The Lincoln Lawyer, starring Matthew McConaughey as criminal defense attorney Mick Haller, is based on the novel of the same name by Michael Connelly and directed by Brad Furman. The movie features Matthew McConaughey as Mickey Haller, or Mick Haller, a Los Angeles defense attorney who operates out of his Lincoln Continental sedan that he drives all over Los Angeles to meet clients and conduct his business. Famous Judge from Michael Connelly Novel Asks: Why Should I Care? A Look at Judge Mary Holder from The Lincoln Lawyer

Background Information

Judge Mary Alice M.A. Holder (born June 30, 1950) is a fictional character who has appeared in several Michael Connelly novels and short stories. She first appears in Connelly’s debut novel, The Black Echo (1992), as one of Los Angeles’ first female prosecutors who assists Harry Bosch in his investigation into a series of murders linked to cocaine dealers in Hollywood; she later appears as Bosch’s commanding officer when he works for Internal Affairs. In a later book, she leaves IAD and becomes an elected judge; it is mentioned that she went through all levels of Los Angeles County courts and was always well-respected by attorneys on both sides of criminal cases during her tenure as an Assistant District Attorney. By then known by her married name, M. A.

In Action

Judge Mary T. Holder (played by LisaGay Hamilton) is basically as bad-ass as they come in John Grisham’s latest legal thriller, The Lincoln Lawyer. She is an immensely entertaining character who provides a fascinating contrast to Mick Haller (played by Matthew McConaughey). It’s her professionalism that made me particularly happy; it was so much fun to watch how she handles herself compared to how Mick handles himself.

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Famous Judge from Michael Connelly Novel Asks: Why Should I Care?

A Look at Judge Mary Holder from The Lincoln Lawyer
Famous Judge from Michael Connelly Novel Asks: Why Should I Care? A Look at Judge Mary Holder from The Lincoln Lawyer

A professional first and foremost, she proves why every attorney should strive for professionalism when dealing with clients and opposing counsel alike. With everything on the line, she still manages to be completely businesslike and impressively level-headed about everything, which is kind of awesome.

Personality and Motivation

If there’s anything we learn about judge Mary Holder from watching Michael Connelly’s The Lincoln Lawyer, it’s that she is certainly a woman with a big personality. This can be seen in her speech pattern, her use of language and even her emotional responses. In short, judge Mary Holder doesn’t hold back when giving out orders or commenting on life as she sees it. But do these characteristics also give us clues to her motivations? In order to better understand why judge Mary Holder makes certain decisions or takes certain actions during The Lincoln Lawyer, it may be helpful to look beyond just what she says and see if we can determine some of what lies beneath those surface-level behaviors.

What makes the character interesting?

Writer-director Brad Furman based The Lincoln Lawyer on a best-selling novel by Michael Connelly, which focuses on Mickey Haller (Matthew McConaughey), a slick criminal defense attorney who works out of his flashy Cadillac but carries his files in a brown paper bag. Since Haller’s clients are not men of means, he needs to be creative with his strategies and has become an expert in plea bargains and reduced sentences. He enjoys being one step ahead of everyone else because he sees himself as a man without blemish — until he meets Judge Mary Holder (LisaGay Hamilton). When Haller is faced with defending accused murderer Louis Roulet (Ryan Phillippe), all bets are off and so is his prepared speech.

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How does she compare to other characters?

If you haven’t seen The Lincoln Lawyer, here’s a summary: A slick and unscrupulous criminal defense attorney (Matthew McConaughey) is brought up on charges of bribing a witness, so he represents himself in court. Even though he loses, his client gets off, and he has gained a new client who pays him five thousand dollars to defend her husband on murder charges. Though McConaughey wins that case as well — all by bending/breaking rules along the way — he comes face-to-face with Judge Mary Holder (LisaGay Hamilton), who was prosecuting one of his previous clients for killing her husband.

Famous Judge from Michael Connelly Novel Asks: Why Should I Care?
Famous Judge from Michael Connelly Novel Asks: Why Should I Care? A Look at Judge Mary Holder from The Lincoln Lawyer

What have you learned about her from this book?

It seems to me that Ms. Holder was an extremely tough judge, not one who would allow nonsense from either side of a case. I’m sure she had her favorites on both sides, but she wasn’t afraid to smack them down if they tried to go outside her boundaries. What do you think? Was Judge Mary Holder a fair and just judge? Why or why not?

Link it to an element in the story.

In Michael Connelly’s The Lincoln Lawyer, we meet a character called Judge Mary Holder. A bit of research about Judge LisaGay Hamilton tells us that she’s also been in productions such as The Killing and Sons of Anarchy. I’m interested to see how these two characters are portrayed by these two actresses. I am sure that both Hamilton and Holden will do an excellent job. Judging by their appearances, I think I might like some extra ‘cinnamon in my life’. (You know what i mean!)

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Connect it to another experience.

Most of us haven’t seen an actual courtroom in a while, but we probably know someone who has been to one: a teacher, a relative, or a friend. In The Lincoln Lawyer , lawyer Mickey Haller (played by Matthew McConaughey) is tasked with defending Louis Roulet (Ryan Phillippe), who is charged with assaulting his former prostitute girlfriend. Things get more complicated when Mary Holder, a judge on trial for corruption charges, requests that she and Haller team up to defend Roulet together. But wait – isn’t that totally unethical? Hold on just one minute here – where was it written that it’s never okay for defense attorneys to work with judges?

How does this relate to our own lives?

As an entrepreneur you know that getting a business up and running can be challenging. You might even wonder if you should start your own business in favor of working for someone else. There are certainly some upsides to owning your own business, but there are also downsides as well. Ultimately it is important to evaluate your situation carefully and determine what choice is best for you, but one thing to keep in mind throughout all of it is how your decisions affect others. What may seem like a good idea at first could end up being a disappointment if not properly executed and that’s where having a judge watching over us entrepreneurs becomes so important.

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