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    Lawyers Explained What TV And Movies Always Get Wrong, And It's So Interesting

    I, for one, would gladly hire Molly Ringwald as my defense attorney.

    We recently asked the lawyers and legal experts of the BuzzFeed Community to tell us what mistakes TV and movies always make with courtroom scenes. Here are some of the biggest takeaways:

    🚨 Minor spoilers ahead! 🚨

    1. First, questioning witnesses is never as dramatic as it appears on TV and in movies.

    lawyer asks Paige how many men she's had sex with on "Degrassi"

    "There are a lot of rules regarding what kind of questions you’re allowed to ask a witness. Most of the questions that are asked on TV are over the top and would NEVER be allowed in a courtroom. Also, you don’t get in the witness's face when you’re questioning them and you certainly don’t scream at them."


    2. Cases take a really long time to actually go to trial.

    "SpongeBob" narrator: "Three hours later"

    "The single most common thing that movies and TV shows get wrong is how fast the case proceeds. In criminal cases, it takes months or years to get to trial. It doesn't happen overnight."


    3. Most cases are settled out of court before they ever go to trial.

    Paramount Pictures

    "Big courtroom brawls rarely happen in real life. Most cases are settled outside of court before trial."


    4. Lawyers can't just spring a surprise witness on everyone.

    Lawyer on "The Simpsons": "Your honor I'd like to call of my surprise witnesses again"

    "A surprise witness would never be allowed, but you see it on TV all the time. In real life, discovery closed weeks ago and witness disclosure lists were due months ago."


    5. Courtrooms aren't usually packed with audiences.

    "Riverdale" packed courtroom for Archie's trial
    The CW

    "The courtroom is almost always empty — at most, there’s a few people in the audience, but usually no one."


    6. Lawyers can't just yell "objection!" without a clear reason.

    Prosecutor on "The Undoing": "Objection!"

    "The objecting lawyer has to tell the judge why they are objecting (what rule the other person is violating) for the judge to rule on the objection. I can’t watch Law & Order anymore for this reason."


    7. Randomly standing up and slamming your fist would be considered super rude in real life.

    Bernie Sanders slamming fist on table meme
    Forever Dog Podcast Network / Via

    "Lawyers standing up, slamming their fists on the desk, and shouting 'Objection!'...if you do this, be prepared for a judge to rip you a new one."


    8. You have to ask the judge for permission for everything — you can't just pace around the courtroom.

    Jacob's attorney talking to the jury during opening statement on "Defending Jacob"
    Apple TV

    "You can't just walk around the well while giving an opening or closing statement or questioning a witness, and you definitely never approach a witness on the stand. The judge owns their courtroom, and you have to ask permission to do any of those things."


    9. Evidence is never entered at the last minute.

    "Defending Jacob" prosecutor: "Commonwealth moves to enter into evidence"
    Apple TV

    "No, never! That's why there's discovery time."


    10. Non-parents can't just randomly file for custody because they feel like it.

    Mary Louise from "Big Little Lies": "I think Max and Josh should reside with me"

    "Non-parents who have never been in a child's life cannot just pop up and file for custody, especially if there has been a present and active parent(s) in the child's life! In fact, most states don't recognize grandparents' standing to file for custody, or only allow it under very specific circumstances."


    11. If someone is found not guilty, they can't just immediately walk out and leave.

    "Defending Jacob" Jacob walks out of court and answers questions from press
    Apple TV

    "They have to go back and be processed out."


    12. Representing family members in court is a pretty bad idea in real life.

    Archie and his mom in court on "Riverdale"
    The CW

    "While it isn't technically illegal, it's a TERRIBLE idea to represent family members in court — especially if they're on trial for murder."


    13. Lawyers aren't supposed to argue during questioning.

    lawyer questioning Winston from "Degrassi"

    "They can’t just start talking to the jury while questioning a witness. The lawyers can’t testify, and the second they aren’t asking a question while there’s a witness on the stand, the opposing counsel or the judge will shut that shit down."


    14. And finally, lawyers don't spend the majority of their days in court.

    Haley from "The Undoing"

    "Being a lawyer is far more boring than Hollywood makes it out to be. Going to court can be fun and invigorating, but most time is spent in your office, working long hours and preparing items."


    Note: Submissions have been edited for length and clarity.

    TV and Movies

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