[[quoteright:350:[[Film/TheVerdict http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Verdict_9261.jpg]]]]

->''"[W]e should never lose sight of the fact that even a person accused of the most heinous crimes, and no matter the likelihood that he or she actually committed those crimes, is entitled to the full protection of the [law]. Short-cutting or short-circuiting those rights affects not only the accused, but also the entire reputation of the criminal justice system."''
-->-- '''Decision of the Canadian Supreme Court''' in ''R. v. Burlingham'', [1995] 2 S.C.R. 206.

Watch the lawyers do their thing. Also commonly known as a Courtroom Drama, this is a work of dramatic fiction principally about litigation: be it civil or criminal cases, with the latter being more common because it often makes for better drama [[note]]Even though the vast majority of the work of the courts and the legal profession more generally is civil, civil law largely consists of people arguing about money, and often it ends up being a contest of who can afford to pay their lawyers the longest. Actual courtroom time also tends to be pretty boring in a civil case, either talking about points of law that don't make sense to anyone who hasn't been to law school or mind-numbingly obscure testimony from experts about stuff like projected income and (if you're lucky) reconstructions of how a bodily injury occurred. The main exception to this is family law, in which people often fight tooth and nail well past the point at which they have run out of funds, because in such cases emotion is the primary driver of litigation; however, family cases are harder to dramatize, since nobody wants to watch lawyers arguing for hours about how the money the husband spent on his mistress justifies an increase in the wife's alimony or how the fact that daddy loves little Timmy and makes it a terrible deprivation for little Timmy to be away from his father for more than three days at a time. There are some exceptions to these (personal injury, medical malpractice, and certain other tort cases can occasionally make for good reading/viewing, and if you can stomach them, domestic violence cases often produce some strong drama--when they're not just angry ex-boyfriends/ex-girlfriends flooding their former lovers with text messages), but by and large civil and family cases don't really make especially good television. Criminal law on the other hand is about crime and punishment, which anyone can easily understand and is actually fairly riveting to watch.[[/note]]. A military courtroom drama is one of the most common subgenres.

Most crime dramas focus on criminal investigations done by law enforcement officers (in the form of a either a CopShow or a PoliceProcedural) and does not often extend to anything happening in a courtroom. In such works where courtroom drama only lasts a single or in a few episodes only, it's a CourtroomEpisode.

If you're looking for works about people who ''make'' the law, see GovernmentProcedural.

CourtroomAntics are to be expected. Also see TheCourtroomIndex for a list of common tropes.



[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* ''Anime/WizardBarristers'': LawProcedural meets UrbanFantasy.

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* ''[[FanFic/TheVinylAndOctaviaSeries Vinyl and Octavia Duel Destiny]]'' is this, as it's mostly a homage to ''Franchise/AceAttorney''.
* ''FanFic/TurnaboutStorm'', another major ''Franchise/AceAttorney''/''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' CrossOver.
* ''FanFic/ChrysalisVisitsTheHague'' is about Queen Chrysalis facing an ICC war crimes tribunal, and the legal and social implications thereof.

[-(adaptations or original works)-]

* ''Film/TwelveAngryMen'' The jury deliberation is the only focus on the film/play.
* ''Film/AnatomyOfAMurder''
* ''Film/AndJusticeForAll''
* ''Literature/TheCaineMutiny''
* ''Literature/ACivilAction''
* ''Film/{{Boomerang|1947}}''
* ''Film/TheClient''
* ''Compulsion'', A 1959 film with Creator/OrsonWelles, based on the Leopold and Loeb murder trial.
* ''Film/{{Denial}}'', A 2016 film about [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irving_v_Penguin_Books_Ltd a libel suit between American Holocaust specialist Deborah Lipstadt (and her publisher) and British Holocaust denier David Irving]].
* ''Film/AFewGoodMen''
* ''Film/{{Fracture|2007}}''
* ''Theatre/InheritTheWind''
* ''Film/InTheNameOfTheFather''
* ''Film/{{JFK}}''
* ''Film/JudgmentAtNuremberg''
* ''Film/KramerVsKramer''
* ''Film/ToKillAMockingbird''
* ''Film/{{M}}'', featuring not a legal courtroom but the criminal underworld equivalent.
* ''Theatre/AManForAllSeasons''
* ''Film/TheOxBowIncident''
* ''Film/ThePassionOfJoanOfArc''
* ''Film/PathsOfGlory''
* ''Film/ThePeopleVsLarryFlynt''
* ''Film/{{Philadelphia}}''
* ''Film/PresumedInnocent''
* ''Film/TheRainmaker''
* ''Film/ReversalOfFortune''
* ''Film/RunawayJury''
* ''Film/SnowFallingOnCedars''
* ''Film/TheTrial'' a 1962 film by Creator/OrsonWelles, based on the novel by Creator/FranzKafka.
* ''Film/TheTruth1960''
* ''Film/TheVerdict''
* ''Film/WitnessForTheProsecution''. Creator/BillyWilder's adaptation of Creator/AgathaChristie.
* ''Film/TheWrongMan''

