Month: December 2015

‘Oh, Really?’ It’s tough to ‘Get away with murder’

  In ‘Oh, Really?’ the Biederman Blog’s editors and alumni— voracious consumers of all matters pop culture — cast a curious, skeptical, fun and smart end-of-the-week eye on popular productions, sharing their keen observations about legal matters these raise. This guest post was contributed by Sherrie Fields, a former editor of the blog and new member of the California Bar. How To Get Away With Murder is the latest prime time hit to be produced by television titan Shondra Rhimes’ and it has fast become a Thursday night staple following Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal.  Similar to Rhimes’ other shows, Murder is chalk full of drama, suspense, love triangles, and sex. Viola Davis portrays Annalise Keating, an emotionally messy and conflicted but cunning lawyer, a role for which she won Best Actress at the most recent Emmy awards. In between the steamy sex scenes, Keating finds time to teach a course on criminal law, while running a highly successful criminal defense practice. Five of her students have earned coveted internships with her law firm and must assist Keating in representing clients in each episode, in which they invariably find themselves in precarious and scandalous situations. While the television series is highly entertaining, as a recent Southwestern Law School graduate,  some aspects of the show require suspending  knowledge of a true first-year law school experience. Do any 1L’s lead lives with this much drama?...

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By golly, how did Gollum get into Turkish court?

Entertainment Law practitioners in the United States don’t all that often see their clients involved in libel cases involving the nation’s top political leaders, thanks to decisions like New York Times v Sullivan. The absence, thankfully, of official libel laws also makes it all but unheard of for American political leaders to pursue legal actions with officials receiving great reputational protection. And for those who love and make movies, it’s also rare on this side of the pond to need to ponder whether certain cinematic characters ought to wear the proverbial black or white hats. So let’s keep to a minimum the curious consideration under way in Turkish courts: Is the slimy character Gollum from the mega-hit Hobbit movies a bad or good guy and does a village doctor deserve prison time under Turkey’s laws for allegedly insulting that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan by posting images of him alongside the fictional ring-snatcher from JRR Tolkien’s fantasy novels? The issue perplexed a local magistrate sufficiently that he’s called in an array of experts to advise. Famous film director Peter Jackson also has weighed in, decrying the prosecution. OK, here’s where we slip on that magic jewelry and slip away...

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Thanks, ABA Journal for a 3rd honor!

We’re honored and grateful. The ABA Journal, the flagship magazine and online information site for the American Bar Association, has named the Biederman Blog for a third year running one of its Top 100 legal web sites, its Blawg 100. The journal, which says that it routinely scrutinizes more than 4,000 legal web sites to provide analysis and insight on the field to the Bar’s nearly 400,000 members, put Southwestern Law School’s student-run, Entertainment Law project in outstanding company. Others also in the Blawg 100 included sites by Jonathan Turley, Rick Hasen, Paul Caron, Eugene Volokh, as well as the professional operations of scotusblog and The Hollywood Reporter. Our thanks go out not only to the ABA, its journal, Southwestern, Dean Susan Prager, the law school’s other administrators and supportive faculty and staff, we owe most to our diligent, delightful, and discerning student...

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