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Who Might Your Murderer Character Want to Kill Off (Besides Lawyers)? Six People Who May Just Need to be Murdered

I did a guest blog post today for Angela Cerrito’s blog on Who Might Your Murderer Character Want to Kill Off (Besides Lawyers)? Six People Who May Just Need to be Murdered.


If you haven't checked out Angela Cerrito's blog, it's a wonderful place to learn all kinds of things about writing. Her Middle Grade Novel, The End of the Line, is forthcoming from Holiday House. I met her in a writers’ workshop, which proves that these workshops are worthwhile!  Read More 
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Lawyers with Alzheimer’s, Conflicts of Interest and Ethical Conundrums in The Good Wife

A recent plotline in The Good Wife bugged me so much that I did some research on the ethical conundrums it raised. When I got no satisfactory answer on my own, I did what every good writer should do – I called someone who knew what they were talking about. In this case, I used (or possibly misused) the Florida Bar’s Ethics Hotline. Most states have something similar, where lawyers can call up and get some advice when ethical issues arise. I confessed right away that I was calling about an ethical issue from a TV show, and was lucky enough to run into a lawyer on the hotline who happens to be a fan of The Good Wife. She knew exactly which two episodes I was talking about.

Confidentiality Within the Lawyer’s Firm

In the first episode that was bothering me, our heroine, a newbie lawyer, got drafted to represent a firm partner in a legal matter. In the midst of her representation, it came out that her client had Alzheimer’s. She now knows that a hotshot lawyer, a firm partner, is impaired, unable to represent clients competently, at least some of the time. Her supervisor is a different partner. The client/partner tells her that the existence of his disease is confidential, and she can’t tell anyone, even her boss.  Read More 
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Guest post on The Top Five Characters Who Might Be Watching

Need a character? My guest post on The Aspiring Mangaka & Writers Club blog talks about five legal characters who make great witnesses and observers for any genre.Titled The Top Five Characters Who Might Be Watching, the post is about some people operating in the legal system who move around enough or who have enough information that they might be useful to your stories. If you’re writing a murder mystery, you need witnesses. But many other stories need someone to see something happening to move the plot forward. Read More 
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Guest blog this week is on Working Writers Blog

My guest blog on Working Writers this week is called Don’t Make Me Throw Your Book Across the Room: Top Ten Ways You Can Alienate the 1.1 Million Lawyers Who Are Also Readers.

If you haven't checked out the Working Writers website, you  Read More 
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The Good Wife’s Gaffe on Money Laundering

Anyone who reads this blog knows I enjoy the courtroom drama The Good Wife. I try not to be hypersensitive when they get things wrong because they do so well. But this week’s episode went off the rails a bit. In the story, a known drug dealer being pursued by the FBI for  Read More 
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What Happened In Vegas Was Opposite Reality

I watched What Happened in Vegas over the weekend. I figured with the ever-charming leads of Cameron Diaz and Ashton Kutcher, it was hard to go wrong. The story was light and cute – perfect for wasting time instead of working on my outline.

However, the basic plot bothered me throughout. The writers had their  Read More 
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BAILIFFS CAN MAKE GREAT CHARACTERS IN YOUR STORY

I want to talk about some people operating in the legal system who move around enough or who have enough information that they might be useful to your stories. I’m going to tell you about them every once in a while. My book The Writer’s Guide to the Courtroom: Let’s Quill  Read More 
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The Good Wife Does Objections Right, Circumstantial Evidence Wrong

It doesn’t take much to give me a thrill when I’m watching a legal drama. Even the tiniest bit of law done right can make me happy. Yes, I’m probably easily amused. But when a screenwriter gets it right, I jump for joy because it’s so darned rare.

HOSTILE WITNESSES

When I was watching The Good Wife last week, the lawyer was examining a witness using leading questions. In general, leading questions are ones with yes or no answers. Opposing counsel objected to the leading questions. The lawyer conducting the examination responded that the witness was hostile and he was allowed to lead.

When the judge overruled the objection, I was happy beyond words. That tiny bit of correct procedure added to my viewing pleasure. Here’s what was going on that they got right.
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White Collar Doesn’t Know Squat About Judges

White Collar is an enjoyable show about a con man (I’d say ex-con man, but he’s not really ex) who is conscripted by the FBI to uncover other con men and women. But their last show irked the heck out of me because it was about a judge gone bad.

The problem?  Read More 
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