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Judging Jury Duty Amazon Freevee Show How Legally Accurate

Judging ‘Jury Duty’: Our Take on Amazon’s Legal Comedy Series

allegedly with Bo and Ryan | Season 2 Episode 7

Allegedly… with Bo and Ryan Podcast S2E7| Transcript

Ryan: [00:00:00] I guess in the episode of Family Guy, Peter once pretends to be racist to get out of jury duty. And he’s like, ‘Oh, that’s a good idea.’.


Ryan: [00:00:10] Welcome to Allegedly with Bo and Ryan, the only entertainment and law podcast that brings you the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth… Allegedly.


Bo: [00:00:21] I’m Bo Bowen.


Ryan: [00:00:22] And I’m Ryan Schmidt.


Bo: [00:00:23] And you’re listening to Allegedly with Bo and Ryan. We’re coming to you from our law offices in beautiful, historic Savannah, Georgia, where we’ll be chatting about pop culture, hot legal topics in the news, and doing our best to change the way people think about the law and lawyers.


Ryan: [00:00:40] But first, a little about us. Bo is so respected that Hells Angels jump off their motorcycles and walk them past his house.


Bo: [00:00:47] And Ryan doesn’t like to brag, but a recent archaeological dig came across prehistoric footprints that led out of Africa into all parts of the world. On close inspection, it turned out that the prints were his.


Ryan: [00:01:02] Together, we are Savannah’s consummate renegade legal titans.


Bo: [00:01:05] And the only corporate and entertainment lawyers in the free world who have never lost a single case… Allegedly.


Bo: [00:01:13] Well, welcome to another episode of Allegedly with Bo and Ryan. We appreciate you tuning in for another installment of all things law and entertainment. And today’s topic is one of our latest obsessions, Jury Duty.


Ryan: [00:01:30] Yes. And we’re not talking about actual jury duty or as we like to call it, the great American excuse to get out of work for $2 a day. We’re talking about the new quasi reality show on Amazon Prime/Freevee. Bo for those who haven’t seen this show. What is it all about?


Bo: [00:01:48] Well, Jury Duty is unlike anything I’ve ever seen on TV before. I’ve been told it’s kind of like a show called Joe Schmo, although I’ve never heard of that. But it’s amazing. All right. So it’s essentially a documentary that follows a real guy named Ronald Gladden as he serves on a jury in a civil case. But there’s an important twist. Ronald has no idea that the entire thing is completely fake and set up just to watch him and his reactions. Every single person involved is an improv actor, every other juror, the judge, the bailiff, the lawyers, even the 20 or so fake witnesses giving phony testimony. And to make it even wilder, even Westworld actor James Marsden is on the jury panel, and he’s basically acting like this hilariously kind of narcissistic, self-absorbed version of himself. I mean, he’s fantastic. It’s filmed in a real courtroom, and every single detail is set up to fool Ronald into believing he is a real juror in what is undoubtedly one of the wildest and weirdest court cases in history. I mean, what they pull off with this show is absolutely amazing.


Ryan: [00:03:15] Oh, 100%. And it’s not like they just did it one day and one one hearing that happen once. And they did this over, what, three weeks or something like that?


Bo: [00:03:25] Yeah, I think it was 17 days total.


Ryan: [00:03:27] It was unbelievable. Yeah. And I just I just loved how funny, how charming the show was. But also, really, you got to imagine the what they did to fool Ronald. It really worked. I mean, a lot of people would have fallen for it just because of how much they did that was actually accurate.


Bo: [00:03:47] Oh, yeah. I mean, every single little detail they thought of it was truly impressive.


Ryan: [00:03:52] So this being Allegedly with Bo and Ryan, a podcast about the intersection of law and pop culture, I thought it’d be fun to talk about what the show did right and what it what it reflects on the legal system.


