A Few Good (and Angry) Men (and Woman)

SCREENING JUSTICE - THE CINEMA OF LAW, R. Strickland, et al., eds., p. 607, 2006

University of Miami Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2007-09

14 Pages Posted: 20 Jan 2007 Last revised: 16 Nov 2007

Robert Rosen

University of Miami - School of Law

Abstract

I discuss the privilege of lawyers to display anger and to evoke anger in others. For example, in this film's dramatic climax, an angry lawyer angers a witness during cross-examination, who angrily confesses. I consider the uses of anger in acting like a lawyer as well as the emotional lives of lawyers.

I also discuss the normalizing of the angry lawyer. In A Few Good Men, anger is accepted as necessary to motivate lawyers to perform at their best. As with some athletes, there are unfortunate spillover effects. But, A Few Good Men instantiates cultural norms that reinforce angry lawyers.

These norms both help foster the incivility crisis in the legal profession and inhibit efforts to mitigate it. I argue that recognizing and attacking these norms must be part of the legal profession's response to the incivility crisis.

Keywords: emotions, anger, lawyers, legal profession, professionalism

JEL Classification: K41, K42, L84

Suggested Citation

Rosen, Robert, A Few Good (and Angry) Men (and Woman). SCREENING JUSTICE - THE CINEMA OF LAW, R. Strickland, et al., eds., p. 607, 2006; University of Miami Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2007-09. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=958253

Robert Eli Rosen (Contact Author)

University of Miami - School of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 248087
Room 370
Coral Gables, FL 33124
United States
305-284-4801 (Phone)
305-284-6506 (Fax)

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