1 August 2008 | nandue0929
Owen Marshall: Counselor At Law: A view from the legal profession
Owen Marshall: Counselor At Law (1971-74) was an appealing series that was somewhat unique. The late Arthur Hill was excellent in the title role and his performance exceeded the scripts. I think it was Mr. Hill's fine and compassionate portrayal of an attorney that made him ideal for legal organizations that honored the series. He was later featured by a company that advertised in Trial magazine, the publication for The Association Of Trial Lawyers Of America, now The American Association For Justice.
An episode in the first year of the series, "Victim In Shadow," was very powerful and involved the indignities a rape victim must endure when dealing with the legal system. The focus of the episodes changed in the last half of the third and final year. During that time, there were also some outstanding episodes and one entitled, "House Of Friends," was simply brilliant. It was an unusual episode and its emotional impact was shattering. Owen Marshall defended a physician who was sued by a private hospital for his defamatory statements about it. To say more might divulge the heart wrenching contents of this episode for anyone who may get the chance to see it. David Hartman superbly played the physician, Joyce Van Patten, his wife, and Kathleen Quinlan, his college-aged daughter. After this, some other first-rate episodes included such subjects as: the right to bear arms; a warrant-less break-in; military desertion; pornographic sales; and sterilization of the mentally deficient.
Unfortunately, Owen Marshall: Counselor At Law was canceled just as it began to ripen. Before the episodes described above and after an honorable beginning, the plots had drifted with Owen Marshall's client often being exonerated near the close of the trial by another person's confession. This is entertaining but rarely happens. As an attorney myself, I personally believe more episodes should have had a closer connection to reality than those that were mentioned last.