The ADAs of "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit"

Prosecuting the Heinous Crimes of New York

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As yet another Assistant District Attorney makes her debut on Season Twelve of "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit," the time has come to reflect on the list of ADAs who have helped the Special Victims Unit bring the perpetrators of heinous crimes to justice. Below are some of the best ADAs of the series, along with those of notable mention. FYI, the November 10th episode, Penetration, makes ADA Gillian Hardwicke's (Melissa Sagemiller) third episode, so she has lasted longer than her predecessor this season, Mikka Von (Paula Patton), who was fired on her first episode!

Casey Novak (Diane Neal). While not the first ADA, definitely one of the best. Her most memorable moments include invading a judges' poker party to obtain a warrant - the door opens to reveal the somber group, looking less than happy to be interrupted. "I've had this nightmare before, only I was naked," she quips. She joined the show in the fifth season and stayed through the end of the ninth, when Michaela McManus replaced her for the tenth season (briefly) as ADA Kim Greylock. Later on that season Alexandra Cabot returned.

Alexandra Cabot (Stephanie March). An obvious choice for one of the best ADAs on "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" - she rose from the dead, no less. Alexandra Cabot debuted on Season Two, stayed for three seasons and left when she was "killed" and sent into the witness protection program (after death threats from a Columbian drug cartel.) She then returned to replace ADA Sonya Paxton in the 11th season (see below.) After being affected by the testimony of a Congolese woman in a Special Victims Unit trial, she decided to leave again, this time to join an international task force to bring justice to Congolese women who have been raped.

Other Notable ADAs: Abbie Carmichael (Angie Harmon), crossing over from her "Law & Order" role on six episodes in the first season of "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit," as well as Season 11's Sonya Paxton (Christine Lahti), a very in-your-face and abrasive character who was not without a certain charm. At least until she showed up drunk to trial and Olivia had to give her a breathalyzer! Sonya lasted for five episodes, and returned briefly for one more to fight with Alexandra Cabot, who had reappeared for ten episodes (see above). And we can't close this list without mentioning Sharon Stone. She's, well, Sharon Stone. She played ADA Jo Marlowe for four episodes, a former police officer as well as Stabler's former partner. Her character was tough and gritty, while still maintaining that Sharon Stone movie star look, as well as the style all "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" fans have come to expect from their ADAs.

"Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" airs on Wednesdays at 9 PM ET on NBC.

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