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Top 5 Legal Lies From 'HTGAWM' S1 E8 ('He Has a Wife')

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By Brett Snider, Esq. on November 14, 2014 10:26 AM

We'll give this week's "How To Get Away With Murder" credit, almost all flashbacks were to new scenes, not bonfire stock footage. But things are brewing for Sam and just about every female character as the lies continue to unravel.

#HTGAWM in 140 Characters: Wes learns dead girl was preggers, client drugged during nanny's murder, dad + son sleeping w/ nanny, Frank has a gf, no prenup for Michaela

Sure Sam was lying (duh), but how much of this episode consisted of legal lies? Check out these five:

1. Rebecca Is the Best Person to Collect Sam's DNA.

We understand that Detective Lahey isn't exactly working for the Philly PD anymore, and his motivations are more revenge-focused than justice-facing. But the episode heavily implies that using Rebecca to collect a DNA sample from Sam would be the easiest way to clear her name. Wrong. Plenty of legal investigations happen secretly, with warrants being issued without alerting the suspects under investigation. A judge could issue a warrant under seal for police to collect Sam's DNA without him being any the wiser.

2. There's Only One Treatment for Trichomoniasis.

OK, this isn't strictly a legal lie, just a convenient plot point. Tinidazole isn't the only treatment for trichomoniasis. The CDC also recommends metronidazole, but maybe they weren't premed majors like Michaela. Also, Annalise might have had an expert testify to the symptoms and treatment of trichomoniasis, since otherwise there is little foundation for her evidence. But why ruin another "Perry Mason" moment?

3. Prenups Are the Only Way to Protect Family Business.

This was definitely a rollercoaster week for Michaela, having to confront her future mother-in-law in an incredibly tense scene over a prenup. But a prenup isn't the only legal way to safeguard her fiance's family's business. If the business were held in trust, Michaela may not be entitled to any of it in the event of a divorce.

4. Only Questions During Cross-Exam.

Objection: Argumentative! While it is true that attorneys are generally prohibited from testifying while cross-examining a witness, they are allowed to ask leading questions, which can come pretty close. For example: "Attorneys are allowed to ask leading questions on cross-examination of a witness. Is that correct?" That's still technically a question, but sounds an awful lot like a statement.

5. The Keating Five Only Have to Worry About Annalise's Exam.

The Keating Five have bigger problems than their Crim Law exam -- like the three to four other exams in classes they've barely been attending: Torts, Civil Procedure, Contracts, Property, etc. And unless there's a coveted immunity trophy in those classes, they should really worry much more about failing the lion's share of their other classes.

Check back here next week as we take on more of the legal tall tales in "HTGAWM" Episode 9, "Kill Me, Kill Me, Kill Me"

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