Questions tagged [law-in-fiction]

For questions about the law or legal process as depicted in works of fiction. Avoid using this tag unless the fiction is a key component of the question.

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Legality of threatening perjury

Just to pretext, this question was inspired by a scene in Suits. I know that Suits is not a particularly accurate representation of the legal system, I'm just curious about the legality of a similar ...
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Casual Agreements to Privacy and Civil Lawsuits

So, let’s say that a husband and wife do something like this: a husband offers the wife an agreement (via a casual text message) that neither party will disclose the details of what they did in their ...
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In Blackadder Goes Forth, Corporal Punishment, Captain Darling (Counsel for Prosecution) is a defense witness. Is this allowed in a court martial?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2_tdLCFRaPY&t=152s Basically, Lieutenant George (accidentally called to be the defense counsel, because Baldrick sent for the wrong person) tries to get Captain ...
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What would you be guily for legally killing someone using illegal means? [duplicate]

The situation in question is similar to a scene from the TV show Burn Notice. Micheal is being held hostage, at gun point, by an old enemy, Larry. Fiona rightfully believes that Larry is about to kill ...
Ethan's user avatar
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6 votes
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Was being left in the Pacific in a lifeboat considered attempted murder in 1872?

It's 1872 and Mr. Fogg is having his journey around the world, and let's take the TV series adaption of 2021 as the basis. The situation at hand in Episode 6 is as follows: Taking a Steamship Carnatic ...
Trish's user avatar
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2 votes
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At what point does a DUI begin?

(Based on a scene from TV show - 'The Rookie') A woman who is clearly drunk is walking across the road towards her car. One officer sees and says "DUI" and the other correctly points out &...
Ethan's user avatar
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22 votes
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When did criminal discovery rules substantially form?

The apparent non-existence of any criminal discovery/disclosure in Anatomy of a murder (1959) has struck me as odd and wildly disturbing. The trial is just a series of surprises to both sides. For ...
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What offences are made out by John Kramer's acts, if proved?

In the Saw franchise it has be said by Jigsaw/John Kramer himself and by others that "he has never actually killed anyone" and that everyone "has a chance to survive". Consider a ...
Ethan's user avatar
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How do you write a prenup purely for the benefit of your child(ren)?

If there are no kids then you want the prenup to be nothing. If there are children then you want some sort of clause that means money spent helps them. Like money spent on divorce lawyers means money ...
Sam Dean's user avatar
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On the legality of booby traps in a far future united states [closed]

So there are a few famous cases in the united states wherein booby traps were ruled to be illegal, as they're indiscriminate in their application. Let's say we have material X. Material X is special, ...
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Legality if breaking in for medical reasons?

For anyone who has watched House you'll know there is a continuous theme of the doctors breaking into patients homes to look for toxins and possible environmental causes for their illness. Their ...
Ethan's user avatar
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1 answer
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Does withholding non-medical information affect medical consent?

In an episode of the medical drama 'House', a patient needing a liver transplant is offered a live donation from her girlfriend. During the episode there's a continual argument over the ethics of ...
Ethan's user avatar
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12 votes
6 answers
7k views

What would you be charged with for covering up a rightful death?

I'm referring to a specific situation that occurred in the TV show 24. Due to previous complex circumstances, a man (call him "Bob") destroys a van that is the scene of a murder and hides 2 ...
Ethan's user avatar
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2 answers
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Were any crimes committed in The Duck Song?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MtN1YnoL46Q Let's take the song in a different direction: TL;DR version A duck repeatedly visits a lemonade stand, asking for grapes. Each time the proprietor says he ...
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Can a judge vacate a conviction and then reinstate it?

In the TV series Waco:Aftermath, a jury convicts defendants of some crimes but acquits them of some others. Their lawyer argues that the convictions don’t make sense and the judge agrees to vacate ...
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Who would actually have claim on the buried treasure in the film Holes?

I have two questions, assuming real-life Texas inheritance and property law: Who is the rightful owner of the chest of treasure? Regardless of who the ultimate rightful owner is, did Stanley's lawyer ...
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Would funding the Sentinel Program violate the equal Protection clause?

For today's exercise into comic book law, let's take a look at another X-men storyline. As we previously established using the Purifiers as an example, people can talk all they want about wanting to ...
Trish's user avatar
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14 votes
3 answers
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In Ratatouille, did Linguini have a legally legitimate reason to fire Skinner?

