Listen to the first-ever mailbag episode of CBA’s @theBar! Host Jonathan Amarilio is joined by co-hosts Trisha Rich, Maggie Mendenhall Casey and Jennifer Byrne for a conversation that is even more unscripted than usual. Be a fly on the wall of an @theBar podcast production meeting as the group discusses letters from the audience and potential topics for future episodes. If you have comments, questions or ideas for future episodes, write in to [email protected].
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Jonathan Amarilio: Hello everyone, and welcome to CBA’s @theBar podcast where we have unscripted conversations about legal news, topics, stories, and whatever else strikes our fancy. I’m your host, Jon Amarilio at Taft Law and today we are doing something new, something we’ve never done before. If our average podcast is unscripted, today is really, really unscripted. We’re doing a mailbag episode. So, instead of having a guest on, we have three co-hosts, two of whom you’ll be familiar with. The other one is a newbie who will be part of the regular rotation, Jen Byrne of the CBA, Trish Rich of Holland & Knight, and Maggie Mendenhall Casey of the City of Chicago Corporation Counsel’s Office. Ladies, hi.
Maggie Mendenhall Casey: Hi.
Jennifer Byrne: Hey Jon, how’s it going? We’re ready. We’re excited.
Jonathan Amarilio: All right. None of us have any idea what we’re doing today, so let us plow right into it. The idea is to start with some of the questions that our audience members have had for us over the course of the last two seasons. Jen, you look like you’re raring to go.
Jennifer Byrne: I’m ready guys. Before we went on air today, I’m showing my co-host over Zoom I’ve got two pages of type notes, I’ve got letters from you guys and the audience, I’ve got headlines, everything we’re going to be talking about today. So, I’ll start with the first one. What, as I say this now from my physical office in downtown Chicago at CBA for the first time in like two and a half years, what are your predictions for the post pandemic world? What is the law firm culture going to look like? I mean, of course, assuming this is actually post pandemic, but like what are your predictions? That’s the question. Go.
Trisha Rich: I have one. I predict that I will be hosting this CBA’s first annual ethics day seminar in Carson on May 18.
Jonathan Amarilio: Oh my God, skip hard. Let’s remove that and post it. Maggie what do you think?
Jennifer Byrne: In all seriousness, before you go Maggie, I think we’re going to be back to in-person Bar events regularly very soon.
Maggie Mendenhall Casey: Jon push the quick deny button. My predictions are I think that unfortunately, we’re not going to be traveling for depositions anymore. I think we are on Zoom. So, there’s going to be no more expensing to go to Florida to take that expert deposition. It will be via Zoom, trials in person and everything else like depositions, it’s more convenient. It’s going to remain on zoom.
Jonathan Amarilio: Jen?
Jennifer Byrne: I mean do you really think Trish that we’re going to be ding in-person Bar events though. I mean like let’s think about this. Look, I’m the first person to advocate that we should be doing them seeing as this is my employer and I feel like there’s a lot that you can get out of doing in-person events and I think there’s a place for it certainly like there’s an appetite for people to get back together, things have changed, but as I’m talking to different lawyers and, you know, I’m on phone calls, touching base on Zooms and whatever, people are saying we’re in the office two days a week, we’re in the office one day a week, and I’m trying to wrap my head around like how frequently is everybody going to be in the same place at the same time and feel like it is convenient for them and worthwhile to actually come over to the Bar Association building or even like get together at a Bar when you know people have these hybrid schedules and everybody’s busy and, you know, trying to build their time. Do you guys have any thoughts?
Trisha Rich: Yeah. So one thing that’s really interesting is it looks like we’re going to go back to work in a situation where most mid-size and large law firms and a whole lot of small law firms are going to adapt hybrid working schedules, and it seems like the one that I’ve sort of heard most often is either three days in the office, two days from home or the reverse of that, right? And so it is going to be a challenge for us at the Bar to plan around events like that. I mean does it mean that we should probably tend to have them on Thursdays instead of Fridays because maybe most people will opt to work from home on Fridays, but I think there is a real thirst for human interaction. I think people really miss seeing each other. I have to figure out, you know, at least several of you on this Zoom now I am a hugger and I need to figure out how to not be a hugger on the other side of this, because I think people are still going to be a little bit leery of physical interactions, but I think people really miss interacting in-person. So it will be something we have to figure out.
Maggie Mendenhall Casey: The distinction I would make is I think it will be different between lunchtime meetings and evening meetings. I think if you’re trying to do something during the lunchtime, most likely that should remain on Zoom and if it’s meeting in the evening, I think that that’ll be a little bit easier to get people to come downtown to, to be able to plan around and I think when you start doing in-person a little bit more, it needs to be put into it to incentivize people to come down to your event to spend the time to come when they wouldn’t necessarily be in the loop.
Jennifer Byrne: A related question as we kind of shift away from talking about like Bar events and more towards the practice of law and like what you guys are seeing with clients, what are you seeing in court, we had a couple questions here come in about like what kinds of changes are you seeing on those fronts? Like do your clients want to meet you in the office? What are the judges doing? Are you having to go to court as much as previously? Do you think that’s going to change? Like what are you guys thinking and seeing down the pike with that? Jon?
