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Fictional Lawyer Madness: The Final

Down goes Frazier, down goes Frazier!

And by “Frazier,” clearly I mean Lionel Hutz.

From my perspective, Lionel Hutz losing in the semifinal round was a huge upset. I don’t want to take anything away from Jack McCoy — whose face is probably next to the word “lawyer” in the dictionary for a generation of people — but I thought Lionel Hutz would walk away with this thing.

And in the other semifinal, there was another upset of sorts. Apparently Elle Woods is human after all.

You can see all the action on our updated bracket. And now, on to the Fictional Lawyer Madness final….

(All celebrity images courtesy of Getty Images.)

Sam Waterston

Joe Pesci

1) Jack McCoy (Sam Waterston; Law & Order)


1) Vinny Gambini (Joe Pesci; My Cousin Vinny)

Here is your final match-up. McCoy v. Gambini. A prosecutor versus a defense attorney. ‘Twas always thus.

Because the finals played out this way, we can ask the question: if you were on trial for your life, how would you like your chances with Gambini defending you against McCoy?

Gambini has three skills you need as a defense attorney: he’s good at poking holes in the prosecution’s case (magic grits), he’s charismatic and likable to a jury, and — admittedly thanks to his girlfriend — he can put together an investigative team to uncover evidence the government perhaps overlooked.

If you are innocent, your life is in good hands with Vinny Gambini.

But if you are guilty, “Hang ‘Em High McCoy” is going to get you. Bottom line, we’ve seen Gambini defend innocent people. But that’s just an exercise in exposing the truth. Let’s see him obscure the truth enough to allow reasonable doubt to creep in. People have compared Vinny Gambini to Jose Baez, counsel to Casey Anthony. But we don’t see anything from Gambini nearly as crazy as what Jose Baez was giving Headline News.

And Jose Baez wasn’t going up against Jack McCoy. McCoy gets convictions. And even when he loses, he often finds some other way to get his man. He doesn’t care about ethics or propriety. If he thinks you are guilty of murder, he’ll find some way to bring you to justice. McCoy’s the kind of lawyer who, if Ralph Macchio beat the murder rap, would prosecute Macchio for crane-kicking Billy Zabka.

If I was charged with a crime and I wanted to go home, I think I’d want an average defense lawyer and an average prosecutor over anybody but Johnnie Cochran (played by Giancarlo Esposito in this episode) against Jack McCoy.

But that’s just me.

What do you think? It’s the final vote, so vote as often as you’d like. Polls close SUNDAY, JULY 17, at 11:59 PM (Eastern time), so tell your friends.

Who is your favorite character?

  • Jack McCoy (58%, 999 Votes)
  • Vinny Gambini (42%, 715 Votes)

Total Voters: 1,714

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Earlier: Previous ATL coverage of the Fictional Lawyer Madness competition

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