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Door County Cherry

S01.E05: Chapter 5

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1 hour ago, GussieK said:

I saw they were setting Perry up to be an able courtroom advocate with a flair for the dramatic speech (a neat parallel to Sister Alice).  Also, in episode 1, he was shown knowing more about evidence rules and objections than the attorney representing him on whatever it was he was dealing with, can't remember now. So he's been around the law for a few years, and Della recognized he could do it.

Yep.  And I'm speculating (no spoilers--or at least none that I know about) that we might discover Della might have done some unofficial "apprenticing" while working for E.B. and she'll be a big part of providing some of the legal strategy while Perry is the voice.  

1 hour ago, GussieK said:

P.S.   Yes, it was a form of cheating, but they had already set up a forged affidavit for him to even get to take the exam.  But they set us up to accept this earlier in the episode with Perry's mantra: "there's what's legal and then there's what's right."  

As a lawyer, I'm actually kind of appalled at any of this.  It's so ingrained that you can't do things like cheat on tests and forge documents.  But people clearly do it and other bad stuff.    

That's a good point.  And perhaps my ethics are questionable but I think the show set up the situation that this was the only choice that could be made pretty well.  

As I understand it, part of the reason we have professional exams is to verify a certain level of knowledge of those holding certain credentials.  So if I go to a doctor or a lawyer, I'm going to someone with a certain level of knowledge and practice.  For most people, the best way to get this knowledge is through education and internships.  But probably for a few gifted people, they could teach themselves with enough reading/observing.  Kind of like the rare geniuses who teach themselves how to play instruments.  

But Emily is in a bit of a pickle.  She's being railroaded by the police and  prosecution.  No one would take her case except a public defender who is working with the prosecution to ensure their best interests as opposed to his client's.  She is likely better off with an untested lawyer who believes in her innocence, and is willing to put in time investigating, than her current lawyer.  

Ethically, Perry should inform his client about this to see if she'd want to take a gamble on someone who'd actually work to prove her innocence.  And he might be cheating any future clients.  With Emily, though, I'll allow it. 

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1 hour ago, Jodithgrace said:

I think this show should have been called Della Street, instead of Perry Mason, since she's the one who gets it done! Of course, then the non OG Perry Mason watchers would think it was an address. 

I seem to remember reading books, where a person would become a lawyer by apprenticing with an old  lawyer or judge and basically learning everything from him before hanging out his own shingle. Before everything became so official. Hopefully, the California Bar Association will eventually catch on that repeating the same test year after year is not a good idea. 

So now we have the original gang, Perry, Della, Paul and Ham Burger (his name always made me laugh as a kid) together. I would like to think that after this case, Mason would either go to law school or study law in some manner. I can't imagine the look on Raymond Burr's face if he knew that his dignified Perry Mason had only a gimcrack law degree!

Someone on another site pointed out that at this point in history, plenty of lawyers wouldn't have gone to actual law school and--more interesting to me--apparently plenty of people in the source material say that Perry is not a good lawyer at all. In fact, Burger flat-out says that he's more of a detective than a lawyer, because when he decides he needs to solve a case he gets to the truth.

If Perry gets Emily off (I'm betting he will!) I'm sure people will come to him because he earned his rep with that case, and given what we've seen, there's no reason to think he wouldn't then study all the law he needs to be able to defend others, especially with Della's help. She also hasn't been to law school but worked in the office a long time. In this version of events I'm sure she'll be treated more like a co-lawyer as well, the person whose main skills just don't happen to lie in dramatic speeches before juries even if she didn't have the handicap of being a woman.

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Della has obviously done some "apprenticing."  She was already generating all of E.B.'s motion papers.  

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Really? After all the scenarios previously discussed here the one they go with is a forged letter and a 2-week memorization of the bar exam questions? And suddenly Perry's look goes from blasted paro to slick lawyer man virtually overnight?

Wonderful.

But how is forging a letter and parrot-memorizing the answers to a few questions on subjects he has no clue about going to make him into the shittest hottest lawyer in the universe? What were they thinking? Was I just supposed to accept that bullshit plot twist?

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7 hours ago, sistermagpie said:

But then, now that I think about it, is it really that much of a cheat since anybody who ever took the exam would be able to share the questions they got? Presumably that's why the modern bar exam changes things up. If Perry had failed the test the first time and was taking it again he'd have the same information.

Yeah, and that's still how modern test training works -- or, at least, it was twenty years ago when I took the GRE Literature in English Subject Test. Test prep companies collect all the questions from past exams, analyze the most common subjects and question forms, and lay out the most efficient methods for mastering the material and maximizing your score. For the literature exam, for instance, the Princeton Review had what they called a "points to pages ratio," meaning that the longer a work of literature is, the more points it has to be worth on the average version of the exam for it to be worth your time to study it. As they explained, if a ten-line poem is worth on average the same number of points as the collected works of Charles Dickens, you should study the ten lines and forget about Dickens.

Perry's law school prep doesn't seem too different from that. It's not like he's stealing the answer key; he's studying the most likely material on the test from someone who's in a position to know.

Edited by Dev F
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9 minutes ago, Dev F said:

It's not like he's stealing the answer key; he's studying the most likely material on the test from someone who's in a position to know.

