For years, lawyers have have been getting a bad wrap in the entertainment industry. Despite the fact that they are often shown as heroes of legal dramas, the bulk are displayed as world-weary, unscrupulous jerks who will sell out their moms for a dime.
Is that portrayal accurate? Probably not, but I’ll let a lawyer or someone who is affected by the stereotype disprove it. It’s more fun to take the most egregious examples of the sleazy lawyer stereotype and wonder if the guys who do our day to day legal work are really as depraved as some of the entrants on this list.
There’s a decent chance when Mickey Rourke is cast in a role, he’s going to play someone sleazy. After all, the guy seems really sleazy. Although he doesn’t get much time to feast on this role in the nadir of his career, he was able to get his punches in when he could, utilizing brash suits, a shark tank, and just a general Mickey Rourke-ness. This isn’t a guy who chose his profession because he loves the law. The fact that his firm is taking on a giant insurance company is more a testament to his protégé’s (Matt Damon) integrity than anything he had to do with the case.
Davey Kleinfeld is the alpha and omega of sleazy lawyers. He runs the gamut on sleazy behavior, from stealing from the mob to wearing a wire on his best friend, to doing lots and lots and lots of cocaine to banging other guys’ girlfriends in loud Miami clubs.
He’s a weasel in every sense, though it’s largely forgivable due to his allegiance to Carlito. However, when that disappears, the audience can’t see misfortune fall on Penn’s character fast enough. And they get what they hope for.
Never trust a man that has both an afro and an ascot. They mean diametrically opposing things.