Despite his shoe-polishing fetish and endearing backwoods nature, Andy commits many, many breaches of ethical conduct that would not only get him disbarred, but likely thrown in jail as well. For instance, he is shown collecting evidence at crime scenes to dramatically reveal during the trial. While this makes for good TV, it's also obstruction of justice. No one outside of the police is allowed to touch or remove evidence from a crime scene, otherwise everybody would do that.
"OK, nobody touch anything until the lawyers get here! This is a crime scene, people!"
Even if it wasn't, the evidence wouldn't do a damn thing to help his client. When evidence is discovered, it is meticulously handled and cataloged in a heavily documented paper trail called the chain of custody. Even missing one link in the chain can mean the evidence is useless. It's not about him being a rebel or unconventional; the evidence is inadmissible.
Finally, in reality, there's never any "surprise" evidence in a trial. All evidence pertaining to a trial has to be disclosed before the trial actually begins as part of the discovery process so that each side can figure out how to support or disprove every piece of evidence. In real life, any judge would say, "Hey, that was a neat little show you put on, but this guilty criminal is going to walk forever now because you broke several laws trying to convict him in the cutesiest way possible."
So if you want a good show, go with Andy. If you'd prefer not to take up permanent residence on death row, start flipping through the Yellow Pages. You certainly can't do any worse.
You can read more from Chris at raddystuition.com or Twitter.
For more characters who secretly sucked at their job, check out 6 Movie Heroes Who Sucked at Their Job and 6 'Brilliant' Movie Scientists (Who Suck At Their Job).
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