Old Biff Tannen gives his younger self a Sports Almanac from the future...No thing like a sure thing... 

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15 minutes ago, Netfoot said:

Really? After all the scenarios previously discussed here the one they go with is a forged letter and a 2-week memorization of the bar exam questions? And suddenly Perry's look goes from blasted paro to slick lawyer man virtually overnight?

Why would this be difficult? He just put on a better outfit, combed his hair and shaved, as one recap described him, like a five year old furious he had to put on a suit for a family photo. He's never been in a situation where looking like that was that necessary. This he cares about. He's always at his least sloppy mentally, if not physically until now) when he's working the case.

15 minutes ago, Netfoot said:

Wonderful.

But how is forging a letter and parrot-memorizing the answers to a few questions on subjects he has no clue about going to make him into the shittest hottest lawyer in the universe? What were they thinking? Was I just supposed to accept that bullshit plot twist?

He's not doing that. They showed us already that his work with EB has made him familiar with the work and capable of understanding law beyond parroting answers phonetically. He's doing it via a forged note and a stolen questions so that he'll be available to take on this case, for which he's personally most qualified because of his investigations and because the only other lawyer who'll take it is working to help the other side. But clearly he already has the talent and, without admitting it, the drive to be the shittest hottest lawyer in the universe because he's smart, gifted at righteous oration, obsessed with finding out who really dunnit and has a desperate need to protect the innocent from unjust persecution. That's always been the thing Perry Mason is known for--it's not really predominantly the work real lawyers do. Remember this is a guy most known for getting people to confess on the stand which pretty much never happens irl.

I think the pov of the show is that this is a guy who's been holding himself back from doing what he should be doing and hiding all his talents, intelligence and decency because he's self-loathing. Being a defense attorney gives him an avenue out of that.

 

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6 hours ago, Door County Cherry said:

As I understand it, part of the reason we have professional exams is to verify a certain level of knowledge of those holding certain credentials.  So if I go to a doctor or a lawyer, I'm going to someone with a certain level of knowledge and practice.  For most people, the best way to get this knowledge is through education and internships.  But probably for a few gifted people, they could teach themselves with enough reading/observing.  Kind of like the rare geniuses who teach themselves how to play instruments.  

On the first day of law school, one of my professors said, "You will teach yourself the law. I will teach you how to think like a lawyer."

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7 hours ago, Door County Cherry said:

As I understand it, part of the reason we have professional exams is to verify a certain level of knowledge of those holding certain credentials.  So if I go to a doctor or a lawyer, I'm going to someone with a certain level of knowledge and practice.  For most people, the best way to get this knowledge is through education and internships.  But probably for a few gifted people, they could teach themselves with enough reading/observing.  Kind of like the rare geniuses who teach themselves how to play instruments

In addition to Perry being appropriately prepared to be an attorney (which he seems to already be), we are shown his singular and altruistic motivation is to replace the lawyer appointed to defend Emily —a lawyer who we see in this episode is plotting to get Emily convicted, which justifies “Perry's Mantra” (™@GussieK) that “there's what's legal and then there's what's right."  
 

5 hours ago, sistermagpie said:

Someone on another site pointed out that at this point in history, plenty of lawyers wouldn't have gone to actual law school and--more interesting to me--apparently plenty of people in the source material say that Perry is not a good lawyer at all. In fact, Burger flat-out says that he's more of a detective than a lawyer, because when he decides he needs to solve a case he gets to the truth

I’ve watched more Raymond Burr Perry Mason episodes than I can count, both as a child watching reruns when I was home from school with illnesses for which there are now vaccines, and more recently on the MeTV channel. As a kid I accepted the courtroom methods of Raymond Burr’s Perry Mason, but many more Law & Order episodes later, I know that’s not how it works.
But Raymond Burr’s gravitas made it believable.
Rhys is more slight of build and (thus far) groomed more like a hobo than a courtroom attorney —although in one transformative shot of Perry’s face in this episode, he looks up with eyes wide open, and we see the same haunted look of Raymond Burr’s eyes.
But mostly, instead, we see in this new Perry Mason a passion to do “what’s right,” which we see was born in the trenches of WWI when he shot his dying men as acts of euthanasia. 

Is this foreshadowing for some demise of Emily? It’s already been mirrored here to some degree in EB’s suicide.  

 

 

Edited by shapeshifter
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21 hours ago, dramachick said:

I don't see it as being that much different from the bar review course I took, for which I paid hundreds of dollars. Perry's getting a personalized course for free.

Perry got the Lori Laughlin ultra cheat version for free because Burger is ambitious, opportunistic and wants justice,

 

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I found it disappointing that Perry Mason has turned out to be a fraudulent attorney in this retelling. I was expecting some sort of twist to change his profession, but I thought it might be something like, "I've been a nonpracticing member of the bar for years; I couldn't hack being in the courtroom due to PTSD and alcoholism. Slumming it as a private eye let me wallow in my misery. But now, I guess I'll have to suck it up to see that justice is done!" Sure, that would have been slightly preposterous, but no more so than what we got.