Jonathan Amarilio: I mean I think —
Trisha Rich: Jon doesn’t go to court.
Jonathan Amarilio: That’s right. I mean I think my practice is a little bit different since I’m an appellant lawyer and you know I’m only in court maybe once a month. My clients so far have been perfectly happy to meet over the telephone and Zoom because they always have been period, you know, even before the pandemic. I don’t see any of that changing. I am glad that appellate arguments are starting to go back to court rooms because I think there’s nothing quite like that. You know, I didn’t become an appellate lawyer to argue in front of a computer. I want to be at the podium. I want to be gripping the sides of that podium. You know, it gets your heart beat up and you’re really your best when you’re literally on your feet. So, you know, going back to Maggie’s earlier point, I think at least that part of the practice of law will return to normal, the statuses and the case management conferences and things like that and I think that’s going to be done over Zoom, you know, much to their chagrin of all the lawyers who bill hourly, who used to be able to bill an hour for a five-minute status appearance.
Trisha Rich: Yeah, I agree with Jon especially — I mean I know we have listeners from all over but especially in the Daily Center. It seems like one of the things we’ll see is routine statuses will move to Zoom but more important hearings and trials and those sorts of things will start being in person and I in fact have a jury trial starting two weeks from the day we’re recording this in-person in the Daily Center. So I think those are going to — if they’re not already back, will be totally back full speed pretty soon.
Maggie Mendenhall Casey: So the client portion, I’ll pipe in here with my experience. So I do personal injury defense, and represent a number of City of Chicago employees and what’s going to be different for me is that really having the choice in terms of what my clients like, it makes it easier for them. So, a number of my clients aren’t necessarily Zoom fluent and if there’s a deposition, I’ll bring them into my office and put them in a conference room and they’ll get on Zoom. On the other hand, I have clients where I can prep them via Zoom, I can have them review discovery via Zoom and it’s a lot easier for them versus having to come downtown to the court counsel’s office. So I think that flexibility is going to remain.
Jonathan Amarilio: One of the issues and not to nerd out too much on this question, but one of the issues that occurred to me the other day is I asked for a page extension from a trial court on a post-trial motion and they just did it via an email. It was granted via email. In the past, we used to have to do that via formal motion and it occurred to me what’s going to happen when there’s a dispute about what actually happened in the trial court in terms of orders and even routine things like this and how do those emails make it into the record. I think that’s going to be kind of a brave new frontier for both trial lawyers trying to keep in mind preservation issues and the fellow lawyers dealing with them. But let’s go on to another question. Maggie, what did you pull from the mailbag?
Maggie Mendenhall Casey: The question I pulled from the mailbag is for the OG’s that are on the line. What has been your favorite guests or interview in your time doing the podcast?
Jonathan Amarilio: Trish, your eyebrows just shot up. What do you think?
Trisha Rich: Yeah, I’ve had a lot. So my good friend and a good friend of the Pod, Dan Cotter’s episode on the book that he wrote I thought was really a good one but also one that really stands out to me is when we interviewed Bill Kunkle, the guy that prosecuted John Wayne Gacy. That was a really cool episode because of what we aired, but also because of all the things he told us off-air about the case and searching the house and all sorts of really interesting things. That was a really interesting episode. Jon, what’s your favorite?
Jonathan Amarilio: You know, I’ve been liking them more and more as we go. The last three that we’ve done I think are probably three of our best interview with Dan Webb about the Jussie Smollett trial, the interview with Amanda Knox and then the interview about the family secrets trial with Marcus Strong I think. I mean we may be getting better. I also really like the one with Rob a lot about Dark Waters and the DuPont boys in the cases because. That’s in the news a lot. Even now, I see that in the news daily. Jen, you’re the producer. What do you think?
Jennifer Byrne: I’m the one to ask for this question. I base all of my preferences on ratings and numbers. No, I’m just kidding. But if we are going to go off of that, our highest rated episode is the Bill Kunkle, John Wayne Gacy episode, which I mean I think is a favorite for a number of reasons. Number one, I feel like that was a really exciting get for us because it was a big case. We knew people were going to want to listen to that because, you know, it’s a hot true crime topic and he’s a local hometown hero for having tried that case. So it was a good get. It was a really interesting sit down to hear the behind the scenes and actually as we’re doing this mailbag episode, I think part of the impetus and inspiration for doing this was sort of like some of the off-the-record chats we have with the guests and that one was particularly memorable because when we press the stop record button, we got some good inside takes from the former judge about his handling of the case. So that was a really good one, but I agree with Jon. I think we’re really hitting our stride with some of the more recent episodes because, you know, we’re getting some really, really good hot topics and guests and I would have to say that when I was listening to Jon and Trish interview Amanda Knox, I was like, wow, you know like this is a very high-quality interview guys, both knocked it out of the park with the questions you asked and she was just a pro in terms of being PR trained or, you know, just a good speaker in general. So it flowed like butter as they say and I thought it was a really, really great interview. I mean the ratings for this most recent one with Dan Webb talking about the Jussie Smollett case. It has been off the charts as well because that’s just hot. It’s in the news. It’s in the news right now as we speak. You could probably Google it and there’s an update within the last five minutes. So all good ones.
Jonathan Amarilio: Trish, what did you pull from the mailbag?
