David Post muses on how legal dramas have corrupted our understanding of the world:
Their portrayal of life in a "big firm" is so preposterous -- the client comes in on Monday with an antitrust case against, say, all of the drug companies; on Tuesday they find the critical case on the issue, which they use, that afternoon, to confront the other side during depositions; at trial -- which seems to occur the following day -- the judge rules on the critical motion, and the other side gives up in despair.
It's just so idiotic. I understand that TV's supposed to be idiotic -- or, at least, it doesn't really matter when it is idiotic, it's just a little added silliness in our lives, and in any event, that's why God put the "change channel" and "off" buttons on the remotes.
But actually, it does matter. I was thinking of this as I was reading reports about the Barry Bonds trial. I think if people understood better than they do what actually goes into preparing for a trial like this -- the thousands of hours of lawyer drudgery, the poring over insanely boring and impossible to comprehend documents, the motions, the counter-motions, the discovery requests, the oppositions to the discovery requests, the requests for sanctions for having opposed the discovery requests, the witness prep, the mock depositions, the actual depositions, the motions to strike testimony or evidence, the jury selection . . . . -- if people actually understood that better, they'd be a lot more pissed off than they seem to be that the government is squandering all of that to prove that Barry Bonds lied about whether or not he knowingly took steroids.
There are also the notorious cases where juries have let defendants go because the police didn't do some imaginary test some juror saw on CSI.
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