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Recurring or Non-Recurring Defense Attorneys: The Loved and the Loathed

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Hey, if anyone can come up with a better title, go fer it!

 

Like I've said so many, many, many times, I hated, despised, LOATHED Danielle Melnick since her first appearance in "Helpless." With her flagrant disrespect for Liz Olivet and just her loathesome arrogance. And I don't know if he played the same lawyer, but Peter Gerety's defense attorney in "Pride." God, I HATED him, and using hate speech against homosexuals to get his homophobic murderous client off.  David Margolis (can't recall who he played) also irritated.  Then there's Gold, Stone's nemesis. He was one I loved to hate, because he could be funny.

 

The two that I loved that come to mind are Lorraine Toussaint's Shambala Green, and Patti Lupone's Ruth Miller. I really wish we'd gotten to see more of Ruthie. I fucking loved her.  And I was very sad to see that Shambala's locks were gone in her last appearance. With their loss, so was the fire and passion she brought to the role.

 

ETA: Because Spelling is IMPORTANT!

Edited by GHScorpiosRule
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I'm so glad you made this thread.  Completely agree with you on Melnick - I'm sure Tovah Feldshuh is a lovely woman, but my goodness, I wanted to punch her in the face everytime she showed up.

 

And we agree once more, because Shambala was hands down my favorite recurring defense attorney.  There is just something about Lorraine Toussaint that takes command of the screen, and I loved seeing her and Ben go toe-to-toe.

 

Is this the appropriate thread to say how much I hated how they changed the character of Robinette once he came back as a defense attorney?  Because boo - I like to pretend that Paul doesn't exist.

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Is this the appropriate thread to say how much I hated how they changed the character of Robinette once he came back as a defense attorney?  Because boo - I like to pretend that Paul doesn't exist.

 

That wasn't Paul. That was a Pod. I'm telling you, it was probably his evil twin or something. Everything that came out of his mouth was a contradiction to how the REAL Paul Robinette, felt and thought. He didn't even have a scene with Adam! What does that tell you? Adam would have sussed him out as the Fake he was!

 

That's my story and I'm stickin' to it! It's the ONLY thing that makes sense!

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Like I've said so many, many, many times, I hated, despised, LOATHED Danielle Melnick since her first appearance in "Helpless." With her flagrant disrespect for Liz Oilvet and just her loathesome arrogance. 

 

I hated her too.  I loved the episode where Jack finally called her out on her bullshit: "Who the hell cares what you think anyway?!"  I think he spoke for everyone when he said that.

 

Actually, I don't think I liked any of the defense attorneys because the majority of them were just as scummy and self righteous as their clients.  

Edited by Spartan Girl
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Well, actually Ruthie was one of the only ones I liked -- probably because her client in "Homesick" really was innocent.  God that episode was made me sick.  Dead babies are always horrible, but I couldn't help feeling some sympathy for the guilty brother.  The whole thing could have been prevented if his dad wasn't such a neglectful douchebag.

 

It was interesting to see Jamie Ross come back as a defense attorney given her earlier stance of how monsters should rot in hell with their lawyers.  At least she tried to do right by making that anonymous call about the wrongly convicted man when she knew her client was the guilty one...

 

Which is a lot more than I can say about the asshole court appointed attorney in "Bodies" who was dumb enough to ask his client the serial killer where the bodies of those young girls were, and later say he couldn't reveal them to the police on account of attorney client privileges.  That guy deserved to be slapped.

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Yeah, the kid in "Sick" is, I think, the only guest star that literally grew up appearing on this show, and SVU! He's a kid in "Sick", was a punkass older teenager in "Wannabe" and a rapist in the SVU one, where the victim had been a China POW or something. Fred Dweller had played her husband, and he, the rapist, had a shoe fetish.

 

Didn't Jaime also used to be a defense attorney? Then she came to work at the DA's office, then went back to being defense?

 

Back to topic.  What I loved about Ruthie was her snark, and how she would reel someone in when cross-examining them.  But I just love Patti Lupone!

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Just watched "Working Mom" today and how could I have neglected to mention Lainey?! Played by the wonderful Elaine Strich!