Trisha Rich: Okay. I have an interesting letter about somebody else’s favorite episode. I really enjoyed the live episode you did from Revolution Brewery. Do you have any plans for another live episode in the future?
Jonathan Amarilio: I mean pandemic allowing.
Jennifer Byrne: Well, I think we’ve got to hear from you folks at home, the listeners. Do you want it? Tell us. Send us an email at [email protected] and let us know if you want us to do another live episode. I think everything we talked about at the top of the episode probably is going to be considered if we decide to do that again, right? Like, you know, what’s the appetite for it and are people willing to spend the extra time traveling to a location that might not be exactly convenient to their office or to their home or wherever to come and do that, but I think it was fun. In-person, I feel like you really felt the energy of that interview at the time, at least that was my impression.
Jonathan Amarilio: I think that may have been the bear talking.
Jennifer Byrne: It was definitely was.
Trisha Rich: Yeah.
Jennifer Byrne: When I go back and listen it, I can tell I’m a little tipsy.
Maggie Mendenhall Casey: Those are the best talk shows though.
Jonathan Amarilio: It’s true. That’s true.
Jennifer Byrne: I was the hold out of that show for sure.
Jonathan Amarilio: The voice out of all the like, you know, the late night talk shows if you guys have ever seen Graham Norton. He’s in the U.K. and he gets all the guests like Colbert and Fallon get, but he puts a drink in front of them first and the interviews are much more interesting.
Maggie Mendenhall Casey: I see.
Jennifer Byrne: Maybe that should be our strategy.
Trisha Rich: Our show is called @theBar guys. I mean —
Jonathan Amarilio: It’s true. We could probably set that up. All right. So, lets finish up this one with the one I pulled from the bag. I think this is from a regular listener, you can tell. The question was can you edit out all of Trisha’s references to Michigan. If so, why don’t you? Jen, what do you think?
Trisha Rich: Is that from my husband?
Jonathan Amarilio: Not going to say. I protect confidentiality.
Maggie Mendenhall Casey: Why are you so anti-Michigan Jon?
Jonathan Amarilio: I’m not anti-Michigan.
Maggie Mendenhall Casey: Why are you so anti-Michigan?
Jonathan Amarilio: I’m not anti-Michigan. I am anti-Michigan every day all day. There are n49 other states, probably 40 of which are worth discussing.
Trisha Rich: But is a little chilly that they didn’t grow up in Michigan.
Jennifer Byrne: People from Michigan are like that though. I feel like once you become friends with a Michigander, you just accept this into your life as a part of life and by having Trisha on the show, it’s a running narrative.
Trisha Rich: We should have a special Michigan episode.
Jonathan Amarilio: Right. Like why do all the Michigan people live here and what does that say?
Trisha Rich: Well now, that’s just not nice.
Jonathan Amarilio: All right. That’s probably a good place for us to take a break. We’ll be right back.
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Jonathan Amarilio: And we’re back. So, thank you to our listeners for those fun questions from the mailbag especially the last one. That was just absolute gold. We are going to do something different with the second segment. So, we’ve been toying with this idea of having a second episode every month and it would just be kind of like a production meeting that we have every month, but off the air and we would be having this on the air kicking ideas around, seeing what legal topics are hot and what kind of guess we could get. So, we’re just going to do that with this second segment. Jen, fearless leader, CBA at the Bar producer, take it away.
Jennifer Byrne: All right guys, those of you in the audience who are fans of pop culture may be familiar with the TMZ Show. I’m going to think of myself here is the Harvey Levin of the @theBar podcast and I’m going to try and, you know, get my humble hosts to come up with some ideas so that I can jot them down and start doing the outreach that I do to get people to come on this show. And you guys in the audience, we want you to keep writing in podcast at chicagobar.org with your ideas as well because that’s kind of how we come up with things. Right Jon? I mean I feel like the way we think up these topics is really where reading the headlines, we’re just chatting with one another and whatever strikes our fancy as what’s on the show. So I’ll start off with my recent idea. My latest little concept I’ve been toying around with is the Elizabeth Holmes case. I know we’ve been wanting to do something on her but have any of you guys checked out the Hulu documentary?
Jonathan Amarilio: I’m watching it now.
Jennifer Byrne: Or not the documentary. I’m sorry, the series.
Jonathan Amarilio: The Dropout.
Jennifer Byrne: Yeah. What do you think about it so far?
Jonathan Amarilio: About halfway through it. It seems pretty sympathetic.
Jennifer Byrne: Yeah. I was going to say first of all, the fact that they cast Amanda Seyfried to play her and then I’m also hearing that there’s a movie coming out with Jennifer Lawrence, I feel like is very generous to Elizabeth Holmes.
Jonathan Amarilio: Getting this aside, if we were going to do An Elizabeth Holmes episode, who would the guest be?
