Real Lawyer Reacts to My Cousin Vinny (The Most Accurate Legal Comedy?)

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  • Published on:  Wednesday, April 10, 2019
  • Is it possible that the two yutes...excuse me, two YOUTHS...
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    I love My Cousin Vinny. Most lawyers do. It is just a great movie that involves great lawyering. Everyone should watch this movie. But the question is: Is Vinny Gambini a good lawyer? We'll find out today.

    The movies starts with two students driving through the South on their way to California. Once they arrive in Alabama, they stop at a local convenience store to pick up a few snacks. The store clerk is murdered just after they leave and, in a case of mistaken identity, they are fingered for the crime. Facing execution, the students do not have enough money for a lawyer, so they hire their cousin, Vincent Laguardia Gambini (Joe Pesci). After failing the bar 5 times, Vinny has been a lawyer for about six weeks and has to learn the process on the job. Vinny has to defend his clients and battle an uncompromising judge, some tough locals, and even his fiancée, Mona Lisa Vito (Marisa Tomei).

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    I get asked a lot about whether being a practicing attorney is like being a lawyer on TV. I love watching legal movies and courtroom dramas. It's one of the reasons I decided to become a lawyer. But sometimes they make me want to pull my hair out because they are ridiculous.

    Today I'm taking a break from representing clients and teaching law students how to kick ass in law school to take on lawyers in the movies and on TV. While all legal movies and shows take dramatic license to make things more interesting (nobody wants to see hundreds of hours of brief writing), many of them have a grain of truth.

    This is part of a continuing series of "Lawyer Reaction" videos. Got a legal movie or TV show you'd like me to critique? Let me know in the comments!

    All clips used for fair use commentary, criticism, and educational purposes. See Hosseinzadeh v. Klein, 276 F.Supp.3d 34 (S.D.N.Y. 2017); Equals Three, LLC v. Jukin Media, Inc., 139 F. Supp. 3d 1094 (C.D. Cal. 2015).

    Typical legal disclaimer from a lawyer (occupational hazard): This is not legal advice, nor can I give you legal advice. Sorry! Everything here is for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. You should contact your attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem. Nothing here should be construed to form an attorney client relationship. Also, some of the links in this post may be affiliate links, meaning, at no cost to you, I will earn a small commission if you click through and make a purchase. But if you click, it really helps me make more of these videos!


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  • LegalEagle


     7 months ago +1013

    Seriously, guys. If you're thinking about a suit, I can't recommend Indochino enough. (plus it helps out the channel)

  • Seren Dipity

    Seren Dipity

     17 hours ago

    At 17:07 note u can't show those pixs until their admitted into evidence, unless, of course, the other side stipulates to their admission

  • Ben Novara

    Ben Novara

     18 hours ago

    Home alone please!😂

  • fix24311



    I watched this movie because of LegalEagle and I really really enjoyed it so much! Are there any legal movies that are as much fun and insightful as this?

  • George Rothering

    George Rothering


    Do you really need a suit to go to court? I mean, if you don't you may look foolish, but is it REQUIRED? Like, could a judge actually throw you in jail for not wearing one?

  • Rick Bernard

    Rick Bernard

     2 days ago +1

    I believe you should the movie “12 angry men” on trial.
    I believe it is one of the best movies ever. 95% of the movie takes place in the jury room.
    Thank you.

  • Ryan Keller

    Ryan Keller

     2 days ago

    This is all very well but I wish I knew wear I could but a suit.

  • Radical Rises

    Radical Rises

     2 days ago +1

    Really need to do "a time to kill" unless you already have

  • Shahaan Singh

    Shahaan Singh

     3 days ago

    The best joke in the film was really hard to catch. The prosecutor said something to the effect of "the word verdict, passed down to us by our sweet old ancestors." He's white. And the camera cuts to a black juror.

  • Stephan Ginther

    Stephan Ginther

     3 days ago

    I'm graduating with a degree in engineering and as soon as I can afford it I'll get a custom suit. I come from a long line of short and wide people. Sometimes 'wide' means fat sometimes it means musclebound and more often it means that sort of muscly fat but either way suits I get off the rack tend to have sleeves with very limited arm mobility because my shoulders are wider than a person my heights ought to be. Hahaha

  • Tabor Talk

    Tabor Talk

     3 days ago

    POTUS requirements

  • daffidavit


     3 days ago

    I wish to change my initial analysis of this review. This is a very good review of the film.

  • schmidty207


     3 days ago

    OBJECTION! What about the confession? I assume it wasn't signed, but would that come up in court at all?

  • Review at Area 51

    Review at Area 51

     4 days ago +9

    People don’t realize how well this movie was made. Those were the days.

  • Susan McKinney

    Susan McKinney

     4 days ago

    As a real life southerner ..I would like to react to these bad southern accents. But this is still one of my favorite movies..never get tired of seeing it.

  • chiyosake


     5 days ago


  • Hot cock

    Hot cock

     5 days ago

    Also, they weren't told bout the charges before the line up?

  • B W

    B W

     5 days ago

    Blatent advertising..ahhh!

  • Adam Navigato

    Adam Navigato

     5 days ago

    I am sure indochino was very excited when they heard you were doing this movie

  • james83925


     5 days ago

    Even had the courtroom scenes been botched and butchered, this movie would have been very good because Marisa Tomei is the exemplar of the perfect Brooklyn, Italian Women. She is an ideal fantasy and deserved the Oscar she received for this movie as much as any Oscar ever given. By the way, your suit is awesome; please let us know where we could get such a perfectly tailored suit.