Exactly What It Says on the Tin
I'm bad, wait 'til you meet my lawyers!
. 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 Mook
s 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?
- Both the plaintiff and the big tobacco company have one of these in John Grisham's The Runaway Jury.
- It's mentioned many times in The Dresden Files that Gentleman Johny Marcone has an Army of Lawyers to protect him from any kind of legal charges.
- Considering that they manage to get charges against him from the FBI thrown out of court, they're quite good.
- The Supernaturalist features combat lawyers known as Paralegals, causing a character to remark "I liked it better when they fought with briefcases".
- 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.
- 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 http://www.adventureclassicgaming.com/index.php/site/interviews/400/
- "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.