The Real Housewives of Law

Having hung around with lawyers for more than 30 years, there is one thing I can assert with confidence: we’re not that interesting.  Sure, we amuse ourselves, but there is a reason why nobody thinks our “why did the chicken cross the road” joke is funny.*

Yet, in the Age of Kardashian, that doesn’t stop lawyers from fulfilling their dream of becoming a star.  First, Jamie Casino, of the most awesome lawyer commercial of January, was signed to do a reality show. No concept yet, but flaming sledgehammer. That’s a draw, right?

Now, the Connecticut Law Tribune announces another one:

Bicoastal lawyer Loredana Nesci practices in Connecticut and California,  representing clients that she says other lawyers would most likely turn down.  Now her experiences as an unconventional criminal and civil lawyer who also juggles family life will be played out in a reality show, “Loredana ESQ,” which  will air on cable’s Sundance TV.

Who? Beats me. But when she’s the toast of the air waves, no doubt I will wish I could say I knew her when. I can’t wait to find out why other lawyers would turn down her clients. I assume it’s because they’re broke, because otherwise there will always be someone to take the case. Are broke clients interesting?

There is no indication she can sing or dance. She may be able to tell jokes, but that doesn’t seem to be the gist of the show. Given that it’s Connecticut, maybe they will put her together with 100 other lawyers and form a marching band.  Nah, they would never be able to walk in the same direction. So why is she the star of a television reality show?

“She envisioned the show to be about my life as a strong female attorney struggling to help my clients and be a mom and partner,” Nesci said. “My clients  are not hardened criminals who cannot be reformed. My clients are down on their luck and made bad decisions which resulted in their arrests. My clients are  everyday people trying to live their lives and who have managed to get  themselves in jams and it’s up to me to rescue them from their mistakes. These  are people who deserve a second chance.”

Is she suggesting that she plans to argue her clients’ cases in the court of public opinion?  Because everyone else’s criminal defense clients are hardened and don’t deserve a second chance?  And at the same time, be a “strong female attorney” because all the other female lawyers are weaklings? Or are they just lousy moms and partners? Is there something special here that eludes me? I don’t think so.

For a long time now, I’ve pounded the point that lawyers on television are just the baloney in the media’s sandwich. We’re props, used to fill air time between commercials.  The heads are interchangeable, and what comes out of our mouths resonates for maybe a few seconds until it’s forgotten when the next segment begins with a cute cat picture.  We are not stars.

Sure, it’s happened for a few lawyers. Star Jones. Nancy Grace. Danny Abrams, though if one defines a lawyer as being someone who has seen the inside of a courtroom, then Danny doesn’t make the cut. Other lawyers have crashed and burned in the process. Ask Mickey Sherman about that.  Mark Geragos almost made it, but keeps falling off the edge whenever the Larry King show changes hands.

But given the thousands of lawyers who will show up at the drop of a hat to do a three-minute segment on a news magazine, where two and a half minutes are taken up with the hosts chatter and question, no one will either know or care that your puss was on TV.  Sorry, kids, but it’s just not memorable.

But if someone makes a television show all about you, certainly it won’t be the same thing.  The question, however, is what will be shown about Loredana ESQ.?  Will someone explain to her clients that their worst moments will be watched by others, so they will never be able to move beyond them?  Will the producers demand that Loredana toss over a table once in a while, or curse at people for no apparent reason to create drama and interest?  Will she come off as a “strong female lawyer,” or another flaming nutjob from Jersey, or Orange County, New York City, or Beverly Hills?  Can she afford to live the life that she wants the world to see?

A woman lawyer living a working lawyer’s life doesn’t really seem like much of a draw.  It also seems to implicate an awful lot that raises serious questions about confidentiality and integrity that puts both the clients’ lives, and the lawyer’s life, at risk.  The more interesting they make the show, the less it will comport with how a competent and ethical attorney should behave. Maybe that’s the lesson, that if lawyers are prepared to be as stupid and outrageous as Teresa Giudice, they too can be a star?

It didn’t turn out all that great for Teresa. I wonder if it will turn out any better for Loredana.  And it probably won’t turn out well at all for her clients.  But then, if they are unhappy with the outcome of the show, they can always turn to Jamie Casino and his flaming sledgehammer. Hey, maybe that can be the concept for his show?  After all, trading off the dead brother thing might be enough for a commercial, but it doesn’t have the legs for a series.

* To get diversity jurisdiction.

