ABA Journal

Law in Popular Culture

1456 ABA Journal Law in Popular Culture articles.

How to manage client expectations with help from the film ‘Michael Clayton’

“I want this case dismissed.” That’s how many of my new client intakes start, to one degree or another. It may not be the first phrase out of my prospective patron’s mouth, but it comes quickly nonetheless. The demand is often followed by an explanation of the person’s perspective: “I looked at the results on your website, and I know you’ve gotten these types of cases dismissed before,” or “I know (insert previous client’s name), and they said you’re the best and can get rid of this.”

Are driverless car searches constitutional?

Whether we like it or not, automated, driverless vehicles are quickly becoming a reality and a norm in our society. Along with all the benefits the technology and associated services provide, there are also detriments—for civilians and law enforcement alike.

Plaintiffs lawyer Tom Girardi, estranged husband of ‘Real Housewives’ star, is disbarred

The California Supreme Court has disbarred plaintiffs lawyer Tom Girardi, whose firm was portrayed in the movie Erin Brockovich as helping to obtain a $333 million pollution judgment.

John Lennon’s lawyer turns paperback writer to recount little-known case

Jay Bergen’s representation of Lennon always made for a good story, last month he shared the case on a grander scale. He published Lennon, the Mobster & the Lawyer—The Untold Story, which recounts his representation of Lennon.

A look back at Fox’s ‘Ally McBeal’

Starring Calista Flockhart as the titular character, Ally McBeal ran for five seasons from 1997 to 2002. Created by David E. Kelley, the Fox series followed McBeal as she navigated the intersection between her personal life and law career.

2022 Silver Gavels go to book by Anita Hill, documentary about trailblazer Pauli Murray

Looking for your next read, TV show or podcast? Start with one of the eight winners of the ABA’s 2022 Silver Gavel Awards for Media and the Arts.

The Defamation Trial of Johnny Depp: When thespians testify, who can you believe?

My main office has three large conference rooms. They are outfitted with presentable marble tables and large, comfortable black chairs, and they are adorned with images of the Oklahoma City skyline. More important, though, they have TVs.

ACLU lawyers reviewed op-ed that led to Johnny Depp’s defamation claim, its GC testifies

Several lawyers with the American Civil Liberties Union reviewed the Washington Post op-ed by actress Amber Heard that led to actor Johnny Depp’s defamation lawsuit against her, according to testimony by the organization’s general counsel last week.

Are criticisms during SCOTUS confirmation hearings a disservice to viewers?

Everyone familiar with this column over the last five years knows its central focus is the intersection of law and pop culture. Most of my installments focus on various forms of media and my observations regarding their law-related issues. There are times when readers will suggest topics by reaching out via email, which I always love receiving. More often than not, though, it’s simply my love for pop culture in the law that allows me to derive legal topics from the media I’m ingesting.

HBO’s ‘Life of Crime’ and a career defending the same

Crime is consistent. After all, if we look back to the world’s oldest “criminal codes” (the Code of Ur-Nammu—circa 2100 to 2050 B.C.; the Laws of Eshnunna—circa at least 1930 B.C.; the Code of Lipit-Ishtar—circa 1934 to 1924 B.C.; and the Code of Hammurabi—circa 1755 to 1750 B.C.), we see actions such as false charges and testimony, theft, distraint, trespassing, kidnapping, sexual offenses, bodily harm and murder outlawed, with punishment ranging anywhere from a fine, maiming or death. Although there have seemingly always been penalties, crime continues.

When ‘Loof Lirpa’ goes awry, enter the lawyers

First day of April tomfoolery sometimes goes awry. Enter the lawyers—and then it’s no laughing matter.

Supreme Court will hear photographer’s copyright dispute over Andy Warhol’s Prince portraits

The U.S. Supreme Court agreed Monday to consider whether artist Andy Warhol’s portraits of singer Prince were a transformative use of copyrighted photos that constituted fair use.

Crime drama film ‘Rush’ and the pitfalls of undercover addiction

I was a kid in the early 1990s. More accurately, I was a kid raised by kids. My parents were young, and I saw the gap in age (or lack thereof) as a blessing and a curse. They were young enough that it was difficult for our family at times, but I was able to find an awesome balance between “parent” and “friend.”

Book by Anita Hill is among 29 finalists for ABA Silver Gavel Awards

A book by Anita Hill and a Wall Street Journal story on judicial conflicts of interest are among 29 finalists for the ABA’s 2022 Silver Gavel Awards for Media and the Arts.

Judge orders new DNA tests in Adnan Syed murder case featured on ‘Serial’ podcast

A Baltimore judge has ordered new DNA testing of evidence in the murder case against Adnan Syed after his lawyer and Baltimore prosecutors supported additional tests.

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