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October 2014 Archives

Top 5 Legal Lies From 'HTGAWM' S1 E6 ('Freakin' Whack-a-Mole')

"How To Get Away With Murder" keeps ramping up the intensity, but is it losing touch with that other thing... you know... the law? We'll run down the top five flat-out legal lies in Episode 6, "Freakin' Whack-a-Mole," but first: a tweetable recap for anyone who missed the latest installment.

#HTGAWM in 140 Characters: Wes extorts Annalise to help drug girl. Death penalty habeas appeal. Asher gets trophy by selling out judge dad and sleeps w/ frosty Bonnie.

And while Viola Davis really can't be wrong in her dramatic scenelets, here are some of the legal loose ends:

Suge Knight, Katt Williams Arrested; Felony Robbery Alleged

Hip-hop mogul Suge Knight and comedian Katt Williams were arrested this week in connection with an alleged theft of a photographer's camera in Beverly Hills earlier this year.

Knight was arrested in Las Vegas and Williams was arrested while appearing in a California court for a prior assault charge, reports the Los Angeles Times. Both were charged with a single count of second degree robbery, a felony.

What are the pair accused of doing, and why could Knight be facing substantially harsher penalties than Williams if the pair are convicted?

Jane Lynch's Divorce Finalized: $1.2M to Ex-Wife

"Glee" star Jane Lynch has finalized her divorce, and she's agreed to give $1.2 million to her ex-wife to call it quits.

Dr. Lara Embry, Lynch's ex-wife, finalized the divorce settlement with her famous ex-spouse on Monday, but she won't be walking away empty-handed. TMZ reports that among other things, Embry will be receiving half of several bank accounts, retirement funds, royalties from Lynch's television appearances, and half of their tax refund.

What can future divorcees learn from Jane Lynch's split?

Former WWE Wrestler Claims Bloody Match Gave Him Hepatitis

A former professional wrestler has filed a class action lawsuit against World Wrestling Entertainment claiming that he contracted Hepatitis C during one of the bloody wrestling matches he took part in.

Billy Jack Haynes wrestled for the WWE (then known as the WWF) from 1986 to 1988. In addition to his Hepatitis C claim, Haynes' lawsuit also claims that the organization failed to warn wrestlers about the long-term health risks associated with concussions and encouraged wrestlers to use steroids and cocaine, reports TMZ.

What sort of health problems does Haynes' suit claim wrestlers may suffer, even long after their wrestling days are done?

'Honey Boo Boo' Can Be Around Convicted Child Molester: Cops

Reality TV star "Honey Boo Boo" can legally be in the same home as a convicted child molester, even though the man allegedly molested her older sister more than a decade ago.

Mark McDaniel, the new beau of "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo" matriarch Mama June (aka June Shannon), was released from prison in March after serving 10 years for aggravated child molestation. According to Radar Online, McDaniel was arrested for forcing sexual contact on Anna Marie Shannon, the then 8-year-old daughter of Mama June, and was the subject of several molestation charges before accepting a plea deal.

Considering those facts, how is McDaniel still allowed to be near Alana "Honey Boo Boo" Thompson, who's only 9?

'The Good Wife': Good Law? - Season 6, Episode 6

As Alicia Florrick's campaign for state's attorney starts picking up speed, last night's episode, entitled "Old Spice," finds her having to confront her spirituality, or lack thereof.

While Alicia attempts to find a more palatable way to frame her previously stated atheistic views, this episode focuses on the long-simmering mutual admiration between newly returned Elsbeth Tascioni and Assistant U.S. Attorney Josh Perroti, played by the suitably smarmy Kyle MacLachlan.

Top 5 Legal Lies From 'HTGAWM' S1 E5 ('We're Not Friends')

What happened last night on "How To Get Away With Murder"? Before we get to our list of the Top 5 legal inaccuracies in Episode 5, "We're Not Friends," here's a super-concise, tweetable recap:

#HTGAWM in 140 Characters: Son kills DV cop dad. Jury selection, then tampering, then nullification. Annalise confronts husband; did he kill Lila? The wallpaper!

As with many courtroom procedurals, this episode gets some of those procedures wrong:

NBCUniversal OKs $6.4M Settlement With Unpaid Interns

NBCUniversal has agreed to settle claims brought by former interns who claimed they were required to work without pay on shows such as "Saturday Night Live" in violation of labor laws.

If approved, the $6.4 million settlement will pay the lead plaintiff, former "Saturday Night Live" intern Monet Eliastam, $10,000, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Thousands of other former NBC interns covered by the settlement will be paid an estimated $505 if they decide to opt for the settlement instead of pursuing their own claims against the company.

What led up to the settlement?

