Sam McRae Files a Motion

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The continuing saga of my law office journal will take a break here to bring you a motion presented to the Court of Public Opinion by a fictional lawyer concerning fictional situations presented on TV, um, cable, er, streaming serv — Netflix. FYI, the book that I refer to in my journal eventually became the above self-published novel, which is being re-released later in September 2019. And is currently available for pre-order all over the damn place. And that is a link to a website that includes affiliate links. So, back off, I mean, hope that meets your requirements, FTC.

This is not (I repeat, not) an excerpt from that book. But it will give you a taste of what Sam McRae would include in a very badly-written motion full of run-on sentences and parentheticals, without legal or other citations. It certainly reflects her astonishing level of snark, if nothing else. Oh, and this does contain major spoilers. So, consider yourself alerted!!! So, with tongue slightly in cheek (or, at least, with cheek), here we go! 🙂


May it please the Court of Public Opinion, I hereby move to strike the entire Third Season of Jessica Jones (hereafter, “Third Season” or “Season Three”) from the record.

Statement of Facts (and Random Opinions/Arguments)

In Episode One, Malcolm the Friendly Neighbor and professional blackmailer for defense lawyer Jeri Hogarth spends much of his screen time engaged in violating the Code of Professional Ethics. His methods of persuading various celebrity clients who get drunk, have accidents, and sue their hapless crashees, um, victims to, ahem, settle their personal injury suits or else he’ll spill the beans on them is a most definite violation of the duty to provide “zealous representation”.

In Episode Two, Jessica’s sister, Trish, who now also has superpowers — how convenient! — catches a cell phone thief. Her methods are physical enough to prompt the thief to sue Trish for causing his neck injury.

I’m trying to imagine the judge that wouldn’t dismiss this one on the basis of sheer stupidity. That’s a joke, yes! We lawyers do love a joke. But seriously … I’m sure there’d be grounds to laugh this one off the docket, toot suite.

Episode Two (cont.) (maybe — they all kind of ran together after a while). A man accused of stealing a statue that was willed to his half-sister, who used that statue to beat her so badly she’s confined to a hospital bed, to boot, is released from police custody, due to lack of evidence.

Well, let’s see. We have a woman in the hospital who can testify to what this guy did to her. She is still alive, right? And, apparently, it never occurred to the New York City Police Department to get a search warrant for the man’s apartment, where he’s hiding the statue (i.e., the weapon). Because, apparently, the NYPD are staffed by the Keystone Cops. And Jessica Jones is the only one who can gather evidence. Or is it Trish? Who knows?

By Episodes Three and Four, we are introduced to the novel concept of Erik the Casual Lay and his Magic Migraine Meter of Evil within the Hearts of Men and (one supposes) Women. Erik has been using his migraine evil detection powers to blackmail people. A few episodes later, Erik is kidnapped by the psycho-killer Salinger (can’t recall his first name and, frankly, don’t care). Evidence piles up against this “highly intellectual” (as demonstrated by his use of many multisyllabic words) serial killer who should’ve been arrested yesterday, but the police are apparently powerless to act when none (of course!) of the evidence is admissible in court.

As an aside, you do know that the police can never take an action based on what snitches tell them, right? Because for reasons that aren’t made clear, everything coming from a snitch is inadmissible in court. And the police can only do anything on a case when they have admissible evidence. At least, according to some Season Three episode or other.

News flash. That’s. Just. Wrong. Usually police start investigations to get admissible evidence, rather than waiting around for it to fall into their laps like rain from the sky. Sorry to digress, but …. Honestly!

The concept of needing proof positive before making an arrest is, of course, completely inapplicable to Jessica herself, who is frequently arrested throughout Season Three (and the series as a whole). Why? Because she has superpowers. Or maybe the cops just don’t care for her tastefully-ripped jeans.

Truly, the NYPD must be the dumbest bunch of clucks in the world. They appear completely incapable gathering evidence when presented with even a shred of a lead or getting a warrant based on probable cause. Unless, of course, it’s against Jessica. Whose response is usually to get drunk. Big surprise there.

So, after discovering a railcar full of dead bodies cut up into easy-to-handle chunks, lo and behold it’s all useless, because nothing connects Salinger to this … mess. And Erik refuses to testify about the kidnapping, because he’s afraid to be tried for — blackmail, of course!

As if the NYPD wouldn’t go easier on a blackmailer (a nonviolent offender, please keep in mind) in the galactically greater interest of nabbing a fucking serial killer. And when Jessica seeks the counsel of Jeri Curl the Nasty Defense Lawyer (code name: Trinity), our favorite legal scholar blithely states: “Oh, they’ll give him a year.” Like anyone can really predict such a thing. No, no, no — lawyers always, always qualify these things. He might get up to a year in stir, but the judge might give him probation before judgment. I’ll bet the writers never even thought of that one.

Plus! (And this is really funny!) Erik says he’ll have terrible, terrible, horrible endless migraines if he goes to prison, because everyone there is so evil.

Let’s examine this proposition, bit by stupid bit.

This assumes, of course, that everyone in prison is thoroughly evil. Which is ridiculous. I guess none of the writers watch Orange is the New Black.

