Are you a legal professional? Visit our professional site

'The Good Wife': Good Law? -- Season 7, Episode 16

Article Placeholder Image
By Christopher Coble, Esq. on March 07, 2016 10:59 AM

Welcome back to The Good Wife, where nobody wears any clothes anymore, apparently.

Just kidding. Although we were treated to an extended opening featuring the mostly naked new Alicia-Jason affair (complete with roaring lions in the background), eventually everyone got dressed and went to court. Here's your legal need-to-know from last night's episode, "Hearing."

The Good Wife: Good Law?

Season 7, Episode 16
"Hearing"

Legal References:


More Legal Analysis of CBS' "The Good Wife":

Prior Post in This Series:

Next Post in This Series:

  • Season 7, Episode 17 (Airs 3/20/2016)

Episode Recap (Spoiler Alert):

So we're finally getting some more light shone on the two most intriguing plot lines of the season: What's this grand jury investigation all about? And what's Diane's plan for the firm? Eli has been working feverishly to figure out who is coming after Peter, for what, and why. And due to some slightly unethical sleuthing, he seems to be narrowing in on an old murder case from Peter's time as the State Attorney.

And Diane finally admits that, while not pushing for an all-female firm, she may want an all-named-partners-are-female firm. Which could be very good news for Alicia, and very bad news for Cary and David Lee.

Legal Roots:

Just about every state and the federal government use grand juries as a central part of criminal prosecutions. As opposed to a trial jury, a grand jury is a panel of citizens that convenes to decide whether prosecutors have sufficient evidence to proceed with the prosecution and in some cases can recommend or strike criminal charges. At the end of the proceedings, the grand jury will vote whether or not to indict a criminal defendant; if so, the case proceeds to trial.

Legal Fiction:

As Alicia helpfully points out, grand jury proceedings are secret, and witnesses subpoenaed to testify before the grand jury may not listen to other witness' testimony. We doubt, however, that she, Eli, and Peter's attorney Mike Tascioni would be so cavalier with their ethical obligations to resort to Eli eavesdropping on the testimony from the handicapped bathroom.

Legal Babble

"Illinois is a two-party state." The investment swindler who took $100,000 from Alicia's mom and came back for $90,000 more is referring to the Illinois law that requires every party to a conversation to consent to have that conversation recorded. Because Alicia's mother and brother recorded their conversation without his consent, the recording is inadmissible in court. Good thing Jason Crouse is ominously uninterested in using the recording in court.

Legal Verdict

Even this close to the finish line, there's no telling how things will end for Alicia. She seems as close to leaving her legal career altogether as she is to having her name back on the letterhead of one of the biggest firms in town. And with her confusing Will and Jason's names, she's as close to leaving Peter as she ever has been. And with only six more episodes to sort it out, this is shaping up to be one hell of a stretch run for the show.

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.

Related Resources: