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Melvin Palmer
Melvin Palmer
Melvin Palmer is Alan Shore's chief nemisis on the series who appears in six episodes.
Personal Information
Gender/Sex: Male
Chief rival and nemesis of Alan Shore who relies on Southern charm to win over clients and fellow attorneys
Character information
Appeared on: Boston Legal
Episodes appeared in: 6 from Seasons 2-5
Character played by: Christopher Rich
Boston Legal Wiki

Melvin Palmer, played by Christopher Rich, is a greedy Texan lawyer and Alan Shore's chief nemesis and rival. The character appears in six episodes of the series from Seasons 2-5. He's a hoot, that's what he is.

Boston Legal[]

He is first seen on Boston Legal in the second season, representing a credit card company that charges outrageous interest rates, and later a production company charged with murder after a talk show stunt went awry.

Alan immediately despises Palmer because he frequently defends white-collar companies that have engaged in unlawful practices against their customers, his fake friendly facade and because he reminds Alan of a bouncing clown doll that used to terrify Alan and as he puts it, always came back when he knocked it down. Though he lost all his cases against Alan, he remains smug and doesn't care due to the fact he still gets paid; a fact that infuriates Alan.

He occupies the role of an antagonist until near the end of the show when he defends Denny and Alan from adultery charges in Utah. This leads to Melvin and Denny becoming good friends, which irritates Alan further, especially since he now owes Palmer. Melvin appears one last time at Shirley's Thanksgiving party.


Palmer is a highly-efficient, self-serving, smug and arrogant lawyer, who often relies on his southern charm and accent, to win over clients and attorneys. He is known to represent large companies that are involved in immoral activities against their respectful clients. As part of his facade, he is extremely (but falsely) friendly and charming, and uses this as a strategy in nearly all his cases. Only once does he drop his facade when Katie Lloyd calls him "disgusting", revealing him to be a cold, amoral and manipulative lawyer.