opening screenshot of Public Defender Shiela Gardiner, as played by Gail Strickland.
|Public Defender, Manhattan Municipal Court, NYC|
|Appeared in the series' pilot; was replaced by Liz Williams for the duration of the first season|
|Appeared on:||Night Court|
|series pilot ("All You Need Is Love", Season 1)|
|Played by:||Gail Strickland|
Sheila Gardiner was the public defender at the Manhattan Criminal Court in "All You Need Is Love", the pilot episode of Night Court. The part of Sheila was played in the episode by Gail Strickland. She was replaced by Public Defender Liz Williams (Paula Kelly) for the remainder of Season 1.
In the series' pilot episode, Sheila and and Dan, along with Lana Wagner, the court clerk, questioned the selection of Harry as their court's new judge, until he was able to solve a dispute between a married couple who were brought into his courtroom, as he was able to get them to reconcile and win she and the other co-workers over. Sheila was perhaps intended by the producers to be a combative female professional foil to Dan Fielding; some of the elements of their interaction, an apparent air of possible friction between each other were perhaps incorporated in the relationship between Dan and future public defender Christine Sullivan, the role which Markie Post would assume first early in season 2 in a guest appearance, then on a permanent basis in Season 3.