The Good Wife on May 18, 2014; inadvertent disclosure
Eli to Alicia, who feels bad about deep-sixing good guy Finn Polmar: put your political hat on.
Of a significant legal point, the subject of inadvertent disclosure arises in the episode. Alicia, Cary and others at Florrick Agos observe an inadvertenly unclosed video link from Lockhart Gardner discussing strategy to remove Diane and to destroy Florrick Agos.
The legal issue in the episode relates to ABA Model Rule 4.4:
Under Rule 4.4(b) of the Model Rules, the lawyer must at least inform the sending party of receipt of the document. Rule 4.4(b) reflects the conflict between the recipient’s obligation of zealous representation of the client and acknowledging the confidential relationship between the opposing party and his or her client. Since 2005, ABA ethics opinions note that Rule 4.4(b) solidifies the recipient’s obligation to inform the disclosing attorney, but an attorney is no longer explicitly prevented from examining the materials or required to comply with instructions to return or destroy the materials.
See Ethical Obligations Regarding Inadvertent Disclosures
In the episode, Alicia and co-workers do NOT inform the "sending" party of the transmission.
Peter discusses backing Diane for state's attorney after his previous backed candidate (Polmar) runs into problems.
A key theme in the episode is a malpractice suit against both law firms over
a failed adoption and a bribe to a tribal counsel member.
Alicia on the two mothers preparing lasagna: I would go there myself with a hatchet.
There is a proposed merger of the two firms.
Cary meets with Canning. Cary lets Canning know of Diane's plans for merger.
Diane decides against state's attorney and asks to join
At the end, Eli asks Alicia if she would run for state's attorney.
Of the inadvertent disclosure matter, tvline had text:
Robert King: In the writers’ room, we have three lawyers in there, and this was an issue that raised more arguments than any issue this season — whether [the camera being left on] was an unintended disclosure, and, even if it was an unintended disclosure, what you had to do based on that fact. I thought [our writers] were going to come to blows, and then we had our tech advisor, Irv Miller in Chicago, getting on the phone, and he had a completely different opinion that was a little more pragmatic and a little more like Alicia’s. [Laughs] What we loved about it is that it seemed to create quite a stir between between people who know the law. All the lawyers on our staff did exactly what the lawyers on the show did. They all started pulling out their iPhones and looking up what was said online about the ethics, the American Bar Association, and all that.
See also ‘The Good Wife’ ends emotional season with more turmoil and a big cliffhanger