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'The Good Wife': Good Law? - Season 5, Episode 16

By Jenny Tsay, Esq. | Last updated on

This week's episode of the "The Good Wife" picked up where last week's shocker of Will Gardner's death left off.

With the departure of a main character to deal with, "The Last Call" wasn't as chock-full of legal issues as other episodes this season. But here are a few legal notes we jotted down:

Episode Recap (Spoiler Alert!):

Guilt, grief, and off-the-books investigative work filled this episode. Alicia, who received a voicemail from Will minutes before the shooting, spends the entire episode trying to figure out if he was calling because he was mad at her (he wasn't).

The Good Wife: Good Law?

Season 5, Episode 16
"The Last Call"

Legal References:

More Legal Analysis of CBS' "The Good Wife":

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On the investigative end, Kalinda is running around piecing together the circumstances surrounding Will's shooting. Will's client (and alleged killer) Jeffrey Grant tells Kalinda he didn't mean to shoot Will; Grant's attorney states that he's going to enter a plea of insanity.

Nothing "ripped from the headlines" this week. It was all about the aftermath of Will's death.

The courthouse shooting in which Will is killed supposedly occurs around midday. Yet when Diane breaks the news to Lockhart & Gardner at a 2 p.m. staff meeting, it takes everyone by surprise. In reality, news of a fatal courthouse shooting in a city like Chicago would've spread like wildfire, and everyone at the firm would already have known. (Especially the young interns who are probably checking Facebook and Twitter instead of working.)

In another scene, Cary decides to go ahead with a deposition when a "schmuck" of an opposing counsel refuses to postpone it. We wondered who was recording the depo testimony -- all we could see was a tiny digital recording device on the table, and it wasn't clear whom the device belonged to.

While Illinois does allow depositions to "be taken stenographically, by sound-recording device, by audio-visual recording device, or by any combination of all three," an experienced lawyer would probably want a neutral third party to record a client's deposition -- especially if he doesn't trust the other lawyer.

Jeffrey Grant's lawyer hasn't yet stated the grounds for her client's potential insanity defense, but keep an eye out for it in upcoming episodes. Different states consider different factors to determine if the insanity defense can apply; in Illinois, the burden is on the defendant.

And now that Will is out of the picture, it seems like the case against Gov. Peter Florrick may be derailed because without Will's testimony, Nelson Dubek and the Office of Public Integrity don't have a case. We'll just have to wait and see what happens.

Nothing notable.

The Verdict:

This episode was much more emotional than legal, but it's certainly a huge turning point for "The Good Wife." See you in two weeks.

-- FindLaw Consumer Blogs Editor Andrew Chow, Esq., contributed to this post.

What did you think of this week's episode of "The Good Wife"? Is the show guilty of making any legal mistakes? Check back here for more legal recaps of "The Good Wife," and send us a tweet at @FindLawConsumer with the hashtag #TheGoodWife.

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