* ''[[Literature/TheIcelandicSagas Njal's Saga]]'', a saga of a lawyer in medieval Iceland. Possibly the UrExample.
* ''The Associate'' and ''Rogue Lawyer'' are legal thrillers by Creator/JohnGrisham.
* '' Snow Falling on Cedars'' is a legal thriller by Scott Turow.
* ''Storming the Court: How a Band of Yale Law Students Sued the President--And Won'' by Brandt Goldstein is, well, ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin.
* ''Verbrechen'' (''Crime'') by German lawyer Friedrich von Schirach. Although he stated that the cases presented were fictionalized accounts of his actual cases, those were later debunked.
* ''Spisi i ljudi'' (''Documents and people'') by Serbian lawyer and academic Tibor Varadi is a somewhat fictionalized account of the legal cases from his family archive, spanning from 1893 until today.
* ''Literature/MickeyHaller'' series
** ''Literature/TheLincolnLawyer'' (2005)
** ''Literature/TheBrassVerdict'' (2008)
** ''Literature/TheReversal'' (2010)
** ''Literature/TheFifthWitness'' (2011)
** ''Literature/TheGodsOfGuilt'' (2013)
* ''[[Literature/Christopher Paget]]'' and it's spinoffs have a few

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
[-(adaptations or original works)-]

* ''Series/AllyMcBeal''
* ''Series/AmericanCrimeStory''
** ''Series/ThePeopleVOJSimpson''
** ''Series/TheAssassinationOfGianniVersace''
* ''Series/BetterCallSaul''
* ''Series/{{Billions}}''
* ''Series/BostonLegal''
* ''Series/{{Bull}}''
* ''Series/CenturyCity'', court cases from the future
* ''Series/ChicagoJustice''
* ''Series/{{Conviction}}''
* ''Series/Conviction2016''
* ''Series/{{Crownies}}''
* ''Series/{{Damages}}'', though it has virtually no scenes in actual courtrooms
* ''The Defenders''
* ''Series/TheDeepEnd''
* ''Series/EqualJustice''
* ''Series/FairlyLegal''
* ''Series/FamilyLaw''
* ''Series/TheFirm''
* ''Series/FirstMonday''
* ''Series/FranklinAndBash''
* ''Series/GarrowsLaw''
* ''Series/TheGoodWife''
** ''Series/TheGoodFight''
* ''Series/TheGrinder''
* ''Series/HarrysLaw''
* ''Series/HowToGetAwayWithMurder''
* ''Series/{{JAG}}''
* The Australian series ''{{Janus}}''.
* ''Series/JudgingAmy''
* ''Series/JustCause''
* ''Series/{{Justice}}''
* ''Series/{{Kingdom}}''
* ''Series/LALaw''
* The second half of ''Series/LawAndOrder'' (See PoliceProcedural for the first half)
** ''Series/LawAndOrderTrialByJury''
** ''Series/LawAndOrderLA''
* ''Series/{{Matlock}}''
* ''Series/MurderOne''
* ''Series/TheNightOf'' covers PoliceProcedural as well as jail and law procedural.
* ''Series/{{Nuremberg}}''
* ''Series/ThePractice''
* ''Franchise/PerryMason''. 80 novels. Ur-example and TropeCodifier in Television.
* ''Series/RaisingTheBar''
* ''Series/RumpoleOfTheBailey''
* ''Literature/SadCypress'' . An Creator/AgathaChristie novel adapted for Radio and Television.
* ''Series/{{Shark}}''
* ''Series/ShotsFired'', some partial involvement of a prosecutor investing potential shooting motivated by race.
* ''Series/{{Silk}}''
* ''Series/{{Suits}}'', which is fairly unique in that a) it's about corporate lawyers and civil suits and b) the characters have a stated desire to ''avoid'' the courtroom at all costs.
* ''Series/ThisIsWonderland''
* ''Series/TheWholeTruth''
* ''Series/TheWire'' Occasionally, with emphasis on the police-attorneys collaboration.

* ''Theatre/TheAndersonvilleTrial''
* ''Theatre/{{Parade}}'', a Broadway musical set around the murder trial of an innocent man.
* ''The Broken Jug'' (Der zerbrochne Krug) by Heinrich von Kleist. The central element is a trial in a rural court.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''Franchise/AceAttorney''

* ''Webcomic/SupernaturalLaw'', which [[MixAndMatch combines]] this genre with UrbanFantasy.