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'The Good Wife': Good Law? - Season 5, Episode 20

By Brett Snider, Esq. | Last updated on

"The Good Wife" lives most comfortably in the intersection between the law and technology, even when Alicia is struggling with streaming movies at home.

Time to get up to speed with the news cycle and a rare lawyer's day off in "The Deep Web":

Episode Recap (Spoiler Alert!):

ZOMG Alicia has jury duty! Just like us, right? Only Alicia's jury pool is full of handsome men who take her to lunch.

The Good Wife: Good Law?

Season 5, Episode 20
"The Deep Web"

Legal References:

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Meantime, Diane has a client who is being accused of running Silk Road, an Internet black market where even murder can be purchased. A former client's grandson is being accused of writing fake reviews for the illegal enterprise, but it turns out he's even more devious.

"The Deep Web" gives the viewer both a look into the darker underside of Silk Road as well as the machinations of Louis Canning and the ever-unsympathetic David Lee. And Alicia decides whether or not to have a drink with a handsome person!

This episode borrows very generously from the real-life case of Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht, who was arrested as the ringleader behind the Internet black market Silk Road. And unlike "ChumHum," the anonymous Internet portal called Tor is a real thing -- a shadowy, private web full of child porn, mirrored sites, and drug trade. And like Robbie, the real Ulbricht was pretty dorky-looking.

This episode was pretty low on legal fiction, surprisingly. In a knowing way, it acknowledged the fact that Kalinda keeps slipping in and out of all sorts of places she shouldn't be... like murder scenes. There's a reason why police tape off an area, and Kalinda may have actually tipped off Robbie to the police investigation by doing so.

There are lots of good legal fact nuggets to chew on in "The Deep Web," but we'll start with Alicia's jury duty. You can claim many legitimate ways to get out of jury duty, but Alicia is right, no lying. Lawyers can also use a limited amount of peremptory challenges to eliminate jurors for any non-discriminatory reason.

Moving to the Silk Road case, if you have family or intimate ties with someone who is under federal investigation, your assets can definitely be seized. Also, criminal defense attorneys may withdraw from representation if they believe their client is going to lie on the stand -- like Diane did with Robbie.

Aiding and abetting: It appeared from the outset that Robbie had "only" written fake reviews for Silk Road in exchange for some Bitcoins. However, assisting someone in the commission of a crime -- like running an illegal Internet black market -- can make you just as liable as the person you're "aiding and abetting."

The Verdict:

Alicia's storyline was pretty law-free, but Diane's was chock-full of actual, informative law clusters. Tune in next week when she takes on a devious, but dying, Michael J. Fox.

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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