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Alle Gesetze und Ordnungen: SVU ADA, eingestuft

Law & Order is an incredibly popular franchise that has spawned several spin-offs, including Special Victims Unit, which has become the longest-running primetime U.S. live-action series. While SVU detectives, like Detectives Benson and Tutuola, are the heart of the series, the Assistant District Attorneys (ADAs) have also become staples in SVU.

Throughout the years, these ADAs have provided the squad with the necessary search warrants and legal advice before an arrest. The Assistant District Attorneys are vital to the process, as criminals could walk free without the legal knowledge and advice the ADAs provide the detectives. Once the criminal is in custody, ADAs have the difficult job of securing a sentence for the criminal. While this is no easy feat, every ADA in SVU proves that they are up to the task.

Updated on September 22, 2023, by Ajay Aravind: With six spin-offs under its belt, the Law & Order franchise has become one of the biggest television properties of the last thirty years. The first spin-off, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, is widely regarded as a superb primetime drama, in part due to its motley cast of characters. Although there are several ADAs in the mix, some of them are clearly better fan-favorites than the others.

Updated on December 28, 2023, by Florencia Aberastury: This article has been updated with more detail about every Law & Order: SVU ADA as well as to bring the article up to current CBR standards.

14 Abbie Carmichael Was The First SVU ADA

Introduced in L & O Season 9

ADA Abbie Carmichael standing in front of the US flag
  • Angie Harmon gave life to Abbie Carmichael in a total of 72 episodes of Law & Order, and 6 episodes of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.
Header Image of Judge Donnelly, Dr. George Huang, and Dr. Melinda Warner in Law & Order SVU


10 Best Law And Order SVU Recurring Characters

As Law & Order: Special Victims Unit has been on the air for so long, recurring characters have ample opportunity to make an impression.

While she didn't stay for long, Abbie Carmichael left her mark on SVU after prosecuting cases for six episodes in Season 1. Viewers were already familiar with Carmichael from Law & Order, and her knowledge of the law was helpful during her time with the unit. Abbie Carmichael's time as one of the SVU ADAs was short-lived, however, and she left a bigger impression on the original Law & Order series.

Fans of Law & Order: SVU didn't get much background on Carmichael, as most of her storyline developed in the original Law & Order series. However, SVU audiences responded negatively to her stubborn nature, cold demeanor, and staunch political beliefs, which included favoring the death penalty and being anti-abortion.

13 Sherri West Was An SVU ADA Who Later Became A Defense Attorney

Introduced in SVU Season 12

ADA Sherri West watching court proceedings
  • Francie Swift played the SVU ADA Sherri West for only 5 episodes.

Sherri West made her first appearance in the Season 12 episode "Bullseye." The ADA office brought in West as a temporary SVU ADA for the squad, and she worked with the detectives in a few cases. Sherri West's time as an SVU ADA was short yet memorable, as she had a witness who was murdered right before testifying and a tricky assault case.

She eventually changed sides and became a Defense Attorney. Although her time as an SVU ADA wasn't very impactful, she came back for an SVU episode to defend a criminal — and this time, West worked against the squad.

12 Michael Cutter Clashed With Some SVU Detectives

Introduced in L & O Season 18

  • Linus Roache appeared as Michael Cutter in 63 episodes of Law & Order, and 4 episodes of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.

Michael Cutter is a veteran of the franchise, starting his ADA career in the original Law & Order before appearing in Special Victims Unit. Although he was only on SVU for four episodes, Cutter was a memorable SVU ADA thanks to his dogged pursuit of justice and unorthodox tactics.

Michael Cutter's controversial methods caused him to clash with the detectives, particularly with Detective Nick Amaro. His willingness to manipulate a witness and bend a few rules to secure a conviction got him in trouble a couple of times, even if his motivations were correct.

11 Gillian Hardwicke Was A Fan Of Benson And Stabler

Introduced in SVU Season 12

Gillian Hardwicke standing next to Donald Cragen
  • Melissa Sagemiller played Gillian Hardwicke in 10 episodes of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.
Split Images of Law and Order episodes


10 Best Law & Order Crossover Episodes

From time to time, the casts of various Law & Order series crossover with each other and other Dick Wolf series, like Chicago PD.

Gillian Hardwicke, like many viewers, was a fan of the work Detective Benson and Stabler did on SVU. As such, she requested a transfer to their unit to work with them. She was the 8th SVU ADA, replacing Mikka Von. Hardwicke had a high conviction rate and was proud of it, and even if she might seem tough, her heart was in the right place.

