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There have been many iconic law movies such as “To Kill a Mockingbird,” “Inherit the Wind” and “12 Angry Men” and many iconic television legal dramas, such as “Perry Mason,” “L.A. Law” and “Law and Order.” As the movie “My Cousin Vinny” has now turned 25, and as a sequel in the form of a novel has now come out (Kelter, Lawrence, “Back to Brooklyn” (Down and Out Books, 2017)), chronicling Vinny and Lisa’s return to Brooklyn for Vinny to start a criminal law practice, I thought we could revisit the film and its place in the pantheon.

Despite being a comedy, the film actually delivers a powerful message about a trial with innocent defendants. This message is not often present in the real world. In a criminal trial, in the minority situation where it appears that the defendant may not be guilty, rarely do we see a prosecutor accepting it and more rarely would we see a law enforcement official even remotely consider doing a favor for a defense lawyer, as Sheriff Farley did at the end of the film.

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