As with Ruthie, I wish we'd seen more of her.

Edited by GHScorpiosRule
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Sadly, Ms  Stritch's passing at 89 was just announced.

 

RIP, Ms. Stritch.  Not only was she fabulous here, but I loved her appearances on The Cosby Show as Rudy's teacher, and I also recall her from Trapper John, MD. *sniff*

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Oooh! Found another recurring defense attorney! He's definitely HITG! known primarily for playing Marcy's first husband on Married With Children.

 

David Garrison, whose name was Richard Billings. But for some reason, imdb has him listed as Judge Richard Billings, which, no.

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Somehow, I don't remember David Garrison on L&O. I wonder whatever became of him? I know he was in a very short-lived '80s sitcom with Jason Bateman, then of course was Married With Children and then, oviously, the L&O gig, but he seems to have done a quick fade.

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Okay, he's not a defense attorney, but I'm wondering if we can edit the title to also include douchebag attorney generals, U.S. attorneys? Because I really loathe Attorney General Bob Gervits, played by John Driver...he's like the fugly twin brother of Dallas Roberts. Hated him in "Ambitious" and the episode where Adam sues the governor.

 

Though he was the DA in the pilot, the U.S. Attorney, Roy Thinnes played in that same episode.

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Completely agree with you on Melnick - I'm sure Tovah Feldshuh is a lovely woman, but my goodness, I wanted to punch her in the face everytime she showed up.

 

I loathed her character too, but, working in the legal system as I do, I can verify that there is a certain subset of defense attorneys who are exactly like Melnick, and yes, I do hate how they do their jobs in real life too.  So bravo to Tovah Feldshuh for playing the character so well - true to life and so, so hateable.

And we agree once more, because Shambala was hands down my favorite recurring defense attorney.  There is just something about Lorraine Toussaint that takes command of the screen, and I loved seeing her and Ben go toe-to-toe.

 

Every time I see Lorraine Toussaint in anything else, all I can hear is Ben Stone referring to her as "Miz Shamabala Green" - in fact, I often say that to the tv screen when she appears.  Loved the character and her amazing performance.  And she and Michael Moriarty had terrific chemistry on screen.

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I guess I'm in the minority. I really liked Danielle Melnick. I always though she and McCoy had great chemistry, like they had know each other since they were kids fresh out of law school and may have even shared a few drunken hookups. As for her as a lawyer, She was representing her clients. How should a defense attorney act? They don't work for the DA.

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To each his/her own, FozzyBear.  It was more of her self-righteous and hypocritical commitment to her causes (sometimes moreso than her actual clients) that irked me.

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To each his/her own, FozzyBear. It was more of her self-righteous and hypocritical commitment to her causes (sometimes moreso than her actual clients) that irked me.

I guess it never bugged me because I thought the DA (especially with McCoy) could be equally self-righteous and hypocritical. Adversarial system I guess.

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They just reran "Open Season", also known as the one where Melnick got tricked into helping her incarcerated client murder someone else all because she disagreed with the judge,s ruling that he be cut off from communicating with anybody except his lawyer. You know I'm all for the 1st amendment and all, but when the guy was part of a terrorist group with an actual hit list of lawyers all set and ready to go...

What she did was stupid at the very least. And she had no right to get all self-righteous with Jack for helping get her indicted. SHE BROKE THE DAMN LAW.

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That episode was based on a real case shortly after 9/11. I can't believe Danielle didn't figure it out on some level. And Garrett Dillahunt really always plays a psycho doesn't he?

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Just saw "Homesick" and I have.to reiterate my LOVE for defense attorney Ruthie Miller. Actually, I think she's the only defense attorney I like. Wish we'd seen more of her. Patti Lupone was wonderful in this role. Hell, I just flat out love Patti!

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Don't throw rocks just yet, but Survivor is on Sundance right now, and God help me but I almost like Danielle Melnick. Mostly because she's representing Karen Allen...er, Judith Sandler, who is almost as much of a victim as the person she killed, because she thought he had her father's coin collection that was lost in World War II.