Instead, we saw Our Hero employ a fake apprenticeship attested to by a forged certificate, plus cheating on the bar exam. I suppose basing Mason's legal career on a big lie is appropriate for this more hard-boiled, noir-ish version of the character. Of course a legal white knight in such a cynical universe will turn out to be a secret fraud. But now I can't help thinking more of Leonardo DiCaprio in Catch Me If You Can than of Raymond Burr.

In any event, the major fallacy here is the notion that being a good detective -- insightful and handy with facts -- will instantly translate into a brilliant trial performance. A nose for corrupt cops and a passionate belief in the innocence of one's client certainly do not teach someone how to examine a witness properly, either on direct or on cross, how/when to object, how to introduce evidence properly, what the rules of evidence even are, etc. Sure, the show can have Della draft Mason's motions behind the scenes, but once you're on your feet in front of the judge and jury, you have to think and speak on your own. And that takes experience -- lots of it. Mason hasn't even done a moot court!

If Della was willing to create a phony legal apprenticeship, why didn't she do it for herself, rather than Mason? Women were admitted to the California Bar as far back as 1878, so her sex wouldn't have been an obstacle. And since she spent every day working in E.B.'s office, claiming that she spent part of the time studying law with him would have been far more plausible than the idea that Perry Mason, a guy who primarily worked on the streets photographing scandal bait, and getting drunk afterward, was diligently reading the law in his spare time.

Incidentally, California retains the apprenticeship route as an alternative to law school. That's how Kim Kardashian, who doesn't even have a bachelor's degree, apparently hopes to become eligible for the bar exam.

I'm glad that HamBurger has appeared -- one of the best names in the history of TV. Was it supposed to be a joke, or was that an accident by Gardner?

Edited by Nampara
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1 hour ago, Nampara said:

In any event, the major fallacy here is the notion that being a good detective -- insightful and handy with facts -- will instantly translate into a brilliant trial performance. A nose for corrupt cops and a passionate belief in the innocence of one's client certainly do not teach someone how to examine a witness properly, either on direct or on cross, how/when to object, how to introduce evidence properly, what the rules of evidence even are, etc. Sure, the show can have Della draft Mason's motions behind the scenes, but once you're on your feet in front of the judge and jury, you have to think and speak on your own. And that takes experience -- lots of it. Mason hasn't even done a moot court!

But that's also why it's relevant that in the source material this actually is what he's known for--he's apparently often described as not being a good lawyer, but a person who gets obsessed with finding the truth. His trademark is getting people to confess on the stand, which is not something that happens in real life, not court procedure, though on the show they made a point of showing that he did have some sense at least about objections since he admonished his own lawyer for not objecting when he should.

It's also relevant, though, that presumably at this point Perry Mason isn't planning a career as a lawyer. He's only looking at this specific case where he's a last resort. If he wins he'll no doubt consider becoming a lawyer for real. That's why while I understand the comparisons to Frank Abignale, there's a big difference at the center of it. Mason isn't doing any of this so he can have a career as a lawyer and make money or have respect or whatever. The law career isn't the goal, so he's not looking for a way to get more clients to pay him to fake his way through trials. If he decides he wants the job for real (and of course he will) he'd want to do it right and give the clients the best defense they can get. That's the real goal. The only reason he's not taking the qualifications so seriously no is because he doesn't have the time if he wants to save Emily.

1 hour ago, Nampara said:

If Della was willing to create a phony legal apprenticeship, why didn't she do it for herself, rather than Mason? Women were admitted to the California Bar as far back as 1878, so her sex wouldn't have been an obstacle. And since she spent every day working in E.B.'s office, claiming that she spent part of the time studying law with him would have been far more plausible than the idea that Perry Mason, a guy who primarily worked on the streets photographing scandal bait, and getting drunk afterward, was diligently reading the law in his spare time.

It is a question they probably ought to answer, I agree. But it doesn't seem like it's any real problem to make it Perry since everybody knows he worked with EB closely as well. As written Della doesn't have any problem taking control when she thinks she needs to get something done herself, but instead she saw Perry as the best chance. I would be surprised if the series went forward if this show kept the dynamic of lawyer and assistant between them, though, like in the past. Rather than them being equal partners with different strengths. She might genuinely prefer doing what she does now to having EB's job even when he was at his best.

 

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19 hours ago, Dev F said:

Yeah, and that's still how modern test training works -- or, at least, it was twenty years ago when I took the GRE Literature in English Subject Test. Test prep companies collect all the questions from past exams, analyze the most common subjects and question forms, and lay out the most efficient methods for mastering the material and maximizing your score. For the literature exam, for instance, the Princeton Review had what they called a "points to pages ratio," meaning that the longer a work of literature is, the more points it has to be worth on the average version of the exam for it to be worth your time to study it. As they explained, if a ten-line poem is worth on average the same number of points as the collected works of Charles Dickens, you should study the ten lines and forget about Dickens.

Perry's law school prep doesn't seem too different from that. It's not like he's stealing the answer key; he's studying the most likely material on the test from someone who's in a position to know.

I hate to be a broken record, but there is a humongous difference between a prep course saying "In general, study these subjects/this way and here are some sample questions that we made by extrapolating from previous exams" and someone saying, "I can tell you these 10 specific questions  will be on the exam you're going to take because they have done the exact same questions for the past seven years."

