe.)
* 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 (ten episodes of Season 15, Season 16)
->'''Played by:''' Annie Parisse
->'''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.''

* CruelAndUnusualDeath: [[spoiler: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]]

!!Assistant District Attorney Conseula "Connie" Rubirosa
->'''Played by:''' Alana de la Garza (Seasons 17-20)
* TheCameo: Pops up in the 15th season of Series/LawAndOrderSpecialVictimsUnit heading a federal joint task force on underage sex trafficking.
* DudeMagnet: Every other episode has a man commenting her good looks.
* EmbarrassingOldPhoto: Deliberately invoked in one episode where they're trying to buy time to verify if the suspect (an attractive young woman) is the same person as a suspect in a previous crime (a much frumpier woman). The judge expresses disbelief it could be the same person, at which point Connie whips out her own much frumpier high school photo and makes her point.
--->'''Cutter:''' Whoo. [[ShipTease I might have had a chance with you back then.]]
* FanServicePack: Between seasons 17 and 18.
* GoodIsNotDumb: She's much, much nicer than Cutter, but it's not a weakness; she's incredibly observant and sometimes her people skills allow her to catch things her colleagues miss.
* HelloAttorney
* TheMcCoy: She's not the WideEyedIdealist Serena was, but she tends to moderate Cutter's AmoralAttorney streak.
* {{Transplant}}: To Series/LawAndOrderLosAngeles.
* TwoferTokenMinority: 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.
* {{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
->'''Played by:''' Creator/LinusRoache (Seasons 18-20)
->'''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.''

* AmoralAttorney: Even more so than Jack that even the detectives are appalled by his methods. To wit, during one tria; about a company that made drugs and did illegal human trials he cross-examines Van Buren out of the blue, about her cancer and how she uses the drugs to treat that are made by the company on trial. She is '''not''' happy about it at all, to the point she refuses to even speak with him.
** And of course there's this gem he says to Lupo:
--> Stick with your law books, detective. On the page, the law is a much ''purer'' thing.
* AwesomeMcCoolname
* CommanderContrarian
* {{Determinator}}: Like Jack, he'll do anything to win a case. However unlike Jack it seems he's less interested in justice and just interested in winning.
* TheFriendNobodyLikes: With the police, since he went out of his way to needlessly antagonize them, even Van Buren.
* IconicItem: His baseball bat.
* JerkassHasAPoint: When [[spoiler:Detective Ed Green]] is facing murder charges, [=McCoy=] and Rubirosa balk at charging an officer they know so well. Cutter points out that if it were any other cop they (especially [=McCoy=]) would be on the warpath, and continually presents alternate theories that would justify the maximum charges, which ''is'' what tends to happen with every other defendant. Of course legal ethics would require that they rescue themselves from the case due to a conflict of interest -- it speaks volumes about how cold-hearted Cutter is that he felt no hesitation at all.
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold:
* ManipulativeBastard
* SmugSnake: His earlier episodes usually had him disobey Jack's order to prove he knew better than the old man... and it always blew up in face. He got better.
* UnresolvedSexualTension: 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, only for [=McCoy=] has to remind him he got chewed out for what he did and would suffer consequences.
** At two different times, Connie shortly, but curtly rips into him for using her good looks as a way to win a trial.
** Van Buren [[TranquilFury rips him a new asshole]] after he blindsides her on the witness stand with extremely personal questions about her cancer treatment.
* {{Transplant}}: Plays a recurring role on Series/LawAndOrderSpecialVictimsUnit now that the original has been cancelled.

!!Dr. Elizabeth Olivet
--> Played by: Carolyn McCormick (Seasons 2-7, 9, 13-20)
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.
* DidTheyOrDidntThey: With Logan; she treated him after Greevey's death and they later became friends, but the exact nature of their relationship isn't clarified until Season 18, when Cutter gets the information from [=McCoy=] and uses it to discredit her during a trial. Olivet admits to the relationship but adds that she stopped treating him once the relationship started.
* FakeGuestStar
* PromotionToOpeningTitles: Briefly.
* RapeAsDrama: One episode focuses on her being molested and later raped by a gynecologist.