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Don't throw rocks just yet, but Survivor is on Sundance right now, and God help me but I almost like Danielle Melnick. Mostly because she's representing Karen Allen...er, Judith Sandler, who is almost as much of a victim as the person she killed, because she thought he had her father's coin collection that was lost in World War II.

 

 

Noooo!!!!! Holding silver cross in protection Blech! Ptooey! Yuck! Ruthie could have represented her! Back! Back, I say! To thy EVUHL that is Danielle Melnick!!!!

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Noooo!!!!! Holding silver cross in protection Blech! Ptooey! Yuck! Ruthie could have represented her! Back! Back, I say! To thy EVUHL that is Danielle Melnick!!!!

 

LOL. Sorry, GHSR, but I haven't been able to deal with Patti Lupone pretty much ever. As odious as Melnick is, my long-standing crush on Karen Allen is just enough to override it for at least an hour. Then I go back to hating her, and all is right with the world. ;-)

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Tovah Feldshuh did play Danielle Melnick brilliantly in that she made everyone (me included!) loathe her. (As mean as it was, I loved when Jack told her no one cared what she thought.) I think her oddest, most pointless appearance, however, wasn't even on the Mothership.

 

On L&O: CI's series finale, she made a cameo appearance telling one of the would-be victims (twin brothers) that he needed to get more evidence on someone he was suing, then she'd go for it, etc. And that was it.

 

Which was something considering Ms. Feldshuh finagled a vanity credit ("and Tovah Feldshuh") for three seconds. And Melnick's name was never even uttered, but it was obvious it was her/the same character.

 

Makes me wonder if ol' Danielle had more of a role that got cut. Which...fine. Hee.

 

But for all of that, I much preferred Lorraine Toussaint's Shambala Green and was sad she sort of faded after Stone left. At least her rivalry with Stone seemed to have respect on both sides.

 

Sort of cool to see LT with Alana de la Garza in Forever for the brief time it lasted.

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Tovah Feldshuh did play Danielle Melnick brilliantly in that she made everyone (me included!) loathe her. (As mean as it was, I loved when Jack told her no one cared what she thought.) I think her oddest, most pointless appearance, however, wasn't even on the Mothership.

On L&O: CI's series finale, she made a cameo appearance telling one of the would-be victims (twin brothers) that he needed to get more evidence on someone he was suing, then she'd go for it, etc. And that was it.

Which was something considering Ms. Feldshuh finagled a vanity credit ("and Tovah Feldshuh") for three seconds. And Melnick's name was never even uttered, but it was obvious it was her/the same character.

Makes me wonder if ol' Danielle had more of a role that got cut. Which...fine. Hee.

But for all of that, I much preferred Lorraine Toussaint's Shambala Green and was sad she sort of faded after Stone left. At least her rivalry with Stone seemed to have respect on both sides.

Sort of cool to see LT with Alana de la Garza in Forever for the brief time it lasted.

When was Melnick in CI? I thought Melnick got killed in the Mothership, in an ep where she was suspected of & eventually indicted for/charged with aiding & abetting at least 1 of her clients with committing new crimes while they were already in jail for something else.

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When was Melnick in CI? I thought Melnick got killed in the Mothership, in an ep where she was suspected of & eventually indicted for/charged with aiding & abetting at least 1 of her clients with committing new crimes while they were already in jail for something else.

 

The series finale, "To The Boy in the Blue Knit Cap", S10, Episode 8. As I said, she was on VERY briefly. Before the opening credits when one of the would-be victims consults her about a lawsuit.

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Just finished watching Showtime and am again wondering how the hell Jamie ever thought Neal Gordon was worth not only marrying, but procreating with. Him trying to more or less blackmail her out of helping Jack prosecute, using Katie as a bargaining chip, is just low. Not Melnick low, but still. Ugh.

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Just finished watching Showtime and am again wondering how the hell Jamie ever thought Neal Gordon was worth not only marrying, but procreating with. Him trying to more or less blackmail her out of helping Jack prosecute, using Katie as a bargaining chip, is just low. Not Melnick low, but still. Ugh.

SERIOUSLY. The guy had to be one of the sleaziest lawyers on the Mothership, and considering how many insufferable sleaze lawyers were on that show, that's saying A LOT.

