Real Lawyer Reacts to Seinfeld Finale (Is Jerry A Good Samaritan?) // LegalEagle

Real Lawyer Reacts to Seinfeld Finale (Is Jerry A Good Samaritan?) // LegalEagle

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– [Narrator] Thanks to Curiosity Stream for keeping Legal Eagle in the air. – See now, the law calls for
a maximum fine of $85,000. – What?
– And as much as five years in prison.
– What? – What? (light, perky music) – Hey Legal Eagles, it’s
time to think like a lawyer. Today, we are covering the
series finale of Seinfeld. I was never a huge Seinfeld fan, so I haven’t seen that many episodes, and I don’t think I’ve ever
actually seen the finale. – What, why not? – But some of you Legal
Eagles out there told me that it involves some
legal issues and a trial, so I am really looking forward to reviewing what happens in this episode. As always, be sure to comment
in the form of an objection, which I will either sustain or overrule. And stick around until
the end of the video, where I give the series
finale for Seinfeld a grade for legal realism. So, without further ado, let’s dig into the finale of Seinfeld. (Seinfeld show music) Okay, so what has happened
in this episode so far, which is not legal per se, but I think it sets up
the rest of this episode, the gang decides to go
on a vacation in Paris. NBC gives them the use
of their private jet. Because they were screwing
around in the air, the pilot had to do an emergency landing in this very small town in Massachusetts, and so they are just walking
around this random town, deciding what they’re going to do next. And I think this is where the
legal stuff kicks into gear. – Nice day. – Another one?
(audience laughs) – [Carjacker] Alright
fatso, out of the car! – I’m gonna capture this. – Come on!
(driver grunting and yelling) – All right, so we’ve got a carjacking. – Gimme your wallet!
– Don’t shoot! – So the robber has
his hand in his pocket, like there’s a gun. – See the great thing
about robbin’ a fat guy is it’s an easy getaway, you know? They can’t really chase ya.
(audience laughs) – He’s actually doin’– – All right, some kinda
crappy things to say. (audience laughs) – Get your wallet, come on! Come on, come on! – Oh, that’s a shame. – I guess ’cause they’re New
Yorkers they’re not gonna help. – Officer, he’s stealing my car! Officer, I was carjacked,
I was held up at gunpoint, and he took my wallet and everything. – Okay, thanks anyway. They can’t get another plane. – All right, what’s wrong
with they plane we got? They’re just checking– – ‘Kay, there’s videotape evidence. All right, I think I
know where this is going. – I’m not getting on there. Come on, let’s get something
to eat here in Sticksville. – All right, hold it right there. – Okay, why isn’t the
police officer calling in for backup and chasing down this guy who just committed a carjacking here? You’d think that, if
someone was robbed at, ostensibly, gunpoint, we didn’t see a gun, but the guy had his hand in his pocket and gesturing it towards the
poor guy who is being robbed and makes it seem like there’s a gun. That is armed robbery. That is grand larceny in the first degree, and that’s a major felony. So I don’t know why this police officer’s being so nonchalant about
a first-degree felony that has just occurred, and
he’s letting the bad guy get away here. – Hold it right there. – What? – You’re under arrest. – Under arrest? What for?
– What? – Article 223-7 of the
Latham County penal code. – What? No, no, we didn’t do anything. (Kramer scoffs)
– That’s exactly right. The law requires you to help
or assist anyone in danger – What?
as long as it’s reasonable to do so. – I never knew that.
– No, that’s not a thing. – It’s called The Good Samaritan Law. – Okay, this is really
interesting from my perspective. So the writers of the show
are conflating a couple of different things here. First of all, there is such a
thing as Good Samaritan laws. A Good Samaritan law is an exception to a general responsibility
when you choose to act. To back up a little bit
further, in American law, generally, you do not have an obligation to help anyone under any circumstances unless you undertake some action and the law imputes a duty to you. So the classic example in law school is if you see someone drowning in a pool. You are not responsible for
helping them out of the pool. But if you choose to
actually help them get out of the pool where they’re drowning and you do so in a negligent way, well, then you can be held responsible for the damages that you cause to this poor person that was drowning, even though you undertook
to save their life. And so the general rule is
you do not have any kind of obligation to help your fellow man. And as New Yorkers, they’re clearly exercising
that normal right. Now a Good Samaritan law is
an exception to that rule that says if someone is in danger or you undertake to help that person where you wouldn’t normally
have an obligation, you are protected by law so
that they can’t turn around and sue you if you help them
get out of a drowning pool or you perform CPR on
someone that was drowning or you perform the Heimlich Maneuver. Normally, without a Good
Samaritan law, you might be liable for negligently performing
the Heimlich Maneuver or negligently performing CPR. But a Good Samaritan law is a defense for good samaritans who help out. Okay, so that’s the first thing. That’s what a Good
Samaritan law actually is. Now, number two is that, generally, there are no affirmative
duties like this police officer has said, that there is some law that says that you have to undertake
to actually help people. Now there are a couple of
exceptions to that rule, but let me see if they talk about this so-called Good
Samaritan law in more detail to get an idea of what
they’re dealing with here. – A Good Samaritan law? Are they crazy? – Why would we wanna help somebody? – I know.
(chuckles) – That’s what nuns and
Red Cross workers are for. (audience laughs)
– The Samaritans were an ancient tribe,
very helpful to people. (audience laughs) – All right. (sighs with exasperation) Um, excuse me? Hi. Could ya tell me what kind of law this is? – Ooh, yeah, let’s hear
