Born: 1962 in Dedham, Massachusetts, U.S.
Career: Lawyer, Counsel at Crane, Poole, & Schmidt
Associate of Crane, Poole & Schmidt
Formerly at Young, Frutt & Berlutti, Howard & Brock, and Carruthers-Abbott firms
Unnamed mother (deceased)
Unnamed father (deceased)
Created by David E. Kelley
appearance: "Head Cases" (Season 1)
appearance: "Last Call" (Season 5)
Episodes appeared in: 101 in series (2004-2008)
Character played by: James Spader
Alan Shore is a lawyer with and Counsel at Crane, Poole, & Schmidt; he is also best friends with firm co-founder Denny Crane in the ABC-TV series Boston Legal. The part of Alan is played by actor James Spader.
Born in 1962 in Dedham, Massachusetts, he is of Scottish descent; his great-grandfather emigrated to the United States from Scotland in 1903. Alan's childhood friends include Paul Stewart, whom he first met in kindergarten and Tom Dougan, who later became a priest. Alan slept with Paul's mother when he was 16. He lost his virginity at age 14 to a friend of his mother. One of his neighbors was Catherine Piper, his future secretary. According to one of his courtroom speeches, Alan has a sister, although he might have made her up for the purposes of that speech. At one point in his life, he had to seek the help of a sexual surrogate named Joanna to help him deal with perhaps his most shocking paraphilia: an attraction of sorts to his mother, and the way she touched him (non-sexually) as a child. Alan was once married, but his wife died.
In Boston Legal, he talks about his deceased wife and how she was able to guess accurately what he would think and do. Alan speaks of his wife in a loving way, however and expresses the otherwise unseen emotion of regret for her passing. It is noted that he was irritated at her uncanny ability to guess his every thought, even when he was trying to be unpredictable. Often many of Alan's behaviors support this claim. Alan states on numerous occasions that he is sure that his final fate will be murder. He voices concern, although only to Denny Crane, that he fears waking up alone as he is sure that, in a previous life, he was murdered in his sleep. Alan considers Denny to be his best friend, and every night he drinks Scotch and smokes cigars with Denny on his office balcony often reflecting on the events of the day and confessing their most intimate fears and desires while displaying their many oddities and eccentricities, and often confessing their platonic love for one another. When Denny's Alzheimer's disease worsened, Alan and Denny decided to get married, so that Alan could have Power of Attorney over Denny's medical care, as well as spousal privilege in any future criminal proceedings. This would also allow Denny to transfer his considerable wealth to Alan tax free. They were married at Nimmo Bay fishing Lodge, in Canada, by Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.
Alan is a brilliant lawyer, extremely intelligent and very well-informed, which aids him immeasurably in his job as a lawyer. His usual courtroom strategy involves identifying what he sees as the underlying problems in society that put his clients at odds with the law or another person in the first place, and articulating them to sympathetic juries or judges that frequently grant him and his clients favorable verdicts.
He is considered an unethical attorney due to the sometimes questionable methods he uses to help his clients; however, Alan seems to be able to help his clients and fellow lawyers when no one else can, due to his quick wit and apparent lack of fear for the consequences of his illegal actions. He once had an unlicensed doctor remove a bullet from one of Lori Colson's clients after the client refused to have it extracted in a hospital due to the fact it might convict him; Alan helped him out because the bullet might have had a life-threatening impact on the man.