Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Fairly Legal

Another quick ten minute take on something irrelevant so that I can avoid studying for the bar (I hate the bar exam today. Hate it. Hate everything. Blah.)

I watched Fairly Legal on Hulu the other day because, well, Sarah Shahi is hot. And it's set in San Francisco. And involves lawyers. I'm 2/3 of those things (okay, not quite, whatever. Suck it, bar exam.) (And I meant I'm from SF. I wish I was Sarah Shahi hot.)

The scene at the 21 minute mark? I happened to be running errands at City Hall that day, running late for an appointment and got stopped while they filmed it. I heard hot guy yell "Kaaattee!" and figured that must be that new USA show they are filming. Because it was originally named Facing Kate. (Yeah, the shit in my brain. I dunno.)

The scene where she's handcuffed to the bench? This is why you always carry a handcuff key. There ya go, that's my life advice. (Which I mentioned last night too. I have one on my key ring right now. So in the odd case where I get myself handcuffed I can uncuff myself and walk away. Ta-Da!)

Now my take on the show:

Why do they keep insisting she's "not a lawyer" and "mediators aren't lawyers"? Um, yeah, they usually are. You don't have to be, but the two job titles are not mutually exclusive. You can be a mediator AND a lawyer. In fact it's better to be both because then you can file important legal documents on behalf of the people you mediate for. What does her NOT being a lawyer accomplish? She has legal knowledge and knows how the law works so she's therefore ALWAYS a lawyer. That $150k in legal education? It's always in your brain. It doesn't go away. Trust. Does it just mean she doesn't pay her bar dues? That's kinda stupid. She should stay an actual lawyer to make appearances and such.

So what IS the difference with a mediator? Mostly it means she doesn't rep one party or the other. When you mediate a dispute, neither side is your client. And thus, neither side can avail themselves on atty-client privilege like they would if you were one's lawyer. Also: nothing that happens in mediation is binding. It's an agreement between the two sides. Courts can give weight to what was agreed but the two sides could come to an understanding and then still walk away from the table and change their minds. Fun!

Mediation is actually pretty awesome in practice (I took ADR and interned with an AMAZING divorce mediation attorney). It involves, from the mediators standpoint, figuring out what's REALLY going, what's really being fought about, and getting the sides to essentially talk it out. People are more likely to be bound by a decision that they helped craft than by the one that is being forced upon them by the trier of fact (fancy legal term for jury or judge). So they can do a lot of awesome things with mediation. Let's hope they do.

The first episode was filmed in SF but the rest is apparently getting the Canada treatment. I spotted Emporio Rulli in Union Square, City Hall, and even the hideous Hall of Justice. Name dropped: Gary Danko, Aqua, Boulevard. (Nom nom nom Gary Danko nom.)

USA has got to stop with the louboutins. Every female in their shows wears them. Piper Perabo's CIA agent is running through train stations in them. And now Shahi is. No one is running up hills in SF in 4" $800 heels. I don't care how fancy you are. Even Marina girls rock Tory Burch flats because they're just fucking practical. The illusions of TV: busted.

I wasn't that sold on the show. Yeah, she's hot and it's all wink wink nod nod and her ex husband is hot and the daddy issues but, I'm a cynic and it's all a little pat.

Though I wouldn't mind having my daddy owning a fancy law firm where I can half ass and cash checks and living on a boat in the Sausalito marina...

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