about the law! (claps hands) – Well, they just passed it last year, and it’s modeled after the French law. – Okay, that’s new.
– I heard about it after Princess Diana was killed, and all those photographers
were just standing around. – Oh, yeah.
– Oh, yeah. (audience laughs)
– You’re the first ones to be arrested on it,
probably in the whole country. – Oh.
(Elaine laughs) – Okay, so it’s not often
enforced; that makes sense. – Well, let’s pay the fine or something and get the hell outta here. – Well, it’s not that easy. See now, the law calls for
a maximum fine of $85,000, – What?
– and as much as five years in prison.
– What? – What? – Oh, no, no, no, no. We have to be in California next week! We’re starting a TV show! – California? Oh gosh, I don’t think so. You know, my guess is
you’re gonna be prosecuted. (laughs) Better get yourselves a good lawyer. – Okay, all right, let’s
unpack this a little bit here. So what they’re talking about here is not actually a Good Samaritan law. It’s actually what’s called
a Duty to Rescue law. As I said before, normally,
you don’t have a duty to rescue people. You are free to walk by an injured person without having to help,
and a Good Samaritan law is the thing that actually
gives you a defense if something goes wrong when
you choose to help someone. But a duty to rescue does impute a duty on you as a passerby
to actually intervene. Now those are very, very rare
because we don’t want people to have to intervene in all circumstances, especially in instances like we saw with an armed carjacking. What were they supposed to do there? Presumably, the guy had a gun. So the Duty to Rescue laws exist, but they’re very, very rare. I know that California does
actually have a variation on a Duty to Rescue law. It’s not a duty to rescue
and certainly nothing like what you’re seeing in Seinfeld, but it is a duty to
report in the wake of some of the reports of child
abuse and child endangerment. California passed a law that said that you had to report
certain crimes being committed against a child under the age of 14. But even there, it’s not a felony to fail to report the crime. It is, I think, a misdemeanor
and a fine of 1,500 or $2,000. There’s no way that you’re likely going to have an American law somewhere that says it is a major felony, up to five years in jail,
to fail to intervene in another felony being committed. – Who told you to put the cheese on? Did I tell you to put the cheese on? I didn’t tell you to put the cheese on. (audience laughs)
(buzzer buzzes) – [Receptionist] Jerry
Seinfeld on the phone. – You people with the
cheese; it never ends. (audience laughs) Hello? Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. – So this guy is clearly like Johnny Cochran.
– Good Samaritan law? I never heard of it. You don’t have to help anybody. – Yeah.
– That’s what this country is all about.
(audience laughs) – This lawyer is right. (audience laughs)
– Unfathomable, improbable. Hold on. Susie, cancel my
appointment with Dr. Bison, and pack a bag for me. I wanna to get to Latham,
Massachusetts right away. – Nice. So clearly, a lawyer (laughs) who is in the mold of the
famous Johnny Cochran, who was passed away but was well known for being OJ Simpson’s attorney. I probably would have had
a very similar reaction to that phone call, that
that’s a ridiculous law that doesn’t exist anywhere. In reality, we’d probably be right. (laughs) And number two, doesn’t matter. If your client’s in jail,
you get outta your office and you go to your client, and
you deal with whatever kind of local nonsense is going on. So yeah, I kinda like
that lawyer character. – So they got Jackie Chiles, huh? – Mm-hmm, you know what that means. This whole place is gonna be swarming with media by the time this thing is over. You’re not gonna be able to
find a hotel room in this town. – Astute Legal Eagles will
recognize that character actor, whose name escapes me at the moment, but he was the expert
witness in My Cousin Vinny, talking about the tire marks that were made in front of the Sack of Suds. So it’s good to see that he got promoted from expert witness to
local district attorney. – The whole country is
going to be watching us. Now we gotta do whatever–
– (laughs) And I think he’s using the same accent, too. – No matter what the cost. You know, now the big issue in this trial is going to be character. – Mm, that is absolutely
not true. (laughs) Character actually is figuratively
the least important thing in a criminal trial. And, in fact, the prosecution
doesn’t even have the option to bring in character evidence
in a situation like this. – Fourth District County
Court, Latham, Massachusetts, is now in session. Your honorable Judge
Arthur Vandelay presiding. (audience laughs) – Vandelay? The judge’s name is Vandelay? – Vanda-who? – Jerry, did you hear that?
– Yeah, yeah. – I think that’s a good sign. – Is the district
attorney ready to proceed? – We are, Your Honor. – So are we starting trial here? They’ve just totally
skipped the indictment, the arraignment, all the
pretrial exchange of material, Brady disclosures,
investigations. (laughs) It’s a comedy, I know. No one’s gonna wanna watch
all the procedural stuff. This isn’t Law & Order, and, even then, they will skip through
everything, but man. This appears to be happening
all in the same day. So that’s a little unrealistic there. – Ladies and gentlemen, last year, our city council, by a vote of 12 to two passed a Good Samaritan law. Now essentially, we made it a crime to ignore a fellow human being in trouble. Now this group from
– It’s a bad law. – New York not only ignored but, as we will prove, they
actually mocked the victim as he was being robbed at gunpoint. I can guarantee you one other
thing, ladies and gentlemen. This is not the first time they
have behaved in this manner. – Oh, objection! Improper character argument. – Of mocking and maligning. This is a history of selfishness, self absorption, immaturity, and greed. (audience laughs)
– Uh… (laughs) – You will see how everyone
who has come into contact with these four individuals
has been abused, wronged, deceived, and betrayed. – That is completely improper. The American system recognizes that, just because you have acted
in a certain way in the past under different circumstances, that doesn’t mean that you
