Even though I’m Jewish, I love Christmas. And I love Christmas movies like Miracle on 34th Street, which inspired this week’s entry honoring Santa’s lawyer, Fred Gailey. Here’s why Attorney Gailey tops the list of best movie lawyers of all time…
Reason 1 – He Landed the World’s Most High Profile Client
Any top Connecticut criminal lawyer in Greenwich, New Canaan or Darien appreciates that in a small town, an ordinary criminal arrest can sometimes receive more publicity than it would in a big city. That’s why when criminal lawyers land a big client like Santa Claus, it can make or break a career.
Gaily caught the big fish and, as any top Connecticut criminal lawyer should, he went above and beyond to keep the case. In the movie, you even see a compelling and tear-jerking scene where Gailey travels to the mental institution to have a heart-to-hear attorney-client sit-down with his client. That’s the kind of extra work that the best Connecticut criminal lawyers need to do to stay successful and keep the big case.
Reason 2 – He Used the Media to Win the Case
Anyone who has seen this Christmas classic (or the two not-so-great remakes where John Payne’s role is played by David Hartman and then later by Dylan McDermott of “The Practice”) knows how Gailey wins this case…he uses the media to coax the public into sending letters to the courthouse.
Just when you thought the case against Santa was finished in the movie, Gailey thought outside the box, as any of the best Connecticut criminal lawyers must do after a bad trial day. As a result of the all the high profile publicity, thousands of letters were sent to his client at the courthouse.
He then subpoenas the New York City Postal Service and offers the thousands of letters into evidence:
“Your Honor, every one of these letters is addressed to Santa Claus. The Post Office has delivered them. Therefore the Post Office Department, a branch of the Federal Government, recognizes this man Kris Kringle to be the one and only Santa Claus.”
How’s that for a closing argument?
Now, any of the top criminal law firms in Connecticut will tell you that the Post Office does not bind the judiciary. But you have to roll with it a little–it’s the movies for crying out loud, and in this movie “artistic license” finally allows lawyers (and not good-looking Wall Street hotshots)—for once—to be the hero, win the woman, and most importantly…
Reason 3 – Gailey Got Paid in Barter & Got a Big House in the Suburbs!
On top of winning the most high profile case of all time, Gailey gets paid in barter. As many of the best Connecticut criminal lawyers and attorneys can appreciate, we often hear sob stories from our clients on how they can’t afford to pay us, sometimes paying us in used cars, old hand-me-down watches, Visa gift cards (yes, really), or services, that are a tax headache for us and usually not worth the trouble.
But not Gailey. He crushes it. Santa gives him a brand new house in Westchester County for him and his new beautiful family. Just for winning a case! It’s all such a perfect (too perfect!), storybook ending for a tri-state criminal lawyer who appeared to have a mediocre career until he took on the Santa Claus case, pro bono, with dignity, grace and a creative defense strategy.
So as we look back on the year and look into 2017, we’ll relish in these movie takeaways from this fictitious yet inspiring Christmas classic (by the way, we here at Mark Sherman Law love “Elf” too, but there’s no hero lawyer in that movie).
Thanks for reading the blog this year, and stay tuned in 2017 for more blogging and helpful Connecticut criminal law articles and info from the Mark Sherman Law Firm. As always, we’re available 24/7 at (203) 358-4700 for all Connecticut criminal arrests and investigations. Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah!