Sunday, December 13, 2009

This week's poll: Who would you hire as your lawyer if you were the defendant in a murder trial?

In last week's poll, you learned that your business partner had been murdered and that the police suspected you. You hired private eye Mike Hammer (he edged out Honey West and Jim Rockford in the previous poll) to investigate the crime and clear you of this bum rap. Unfortunately, despite his best efforts, Mike failed to get the job done. In fact, things have gotten worse. Police detective Lieutenant Tragg found a custom-made handkerchief, embroidered with your initials, at the scene of the murder--and it was covered in the victim's blood! He arrested you and you're being held without bail.

Who are you going to hire as your lawyer?  Your choices are:

Paul Biegler (James Stewart, Anatomy of a Murder) - Crafty small-town lawyer (and former district attorney) who has a proven track record of outsmarting the big boys and girls. Talks a lot about fishing and plays the piano. Could the distractions prove too much?

Rosalind Shays (Diana Muldaur, L.A. Law) - She's ruthless and willing to bend the rules, especially if she benefits from doing so too. You might even feel sympathy for the prosecutor's witnesses when she cross-examines them. Just make sure that you don't ride in any elevators with Roz.

Horace Rumpole (Leo McKern, Rumpole of the Bailey) - Well, he doesn't look like a lawyer, but that's actually one of the strengths of this wily barrister. His experience with murder cases is limited, though, and he's not versed in U.S. law. Plus, you're concerned about his references to "she who must be obeyed."

Atticus Finch (Gregory Peck, To Kill a Mockingbird) - Highly moral, respected, hard-working lawyer. Voted the #1 movie hero by the American Film Institute. Unfortunately, his track record with murder trials isn't good.

Perry Mason (Raymond Burr) - Egotistical and very expensive, but also very good. Let's face it: the man not only gets his clients off the hook, but he exposes the real cultprit in the courtroom. Only downside is that he reminds you a lot of Lars Thorwald in Rear Window.

Sir Wilfred Robarts (Charles Laughton, Witness for the Prosecution) - Famous British barrister who has recovered from a heart attack by winning a big case (even though his client was killed in the courtroom after the trial). No one can deny Sir Wilfrid's masterful courtroom tactics...but that's not cocoa he's drinking during the trial!

Cast your vote in the poll in the green sidebar on the right. Hope you're found innocent....


  1. This is REALLY HARD! Perry Mason was excellent but Roz Shays was sneaky & VERY smart. Then again, Sir Wilfred was wily! Overall, I think I've gotta go with Horace Rumpole. He really did understand the system and had some great jury nullifcation speeches!

  2. I love both of these polls you set up, Rick! For me, this is the easier of the two because I would go for Perry Mason, hands down. He always wins (except for one case, if I am not mistaken). He also knows Lieutenant Tragg well.

  3. Rick, i have to go with Paul Biegler (James Stewart, Anatomy of a Murder. One of my favorite movies.

  4. I'm with Dawn -- James Stewart was the best kind of smart, laid-back lawyer who could reduce the prosecution to ashes. Loved him!

  5. It's tough for me. I'm a Paul Biegler fan, too. But as Toto pointed out, Perry never lost a case (well, that was one episode...but he still prevailed there if you know what I mean).