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The First Thing Olivia Benson Said to Casey Novak on SVU Was Bitingly Shady

At first, Benson was not happy about Novak becoming the SVU's go-to ADA. 

By Christopher Rosa

Casey Novak (Diane Neal) was a beloved ADA who appeared on Law & Order: SVU from Seasons 5-9. Known for her compassionate nature to victims yet no-nonsense attitude to perps, she was well-liked by Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay), who employs a similar dynamic in her work. By the end of Novak's time with the Manhattan SVU, she and Benson had become friends as well as respected colleagues

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But you wouldn't have known this from Novak's first appearance on SVU. You see, Novak was Alex Cabot's (Stephanie March) immediate ADA replacement on the show, and she and Benson were also tight. So you can imagine Benson's hesitance meeting her. After all, she had some pretty big, incredible shoes to fill. 

Benson, being the realest human to ever exist, didn't hide her apprehension about Novak in their first encounter. Knowing how well they ultimately got along, in hindsight Benson's bitingly shady first words to her are pretty funny. 

RELATED: Everything We Know About Tony Goldwyn’s New Law & Order DA, Nicholas Baxter

Benson and Novak's shady first encounter on Law & Order: SVU

Novak didn't get off on good footing during her first SVU appearance (Season 5, Episode 5: "Serenity"), when she crashed Benson and Stabler's (Christopher Meloni) crime scene and started giving her two-cents. Cabot usually kept her distance when Benson and Stabler were on the job, so Novak's approach was definitely jarring, even for viewers. 

"What are these?" Benson asked a woman at the crime scene, holding up a tiny bottle. That's when Novak came barreling in, unannounced, and said, "Looks like pharmaceuticals to me. It's in the warrant. Bag it." 

Benson, aghast at this seemingly-random person infiltrating her and Stabler's crime scene, balked, "Who the hell are you?" And just like that, we have some classic Benson shade. 

Diane Neal as Casey Novak in "Law And Order"

Watch how the rest of the scene goes down in the video, below. Start around the 1:46 mark: 

RELATED: Why Did Assistant District Attorney Rafael Barba Leave Law & Order: SVU?

Novak's run as SVU's full-time ADA ended in Season 9, Episode 19 ("Cold"). She was forced to leave the unit after she made some questionable decisions.  After a police officer became the main suspect in an assault and murder case, Novak got into some legal mess. She bent the rules in her attempt to convict the officer responsible, which got her suspended for three years. That said, Novak made memorable returns in Seasons 12 and 13 once she was able to practice law again.