Law and Order Lied to Me
Start writing a post
Politics and Activism

Law and Order Lied to Me

Or, how my time in court didn't deserve a TV show.

Law and Order Lied to Me

I recently spent some time in the St. Louis municipal court system, and, even though I was just there to ask for a continuance for a friend's incredibly minor offense, I expected something incredibly dramatic. Sure, I was only in traffic court, so maybe it was a bit unrealistic to expect to see a lawyer call a surprise witness to the stand only to reveal the victim of some horrible crime, completely covered in 3rd degree burns. Instead, I found no surprise witnesses, very few lawyers, and the realization that Law and Order has been lying to me my entire life.

Entering the courtroom
I expected some sort of beautiful miracle of modern architecture with marble floors and walls as I waited for a judge to hear my case. This was not my reality; instead I found a lineup of chairs and absolutely no marble. Needless to say, I was pretty underwhelmed.

In addition, I kind of thought that there would be hardened criminals in orange jumpsuits with face tattoos that read, "yeah I did it, and I'll do it again." Sure, there were a few face tattoos (much to my dismay, none of them were funny, offensive, nor threatening), but I was upset to learn that the most severe offense anyone in the room could have committed was a DUI.

I also expected blonde lawyers in navy suits with 9 inch heels talking on their phones trying to console their clients and their families. The closest I got to this was a woman sitting in the waiting room who was talking on the phone to what I assume was a friend. I don't think she was giving legal counsel, however, because at one point she used the phrase, "if she don't shut up, I will cut the bitch's tongue out. You know how I do." From that point on I was very careful to make sure my tongue was doing nothing that could lead to its removal from my mouth.

Court Itself

Law and Order really let my down here too. I expected Sam Waterston to be the defense attorney for almost everyone in the room. Instead, there were only three lawyers there. And one of them had a man-ponytail. Note to self: if you ever do something illegal, do not get a lawyer with a ponytail. They will bring you nothing but false hope, hideous argyle sweaters, and obnoxious pink man-scarves.

No one ever used the phrase "on the docket," the judge and bailiff were not nearly as rotund as I had expected, and the phrase, "objection, your honor" was not used a single time. Actually, the closest there was to a dramatic moment was when the bailiff had to tell a mother and her daughter to stop talking. I don't think the judge even had a gavel, which makes me wonder whether he even had a law degree.

Making My Case

I expected this to be fun, I was going to use the phrase "I'm out of order!?! You're out of order!" and then I'd yell "gavel" a bunch of times as the bailiff carried my flailing body out of the room. Unfortunately, I was not nearly brave enough to be held in contempt of court (is that just a TV thing too!?!) and instead I meekly asked for my friend's continuance, like I was supposed to.

And even following the rules was less interesting than expected. I thought that I'd have to make my case, and then I'd go off on several tangents and would be accused of wasting the court's time and money; but none of that happened. Instead, I was just asked why the defendant couldn't be there herself, and when I explained, he was just kind of like "cool, here's another court date, bye."

The whole situation really made me lose faith in the potential of our legal system to make good television. And, worst of all, it seems like Arrested Development lied to me too.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

A Beginner's Wine Appreciation Course

While I most certainly do not know everything, I feel like I know more than the average 21-year-old about vino, so I wrote this beginner's wine appreciate course to help YOU navigate the wine world and drink like a pro.

White wine being poured into a glass

Keep Reading...Show less
Types of ice cream

Who doesn't love ice cream? People from all over the world enjoy the frozen dessert, but different countries have their own twists on the classic treat.

Keep Reading...Show less
Student Life

100 Reasons to Choose Happiness

Happy Moments to Brighten Your Day!

A man with a white beard and mustache wearing a hat

As any other person on this planet, it sometimes can be hard to find the good in things. However, as I have always tried my hardest to find happiness in any and every moment and just generally always try to find the best in every situation, I have realized that your own happiness is much more important than people often think. Finding the good in any situation can help you to find happiness in some of the simplest and unexpected places.

Keep Reading...Show less

Remember The True Meaning of Christmas

“Where are you Christmas? Why can’t I find you?”

A painting of the virgin Mary, the baby Jesus, and the wise men

It’s everyone’s favorite time of year. Christmastime is a celebration, but have we forgotten what we are supposed to be celebrating? There is a reason the holiday is called Christmas. Not presentmas. Not Santamas. Not Swiftmas. Christmas.

boy standing in front of man wearing santa claus costume Photo by __ drz __ on Unsplash

What many people forget is that there is no Christmas without Christ. Not only is this a time to spend with your family and loved ones, it is a time to reflect on the blessings we have gotten from Jesus. After all, it is His birthday.

Keep Reading...Show less
Golden retriever sat on the sand with ocean in the background
Photo by Justin Aikin on Unsplash

Anyone who knows me knows how much I adore my dog. I am constantly talking about my love for her. I attribute many of my dog's amazing qualities to her breed. She is a purebred Golden Retriever, and because of this I am a self-proclaimed expert on why these are the best pets a family could have. Here are 11 reasons why Goldens are the undisputed best dog breed in the world.

Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments