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'The Good Wife': Good Law? -- Season 7, Episode 14

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By Christopher Coble, Esq. on February 16, 2016 10:00 AM

They say you can't go home again. They also say there are no second acts in American lives. But Alicia might just prove them wrong.

She returns to Lockhart, Agos and Lee with Lucca in tow, and wastes no time bringing in a new client and butting heads with Diane. Here's a look at the legal aspects of last night's episode, "Monday."

The Good Wife: Good Law?

Season 7, Episode 14
"Monday"

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  • Season 7, Episode 15 (Airs 2/21/2016)

Episode Recap (Spoiler Alert):

When Howell, the firm's IT specialist, finds a Chumhum prototype at a tech convention, he turns to Alicia and Lucca for help brokering the sale to a tech blog. Little did he know how hard Chumhum would come after the device, including using their own FBI-backed taskforce.

And even with Ruth Eastman's warning, little did Eli know how hard someone would be gunning for Peter after his failed bid for the presidency. Someone also using the "full force of the Department of Justice and the FBI."

While it's obvious that Chumhum CEO Neil Gross is after his prototype tablet, who's gunning for Peter, and perhaps catching Alicia in the crossfire?

Legal Roots:

We've all yelled "finders keepers" at some point in our lives, but unfortunately, that's not exactly how the law works. Many states have statutes requiring finders of lost property to take reasonable steps to return that property. And finders of tech gadget prototypes have been charged under such statutes.

Legal Fiction:

"This court therefore considers this defendant a journalist. Go free and go crazy, Mr. Howell." This might be a bit of a stretch. Some courts don't consider bloggers to be journalists in defamation cases. Ruling that a few tweets make a law firm employee a journalist in a criminal case is highly unlikely. Even then, the ruling would probably only protect Howell from revealing the source of the device, not from the crime itself of keeping it.

Legal Babble

Constructive Notice: This is probably one of those terms that only makes sense to lawyers (and not to all of us). In the episode, Howell is required to give Chumhum constructive notice that he has the prototype tablet. But constructive notice doesn't quite mean actual notice - it only refers to information a party should have known. And because Chumhum should've known it's gadget was missing (after all, they were on their way to Chicago with the feds), Lucca probably exceeded her duty by calling Chumhum customer service and reporting the found tablet.

Legal Verdict

"Cash out while you still can." An ominous warning from Ruth Eastman, and her concern seems well founded. What was supposed to be a soft landing back at the firm as anything but, and if indications of a federal investigation are to be believed, things will only get rougher for Alicia over the final few episodes.

We may be gearing up for a hard goodbye.

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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