NSU Law Professors Cross Examine TV Lawyers

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Aug. 31, 1998--Nova Southeastern University law professors Robert M. Jarvis and Paul R. Joseph are the co-editors of a new book titled Prime Time Law: Fictional Television as Legal Narrative.

At a time when the legal profession is increasingly under scrutiny, Jarvis and Joseph believe it is important to examine the messages that popular television shows send about law and lawyers. Their new book does just that.

``Television is a powerful teacher and shaper of public opinion,'' said Jarvis. ``We wanted to understand what this medium has and is saying about lawyers.''

``Television entertains, but it is not just entertainment,'' said Joseph. ``When people watch Ally McBeal or Matlock, they are also forming opinions about what lawyers are and what they should be. We wanted to know how well or how badly television portrays lawyers.''

In the book, which is published by Carolina Academic Press of Durham, N.C., 17 leading professors contributed chapters which, collectively, reference more than 350 shows, from Perry Mason, and L.A. Law to N.Y.P.D. Blue and Law & Order. The book also examines lawyers in non-law shows including situation comedies, westerns, science fiction, and soap operas.