Tuesday, January 05, 2010

NCIS Jan 5 "Ignition" episode presents evil patent lawyer

The Jan 5, 2010 episode of NCIS (titled "Ignition") introduces a lawyer character named M. Allison Hart (played by Rena Sofer) who (in the storyline) did pro bono patent application drafting in the area of jet packs. In the episode, Hart purports to represent both engineer Victor Tillman AND his ex-wife, a situation with obvious conflicts of interest, briefly mentioned by Gibbs. It's implicit in the episode that a registered patent attorney would do double-duty as a criminal defense lawyer.

In terms of issues of keeping inventions confidential, the murder victim in the episode (Brad “Hondo” Sayers ) was playing both the Tillmans (who had created competing jetpack companies after their divorce), stealing their ideas. [In the real world, this evokes certain consultants who work for competing firms.]
Sayers was killed by his partner in idea-stealing, making this episode another in a line of tv episodes wherein idea-stealers meet bad fates (note "Death House" on CSI: New York). Is this an Amadeus-effect from screenplay writers?

The episode suggests battles yet to come between Gibbs and Hart (and her partner, Col. Merton Bell (played by Robert Patrick))


from imdb:

When the NCIS team is looking at the "mug shot" for lawyer Allison Hart, it says in the fine print she works for a firm called "Wolfram, Hart", an in-joke by the writer no doubt. Jesse Stern, who used to be David Greenwalt's assistant on the series ANGEL, which featured an evil law firm of the same name, wrote this episode.


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