Meet Y&R's Newest Legal Eagle!

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THE YOUNG & THE RESTLESS' Sharon just may have a chance of staying out of jail -- in the form of her new attorney, Avery Bailey Clark, who's being played by daytime vet Jessica Collins (Dinah Lee, LOVING.) "I was always open to returning to daytime," the actress tells Soaps In Depth. "But it had to be for the right role. This one happened really quickly. Y&R called me and I read the part and I was interested in the character immediately. The timing was right. I felt this was a good fit for me."

Collins, who is on contract with the soap, had only taped about four episodes when she spoke to us, so she's still learning about Avery. We asked if she might be related to Matt Clark, the former Y&R bad boy, played by Eddie Cibrian, who raped Sharon. (Viewers were recently reminded of Matt in the July 4th Sharon-centric episode.) "That's the first I've heard of that," chuckles Collins about a Matt/Avery connection. I don't know much Eddie and I look alike but that's never stopped anything in daytime!"

Any familial dynamics Avery may -- or may not -- have will unfold over time. Meanwhile, there's a more pressing question: will Avery get Sharon's guilty verdict reversed? Collins hopes so. "These are the types of cases -- no pun intended -- that Avery lives for. She's dedicated her life to righting the wrongs of the system. She's started up an Innocence Project. She's not in it for the money. She's not a glamorous lawyer. She's a bit on the clunky side. I describe her more as a 'broad' than a lady."

Watch for Collins to make her Y&R debut on Wednesday, July 27.

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