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Jackie Chiles is a fictional attorney portrayed by American actor Phil Morris in the NBC sitcom Seinfeld.

Contents

Character

The character began as Cosmo Kramer's lawyer on Seinfeld. Chiles is a parody of famed attorney Johnnie Cochran; both are bespectacled, mustachioed, African American lawyers with similar names and penchants for grandiose vocabulary. Morris also emulates Cochran's distinctive enunciation and delivery. After appearing in several episodes during the series' later years, Chiles, along with many other minor characters from the show's past, appeared again in the program's finale and was crucial in failing to achieve acquittal of the characters on charges of "wanton indifference." The character's catch phrase is "I am outraged!", as well as saying four adjectives in succession, ending with "outrageous," such as "lewd, lascivious, salacious, outrageous!"[1]

Morris also planned to star as Chiles in a spin-off, but the pilot never came to fruition.[2]

Appearances

  • Season Seven:
    • The Maestro — Kramer sneaks a cafe latte into a movie theatre and burns himself while trying to climb over the legs of another patron - an obvious satire of the 1994 lawsuit Liebeck v. McDonald's Restaurants. The coffee company offers a settlement: a lifetime of free coffee at all of their stores throughout North America and Europe and $50,000 in cash; Kramer accepts the offer before the executive had finished speaking and mentioned the money.
    • The Caddy — Jackie sues Oh Henry! candy bar heiress Sue Ellen Mischke for allegedly causing Kramer personal injury due to an automobile accident. Kramer is distracted while driving when he sees Mischke walking the streets of New York City wearing only a bra. Chiles describes her actions as "lewd, lascivious, salacious, outrageous!" The lawsuit fails when Kramer demands she try on the bra to prove it is hers. It fails to fit because she tries donning it over a leotard. Jackie yells at Kramer, "Of course a bra's not going to fit on over a leotard. A bra's got to fit right up against a person's skin...like a glove!" — an obvious parody of the O. J. Simpson murder case.
    • The Friars Club — Kramer's experiment with polyphasic sleep causes him to fall asleep during sex. His Italian girlfriend thinks he has died and gets some friends to dump him in the Hudson River. When he comes to, Kramer accuses her of trying to murder him. The woman calls Chiles, her regular lawyer. Upon hearing that Kramer is involved, however, Jackie declares, "I don't want nothing to do with it!"
  • Season Eight:
    • The Abstinence — Kramer's face ages prematurely when he turns his apartment into a smoking lounge. Kramer then consults with Jackie about filing suit against the tobacco companies for his disfigurement. When Kramer asks if he has a case, Jackie's reply is "Your face is my case." Jackie and Kramer then meet with a tobacco company lawyer, who alleges that Kramer's face gives him a sense of "rugged masculinity." Jackie replies, "Rugged? The man's a goblin. He's been exposed to smoke for four days. By the time this case gets to trial, he'll be nothing more than a shrunken head." After the lawyer says she will have an offer to settle out of court the next morning, Jackie tells Kramer, "Jackie's cashing in on your wretched disfigurement." Kramer settles the case without Jackie's knowledge for a Marlboro Man style billboard in Times Square featuring his own face. Jackie dubs this "the most public yet of my many humiliations."
    • The Comeback — Although Jackie doesn't appear in the episode, Kramer reveals to Jerry that Chiles has put a restraining order on him, barring him from coming within 200 feet of his office. Kramer goes on to explain that because of this, he could not give Jackie a Christmas gift.
  • Season Nine:
    • The Finale — Jackie represents George, Elaine, Jerry and Kramer when they violate the Good Samaritan law. Despite losing the case, he gets some satisfaction in sleeping with Sidra (from "The Implant"), which would have been more satisfying if the jury did not reach a decision so quickly. His last line of the series is the same as Sidra's line about her boobs from the aforementioned episode: "And by the way: they're real, and they're spectacular!"

Trivia

  • The University of Utah's S. J. Quinney College of Law has a student organization named after the character: the Jackie Chiles Law Society. Morris actually delivered the keynote address at the society's end-of-year banquet in 2006.[3]
  • Morris was at one time a casual friend of Johnnie Cochran, as they attended the same barber. While initially accepting of Morris' caricature of him, Cochran later sent a letter requesting he stop.
  • Morris is featured in a deleted scene in another episode, The Non-Fat Yogurt. Since the episode was scheduled to air right after the New York City mayoral elections, the production crew decided to shoot an alternate version in case David Dinkins won the election. Morris plays Dinkins' spokesperson in the alternate version. Both versions are included on the Season 5 DVD set.[4]

See also

References








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