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The series finale, "To The Boy in the Blue Knit Cap", S10, Episode 8. As I said, she was on VERY briefly. Before the opening credits when one of the would-be victims consults her about a lawsuit.

So then she didn't get killed off in the Mothership? I always thought it seemed like she did.

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So then she didn't get killed off in the Mothership? I always thought it seemed like she did.

 

Guess not? Although I phrase it as a question since, again, her name was never said. But same actress, same profession, same reptilian attitude in just the one scene...I don't see how it couldn't be Danielle Melnick and not "another" character, as the franchise did recycle actors.

 

For what it's worth, IMDB says it was Danielle Melnick.

 

Guess it was?  :-)

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Cobalt Stargazer & Spartan Girl: regarding Jamie's ex, TELL ME ABOUT IT! He was ultra-controlling, almost pathologically so, of Jamie after their divorce. It was like, anything she did made him threaten her physical custody of Katie. She couldn't take a job that often required her to be away from Katie for a great deal of time (so the DA's office was a bad fit; personally, I think he just wanted her to keep working for/with his firm & I could see why she wouldn't want to after the divorce), & she couldn't even freaking get engaged to marry that guy, David, in the last season she was on the show without her ex threatening to modify their custody agreement--he thought Jamie's new husband would be spending more time with Katie after the marriage than Jamie & disapproved of that. Although it always seemed he could do whatever the hell he wanted to (but, admittedly, he worked for a firm with more assistants, or whatever, & apparently had a more flexible schedule because of it). I have to say, I did love when that Family Court Judge told them, at the initial hearing, the modification request didn't seem to just be about Katie & they should rethink this/get their shit together, or she couldn't guarantee either of them would like whatever she might decide about custody.

And I didn't like when he started threatening McCoy & Jamie professionally to try to get his way/win the case, like after Jamie originally told him Newman wasn't a suspect, then Gordon had a hissy fit about him becoming the main suspect & acted like Jamie had lied to him originally. She didn't lie to him. They just didn't have the proof to name Newman then. Shit happens & he should've known that as a lawyer & dealt with it like the professional he was instead of the 3-year-old he was behaving like over it. Besides, he probably had done the same thing to the opposition before. If it's OK for him to do it, to anybody, it's just as OK for Jack & Jamie to do it to him.

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Jamie's ex and Danielle Melnick would be the perfect "couple from hell", even if Melnick was older. It would be a hoot to see who'd make the other suffer first.

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So then she didn't get killed off in the Mothership? I always thought it seemed like she did.

 

She was last seen being loaded into an ambulance, but since she was on a stretcher with paramedics working on her instead of in a body bag I think she must have survived. If she'd died there probably would have been a final scene with the DAs discussing it and reacting.

Edited by CoderLady
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According to her entry in the L & O Wiki, Melnick was nearly disbarred in season thirteen, the episode Open Season, when she violated a gag order issued to her client by a judge. She passed an address on to her client, which turned out to be the home of the guy he was targeting, and the guy was killed. She was arrrested and charged as an accessory, but refused to break attorney-client privilege. Jack ended up blackmailing the murderer into saying that Danielle had nothing to do with it, that she had no idea what he'd intended to do with the information. Later in the ep, she was shot by one of her client's followers, but eventually recovered from her injuries.

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I'll never understand why Jack saved her ass from getting disbarred. She broke the law and was an (unwitting) accessory to murder! And she STILL acted like she didn't do anything wrong!

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Ya'll  might already know this, but Tovah Feldshuh turned up on The Walking Dead as Deanna Monroe, the leader of the Alexandria Free Zone. Like Danielle, Deanna was a pain in the ass, so the identical initials may not be a coincidence. It was very satisfying when

she was zombified during this season and had to be put down

.

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Just finished watching Showtime and am again wondering how the hell Jamie ever thought Neal Gordon was worth not only marrying, but procreating with. Him trying to more or less blackmail her out of helping Jack prosecute, using Katie as a bargaining chip, is just low. Not Melnick low, but still. Ugh.

