'The Good Wife': Good Law? -- Season 7, Episode 15

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By Christopher Coble, Esq. on February 22, 2016 12:58 PM

You know what they say: Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they aren't after you. Seeing as how everyone is paranoid on the Good Wife these days, it could be they're after everybody.

Between FBI investigations, NSA eavesdroppers, and law firm maneuvering, no one appears safe, especially Alicia, the calm and sober center of the show's Venn diagram of intrigue. Who else has a bull's-eye on their back? Let's take a legal look at last night's episode, "Targets."

The Good Wife: Good Law?

Season 7, Episode 15
"Judged"

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  • Season 7, Episode 16 (Airs 3/6/2016)

Episode Recap (Spoiler Alert):

There's an FBI investigation closing in on Peter, although about what we don't know yet. And there's certainly something going on with the female partners at Lockhart, Agos and Lee, but what they're up to we also don't know yet.

So most of the legal action of this week's episode centers around Alicia's involvement on a panel convened to decide whether there is a legal justification to place an ISIS recruiter on a targeting kill list. The calculation is only muddied by the fact that the recruiter is an American.

Legal Roots:

The first question the panel faces is whether Massoud Tahan is an "enemy combatant." Alicia turns this question on its head by pointing out that Massoud has "purposefully and materially supported hostilities against the United States" as a recruiter; by providing "bodies for the bombs."

Federal law prohibits providing material support to terrorists, but, as an American citizen, Massoud (nee Lance Hopper) is entitled to due process. In this case, that process entails determining whether Massoud presents an imminent threat of attack on the United States. The panel votes that he is, and we learn later he was killed in a drone strike.

Legal Fiction:

While we'd like to believe that drone strikes on American citizens are fiction, it is all too factual. Not only may Americans find themselves in as innocent bystanders in drone attacks targeting terrorists, but a Department of Justice memo has laid out the legal justification for the United States killing Americans overseas if they pose an "imminent threat" to the country.

Legal Babble

Conflict of Interest: In a more entertaining side plot this week, our old friend Elsbeth Tascioni returns, along with her ex-husband Mike and Chihuahua Tommy. Eli wants Elsbeth to find out why the FBI is after Peter, but midway through her investigation she finds out she has a conflict of interest with another client. American Bar Association rules prohibit a lawyer from representing a client if "the representation of one client will be directly adverse to another client," or "there is a significant risk that the representation of one or more clients will be materially limited by the lawyer's responsibilities to another client."

Legal Verdict

"Do you think I drink too much?" Well, Alicia, you're an attorney, so chances are you're already drunk. So maybe having sex with Jason Crouse instead of downing that tequila is a good idea. And with only seven more episodes to sort out all this mess, we might need a drink, too. Cheers!

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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