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|Law & Order character|
|First appearance||"Fame" (L&O)
"Silver Lake" (LA)
"Jersey Breakdown" (SVU)
|Last appearance||"Rubber Room" (L&O)
"Angel's Knoll" (LA)
|Portrayed by||Alana de la Garza|
|Time on show||2006–2010 (L&O)
|Credited appearances||85 episodes (L&O)
8 episodes (LA)
1 episode (SVU)
94 episodes (total)
|Preceded by||Alexandra Borgia (L&O)
Evelyn Price (LA)
Lauren Stanton (LA)
Consuela "Connie" Rubirosa is a fictional character, portrayed by Alana de la Garza, who joined the cast of long-running NBC drama series Law & Order during the 17th season premiere episode "Fame". She is the only second-chair ADA of Law & Order to have appeared in four complete seasons. She later appeared on Law & Order: LA as a series regular until the show's cancellation in May 2011. In January 2014, she appeared on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, where she has become an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of New York.
After graduating Swarthmore College and spending a year working as a kindergarten teacher, Rubirosa joined the Manhattan District Attorney's office in 2004. Shortly thereafter, Rubirosa had a brief sexual relationship with her supervisor, Marcus Woll. Originally, she worked for District Attorney Arthur Branch and second-chaired for Executive Assistant District Attorney Jack McCoy.
With McCoy's promotion to District Attorney (as of the eighteenth season), Rubirosa is assigned to newly promoted Executive Assistant District Attorney Michael Cutter. During the early months of this transition, she is sometimes made to be the unwilling mediator when her two superiors have disagreements regarding law.
After leaving the Manhattan District Attorney's Office, Rubirosa goes on to serve as a Deputy District Attorney in Los Angeles, following the resignations of Evelyn Price and Lauren Stanton. In this capacity, she works alongside Joe Dekker.
Rubirosa returned to the Law & Order franchise as a federal prosecutor in the Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Season 15 episode "Jersey Breakdown". She was heading up a joint task force on underage sex trafficking. This episode aired on January 22, 2014.
She has stated that her father, a doctor, was a Spanish immigrant, whose medical degree was not recognized in the United States and had to work as a nurse for 10 years; this is mentioned in the episode "Melting Pot", in which she deals with an illegal immigrant worker and defendant. Later in the case, she passionately opposes a legal strategy proposed by McCoy which would have detrimentally affected other illegal immigrants who worked for the same contractor but were not part of the crime. She has also told McCoy that she had her sister who had previously been in an abusive relationship. She also had a brother. Her brother was married and had at least two children. His wife almost miscarried their first child in or before 2001. Her mother was Mexican, as she was a descendant of Juan Cortina. Her parents divorced and her mother eventually remarried. Her stepfather died in 2007. In 2011, she moved to Los Angeles to take care of her ailing mother, who suffered a stroke.
As demonstrated in "Corner Office", Rubirosa is a strong advocate of women's rights. In "Talking Points", she says she disagrees with the politics of a conservative author who made "Ann Coulter look like Mary Poppins". Nevertheless, on "Home Sweet" she refuses to give credit to a female defense attorney's unjustified feminist trial strategy. In contrast in "Dignity", Rubirosa learns damaging information about a murdered abortion doctor's murder of a newborn, albeit at the clear informed permission of the mother of a baby with birth defects severe enough to guarantee death in hours. Although her superiors order her to delay reporting it to the medical board as irrelevant evidence of a deceased doctor until after the trial, Rubirosa is so moved by the testimony, and concerned by the apparent breach of professional ethics of not immediately informing the defense of the facts, that she defied her instructions. Although Rubirosa requests a transfer to the white collar crime section for this moral conflict, McCoy, deciding that the moral complexities involved in the case and the larger issues needed more flexibility from everyone, orders she and Cutter to resolve their differences.
In "Charity Case", Rubirosa reveals that she has a strong maternal instinct. She has always wanted to have a child, but is appalled at the casual treatment of children as "fashion" by affluent celebrities. She also shows extreme outrage and disgust at the defendant in that episode, who allowed a baby to die due to negligence, and then got a "replacement baby". She is particularly disgusted by the defendant's claim that the nanny was responsible for the child's death, and that she did not recognize that the babies had been switched.
She is briefly bothered by her experiences during "Tango", when a juror in a case she is trying attempts to flirt with her after the trial has adjourned for the day. Shocked, she quickly insists that such communication is inappropriate and must stop. When she learns that Cutter was aware of the juror's feelings towards her and that Cutter's recommendation was based on these feelings, she is angry at him, feeling that he had "pimped [her] out to the jury".