Bo: [00:04:03] Well, you know, before we get started on that, I mean, I think it is important to note that–before people think, why do I want to watch a guy sitting, you know, on jury duty?–it’s a it’s semi-scripted and it’s from the creators of the office. So obviously it heavily favors entertainment, you know, over by-the-book legal accuracy. But that having been said, the show actually does a really amazing job of staying faithful to the real experience of jury duty, just in a really entertaining and funny way. I mean, for starters, I got to say, the actor who plays the judge is just pitch perfect.


Ryan: [00:04:50] Oh I completely agree. One of my favorite parts of the whole show is the actor who plays the judge. I mean, what do you like so much about him?


Bo: [00:04:55] Well, okay. As a lawyer, when You go into a courtroom, you’ve got to kind of be, you know, the dominant personality. But there is no question the judge is in control of that courtroom.


Ryan: [00:05:09] Absolutely.


Bo: [00:05:10] And this actor did a masterful job of that. So, you know, and think about it. If your idea is to convince this sort of unsuspecting juror that this absurd fake trial is real, you have to start with a believable judge. And this guy was great. I mean, it was just right. First of all, the age was right. You know, his look was right. And, you know, you’re not surprised at the end when you find out, you know, he’s not a judge, but he has been an actual attorney for the last 40 years in Chicago.


Ryan: [00:05:48] So he’s been in some courtrooms.


Bo: [00:05:50] Absolutely. And, you know, he just had that perfect balance of being authoritative, but sometimes moody, other times compassionate and understand landing, you know, in a lot of judges really do act that way. You know, I mean, they’re not mean or unprofessional most of the time, But but they can be very direct because they want to protect their case load, and their calendar. They run a pretty tight ship. And interesting side note on that, Ryan, you may not realize this, but I found out later that the actor that plays the judge is actually the father of Ike Barinholtz.


Ryan: [00:06:28] Oh, no way.


Bo: [00:06:28] Yeah, one of our favorite actors.


Ryan: [00:06:30] That’s amazing. So, I mean, the first thing that really impressed me with this show was was this actor. And I thought when when we were looking him up, I thought he had to have been a real judge. I would have 100% believed that. So I have one. You’re always asked by friends and family. Okay. I just got summoned to jury duty. Right. How on earth do I get out of jury duty? That’s that’s always the first question. Right?


Bo: [00:06:58] Exactly.


Ryan: [00:06:59] And a lot of people just want to show up, do the bare minimum, get excused and go home. And the show goes into a character named Noah, trying to find an excuse to get out of jury duty because he wants to go on a trip with his girlfriend. And I mean, everybody has some reason why they don’t want to be in jury duty.


Bo: [00:07:17] And actually, the “I have a trip scheduled with my girlfriend” is a pretty common excuse that you hear in real life.


Ryan: [00:07:23] Right. And it gets pretty funny. He’s talking about his trip and he says, you know, but this is a really, really important trip for me and my girlfriend. You know, we’ve never been alone unsupervised, you know, without parents. And it gets like really cringey. And he’s trying to plead to the judge and the judge is like, I’m not buying it. So let’s set that up a little bit. He’s in the waiting room ready to be called into the jury box. And he’s talking to Ronald again, the one guy in this whole production who isn’t an actor, and he’s saying, “Hey, nice to meet you. I’m Noah. What do people usually say to get out of jury duty?” And and Ronald, not being an actor could have said absolutely anything and he would have had to run with it. Right. And he says, “I don’t really know. But I guess in the episode of Family Guy, Peter once pretends to be racist to get out of jury duty.” And he’s like, “Oh, that’s a good idea.” So in voir dire, the judge is asking if anybody has any reason why they can’t serve on the jury. One lady stands up. She looks like she’s 100 and she’s just like, “not my thing.” And the judge is like, “Ma’am, I’m just happy.” Like, “I’m just glad you showed up today, you know, have a good one. You’re just you’re dismissed.” And she she gets to go home and then the judge asks, “anybody else?” And so this guy, Noah says this is a really big, important trip, you know, and want to be with my girlfriend, you know, all this stuff. And he says, “I’m sorry, sir. You know, this personal trip just it’s not it’s not going to work.” “Well, we’ve got a flight to Cabo and it’s a big vacation, and we’d have to miss that.” The judge says no. “Is there anything else that would prevent you from serving on this jury?” And he’s getting really nervous, and he’s he’s, um, stuttering, maybe. And he looks at Ronald from across the courtroom, and they’ve had this conversation and he’s like…


Bo: [00:09:32] And Ronald is shaking his head: No, no, no, no, no, no, no.