are going to act in conformity with that character on a given instance. Generally speaking, criminal
defendants never have to face the burden of overcoming
the prosecution entering in bad character evidence
because the prosecution is never allowed to bring
in character evidence against the accused because
it’s just not simply relevant. As regular people recognize
that it might be relevant in an abstract sense, but
we have decided as a society that it is not relevant for the
purposes of a court hearing. Now there is an exception
in that the defendant has the option to bring in
evidence of good character. If you’re simply saying that
they are such a good person that they couldn’t
possibly have committed it, well, that option resides
with the criminal defendant. And when you do that,
you open the floodgates, and then the prosecution is allowed to rebut evidence of good character with evidence of bad character. But you’re not allowed to guild the lily and say not only did they
commit this specific act or, in this case, an omission,
but they’re also bad people. You’re not allowed to do that. So the rest of it is
just complete nonsense. – I am shocked and chagrined! (audience laughs)
(laughs) – It’s very much like
Johnny Cochran; I love it. – This trial is outrageous! It’s a waste of the
taxpayers’ time and money. It is a travesty of justice
that these four people have been incarcerated
while the real perpetrator is walking around laughing,
lying and laughing, laughing and lying. – I love it. You might remember that Johnny
Cochran, the real attorney, was famous for these alliterative phrases that he would use in court. And often, people derided
that as being childish. But it’s a little brilliance in trial because there are a million
things that are going on, and it is so important to allow the jury to hang their hat on something and to be able to get through to the jury and give them something simple, a theme or a phrase that you
can hammer home at every turn. It’s definitely good trial practice. So I like what he’s doing. He’s shocked and chagrined. – You know what these four people were? They were innocent bystanders. – Yeah.
– Now you think about that term. – Innocent bystanders.
– Innocent bystanders,
(audience laughs) because that’s exactly what they were. We know they were bystanders;
nobody’s disputing that. (laughs)
So how can a bystander be guilty? No such thing! Have you ever heard of a guilty bystander? No, because you cannot be
a bystander and be guilty. Bystanders are, by definition, innocent. That is the nature of bystanding! – And that is a great
summary of the status quo of American law, absolutely right. Innocent bystanders are,
by definition, innocent. In the absence of this
crazy Massachusetts law that doesn’t actually
exist, that’s 100% accurate. – Is the prosecution ready
to present its first witness? – We are, Your Honor. Call Officer Matt Vogel to the stand. – All right.
– Call Matt Vogel. – So the police officer is
not a character witness. This guy would absolutely
be allowed to testify because he was a percipient
witness to what happened. – Did one of them have a video camera? – Yes. – Your Honor, with the court’s permission, we would like to play back that video and enter it into evidence as Exhibit A. – Proceed. – They haven’t established
the proper chain of custody there. Generally, records that
are created outside of court qualify as hearsay. Regardless of the fact
that it is a recording, it’s still considered a statement for the purposes of the hearsay rule. But given that it was
taken by the defendants, arguably, that is an admission by a party or a statement of a party,
so it’s probably proper for that to come in, assuming
proper chain of custody is made, which the police
officer should establish. – Come on!
– Okay, I’m getting out, I’m getting out.
– Well, there goes the money
for the lipo. (snickers) – [Elaine] See, the great
thing about robbin’ a fat guy is it’s an easy getaway. They can’t really chase ya.
(Jerry and Elaine laugh) – But just because you’re a bad person doesn’t mean you committed a crime. And arguably, if I was
the defense attorney here, I might stipulate to the fact
that it’s unfairly prejudicial for the audio to be played
because it’s not relevant to their actions. You can see from the tape that
they did not help this person who was being carjacked,
but the things that they are saying are so unfairly prejudicial that it outweighs the probative value of the statements that
are actually being made. And it’s unfair character
evidence to come in. So I think that the
attorneys here really should have made an objection and fought over at least the audio portion of that tape. – Call Mabel Choate to the stand. – Call Mabel Choate! – Who? Who is this person?
– Your Honor, I most strenuously and vigorously
object to this witness. She was not present at
the time of the incident, her testimony is irrelevant, irrational, and inconsequential. (audience laughs)
– Yep, 100%. Great objection.
– The prosecution has gone to great lengths
and considerable cost to find these character witnesses. It is imperative that we establish this is not merely an isolated incident. It’s part of a pattern
of any social behavior that’s been going on for years. – No.
– Objection overruled. – Pfft.
– I’ll hear the witness. – Yeah, so just because
the prosecution goes to great expense to find a witness, that has nothing to do
with whether that witness can actually testify at court. The judge here is supposed to act like a gatekeeper and keep out unfair, extraneous evidence like this. – Now, Mrs. Choate, would
you please tell the court what happened the evening of January 4th? – I was at Schnitzer’s Bakery when I got accosted by that man. – [District Attorney] What did he want? – My marble rye. Someone help! – Shut up, you old hag! – Not admissible. Funny vehicle for the
finale, but totally improper from a trial perspective. – I dated Mr. Seinfeld for several weeks in the autumn of 1992. – Then the evening of October 28th, there was an abrupt end
to that relationship. Tell us what happened. – The four of them made a wager to see who could go the longest
without gratifying themselves! (audience laughs)