In the episode "Strike", legal aid is on strike and Rubirosa is forced to become the defendant's defense attorney. She proves quite capable, and shows her clear belief in "zealously representing [her] client". Besides being Cutter's opponent throughout the trial, she antagonizes Detective Kevin Bernard in court. She even uses dubious means to suppress incriminating evidence, although Cutter discovers it anyway. Later, she comes to believe her client is guilty, of both this murder and another that he will soon be officially pardoned for. Although she agonizes about violating attorney–client privilege, she decides to give him an ultimatum: take a plea bargain or risk an unfavorable jury verdict. The choice is also influenced by what Rubirosa sees as repeated dishonesty on his part, and she ultimately comments to McCoy that she hopes her action was fair, and not biased by her view that he was guilty. McCoy assures her that he is certain her actions were fair and legal.
She reveals herself to be supportive of using post-9/11 terrorism laws for purposes beyond their original intent in "Rumble", when she comes up with the idea of charging the perpetrators of a park fight with committing a terrorist act after several innocent bystanders are killed in the fray.
She also has a great deal of respect for McCoy, and is slightly protective of him. It is revealed in "Misbegotten" that she and Cutter have an agreement in which he is not allowed to criticize McCoy in front of her, something that he is apparently unhappy with.
She has revealed her dedication to her job in more than one occasion. In the episode "Boy Gone Astray", a death threat is made against her while she is investigating a drug cartel. While she is afraid for her life, she is adamant about remaining on the case. In the end, the lead witness in the case backs out, ending the trial and the threat to her life. In "For the Defense", she is a witness in a brutal shooting against a woman who is supposed to testify in court. Although Cutter gives her the opportunity to stop working on the case, she stays on, determined to do her job no matter what.
In the aforementioned episode ("For The Defense"), she names herself as a co-conspirator in a murder charge, in order to insure that they can charge the defendant with conspiracy to commit murder. No charges are pressed against her, but even Cutter is shocked by her actions, while also proud of her.
When she was in high school, she and her friends started a rumor which almost got the vice principal fired.
Alana de la Garza, who portrays Connie Rubirosa, was pregnant in 2010. Although it was initially suggested that Rubirosa would become pregnant in the series as well, the subsequent cancellation of L&O after 20 seasons rendered the matter moot.
Ken Tucker writes that "De La Garza is, per the show's distaff tradition, obliged to have Rubirosa scissor her legs around the DA's office. But unlike past office trinkets like Angie Harmon (1998–2001) or Elisabeth Röhm (2001–2005), De La Garza also draws your attention to her sarcastically raised eyebrow when she looks at the clashing McCoy and Cutter as if to say, 'Boys, boys — is that a legal brief in your briefs, or are you just glad to see each other?’"
John Freeman Gill of the New York Times writes that "'Law & Order' has been around so long that the datebook in the office of the prosecutor played by Sam Waterston is embossed with the year 1995. But one new ingredient in the show this season, the casting of Alana De La Garza as its first Hispanic assistant district attorney, helped give the "Melting Pot" story both nuance and passion."
Matt Roush of TV Guide writes, "Tonight, in another strong episode, it's De La Garza's turn to shine, and she makes the most of it, proving herself a worthy successor to Jill Hennessy and Angie Harmon, my previous favorites in this often-thankless role. She is tough and aggressive, but always sympathetic, as she is forced to go up against her colleague Cutter in court as a temporary (and very reluctant) defense attorney, called into action because the Legal Aid lawyers are all on strike."
De la Garza has been credited in 85 episodes of Law & Order, 8 episodes of Law & Order: LA, and one episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, a total of 94 episodes making her the fifth-longest serving prosecutor in the Law & Order franchise history, surpassed by Alexandra Cabot (SVU), Ron Carver (CI), Casey Novak (SVU) and Jack McCoy.
- Law & Order episode "Rubber Room", originally aired May 24, 2010.
- Law & Order, Season 20, Episode 9, "For the Defense".
- Law & Order, Season 20, Episode 4.
- "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Season 15 Episode 12 - Jersey Breakdown - Zap2it TV Listings". Zap2it. Retrieved December 31, 2013.
- Law & Order episode "Captive", originally aired May 4, 2007.
- Law & Order episode "Avatar", originally aired September 29, 2006.
- Law & Order: LA episode "Hayden Track", originally aired May 16, 2011.
- Law & Order episode "Boy Gone Astray", originally aired November 6, 2009.
- Law & Order: LA episode "Benedict Canyon", originally aired April 25, 2011.
- Law & Order: LA episode "Silver Lake", originally aired April 11, 2011.
- Law & Order: LA episode "Reseda", originally aired May 2, 2011.
- Law & Order episode "Avatar", originally aired September 29, 2006.
- People - Celebrity Baby Blog by Sarah Michaud
- Ken Tucker," "TV: Sam Waterston's bark keeps giving Law & Order its bite," Entertainment Weekly 1026 (December 19, 2008): 50.
- John Freeman Gill,"Murder, They Wrote", New York Times(February 11, 2007)
- Matt Roush,"Law & Order, When Courtroom Tables Turn," TV Guide(May 07, 2008)
- Connie Rubirosa — IMDb