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'How To Get Away With Murder' Review: Season 1, Episode 6

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By Mark Wilson, Esq. on October 31, 2014 10:40 AM

Last week, "HTGAWM" taught us all about jury selection, jury tampering, and jury nullification. This week, we left the juries behind to get a crash course in appellate litigation and what Wait List Wes looks like just after he's showered. So, you know, the important things. (As always: Spoiler alert!)

Instead of a trial, this week, the Keating Five -- which sounds like a group of people being prosecuted for taking bribes (because they were) -- handled an appeal. (Or is it a habeas petition? Eh, it's all the same, right?) It's up to the gang to set a convicted murderer free.

Appeals Are Like Trials, but With More Judges, Right?

Normally, I wouldn't quibble about procedure in this histrionic environment, but appellate litigation is my wheelhouse. Not only doesn't the client appear at oral arguments, but there are no more witnesses. Anyway, it turns out the client was wrongly convicted of murder after a judge -- "OITNB" Guard's father, no less! -- allowed a state senator to commit perjury because a lucrative housing development was at stake.

This is as close as we've gotten to an episode of "Scooby Doo." (The only thing missing is Velma taking off the state senator's monster mask.) The state supreme court makes its ruling right there, and decides not to order a new trial, but because the key witness lied, they release the client and declare that he won't be tried again. Something about double jeopardy? I've long ago stopped expecting anything approaching real legal scenarios.

This Week's Ethics Violation Brought to You by Microsoft Surface

After Wes tries to extort Prof. Keating into finding Rebecca (Goth Girl), Keating has the dead girl's boyfriend framed for the murder by planting the cell phone (you know, the Penis Phone) on him. Rebecca's no longer suspected, so she can come back. Everything's cool, right?

Turns out that Officer Lahey was watching -- possibly lurking -- nearby the entire time (and he helpfully reviewed the photos for us on his Microsoft Surface, the official tablet computer of Professional Responsibility).

Episode Superlatives

Best Quote: "It's not just white people who go to Kennebunkport."

Sexiest Scene: Gotcha -- no one so much as kissed anybody else in this episode! The closest we got was seeing Wes in a towel. What gives, Shonda? Where's my sexy sex?

Most Matlockian Scene: Keating makes what we in the business call a "Matlock" motion to accuse the state senator of murder while he's on the witness stand. Apparently the court granted the motion. Plus, she added some extra yelling, which is usually encouraged.

Most WTF Scenario: There's no better way to get a guy off death row than by assigning his case to a bunch of law students who have never done an appeal before. Also, they get only three days to prepare for oral argument and there's no briefing. I agree that all appeals should be like "Top Chef."

What did you think of Epsiode 6? Let us know via Twitter (@FindLawLP) or Facebook (FindLaw for Legal Professionals).

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