Drop Dead Diva Rules
Imagine you are a blonde LA model who gushes, chirps and bats her eyes as she sashays through life. One day you die but up in heaven you brazenly push the return to earth button. Back down you rocket.
At the same time, a brunette, stout, workaholic trial lawyer named Jane saves her senior partner’s life. She jumps in front of him just as a crazed former client shoots. She takes the bullet. Is on the operating table but it is no use. She breathes her last breath and in you drop from heaven. When Jane awakens you are her. Same ditzy yet caring personality but with a twist. Now you are unfashionable, super smart and drive a nice car.
Okay. It sounds ridiculous. But don’t care. Am willing to suspend disbelief in order to be entertained. Here are some of the things I like about the show. Including these little details that would not be possible in real life.
- You are retained by a client in the morning and by afternoon the trial has started
- You only work on one case at a time, this is because you are in trial by the afternoon
- In a wrongful death case, the widow can prove negligence by recounting what her dead husband told her about what the bad guy told him
- Your best friend, a mainly unemployed even more ditzy model, is the one who typically helps you to solve the most impossible of cases
- Your best friend is able to help in part, because you tell her all the gory details of your cases (But isn’t that confidential? Nah).
- You play board games with the judge in chambers because she is such a good friend plus she still presides in cases that you try
- Your best friend the model goes undercover and finds out the bad guy has done the same bad thing to 11 other people. During his cross exam the 11 people in the back row stand up and testify as a group that he did the same thing to them.
- In the middle of trial you find new evidence, come up with a brand new theory and amend the complaint
- During the lunch hour recess of a product liability trial, you serve an ex parte subpoena on a laboratory, locate a smoking gun email, read it to impeach the defendant during cross exam, then admit it into evidence.
- When you do something wonderful in trial - you dramatically strike a "vogue" pose
- You can represent a client against someone who is represented by another attorney in your same firm so long as you erect a “Chinese Wall”
- You have dreams involving Judge Paula Abdul as the central character
- You and your cocounsel take turns grilling the same witness
- In the heat of the moment when the other side is scoring points, you shout out – Your Honor we request a Recess. And it is always granted right then.
- You are allowed to preach and argue when you question witnessesDuring trial you can issue a subpoena to get the secret passcode of a witness (without any notice), and then in trial you can force the defendant University to log into its computer to project the damaging videos
- You can assert res ipsa loquitor to prove medical negligence that amounts to deliberate indifference in a jail case
- You can prove your point by drinking the evidence (camel's milk) to illustrate it is not dangerous
- You can also enlist the judge to sample the evidence (chocolate cookies) to determine whether fraud has occurred
- During closing argument you tell the jury to imagine themselves as the plaintiff (which directly violates the "golden rule" but who cares)
- In a toxic tort case you are allowed to call the defense lawyer (who is also your former torts professor) as an expert witness to testify about the reasons why a prior case was settled
- Most importantly: You never lose a case.
And this, Ladies and Gentlemen, is why I love watching Drop Dead Diva.