Over the years, we’ve all seen the machinations that go on behind-the-scenes in lawyer’s office through the lens of our televisions and now our streaming devices. Unfortunately, what is being shown is often used for dramatic effect or due to time constraints.
Just as what you might see on a medical drama isn’t always possible, neither is what you see in courtrooms or in attorneys’ offices onscreen. Much of it is for dramatic effect and to keep you entertained. In reality, no one would want to watch what really goes on in a lawyer’s office as it’s mostly paperwork and a lot of phone calls, and though the inside of a courtroom can get interesting, it’s usually because of the subject of the trial rather than the actions of the people involved.
An attorney can only work within the bounds of the law and the rules and guidelines set out by the judicial system. They can’t make your case go any faster, and once it does reach the trial stage, they can’t insist the judge speed things up in the courtroom.
But, because there have been decades of law series on television, it’s understandable why you could expect your case to speed along through the judicial system in two days, three at the most. After all, trials wrap up in one hour on most legal series which is why it’s important to separate fiction from reality.
So many attorneys on TV pop up to object like Jack-in-the-Boxes, making it easy for someone to expect their lawyer to be a little more vocal in court. And you could very well be shocked to see the judge speaking so sternly to your attorney who isn’t saying anything other than, “Yes, Your Honor.” We’ve all seen one too many attorneys stand up to judges onscreen, but that isn’t reality. A courtroom is controlled by the judge, and in no instance is it ever acceptable for an attorney to lambast that judge. It might be dramatic, but it could also be detrimental to that attorney’s career.
Watching a real-life case unfold on television can give you a good idea of how things really work in the legal process, but if you’re tuning in to a drama, remember that it’s created to appeal to viewers. Though the series might have a lawyer or law consultant onboard to help keep the story close to the truth , there is little chance of highly volatile dramatic tensions in a real courtroom. In fact, most lawyers go their entire career without yelling at one judge or miraculously wrapping up a case in three days. It’s disappointing, but it’s reality.