Ryan: [00:09:34] Please, please don’t do this. And he says, “I’m racist.” So great. It’s so great. And everybody, even the judge– “I’m sorry. You said what?” You said. “Yeah, I’m racist.” And he said, “I’m sorry. That was stupid. I shouldn’t have said that. You know, somebody told me to say that.” And the judge even, like, starts snapping at him a little bit and he says, “Who told you to say that?” And it gets really, really uncomfortable. You think for a second that he’s going to rat out Ronald and Ronald’s eyes are, like, bulging out of his head. But it was just it was just so, so good, so funny, so spot on. And it actually reminded me of one of the crazier courtroom experiences I ever witnessed. This was in a federal courthouse in Nashville, Tennessee. And anytime you’ve got federal court, it is just a way more strict court, right?


Bo: [00:10:30] Oh, yeah. Any lawyer will tell you federal judges don’t play.


Ryan: [00:10:34] They don’t play. They’re nominated by the president. They’re confirmed by Congress. It’s a different level. So this one guy is talking to the judge and the judge is the one who’s doing jury selection, and he’s asking each of the jurors questions. And and it can get pretty intense. So this one guy first shows up and, you know, the courthouse has all these rules, you know, outside. There’s you know, you got to wear a collared shirt and you got to, you know, tuck your shirt into your pants and you got to look a certain way. This guy shows up, t shirt, shorts, sneakers, just a ponytail. He’s already in trouble. Right. And the judge says, is there anything that’s going to keep you from serving on this jury? Guy takes a deep breath and says, “Yes, Your Honor, I’m just. I’m really tough situation here. I’ve been losing sleep. You know, it’s my girlfriend.” And the judge says, “Well, what’s going on with your girlfriend?” He says, “Yeah, she’s just been really having a hard time paying her rent. And, you know, she might get evicted at the at the end of the month.” And the judge is looking at him like ‘that’s going to prevent you from serving on this jury?’ And he’s giving him every single out. He’s like, “yeah, yeah. I mean, I just I won’t be present here. I’ll just be thinking about her the whole time.” And he’s like, “I mean, you’re her boyfriend. You can’t pay her rent? You know, if she gets kicked out, she can’t sleep at your house, you know?” “No, no, Your Honor. No, no, no. This is not going to happen.” So the judge, like, finally hits his limit and he says, “Well, I appreciate your candor. You know, I think that I think you’re right that you’ll probably not be present enough to, you know, serve on this jury and to actually help the parties reach a final verdict here. But, you know, I’m concerned that if I let you go, you’re never going to learn the full scope of the legal process. So what I’m going to do is I’m going to have you ordered to stay here for the entire duration of this trial as a spectator.”


Bo: [00:12:50] [Bo laughs]


Ryan: [00:12:51] Right? “And you’re going to sit either here in the front row of the of the courtroom or in the bench outside. And if you do want to leave one of those two areas without letting me know. I’ll hold you in contempt of court and throw you in jail.”


Bo: [00:13:07] Wow [Laughter].


Ryan: [00:13:08] The judge then breaks us all for lunch. The guy is sitting outside. The judge didn’t tell him, “You can have your lunch now.” So he just sat there for the next two hours. So, yeah, be careful messing with judges.


