Once Again: Thoughts on Television Lawyers

We’ve talked before about the depictions of lawyers on television and our relative disappointment with the portrayals thereof.  The other day, one question occurred to us:  Why is discovery rarely, if ever, depicted on lawyer television shows?

When is the last time you saw a witness being deposed on a lawyer television show? When is the last time you saw a young associate in a frightful warehouse in the middle of nowhere performing document review? When is the last time you saw a lawyer responding to discovery requests or lodging objections to same? Is it that such tasks are not cinematic in nature?  Surely, that’s not it.

We can certainly imagine an interesting episode of a television show regarding an associate’s trek to an industry site to review documents.  Further, we can also imagine the novelty of a large scale toxic tort plaintiff’s deposition with 20 defense lawyers in the room.

So why is it that we never see such things on television?

Is it that the writers of legal television shows themselves only know of our industry from other bad legal television shows?  Is it that the a program’s advisers do not have the breadth of legal experience to provide such anecdotes to the production?  Or is it that the traditional formula of a legal TV show is so well established and ossified that any deviation therefrom would simply require extra effort?

Perhaps we will never know the answer to these questions.  But we’d watch a show featuring such things.