Law and Order
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Casey Novak was an Assistant District Attorney for the Sex Crimes Bureau.

Background

Casey went to elementary school with a bully named Doug Papillion who conned the other children in her class into eating rabbit droppings by saying they were raisins, but he never fooled her because "I would never put something in my mouth just because Dougie told me too", calling him a sadist and stating the last she heard of him he was selling used cars in Toledo, Ohio. (SVU: "Authority")

It was revealed in early Season 5 that Casey graduated from Harvard Law School and used to clerk for Judge Mary Clark. She initially joined the Manhattan DA's office in the Investigations department in the White Collar division.

On SVU

Casey replaced Alexandra Cabot as A.D.A. after Cabot joined the Witness Protection Program. She was shown to be a persistent and tough ADA. Elizabeth Donnelly later states that she has a 71% conviction rate. At first, she did not get along with the SVU detectives, particularly Elliot Stabler and Olivia Benson, who saw her as arrogant and distant. Eventually, however, she learned how to be more of a team player, and became close to the SVU squad. Her first case dealt with a child rapist and Casey ended up saving one of the victims herself, figuring out that the rapist, Peter Nestler, was a fisherman and later where he stashed the girl. She then carries the victim to safety herself while Nestler is arrested. At the end of the episode, she asked Arthur Branch if she could leave the job because she couldn't let go of what happened to the little girl she saved. Branch denied the request, saying that at first he wasn't sure if Casey was right for the job, but the fact she was affected by the case showed him that she was perfectly suited for it.(SVU: "Serendipity")

She narrowly puts her job on the line when she reveals to the wife of a suspect that she may have been exposed to an STD after her husband was revealed to have it from an affair. The lawyer of the man threatened to report her unless she withdrew the charges. Novak refuse to do so and visited the wife to console her as an apology. These efforts were successful and with the wife she visited the husband in jail, where a confession and deal was made. The complaint against Novak was subsequently dropped as a result. (SVU: "Lowdown")

During one night, Casey was brutally attacked by the brother of a victim of serial rapist Gabriel Duvall; she was beaten so severely that she had to go to intensive care. (SVU: "Night")

In the season 6 finale, she is a supporter for the Troops saying that her father was a door gunner on a Huey in Vietnam. He was in 3 chopper crashes and received a Purple Heart, a U.S. military decoration awarded to members of the Armed Forces who have been wounded in action.(SVU: "Goliath")

Casey was attacked in the courtroom twice, once when she was held at gunpoint by a teenage white supremacist.(SVU: "Raw") The next occurrence was when she was choked by a woman feigning multiple personality disorder.(SVU: "Alternate")

Casey revealed in "Influence," that she was once engaged to a schizophrenic man, but he refused to take medication, and she eventually left him. The last time she'd heard, he was homeless. The topic was mentioned again in "Blinded", when Olivia Benson accused Casey of letting her guilt over the experience cloud her judgment regarding schizophrenic sex offender Saul Picard. In this episode, Jack McCoy learns that Casey's former fiancé, Charlie, attacked her when he was off his meds, and she used her job as an ADA to make sure no abuse charges were laid. She tells Olivia that six months before, Charlie was killed in an accident, carrying her business card in his pocket. She expresses guilt, wondering if he'd still be alive if she'd stayed with him. She is also a Catholic, as stated in the season 8 episode "Haystack."

She took great satisfaction in sending Robert Morten to ADX Florence, a super-maximum-security federal prison in Colorado where he would be cut off from human contact for the rest of his life, after he testified against his former lover. (SVU: "Svengali")

In the season 9 finale "Cold", her conduct during the trial of a police officer accused of raping two illegal immigrants leaves her facing a lengthy suspension. She was later present with the SVU detectives when Chester Lake was arrested after presumably killing a crooked cop and shared a shocked look when he was taken away. In the season ten episode "Confession", Novak's replacement ADA Kim Greylek asserted that Casey Novak was disbarred for her actions. It was later revealed that she was not disbarred; she only had her license suspended for three years. She returned to the DA's office, but her trustworthiness was challenged on her first case back as she needed a conviction to restore her reputation (SVU: "Reparations").

ADA Novak returned as a guest character in Season 12, and later recurring character, along with ADA Cabot, in Season 13. She was last seen as the lead prosecutor in "Valentine's Day", in which she goes up against Defense Attorney Marvin Exley, who is defending a woman who seems to have fabricated her own abduction and rape.

Although her departure was never explained or confirmed, it is likely that Novak retired from her job.

Trivia

  • She is currently the ADA with the second-longest tenure in the Law & Order franchise as a whole, with 113 episodes plus the episode of Law & Order: Trial by Jury in which she appeared.
  • Novak is a redhead, although she had her hair dyed strawberry blonde and blonde for some of her appearances.
  • She is Catholic.
  • Diane Neal remarked on Twitter that there was sexual tension between Casey and Detective Benson.
  • Novak's rank is stated as Senior ADA, just as Elliot's was stated to be a detective first grade. (SVU: "Haystack")
  • She lives on the Upper West Side.
  • She was once engaged to a man named Charlie, but the relationship ended when his schizophrenia got out of control, as she revealed to Benson in season 7. She tells Benson that the last she heard he was homeless, and that she regularly tries to find him. In season 9, Novak tells Benson that she was called to the morgue to identify a John Doe, who turned out to be Charlie.
  • Casey has been physically assaulted five times in the series. She was assaulted twice in the courtroom, and once in her office, and she was also choked by a suspect and held at gunpoint at separate times.
  • Novak has the highest conviction rate of any ADA in the Law & Order universe.
  • She is possibly of Slovak descent.
  • She was censured for violating the Brady Rules in "Cold".
  • Novak was born in September, as revealed in the season 5 episode "Mean", when she cites her birthstone as Sapphire.
  • Her father was a doorgunner in the Vietnam War, and once took down a Huey.
  • Her initial return was cemented by a conviction, albeit a rocky one.
  • As of season 13, her tension with Benson seems to have escalated. This was particularly evident through their fight in the first episode in which she appears; Novak scolded Benson for pushing a confession out of someone, while Benson replies that the DA's office has lost their nerve.

Appearances


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