I've seen 2 episodes of the new television series, Fairly Legal.
I've talked to a few mediators about this new tv series. One gentleman refused to watch it! However, I was really excited when I heard that there was going to be a tv show about a mediator. What a novel idea! I want to personally thank the creator of this t.v. series for coming up with this great idea! What a great way to let the general public get to learn more about mediation. It's going to create some unrealistic expectations from the general public about what a mediator can actually do in a case -- but what the heck! This tv series could actually educate the public about mediation better than anything else out there. It could be the best advertisement for alternative dispute resolution. I suspect I'll soon be referencing FAIRLY LEGAL in my mediation introduction!
The best thing about the television series, Fairly Legal, is that it is getting the word out about mediation. If nothing else, that is the very best thing about this TVseries. The general public will get an idea about what mediation is and about what it can do for them when they have a problem.
Unfortunately, it is going to give the public a false idea about mediation. It reminds me of the television series, LA Law. Everyone wanted to go to law school because of LA Law. It made lawyers sexy. Sure they were scummy sharks that wanted to win at all costs, but they sure were sexy!
I believe the series takes a lot of liberties to build the drama in the show, such as having the character not be a lawyer any more. In Texas, a mediator can be an attorney and a mediator. A lawyer does not have to turn in their bar card in order to be a mediator.
Also, in the initial episode the judge appeared to dislike the mediator. The judges that I know appreciate and respect mediators because they know that some cases, especially cases involving family disputes, are better resolved between the parties than at the courthouse. I think FAIRLY LEGAL will give a false impression about the relationship between judges and mediators.
Additionally, the primary character's ability to mediate is somewhat unorthodox. She is able to resolve the nastiest cases in less than a minute. She reminds me of how Perry Mason was able to get guilty people to confess by just looking at them! Perry Mason gave the person that stare and the person just had to confess -- they could not help themselves.
Plus I really like how she is able to be at the right place at the right time.
And, her assistant is a miracle worker!
She does show that a mediator's job is to think outside the box - to look at the issues and try to make mediation a win-win for everyone involved.
I do like her passion for her mediations. It will be interesting to see if each episode continues to feel like she is on a "mission from God".
I like this character because she is able to say just the right thing and people that we about to choke each other 60 seconds ago suddenly are able to hug each other and resolve all issues! Damn I'm jealous! I wish I had such great script writters when I am doing a mediation!
I've often commented to my clients in litigated cases that the courtroom is just not like television because we don't have commercials and we don't have script writters that can resolve all issues in less than 50 minutes.
The characters in Fairly Legal seem really messed up and barely functioning. This show might be a success just because they all seem to human.
I hope that this show lasts long enough to develop a following.