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'The Good Wife': Good Law? - Season 6, Episode 7

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By Brett Snider, Esq. on November 03, 2014 10:16 AM

We're back in the courtroom this week in "The Good Wife," as there are a few more plot twists with Cary's criminal case.

In "Message Discipline," Alicia struggles with how her words can come across with a new potential political opponent (David Hyde Pierce), while Kalinda and others try to unravel the strange circumstances surrounding Cary and a bunch of missing cocaine.

Episode Recap (Spoiler Alert!):

Lest we think that Cary was in the clear once Alicia and pals finally bailed him out of jail, the State's Attorney comes up with a way to accuse him of making two kilos of cocaine disappear.

The Good Wife: Good Law?

Season 6, Episode 7
"Message Discipline"

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Apparently Cary used to work for the ASA, but he left under very mysterious circumstances. A little digging shows a connection to Bishop (he is a big-time drug dealer after all), but Kalinda manages to both text-flirt and solve the case. Too bad Castro is only worried about ruining Alicia's run for SA, and she's mainly worried about Niles from "Frasier" running against her.

Legal Roots:

Cocaine missing from state drug labs is sadly not all that uncommon. Government chemists are often accused of making illicit drugs vanish, which ultimately calls the lab's reliability into question and can compromise hundreds of cases. And sure enough, in "Message Discipline," a pressured chemist was to blame for the cocaine going missing.

Legal Fact:

Cary does have the right to a speedy trial under the Sixth Amendment, and this right is typically echoed in state constitutions. Practically speaking, this means that defendants have the right to have their trial commence within a certain time after being charged -- 60 days in this case -- and to conclude within a reasonable time as well.

Legal Fiction:

Since this speedy trial right is constitutionally guaranteed, it's somewhat laughable that Finn asks for an extension anyway. Defendants will often waive their constitutional right to a trial within a certain number of days as a way to give each side time to prepare, but the prosecution can't wrest that right away from the defendant.

Legal Babble:

Motion to quash: Seeking a way to save Cary, the defense subpoenas Peter to get him to testify to some ulterior motive for leaving the SA's office. But new attorney advisor Ramona Lytton (fired intern's mom) has a plan to quash the subpoena on relevance grounds. You can't simply subpoena people whom you want to grill on the stand, there needs to be some legal basis for their testimony being relevant. The judge bought that Peter's testimony wouldn't make it any more or less likely that Cary actually stole the cocaine.

The Verdict:

Most of "Message Discipline" was mired in Kalinda's investigation or Alicia's political maneuvering, both of which were great -- but not high on legal calories. Still, tons of great looking cookies. When's lunch?

What did you think of this week's episode of "The Good Wife"? Is the show guilty of making any legal mistakes? Check back here for more legal recaps of "The Good Wife," and send us a tweet at @FindLawConsumer with the hashtag #TheGoodWife.

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