ADA Hardwicke had a few arguments with Benson during her time on Law & Order: SVU, as she found it challenging to see past her black-or-white view of the law. Although she initially had some trouble fitting in with the squad, Hardwicke eventually managed to earn her place and became a trustworthy SVU ADA.

10 Elizabeth Donnelly Was An SVU ADA Who Later Became A Judge

Introduced in SVU Season 3

  • Judith Light portrayed Elizabeth Donnelly in a total of 25 episodes of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.

Elizabeth Donnelly was the Bureau Chief who supervised both ADA Alexandra Cabot and ADA Casey Novak. Donnelly eventually became a judge and presided over several SVU cases. Her strong morals and passion for upholding the law made her incredibly successful in the courtroom.

Audiences never found out much about Elizabeth Donnelly's life outside of her successful career, except for one time when she took a leave of absence to prosecute a cold case as an Executive ADA. This murder case provided many twists and ultimately showed that Donnelly's harsh approach didn't always work.

9 Kim Greylek Was Constantly Clashing With Detective Stabler

Introduced in SVU Season 10

ADA Kim Greylek with an inscrutable expression on her face
  • Michaela McManus played Kim Greylek in a total of 13 episodes of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.

Kim Greylek came to the Special Victims Unit as ADA Casey Novak's replacement. Her first appearance was during the premiere episode of Season 10, titled "Trials." Greylek had a strong, hands-on approach, which the detectives found difficult to work with. As an SVU ADA, Greylek preferred to be part of the investigations and was constantly at odds with Detective Stabler.

Kim Greylek's unwavering determination meant she did everything in her power for every victim she represented. However, she had a hard time adjusting to the SVU squad and eventually left for DC. Still, Greylek managed to leave a mark as a memorable SVU ADA.

8 Jo Marlowe Was Detective Stabler's Partner Before Becoming An ADA

Introduced in SVU Season 11

  • Sharon Stone appeared as Jo Marlowe in 4 episodes of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.
Law and Order SVU's Stabler and Benson played by Christopher Meloni and Mariska Hargitay


The 10 Best Law & Order: SVU Episodes Directed by Women, Ranked

Law & Order: SVU often deals with serious subjects, especially pertaining to women. These episodes, directed by women, are some of the best.

ADA Jo Marlowe joined the series after Casey Novak and Sonya Paxton had departed. She was only involved in a few episodes of SVU, but she left a lasting impression. After joining the team in Season 11, viewers soon learned that Marlowe had a history with Detective Stabler, as they used to be partners.

Jo Marlowe's time in the Special Victims Unit eventually dredged up her past. In "Shattered," Marlowe and the team were held hostage. To get herself and her colleagues to safety, Marlow tried to bond with the kidnapper by revealing that she had previously battled cancer and lost everything. By connecting with the criminal in this way, Marlow managed to defuse the situation.

7 Sonya Paxton Had A Shocking End To Her Story

Introduced in SVU Season 11

ADA Sonya Paxton with a half-smile
  • Christine Lahti played Sonya Paxton in 7 episodes of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.

Sonya Paxton joined the team after ADA Alexandra Cabot left SVU. During her time with the squad as one of the SVU ADAs, Paxton had a hard time working alongside Detective Stabler, as they would often disagree and argue. Paxton's personal struggles came to light in Season 11 and revealed that she had an alcohol addiction.

Sonya Paxton's alcoholism threatened a couple of her cases, and she was encouraged to admit herself to a rehab facility to overcome her addiction. Her time as an SVU ADA came to a shocking end when she began investigating a cold case from 1986 and was brutally murdered by the killer. Luckily, Paxton bit the criminal, which allowed the SVU team to catch him.

6 David Haden Dated Detective Olivia Benson

Introduced in SVU Season 13

Harry Connick Jr.'s David Haden in SVU
  • Harry Connick, Jr. portrayed David Haden in 4 episodes of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.

ADA David Haden worked with the SVU squad in a few cases, but fans mostly remember him for the romantic relationship he developed with Detective Olivia Benson. However, when Haden became the Bureau Chief of a new unit investigating the SVU, their work was a conflict of interest, forcing them to break up.

While prosecuting criminals, ADA David Haden proved he was ready to take on some of the more disturbing SVU cases. Like the actor himself, Haden came from a family of district attorneys, and his knowledge and experience was always on show. This made ADA Haden stand out from previous SVU ADAs, leaving an impression on fans.

