Wednesday, April 16, 2008

A Quick Reality Check for 'Eli Stone'

Posted by Alan Childress
While channel surfing the other night, I wound up watching about a third of Eli Stone, in which the lawyer was trying to get mandamus to evacuate the Golden Gate Bridge, anticipating an earthquake.  I am not qualified to give a full review (unlike Maxim, that felt comfortable reviewing an entire musical album even though they could not have heard it all yet). But it does raise some reality-check questions worth noting -- beyond his heavenly powers, and the fact that an earthquake that everyone survived at the end seemed to be an earthquake weak enough to look like it was shot by having the actors stand there while someone shook the camera a little, yet strong enough to topple the Golden Gate Bridge [somehow as observed from some spot in "Golden Gate Park" -- is that even eyeball/stance-possible?].

Anyway, for our purposes, the reality check would be for the actual trial or hearing in which one lawyer from the firm was on the other side of the case from another lawyer from the same firm.  WTF?  I really lost it when Lawyer A from that firm [Peg from Married With Children] called an associate from the firm to the stand -- an associate shared with lawyer B, Eli Stone -- to rat out Eli regarding a prior matter he had handled for a different client. 

Wow, even for Hollywood (Burbank?).  Will the never-mentioned malpractice suit to be brought by the other client against the firm be both pursued and defended by other lawyers in the firm?  I hope it will be the named partner played by the Jennifer Garner dad guy from Alias.  He seems serious and ethical enough to be able to handle both sides of that case. 

The show seems to follow the Regarding Henry premise that a traumatic brain injury of some sort causes a lawyer to become ethical.  And by ethical, we mean willing to get at the 'right' result regardless of rules, fiduciary duties, clients, privilege, and other pesky morality-suckers.

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