(laughs) – Okay, improper character witness. – [Donald] I challenged him
to a game of Trivial Pursuit. – It’s Moops.
– The Moors! (audience laughs)
– Help, someone! – Also improper character witness. – Mr. Kramer gave you a used wheelchair? – That’s right.
(audience laughs) (wheelchair screeching)
(woman screams) – Not relevant. – So she pretended to trip,
and she fell into your breasts. – Yes.
(courtroom murmuring) He sent her in there to
find out if they were real. – Not admissible. – He was a communist.
– No. – She exposed her nipple.
– Hm-mm. – Seinfeld told me to change
the menu to Pakistani, (audience laughs)
but nobody came. – Ugh, improper character. – Cock fighting? – Cock fighting? – Improper character. – She tried to smother me with a pillow. – Improper character. – Well, I invited him to
attend my son’s birthday party. – Fire! (audience laughs)
(kids screaming) – Improper character. Oh, charlie horse. (laughing in pain) Jesus. – This courtroom and everyone
who’s attended this trial is still reeling from the endless parade of witnesses who’ve come
forth so enthusiastically to testify against these four
seemingly ordinary people. One even had the feeling
that if Judge Vandelay didn’t finally put a stop to it, it could’ve gone on for months. – So this is why you don’t allow irrelevant
character witnesses, regardless of the expense
of the prosecution in finding all of these people. It never ends. It’s a parade of people who
really can’t answer the question of whether the defendants
committed the act that they are accused of
in this specific instance. They might be horrible people, but it has no relevance to
their criminal prosecution. So all this is improper. Whew, moving on. (light, tense music) So does the defense not get to make a closing
statement here? (chuckles) We’re just going straight
to jury deliberation. – Will the defendants please rise? And how do you find with respect to the charge of criminal indifference? – We find the defendants guilty. (chuckles)
(courtroom gasps) – Well, as the crime was laid
out, they were guilty of it. It’s just a law that is stupid and should not be on the books. – I do not know how or under
what circumstances the four of you found each other, but
your careless indifference and utter disregard for everything that is good and decent has
rocked the very foundation upon which our society is built. (audience laughs) I can think of nothing more fitting than for the four of you
to spend a year removed from society so that you can contemplate the manner in which you
have conducted yourselves. – So in real life, there would be a separate
sentencing hearing. In most places, there are
guidelines that you have to follow to make sure that there aren’t
manifestly unjust sentences that are brought down. You wouldn’t have the sentencing hearing immediately following the actual
guilt portion of the trial because there are all
kinds of other factors that go into how much
of a sentence they get. The judge here has decided a year on a maximum of five years,
whereas you’re gonna have to take into account a
lot of different kinds of evidence than what was elicited at the actual initial trial. So that would take place
weeks or months later. There would be probably
an immediate appeal given the ridiculous number
of character witnesses that were called in,
which was clearly unjust and unduly prejudicial. And yeah, this conviction is totally gonna get overturned on appeal. (bright, upbeat, plucky music) Okay, that was the series
finale of Seinfeld. Funnier than I remember. I might have to actually go back and watch a few more episodes of Seinfeld because maybe I just
couldn’t appreciate it when I was a younger man. But now it’s time to give Seinfeld a grade for legal realism.
(gavel bangs) On one hand, you have a discussion of laws that kind of exist in some circumstances. There’s no such thing
as criminal indifference that I’m aware of in any US
jurisdiction, maybe in France. But there are Duty to Report laws, and so there are sometimes duties that are imputed to individuals who would otherwise be
an innocent bystander. And I really liked the
character of Jackie Chiles. He is a simulacrum of Johnny Cochran, same initials, same litigation style. It’s a little cartoonish,
but also indicative of some really good trial
practice in there as well. On the other hand, you have
dozens of improper witnesses. You have a law that would
not exist in real life. So the whole premise for the show is thrown into question,
and you have a timeline where they are convicted of
a major felony in the span of 48 hours, maybe? So all in all, I’m going to have to give the finale of
Seinfeld a D plus for realism. No soup for you! That’s a Seinfeld thing, right? – No soup for you! (snaps fingers) (bag crinkles loudly) – Now if you liked Seinfeld,
which is a story about nothing, you’ll love the documentaries
on Curiosity Stream, which are stories about something. One film I’ve really been
enjoying ever since I did a review of Star Trek: The Next
Generation is called Trek Nation. It’s all about the history of Star Trek and Gene Roddenberry as told by his son. It’s about Star Trek,
but it’s also the story of what it’s like to be the
rebellious non-Trekkie son of Gene Roddenberry and
Majel Barrett and how he came to understand why Star Trek
means so much to so many people. There are tons of
interviews with the people that made Star Trek what it is today, like Ronald D. Moore, Jonathan Frakes, – Would you display this as a trophy? Do you have a pet? Do you have a sweet tooth? – and JJ Abrams. So if you want a
documentary that is actually about something, you’ve gotta
check out Curiosity Stream. Legal Eagles get a free account for 30 days by clicking the link below or by using the promo code LegalEagle. Using the promo code really
helps out this channel. So click on the link below and get Curiosity Stream for free. I bet Jerry and the gang would really like to watch all of the
award-winning documentaries on Curiosity Stream while
they spend the next year in jail for criminal indifference. – I don’t think it’s that bad. – Do you agree? Leave your objections in the comments, and check out my other
real lawyer reactions over here where I will see you in court.

