Lawblawg commemorates My Cousin Vinny

I'm a great fan of the (now 20 years old!) Joe Pesci/Marissa Tomei/Ralph Macchio movie My Cousin Vinny, and so, apparently, are a lot of lawyers. The Abnormal Use lawblawg has a great collection of articles commemorating the film's 20th anniversary, explaining why it resonates so much with the legal profession. On Friday, they're promising a scene-by-scene breakdown from a group of law professors.

“My Cousin Vinny – More Than A Movie.“ In this piece, writer Nick Farr explains how My Cousin Vinny changed both his life and the outcome of a 7th grade student council election. (Yes, you read that right.).

“Lessons Learned From Vincent L. Gambini.“ In this piece, our newest contributor, Rob Green, offer six practical lessons that lawyers can glean from watching the film. If you think about it, the film is its own continuing education course with many practice tips contained therein. In fact, we should probably all get CLE credit for watching it again, don’t you think?

“Review: Vincent LaGuardia Gambini Sings Just For You.” Did you know that years after the film’s release, Joe Pesci released an album in character as Vinny? Rob Green somehow found a copy of this long forgotten album and drafted a review. Spoiler alert: the album is not for the faint of heart. Or the faint of ears, for that matter.

20th Anniversary: “My Cousin Vinny” (1992) (via Lowering the Bar)


  1. You forgot to mention Fred Gwynne’s awesome performance as the judge. He was Herman Munster and also a quite successful children’s book author. Gwynne died shortly after this movie was released.

    Most unrealistic thing about this movie was how quickly the case came to trial.

  2. It’s to the movie’s, and Joe Pesci’s, credit that seldom is the 21 year disparity in ages between the co-stars mentioned. It’s as if we collectively decided that we know he was made for the role and we’ll blank out that he’s a 49-year-old recently-qualified law graduate. The director didn’t bog the story down with a possible ‘I just got out the Army after 20 years and decided to remake my life’ type explanation and just trusted the screenplay and cast.

  3. I’m a huge fan.   Don’t know much about lawyering, but this is a great love scene:       

    “I routinely twist to maximum allowable torquage”  —  Yes, I believe she would.

  4. My Evidence Law lecturer used this movie to illustrate half the concepts in the course.  It covers expert evidence (and how you establish if someone in fact is an expert), adducing witness testimony, cross-examination techniques and so on. I’d advise budding law students to learn courtroom etiquette from somewhere else though.

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