H/T William Doriss

25 comments on “The Real Housewives of Law

  1. william doriss

    H/T ? You’re welcome. Like I said, a Bermuda Triangle of the (Legal) Mind. It does not get any better; it only gets worse. There may be something in CT’s water. It just took a serious drop in Gallups new poll of well-being in the 50 states, from second quintile to fourth. New York does not do well either. New Jersey, in the middle of the pack, surprisingly higher than I would have thought.
    Have a nice day, you’re welcome.

  2. Eric L. Mayer

    Seize the moment! This is your opportunity to get a network to pick-up the series “Real Lawyers of Long Island,” or, it could be abbreviated to “LI Law.”

    The opening credits will feature you driving down the LIE in the Healey (with new vanity plates “CROSS’N U”), dressed in a island-print shirt and neon (lime?) green shorts. The opening music will be similar to the theme of “Rockford Files.” In fact, in keeping with the “Rockford” theme, the pre-opening-credits scene will be you grumbling while writing a blog post at 4AM, and the camera will pan to the title of the post, which will be different and humorous for each episode.

    The rest of the episode? I’ve got no clue, but I think I nailed the opening 1-2 minutes.

    1. SHG Post author

      Oh baby, I’m feeling it. I already have the shirt (it was Jdog’s, and his wife gave it to me when he died), but can I have flames shooting out of the Healey’s exhaust? Everybody loves flames. Or maybe out of my keyboard. How cool would that be?!?

      1. david shooter

        Isn’t a Hawaiian, or floral shirt, a little too Magnum PI? I have a vision, chemically induced, of you in a Snarksuit, a la Bale’s Batman. With nipples. Now that’s a show!

        1. SHG Post author

          I see your point on the Magnum thing, but (trust me on this) you don’t want nipples. No, you really don’t.

        2. Eric L. Mayer

          First, the neon (lime?) shorts balance the floral shirt and make him, decidedly, un-Magnum-ish.

          Second, I think the nipple thing might work. In the James Bond film “The Man With the Golden Gun,” the villain (Christopher Lee) was a dashing killer-for-hire whose distinguishing feature was an accessory nipple. You could work a reference to nipples into each episode. In fact, they could be a key element to solving each case.

          1. SHG Post author

            The shorts were not “neon” green. They were a gentle shade of Nantucket green. The crap I have to put up with.

  3. Brett Middleton

    Maybe it will be like Rosanne, except with better clothes, a nicer house, and a really cool watch. Oh, and some of that legal law stuff, like Harry’s Law but without the strong female lawyer getting wasted.

  4. John Burgess

    I’m sure the high concept for this show is “Just like ‘Judge Judy’, but we flip it to the attorney’s POV!”

    But what do I care? I don’t watch that crap anyway. But I might be tempted by an SHG show that had the Esq. explaining to would-be clients how the law actually works, which is perhaps not how they would like it to work.

  5. Nigel Declan

    Heh… diversity jurisdiction. That one’s getting added to the list of jokes I find funny but have to explain to non-lawyers.

    1. Chris Ryan

      hey now, some of us non-lawyers get the joke. I almost spilled my coffee when I realized the footnote was the punchline. I have a few lawyer friends I will have to test this on to see if they get the joke =)

  6. lagaya1

    Lawyers seem much too intelligent for American TV. Couldn’t they make it a hillbilly lawyer so it would be more interesting? Preferably a drunk one?

    1. SHG Post author

      While I might take issue with your first sentence, the rest of your comment is sheer brilliance. You ought to be a TV producer.

    2. Brett Middleton

      Great. Now I have a picture of Max Baer taking a pull on a jug before saying “Jethro BOdine fer the defense, yer honer.” Thank you ever so much for that bit of mind pollution.

  7. Bill

    I wonder how long it’ll be before she gets an offer to teach law school in my beloved Coral Gables? It may be my ignorance talking, but I’d pay big money to watch featured in a Judge Judy type of show featuring her defending some Hunter Moore type against Professor Franks.

  8. bmaz

    Hey, you take that back! Dan Abrams has too seen the inside of a courtroom. He sat right there in the rear of one for a month back in the 90s for Court TV covering a trial my partner and I were doing.

  9. UltravioletAdmin

    By personal accounts Robert Kardashian was alright, its sad what his spawn have done. But Robert’s motivation wasn’t fame or building clients via TV, just a man he was friends with who needed a good lawyer able to connect to the highly paid legal team to explain what went on to the friend.

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