Even if Burger didn't spoonfeed him the answers, having two full weeks to research and memorize the answers that others will have to come up with on the spot having spent time and energy researching numerous topics that could have been on the test but weren't is a huge unfair advantage.

To put in English literature terms, someone taking the GRE who knew that the test had questions not just about 10-line poems and Dickens, but the specific Shakespeare sonnets, Audre Lorde, Emily Dickenson works and Bleak House would have unfair insider knowledge.

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2 hours ago, Nampara said:

"I've been a nonpracticing member of the bar for years; I couldn't hack being in the courtroom due to PTSD and alcoholism. Slumming it as a private eye let me wallow in my misery. But now, I guess I'll have to suck it up to see that justice is done!"

That's what I was expecting as well. The groundwork has been laid. It's been 14 years since the end of the war, a period during which he might easily have done anything, including study law and pass the bar. We have the diploma hanging on his wall which we caught a glimpse of. That could have been made to support his claim.

2 hours ago, Nampara said:

Instead, we saw Our Hero employ a fake apprenticeship attested to by a forged certificate, plus cheating on the bar exam.

Right. Perry Mason has become a liar and a cheat. No doubt his law career will be filled with suborning jury members, intimidating witnesses and concealing or destroying pertinent evidence if it stands in his way.

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1 hour ago, Netfoot said:

Right. Perry Mason has become a liar and a cheat. No doubt his law career will be filled with suborning jury members, intimidating witnesses and concealing or destroying pertinent evidence if it stands in his way.

Presumably the guy who was Emily's lawyer in this ep and the DA got their degrees without forging an apprenticeship or getting the answers to the bar exam in advance so if Perry Mason is going to do that in this universe, passing the bar wouldn't stop him.

I mean, the thing is, passing the bar isn't a competition and doesn't come with a prize, it's just supposed to show that you know enough to do the job. Likewise this Perry isn't presented as driven by a need to win, but a need to find the truth.

Edited by sistermagpie
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31 minutes ago, sistermagpie said:

Presumably the guy who was Emily's lawyer in this ep and the DA got their degrees without forging an apprenticeship or getting the answers to the bar exam in advance so if Perry Mason is going to do that in this universe, passing the bar wouldn't stop him.

I mean, the thing is, passing the bar isn't a competition and doesn't come with a prize, it's just supposed to show that you know enough to do the job.

That's  how I see it. And the only thing I think is really "forged" is E.B.'s signature, which Della has probably been doing with E.B.'s permission for a long time, so, not really forging in the ™shapeshifter book of law, especially because:

On 7/20/2020 at 3:44 PM, GussieK said:

...episode 1, he was shown knowing more about evidence rules and objections than the attorney representing him on whatever it was he was dealing with, can't remember now. So he's been around the law for a few years, and Della recognized he could do it.

but this is a dark show, so I won't be shocked if I am wrong and the cheating/forging/whatever becomes an anvil falling on Perry's head.
But I also won't be surprised if he shows up in court looking like a million bucks.

Edited by shapeshifter
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2 hours ago, Netfoot said:

Right. Perry Mason has become a liar and a cheat. No doubt his law career will be filled with suborning jury members, intimidating witnesses and concealing or destroying pertinent evidence if it stands in his way.

Now, now.

There's what's legal and there's what's right.

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5 minutes ago, scrb said:
2 hours ago, Netfoot said:

Right. Perry Mason has become a liar and a cheat. No doubt his law career will be filled with suborning jury members, intimidating witnesses and concealing or destroying pertinent evidence if it stands in his way.

Now, now.

There's what's legal and there's what's right.

I agree, @scrb, and Perry's mostly all right in my book, but yeah, a little suborning perjury or manipulating evidence and whatnot might be necessary from time to time in order to have what's right. 😉 

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E.B. has a lot of fancy suits. Borrow $100 from Lupe and get some altered. Faster than getting a custom suit before trial.

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5 hours ago, Netfoot said:

No doubt his law career will be filled with suborning jury members, intimidating witnesses and concealing or destroying pertinent evidence if it stands in his way.

Maynard Barnes is already doing that...so meet the new boss, same as the old boss...

Edited by paigow
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Shea Whigam, Stephen Root, Tim Van Patten and now Gretchen Mol makes this quite the Boardwalk Empire reunion. Not that I’m complaining. Now if they could only find a role for Jack Huston. 

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14 hours ago, sistermagpie said:

It's also relevant, though, that presumably at this point Perry Mason isn't planning a career as a lawyer. He's only looking at this specific case where he's a last resort. If he wins he'll no doubt consider becoming a lawyer for real.

If Mason's going to accept more clients down the road, hopefully he'll at least crack open a book on criminal procedure. And he'll certainly learn through experience and "osmosis" just from being involved in complex legal matters. This happens with all lawyers, regardless of the genesis of their bar memberships. However, I don't see how he could retroactively legitimize his own path to the bar. The system provides no way of undoing that kind of fraud. He'll just have to live with the lie -- again, essentially par for the course for a hard-boiled character. These types always have to be tormented by some past wrong that they can't undo.

