anotherlongshot (anotherlongshot) wrote,
anotherlongshot
anotherlongshot

Do NOT watch Suits if you're a lawyer.

I just watched the latest episode of Suits and it annoyed me enough to write this (obviously, entry contains spoilers).

I'm more and more convinced that Suits should not be watched by people with a legal background and/or have worked as lawyers before. Apart from how I'm having grave difficulties getting past the fact that a powerful, influential and successful lawyer knowingly hired some apparent genius with zero legal training and lets him argue cases in court, AND subsequently discloses this fact to his managing partner, who goes along with it, AND nothing is done by either party and certainly not the unqualified and unlicenced "lawyer" in question to rectify the situation, the numerous breach of professional ethics in the latest episode (along with many others throughout the entire series) really destroyed my enjoyment of what once was an entertaining, fun show.

The background: Harvey and Mike take on a hit-and-run case. Client tells them that he wasn't under the influence of alcohol when the accident happened. The victim dies. Later, Harvey and Mike discover that the victim was escaping a crime scene when he got hit by Client, which means that Client doesn't have to go to jail. They agree with the Prosecution to give him certain number of community service and a fine. Mike visits the victim's family and offers compensation. Victim's family tells Mike that all they want is $20,000. Mike offers them $100,000 (the highest he's allowed to offer). Family accepts. Later, Client confesses to Mike that he was high when he drove the car. Mike then goes to the DA to tell her that Client was high with the aim of getting his Client a harsher sentence (i.e. jail). DA does nothing with the information and Mike gets angry and starts yelling at her about right and wrong. Meanwhile, Harvey hires DA as a fifth-year associate in order to get her to keep her mouth shut about Mike's antics. Mike finds out about Harvey's bribery and yells at him about right and wrong. In the midst of all this, Mike pays a visit to the lawyer who represented the drunk driver that killed his family and berates him about what a "piece of shit" he is.

Here are all the things that were wrong with this episode:

1. Mike was not acting in the client's interests when he offered the victim's family $100,000 when they asked for $20,000. Any lawyer that does this is not worthy of a practising certificate.

2. Mike broke attorney-client privilege when he told the DA about his client's confession, one of the most serious ethical breaches of conduct that a lawyer could commit...and he had the cheek to whine about right and wrong?

3. Mike's visit to the lawyer was one of the most ridiculous scenes that I've ever seen on TV, and not to mention it was offensive as well. First, the lawyer was just doing his job. Someone has to represent the drunk drivers and the criminals. A lawyer who does not believe in the concept of legal representation for everyone should not be a lawyer and should perhaps become a police officer instead, because he clearly has no concept of what the rule of law and due process entail. In the same vein, blaming the lawyers that represent the unsavoury characters of society for doing their jobs reveals an extremely ignorant point of view, and it PISSES ME OFF to no end that this show had the lawyer saying something stupid like, "Just because I don't remember you doesn't mean that I don't feel sorry for what I did to you." Excuse me? How was it fair or right to imply that it was wrong for the lawyer to have done his job?

4. Harvey's bribing of the DA, and all the shit he does to protect Mike's cover (and his own ass, of course), are stretching my power of suspension of disbelief to its very limits. But this is the central problem with the show: its central premise. It started off with Harvey hiring an unqualified boy genius as his new associate and in keeping to this storyline, the characters suffer as a result: they do things that beggar belief, that increasingly become unbelievable. All this could have been avoided if the show had Mike make some effort to get a law degree before Harvey sent him off to court.

5. Mike rants about right and wrong while practising law without a licence or a law degree. Sure, it's not as immoral as a guy getting away with hit and run or sleeping with a married woman; but what is the use of having principles if one doesn't stick to them? The lawyer doesn't get to decide, based on his personal situation or beliefs, what should happen to the client. He acts in his client's best interest at all times, and when he finds himself in a situation where he can't do so anymore, he takes his fucking ass off the case. He is an advocate. He is not a judge.

I get that this is a TV show and that TV shows aren't realistic portrayals of real life. I get it. That is also why I said that this show shouldn't be watched by lawyers who are serious about the ethical implications of their profession, because the unethical behaviour in this show would drive them (me, us, whatever) crazy. Granted, Mike was going through some emo crap in this episode, but the horrible writing did nothing to evoke sympathy in me for him. He just came across as whiny and petulant and hypocritical (not to mention that scene when he confronts the hit-and-run lawyer was so random and made the episode so disjointed).

Unfortunately, I will keep watching this show for now. The truth is, Harvey Specter is too gorgeous for me to stop. Dammit.

*

In other news, I spent my Saturday afternoon in the library today. I intended to finish reading the rest of the abortion cases. I failed. I read the first 50 pages of the Planned Parenthood case and I have 40 more to go. Whoopee! Dr K warned us about getting too caught up in the details and spending too much time on the cases, and said that we should only read the important stuff (i.e. the court's reasoning), but I've always had a lousy filter for these things. The fact that the subject matter is so interesting doesn't help me very much in this department either.

I bought this pre-steamed salmon from Sainsbury since I'm currently not allowed to use the hob in my room (there's always SOME problem or other with my accommodation - bleah) and I felt like eating fish, and I was pleasantly surprised by how yummy it was. I don't mind buying it again.

Lastly, Roger was supreme against Tomic this morning. I haven't seen him play this well since Wimbledon. He had to defend a lot in the second set when Tomic was in the zone and played brilliantly, and he moved so well and defended so well; he barely made any unforced errors and won all the longer rallies. His forehand was especially lethal today. He continues to amaze me with his sheer greatness when he continues to beat, in straight sets, opponents who are ten years younger than him.

It's obvious why I idolise him, really: He's the embodiment of excellence. That's the only standard worth aspiring to.
Tags: australian open, legal profession, llm, roger federer, suits, tv shows
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