Wolf replaced the grit and smell of courtrooms and death with silk stockinged lawyers from Ivy League schools working as prosecutors and criminal defense lawyers. That’s just not Chicago.
If you’ve ever been in a Cook County Criminal Court the first thing you notice is the lawyers, especially the males dress down. They for the most part attended the local law schools like DePaul, John Marshall and ITT Chicago Kent. These schools are more affordable but the alumni find that their job offers are limited. Let me make it clear that many terrific and dedicated lawyers attend these schools.
Dick Wolf’s legal offices and courtroom settings all have new, polished and tasteful décor. That’s just not Cook County! Wolf’s TV lawyers are what you’d see in civil cases where millions of dollars are at stake and they dress the part.
Chicago’s criminal lawyers are local lads that attend Cubs games, eat hotdogs and drink beer. These lawyers are not known for their expensive suit labels but far from it. There are of course the occasional mob lawyers or white-collar crime specialists that fit inside Dick Wolf’s legal world.
The files handled by Chicago criminal lawyers are almost all in in tattered folders. Plea agreements are cut in the hallways or even local watering holes where the lawyers meet after work. Very few criminal cases are actually tried before a judge or jury. It may not look pretty but at least its real.
Chicago crimes are despicable as are most of the defendants. In Cook County the vast majority of defendants are African-American, angry and poor. Frankly they actually have a foul odor about them. They hate their public defenders as well as the whole world. You can’t put lipstick on this pig and then make this kind of thing believable.
A better title might have been Chicago Injustice. If the public really knew what goes on in Chicago Criminal Courts, they’d be shocked. Political decisions have replaced concerns for public safety.
Chicago’s politicians would go out of their way to destroy Wolf’s Chicago Franchise if he refused to sanitize the much darker reality.
I’m convinced if I were writing and producing Chicago PD, Chicago Fire and Chicago Justice it would get worldwide attention.
I auditioned for Chicago Justice. The show was cancelled before I could get any consideration. Frankly the show was a clinker. Here is my audition that I also wrote. I’m a felony review supervisor explaining to a young cop’s mother why I let three thugs go that are suspected of critically wounding her son. The implied hint is that this was more about race relations and politics than justice.