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Series / Street Legal

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Left to right: Chuck, Carrie, Leon.

Street Legal is a Canadian legal drama series that aired on CBC from 1987 to 1994, with a short-lived revival in 2019. The series focused on the personal and professional lives of the partners in a Toronto legal firm. Initially, the three core characters were Carrie Barr (Sonja Smits), Leon Robinovitch (Eric Peterson), and Chuck Tchobanian (C. David Johnson), with much of the conflict in the series being derived from the three's conflicting legal stances. Later additions to the cast included office manager Mercedes (Alison Sealy-Smith), aggressive risk-taking lawyer Olivia Novak (Cynthia Dale), judge Alana Newman (Julie Khaner), junior lawyer Rob Diamond (Albert Schulz), attorney Nick Del Gado (David James Elliott), crown prosecutor Dillon Beck (Anthony Sherwood), and lawyer Laura Crosby (Maria del Mar).

Until it was surpassed by Heartland in 2014, Street Legal held the record for being Canada's longest-running hour-long scripted drama.

This series includes examples of the following tropes:

  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: The BST between Chuck and Olivia is legendary.
  • Canada, Eh?: The series took a distinctly Canadian approach to the courtroom drama, with Canadian court customs and procedures playing a key role in the show's plots.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: Carrie is suddenly and unceremoniously killed off by being hit by a drunk driver.
  • Freudian Trio: Leon is the Id, fond of taking on lost causes and defending the underprivileged. Chuck is the Superego, ambitious and wants the firm to focus on higher-profile cases and Carrie is the Ego.
  • Hollywood Law: Averted. The show was pretty realistic in its depiction of Canadian law.
  • Ripped from the Headlines: The two-hour series finale, "Last Rights", is loosely based on the case of Sue Rodriguez, an assisted suicide advocate who died one week before the final regular episode aired.