“You can’t handle the truth!”
This well-known line from A Few Good Men has been referenced countless times in a wide variety of contexts. And it is just one of many quotations whose origins stumbled from the primordial soil of legal writing and entertainment—including movies, TV shows, literature and sometimes, judicial opinions—and found their way into our daily vernacular.
These deft turnings of a word and phrase can exist in our collective consciousness forever. We may forget where we put our keys, but we can always recall our favorite movie lines on a moment’s notice! In fact, at a recent Docket Committee meeting, members were spouting off their favorite law-related quotations left and right (it was one of our more productive sessions).
So, we decided to make these famous and/or infamous quotations into a quiz to test your knowledge. Match the quotations to the person (real or fictional). Then, share your results with us on the DBA Facebook or Twitter pages!
Directions: Match the answer below to the quote.
1. ______ “Mr. Gambini, the next words out of your mouth better be “guilty” or “not guilty.” I don’t want to hear commentary, argument, or opinion. I don’t want to hear any facts or evidence. If I hear anything other than “guilty” or “not guilty,” you’ll be in contempt.”
2. ______ “Do they teach lawyers to apologize? ’Cause you suck at it.”
3. ______ “Mister Hart, here is a dime. Take it, call your mother, and tell her there is serious doubt about you ever becoming a lawyer.”
4. ______ “This is a court of law, young man, not a court of justice.”
5. ______ “I worked so hard to get into law school. I blew off Greek week to study for the LSATs. I even hired a Coppola to direct my admissions video.”
6. ______ “Attorneys always make the worst witnesses.”
7. ______ “If this court finds that Mr. Kringle is not who he says he is, that there is no Santa, I ask the court to judge which is worse: A lie that draws a smile or a truth that draws a tear.”
8. ______ “You have a job to do, and so do I. Yours is to sell socks and suspenders. Mine is to cross-examine people like you and crush them.”
9. ______ “Nobody wants to read about the honest lawyer down the street who does real estate loans and wills. If you want to sell books, you have to write about the interesting lawyers—the guys who steal all the money and take off. That’s the fun stuff.”
10. ______ “If you don’t know there’s a trampoline in the room, you’re not going to dust the ceiling for prints.”
11. ______ “It is legal because I wish it.”
12. ______ “Stand up—Your Father’s passing.”
a. Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird
b. Erin Brockovich
c. Elle Woods, Legally Blonde
d. Judge Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.
e. Bryan Bedford, Miracle on 34th Street
f. Alicia Florrick, The Good Wife
g. Louis XIV
h. Judge Chamberlain Haller, My Cousin Vinny
i. Alan Shore, Boston Legal
j. Professor Kingsfield, The Paper Chase
k. Author John Grisham
l. Law & Order
Answers: 1. h , 2. b, 3.j , 4. d , 5. c , 6. f, 7. e, 8. i, 9. k, 10.l, 11. g, 12. a