Bo: [00:13:23] Federal judges definitely don’t play. So, you know, and going back to that scene with with Noah where he says he’s racist, you know, there’s a great scene after that where afterwards they picked the jury and he apologizes to everyone on the jury panel and says, “look, I’m not racist. I just said that to try to get out of jury duty.” And a black woman looks up and says, “well, how about next time just don’t say that.” So it really is a great show. And you know, another thing I think that really added to the realism of it is the fact that they were able to film in a real courthouse. I mean, that’s just unbelievable because you would think, how could they do that? Because, you know, I mean, courthouses are in use all the time. Well, they they got lucky, okay. Because they held it in Huntington Park Superior Court just outside Los Angeles. And the reason they were able to use a real courthouse was because they had built a new courthouse in that county, and that courthouse was actually just sitting there vacant. And, in fact, it had just recently been used before they film as a haunted house. So so according to the production team, the crew shows up to set up and there’s no electricity. There’s spiderwebs, you know, fake blood, zombies everywhere, you know, But they go in and rehab the entire thing and turn it–you know, within a couple of weeks–into a real functioning courthouse again. So just the setting itself gives you the feeling of a very real court case.


Ryan: [00:15:02] Absolutely. I mean, you couldn’t just put it in some office park and say, Yeah, this is The Court.


Bo: [00:15:06] Right, exactly. It was very well done. And another part that I thought was great, so funny, there’s this hilarious scene where the lawyer for the defendant promises to blow the jurors minds with an amazing animation during his opening statement. Okay. And then he promptly spins two full days just trying to get his computer to connect to the monitor so the jury can see it. I mean, maybe not to that extreme, but that’s actually not an uncommon thing to happen. You know, I have definitely seen technology issues hold up trials and it is excruciating.


Ryan: [00:15:48] And it was so funny watching the lawyer walk through this because he was trying to like prep the jury and the judge for what was taking so long. So he was kind of speaking out what was happening: “Okay. Connect to Wi-Fi, enter credentials.” And he was just kind of step by step, you know, unable to connect to. So funny.


Bo: [00:16:11] You know and and in the show they built into it that the lawyers were very mismatched and and that’s actually pretty realistic, too. The lawyer for the plaintiff was well prepared, presented everything personally, professionally, and just perfectly was confident, you know, exactly the type of lawyer you would want arguing for your side. The defendant’s lawyer, on the other hand, what’s the word I’m looking for there, Ryan? I’m going to say train wreck.


Ryan: [00:16:44] Absolutely. Another thing I really, really enjoyed about this show and what I thought it got right–again, we’re talking about creating that atmosphere with which somebody would believe that they’re in a real courtroom setting–was Bailiff Nicky, the bailiff who oversaw the proceedings.


Bo: [00:17:03] She was great.


Ryan: [00:17:04] Again, no matter what happens in this show, that courtroom has to be right. The case itself can be the most wild case. But if the judge, the courtroom and the bailiff aren’t believable, the whole thing just immediately falls apart. And she was so good. She was very much like a TSA agent who will yell at you while you’re getting your laptops and liquids out of the bag. You know, she was very authoritative. And at one point, you know, people were talking and she said, “I will arrest all of you.” And you’re like, Oh, damn, you know, I got to listen to this one. But that’s the thing about like real life bailiffs, they say that. And, you know, when the judge is about to come out and they’ll say, “you know, everybody put your phone on silent. If it rings, I’ll take it. You know, if it rings again, I’ll arrest you.” You know, you’re like low key, nervous about bailiffs all the time.


Bo: [00:17:57] Yeah. I mean, I’m sitting there going. What if there’s an Amber Alert?


Ryan: [00:18:02] Last, last thing you want to do at the end of the show. What was so, so nice to see was even after Ronald was told that this whole thing was a ruse, he goes up to Bailiff Nicki, and he’s like, “wait, but you’re a real cop, right?” And of course, she has to say, no, I’m an actor, too.


