You think I'm bad, wait 'til you meet my lawyers!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?.
— Koga Shuko, Double Dragon
open/close all folders
- 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 point out that Gannett were immune from defamation prosecution since they were reporting on a person's claims in relation to a significant public event, and hence were protected by the First Amendment. They leave as soon as the judge dismisses the case against them, leaving Walter to defend himself for actually making the defamatory allegation.
- 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, Na´ve 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.
- Both the plaintiff and the big tobacco company have one of these in John Grisham's The Runaway Jury.
- There's an Army of Lawyers surrounding the Lavish family in Making Money, although they're mostly there to threaten other Lavishes.
- The Elf Queen summons an Army of Lawyers in The Wee Free Men; the one thing the Nac Mac Feegle are scared of. Then it turns out they have a defence counsel in the form of Chekhov's minor comic-relief character...
- It's mentioned many times in The Dresden Files that Gentleman Johnny 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 must be very good indeed... though it's also none too subtly implied that Marcone supplements their efforts with the judicious application of large bribes and large campaign donations.
- The Supernaturalist features combat lawyers known as Paralegals, causing a character to remark "I liked it better when they fought with briefcases".
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!"
- Though justified in her case this time since Wonder Woman committed far more crimes then the bad guy did.
- One episode of The Defenders 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.
- In Halt and Catch Fire, IBM sends a large group of its legal counsel to Cardiff Electric after former employee Joe MacMillan told them that he and Gordon Clark had reverse engineered the BIOS for the IBM PC. Most of the lawyers present are there simply to intimidate Cardiff, while only the executives and senior lawyers actually spoke to the compromised Cardiff employees.
- Mentioned on The West Wing when a congressman asks Josh to help him secure more money for a government lawsuit against tobacco companies. When Josh protests that the case has already consumed $30 million in federal money, the congressman lets him know that just one of the five tobacco companies involved has 342 lawyers on the case. (They're also outspending the government 10-to-1.)
- Defied on an episode of Bull. A rich man is serioiusly thinking of bringing one of these along to help on his son's courtesy appointment in a Papa Wolf moment, but Dr. Bull tells him that this show of legal force would instead piss off the jury and probably make them declare the kid guilty just to get back at the rich people. The Man chooses a Simple Country Lawyer instead.
- Parodied in one strip from The Far Side, 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".
- 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.
- The Partnership Collective in Schlock Mercenary. The term "attornicorps" has also been used at least once, as a euphemism for this.
- More literally than usual, Thief's Ninja Lawyers in 8-Bit Theater.
- Torg and Riff of Sluggy Freelance are confronted with a "Gaggle of Slavering Lawyers" when trying to rent a house. Disturbingly, it is revealed that the horde is not actually an army per se, but one entity with bird legs and numerous suited lawyer torsos and heads.
- Kiwi Blitz: When Steffi's Clark Kenting utterly fails, Reed tells her that the only reason the Police haven't questioned her and her dad is that the latter "has like fifty lawyers" thanks to being CEO of a big company.
- Freefall: "American battle lawyers overwhelmed ours with sheer numbers."
- An early Bastard Operator from Hell story from the mid-1990s involves a Dream Sequence in which the USS Enterprise is attacked by a literal army of Borg-like Microsoft attorneys and can only be saved by Simon the BOFH (who defeats them by installing Microsoft Windows on their ship).
- The Simpsons
- C. Montgomery Burns has a team of lawyers but usually only the Blue Haired Lawyer talks.
- The episode "The Joy of Sect" had the Movementarians call out their lawyers (in the style of some firemen) when they've realised that Marge managed to break her family out. Ironically, the aforementioned blue-haired lawyer is one of them and again the only one that talks.
- LAWYER TEAM, ACTIVATE!
- IBM's lawyers have been compared to the Nazgûl (of LoTR fame).
- A 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 Army Of Lawyers to take on Pirate Bay"
- "Bowen: Army Of Lawyers 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. (See page photo.)
- One of the more common and less questionable responses of Scientology to any media/public criticisms of them, as evidenced by the existence of the Church of Happyology trope.
- 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.
- 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.
- Truth in Television in a more literal way: the US Army has the Judge Advocate General's department, its own legal corps; up until reorganisation in the 1990's, the British Army had its own Royal Army Legal Department (now subsumed into the Royal Logistic Corps). In both cases - if not an army of lawyers in uniform, then certainly at least a battalion.
- Truth in Television for the infamous "Hot Coffee" lawsuit. A 79-year-old woman named Stella Liebeck was sitting in her grandson's car with a cup of coffee from McDonald's placed between her legs as there was no cupholder. The coffee spilled, and because it was served at near boiling (which was standard practice at the time for McDonald's) and got absorbed into Ms. Liebeck's sweatpants, left her with horrific third-degree burns on her legs and genitals. (She was not the first person this had happened to, either, and the surgeon who treated her said it was one of the worst cases he'd ever seen.) She didn't even want to go to court: she attempted to settle out of court to pay for her medical expenses, but McDonald's only gave her a few hundred dollars (not nearly enough to cover those medical bills). She even admitted that she could have been more careful (and when the case finally did go to court, the jury found her to be 20% liable). The jury ruled in her favor, and McDonald's was to pay her one day's worth of total coffee sales. (Ultimately, she settled with them for less than that.) They also stopped serving their coffee at such high temperatures and cupholders became standard in most US-made cars. But McDonald's ultimately came out of this the winners: even though they paid Ms. Liebeck a large sum of money for her trouble, they used their corporate lawyers and spin-doctors to depict her to the general public as an idiot who didn't understand that coffee is hot, or someone faking injuries to file a Frivolous Lawsuit.