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'The Good Wife': Good Law? Top 10 Legal Lessons From Season 5

By Brett Snider, Esq. on May 27, 2014 7:01 AM

After almost a year, Season 5 of "The Good Wife" has come to a close -- and so has FindLaw's legal reviews of each episode... until next season, of course.

Still, looking back on all the time we spent watching Alicia, Diane, Peter, and the recently departed Will, we may have actually learned something.

Press pause on your DVR and relive Season 5 with these 10 spoiler-filled legal lessons from "The Good Wife":

  1. Botched executions are a real issue. Season 5 began with "Everything Is Ending," an episode ripped from the actual botched execution of an Ohio man in 2009. Who knew that less than a year later, Oklahoma would be dealing with the same issue.
  2. The NSA was/is listening. From "The Bit Bucket" until "All Tapped Out," we were reminded that yes the NSA is listening, and it's mostly legal.
  3. T-Visas are tough to get. It may not be possible to get a temporary visa, even if you're the target of a gang retaliation -- and even with Florrick/Agos' help.
  4. Will DIED. Not really a legal lesson, but a reminder that even attorneys are at risk in criminal cases.
  5. Double juries are a thing. Yes they're rare, but two juries hearing the same case may actually happen.
  6. Wills can be written in magic marker. Holographic (i.e., handwritten) wills can still be valid, even if written with something silly like a marker.
  7. 'Nanny cams' are legal. You can use a nanny cam to catch your ex doing something incriminating, but it's more likely to be admissible evidence if it's video-only.
  8. You can't fire someone for running for office. It's typically not a good idea for employers to fire someone for participating in a protected political activity, like running for State's Attorney.
  9. Clients are entitled to case files. "The Good Wife" may have gotten this one wrong, but it's a tricky legal issue.
  10. Make sure your teleconference cameras are off. If you're involved in a teleconference, make sure you actually disconnect from the meeting before you go back to your regular business. It may be arguable whether anything said on camera can be used in court, but the damage will be done.

We now eagerly await Season 6, beginning with the formation of Florrick, Agos... and Lockhart?

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