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11 hours ago, paigow said:

E.B. has a lot of fancy suits. Borrow $100 from Lupe and get some altered. Faster than getting a custom suit before trial.

Go down to the morgue and pick a new suit "off the rack."

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Just some observations about Ham Burger prepping Perry for the CalBar exam. I took and passed the bar exam some years ago before many of you were born I suspect. Went thru a 6 week prep course and looked at some exams from years earlier. One, the earlier exam questions had fewer issues to spot (and as we were told, it was more important to spot issues than to write the correct answer (because if there were one correct answer there would be no need to have courts to decide issues)). Two, after completing the whole process and being sworn in I maintained that a reasonably intelligent person without prior legal training could go thru the prep course and pass the bar exam. So I don’t find it unrealistic that Perry could pass the bar exam with HB prepping him. (And just FYI, the practical portion was introduced not long after I took the exam so I didn’t have that experience. The exam I took consisted of 2 am/pm sessions of essay Q’s 12 total, 1/2 day multistate and 1/2 day professional responsibility.)

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31 minutes ago, FrankOFoley said:

So I don’t find it unrealistic that Perry could pass the bar exam with HB prepping him.

True, that plot point was not unrealistic at all, given that the clear implication was that HamBurger gave Mason the answers as well as the questions. People who cheat on exams do so because cheating works.

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49 minutes ago, FrankOFoley said:

Two, after completing the whole process and being sworn in I maintained that a reasonably intelligent person without prior legal training could go thru the prep course and pass the bar exam.

I rest my case.

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On 7/21/2020 at 1:21 AM, dramachick said:

On the first day of law school, one of my professors said, "You will teach yourself the law. I will teach you how to think like a lawyer."

I remember I once told a  contracts professor I have a photographic memory. Shocked, he replied "A what?"  I said "a photograhic memory". He replied: "A photographic memory is of absolutely no use to you Mr. Ludwell without the ability to analyze that vast mass of facts between your ears."

Edited by Pike Ludwell
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2 hours ago, Nampara said:

Go down to the morgue and pick a new suit "off the rack."

Virgil: Sorry Perry, almost every fresh body is a dame..the only guy burned up at a gas station...

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2 hours ago, shapeshifter said:

I rest my case.

For sure a reasonably intelligent person could go through Barbri etc and pass a typical bar (although of course many very intelligent people still fail the bar after law school, prep courses and even multiple attempts.)

But that'six weeks of prep. I still maintain that prepping for just two weeks would probably not work taking anything akin to a modern bar straight up, no cheating.

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3 hours ago, Nampara said:

Go down to the morgue and pick a new suit "off the rack."

Which reminds me of a grizzly Mortician joke.....

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3 hours ago, FrankOFoley said:

after completing the whole process and being sworn in I maintained that a reasonably intelligent person without prior legal training could go thru the prep course and pass the bar exam. So I don’t find it unrealistic that Perry could pass the bar exam with HB prepping him.

I don't think anyone is saying it was unrealistic. 

What I was saying was it was unethical. The PM we know from previous portrayals is a man of integrity. This PM is a liar and a cheat, as well as (apparently) an alcoholic bum. His good intentions, his positive motive, and his ability to pull off the fraud does not change anything about that.

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18 hours ago, Chicago Redshirt said:

I hate to be a broken record, but there is a humongous difference between a prep course saying "In general, study these subjects/this way and here are some sample questions that we made by extrapolating from previous exams" and someone saying, "I can tell you these 10 specific questions  will be on the exam you're going to take because they have done the exact same questions for the past seven years."

I don't know how literally we're supposed to take Berger's comment that the test "has not changed since 1923." If they had actually been using the same exact questions for nine years, the whole system would already be completely broken. Every law school would just drill those questions into their students until it was impossible for any of them to fail. Anyone who flunked the test the first time could just look up the answers, take it again, and pass. I assumed Berger was talking more along the lines of what I experienced -- just that they draw from the same pool of material for every test, and the questions fall into particular patterns, so someone who's really familiar with the process can help you get a leg up.

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1 hour ago, Dev F said:

I don't know how literally we're supposed to take Berger's comment that the test "has not changed since 1923." If they had actually been using the same exact questions for nine years, the whole system would already be completely broken. Every law school would just drill those questions into their students until it was impossible for any of them to fail. Anyone who flunked the test the first time could just look up the answers, take it again, and pass. I assumed Berger was talking more along the lines of what I experienced -- just that they draw from the same pool of material for every test, and the questions fall into particular patterns, so someone who's really familiar with the process can help you get a leg up.

I assume that Burger is telling the truth and we are supposed to take him at his word: the bar exam hasn't changed at all in 7 years(or whatever precisely was said) and the questions Burger was prepping Perry with were the actual questions that were used each of those years in the past and that Perry could expect to be on his own exam. 

Yes, this would be a broken, easy-to-cheat and defeat system. But that doesn't justify cheating it.

Even now, law schools don't think of themselves as teaching people to pass the bar in and of itself. That's why most people who go to law school take post-law school specialiy courses to beat the bar. 