In Ratatouille, when Linguini took over Gusteau's by proving he inherited the restaurant, Skinner seemingly lost his job. Was there legal precedent for Skinner to lose his job; would Skinner hiding ...
yolo's user avatar
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2 answers
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Is there a line that excludes preaching religious murders from first amendment protection?

In general, religious beliefs can be as free under the first amendment as they come. You can believe in any god or pantheon, or nothing at all in pretty much any fashion. Very free indeed. But is it ...
Trish's user avatar
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25 votes
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Can a private person deceive a defendant to obtain evidence?

In the 2019 movie "Badla" (spoilers ahead), Naina was accused of committing a murder in the UK, and her trial is in London. She denies the accusation. Her clever lawyer Badal arrives and ...
KeizerHarm's user avatar
21 votes
3 answers
9k views

What is a "Night Court"?

In the fictional TV comedy "Night Court" (both the original and the recent remake), the court is described as an "Arraignment Court", which I understood should serve to read the ...
abelenky's user avatar
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10 votes
1 answer
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What is the minimum sentence for murder in Japan?

In the Yakuza series, several characters are sent to jail for murder, but it's only ever for 10-15-ish years. I was wondering if this was at all realistic, since I'm only aware of people going to jail ...
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2 votes
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How would "I leave my estate to my wife" in a British will be treated if the only "wife" never divorced her first husband?

This is motivated by a key plot point in a televised version of an Agatha Christie story "At Bertram's Hotel". Although I read the story several years ago, I don't remember if the original ...
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3 answers
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What would the punishment be for an accidental killing, provoked by threats of sharing a video of the attacker naked?

This is based on the Drishyam Bollywood movie Suppose a boy made an MMS video of a girl taking a bath, and then asked of her sexual favours, with a threat to circulate the video otherwise. Next, the ...
Anshuman Dwivedi's user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
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"Most junior counsel present"

In W.S. Gilbert's The Maiden Brief -- a work of fiction set in England in the mid-nineteenth century -- when prosecuting counsel does not attend due to another case, the judge calls for "the most ...
Dan's user avatar
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Fictional fiduciary makes loan against stock

This question is about events in the SF novel Owner's Share by Nathan Lowell. The novel is set in the year 2373. Obviously there is no way to be sure what the law will be at that date, so I am asking ...
David Siegel's user avatar
14 votes
1 answer
4k views

Who owns the ancient alien bases hidden underneath Antarctica?

I know most of you don't believe in "aliens," but my friend John MacQuoid believes there are underground ancient alien bases in Antarctica. Yeah, I know this sounds ludicrous, but according ...
Nicholas Marshall's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
179 views

The Con-Air Deal....denied?! Does it work that way?

Con Air, an action movie released in 1997 starring Nicholas Cage, features his character cutting a deal after killing a man during a fight after being assaulted. The judge rejects this deal and ...
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3 answers
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Hypothetical invoving the Felony Murder rule and a violent crime intermeddled-upon by an un-involved murderer

This is a hypothetical that I encountered in a work of fiction. The work itself wasn't really a story about law and only briefly discussed the possible ramifications, but I thought I would bring it ...
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1 answer
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Insane Shonda Rhimes coincidence: The last name of the lead actors of HTGAWM and Scandal match the last names in Washington v Davis [closed]

There's a cited court case in How To Get Away With Murder season 4, episode 13, called Washington v Davis. See here about the incorrect citation: In Washington v. Davis, your predecessors decided ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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Did Sokka commit the war crime of false flag? (ATLA S01E17)

Based on Avatar The Last Airbender S01E17, Sokka is ostensibly a war criminal, at least based on our laws. See eg here and here. From International Committee of the Red Cross - Practice Relating to ...
BCLC's user avatar
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28 votes
11 answers
10k views

If vampires were real, what would one who broke into someone's home to drink their blood be charged with?

This question is of course entirely hypothetical, but I am curious as to what crimes would be applicable in this situation. Alternatively, you could interpret the question as: If someone pretending to ...
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2 answers
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"Sentence first, verdict afterwards"?

In Alice in Wonderland, the Queen of Hearts said during a trial, "Sentence first, verdict afterwards." Are there any common law countries where this could be legal? Could the judge say "...
Someone's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
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What would be the legal repercussions of a UK government employee coming out as homosexual in the 1970s?

This question is inspired by an incident in Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (the Hollywood film version starring Gary Oldman, not the novel or the BBC miniseries with Alec Guinness). One of the British ...
Tom's user avatar
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15 votes
1 answer
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Can a parent insist that her child (teen) stop assisting police?

