12 TV/Movie Lawyer Quotes You'll Never Forget

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Written by: Benton Accident & Injury Lawyers Last Updated : May 1, 2024

Hollywood does a wonderful job making the work of an attorney appear glamorous. Some of the images are true to form; we really do work all hours of the night on cases when we need to and sometimes litigation can be as dramatic as the best television representation. Here are 12 quotes from some of our favorite Hollywood depictions:

1. A Few Good Men (1992)

Col. Jessup (Jack Nicholson): [during court proceedings] “You want answers?”
Kaffee (Tom Cruise): “I want the truth!”
Col. Jessup: “You can’t handle the truth!”

2. My Cousin Vinny (1992)

Vinny Gambini (Joe Pesci): [in opening statement] “Uh. Everything that guy just said is bullshit. Thank you.”
DA Jim Trotter: “Objection. Counsel’s entire opening statement is argumentative.”
Judge Chamberlain Haller: “Sustained. Counselor’s entire opening statement, with the exception of ‘thank you,’ will be stricken from the record.”

3. To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)

Atticus Finch (Gregory Peck): [closing statement] “…Now, gentlemen, in this country, our courts are the great levelers. In our courts, all men are created equal. I’m not idealist to believe firmly in the integrity of our courts and of our jury system. That’s no ideal to me. That is a living, working reality! Now I am confident that you gentlemen will review, without passion, the evidence that you have heard, come to a decision and restore this man to his family…”

4. Erin Brockovich (2000)

Erin Brockovich (Julia Roberts): [In a settlement meeting with corporation lawyers] “So before you come back here with another lame ass offer, I want you to think real hard about what your spine is worth, Mr. Walker. Or what you might expect someone to pay you for your uterus, Ms. Sanchez. Then you take out your calculator and you multiply that number by a hundred. Anything less than that is a waste of time.”

5. Legally Blonde (2001)

Elle Woods (Reese Witherspoon): [at trial proving a connection to the real defendant] “Exactly. Because isn’t the first cardinal rule of perm maintenance that you’re forbidden to wet your hair for at least 24 hours after getting a perm at the risk of deactivating the ammonium thioglycolate?”

6. Chicago (Musical) (2002)

Billy Flynn (Richard Gere): [during testimony regarding client, Roxie Hart] “I object! My client has never held a diary! And even if she did, this would be…invasion of privacy, and violation of the fourth amendment, and… and illegal search without a warrant!”
Roxie Hart (Rene Zellweger): “Yeah, AND she broke the lock!”

7. Law and Order (1990)

Narration at opening: “In the criminal justice system, the people are represented by two separate yet equally important groups: the police, who investigate crime; and the district attorneys, who prosecute the offenders. These are their stories.”

8. Boston Legal (2004)

Alan Shore (James Spader): “Objection, your Honor. You can’t preface your second point with ‘first of all.’”

9. The People vs. Larry Flint (1996)

Alan Isaacman (Edward Norton): [closing statement] “I’m not trying to suggest that you should like what Larry Flynt does. I don’t like what Larry Flynt does, but what I do like is the fact that I live in a country where you and I can make that decision for ourselves.”

10. The Firm (1993)

Mitch McDeere (Tom Cruise): “I discovered the law again. You actually made me think about it. I managed to get through three years of law school without doing that.”

11. Double Jeopardy (1999)

Bobby (Jay Brazeau): “I’m a lawyer. What we think isn’t supposed to matter.”

12. Philadelphia (1993)

Andrew Beckett (Tom Hanks): “It’s that every now and again – not often, but occasionally – you get to be a part of justice being done. That really is quite a thrill when that happens.”

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