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Top Hollywood Myths About Lawyers

Hollywood lawyers -- those characters created for movies and television -- represent both truths and falsehoods about lawyers in real life.

Bold or brash? Smart or smart-aleck? Self-assured or self-centered? Criminal attorney or redundancy?

Seriously, the line between fact and fiction sometimes can be quite thin. After all, everyone has seen one real-life lawyer like Vinny Gamibini from "My Cousin Vinny" or at least one with a really bad suit.

There are Hollywood myths, however. They are stories built upon false beliefs, not to be confused with true legends that seem bigger than life. Let's try to sort out the differences:

When Adam MacLeod got a traffic-cam ticket, he wasn't about to just cut a check and call it a day. Being an associate professor of law, MacLeod decided to fight the ticket. Or rather, as he describes it, to turn "a routine traffic ticket into the constitutional trial of the century."

Not one to toot his own horn, MacLeod says he's recounting his tale of legal terror and triumph "only to show how our ruling elites have corrupted the rule of law and to suggest why this matters for the American experiment in self-governance." Plus, he got out of the ticket.

The legal twitterverse is an interesting place. Every day, you've got top lawyers, legal scholars, and even judges tweeting their thoughts and insights. And FindLaw is right there beside them.

Over the past year, our FindLaw for Legal Professionals account sent out more than 2,000 tweets. They were smart, helpful, funny, and, since this is the internet, occasionally filled with gifs of cats. Here are our top six of the past year.

A judge in New York City found himself on the other side of the bench this week, facing assault charges after he allegedly cold-cocked a Legal Aid attorney at a law firm party in October.

The judge, Robert Beltrani, was visibly drunk when he got into a verbal spat with Sam Roberts, a public defender, the New York Daily News reports. As Beltrani turned to walk away, the judge allegedly sucker punched him -- but not before yelling "Yeah, I'm the judge. I do justice and I f--ing kill people!"

Texas Supreme Court Justice Proudly Serves Jury Duty

Justice Jeff Brown believes in a loving God, the U.S. Constitution, and traditional Texas values. Which means he also doesn't believe in making excuses to get out of jury duty.

So when he received a summons to serve as a juror in a criminal case, Brown accepted the call. There was a possibility that he would be excused for a potential conflict because he serves on the Texas Supreme Court, but it wasn't a problem because he serves on the civil panel.

"I feel like it went pretty smoothly," Brown told the Austin American Statesman. "I was pretty happy with it."

Even Though You're a Lawyer, You Shouldn't Be an Elitist

How many lawyer jokes are there? Three. The rest are true stories.

It's an oldie but illustrates a point. Many of those jokes are based on a public perception that attorneys are elitists and must be put down or at least humbled. Like the U.S. election results seem to say, 323 million people can't be wrong.

Lawyer jokes are to the profession what gallows humor is to the condemned. Sad but true -- which is what makes them funny. It is society's way of purging a distasteful reality without choking. An attorney says on national television that his murderous client is not guilty as a matter of law (ahem, Dershowitz), and you can almost hear the collective retching.

It was the best of courts, it the worst of courts, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolish-- Actually, scratch that. It was pretty much the worst of times all around in today's tale of two courtrooms.

In our first case of "judges run amok," a Michigan judge is gaining some viral fame after video emerged of him charging from the bench to help tackle a defendant -- while screaming "Tase his ass right now." Meanwhile, just a few states away, his colleague was facing indictment. Former Arkansas Judge Joseph Boeckmann, it seems, was also interested in some defendants' bums, but not in tasing them. Boeckmann is currently facing charges that he blackmailed young men into posing naked for him in exchange for lighter sentences.

Has this election cycle driven you to drink? Don't worry, you're not alone. You can take comfort in knowing that it will all be over soon, though. Tomorrow marks the last presidential debate before voters go to the polls. After the debate, there are less than 20 days until the contest is finally decided. The final debate, however, is particularly relevant for legal professionals, as the Supreme Court is scheduled as one of six topics to be covered.

If the past two debates are any guide, Wednesday's head to head will be a mess. So why not be one yourself? We've put together a handy drinking game to help you out.

What do law professors think about when they're not grilling you on the procedural posture of Palsgraf v. Long Island Railroad? No, they're probably not thinking about how to improve their lecture on proximate cause. (They haven't changed that in 15 years.) And they're definitely not thinking about how great you performed on that cold call.

It turns out, they could be ruminating on B-list celebrities insulting Ann Coulter, or bootlegged videos on Steve Harvey's 90's stand-up routine, or which zoo animal best represents their colleagues. Law students, welcome to the weird world of law professor's on social media.

Who is putting all these #!%&ing curse words into federal appellate opinions? The judges, apparently. According to, the "F word" has appeared in approximately 445 federal appellate opinions in the last ten years.

Of course, the opinions aren't referring to "that F-ing Rule 12(b)(6) motion." Rather, they're quoting, in full, the curse words of parties who have themselves cursed, sometimes even while censuring those parties for their use of obscenity.