Have You Seen These Books (on TV)?
January 4, 2008 5:49 AM   Subscribe

Have you seen these books in the background of movie/tv scenes?

I'm looking for examples of where the Martindale-Hubbell Directory has been shown in movies or TV shows – those shots of lawyers standing before a wall full of the books. The link in the question is probably your best visual reference - that's the 2003 edition, but it's more or less what they look like every year. It needs to be exactly that brand of directory, but it can be any year (it been printed every year for about a century).

I'm trying to help some marketing folks, so I'm looking for specific examples with as much information as possible – name of movie or show, name of the actor/actress and/or the scene/episode in which they appeared, and any other details that might help locate the footage.
posted by Karmakaze to Media & Arts (10 answers total)
I am about eighty percent sure that they were used in The List.

How am I sure? Well, they were my books. I let them use a bunch of my stuff for the scenes in the law office in that movie. They took a lot of my books, among them the Martindale-Hubbell set. I have seen the movie. I remember seeing the books. I just can't remember which ones.
posted by flarbuse at 6:28 AM on January 4, 2008 [1 favorite]

Looks like they are in Bob Loblaw's office in Arrested Development.
posted by penguinliz at 6:41 AM on January 4, 2008

Over the New Year's holiday I watched at least 15 hours of Law & Order and I can say with almost complete certainty that Adam Schiff has those exact same books in his DA office. That would be Law & Order (vanilla), Seasons 5 - 11.
posted by banannafish at 7:25 AM on January 4, 2008

I am not so sure about L&O. Their books are provided by West, while Martindale is part of the Lexis family. I have a friend who is the director of business development at Lexis for Martindale. I just forwarded him this link. If anyone can provide THE authoritative answer, it's him.
posted by MeetMegan at 7:35 AM on January 4, 2008

Response by poster: MeetMegan, for all I know, this request came from him! ;) (This is a friend-of-a-friend thing, but I think the original request came from the marketing folks at Lexis)
posted by Karmakaze at 7:50 AM on January 4, 2008

Yeah, the books in that Arrested Development shot are mostly West's regional law reports (California?), with a small set of American Law Reports thrown in. Law reporters and digests are all bound similarly. You'd almost have to treat it like identifying a species of snake in the wild, counting bands of color: Martindale-Hubbell is 20-25 volumes, and the spines are predominantly, from top to bottom: gold, red, gold, black, gold, red, gold.
posted by steef at 8:07 AM on January 4, 2008

I think Judge Phelan in The Wire may have had them in his office - check out his appearance in season 4. Not 100% sure though.
posted by djgh at 9:09 AM on January 4, 2008

Wade Blasingame: Attorney-at-Law - The lawyer people call to sue dogs? I don't know if the color pattern matches (or maybe it's an older edition?)
posted by sharkfu at 10:09 AM on January 4, 2008

I'm pretty sure they're featured in a couple of episodes of The West Wing as well--look for the second season episode "Bad Moon Rising", look over Leo's shoulder in the conversations in the White House counsel's office. A search of the episodes from 2001 featuring Oliver Platt on IMDb should give all the episodes they might have appeared in.
posted by the luke parker fiasco at 11:58 AM on January 4, 2008

They might be in Wedding Crashers. The books I'm thinking of show up about fifteen minutes into the film, but they don't seem to have the second red section on the spine, just one red bar and one black bar. They look about right otherwise. (Sorry about the poor image quality!)
posted by biscuitsticks at 2:19 PM on January 4, 2008

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