Jennifer Byrne: Well, I think I’ve already made outreach. So, if he’s listening, John Kiriakou, I think is how you pronounce his name actually wrote — oh, he was basically not the whistleblower but the first journalist to take on the story, but he wound up publishing the book which I believe the Jennifer Lawrence movie is based on called Bad Blood, and I think he would be an excellent guest to get. So I’ve already made a couple inquiries to him, have not yet heard back. So if you listening, please respond sir. But you know, there are other possibilities to show, The Who Show is based on the podcast called the Dropout that I believe was executive produced and perhaps hosted. I haven’t listened to it yet by Rebecca Jarvis, so she would be a good guest. You know, I didn’t really follow the case in real time. I, you know, was peripherally aware of it and I was aware of her and then I decided to watch the HBO documentary. Has anyone watched that?
Jonathan Amarilio: Not yet.
Trisha Rich: I haven’t.
Jennifer Byrne: It was good. It was a good laying the groundwork for understanding, you know, what happened with her, and I feel like if you’re going to watch The Who series you should, watch the HBO docs first, which I think is why I get to my caddy thought process on the actresses who were chosen because I generally find them both to be quite likeable and that is the opposite of how I find Elizabeth Holmes after watching the documentary because she’s actually extensively featured in the documentary on HBO and she sucks and I feel like both of those women —
Jonathan Amarilio: Maybe the documentary filmmakers would be a good guest too.
Jennifer Byrne: Yeah, yeah. I think they would be too.
Trisha Rich: I totally agree with you. I think I find Jennifer Lawrence to be adorable and Elizabeth Holmes to be a monster, right? I do want to make the point though there’s no doubt that sexism pervades every inch of our society, right? So I am sure Elizabeth Holmes is being treated differently than men in her position might be treated. It does not mean that she is not an absolute terrible monster who deserves to sit in prison for the rest of her life.
Jonathan Amarilio: Yeah. I’m amazed. This is actually what our production meeting sound like. This is incredibly accurate including like the complete lack of efficiency and discussion topics. Maggie.
Trisha Rich: I think the next mailbag were like please God never do one of those again.
Maggie Mendenhall Casey: Say about years please.
Jonathan Amarilio: Maggie, talk to me about the topic do you have for a future episode.
Maggie Mendenhall Casey: Sure. So I’ve been watching the LuLaRoe documentary called LulaRich. It’s about multi-level marketing with a leggings and skirt company for episode documentary on Amazon Prime and it’s an interesting mix of a number of issues like stay at home moms and how their yearning to have this business, multi-level marketing, Mormonism. There are some brief appearances from Katy Perry and Kelly Clarkson concerts. So, specifically to the legal aspect of it, there is an attorney who represented one of the victims of the multi-level marketing scheme who’s actively featured on the documentary. So, if they’re willing to talk on the documentary, they might be willing to speak with us. So there are a number of lawsuits that have been brought against this company including the Washington AG’s office, Washington Estate that settled out of court, but they’re still operating. So, that seemed like it would be interesting topic to me.
Jonathan Amarilio: That could definitely be a good one and a good guest too. I wonder would that be a one guest episode or two-guest episode because we might be able get like a prosecutor who’s handled the big case against a multi-level marketing company to kind of explain the legal framework — the regulatory framework.
Trisha Rich: I would be so interested to hear from a prosecutor on that because I don’t know a lot about these MLM schemes, but a lot of people I’m friends with on Facebook are trying to sell me like, you know, skincare and widgets and also some things. They seem to think I have more free time than I have.
Jonathan Amarilio: We know you’re very busy and important Trish. Our entire audience knows that.
Trisha Rich: I do not need another hobby. (00:22:12) another four hours in a day.
Maggie Mendenhall Casey: Sure Trish, you don’t have time to sell leggings, is that what you’re telling us.
Trisha Rich: Jen, can I have a booth at the CBA in the lobby to sell some leggings?
Jennifer Byrne: Yeah. You know what always baffled me — yeah, yes, please do. I need leggings now that I’m working in the office. I’m going to be halfway through the day. I’m going to be able to, you know, like I’m going to have a like a crisis of having to wear actually pants and I’ll need your booth downstairs. But I never understood LuLaRoe thing because like what’s with the crazy prints. There’s like elephant prints on them and like how did that (00:22:48).
Trisha Rich: Okay, I’m going to alienate like 90% of our audience. Don’t you think that feels like suburban America? Isn’t that what they like to wear?
Jonathan Amarilio: Oh, throwing down.
Trisha Rich: Shots fired.
Jennifer Byrne: I moved to the suburbs (00:23:00) Trish. So I take this is an upfront to me.
Maggie Mendenhall Casey: All I will say is that if you watched the documentary, you’ll see the people that are featured on it and that will answer your question. But Jen with the prints, they talked about that. One, there is also some interesting like copyright tie in or maybe trademark or maybe patent. I do IP or PI, excuse me, so I’m not sure. But they were talking about how they were getting sued as well because they would go on Google, get particular prints and then change it maybe 5%, 10% and then submit the the drawing and that they had like a quota for the day like, oh you have to submit 20 patterns or prints and they did all the different prints to create scarcity. So when they had to drop people would say, oh you only have this print, you have to buy it now. They’re only five. If you don’t get it, you’ll never see it again. So that was another aspect of it as well.
Trisha Rich: No, I think it’s a good episode. I think there’s a lot there from a legal perspective and I think — I mean MLMs are ubiquitous, right? At least women I feel like know about them or know someone that’s participated in one, right? So Jon, do you do know your men doing that’s participated in one, right? So —
Jennifer Byrne: Yeah. Jon, do you know — are men doing this and we’re just not aware of it? Is it like a (00:24:18).
