Law in Popular Culture

Plans for 'Brooklyn DA' news series bring lawsuit and a defense lawyer's objection

An election opponent of Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes isn’t happy about an upcoming news series about the DA’s office that will begin airing on May 28. Nor is a lawyer defending a landlord accused of manslaughter in a tenement fire.

The six-part CBS series, Brooklyn D.A., offers a look “at the men and women in one of the largest district attorney’s offices in the country,” according to the network. Two lawyers sought injunctions this week to bar at least parts of the show from airing. One is a primary opponent of Hynes, Abe George, the New York Times reports. The other is criminal defense lawyer Gerald Shargel, the New York Times reports in a separate story.

George claims that the show amounts to an in-kind campaign contribution that exceeds the legal limit in New York State. In a suit filed on Tuesday, he is seeking an injunction to prevent the show from airing. CBS released a statement saying the suit is a “publicity push” and “we are surprised that this candidate would not know about the First Amendment.”

Shargel asked for an injunction in a letter he wrote on Wednesday to prevent the airing of footage related to the landlord he is defending. Shargel asserted that giving the public an “insider’s look” at the prosecution would prejudice prospective jurors and witnesses. Shargel later said his request was moot after learning that CBS would not include anything about the case.

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