Legal Fiction

          Spoiler Alert: If you haven’t watched “Breaking Bad” and think you might want to at some point, don’t pick up the latest issue (Vol. 45, No. 2) of the New Mexico Law Review .
     You should probably skip the first few paragraphs of this column too.
     For those of you still here who somehow missed the law review issue, it’s devoted to legal issues raised by New Mexico’s most famous criminal, Walter White, and his associates.
     This may strike some of you as too little, too late. After all, Walter White is no longer with us, Saul Goodman is working at a Cinnabon in Nebraska, and Jesse Pinkman is on the lam. It’s way past time for good legal advice.
     But this isn’t the point of the Review issue. This is advice for future Walter and Skylar Whites because their problems are likely to happen to anyone at any time.
     Cancer, after all, can strike when you least expect it, and that means big problems for law enforcement. It would be nice if cancer victims had alternatives.
     The most useful article in the issue, by the way, is the one that says White should have hired a lawyer instead of opening a meth lab.
     Wise advice.
     If nothing else, this inspires law firm ad slogans you may want to consider: “Goodman & McGill – We’re Better Than Meth!” or “Don’t Meth with Goodman & McGill.”
     So I commend the New Mexico Law Review publishers for this public service and urge other law reviews around the country to follow their example.
     There are lots of other television shows that require legal analysis. Here are a few to get you thinking about your course of study.
     Pokemon: Must you collect them all?
     Should you collect them at all?
     The civil rights issues alone should keep you well occupied. After all, these poor creatures are being captured and enslaved – forced to do the bidding of their captors in violent confrontations.
     Is this an animal rights issue or slavery? Should the Department of Agriculture issue regulations?
     Battlestar Galactica: If artificial intelligence gains self-awareness and appears to be making independent decisions, should it be accorded the right to vote?
     If corporations are people who can speak with money, shouldn’t toasters who can speak with voices and disguise themselves as humans have First Amendment rights as well?
     How do you insure an honest election when the opposition party consists of computers?
     Technology is getting us close to having to deal with these questions.
     There’s also an interesting political/constitutional issue to discuss: Is the Secretary of Education a logical successor if a President is unavailable?
     Survivor: Would democracy work better if you could vote people out of the country?
     It would certainly be more satisfying.
     Alf/Third Rock from the Sun/Mork & Mindy: What legal strategies should be employed when the country lacks the capability to return illegal aliens to their home planets?
     Should extraterrestrials be granted citizenship or rounded up and quarantined? Is experimentation on alien life forms legal?
     We need to know the answers to these questions before the next invasion.
     Three’s Company: Is this where gay marriage is leading us?
     If promises of support are made among a group of consenting adults, do palimony laws apply?
     If three people adopt, do they all have parental rights? If not, why not?
     If every child deserves at least two parents, wouldn’t he or she be better off with three?
     Gilligan’s Island: There are questions of admiralty law.
     There are questions of common carrier liability.
     There are issues of island-based authority – e.g. does the Skipper maintain command while off the boat?
     Is coconut-based technology patentable?
     Should Mrs. Howell be forced to share her wardrobe for the common good?
     Ginger or Mary Ann?
     The Big Bang Theory: You could devote an entire law journal issue to roommate contracts.

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