It also assumes that innocent people never get imprisoned. Allow me to direct your attention to Exhibit A:

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And … how the hell has this man managed to survive a day-to-day existence in New York City? Honest to God, there are probably more psychos on the street than in the prisons. Statistically, a certain percentage of any population group is going to be really, really not nice (or Evil, whatever that means). And this is a city with an extremely high-density population. Erik should be having massive headaches constantly. I’m surprised he hasn’t stroked out, at this point,

Jeri Hogarth, Defense Lawyer From Hell, ends up representing Salinger, because she’s a scum-sucking defense attorney. So it falls to Jessica and Trish (working together or not) to make sure that bad guys get their asses kicked. Because due process … hey, who needs it, right?

After all, in Jessica World, once you’re accused, you are guilty, guilty, guilty! Guilty of something, at any rate.

My apologies for losing track of which thing happened in which episode. Don’t worry, none of it matters, really.

I think we’re at the point where Jessica and Trish dig up the bones of one of Salinger’s victims. And, because Salinger threatens to blackmail Trish with exposure of her new-found superpowers, Jessica must destroy the DNA evidence linking Salinger to the bones. She manages to make it look like a terrible, smelly accident by diverting sewage into the crime lab.

And for some reason, the one Friendly Detective who’s nice to Jessica (who’s also gay, in a bid to make the show more relevant or real or PC — or whatever) is held responsible for what would normally look like an Act of God (or, at the very least, a disaster for which he holds no personal responsibility and could scarcely have anticipated). I mean, who knew a homicide detective was responsible for the infrastructure of the crime lab’s building?

One last point (even though there are a shitload of WTF moments throughout Season Three): Erik and Super-Trish confront a crooked cop/ blackmail victim. Trish naturally becomes enraged and kills him. And, for some reason, Erik feels totally euphoric afterward. Um … okay.

So then Super-Trish murders another bad guy. A dude who allegedly (that word is important-really!) committed arson and killed a few people in the building he allegedly burned down. But this time, Erik gets a headache. Asked by Jessica to rate the headache on a scale of 1 to 10, Erik gives it about a five or so. No Gold Medal for that one, but still …

Finally (really!), Trish goes after Salinger with a super-vengeance after he kills her thoroughly warm and fuzzy Hollywood Mom (the one who makes Joan Crawford look like the Dalai Fucking Lama, yet somehow is incapable of walking away from an abusive husband? Um … is this in the series bible or was it just desperately/hastily added on so we’ll empathize with the bitch?), especially after Jessica’s assistant airily pronounces that he’ll probably “use the system” to get off. Because that’s what all those sleazy defendants do, right?

Relief Requested

Based on the above, I request that the court grant the following relief:

1. An order to strike Season Three of Jessica Jones from the Netflix lineup;

2. An injunction preventing the producers from distributing Season Three on any platform;

3. Order the writers responsible for Season Three to read Criminal Law in a Nutshell (affilate link), scan the rules of evidence, take a glance at the Bill of Rights (you can search the U.S. Constitution now), maybe watch an episode of True Detective, before attempting to write about criminal cases in the future; and

4. Direct that Krysten Ritter, Mike Colter, Rachael Taylor, Carrie-Anne Moss, and the rest of the awesome cast, be given Emmy Awards (or possibly Medals of Honor) for being spectacular in what was an intriguing, well-written, and engaging Seasons One and Two, and slogging like the pros they are through the Third Season.

And, in the alternative, I propose the following:

1. Keep Season Three of Jessica Jones (along with the two seasons preceding it) on Netflix, in its entirety, until such time as Amazon, Hulu, or some other big-ass media/tech/superpowered company buys the show; and

2. Bring all the very talented, but no doubt extremely pressured writers (who were probably working 15-hour days, seven days a week, without a break to write Season Three and had to take notes from show runners and other higher-ups who might be half their age — possibly their own children), actors, and crew back together for a 90-minute finale movie, ala Deadwood, (financed by Kickstarter, perhaps? It worked for Veronica Mars. Just ask Jessica. I mean, Krysten Ritter) in which Jessica remains haunted by the voice of David Tennant or the Doctor or — no, wait, it’s! — Kilgrave (oh, the awesome memories that voice at the end of Season Three evoked!), have it drive her pell-mell toward continued ass-kicking, until something comes to a climax worthy of the series, and Jessica goes on to provide investigative and ass-kicking services throughout the New York Metropolitan area, the Tri-State area, and beyond. Perhaps as far as Pennsylvania. If she reached Scranton, Jessica would totally give Dwight Schrute a run for his money.

In conclusion, I am confident that this court will take my thoroughly ridiculous, I mean, closely consider the facts and opinions/arguments presented herein and do what is necessary …

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Or not.

I realize that Jessica Jones is a fictional (cartoon) character. As a fictional character who also happens to be a lawyer, I believe I’ve sustained injury sufficient to assert standing in this matter. And if there is no matter to assert this in, there should be.

Respectfully submitted,
Stephanie Ann “Sam” McRae, Esq.

Originally published at on September 20, 2019.

New York Times bestselling author of seven novels, including the Sam McRae Mystery series. Screenwriter, podcaster, and blogger. My website:

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