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The Huseby Journal

At 25, 'My Cousin Vinny' gets love from lawyers, judges, other legal professionals

Via Flicker Creative Commons

Many movies have come and gone in the past 25 years, and most have been forgotten.

But this month folks are celebrating the silver anniversary of “My Cousin Vinny,” a courtroom comedy with staying power. (NPR)

For example, the city attorney in Neptune Beach, Fla. who is also an adjunct professor, shows his students examples of Vinny Gambini's approach to the courtroom.

In Texas, a judge who is a fan of the "My Cousin Vinny" recently authorized a jury to watch the movie. (Fox 4)

Another story runs down a who’s who of legal professionals who love the movie about the leather-jacketed lawyer from New York who ends up learning on the job in an Alabama courtroom.

They include lawyer Alan Dershowitz, U.S. Circuit judge Alex Kozinski, who has organized screenings for colleagues, U.S. Circuit Judge Richard Posner, and Texas Supreme Court Justice Don ­Willett, among others. (The Australian)

Joseph F. Anderson Jr, a federal judge in South ­Carolina, says the movie showcases “textbook examples of effective cross-examination,” in an essay titled “Ten Things Every Trial Lawyer Could Learn from Vincent La Guardia Gam­bini.”

The others are

  • perseverance

  • proper use of experiential experts

  • the ability to modify trial strategy

  • keeping ego in check

  • living life life outside law

  • the importance of having a mentor

  • pro-bono activity

  • keeping promises

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Mason, McBeal, Gambini and Clayton LLP: The best of the best TV, movie, literary lawyers

Ever wonder who would make a list of the greatest lawyers of all time?

Nah. We haven’t either.

But we did wonder who the greatest fictional lawyers of all time were, and found no shortage of sources that categorized them by TV lawyer, movie lawyer and fictional lawyer, for starters.

NBC photo of Raymond Burr as Perry Mason via Wikimedia Commons. NBC photo of Raymond Burr as Perry Mason via Wikimedia Commons.

We’ve compiled the best of the best lists. The top TV lawyer according to Inside Counsel, is Perry Mason, best remembered in the 1957-1966 television series starring Raymond Burr.

But Mason may make the list because he crosses so many genres and generations. He was the main character in a series of novels, then a radio program before the famous TV series. The TV series spawned several TV movies as late as 1993.

While Perry Mason is a classic, the list of TV lawyers also includes a number of more recent portrayals such as Jack McCoy (Sam Waterston) of “Law and Order,” and Elsbeth Tascioni (Carrie Preston) of “The Good Wife.”

See the entire Inside Counsel list.

Best fictional lawyers: ABA Journal’s list of best fictional lawyers is comprised mostly of movie and literary lawyers. Topping the list is Frank Gavin. Doesn’t ring a bell? How about the character portrayed by Paul Newman in the movie “The Verdict.”

Paul Newman plays a self-loathing alcoholic lawyer who finds personal redemption when he stumbles into the case of a lifetime. David Mamet’s hard-boiled screen adaptation makes all the difference.

The ABA Journal list is not only a little more highbrow, but includes more classic portrayals, including Paul Biegler (Jimmy Stewart) in Otto Preminger's “Anatomy of a Murder.”

See the entire ABA Journal list here.

Best lawyer movies One less-traditional list on IMDB puts “The Devil’s Advocate” No. 1 on a list of best lawyer movies. This entertaining list ranks the Jim Carrey vehicle “Liar Liar” higher than “To Kill a Mockingbird.” It’s also heavy on John Grisham novel-turned-movie characters.

See the entire IMDB list here.

Perry Mason makes several lists we uncovered. Others who crossed lists were Ally McBeal (Calista Flockhart) and Michael Clayton (George Clooney).

But we’d give the Best All Around award to a character that rated on just about every list we saw, and pretty highly in most cases. That’s Vincent LaGuardia “Vinny” Gambini (Joe Pesci) of the movie “My Cousin Vinny,” which was directed by Jonathan Lynn who has a law degree from Cambridge University.

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Catch Scott Huseby in the movie 'The Ultimate Life,' now showing in a theater near you

Scott Huseby, right foreground, as Michael Landon Jr. directs a courtroom scene. Scott Huseby, right foreground, as Michael Landon Jr. directs a courtroom scene.

Our own Scott Huseby is ready for his close-up, and you can see it for yourself now that the movie “The Ultimate Life” has been released to theaters.

"Starring" alongside Scott are James Garner and Peter Fonda. The movie is a followup to “The Ultimate Gift” and is directed by Michael Landon Jr.

Scott plays -- what else? -- a court stenographer in the movie which was filmed in Charlotte. The movie is based on books by Jim Stovall.

Here’s Examiner.com's take on the movie:

"Michael Landon Jr. effectively captures the charming essence of author Jim Stovall's novel [in movie The Ultimate Life] to gracefully teach us to recognize the wealth reaped by one who has friends, family and love. (Thumbs Up!)"

See Scott in action at the 6:08 mark of this video about the movie.

Here’s a trailer for the movie.

More pictures and videos from the movie.

The New York Times review of the movie.

Huseby court reporting is no act When he’s not acting, Scott Huseby is busy making sure his namesake company is hiring only the very best court reporters. Each reporter is screened before hiring to ensure his or her work meets the company’s high standards. When a reporter wishes to work for Huseby, an account executive follows a stringent reporter review process.

Click here to find a location and schedule a court reporter online.

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