'Goodfellas' Actor's Lawsuit: 'The Simpsons' Stole My Likeness

The Springfield Mafia has found itself at the center of a lot of questionable enterprises: Murdering Principal Skinner (though it turns out he was just trapped in his garage under a pile of newspapers for a week), forcibly ousting Marge's competition when she opened a pretzel business, and selling rat milk to Springfield Elementary.

Now, though, "Louie," one of the henchmen -- excuse me, members -- of Springfield's Legitimate Businessman's Social Club, is at the center of a real-world legal battle that has little to do with the perfect Manhattan.

Kesha, Dr. Luke's Lawsuit, and the Chicken-Sticker Process Server

The latest twist in pop singer Kesha's ongoing legal battle with producer Dr. Luke (aka Lukasz Gottwald) -- stemming from the singer's accusations that the prominent producer sexually and physically abused her -- is a lawsuit filed by Dr. Luke claiming that Kesha's lawsuit is an attempt to extort him and get out of her contract.

In any civil lawsuit, the defendant must be notified by service of process, which lets the defendant know where and by whom he or she has been sued and the time limit in which the defendant must respond. In this case, the person tasked with serving Kesha with notice of Dr. Luke's lawsuit got a bit creative, posting the notice to the door of Kesha's Los Angeles home using a rainbow sticker label from a package of organic chicken, TMZ reports.

While it's a nice touch, is this stickered notice legally sufficient as service of process?

'The Good Wife': Good Law? - Season 6, Episode 5

With Alicia's painstaking back-and-forth regarding whether or not to run for state's attorney finally decided, "Shiny Objects" should feel like a payoff episode.

Unfortunately, the episode spends much of its time dabbling in uncharacteristically low-grade courtroom drama before being rescued by some last-minute fireworks courtesy of Juliana Margulies' Alicia and her estranged husband Peter, played by Chris Noth.

Top 5 Legal Lies From 'HTGAWM' S1 E4 ('Let's Get to Scooping')

There are plenty of lies that fly back and forth between the characters on ABC's "How To Get Away With Murder," but sometimes the legal lies get overshadowed by the deceitful ones.

Episode 4 focused on a more white-collar criminal issue -- insider trading -- but much of the legal facts were swapped out for plot-convenient lies. Plainly put, "Let's Get to Scooping" was trading in legal B.S. for much of the episode.

But which five of the legal lies from this "HTGAWM" episode were the most glaring? Here are our picks -- but first, our episode recap in 140 characters or less:

'RHONJ's' Joe Giudice Takes Fraud Plea, May Face Deportation

Joe Giudice, who you may know as Teresa Giudice's husband from "The Real Housewives of New Jersey," took a plea deal on Wednesday and may face deportation for yet another fraud case.

Joe would hate to one-up his wife in the criminal department, but it turns out he had a charge for driver's license fraud pending while the two were dealing with charges for mortgage fraud. TMZ reports that Joe was initially threatened with a 10-year prison sentence for the driver's license fraud, but he copped a plea to serve an 18-month sentence concurrently with his 41 months in prison on other charges.

He may not be receiving any additional prison time, but what could Joe's plea mean for his potential deportation?

Uma Thurman Sued by Ex-Fiance Over Custody of Daughter

Uma Thurman's former fiance Arpad Busson has filed suit for custody of the couple's 2-year old daughter.

Busson, a French financier, and Thurman, an actress known for her roles in "Pulp Fiction" and "Kill Bill," called off their wedding in April, reports the New York Daily News. Now Busson has filed papers in a New York court seeking custody of the couple's daughter Rosalind.

Although the records in this case are sealed, how is child custody between unmarried parents generally determined?

Ex-'Wendy Williams Show' Intern Sues, Alleging Wage Violations

A former intern with "The Wendy Williams Show" is suing the production company Lionsgate over the fact that he and others should have been paid for their work.

Anthony Tart, in a potential class action filed in federal court, claims that he spent his unpaid internship doing menial tasks like washing dishes and taking out the trash. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Tart's proposed class action would encompass only those "former and current interns" on Wendy Williams' show, which he estimates at about 100 interns.

Will Tart succeed in getting Lionsgate to pay up?

'The Good Wife': Good Law? - Season 6, Episode 4

"The Good Wife" is now in its sixth season, so it wouldn't have been surprising if it had taken its latest episode "Oppo Research" as a chance for a clip show.

But not so. Instead we are treated to a slightly new way to retread old paths, old characters, and old relationships. Too bad the law had very little to do with it.