100 thoughts on “Real Lawyer Reacts to Seinfeld Finale (Is Jerry A Good Samaritan?) // LegalEagle

  • LegalEagle Post author

    Check out Trek Nation on CuriosityStream for FREE:

  • Native Engine Post author

    Wow. Playing the video without the audio? I never thought that could happen.

  • Tyler Worden Post author

    You should check out Cap. Blackadder's Court Martial from Blackadder Season 4 Episode 2 "Corporal Punishment!"

  • andrewwhaddad Post author

    Are you wearing pants?

  • Michael Curtis Post author

    I would love to see an analysis of THE SIMPSONS episode "The Devil Vs. Homer Simpson"

  • mr bojangles Post author

    small town cops

  • Across Post author

    uhuhuh Civilians, doing police work! w00t! oh public pensions and benefits here i come! 😀
    Heh JK but in all seriousness… I am not american but I really doubt the "Good Samaritan law" works like that… wtf rly?

    As if enforcing ppl for good will when it's not THEIR JOB, was ever a good idea… sure you can set good Samaritan examples but blatantly enforcing good will from ppl will never work on the long run, humans don't like to being told what to do very often… especially nowadays where ppl get sued for helping out others…
    Honestly I think it has to come from said ppl to go out of their way to help out and even that is subjective to the circumstances at hand.

  • PsyberSourcerer Post author

    Objection. ~3 minute mark. Prioritizing the video evidence is reasonable. It contains both proof of the crime, and the identity of the car-jacker. Pursuit may or may not lead to apprehension, and choosing to pursue instead would be choosing to lose the video evidence.

  • inkblot131 Post author

    Jackie should have pointed out that these four DID act to 'help,' even if it was without realizing they were doing so. The video, even it couldn't be used in a future trial, COULD BE USED TO IDENTIFY THE CARJACKER.

  • Tyler Rehkopf Post author

    It would be GREAT if you did a video about how sentencing hearings go down. I literally had no idea it was a separate hearing.

  • Tyler Rehkopf Post author

    Also, you should watch the seventh season of Seinfeld. Its pure gold

  • mr k Post author

    Seinfeld was the best.

  • Camilo Iribarren Post author

    Objection: Counsel has to review two legal series and give his ruling on legal realism: 1) Franklin and Bash 2) Bull.

  • Roy Skaardal Post author

    Objection! (Norway fact!)

    It is illigal to not help people (here in Norway). Not in a carjacking, but in a car accident. If you drove past and did not stop and help you can be punished to 1 year in prison.

  • kevinmajeske Post author

    I didn't see anyone bring up the fact that a municipality/county can't pass a law and make it a felony. That is only the prerogative of the state or federal governments.

  • Lizica Dumitru Post author

    Question for legal eagle: if there is a law on the books and a citizen of a country wishes to dispute that law (as you say in the episode "it's a dumb law" so in real life I've may exist) do they have the right to challenge it and by what means may they go about it?

  • P Square Post author

    You ruined a funny and nice episode.

  • Indrejue Post author

    Objection there is one more star trek episode that will be very interesting for you to review. The episode is called The Drumhead.

  • roguephoenix7 Post author

    Objection: the whole point of framing the issue this way is a self-reflection of the character of the show itself over its entire run. Whether or not framing it in the context of a courtroom was a good choice or not is another question, but it does attempt to borrow some authority from the trope.

    Totally acknowledge that it's "a story about nothing." lol

  • JRHockney Post author

    Probably the worst episode of the series…but kinda happy with the outcome regardless of its legality 😉

  • WaffleAuflauf Post author


  • 123iceboy Post author

    I did a quick google search and Massachusetts has a duty to rescue law and those are sometimes called good samaritan laws even though they aren't in any way related to the actual good samaritan laws. The penalties presented however are ludicrous.

  • Kodey Graeff Post author

    Objection: The biggest issue i have aside from the law being entirely unconstitutional is that the word reasonable is used in the legislation and the perpetrator had a gun (or at the very least appeared to). Knowing how not gun friendly both new york and airlines are, how can they be reasonably expacted to join a fray like this when there is no chance they are carrying anything to match the car jackers firepower? Its just not reasonable.

  • enigmayshi Post author

    Also their defense Lawyer should of disputed the charges on grounds of that video recording, they caught the perpetrator on camera making for easy identification so even if that wasn't their intent they did actually collect evidence that would be useful for the police to catch the Carjacker.

  • Trackpad Post author

    Wait…. is that John Pinette?

  • Scott wachter Post author

    please do the other Jackie Chiles episodes of Seinfeld.

  • Spellbinder Post author

    Years ago, I pulled up to a man that was passed out in his car at a traffic signal. I, as a female, was afraid to go up to the man in case he was pretending and planned to harm me. I drove pass and stopped at a payphone (yes, that long ago) and called the police. The operator told me that I had an obligation to have stayed with the man due to the "Good Samaritan Law" and that I had committed a crime. I was so scared that I hung up and drove home. Not sure whether even the police understood what the Good Samaritan Law was…

  • Hungry Hedgehog Post author

    This is actually a thing in some countries including germany and is called duty to rescue. Normally to fullfill this duty the minimum thing you have to do is call emergency services, in some cases (if you are a doctor for example or part of emergency services, you are expected to do more). Not fullfilling this duty is considered a crime of omission in germany and there is a stronger version of that if you didn't help someone intentionally (for example if you don't like that person and could've helped them but decided not to).
    Fun fact: This is also part of itnernational shipping law (law of the sea). I don't know to what degree counties can make their own laws in the US but this is a law practiced in other countries so it wouldn't be too far fetched for a town to adopt this if they could.

  • Visage Liquifier Post author

    The calling of character witnesses, even within the fictional world of the show, seems to make little sense to me. Even if these people do indeed have a pattern of antisocial behavior, it does not affect the circumstances of the charge or alleged crime. It could have been four career criminals or four nuns holding the camera, they would be equally guilty.

