In India, if you ask someone to suggest any best legal drama. s/he will surely suggest you ‘Suits’ at first hand, and no matter if you even don’t want to go in corporate. In ‘Suits’, some high paid lawyers of high esteemed law firm (whose name alters throughout the series) handle high profile cases of big companies. These cases are generally about M & Acquisition, contracts etc. They wear thousand dollar suits and haircuts and work in their glass offices in Newyork.
These things are enough to attract any student towards legal field and then to corporate laws. I read that many students pursued law after watching this series and they also respect Harvey (lead actor) as their Ideal lawyer. Even, some law firms and offices of law companies have decorated posters of Harvey’s quotes in their offices.
‘Suit’ is really a good drama series for law students, especially to those who want to go in corporate law but what about to those law students who want to taste their luck in litigation? Which cinematic piece they should watch to gain more knowledge about litigation?
The answer is “Chicago Justice”. Chicago series is also an American series which focuses to the criminal justice system of America’s famous city ‘Chicago’. However, this is about Chicago criminal justice system but the process to try the cases is almost same in all over the world.
FORMAT OF THE SHOW
While writing about the format of this show, India’s popular and longest running show ‘CID’ hitting my mind, to which every Indian who watch TV surely acquainted.
Like CID, in this show also, first we watch the scenes of some people, from whom any one going to die and it is followed by the investigation of attorney’s office detectives because crime has happened there, when investigation is complete, we see legal proceeding of that case in the court, legal proceedings have maximum four scenes and minimum two. In those scenes, hearing completes, and jury gives their verdict which becomes published.
In one episode of 43 minutes, they complete the fate of the murder. So, in every episode, Nagel and Antonio Dawson, two detectives from Chicago PD (police department) investigate the case which is followed by the legal proceeding of the case by state attorney Peter Stone and Anna Valdez.
KEY FEATURES FOR LAW STUDENTS
There are many reasons to watch this series by law students, and these reasons may be categorized as follows-
Powerful women judges and lawyers-
This series presented powerful and confident women judges and lawyers. We Indians, don’t have habit to see women judges in movies and series. I watched many legal dramas but not able to remember any woman judge who may have presided the court. Maybe I missed any drama where woman judges showed but mostly Bollywood don’t show women judge, also we started to watch women lawyers only in present days.
However, they don’t look confident and powerful like woman judges and lawyers in ‘Chicago Justice’. In every episode, either there is woman lawyer or woman judge whose confidence and way of questioning and summoning the lawyers impacted me most. Even sometime their confidence overshadows the confidence of lead actor.
Although, there is nothing too much special if we talk about the confidence of women lawyers and judges because confidence is the gist of legal profession but we generally don’t watch such women lawyers and judges in movies and series, So, it attracted me most.
Cross examinations are the main part of legal proceedings in “Chicago Justice”. And if anyone wants to watch any series to learn more about cross-examining or the way of cross- examining, then ‘Chicago Justice’ is best suggestion. The ninety percent part of the legal proceeding in the series covers only cross-examinations.
It shows techniques of cross-examination, redirects in cross examinations, and how should lawyers put questions to the witness, who is key witness and whose testimony doesn’t matter too much, how to compel witness to tell the truth and how criminal can confess while watching the cross examining, how to take witness under impression and how much questions we should do to the witness, how to behave with the witness who is 14 years old and to other witnesses who are hardcore criminals, mothers, and aggressive people.
Indian abolished jury system after nanavati case but America has jury system at present time too. This series also showed us the selection procedure of jury system and while testifying the jury how lawyers chose jury which is beneficial for their cases and how lawyers try to put emotional touch in the argument to melt the heart of jury, how can a judge overturn the verdict of jury.
Chicago Criminal Justice System
This series is a good medium to take the glimpse of American criminal justice system especially of Chicago. This series try to handle every topic in their cases like social media addiction, judge’s murder due to his wrong decision, Islamophobia in American society, street gangs clash, black lives, rape, false glory of American force, child custody, insanity etc.
And through these topics, we peep in the good and vices of American criminal justice system and criminal laws.
This series only have one season and 13 episodes. It is a part of the Chicago franchise which includes “Chicago PD”, “Chicago MD”, “Chicago Fire”. But it was pulled from the air after just one season.
NBC Chairman Robert Greenblatt told Deadline about its cancellation. “It just became somewhat of a real estate issue and just looking at how many of these Chicago shows we can sustain, we thought they are all good but it seemed like Justice was the most conventional, it was the closest to a Law & Order show, so we thought maybe this is the one we should sacrifice. But it wasn’t because the show wasn’t good, it was really because a lot of other factors.”
This series is a perfect watch for law students and lawyers who are looking to watch something on criminal justice. It is short series and teach us many things.
This article is written by Arshi hayat Gnagohi. She is a lawyer, blogger at ababeelfolks and writes on laws, culture, books, cinema, food and literature.