But back then, I don't know if the notion of blocking people from entry was the foremost goal of the bar. Rather, it was maintaining the status quo and making sure that the market for lawyers never gets glutted in addition to the more high-minded reasons like maintaining a level of professionalism and all that good stuff. I wouldn't be surprised if the passage rate in the early years of the bar was closer to 90.  (Google tells me that California's February 2019 passage rate was a mere 31.4 percent.)

It would have been pretty easy if the writers wanted us to think that Burger was merely drilling Perry on a similar type of question or one that they had in the past that wouldn't likely be on the current one to write the scene that way.

"Now, Perry, here's the sort of question you can expect. This one was on the bar exam I took seven years ago. They'll probably have someting like it." or "Every year, the bar exam has questions about the elements of murder, intestate succession and equitable estoppel, among other things. I'm going to drill you on each of those concepts till you're good and ready."

Instead it was more like, they don't change it, and here's the actual questions  they've used in the past (and possibly the answers). 

 

Edited by Chicago Redshirt
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5 hours ago, Nampara said:

If Mason's going to accept more clients down the road, hopefully he'll at least crack open a book on criminal procedure. And he'll certainly learn through experience and "osmosis" just from being involved in complex legal matters. This happens with all lawyers, regardless of the genesis of their bar memberships. However, I don't see how he could retroactively legitimize his own path to the bar. The system provides no way of undoing that kind of fraud. He'll just have to live with the lie -- again, essentially par for the course for a hard-boiled character. These types always have to be tormented by some past wrong that they can't undo.

 

1 hour ago, Netfoot said:

I don't think anyone is saying it was unrealistic. 

What I was saying was it was unethical. The PM we know from previous portrayals is a man of integrity. This PM is a liar and a cheat, as well as (apparently) an alcoholic bum. His good intentions, his positive motive, and his ability to pull off the fraud does not change anything about that.

Certainly that's true, but to me the important part is to put it in the context of how the show is talking about ethics. For instance, it would be difficult if not impossible to find a person who would never cheat under any circumstances--that is, for whom you couldn't devise some situation where they'd think cheating was right, even if in general they thought cheating was wrong.

So in this case, they set up a situation where Perry has investigated a case and genuinely believes Emily is innocent. Not only does he see the other side (police, DA) as covering up the crime to pin it on her, he knows that the lawyer assigned to her is actively working against her and that no other lawyer will help her. So they've created a situation where Perry would have to think that testing his law skills honestly on the bar exam was more important than helping Emily, and of course he wouldn't think that. It's a situation earlier PM's never faced, since they just became a lawyer in their own good time and then took on clients.

That raises the question of what else this Perry would cheat on, and that's unclear. I doubt he'd feel badly about not passing the bar without cheating if he proved able to do the work and felt he was doing right by doing it. This Perry is just too cynical about the system, imo, to put that much stock in official government approval or ever feel tormented or even feel like a phony because he didn't pass on his own. Nor do I think he would have even thought of cheating under different circumstances.

So, imo, you have to look at the framework the show is setting up, which is one where the bad guys cover up the truth and Perry compulsively wants the truth. That's the central conflict as the show defines it. From what we've seen, if Perry discovered evidence that made his client look bad, he wouldn't cover it up, he would dig into it to find the meaning of it. To me, while his cheating reflects the lower moral bar of this version of the PM universe, it doesn't at all make him just the same as the other side because of the context. And even sort of echoes the words of the activist about the dangers of putting too much faith in the system rewarding you. (There's probably a lot to think about too, in comparing that to, for instance, a PM that conforms to a lot of the better behaviors this Perry doesn't, but lives in a world that rarely if ever acknowledges the situations of people who aren't white straight cis and probably Christian if not Protestant.)

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13 minutes ago, sistermagpie said:

There's probably a lot to think about too, in comparing that to, for instance, a PM that conforms to a lot of the better behaviors this Perry doesn't, but lives in a world that rarely if ever acknowledges the situations of people who aren't white straight cis and probably Christian if not Protestant.

Perry Mason. Cheat, liar, intersectionalist hero. Erle Stanley Gardner rotates in his grave.

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45 minutes ago, Netfoot said:

Perry Mason. Cheat, liar, intersectionalist hero. Erle Stanley Gardner rotates in his grave.

Or Erle Stanley Gardner sits up in his grave and declares, "Wish I'd thought of that!" or maybe even, "Yeah, I thought of that, but the folks of my time would never buy it."

Anyway, those of us who have spent a lot of time on message boards for the last 10 or 20 years** know by now that any plot point that excites as much discussion as this one has is quite likely not going to be very significant in the following episodes.
But this could be the exception to the rule.

Stay tuned, viewers!

_______________________________

**If I posted this on TWoP I'd be banned for "boards on boards."

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1 hour ago, Netfoot said:

Perry Mason. Cheat, liar, intersectionalist hero. Erle Stanley Gardner rotates in his grave.

I wish I knew enough about Gardner to say whether he would have already started spinning when Della kissed another girl...

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2 minutes ago, sistermagpie said:

I wish I knew enough about Gardner to say whether he would have already started spinning when Della kissed another girl...

That's just OBLGBTQ.

Edited by Netfoot

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39 minutes ago, shapeshifter said:

Anyway, those of us who have spent a lot of time on message boards for the last 10 or 20 years** know by now that any plot point that excites as much discussion as this one has is quite likely not going to be very significant in the following episodes.
But this could be the exception to the rule.