    The four could potentially counter with a suit that they are employees being unfairly treated. My knowledge here is a bit misty, but as I recall the definition of an 'employee' in the US is based on service and environment and not specifically on contractual remuneration. Since they were expected to act as police, they should be entitled to the training and benefits of police employment, as well as any other professional or semi-professional emergency service job. The argument would be if the local government pays and trains, for instance police, who are obligated to perform certain acts in this situation, and they were required under penalty of law to perform the same acts, they are perforce policing agents and are entitled to the same training, otherwise the state is itself negligent in deputizing and compelling untrained and unequipped persons to enforce its laws. If the police need the training, and are compensated for their expert knowledge, then anyone performing that function needs the same training and is entitled to the same benefits of employment as a certified and trained expert in law enforcement.

  • ZomBiMaN667 Post author

    Have you done cars or doc Hollywood???

  • Jason Boche Post author

    Objection: Both the district attorney and the defense attorney are violating the well.

  • adamshattuck1985 Post author

    not really a objection but doesnt certain crimes, such as premeditated murder, hate crimes, etc. use a pattern of behaviour AS the reason for the charge? im genuinely curious about how much of a person history/pattern of conduct is tied to a criminal charge.

  • Daniel Deming Post author

    Are objections (and the judge sustaining or overruling them) recorded in the court transcripts or are they treated as if they were never said? Just curious for the sake of appeals like if the judge overrules a valid objection.

  • Geoffrey Zoref Post author

    The finally was, according to Larry David, based on The Stranger by Sarte.

  • Geoffrey Zoref Post author

    The whole trial is a place setting to refer to the characters and episodes throughout the shows run.

  • illkyum Post author

    Pls react to Lionel Hultz

  • Elin Halléni Post author

    Great video! I would love to see your thoughts on the trial in season 2 of Broadchurch (it's on Netflix, and is amazing btw). The trial takes place over several days, over several episodes. For me, as a civilian, it looks very realistic. I would really like to know if you agree 🙂

  • KTChamberlain Post author

    The cops of the following franchises suck big-time: The Simpsons, Avatar: The Legend of Korra, Big City Greens, and last but not least…Seinfeld.

  • House of Khaine Post author

    Objection: Good Samaritan statutes in the states of Minnesota, Vermont and Rhode Island do require a person at the scene of an emergency to provide reasonable assistance to a person in need.

  • silfin Post author

    Objection: testifieng that a defendant tried to smother you with a pillow is not character. It is attempted murder. It was however irrelevant to this trial

  • M. Fuller Post author

    You should react to the court scenes in designated survivor

  • James Tuthill Post author

    You should react to "Silicon Valley," would watch.

  • Dr. Strangelove Post author

    That is so strange to hear as a german that there is no obligation to help someone who is in need of it (e.g. drowning). In Germany this would be neglected assistance, which is a criminal offence. It could be punished with imprisonment for up to a year or (most likely) with a fine. This however does not constitute an obligation to get yourself in danger as the law states that one only needs to do what could be reasonably expected in a situation.

  • Alyssa Smith Post author

    Objection! There does exist a form of "depraved indifference", but that is usually used in the context of murder cases such "depraved-heart murder" where the accused has acted with "depraved indifference" to a human life.

  • Sideways Post author

    Objection! Aren’t certain professionals held legally liable in their work setting for providing certain kinds of help to people in danger? Like, as an example, does the pool lifeguard have the legal right to abstain from helping a person drowning in the pool? As a more extreme case, an on duty doctor who is informed a patient needs immediate CPR?

    Obviously their jobs probably aren’t protected, but I always kinda assumed the law mandated that SOMEONE has to act in certain emergencies and therefore that someone was held responsible in some way by law

  • snatchadams69 Post author

    One of the laziest written season finales out there.

  • Shane Williams Post author

    I know it's rather obscure but the Trial of Tim Heidecker would be hilarious.

  • 064678543 Post author

    14:44 Please do not approach the bench! The bailiff will tackle you!

  • JJ Post author

    You should do a video on historically bad U.S. laws that have been removed and ones which are technically still in place etc.

  • Mostlyharmless1985 Post author

    I believe in Florda we have a duty to both report and render aid to the best of our abilities in case of car accidents.

  • DragonAlchemist0 Post author

    Can a person go to jail for just being obnoxious? Well lets see!

  • DragonAlchemist0 Post author

    So much objection by the start of the trial. Judging a human being for being a human being when it comes to character. And because they act all nice in there town doesn't mean every other city is like that with few bad apples.

  • William Remy Post author

    Can you review The Exorcism of Emily Rose? I know it’s a “horror” movie, but it takes place mostly in a courtroom. That or Witness for the Prosecution (1957). That movie is great and I would be interested to see how realistic the legal parts are

  • Elani Parker Post author

    Could you do a reaction video for Anatomy of a Murder?

  • CautionMagnet Post author

    Would love to see you analyze the trial of Tim Heidecker

  • Stephen Hines Post author

    Could the lawyer argue that they were practicing the gsa by filming the carjacking and providing evidence for the police? Or use the footage in their plea deal?