Bo: [00:18:23] Yeah, that was unbelievable. But, you know, it was many things as as they did. Right. You know, I mean, there were a few things that would never happen in real life. I mean, first and foremost, you would never, ever, ever get to film or interview a jury during the course of a trial. Right. That would just never happen. And the show I mean, it does try to kind of acknowledge that problem. And, you know, and it explains that they had unprecedented access granted to the film documentary crew. But again, in real life would never happen. You’d be very concerned because that process, you’re not allowed to prejudge until all the evidence is in. And that process of sitting down with the documentary crew, especially together like they were doing, you know, it would influence the jurors. It would influence the public, it would influence the attorney. It would influence everybody. Just you wouldn’t be able to do it. The judge would never allow it in a million years. I mean, just think about what would happen in real life, Right? You know, if a rogue juror decided to just give an interview to a reporter in the middle of a trial about everything that’s going on in the courtroom, you know, I mean, not only would they be immediately dismissed from the jury, but, you know, the case would almost certainly be a mistrial. And on top of that, they would probably be in jail, right?


Ryan: [00:19:48] Yeah, no, that’s a good point. Another another thing that I think they kind of brushed over–but for entertainment purposes, it was so good–was James Marsden’s character. Right. So James Marsden is a very well-known actor. He’s he was Cyclops in X-Men. He’s in Westworld, as you mentioned. He’s in Hairspray. People see him even if they don’t know his name, [they’re like] “Oh, yeah, I remember him in that thing.” He’s, he’s very recognizable and it’d be very unlikely for a famous actor to serve on a jury even as an alternate. But he was in. Again, the the judge and the parties want to minimize anything that might actually distract from the trial itself, the facts and the law that the jury must consider to reach a verdict. And while Marsden isn’t like Brad Pitt or Leonardo DiCaprio, many people would definitely know who he is and have seen some of his works and probably get distracted. Right?


Bo: [00:20:46] Sure.


Ryan: [00:20:47] So the judge pretty hilariously discounts the argument. You know, James Marsden wants to get out because he’s got this big fake movie audition that he’s got to do. And he says, you know, “Judge, I just I think I’m going to be a distraction. I’m a recognizable public figure.” And the judge just as quickly says, “with respect, I don’t recognize you.” And then and even the judge pulls up Ronald, you know, again, the real guy and he says, do you do you recognize him? And Ronald says, well, “you know, at first, Your Honor, I didn’t. But but now I do.” And [the Judge is] like, “what has he been in?” And he says, “he’s been in X-Men, he’s been in this and that.” And James Marsden is like, “Dude, never start with X-Men.” And like, it’s it’s a good point. You know, celebrities are not exempt from getting summoned for jury duty. It happens all the time, but most of them are going to get excused for cause just because of how distracting they could be. And I actually found this whole article of different times that celebrities have shown up to jury duty. And, you know, people are taking their pictures, asking for autographs. You know, coming up to them and it just gets messy, right? For sure. But I found one instance where Oprah actually served as a juror on a murder trial in 2004.


Bo: [00:22:06] Wow.


Ryan: [00:22:07] And and it didn’t have a happy ending. They all convicted this guy. So it does happen.


Bo: [00:22:18] Yeah well you know no one really, other than if you’re a convicted felon or you’re over the age limit, anybody and everyone gets called for jury duty. There are no automatic passes. Lawyers get called for jury duty. Judges get called for jury duty. As you know, Ryan, just about two months ago, I got called for jury duty. And most of the time you think as a lawyer, they’re probably just going to cut me right off. That was not my experience. So it’s a little bit different when you’re talking about a civil trial versus a criminal trial. Okay. In a criminal trial, it’s very unlikely that the defense attorney is. Well, the defense attorney is definitely going to want a [lawyer on the jury], but there’s no way the district attorney is going to want a lawyer. And the reason is because a lawyer understands what a tremendously high burden of proof “beyond a reasonable doubt” really is.


Ryan: [00:23:13] Sure.


Bo: [00:23:13] So they don’t want that. So you’re almost certainly going to get cut off of a criminal trial. Civil trials are a little different. And in the one I got called for dealt with a lot of property, a lot of very complex kind of tax and monetary issues. And, you know, you could tell the lawyers were kind of thinking, ‘maybe a lawyer on the jury wouldn’t be a bad thing. Maybe, that would help the other jurors kind of understand some of these issues.’ So I was there for two days and I really thought I was going to get picked until the lawyer for the defendant asked one question. Okay.