!!Dr. Emil Skoda
--> Played by: Creator/JKSimmons (Seasons 8-15, 20)
A psychiatrist 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 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.)

[[folder:Medical Examiners]]
!!Dr. Elizabeth Rodgers
--> Played by: Leslie Hendrix (Seasons 2-20)
->'''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.
* AutopsySnackTime: Has a habit of eating lunch in the morgue.
* 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.
* ShipTease: With Lennie Briscoe. They've gone out to the opera at least once, but whatever relationship they may or may not have had is never confirmed.
* {{Transplant}}: Briefly to ''[[Series/LawAndOrderSpecialVictimsUnit SVU]]'', permanently to ''[[Series/LawAndOrderCriminalIntent Criminal Intent]].''

[[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: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.
* NeverMyFault: When arrested for the above actions, she insisted that she was right and the judge was wrong and was mad at [=McCoy=] for screwing her over by prosecuting her for a crime she did commit.
* 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
* MyGodWhatHaveIDone: In one episode, a riot after a white motorist gets acquitted after knocking down an African-American child and fleeing the scene leads to an African-American man murdering a white man (who was unconnected to the original incident). Green manages to get the latter defendant acquitted after arguing that this actions were motivated and justified by racial anger. She looks quite satisfied with the result... until she looks over and sees the grieving widow of the second victim.
* 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

!!Leon Chiles
A lawyer who tends to use affirmative defenses (e.g., "My client did it, but for a good reason.") Notable for having one of the best records of all the show's recurring defense attorneys; his clients were only convicted twice, and one of those was then appealed, with the outcome undetermined at the end of the episode. He appeared in 4 episodes in seasons 10-15.
* AssholeVictim: Chiles argued this at least three times. It worked when he argued that a former Black Panther was justified in shooting a cop because the cops had oppressed the black community, and when he argued that the father of a dead soldier was justified in killing a guy because the other guy insulted the military in front of him. It failed when he argued that a basketball player was justified in killing a guy who was harassing him and his family.
* MalcolmXerox: In 'Burn Baby Burn', he turned in to this in order to argue that a former Black Panther who killed a white cop shouldn't be jailed.

!!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. Appears in 3 episodes in seasons 13-16, as well as two more episodes in season 19 of [=SVU=].
* BewareTheSillyOnes: He jokes his way through court proceedings and acts like an AscendedFanboy getting to go up against the legendary Jack [=McCoy=], but proves to be an incredibly wily opponent. In Dworkin's first episode, [[spoiler:[=McCoy=] ''barely'' scrapes out a victory,]] and in his second [=McCoy=] has to trick the defense into accepting a plea by pretending he has evidence he doesn't really have.
** In his second [=SVU=] appearance, he beats [=McCoy=] to get an acquittal of a guy that had actually confessed on the stand to the murder he was charged with. He managed to convince the jury that the victim, a brain-dead person, shouldn't really be considered 'alive' to begin with. Notably, [=McCoy=] had successfully prosecuted another guy who killed a brain-dead person back in season 8... but that other guy wasn't defended by Dworkin.
* BunnyEarsLawyer
* ChewbaccaDefense: Dworkin pretty much operates on this.
* 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). Appeared in 3 episodes in season 7.
* AmoralAttorney
* DisappearedDad
* EvilSoundsDeep
* SmugSnake

!!Rodney Fallon
A defense attorney who often advocates for the downtrodden. Appears in 3 episodes in seasons 14-15.
* ButtMonkey: Turns into this in 'Vendetta.' Not only is he repeatedly humiliated by [=McCoy=], but his client abducts him and ties him up in a bathroom. There's also the time his deranged client fires him in 'Locomotion' over his own vehement objections.

!! 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

!!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
--> ''"Your client is getting dangerously close to the textbook definition of [[YiddishAsASecondLanguage chutzpah]]!"''

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.

!!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.
* AntagonisticGovernor
* ChronicBackstabbingDisorder: Shalvoy 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: Starts 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

!!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.