Hard to say. Will there be another season of this Perry Mason?

It's quite possible that the only purpose of this little fraudulent scheme was to do what I mentioned above: to create a "twist" that abruptly converted Drunken Noir Detective Perry Mason into Perry Mason, Esq., in seeming defiance of the story's direction. Having placed Mason at the counsel table, the route there could be conveniently forgotten.

But we've already seen E.B. pay a long-delayed price for his own past ethical lapse (dipping into a client's account for emergency funds), so it's not hard to imagine a simmering storyline in which Mason's career-launching transgression eventually comes back to haunt him. I doubt that it would involve a full disclosure -- a disbarred Perry Mason would be weak protagonist for a legal show! -- but maybe blackmail? guilt? a cover-up? Della's own misconduct exposed? We'll see. On The Shield, crimes committed by the corrupt cops in season 1 were still having major consequences in season 7.

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45 minutes ago, sistermagpie said:

I wish I knew enough about Gardner to say whether he would have already started spinning when Della kissed another girl...

There was allegedly some homoerotic undertones to some of his works.  Between men and maybe people are reading too much into it but still---

1 hour ago, Netfoot said:

Perry Mason. Cheat, liar, intersectionalist hero. Erle Stanley Gardner rotates in his grave.

This might be better for the comparisons thread but Earle Stanley Gardner's early Perry Mason wasn't above breaking the law so I don't think he'd take issue with how Perry got his law degree in this series.    

It's the Burr TV show that created this notion of Mason being highly ethical. And maybe that's what he'll develop into but this Perry is closer to the early book version of Perry.  

19 minutes ago, Nampara said:

Hard to say. Will there be another season of this Perry Mason?

There's no official renewal yet but in a press release for shows coming up in August, HBO says that the season finale will air in August whereas it says "finale" for other limited series.  

Never mind. I should have read the media thread first.  There will officially be another season.  

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I guess if Allstate paid out, then the insurance fraud will remain hidden permanently. Perry has only one good suit, but several skeletons in his closet..

How about really changing the origin story...

The real Perry Mason DIED in combat...The guy that came home from France is an impostor. A con artist / charlatan named Draper...

Edited by paigow
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48 minutes ago, shapeshifter said:

Anyway, those of us who have spent a lot of time on message boards for the last 10 or 20 years** know by now that any plot point that excites as much discussion as this one has is quite likely not going to be very significant in the following episodes.

The writers had to get Perry Mason from point A (private eye) to point C (defense attorney) via point B (Burger-Street accelerated version of reading the law).

What would really be funny is if something happens to Barnes right before trial, and Burger becomes prosecutor on the case. (Cue theme music.)

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36 minutes ago, dramachick said:

What would really be funny is if something happens to Barnes right before trial, and Burger becomes prosecutor on the case. (Cue theme music.)

Burger would drop the charges and Perry instantly becomes a legend...

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1 hour ago, Door County Cherry said:

This might be better for the comparisons thread but Earle Stanley Gardner's early Perry Mason wasn't above breaking the law so I don't think he'd take issue with how Perry got his law degree in this series.    

It's the Burr TV show that created this notion of Mason being highly ethical. And maybe that's what he'll develop into but this Perry is closer to the early book version of Perry.  

I happened to start watching RBPM from its beginning starting the same day I found out about HBO PM, and RB definitely cut some corners. Nothing quite as openly cheaty as getting answers from the bar exam to pass it, but definitely stuff happened that the show acknowledged might cost Perry his license (or might cost Paul Drake his PI license) or their freedom if they got caught doing it. (spoiler alert: he never was caught, as hard as Burger tried Wile E. Coyote would watch episodes and be like, "Dude, just give it a rest. You're trying too hard.").

He definitely had moments where he was living the distinction between what's legal and what's right that HBO PM talked about in this ep.

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1 hour ago, Nampara said:
2 hours ago, shapeshifter said:

Anyway, those of us who have spent a lot of time on message boards for the last 10 or 20 years** know by now that any plot point that excites as much discussion as this one has is quite likely not going to be very significant in the following episodes.
But this could be the exception to the rule.

Hard to say. Will there be another season of this Perry Mason?

It's quite possible that the only purpose of this little fraudulent scheme was to do what I mentioned above: to create a "twist" that abruptly converted Drunken Noir Detective Perry Mason into Perry Mason, Esq., in seeming defiance of the story's direction. Having placed Mason at the counsel table, the route there could be conveniently forgotten.

But we've already seen E.B. pay a long-delayed price for his own past ethical lapse (dipping into a client's account for emergency funds), so it's not hard to imagine a simmering storyline in which Mason's career-launching transgression eventually comes back to haunt him. I doubt that it would involve a full disclosure -- a disbarred Perry Mason would be weak protagonist for a legal show! -- but maybe blackmail? guilt? a cover-up? Della's own misconduct exposed? We'll see. On The Shield, crimes committed by the corrupt cops in season 1 were still having major consequences in season 7.