'HTGAWM' Law Review: 'Smile, or Go to Jail' (S01E03)

Have you been watching ABC's "How To Get Away With Murder"? The latest episode of Shonda Rhimes' new hit drama introduced us to the (fake) law school's (fake) law journal, the Middleton Law Review. So we decided to co-opt the name for our inaugural review of the show that Viola Davis tries so hard to make work.

The first season's third offering, "Smile, or Go to Jail," can't seem to decide whether it's a procedural or a long-form mystery, and we have some outside advice for each member of Annalise's team about their roles in this drama.

But first, a spoiler-laden plot synopsis:

Lawsuit Against Tyler Perry Over Army Base Is Premature: Court

Comedian and filmmaker Tyler Perry is embroiled in a legal fight to build a movie studio on an old Atlanta Army base, but a federal court has ruled the latest lawsuit was premature.

Fort McPherson, a 488-acre property once used by the U.S. Army for something other than making "Madea" movies, was eyed by Ubiquitous Entertainment Studios as the new site of a "movie studio entertainment complex." According to The Hollywood Reporter, Tyler Perry then swooped in and negotiated with Atlanta city officials to purchase the base for $33 million, prompting Ubiquitous to sue... well, everybody.

So what's the latest in this Tyler Perry/Army base/movie studio drama?

5 Restraining Order Lessons From 'Modern Family's' Sarah Hyland

"Modern Family" star Sarah Hyland was granted a restraining order against her ex-boyfriend actor Matt Prokop in Los Angeles Superior Court last week.

The 23-year-old actress requested the order, which was not contested by Prokop, after claiming that Prokop was abusive during their relationship which ended in August, reports The Associated Press.

What do you need to know about getting a restraining order like the one granted Hyland? Here are five lessons:

Paula Patton Files for Divorce From Robin Thicke

After eight months of separation, Paula Patton has filed papers in a Los Angeles court to divorce husband Robin Thicke.

Patton, an actress, and "Blurred Lines" singer Thicke have been married since 2005 and have a 4-year-old son together, reports CNN. Following the announcement earlier this year that the two had separated, Thicke has made a sometimes-uncomfortably public push to get back together with Patton, including releasing an album titled "Paula" dedicated to his wife.

Now that Thicke and Patton's marriage appears to be over, what legal issues may arise in what's sure to be a much-publicized divorce?

'Real Housewives' Star Teresa Giudice Didn't Know Plea Meant Prison

"Real Housewives of New Jersey" star Teresa Giudice is having second thoughts about her guilty plea now that she's facing prison time.

It seems strange, but several months after Teresa and Joe Giudice pleaded guilty to bankruptcy fraud, Teresa is ready for a do-over. According to E! News, the reality show mother and wife told Bravo's Andy Cohen that she "didn't understand" the part of her plea agreement where she'd be sent to prison.

What exactly didn't Teresa understand?

'The Good Wife': Good Law? - Season 6, Episode 3

In this season's third episode, "The Good Wife" continues to juggle multiple storylines but finds time to showcase some solid legal drama.

As the episode's title suggests, "Dear God" also features a new, spiritual twist to the typical courtroom setting, portraying a slightly dramatized version of an increasingly common real-world form of dispute resolution.

'Real Housewives' Stars Joe, Teresa Giudice Sentenced to Prison

Joe and Teresa Giudice, stars of the reality TV series "Real Housewives of New Jersey," were both sentenced to federal prison Thursday, though they won't be imprisoned at the same time.

Joe Giudice was sentenced to 41 months behind bars and ordered to pay $414,000 in restitution, reports New York's WCBS-TV. Giudice may also face deportation at the end of his prison term; although Giudice has lived in the United States since he was a child, he was born in Italy and was never granted U.S. citizenship.

What earned Giudice a trip to the penitentiary, and how much time is his real housewife facing for her role in the couple's crimes?

Walmart Claims Tracy Morgan at Fault for Crash Injuries

Tracy Morgan is a bit perturbed that Walmart is blaming him for injuries he incurred in a crash with a Walmart truck.

The "30 Rock" actor said that he "can't believe Walmart is blaming me for an accident they caused," reports CNN. This claim comes a few months after Morgan sued the retail giant for negligence.

How could Walmart pin responsibility for Morgan's injuries on him?

'NCIS' Wrongful Death Lawsuit Costs CBS $10.4M in Damages

CBS will have to shell out $10.4 million in damages to the family of a security guard who was killed on the set of "NCIS" in 2011.

Julio Villamariona, 52, was the subject of a wrongful death suit against CBS after he was struck and killed by a van carrying "NCIS" crewmembers. The Hollywood Reporter notes that the driver of the van had "a medical emergency" before losing control and plowing into Villamariona -- a crash which led to his death.

How was it that CBS was found liable for Villamariona's death?