5 Peter Stone Is Part Of Dick Wolf's Chicago Universe

Introduced in Chicago P.D. Season 3

Peter Stone in the courtroom in Law & Order: SVU
  • Philip Winchester played Peter Stone in 2 episodes of Chicago P.D., 13 episodes of Chicago Justice, 1 episode of Chicago Med, and 28 episodes of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.
Split screen image with Hank Voight and Burzek (Adam Ruzek and Kim Burgess) from Chicago Pd


10 Best Episodes Of Chicago PD

The detectives of the Intelligence Unit have enjoyed wholesome romances and investigated disturbing cases in the best Chicago PD episodes.

Peter Stone was first introduced in Chicago P.D. and Chicago Justice before joining the SVU cast. Stone joined the series in Special Victims Unit Season 19, Episode 13, "The Undiscovered Country," as Special Counsel. After Rafael Barba left SVU, Stone replaced him as the ADA assigned to the squad.

At first, Stone seemed to clash with Detective Benson, but they soon developed a friendship. He took on some important cases throughout his career and was even attacked while prosecuting a criminal network. Stone's emotions gradually got the better of him, and he chose to resign as an SVU ADA.

4 Dominick Carisi, Jr. Began As An SVU Detective

Introduced in SVU Season 16

  • Peter Scanavino currently stars as ADA Carisi in Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and has appeared in over 180 episodes.

Dominick Carisi, Jr. was the first ADA to begin his work within the Special Victims Unit as a detective. During his career as a detective, he mentioned that he attended law school at night. Carisi annoyed ADA Barba frequently by giving him unsolicited law advice, often to the amusement of the rest of the detectives.

After leaving his detective career behind, Carisi became an SVU ADA in Season 21. He had a hard time adjusting to this new dynamic with his former colleagues, as his new responsibilities often clashed with the detectives'. Still, he managed to prove his talent as an ADA and earn the approval of the SVU squad.

3 Casey Novak Is One Of The Most Successful ADAs

Introduced in SVU Season 5

  • Diane Neal played Casey Novak in over 100 episodes of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.

Casey Novak was assigned to the SVU precinct after ADA Cabot left. Her debut was in the Season 5 episode, "Serendipity." During her first case, Novak struggled with the emotional toll of the job and even asked for a transfer. However, she stuck with it and soon showed that she was more than capable of taking every criminal to justice.

SVU ADA Novak is pretty naive, but her fresh outlook on law worked to her advantage. While she may seem strong and unaffected on the outside, the cases Novak worked on still impacted her. She developed a strong bond with the SVU detectives and even took charge of some investigations.

2 Alexandra Cabot Was The First Permanent SVU ADA

Introduced in SVU Season 2

Alexandra Cabot arguing in court
  • Stephanie March portrayed SVU ADA Alexandra Cabot in 97 episodes of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, as well as 13 episodes of Conviction.
A combined image of a victim from Season 5, Johnnie Briscoe, and Van Buren in Law & Order


10 Best Seasons Of Law & Order, Ranked

From Jack McCoy's debut in Season 5 to Season 14's high-stakes cases, some Law & Order seasons stand out in the crime show's 22-season run.

Alexandra Cabot was the first permanent ADA in Special Victims Unit. She made her debut alongside iconic detective Fin Tutuola in the first episode of Season 2, "Wrong is Right." While assigned to SVU, ADA Cabot showcased her strong morals and legal ethics, which earned the detectives' respect.

SVU ADA Cabot was incredibly compassionate to victims, notably children and victims of assault. She was strong-willed and determined, and her relationship with detective Olivia Benson was beloved by the fandom. Even after her departure, Cabot remained an important part of SVU and appeared in a few other episodes in different seasons.

1 Rafael Barba Is The Longest-Serving SVU ADA

Introduced in SVU Season 14

  • Raúl Esparza is credited in over 100 episodes of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit as ADA Rafael Barba, but appears in only 90 episodes. After his departure from SVU, Esparza returned as Rafael Barba for one episode of Law & Order: Organized Crime.

Rafael Barba became a fan favorite thanks to his practical approach and refusal to back down against tough criminals. ADA Barba made his debut in the Season 14 episode "Twenty-Five Acts" and left an impression on viewers from the start. He was so determined to seek justice that he often came across as ruthless and cutthroat.

During his time as a Law & Order: SVU ADA, Rafael Barba clashed with the detectives due to his aggressive prosecuting style. However, Barba slowly earned the squad's respect and became close friends with Olivia Benson. Barba eventually became the most beloved SVU ADA and is the second longest-serving ADA in the Law & Order franchise, behind Law & Order's Jack McCoy.

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit poster
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit

Release Date
September 20, 1999

Dick Wolf

Christopher Meloni , Mariska Hargitay , Richard Belzer , Dann Florek , Michelle Hurd

Mystery , Drama



Production Company
Wolf Films, Studios USA Television, Universal Network Television

Number of Episodes



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