Good point. 
There was a similar arc in The Good Wife with Will Gardner,

Spoiler

who did get killed off, but not IIRC, due to this past transgression (other than maybe some residual Karma)


And, yes, this just in on season 2: 

3 hours ago, giovannif7 said:

Renewed for Season 2, per TVLine.

 

-----------------------------------

26 minutes ago, Chicago Redshirt said:
1 hour ago, Door County Cherry said:

This might be better for the comparisons thread but Earle Stanley Gardner's early Perry Mason wasn't above breaking the law so I don't think he'd take issue with how Perry got his law degree in this series.    

It's the Burr TV show that created this notion of Mason being highly ethical. And maybe that's what he'll develop into but this Perry is closer to the early book version of Perry.  

I happened to start watching RBPM from its beginning starting the same day I found out about HBO PM, and RB definitely cut some corners. Nothing quite as openly cheaty as getting answers from the bar exam to pass it, but definitely stuff happened that the show acknowledged might cost Perry his license (or might cost Paul Drake his PI license) or their freedom if they got caught doing it. (spoiler alert: he never was caught, as hard as Burger tried Wile E. Coyote would watch episodes and be like, "Dude, just give it a rest. You're trying too hard.").

He definitely had moments where he was living the distinction between what's legal and what's right that HBO PM talked about in this ep.

Thanks for the memories, @Door County Cherry and @Chicago Redshirt!
Just copied it to the Compare & Contrast thread here: 


 

Edited by shapeshifter
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On 7/19/2020 at 10:31 PM, Vella said:

The stuff with Paul and Clara was really interesting too. The show is set in 1932 and yet the passionate speech given by the minister could easily be echoed today and his words are just as relevant.  Agitation, not quiet acceptance is what produces change.  Fighting for what is right, pushing back does so much more than ever patiently 'proving' your worthiness of being treated fairly.  It was not as flashy as the rest of the episode, but it was powerful. Paul stating that being a cop didn't mean anything, the fury and disappointment in his voice, that single tear sliding down the side of his face? Chris Chalk is amazing.  I loved that the bullshit at the beach changed Clara too.  Can't wait for Paul to start working with Perry.

Agreed on every word of this. I really like Paul and Clara and their relationship. They're so supportive of each other, and any issues they do have, like what they dealt with here, they talk through and work out. That baby's going to have awesome parents :).

Loved everything with Della this episode. My heart went out to her when she found EB, and her pain at losing him, and I love how they show her frustration at work, too. But I love how she handled the aftermath regarding his death, and made sure everything was all squared away, and I'm glad she had Perry there for support and help. The interaction between them this episode was great.

And yes, it was fun to see Lithgow's actual son show up here, sad though the story with his character was. It really is eerie how much he resembles his dad. 

I also continue to love the interaction between Alice and Emily. 

And I appreciate all the law school discussion going on in this thread as well! I'm learning some stuff-this site is not only fun, it can also be very educational :D!

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17 hours ago, shapeshifter said:

Or Erle Stanley Gardner sits up in his grave and declares, "Wish I'd thought of that!" or maybe even, "Yeah, I thought of that, but the folks of my time would never buy it."

Anyway, those of us who have spent a lot of time on message boards for the last 10 or 20 years** know by now that any plot point that excites as much discussion as this one has is quite likely not going to be very significant in the following episodes.
But this could be the exception to the rule.

Stay tuned, viewers!

_______________________________

**If I posted this on TWoP I'd be banned for "boards on boards."

you're getting a laugh for "boards on boards," 'cause I never really understood why that was a problem.

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1 hour ago, GussieK said:

you're getting a laugh for "boards on boards," 'cause I never really understood why that was a problem.

Nobody did. 😆

ETA: I think the No "Boards on Boards" Rule was supposed to head off  Poster-On-Poster fights, but it wound up squelching a lot of intellectual and philosophical discussion because it was too broad of a rule to be used as strictly as it was.

Edited by shapeshifter
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1 hour ago, shapeshifter said:

Nobody did. 😆

ETA: I think the No "Boards on Boards" Rule was supposed to head off  Poster-On-Poster fights, but it wound up squelching a lot of intellectual and philosophical discussion because it was too broad of a rule to be used as strictly as it was.

It was an easy and objective way to keep the thread on topic...censorship of action rather than endless subjective debate of content within that action.

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51 minutes ago, paigow said:

It was an easy and objective way to keep the thread on topic...censorship of action rather than endless subjective debate of content within that action.

But it was very easy to get told you were boards-on-boardsing because you made a reference to the conversation going on. Even when trying to follow it I'd get tripped up!

18 hours ago, Annber03 said:

Agreed on every word of this. I really like Paul and Clara and their relationship. They're so supportive of each other, and any issues they do have, like what they dealt with here, they talk through and work out. That baby's going to have awesome parents :).

I like how naturally they've presented a lot of sides of that issue. Like when Clara originally told him he should just be grateful for his job it didn't seem like she was being set up just to be wrong, even if she later somewhat changed her mind. They're just in a difficult situation--the most dangerous on the show, it seems to me.

18 hours ago, Annber03 said:

I also continue to love the interaction between Alice and Emily. 

Really like how the story saw a natural connection between these two and is using it, rather than choosing Perry to be the main person she sees as helping her. Of course, this might get turned around in future eps!

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