Thursday, February 4, 2010

Is It Possible to Glamorize the Legal Profession with a Hollywold Starlet named Hilary that Most Closely Resembles a Skinny Little Boy?


Hilary Swank, that is.  I an not fond of her.  Mostly because I think she looks like an ugly man--which may or may not be related to that movie she did about the cross dressing female who was beat to death.  So, it doesn't matter how glamorous she is dressed on the red carpet, I see a little ugly boy.  And, yes... anything is possible. 

Now I have a new reason.  As a reader of this blog, you surely know that loathe and dispise Hollywood's glorification and glamorization of the legal profession.  Well, apparently Erin Brokovich wasn't good enough.  We need another trailer trash slut taking on the machine when her brother is accused of murder.  Fox Searchlight is picking up Swank to play a high school dropout, single mom who fights the good fight for her falsely accussed brother by going to law school in the movie "Betty Ann Waters".

Although this is allegedly a true story, I find it funny that anyone in prison who is innocent would be best served by his high school dropout sister going to go to law school.  Just the idea of a law school grad helping to free an innocent man sans help is kind of funny to me. 

Never forget this... when you get out of law school, you know how to do NOTHING.  To use an anology, you know a bunch of theories of law, which are the bullets, but you've never been taught how to handle a gun, which is the procedure.  So, I can't imagine how this woman, Betty Ann, fumbled and bumbled through appeals--and was successful.  I actuallyu don't know if she was or not, because I don't want to spoil this movie for myself or anyone else.  I will eat crow if this movie is good, but it's just falsely empowering.  You can't typically take on huge important cases when you get out of school.  So, watch the movie and enjoy it.. but take it with a grain of salt.


  1. Most law students could not argue their way out of a parking ticket! The same goes for many recent law grads. This is a HUGE fundamental failing of U.S. legal education. Theory does not equal practical knowledge and skill.

    We have allowed legal theorists to hijack the industry. Just look at the ABA - this 400,000 member strong organization is afraid to go to court regarding possible antitrust violations!!

  2. It is apparently a true story, but in real life Barry Scheck and the Innocence Project helped her.

    I don't find it so implausible that a committed person could do this, maybe even without law school. Get the right treatises, look at court files in similar cases, talk to experienced lawyers, and a law student could figure it out over time.

    Sure, better if the experienced lawyer took the case, but what if that's not an option because of money? You call it a "huge important case," but it might not have been a case at all if she hadn't taken action. It's not like the State or the court thought it was an important case until someone gave them a reason to.

    In real life, helping her brother may not have been the only reason she went to college and law school. Maybe it spurred her to action, but it's not like the only benefit of education was helping her brother. It looks like she got a masters of education before law school, so she may not have decided to go to law school until much later.

  3. Oh, sorry. SPOILER ALERT. Feel free to delete my comments.

  4. No way, Vinca.. I don't delete. I'll edit my post above.
    I say "big important case" in that her brother's life was on the line. In that respect, every murder case is an important case to me.
    I hope that Barry gets some credit in the movie if he did help her out.
    Lastly, you were right about a lay person doing it as well. So, in my opinion, why not just try to steer your pro se litigant brother by doing all of the work without the law degree. Because the J.D. doesn't actually make the pursuit of justice easier, absent experience. :)

  5. Yes, this is quite hilarious.
    Here, I shall write how 99.95% of criminal appeals go.

    "Here, the prosecution asks us to apply a misinterpreted reading of the Crawford opinion to the facts of the case. Since they are the prosecution and they should always win, their personal interpretation of the law is the one that we will use. To save time, we will just cut and paste the prosecution's brief and version of facts into our opinion. The cops mean well and should be allowed to stop any brown or black person who walks within the vicinity of a cop because all black and brown people look like drug dealers and, by living in poor neighborhoods, happen to be in 'high crime areas' that make it even more legal for them to be detained without provocation. Error is never harmful, even if it involves the only witness as there is all sorts of imaginary evidence that a jury could convict upon. The alcoholic burnout who was representing the defendant was not incompetent because they filed a stack of motions, even though they failed to urge a single of these motions at trial. By the way, we haven't learned a goddarn thing from the fact that a whole bunch of people are now being freed thanks to DNA evidence. All of those people were innocent, but we no longer convict innocent people even though the legal system hasn't changed one bit since then, that was all in the past."

    I think I covered it.

  6. lmao! LOVE IT!
    You made my point for me.. this shit isn't easy.



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