Money? Sorry, I kind of hate Jamie and felt like she was just a rich, stuck up, snob who took a job as a DA to stick it to her ex and then quit when she got married again. That odious DA who was fixing cars was right on one point, Jamie was a spoiled dilettante who worked as a hobby.

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That odious DA who was fixing cars

 

I know this is a typo, but I found it at first confusing then hilarious.  He probably will be fixing cars once he gets out.

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I know this is a typo, but I found it at first confusing then hilarious. He probably will be fixing cars once he gets out.

I hope he never gets out, because in addition to fixing cases, he had murdered the victim. David Marshall Grant is always playing a bad guy! He played a murdering ADA on Criminal Intent and tried to frame his wife, because she worked in private practice and made more money than he did, plus his daughter didn't want her drawings to be put in his office because his office wasn't as nice as mommy's.

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I hope he never gets out, because in addition to fixing cases, he had murdered the victim. David Marshall Grant is always playing a bad guy! He played a murdering ADA on Criminal Intent and tried to frame his wife, because she worked in private practice and made more money than he did, plus his daughter didn't want her drawings to be put in his office because his office wasn't as nice as mommy's.

When the daughter said his office was "yucky", I had a laugh, even if it was mean.

But Grant has made a pretty decent career out of playing the bad guy, so I guess it's all good on his end.

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I hated Charlie Harmon and I hated the guy he played on CI. He was going to deprive his daughter of her mother just because -- in addition to his other issues --- she didn't want to draw pictures of his office? Fuck you buddy.

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4 hours ago, dttruman said:

If I remember right, most of the cases were obvious that her clients committed the crimes. It was just that she argued that they were all justified for some reason or another.

Well, I think out of the seven episodes Shambala Green appeared in, only two of her clients accused and charged-were obvious to me-her first appearance in “Subterranean Homeboy Blues,” which was their ripped from the headlines of Bernard Goetz-Laura DiBiassi shot the two men threatening her, where one died and the other was paralyzed; the other was “Sanctuary,” where the Black teen/young adult was charged with killing a White man in a mob frenzy, because another White man had gotten a slap on the wrist for killing a Black boy in a hit and run. The others? Not so much. “Indifference” she represented Carla Lowenstein,the wife of the molester/killer/abuser of their daughter Jacob. And yes, she also abused her and their son; in “The Secret Sharers,” it wasn’t clearly obvious that Nicky had killed his girlfriend’s rapist, and by mid show, that Texan lawyer took over and the jury acquitted him. ”Skin Deep,” it wasn’t until the DNA wasn’t 100% that I clued in it could be the teenage daughter who killed her mom’s pimp and who she’d been sleeping with. ”Jurisdiction,” well, her client was innocent of killing those nurses. He wasn’t mentally competent and the cop tricked him into confessing even though he knew David Ziffren didn’t do it. I don’t really recall the details of “Identity,” when she returned, minus her dreads! Which I loved! Something about her elderly client killing the guy who stole his savings by stealing his identity or something.

But throughout the first six (because Moriarty was gone by 2003), though they snarked at each other, cited case law, argued, Ben Stone and Shambala Green were  colleagues who respected each other.  Ben also admired her. I’m blanking on which episode, but he demanded answers on a case before “Shambala Green hands me my ass on a platter,” or something like that and it just makes me laugh because Ben is so frustrated and peeved that she knows something he doesn’t but doesn’t doubt it was something that could make him lose the case. And as a defense attorney, it was her job to get her clients off, but she never circumvented the law, or was shifty, smug like Melnick, who I LOATHE AND DETEST, with every fiber of my being.

Sanctuary” was such a topical and realistic episode and both Touissant and Moriarty were bloody fantastic in that episode.

Edited by GHScorpiosRule
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14 hours ago, GHScorpiosRule said:

 “Sanctuary,” where the Black teen/young adult was charged with killing a White mthe an in a mob frenzy, because another White man had gotten a slap on the wrist for killing a Black boy in a hit and run

I think the jewish driver was cleared by an inquest because he tried to avoid the kid. His only mistake was leaving the scene. The parents should have taken Logan's advice (from another episode courtesy of GHScorpiosRule). "This is America, I'd sue the Bastard". I wish they would have explored the suing part of it.

Edited by dttruman
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