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A legal drama is a work of dramatic fiction about crime and civil litigation. Subtypes of legal dramas include courtroom dramas and legal thrillers, and come in all forms, including novels, television shows, and films. Legal drama sometimes overlap with crime drama, most notably in the case of Law & Order. Most crime drama focus on crime investigation and does not feature court room.

It is widely believed by most practicing lawyers that legal dramas result in the general public having misconceptions about the legal process. Many of these misconceptions result from the desire to create an interesting story. For example, conflict between parties make for an interesting story, which is why legal dramas emphasize the trial and ignore the fact that the vast majority of civil and criminal cases in the United States are settled out of court. Legal dramas also focus on situations where there is an obvious injustice or ones in which either the plaintiff or defendant is very interesting and unusual. As a result, things such as the insanity defense occur far more often in legal drama than in real life. Finally, legal dramas often focus on areas of the legal process which can be portrayed dramatically, such as oral arguments, and ignore areas which are less easily portrayed, such as researching a written legal brief.

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Subgenres

TV Legal Dramas

There are have been successful legal dramas both serious or comedic notable examples of serious legal dramas that deal with the difficulties and the dark side of the law and the morals of dealing with people such as murderers, rapists, con artists, amoral lawyers, insane people, etc. and the usual difficulty of defending innocents found in situations where spectaors and the public find the person to dishonorable and cruel but, in actuality was innocent people who were in the wrong situation at the wrong time and these examples are The Practice and Law & Order. While there are comedic legal dramas that usually deal less with murder cases and more on cases that deal with issues such as divorce, sex, cheating and accidents. Notable examples of this type of legal drama are Ally Mcbeal and Boston Legal.

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