Jonathan Amarilio: Wasn’t former health secretary Ben Carson make stuff in one? I’m going from memory here, but I seemed to remember that being one of the many knocks against them.
Jennifer Byrne: Sounds about right.
Maggie Mendenhall Casey: RIP. RIP.
Trisha Rich: I mean my source material is pretty much just me at like 10 p.m. on Netflix flipping through like is there a lawyer in this, is there a lawyer in this, is there a layer, and that’s me. Like if someone is watching it on Netflix, they’re going to want to hear about it from us is how I look at it.
Jennifer Byrne: Yeah. I do not know if I watched any great legal things lately, although I’ve been — you know we’re in Oscar season right now and I try to watch all of the Oscar movies and this year there’s 53.
So, Oscars are 13 days out. I have 13 movies to go and I won’t be able to join you on Netflix until after around the other side of that for whatever the new legal thriller is on Netflix.
Trisha Rich: We’ve talked about doing this as a show. We’ve talked about like somehow ranking legal movies or like shows or doing some kind of like everybody bring their favorites to the table type of thing. I feel like that’s got legs, we could do it. As long as we don’t delve into ones that are like over talked about, you know, or like tooling. So we could take it on.
Jennifer Byrne: Yeah. I would come pretty hardcore with some opinions and my two rightest opinions in this area are best legal movie ever is My Cousin Vinny. Best legal television show ever is original Law & Order.
Jonathan Amarilio: I’m with you on the second one.
Trisha Rich: Where are you guys?
Maggie Mendenhall Casey: I’m going with Law & Order, SVU. I will admit that I am a Christopher Maloney fan. So, that is a part of the reason why I’m not going with the original and for movie, I got to go with Legally Blonde.
Jennifer Byrne: I will say I do agree with you the SVU is the best iteration of Law and Order, but it’s not as much of law show as the original buzz.
Maggie Mendenhall Casey: SVU is more about the investigation. So, you’re spending time with the detectives than you are in the courtroom or with the DAs.
Jennifer Byrne: Yeah. So fun fact about original Law & Order actually is that it was made like that because when Dick Wolf first made it, he didn’t know if people are going to like the police part or the courtroom drama part, so they split it in half. So the first 38 minutes for the police and then the second 30 minutes were the courtroom, so they could divide the show later if they needed to.
Maggie Mendenhall Casey: That’s really interesting. The one thing I will say negative in my opinion about Law & Order is that it gives the public a perception that your case is going to be done in a day or two days, a week. As a former prosecutor, so many times people would come and I use the Law & Order example like it’s not like TV unfortunately where everything is handled, you know, a short month. It’s going to be a wait. So still love Law & Order but I don’t like it for that part.
Jennifer Byrne: Jon, what’s your fave?
Jonathan Amarilio: Movie, I would probably say A Few Good Men.
Jennifer Byrne: You can’t handle the truth.
Jonathan Amarilio: I mean that courtroom scene is pretty epic. The cross-examination, the way he leads, Jack Nicholson threw it. That’s actually like good lawyering. Now, obviously, he’s doing some things you can’t do in a real courtroom, but the progression of the cross-examination I thought was really well written.
Maggie Mendenhall Casey: My husband would agree with you. That’s one of his favorite movies and definitely his favorite courtroom movie.
Jennifer Byrne: My favorites I feel like I resonate with the underdog lawyer movies and shows. So, I like Erin Brockovich which isn’t really like she is not the lawyer, but I like how they handle the case in that movie. I feel like it’s really well done. I like the lawyer character in that movie and I mean, you know, being on the right side of a case and like it’s got the inspiring element to it, and I also I’m very behind on it and I need to catch up. I feel like I stopped watching it right before my daughter was born. So that’s telling you how many seasons behind I am because she is four now. But Better Call Saul I thought did a really good job in like seasons one and two of depicting the lawyer life like from the perspective of, you know, the lawyer on the street, struggling to make a buck and trying to be ethical but the struggling with all of those issues that come up, I thought those are two of my favorites depictions.
Trisha Rich: I have actually never seen an episode of Better Call Saul which is a little nuts because Breaking Bad is my favorite television show and I practice in the area of legal ethics. But I missed like the first season or two. I was busy and so I just decided I would wait until it was done before I watch it and I think it’s almost done, right?
Maggie Mendenhall Casey: I don’t think they’re past two seasons because of the pandemic and then the main character, I think that actor was sick for a while. So, you have some time if you want to catch up. Some people say it’s better than Breaking Bad.
Trisha Rich: Interesting. I think one of the depictions about that show that I really like Jen is that I think that when we think about lawyers, we have like sort of a very Ivory Tower view of them. But I think Saul is like sort of the hustling lawyer and wherever America is the typical actual lawyer, right? Working hard to get cases to survive to like, you know, run their business. And I think that most — I mean we know most lawyers are, you know they’re small firms or solo attorneys, and I think that’s actually a little bit more like what a regular lawyer is minus the murder and drug cartel hopefully.
Jennifer Byrne: Maybe and some lawyers cases it may be true, but I think that’s why both of those depictions are my favorites. Erin Brockovich kind of shows that side of like it actually takes hard work to prove up a case and it may take years and there may be obstacles.
