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The Law in Fiction

February 28, 2013

By Joe Parsio, Head of Access Services

The law often appears in fiction. This fictional law may differ from reality, but often does not. In fact, literature can teach us new ways to think about the law. Biddle Law Library owns several resources that concern the law in fiction. For the next several weeks, the Biddle Blog will feature different law-and-literature related titles.


Photo by Daniel P. Fleming

There have been dozens of legal TV shows. In the long-running series Law & Order, set and filmed in New York City, the first half hour covered the investigation of a crime and the second half covered prosecution of the suspect. Plots were often based on real cases that had recently made the headlines. Star Trek is another show that has used legal constraints as plot devices, employing fictional laws to address real controversies such as right to life, privacy and sexual orientation. 

Want to learn more? Biddle Law Library owns Prime Time Law: Fictional Television As Legal Narrative, edited by law professors Robert M. Jarvis and Paul R. Joseph. It examines how lawyers and legal issues are shown in fictional television and includes references to over 350 shows. 

Tune in next week to learn about yet another interesting title concerning law and fiction!