Talk:Melvin Belli

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Is there a reason why Belli's supposed appearance in a episode of Hunter is left off of his filmography? It is discussed in his Film and Television Roles. I just don't know anything about this guy. If I see that no one with better knowledge addresses this, I'll be back to do it myself. Be bold and whatnot... CharacterZero | Speak 00:59, 13 June 2008 (UTC)


How can both statements be true?

"Belli was married six times ... Belli married his fifth wife, Nancy Ho, eleven weeks before he died of pancreatic cancer at the age of 88." -- 20:11, 19 May 2006 (UTC)

According to his obituary from the New York Times, he was married five times. His ex-wives were Elizabeth Ballantine Belli, Toni Nichols Belli, Joy Turney Belli, and Lia Triff Belli. He married Nancy Ho on March 29. Pettifogger 22:03, 19 May 2006 (UTC)
LOL! His middle name was "Mouron" take out the U. Who would give a child a middle name like that. Ouch! Belli is latin for War. In fact the only reason I thought of him was the episode of JERICHO - Casus Belli.
Obviously a last name, probably his mother's maiden name, or other family surname. Rush Limbaugh, for example, gets his first name (as did his father and grandfather, since he's a "III", from his great-great grandmother's maiden name.
While obviously an ambulance chasing, publicity hound, he certainly wasn't a moron. Not after winning $600,000,000 in judgements over 60+ yr legal career.
PainMan (talk) 21:01, 5 May 2008 (UTC)

Noted/corrected POV, inflated achievements, lack of citations, embedded lists, grammatical errors[edit]

  • POV edits

I edited the following sentences:

His autobiography, My Life on Trial is an entertaining account of his life and famous events he was involved in during most of the 20th century.
[A]t the end of the Poofy Judges sketch Eric Idle utters the somewhat cheeky line....

I removed the description of his autobiography as "entertaining" as this is clearly a subjective judgment and violative of NPOV. After all, persons other than the editor may find not find the book to be so. I suppose the adjective might be sustainable if the editor had cited a number of book reviews from reputable critics (e.g. the New York Crimes, the Washington Post, et al). Even then, it would still be POV, just once removed.

The phrase "somewhat cheeky line" is subjective. The "cheekiness" is obvious without it be pointed out to the reader.

As for the last clause, he was only involved in a very narrow part of the events of the 20th century. Even in American legal history, he was largely active in tort cases (i.e. civil litigation) aside from his occasional forays into criminal law largely done as publicity stunts (e.g. repping Jack Ruby).

The clause, as written, clearly inflates the late attorney's importance. He can hardly have been the first lawyer to use expert witnesses or "demonstrative" evidence in court. Like his professional progeny, e.g. Johnny Cochrane and Gloria Allred his choice of clients and cases was often more influenced by how much publicity they would bring him rather than their cases inherent legal merits. (Tho' he managed to piss off J. Edgar Hoover enough to end up in the Secret File, so must have done something right some of the time.)

Disclosure note: my grandfather, a sometime bootlegger, was an acquaitance of Jack Ruby, a known mob associate in Texas, running brothels & the like. (No, it's not particularly relevant, but it sounds cool.)

Many assertions made in the article, for example, naming him as one of the "first major" lawyers to use charts, graphics, props, etc in court cases, need to be sourced; his representation of celebrity clients also needs to be sourced.

  • Added to the list of "External Links". This should be integrated into a paragraph or deleted.
  • Changed erroneous single quotation marks (i.e. ') to the correct double quotations, (i.e. ").

PainMan (talk) 20:23, 5 May 2008 (UTC)

Star Trek[edit]

I removed the utterly pointless spoiler from the mention of his "Star Trek" appearance. Plot details beyond what is now shown aren't necessary.PacificBoy 18:51, 24 November 2008 (UTC)

At the Woodstock Festival[edit]

Neil Young, in a 1979 radio interview on Mary Turner's "On the Record" show, stated that due to be stranded at the wrong airport along with Jimi Hendrix, Belli stole a truck and drove Young and Hendrix to Woodstock! Proof Reader (talk) 23:01, 7 February 2009 (UTC)

Fascinating. Is there any chance that we could substantiate this anecdote? I'm not sure if it's relaly worth putting in a short biography, but perhaps there's more to it.   Will Beback  talk  23:07, 7 February 2009 (UTC)

Jack Ruby's Family Fired Him[edit]

Jack Ruby's family (brothers and sisters) fired Melvin Belli immediately after jack was sentenced to death on March 14, 1964. I'm adding that. Earththings (talk) 06:36, 6 October 2009 (UTC)

Jack himself wanted to fire Belli, too. Also, Jack died from cancer not stroke. Additionally I changed the date from "14 March" to "March 14".Earththings (talk) 06:43, 6 October 2009 (UTC)