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Legal Watch: Your Honor

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Posted on June 16, 2023

This segment covers HBO’s series, “Your Honor,” and features spoilers!

On this segment of Legal Watch, the spotlight is on the HBO show “Your Honor” starring Bryan Cranston. This intense drama series features two seasons and follows the story of respected judge, Michael Desiato, whose life is turned upside down when his son Adam is involved in a hit-and-run accident that leaves a teenage boy dead. The show explores the legal and moral challenges that the judge and his legal team face as they try to protect Adam while also seeking justice for the victim’s family. From coverup scandals, mobsters, gangs, family destruction, and moral dilemmas, this show leaves viewers at the edge of their seats.

Let our South Jersey injury lawyers explore some key themes and obstacles in the show that people and lawyers can learn from.

The Importance of Evidence

One of the legal challenges that Desiato and his legal team face is the importance of evidence in a criminal trial. In the show, the prosecution has strong evidence against Adam, including CCTV footage that shows him leaving the scene of the accident. The defense team must gather evidence to counter the prosecution’s case and prove Adam’s innocence.

The Importance of Confidentiality

One of the primary ethical dilemmas in “Your Honor” centers around the importance of confidentiality in the legal profession. When Judge Desiato’s son, Adam, is involved in a hit-and-run accident that left a young victim dead, the judge enlists the help of his legal team to protect his son from prosecution. However, when the team discovers that Adam is not the true culprit, they are faced with a difficult ethical decision.

They are bound by the attorney-client privilege to keep Adam’s identity confidential, but they also have a duty to seek justice for the victim’s family. Ultimately, they decide to withhold evidence that clears Adam’s name. and he is convicted of the crime. The ethical dilemma in this situation is whether it is justifiable to keep the identity of the real culprit confidential, even if it means an innocent person is punished.

The Ethical Dilemmas of a Lawyer

The show also explores the ethical dilemmas that lawyers face when representing their clients. The judge’s son, Adam, is guilty of a crime, and the defense team must protect him while also upholding the law and seeking justice for the victim’s family. The judge’s position as a respected member of the legal community adds to the ethical dilemmas that he and his legal team face, as he tries to protect his son without compromising his integrity as a judge.

The defense team must balance their ethical obligations to their client with their obligations to the court and the legal profession. They must ensure that they do not engage in unethical behavior, such as misleading the court or withholding evidence, even if it means that their client may be found guilty. For all lawyers, it is essential to be mindful of these ethical obligations and ensure that we do not engage in any unethical behavior that could damage our reputation or harm our clients’ cases.

Later, Michael Desiato takes advantage of his position to protect his son. This conflict demonstrates the importance of transparency and honesty in our profession.

The Duty of Candor to the Court

An additional ethical dilemma in “Your Honor” centers around the duty of candor to the court, which is the legal and ethical obligation to be honest and forthright with the court in a legal proceeding. When the legal team discovers evidence that clears Adam’s name, they are faced with the difficult decision of whether to reveal it to the court. However, they are bound by their ethical duty to provide the court with accurate information and not to mislead the court in any way.

The legal team must balance their obligation to maintain client confidentiality with their duty to provide the court with accurate information. Ultimately, as previously mentioned, they decide to withhold evidence.

The Challenge of Jury Selection

Another legal challenge presented is that of selecting a fair and impartial jury. In the show, the defense team must select a jury that is not biased against Adam, given the high-profile nature of the case and the media coverage surrounding it.

The Emotional Impact of Personal Injury Cases

“Your Honor” does an excellent job of highlighting the emotional impact that personal injury cases can have on all parties involved. The victim’s family is devastated by the loss of their son, and they seek justice for his death. The judge’s family is also affected, as they try to protect Adam while dealing with the emotional fallout from the accident. The grief and pain of the victim’s family are palpable, and we see how their lives are forever changed by this tragic accident.

As personal injury lawyers, we are reminded to be empathetic and sensitive to the emotional needs of our clients, particularly those who have suffered a loss. Our role is to ensure that we provide these clients with the support and guidance they need throughout the legal process.

Effective Communication Skills

The show emphasizes the importance of effective communication skills in the legal profession. Lawyers must be able to communicate complex legal concepts in a way that is understandable to clients, judges, and juries. They must also be able to listen carefully to their clients to understand their needs and concerns.

The defense team’s efforts to communicate with Adam, and later Kofi Jones, highlight the importance of these communication skills. Oftentimes, defendants do not know anything about legal proceedings, and their future is heavily dependent on what they say and do not say in court, amongst other variables. “Your Honor” is an excellent show that provides valuable insights into the legal profession, and highlights key points such as empathy, ethical considerations, evidence, and communication skills that are essential for all attorneys. This show was both informative and gripping. Stay tuned for our next segment of Legal Watch!