  • flyingmobias Post author


    America doesn't care about the person's past actions, general lifestyle or state of mind? No wonder there's high repeat offence rates. It's good to try to make adjudicating justice fair and blind, but the thing is, if someone is drunk driving daily, and they only get caught once, they should be punished more (for being higher risk in general) than someone who's only done it once. That's more fair than treating everyone the same even if some people risk killing others much more, and perpetrate other similar societal ills. Drunk driving is just a very clear example. I also note that statistics and root cause based examinations of the crime (like what caused the person to do a hate crime, drunk driving, be negligent (their upbringing and society…) are not done in any jurisdictions worldwide as far as I know. Which I don't think is ideal. Just as traditional economics is being exposed for the arrogant assumptions it's based on, by behavioral economics, we must too evolve how we see people. They're not just rational agents who are either to blame or not, we can look at why they did what they did and more… I know balancing such things is already done a bit but it should be far more pervasive. But there's an issue of: Should there be a law or system for being a bad/negligent/disruptive person generally? Or just specific laws about specific incidents? Or a combination… Hmm. I know China has a social surveillance system where you get points for "being good", but that's too much for the West and freedom!… Hmm…

    It's also very odd you can argue "I'm generally a good person with good character with these cherrypicked examples" but someone can't argue something like "Umm… you've abused people and have driven drunk a lot…". WE NEED BOTH SIDES TO BE FAIR! Simple. Although it does add complexity. But it's for the best. Being ignorant of complexity is convenient but almost never correct…

  • Bernardo Curvello Post author

    OBJECTION! Another point could be made that even if the law that the officer states was correct, it'd still be "as long it's reasonable to do so". it WAS NOT reasonable to do so, the guy was armed! it was pretty dangerous to try to help out.

  • WillN2Go1 Post author

    I think Jerry Seinfeld himself has the clearest ruling on all of this. "It doesn't matter how good looking you are, or how cool you are. Only one thing counts in comedy: is it funny? If it's funny you win. Nothing else matters."

    California. Mandatory Duty to Report. Teachers, school administrators, counselors. I filed two reports as my duty as a teacher. If I failed to file within 36 hours I could expect to be suspended and eventually fired; and also face criminal charges. I think it's a good thing. The Reporting Agencies, police department, the country child protection agency… have excellent people answering the phones. The second time I made a report the admin at the school, a good intelligent person said, 'Don't worry about it, I'll have the counselor speak to the student.' Their intentions were good, but…that's not what the law or policy says.

    Here's why I think it's good. Talk to a boss, anywhere. The absolute top priority is to do as little as possible, not get involved, and look for ways to dismiss the possibility that actual harm is taking place. This is not unreasonable, but then you end up with pedophile priests and the Boy Scouts. One admin told me that I could not call 911 without first asking him, and that he was qualified to do first aid because he had 'some training' in the 1950s. I was certified by the Los Angeles Fire Department, and re-certified by the Red Cross. He said being my boss trumped this. (Not what state law says.) He wanted to make sure I understood his directive. 'Yes, in an emergency it's up to me whether or not I call 911 and you can maybe fire me later.'
    Johnny Cochran was known for much longer than the OJ Trial as a civil rights attorney.

  • Dan Robards Post author

    you should look at the Balm episode. when Kramer spills coffee on himself and tries to sue. "did you put the balm on? did I tell you to put the balm on? I didn't tell you to put the balm on!"

  • Sheila Slaughter Post author

    Setting aside the obvious morale / ethical obligation, are off-duty emergency / first responders subject to legal charges if they withhold assistance to rescue a person in need?

  • amae Post author

    can you swear in court?

  • Primary Post author

    Haha if you watch more Seinfeld you gotta watch all the portions with Jackie Chiles

  • Abi on Drums Post author

    Objection: Could the tape really be entered into the trial? The defendant is basically incriminating himself. Nemo tenetur se ipsum accusare.

  • David Vera Post author

    I wish you would review, Philadelphia.

  • E Unhinged Post author

    how could you not watch seinfeld???

  • Brittany Mortimer Post author

    I thought the good Samaritan law was because of kitty geneovese. Which was a horrible thing where 37 people did not call police or assist her, causing her death.

  • NinjaSkittlez Post author

    Objection: you are suggesting that an officer should abandon all evidence at the scene of a crime in an attempt to return to his vehicle and chase after an armed subject in a stolen vehicle rather than attempt to identify witnesses at the crime scene who may be able to identify future suspects. This suggestion also requires an officer to speak to the victim of a carjacking, get a description of the vehicle, return to their own vehicle, and begin pursuit of a vehicle which has already exited the scene.

    I believe there is a fair presumption that the Officer has access to a radio, and any detail he gets about the vehicle or suspect could be relayed to other officers who may be in a better position to pursue, which allows the officer on scene to conduct a thorough investigation with obvious witnesses of the incident that would be otherwise unavailable if the officer leaves.

    Though I am certain any defense attorney, in this case, would really enjoy questioning an officer as to their conduct in letting witnesses who passively observed a crime and only left when an officer arrived as to what their process was. That narrative can be a fun dance if done right I imagine.

  • Homemmtbrasa Post author

    Do the movie Find Me Guilty, please.

  • Surplus History Post author

    Still they should've called the cops or something

  • Cer Burrows Post author

    "If you like Senfield which is about nothing you'll lok Curiosity Stream which is about something"


  • Mike Fitzsimmons Post author

    Their are laws while boating to offer assistance to anyone in distress if your close to them, but it isn't extreme like in the show.

  • Misty Stewart Post author

    Objection!! The lawyer deconstructing this whole thing has missed a vital component of this case's impropriety!! The judges name is van de lay. Already an arch nemesis of the defendants.

    The judge should have recused from the jump.

  • Adam Ross Post author

    [Not a Lawyer]

    The man had his car stolen (presumably) at gunpoint. the victim was totally unharmed. So the law requires someone to put their life in danger to help someone, who was unharmed. As you mentioned, the sheriff (or deputy?) didn't even call in the crime, and instead chose to arrest the bystanders. [Conjecture] As if this small-town cop was too afraid to confront an armed individual, and chose to go with the safer move.