This is based on a situation early in the novel The Witness by Norah Roberts. Suppose that a sixteen-year-old girl (E) witnessed a serious crime, in fact a double murder, apparently by an organized ...
David Siegel's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
71 views

Limits on sources of fact or law for a court (incl. appeal)

There are specific rules for introducing sources of fact in a normal (first-instance) trial, either through evidence or through witnesses, with constraints around hearsay, etcetera. A fact (or an ...
Gouvernathor's user avatar
1 vote
3 answers
817 views

Do criminals really "have no recourse" if their ill-gotten property is stolen by a third party?

From the TV series Better Call Saul (S1E7 - Bingo) main character Jimmy McGill is involved in a case wherein a client of his, Craig Kettleman, stands accused of stealing 1.6 million dollars. The ...
PausePause's user avatar
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2 answers
247 views

Is "No More Mutants" Genocide?

It's September 28th 2005. A heartbroken mother who recently lost her twins and their father has a mental breakdown and utters three words. Too bad that she is a quite powerful reality bender and that ...
Trish's user avatar
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2 votes
2 answers
178 views

Questions about a complicated criminal case in my novel

I'm writing a novel and have a complicated criminal case to bring to a close in a court scene. I have a bunch of questions about how the case (or cases) would work based on the specific events of the ...
Dashanerocket 's user avatar
34 votes
4 answers
14k views

Is it true that it's not illegal for a parent to sell their 13-year-old child to a drug dealer?

My question is prompted by an episode of the TV show Law & Order, specifically the 6th-season episode titled "Slave". In the episode, a couple of the lawyers state as fact that it is not ...
Tom's user avatar
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17 votes
2 answers
5k views

Is it allowed to non-consensually submit someone's diary as evidence?

In episode 12, season 4 of The Office, called "The Deposition", the diary of a witness (Michael Scott) is used as evidence, without the witness's consent. The diary was taken by the suer, ...
user110391's user avatar
7 votes
2 answers
339 views

Is a will provision naming "my wife" as a beneficiary before marriage valid?

In the novel A Colorful Death by Carola Dunn, a man, Dr Fenwick, becomes engaged to a woman, Stella Warren.He makes a new will leaving all his property (except for a few small specified bequests) to &...
David Siegel's user avatar
23 votes
4 answers
7k views

Were USA states really this disconnected in 1964, and was bigamy really punished by death?

I've just watched the The Alfred Hitchcock Hour episode Three Wives Too Many from 1964. In it, a man has a wife in four different USA states, traveling between them constantly and keeping them secret ...
B. E.'s user avatar
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42 votes
3 answers
11k views

Is "My Cousin Vinny" dismissal actually possible?

In one of my favorite films of all time, 1992's My Cousin Vinny, at the end of the trial when it's abundantly clear the prosecution will lose, at least that's the conclusion the filmmakers want the ...
Scott's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
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Can a family ask the government to hide the details of a relative's death?

I know of a fictional story plot where the cause of someone's death is unknown. The death may be due to natural causes, or it could be murder. The government investigates, but the findings are hidden ...
The Editor's user avatar
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8 votes
1 answer
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If a person is tried for fraud for practicing law without a degree, and the verdict is not guilty, would double jeopardy prevent future fraud charges?

[SPOILERS for Suits] In season five of the TV series Suits, Mike Ross, who has practised law for a few years without a degree and passing the Bar himself, is tried for fraud. The jury's verdict is ...
BakedAlaska624's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
706 views

Can the defense claim that the defendant isn't the defendant? And if so, how is the case handled?

"I object, Your Honor. What precedent are we setting here? That the defendant isn't actually the defendant?" — An American Pickle (2020) Suppose that a man that society identifies as ...
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17 votes
2 answers
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Would Georgie’s “Teddy Bear Casino” from Young Sheldon actually be legal?

On the TV series Young Sheldon, Connie secretly runs an illegal casino (slot machines and card games where you can earn cash), which is shut down by the police. Connie’s grandson Georgie thinks she ...
SegNerd's user avatar
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4 votes
2 answers
522 views

Were the district attorney and his legal advisor legally correct in Dirty Harry about the total inadmissability of evidence?

In the first Dirty Harry movie, the titular detective Harry Callahan is in pursuit of a serial killer who already murdered several victims and is holding another victim as a hostage. He figures out ...
vsz's user avatar
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1 vote
2 answers
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Can taking photos from a hallway be a trade secret violation

I was rereading Killer Market by Margaret Maron. In this book furniture buyers and reporters and others are admitted to a complex of buildings housing offices and showrooms for a set of sales-related ...
David Siegel's user avatar