Law School Has Spoiled My Ability to Enjoy Legal Drama on TV

Posted on February 23, 2014

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I watched a new show today, called Rake, on Hulu Plus. On one level, I’m enjoying it. The character interactions are fun and engaging, and the main character keeps getting into outrageous situations and worming his way out of them. He’s a delightful anti-hero, who keeps doing the right thing for the wrong reason.

Rake (2013) Poster

But the writing on the legal portions of the show is pathetic, from a legal standpoint. He’s cross examining a police officer in front of a jury, for example, and while it starts off well enough, he deviates from anything resembling proper leading of a witness on cross-examination and starts ranting at him with speculation. You just don’t do that.

In another episode, he’s defending a man before the court on charges of bigamy. The defendant refuses to plead guilty because he thinks the law is ridiculous. Believable so far. So they have the trial THE SAME DAY.

That just doesn’t happen. Not in Arizona, and I really doubt California is much different. You SCHEDULE the trial.

“The Millstones of Justice turn exceedingly slow, but grind exceedingly fine.”
~John Bannister Gibson (1780-1853), American jurist, Pennsylvania Supreme Court.

Yes, I realize they’re trying to keep episodes neat and tidy. But to do that, you need something else to be the main storyline of an episode, if subplots require the whole episode be in a short time frame. Not the cases.

At least I know I’m learning something in Law School!

 

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