  • Veritech Girl Post author

    "No lawsuit for you!"

  • northcountrydylan Post author

    You forgot the part where Jackie sleeps with one of the prosecution witnesses.

  • Perry Mason Post author

    But Mr. Lawyer, I read that there are 2 states that have good samaritan laws that REQUIRE you to do something or face consequences. There are also states that have laws saying you must do nothing. Then there are states that address those with medical training and their role in good samaritan laws.

  • Kenneth Shiro Post author

    Yeah, the whole point of this episode as I'm sure you're aware is to relive stuff from past episodes. As a seinfeld fan I can say that it's not a very good finale.

  • nd irish7 Post author

    Objection! Officer says they have to help “when reasonable to do so.” It is not reasonable to help the man if the criminal has a gun. You’d be putting yourself in a deadly situation over a couple thousand dollars.

  • Henoik Post author

    Objection! (kinda)
    Duty to rescue laws are quite common in Europe and in places such as Norway (where I live). Of course they don't demand you put yourself at risk to help others (ie. if someone's house is on fire, you don't have to enter that house to bring out your unconscious neighbour and perform CPR on them, because that would probably lead to your own unconsciousness and possible death). However, if there is no danger to your own health and safety, you are obligated to do something to help a fellow human being, for example if you see someone lying unconscious in the middle of the street, you can and probably will be incarcerated for not investigating and helping out. There of course are good samaritan laws here as well, which not only extend to a person's health and safety, but also to a property (meaning, if I have to physically hold you down to prevent you from causing damage to someone or their property, I cannot be charged with assault or whatever criminal charges would be put on me under other circumstances). There are also laws here that protect me from facing criminal charges if I commit a crime in order to stop an ongoing crime from being committed. Now, both of these laws are very restricted, in the sense that they will only protect me if I only do what it takes to stop the crime from being committed. This would for example mean that if I have a gun, and you are unarmed, and you're entering my house against my will, and I shoot and kill you, I would be incarcerated for committing murder or manslaughter. If you were punching me, then I would not be allowed to punch you unless absolutely required for me to stop you from punching me.

    Also, if you, in Norway, don't report a crime that's been committed, you might face prison time, based on the seriousness of the crime.

  • Karim Miri Post author

    Maybe in France…. Well… We have something close yes… You're not obliged to help here but you're obliged to call the cops or an ambulance if you see such things happening…. So yeah we ve somethin' close.

  • CptNem Post author

    Something that always bugged me about this episode is that they refer to the law as requiring them to act when it is reasonable to do so. If there's an armed robber, some distance from you, who potentially has far more bullets than you have people to throw at them, wouldn't their lawyer argue that they did act – if it was reasonable to do so – but that it was simply unreasonable for them to do so. They're lucky Kramer risked an escalation by simply filming it.

  • Daniel Fisher Post author

    Clarification: in California a teacher who doesn't report abuse can lose their credential.

  • Scott Livingston Post author

    Do law abiding citizen with gerard butler please legal eagle

  • Eric Aronson Post author

    I agree even good samaritan law shouldn't be a thing but mileage and dictates that I must do all in my power to preserve life

  • Jørgen Egner Granerud Post author

    These are funny! But speaking of character witnesses, now I want to see you tackle the trial from Big Little Lies 2. That had me wondering how realistic it was.

  • Schechter Arts Post author

    Objection: The Seinfeld crew were in some little town in BFE, where law enforcement procedures are not as formal as in big cities. Clearly, the officer bypassed the dispatcher & reported the carjacker on his radio, whereupon Officer Bubba, who also had his radio, immediately left his plate of eggs at the local diner, got in his patrol car & sped off in search of the criminal. (The criminal got away because he got outside the county line before the local cops could apprehend him.)

  • Cyraneth Vamaross Post author

    Objection! The host's enthusiasm for introducing the audience to the terms and practices of law have not been properly underlined and emphasized and should be properly lauded.

  • Fonveh Post author

    This kind of law exists in just about every European country and is uncontroversial. In what way is it a bad law?

  • Adam Levine Post author

    Do the DS9 episode "Rules of Engagement."

  • PandaBrawler Post author

    I always remember James Rebhorn from Meet the Parents

  • Daryl V. Post author

    The good samaritan law = get yourself killed law

  • Rikard Nilsson Post author

    3:27 he says "If it's reasonable to do so"

    It is unreasonable to expect a group of civilians to help someone who's being mugged by a supposedly armed robber, so the whole premise falls flat before it even starts…god I hate Seinfeld…such an overrated unfunny shitshow.

  • Rikard Nilsson Post author

    5:05 it doesn't even have to be negligible, when you preform CPR you are very likely to break/fracture someones ribs for example, but saving your life by performing damage in the process is preferable to your body being visibly unharmed but dead

  • Jonas Butler Post author

    Not to mention, it would be extremely dangerous to intervene in a car jacking.

  • Kyouko Toshino Post author

    So he does wear pants

  • TheJinzo Post author

    9:31 He played on White Collar as the FBI Director he passed away a few years back 🙁

  • James Dubuisson Post author

    You should review Psych Season 1, Episode 12 "Cloudy with a Chance of Murder!"

  • Tamlinearthly Post author

    I'd be curious to learn how many of these plots from previous episodes were themselves crimes. Obviously stealing the bread and accosting the woman in the sauna, but I wonder about things like the wheelchair and the fire?

  • Nate DS Post author

    It’s the greatest channel with the dullest premise. This was way more interesting than expected.

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