Law and Order

Danielle Melnick

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Danielle Melnick
Danielle Melnick
Name Danielle Melnick
Title Defense Attorney
Occupation Attorney
Status Alive
Actor Tovah Feldshuh
First Appearance L&O: "Aria"
Last Appearance CI: "To the Boy in the Blue Knit Cap"
Danielle Rose Melnick is a New York City-based Defense Attorney who has been practicing for more than 20 years. A well-established, high profile litigator, she regularly goes up against the toughest, most powerful prosecutors in the Manhattan District Attorney's Office. For years, she was a thorn in the side of both Benjamin Stone and Jack McCoy. She has had an affectionately competitive friendship with the latter since the early days of their careers.


An idealistic, utterly professional workaholic, Melnick is so dedicated to her job that she often makes the lives of her opponents in the DA's office miserable. [citation needed]

Much like McCoy, she is so zealous in her job that she will bend (but never break) trial laws to win a case. [citation needed]

She sometimes risks being put in contempt of court for antagonizing a judge. [citation needed]

The series has revealed nothing about her personal life.

Season ThirteenEdit

Melnick was very nearly disbarred in a case in which she was representing a white supremacist accused of murdering a Defense Attorney. Angered by the gag order the trial Judge had put on her client, she passed along an address to one of the man's associates, assured that it would produce evidence that could clear him; unbeknown to her, however, it was actually the address of one of the terrorist's intended targets, who was soon murdered. She was arrested and charged as an accessory. She was mortified by what her client had done, but refused to break attorney-client privilege, even if it meant she would go to prison. (Ironically, all her sacrifice was on behalf of a client who hated her for being Jewish.) (L&O:"Open Season")

McCoy, who was reluctant to prosecute his old friend, ended up saving her by lying to the man, telling him that Melnick had confessed to unwittingly helping him, and that he would go to prison for life unless he admitted that she hadn't known what he was going to do with the information. Melnick was cleared of all charges, but was shot soon after by one of her former client's followers. (L&O:"Open Season")

Season FourteenEdit

Melnick eventually recovered from her injuries and returned to her practice. [1] She used a cane, but told Jack that her doctor said by this time next year, she'd be "dancing the night away". (Season 14: City Hall)




  1. She later appeared in Season 14's City Hall.

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