I mean the Rob Billot, Dark Waters movie was a similar kind of, you know, the man against the machine type of concept which I always liked, but Better Call Saul that’s exactly why it resonates with me because in the area that I practice before coming to the CBA which is divorce law, I saw lawyers likes Saul. You know, in some respect, I kind of felt a kinship with that like level of having to hustle for business or whatever it was and I think a lot of our members at the CBA probably connect with that and that’s one of the main flaws in the way, lawyers are depicted in movies and TV shows is that, you know, it gives people the impression that the system is faster than it is, that lawyers make more money than they do, then it’s easier than it is, that it doesn’t carry with it like the stress that it does. And I think any time there’s a depiction of like how hard a lawyer actually works, it makes, you know, the audience empathize with and understand what actually goes into the profession which I think can only be a good thing.
Trisha Rich: I always say to my small-firm clients the thing you have to accept is that it’s two full-time jobs, right? It’s running a small business and everything that goes with running a small business and being a practicing attorney. I think that’s really glamorized in the media and people don’t realize how tough that can be.
Jonathan Amarilio: I don’t think that’s not just for small firms though. I mean every partner in a big law firm, it’s the same thing. You’re your own small business.
Trisha Rich: But it’s a different thing, right? You’re not paying the light bill. I mean you’re not paying the light bill (00:31:35).
Jonathan Amarilio: You’re not handling some of the nuts and bolts of like the administration. That’d be granted, but in terms of like generating business and chasing that business and that kind of thing.
Trisha Rich: Sure. Sure. I take your point, but I think there’s a lot of that administrative stuff that goes into running those small firms and so especially if you have several employees for example. So, I have like a quick hit list of other episode ideas that I want to just get out or three. Number one, political corruption in Illinois. I don’t even know where I got that idea from. It just came to me in a dream. Number two, I have always wanted to do an episode on developing a niche practice or interviewing people, that have really unique and interesting niche practices. You know, Jon and I both have fairly niche practices, but ours aren’t very interesting. I think there are people out there that do really interesting things. And then number three, I recently read an interesting book by a Chicago-based author named Claire Hartfield about the Chicago race riot of 1919 which was something I had never heard about before. I don’t know if you guys know, I actually am a transplant from Michigan. I’ve only been here —
Jonathan Amarilio: There we go.
Trisha Rich: I’ve only been here 16 years, so some of the Chicago history stuff is with me.
Jennifer Byrne: You made it to about 40 minutes in and this is our first bench and we should get like one of those like sound alarms that they have on radio stations like one of those megaphones (00:33:03) every time Trish does it.
Trisha Rich: So just some things that are on my kind of short list.
Jonathan Amarilio: Well guys, do you think it’s too early to get back to the Jussie Smollett topic? I mean I know we just did the interview with Dan Webb but it’s so much in the news because as you guys I’m sure have read Kim Fox wrote an op-ed, a very defensive op-ed. You know I think that subjectively fair to say where she accused the court that prosecuted Smollett of being a kangaroo court and it seems like been using proxies to accuse the court of racism and its decision to prosecute Smollett. You know, I think we all probably have opinions as to the fairness and veracity of those attacks on the court. But in the spirit of hearing the other side, maybe we could invite Kim Fox on to the podcast.
Trisha Rich: Yeah.
Jennifer Byrne: I would actually take up the other side on that particular op-ed too. I think it’s a good idea to invite her to see if she’s willing to talk about it. Normally, I would say a prosecutor would never talk about something like that on the air while its ongoing, but I would have said a prosecutor will never bring in that op-ed.
Jonathan Amarilio: Right. Yeah, she does not seem to have a problem talking about it.
Trisha Rich: So, I got a couple of press calls about that and I didn’t really end up commenting on it in the press, but it’s pretty unusual to see a prosecutor, right in op-ed like that the thing that people were interested in was, you know, did she cross the line in her op-ed, like did she attack or in a way that like violates 8.2, you know, where it says we’re not allowed to make false or reckless statements about the judiciary, right? I walked away. I read it very carefully. I walked away thinking that op-ed was very carefully written.
Maggie Mendenhall Casey: My comment on that is I was surprised about the timing to be honest with you. All the attention was on Jussie Smollett, Jussie Smollet being sentenced to 150 days. Nobody was talking about the other case has handled beforehand and I was surprised by the timing that the op-ed was written.
So if we could get her on and get more information about what her thought process was, why she decided, now was the time to write the op-ed, I think that would be really interesting.
Jonathan Amarilio: Jen, what do you think?
Jennifer Byrne: I’m all in. I think it’s a story that keeps on going and hearing both sides is always in the interest of understanding the full picture of the story. So we should do it. Let’s try and get her. Let’s do it.
Trisha Rich: Weren’t we get one of the KC defense lawyers in?
Jonathan Amarilio: Oh yeah. We’re do we stand with that Jen?
Jennifer Byrne: Yeah. I mean certainly the defense lawyer has agreed to come on. It’s like with a lot of things with the show. I talk to people. I send emails, they agree and then another hot topic kind of swoops in and takes precedent. So yeah, that’s a good reminder to reach back out to him because given that it’s our most popular episode of the show, I don’t think our listeners would be bored to hear the other side of that story either.
