Army of Lawyers

aka: Marching Mooks In Suits
You think I'm bad, wait 'til you meet my lawyers!
Koga Shuto, Double Dragon

Exactly What It Says on the Tin. These are mooks in suits, used for intimidation. When a character in a story feels he's been wronged (or feels he can get away with breaking the law), he'll often threaten to call upon his army of lawyers. Especially when said character is rich. (Sometimes, the army is called "my legal team", same diff. In other words, lawyer overkill.)

Sometimes that Army can actually be seen in a show, and when they are, they are invariably marching in ranks behind the character, in step and double-file (and often with an added parodic sound effect of marching jackboots). Occasionally it will be a team of Yes Men or Middle Management Mooks rather than lawyers, but with the same effect: a martial show of force in a corporate or legal setting. Sometimes the Army will be acting on behalf of an unseen (usually evil) client, all members of the Army working toward one ominous goal.

Compare Evil Lawyer Joke, You Wanna Get Sued?.


  • In Big Eyes, Walter brings lawyers from the Gannett Company to the trial to defend him. This turns out to be a subversion, since the lawyers were only there to prove that Gannett hadn't committed libel in their newspapers when they wrote that Walter was the artist for all those years. They leave as soon as they're found not guilty, leaving Walter to defend himself in the case of ownership of the artwork.
  • In National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, Clark's boss is introduced with a team of yes-men marching lockstep behind him (with foley marching sound effects).
  • In John Grisham's The Rainmaker, Naļve Newcomer attorney Rudy Baylor has an Oh, Crap moment when he meets the opposing legal team.
    Rudy: I do believe that centuries of cumulative legal experience are seated at this table, all in opposition to me.


Live-Action TV
  • The law firm of Wolfram & Hart from Angel. On a few occasions, Angel couldn't finger someone for murder because, as a vampire with no surname or social security card, he couldn't testify to it in a court of law.
    • The firm made itself a nuisance in a variety of other ways, such as punching holes in the deed to Angel's headquarters, or getting a city order to fumigate the place. (The exterminators didn't spray for bugs, they planted them.)
  • This was, of course, Veronica Cale's parting shot in the failed Wonder Woman TV pilot.
    "You're about to meet your match, Wonder Woman: The American criminal justice system!"
  • One episode of The Defenders (the 2010 series with lawyers, not that comic book series) has one episode's bad guys use their Army of Lawyers as a blatant show of force. There are so many of them that when they sit down at their ridiculously long table they need two row of chairs.

  • Parodied in one Far Side comic, where an explorer at the edge of an island jungle is confronted with a group of men in suits with briefcases.
    caption: Wellington held out some beads and other trinkets, but the islanders had sent their fiercest lawyers- some of whom were chanting, "Sue him! Sue him!"
  • There's a KAL cartoon about the contested 2000 Bush-Gore election in Florida. It's in the general format of "12 Days of Christmas" and number six is "six legions of lawyers".

Video Games
  • In Civilization: Call to Power and its sequel, once you reach the Modern Era, you can train Lawyers and Corporate Branches to wage economic warfare on your enemies. Ordinary army-units are mostly helpless against them, too - only Lawyers can fight Lawyers. And they're really, really effective. This means that unless it ends before you develop that far, a multiplayer match will inevitably devolve into an earth-shattering confrontation between two competing armies of briefcase-wielding, suit-wearing lawyers (and corporate branches).
  • Red Alert 3: Paradox: Employed by the Cyberpunkish Mediterranean Syndicate, and equipped with suitcases that let them telekinetically hold you in place.

Web Comics

Western Animation

Real Life
  • IBM's lawyers have been compared to the Nazgūl (of LoTR fame).
  • A recent radio commercial prior to the 2010 November elections in California warned voters that Proposition 25 was being fought by politicians and their "briefcase army" (with appropriate marching sound effects in the background).
  • J. K. Rowling is said to have an Army of Lawyers in this Times Online article.
  • On this website called "Classic Adventure Gaming," the writer asks that an unidentified man not sue him with his Army of Lawyers
  • "Prince sends ArmyOfLawyers to take on Pirate Bay"
  • "Bowen: ArmyOfLawyers at the ready if Prop 14 passes"
  • In 2012 President Obama said he had recruited "an army of lawyers" to provide legal help for voters and to monitor the polls.
  • Humorous example: A famous entry in the Doo Dah parade in Pasadena, California was the Synchronized Briefcase Drill Team, with 16 men & women in three-piece suits performing precision marching routines with attaché cases.
  • Actual lawyers find this phenomenon very amusing, especially when you can be relatively sure that 3 of the 6 lawyers on one side of the bar are totally superfluous. They're only there to impress their own clients (and soak some more cash) and intimidate the other side's clients. Unfortunately, the "intimidation" part usually succeeds if the other side consists of one person with one attorney.
  • The military actually has an "army of lawyers," in the form of Judge Advocate General Corps, which is literally the army of army (or, navy or air force) lawyers.
  • Truth in Television, Justified: The defense team during the OJ Simpson murder case is an example of the various reasons why teamwork is good ("Hey, is anyone here a forensics expert? We better get one of those") and the hilarity that ensues when you try to get multiple egos and a possible alcoholic to work together. It's not uncommon for trial lawyers to specialize and/or be more gifted in one area than another, so in a high-profile trial in which money isn't a total constraint, it's not uncommon to see this trope. In any case in which multiple parties are filing against a defendant for the same reason, it will be (the attorneys representing) Plaintiff 1, Plaintiff 2, Plaintiff 3, and Plaintiff 4 vs. X, though only one or two attorneys actually make arguments to the court.
  • Truth in Television for civil litigation. If the defendant is the one with money, they will amass a small army for depositions for the purpose of scaring the defendant and over-burdening the plaintiff's counsel. Discrimination cases are especially contentious, as the institution will want to settle without admitting fault and the plaintiff wants recognition of harm, so sending "ten guys in black suits" to the first deposition is a great way to coerce a settlement. Hypothetically, anyway.

Alternative Title(s):

Marching Mooks In Suits