Ottawa

Bench madness: Law office pool to crown all-time finest fictional lawyer

Some Ottawa attorneys are using the office sports pool format to determine who's the all-time best fictional lawyer.

Abergel Goldstein & Partners's March Madness-style bracket now down to semifinalists

Cynthia Dale stars as Olivia Novak in CBC TV's revamped Street Legal, but she won't be winning all-time best fictional lawyer in Michael Spratt's online pool. (CBC)

Claire Kinkaid. Jack McCoy. Lionel Hutz.

If you recognize these names, you probably have an opinion on who the greatest fictional lawyer of all time might be.

Would you vote for Kinkaid, the straight-talking district attorney portrayed by Jill Hennessy on the television series Law & Order, or McCoy, her no-nonsense, procedure-flauting boss played by Sam Waterston?

Or perhaps Hutz, the animated personal injury lawyer voiced by Phil Hartman on The Simpsons?

Maybe you lean more toward Ally McBeal, played on the television series of the same name by Calista Flockhart, or Atticus Finch, played by Gregory Peck in To Kill a Mockingbird?

'A hard-fought battle'

Ottawa lawyer Michael Spratt felt there are enough opinions out there to justify a March Madness-style elimination pool.

Now, they're close to closing arguments.

"It has been a hard-fought battle to get here. The Simpsons's Lionel Hutz and Blue-Haired Lawyer dominated the cartoon category. Movie favourites Atticus Finch and Elle Woods [of Legally Blonde] destroyed the competition. Clair Huxtable [of The Cosby Show] proved to have huge staying power in the sitcom category. And The West Wing's Sam Seaborn overcame some serious pressure from real-life Jill Hennessy," Spratt wrote in a blog post.

Some of the actors in the running, such as Edmonton-born Hennessy, even had some fun with the pool on social media. 

Ultimately, Hennessy's Kincaid lost out to Seaborn, played by Rob Lowe. But after the latest round of voting, McCoy emerged as one of the semifinalists. McCoy faces Hutz in the semifinal.

The victor will face either Elle Woods, played by Reese Witherspoon, or Huxtable, played by Phylicia Rashad.

Voting continues on the law firm's website until Sunday at 5 p.m. After that it will be down to two combattants, and voting to crown the winner begins Jan. 20.

Is there a secret to anyone's success so far? 

According to Spratt, fictional lawyer popularity contests seem to hinge on one thing: "The longer your show has been off the air, the harder a time you have getting through."

Lawyer Michael Spratt thought it'd be nice to settle an age-old question among his fellow litigants: who's the all-time best fictitious lawyer from film and tv? Spratt created an office pool starting with 64 combattants. Now, it's come down to the semi finals. 10:52

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