Trisha Rich: I think this is side where John Wayne Gacy was totally framed.
Jonathan Amarilio: Just misunderstood you know. Everyone hates clowns. There’s this bias.
Trisha Rich: Yeah. I will say clowns are the worst.
Jennifer Byrne: But arguably could be a very interesting side of the story. Like just understanding how to defend a case like that and like what went into that and you know like hearing from defense lawyers who have to come up with a strategy and those circumstances when you’re really up against the odds I feel like is interesting in and of itself and of course, you know, distinguished former Judge Sam Amirante i believe is how you pronounce it. So, yeah, hopefully, he’ll join us. We have a lot of hometown heroes that we could continue to tap into and there’s a long list of attorneys that have handled big cases within our membership alone.
Jonathan Amarilio: And that’s probably a good place for us to take our next break, but I want to leave the audience with food for thought who killed more people, John Wayne Gacy or Ronald MacDonald, which is the worst killer clown. We’ll be right back with Stranger and Legal Fiction.
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Jonathan Amarilio: And were back with Stranger and Legal Fiction. Our audience knows the rules. We’ve done some research. We found some laws that are on the book somewhere but probably shouldn’t be because they’re strange, outdated, whatever. We’ve made another one up and we’re going to quiz each other on who can distinguish strange legal fact from fiction? Jen, won’t you lead us off.
Jennifer Byrne: All right guys, I’m going to be doing a dairy theme today. I don’t know why. That’s just what struck me. I don’t know. Maybe, I’m an —
Jonathan Amarilio: All right. Come on, you’re milking it. Let’s go.
Jennifer Byrne: I know. I’m milking it, exactly. First law, in South Dakota it is illegal to sleep in a cheese factory. Second law, in Wisconsin it is illegal to buy, sell or serve butter substitutes such as margarine. Which is real? Which is fake?
Jonathan Amarilio: Maggie?
Maggie Mendenhall Casey: I would say one is real, two is fake.
Jonathan Amarilio: Trish?
Trisha Rich: I think two is real and one is fake.
Jonathan Amarilio: I’m going to go one real, two fake.
Jennifer Byrne: Well, the winners are Jon and Maggie. It is in fact illegal to sleep in a cheese factory in South Dakota. It sounds more specific than the law actually is. If you read the ordinance, it really just has to do with living and sleeping quarters and how it’s illegal to produce food in like a private home where you live and sleep. So, from that perspective, it doesn’t sound as wacky but actually making margarine was at one time illegal.
Trisha Rich: I was just going to say the reason I picked that is because I thought we had that one before. Doesn’t it sound familiar Jen?
Jonathan Amarilio: It does. But I can’t imagine how it would be illegal.
Jennifer Byrne: Yeah, it feels so true to Wisconsin is why it sounds real. You know, the dairy capital of the U.S. and you know butter —
Trisha Rich: But then big margin came from them.
Jennifer Byrne: Exactly and you know it’s still illegal to serve butter substitutes such as margarine in prisons and it’s illegal to serve it in a restaurant to a patron if they have not requested it. So you can’t like sub in margarine for butter. They take it very seriously long and short of it. So Trish, your guess was not unfounded. It was just outdated.
Trisha Rich: It would be nice to have so much time on your hands Wisconsin.
Jonathan Amarilio: So at some point, I’d like to do an episode about why eggs are in the dairy section of the grocery store, but Trish let’s go to yours.
Trisha Rich: All right, I always wonder that as well. It doesn’t make any sense.
Jonathan Amarilio: Doesn’t make any sense.
Trisha Rich: Okay, number one, it is illegal to use a public bathroom in Singapore without flushing the toilets or number two, in the City of Carmel-by-the Sea, California it is illegal to carry an ice cream cone out of a store or ice cream shop.
Jonathan Amarilio: Jen, you like you have an opinion on that one.
Jennifer Byrne: Number one is the real law.
Jonathan Amarilio: Maggie?
Maggie Mendenhall Casey: I agree.
Jonathan Amarilio: I agree.
Trisha Rich: All right. Number one is currently the real law. It is illegal. Singapore has a culture of being very clean. It is illegal to use public bathroom without flushing it on your way out. You can be fined up to $150 in Singapore currency, whatever that is and you can face jail time if you do not pay your fine for that.
Jonathan Amarilio: Do you remember that guy in the 90s who like spit on a public sidewalk or something and he was going to get caned for it?
Trisha Rich: Yeah. Yeah. I do remember that. I forgot about that. I do want to touch base about the Carmel-by-the-Sea law. That was a law in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California, Carmel, California. It was repealed by Mayor Clint Eastwood. Yes, that Clint Eastwood, who ran for office in late 80s on a platform in aprt to repeal that law. He was elected in 1986. He served one term and he repealed the law and now you can take your ice cream cones outside of the store in Carmel, California.
Jonathan Amarilio: God bless. Maggie?
Trisha Rich: It beats yelling at the chair.
Jonathan Amarilio: It’s not his finest moment.
