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Real Lawyer Reacts to Liar Liar (Part 1)

Real Lawyer Reacts to Liar Liar (Part 1)

Jim Carrey (as attorney Fletcher Reede) is struck by a magic spell and can’t lie. But is he a good lawyer? Today we’re going to review one of the funniest legal movies of all time: Liar Liar. Stay until the end for my Legal Realism Grade!

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The last time I watched Liar Liar, I wasn’t yet an attorney myself. I remember watching Liar Liar years and thinking how cool it would be to become a lawyer myself. That was obviously a long time ago. It was great to be able to watch the movie with fresh eyes and know which parts were realistic and which were not. I practiced in Los Angeles for a long time, so I recognized a lot of my old haunts including the office parks and courthouses. Surprisingly, I think the movie is funnier now having years of experience as an attorney.

Stay tuned until next week when I release my reaction to the second half of the movie. I’m going to go in-depth into whether the prenup is void and whether the wife’s fraud invalidates the entire marriage.

Would you like me to react to another one? Let me know in the comments!

You can find more Real Lawyer Reacts Here (including my reaction to Suits, Better Call Saul, A Few Good Men and tons more):

I get asked a lot about whether being a practicing attorney is like being a lawyer on TV. I love watching legal movies and courtroom dramas. It’s one of the reasons I decided to become a lawyer. But sometimes they make me want to pull my hair out because they are ridiculous. Today I’m taking a break from teaching law students how to crush law school to take on lawyers in the movies and on TV. While all legal movies and shows take dramatic license to make things more interesting (nobody wants to see hundreds of hours of brief writing), many of them have a grain of truth.

This is part of a continuing series of “Lawyer Reaction” videos. Got a legal movie or TV show you’d like me to critique? Let me know in the comments!

All clips used for fair use commentary, criticism, and educational purposes. See Hosseinzadeh v. Klein, 276 F.Supp.3d 34 (S.D.N.Y. 2017); Equals Three, LLC v. Jukin Media, Inc., 139 F. Supp. 3d 1094 (C.D. Cal. 2015).

Typical legal disclaimer from a lawyer (occupational hazard): This is not legal advice, nor can I give you legal advice. Sorry! Everything here is for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. You should contact your attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem. Nothing here should be construed to form an attorney client relationship. Also, some of the links in this post may be affiliate links, meaning, at no cost to you, I will earn a small commission if you click through and make a purchase. But if you click, it really helps me make more of these videos!


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26 Comments - Leave a Comment
  • MrMaradok -

    Objection! While this comment is late, it should be noted that the initial scenes of Fletcher (Carry) that you stated "could" have been navigated "without lying," HOWEVER the Wish was made without Fletchers knowledge, thus it is reasonable to argue that he's unable to come up with the proper "truth" to avoid the "real" truth, i.e. The extension argument you proposed where he was "just introduced to the case" so to speak, while valid, was no used because Fletcher was to anxious and stressed over his inability to lie in the first place. Now, the fact that the Wish was VERY simple ( One DAY ((24 hours)) without lying ) it is possible that THE POWERS THAT BE (whatever made the Wish true ((shrug)) "Took some liberties" with the Wish and "interpreted" that Fletcher would be only able to say the truth rather than just "not lie," further evidenced when we see Fletcher try to lie in the safety of his empty office — He's unable to lie so long as HE knows that it's NOT the truth. THAT is why he said all of those things to the officer when he was pulled over, once he was asked a question that he KNEW the truth to, he was COMPELLED to say it, avoiding even the IDEA of a "Half Truth" or a true, but ultimately not relevant statement.

  • Kyle Elmblade -

    This was fun. I think it would be great to have you break down the McDonalds hot coffee lawsuit as well. When I first heard about it, I certainly thought it was ridiculous. Turns out the case was considerably more legitimate than what was portrayed by popular media. It would sure be nice if folks actually did a little research before making snap judgments. That specific case opened my eyes and forced me into the practice of researching ANY case that looks ludicrous at face value before sharing the results as "fact".

  • EvilJ069 -

    OBJECTION! A man in a Scandinavian country blasted two burglars in his home, killing one, injuring the other, the cops and courts arrested HIM and the crook sued for the injury

  • Per-Stephan Pettersen -

    Objection! The disbarments 1-3 would still rely on sufficient proofs apart from one word against another, further highlighting the problem many honest lawyers face in a system where clever manipulators are able to thrive.

  • michael bradley -

    Objection: In regards to the traffic stop the exercise of a right (the right to remain silent) can not constitute reasonable suspicion of a crime or rise to the level of probable cause to effect a search. You commented that an officer could or might take remaining silent as an excuse for reasonable suspicion you might be hiding something.

  • Kevin Felton -

    Objection. You state at 20:10 that the police can search a vehicle based on reasonable suspicion. According to Carroll v US we need probable cause to search a vehicle. We can do a pat down search for weapons of a person under Terry v Ohio but not a vehicle.

    In the scenario presented an officer could extend the stop based on RS only as long as he was conducting an investigation to prove or dispel his suspicions. Or he could remove the driver from the vehicle (Pennsylvania v Mimms) and conduct a pat down search, so long as he met the RS standards under Terry.

    As of 2008 he wouldn't even be able to do a search incident to arrest of the vehicle (Arizona v Gant) since the arrest was for parking tickets.

    He could do an inventory search prior to towing the vehicle, but that has nothing to do with RS.

  • R Nickerson -

    Objection! Improper grammar.
    At 16:41, the text says "Judges will grant a continuance, but you better have a good reason."
    It should read "Judges will grant a continuance, but you'd better have a good reason."

  • Nick Corvello -

    Objection: I had to pause at 19:32 to address something in your video in regards to the plot of the movie.

    While obviously you're accurate and trustworthy in regards to the actual legal matters in the plot of the movie, you're missing that when Fletcher's son wished that he can't lie, that wish also compelled him to always tell the truth.

    As you see in the movie, he's like a man possessed. His own body even tries to force the truth out of him such as the hilarious blue pen scene.

    He can't lie, but he must also always tell the truth. It's his compulsion. When someone asked him a question, that compulsion kicked in

  • Aaron M -

    The 'burglar suing the criminal victim for injury' is not a complete myth. It's the law today in England, for instance, and can apply as a form of premises liability, depending on facts. For example, see "attractive nuisance" doctrine.

  • Strom Slaghand -

    I have no objection but I do have a question: the fallacy of the burglar on the roof, there is a legendary case of the woman who sued McDonald's because of the hot coffee that has also been reportedly taken out of proportion what does being technically considered something similar or would this be something separate in and of itself

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