Are Joni DeGroot and Janet Stewart Based on Real Lawyers? – “The Good Doctor” is a popular medical drama series airing on ABC. The show debuted in 2017 and was based on the South Korean series of the same name. Dr. Shaun Murphy, a young surgeon with autism and savant syndrome, joins the surgical unit at San Jose St. Bonaventure Hospital, where he faces both personal and professional difficulties.
Viewers of the series Shaun experience Shaun’s exceptional medical knowledge and unique perspective, making him a valuable asset to the hospital despite his colleagues struggling to accept him. In addition to Shaun, there is an ensemble cast of characters, including doctors, nurses, and administrators, who tackle social and ethical issues related to medicine, such as organ donation, patient privacy rights, and end-of-life care.
Dr. Shaun Murphy (Freddie Highmore) faces a malpractice lawsuit on The Good Doctor Season 6, Episode 15. To help him navigate it, his mentor Dr. Aaron Glassman introduces him to Janet Stewart – an accomplished lawyer. Janet suggests Shaun settle with his insurance, but Joni DeGroot encourages him to fight charges and go to trial. Joni DeGroot and Janet Stewart form the main characters in ‘The Good Lawyer,’ a spin-off series from ‘The Good Doctor’ that takes on legal matters. If you’re wondering whether Joni and Janet are based on real-life attorneys, keep reading to find out!
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Does Joni DeGroot Draw Inspiration From a Real-Life Lawyer?
Joni DeGroot, the character featured in ‘The Good Lawyer,’ is entirely fictional and not based on any real-life lawyer. Joni DeGroot, played by Kennedy McMann in the medical drama, is a bright and humorous lawyer who joins an esteemed law firm to take up Shaun’s case. Despite living with OCD, Joni doesn’t want to be treated any differently from anyone else – her OCD symptoms impact both personal and professional life alike – yet her meticulous approach to work allows her to see cases from a unique perspective.
Joni is a fictional character, yet her portrayal seeks to provide insight into what living with OCD can be like – particularly in an intense career like law. Actress Kennedy McMann, who portrays Joni in the show, has personal experience of OCD and hopes her representation provides understanding into some of the difficulties people living with this disorder face daily. She hopes her portrayal will provide viewers with valuable information regarding these difficulties.
Though Joni is not based on any real-life lawyer with OCD, the show’s portrayal of it in a legal setting resonates with many individuals who have succeeded despite having OCD. Many lawyers in real life have been diagnosed with the disorder yet still practice law; thus, Joni’s difficulties may reflect those experienced by these real-life individuals.
In an interview with ABC Chicago, she said, “Joni is a young attorney who works in quite a prestigious law office. However because of her obsessive-compulsive disorder, she’s had a bit of a hard time with other people, or rather people have a difficult time with her because of her many rituals and behaviors that she exhibits.”
“It’s very difficult and I don’t think we shy away from that experience for her. She’s meticulous and so on the ball, such a pleasure to work with, we had a great, great time.”
Does Janet Stewart Draw Inspiration From a Real-Life Lawyer?
Felicity Huffman stars as Janet Stewart, a respected lawyer and partner of an esteemed law firm. For years, Janet has represented Dr. Aaron Glassman in various legal matters; therefore, when Glassman needs representation for his mentee, he turns to Janet for assistance. However, when Shaun insists on Joni taking the lead on their case, Janet feels compelled to step aside and let Joni handle things instead.
Janet Stewart, the mentor to Joni in the medical drama, is not based on a real-life lawyer. However, Janet shares similarities with Dr. Aaron Glassman, who serves as a mentor to Shaun; both women are straightforward individuals who won’t hesitate to confront their mentees if they don’t follow the instructions given by Janet. Likewise, Janet supports Joni in her quest to become an “excellent lawyer.” In season 6’s sixteenth episode, Janet even receives contempt of court for helping Joni present her case effectively before the jury.
Janet and Joni’s relationship is similar to that between Glassman and Shaun; when Shaun’s brother Steve suffered an accident, Glassman offered his assistance. Similarly, when Joni’s mother became involved in a case during childhood, Janet also came to Joni’s aid. Just as Glassman protected and cared for Shaun during his upbringing, Janet did the same for Joni.
Both Janet and Glassman go against their fellow board members to give their mentees opportunities to flourish in their careers – in “The Good Lawyer,” viewers can expect Janet to guide Joni as she progresses as an incredible lawyer!