Maggie Mendenhall Casey: I wonder how much money he pumped into that campaign for that Carmel-by-the-Sea. So for my portion, I’m going to go local Illinois as well as gutter. So in the State of Illinois, is it illegal to be in an adulterer or is it illegal to urinate in public?
Jonathan Amarilio: I’m in two.
Trisha Rich: You again should know this.
Jonathan Amarilio: Two. Two is the real law.
Jennifer Byrne: As an adulterer/urinator in public, no.
Trisha Rich: Does this ever come up when you’re practicing family law?
Jennifer Byrne: Not on air Trish, don’t (00:42:46) my God.
Maggie Mendenhall Casey: Off the record.
Trisha Rich: You know (00:42:52). Now, it’s got to be the urinating in public. I don’t think it’s illegal to be an adulterer.
Jonathan Amarilio: No. I don’t think it’s been illegal being an adulterer.
Jennifer Byrne: Immoral, yes.
Jonathan Amarilio: A few centuries.
Trisha Rich: Well you know, let me just take up the case with adulterers. If you’re not the married one, you’re not the adulterer, right? You’re only committing adultery if you are married. So I think a crime that said you can’t commit adultery would be — well first of all pretty tough to enforce these days, but I think it’s the urination law that you can’t and if you can urinate in public I Illinois, I need to know about it very swiftly.
Maggie Mendenhall Casey: So I did some digging to catch you guys on this one. One of my former prosecutor friends was from Australia and was obsessed with the fact that there still is an adultery law on the books in the State of Illinois, 720 ILCS5/11-35, still on the books but in enforced. You can commit adultery when you have intercourse with another person who is not your spouse and it is in an open and notorious fashion. Of course, you have to know that the other person is married and that could apply to the married person or unmarried person, public indecency. Yeah, public indecency is on the books, but that is for behaving in a lewd way for gratification. So while the City of Chicago has urination ordinance, there’s not a State of Illinois law against public urination. So continue to urinate in public just not on the City of Chicago.
Jonathan Amarilio: Well done counselor. That’s a good one. All right. So, I’ve got one. It’s not a choice. I just really want to talk about this law and it’s real. All right. You ready? Have you guys heard of the zone of death in Yellowstone National Park?
Trisha Rich: Yeah, of course I have.
Jonathan Amarilio: Okay.
Maggie Mendenhall Casey: No.
Jonathan Amarilio: Well Trish, I would have thought you of all people would given your (00:44:51) for murdering. So there’s this —
Trisha Rich: Do you think this building come up on the pods.
Jonathan Amarilio: There’s this placed called the zone of death and it exits in the small portion of Yellowstone National Park that’s in Idaho, right?
So the park straddles three states. I think Montana, Wyoming and Idaho, and you could theoretically commit any major crime in this small part of the park without being criminally prosecuted for it and here’s why, the U.S. District Court for Wyoming is the only court with jurisdiction over parts of multiple states because Congress gave it special jurisdiction over Yellowstone Park. All right. And as we said straddles — that park straddles three states. And the federal government obviously has exclusive jurisdiction over the park because it’s federal land so state law does not come into play. Here’s the wrinkle, the Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution says that juries and federal criminal cases must be made up of citizens who are both from the district and the state where the crime was committed, but the Idaho portion of the park is completely uninhabited. I guess other portions of the park are inhabited. I didn’t know that. That means if the government could never empanel a jury that complied with the Sixth Amendment. So Trish, for example where to theoretically her husband Chris, she would want to do it in this part of Idaho and then she could live stream it on Facebook and no one would be able to touch her for it. They could arrest her for it, but they wouldn’t be able to prosecute her for it.
Trisha Rich: Jon, that’s ridiculous. Nobody uses Facebook live stream anymore.
Jonathan Amarilio: Okay. Yeah, I’m maybe dating myself there. I don’t know. Tick-Tack.
Jennifer Byrne: Is there some law regulating committing murder over Facebook Live or via internet live. I feel like there’s got to be some — you might be stepping into some other kind of —
Jonathan Amarilio: But you wanted to document — okay maybe you don’t live stream it but you’d want to record it because you want to document carefully where you committed the crime, right?
Jennifer Byrne: For sure.
Trisha Rich: I don’t think when you’re committing murder, you want any documentation or evidence.
Jonathan Amarilio: The rest world I agree with you, but in this little sliver of Idaho, I think it’s an excpetion.
Trisha Rich: If I ever pull that off, I’ll be available to the pod to be interviewed on it, so future episode.
Jonathan Amarilio: There we go.
Maggie Mendenhall Casey: Yeah, I’m an anti-documentation. No face, no case is what I still prefer.
Jennifer Byrne: This coming from a former prosecutor.
Jonathan Amarilio: And that’s going to be our episode for today. I want to thank my co-hosts, Jen Byrne, Trish Rich and Maggie Mendenhall Casey. This has been our first and possibly last mailbag episode. We’ll see how the audience reacts to it. Remember, you can follow us and send us comments, questions, episodes ideas or just thrill on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @CBAatthebar, all one word. Our email address is [email protected].
Please also rate us and leave us for feedback on Apple podcast, Google Play, Stitcher, Spotify, Audible, iHeart or wherever you download your podcast that’s helps get the word out. Until next time, for everyone here at the CBA, thank you for joining us and we’ll see you soon @theBar.