Ryan: [00:23:53] Oh, what was it?


Bo: [00:23:54] So it was a it was a divorce case, you know, but it was it was an older couple. And they were dealing only, like I said, only with property issues,; money and property. That’s it. So the lawyer for the defendant looked at me and said, “By the way, I know you’re an attorney here in Savannah. Do you know the attorney for the plaintiff?” And I said, “Yes, I do.” [He then asked,] “Well, how long have you known him?” I said, “I’ve known him for over 20 years.” And he said, “Well, are you all friends? Do you have a good relationship with him?” I said, “Well, when I got a divorce, he advised my ex-wife. So that wasn’t great.” [Laughter] So that lawyer then immediately said, “Yeah, we’ll excuse this guy.”


Ryan: [00:24:40] Oh man, so close [Laughter].


Bo: [00:24:44] So yeah. But it does happen.


Ryan: [00:24:46] Well, what’s another thing that happened in the show that wouldn’t fly in real life?


Bo: [00:24:51] Well, you know, going back to that scene with the defendant’s lawyer, trying to get the video to work, you know, first of all, there’s no way in hell a judge is going to let a lawyer try to get a video to play for two full days. That’s just not going to happen. Within about two minutes, a real judge is going to shut that shit down, you know, proceed without it counsel. But it does, on the show, it pays off perfectly because when he finally does get the video to play after all of this buildup and all of this anticipation, it ends up being about a three second long animation of a guy walking that looks so bad. I mean, it’s straight up looks like it was created by like a cat walking across a keyboard. I mean, it’s all like glitchy. And the guy looks like he explodes after, like, two steps. You know, I actually read later that the actors on the jury had not seen the video before it actually got played in court.


Ryan: [00:25:56] Amazing.


Bo: [00:25:57] And they all they saw that for the first time. Every one of them just immediately cracked up and they actually got nervous that they might be blowing this whole show, you know, but it worked because that video would have made anyone laugh. I mean, it certainly did me.


Ryan: [00:26:14] It was so funny. And if you remember, it was supposed to be on a TV. He breaks the TV, then he puts it on a little iPad and he’s having everybody huddle around this one iPad. And the judge even says, “Let me see what you just showed the jury.” And it’s three seconds of just chaos. And the judge kind of looks at him like, what the hell is that? And the defendant’s lawyer says, “I’m going to need to talk to my nephew.”


Bo: [00:26:37] It’s just amazing.


Ryan: [00:26:39] Another thing that just wouldn’t happen is this whole idea of the ineffective assistance of counsel that blows up and hilarious fashion at the end of this trial. So here this is a we’ve got the defendant is now bringing on their case in chief. The plaintiff’s case is rested and for days and days you’re hearing about how this defendant is this negligent employee. He’s he’s just ruined this big order for the plaintiff, and because of that, all this reputational damage has been caused. So the plaintiff is putting [on] witness after witness, [all saying,] “You know, I wouldn’t have hired this guy. This guy is terrible.” Even his own mom is basically like, “yeah, the defendant is a deadbeat.” You know, like it’s really bad. So the defendant’s lawyer–mid-trial without even consulting him seemingly–just turns on the defendant while he’s asking him some questions on the stands, and he’s like, “I mean, you have to agree. You know, it’s pretty irresponsible for anybody to hire you, right?”


Bo: [00:27:43] So great.


Ryan: [00:27:44] [And then the lawyer asks,] “and you’re terrible at any job you take. Right?” And the the defendant’s like, “Dude, what are you doing? Like, stop.” And he keeps asking some more and more questions and just completely feeding into the plaintiff’s case and their argument. And the defendant goes, “No, you can’t do this. I’ve read about this. This is ineffective assistance of counsel.” And everybody gets really nervous and the courtroom goes quiet.


Bo: [00:28:10] Yeah, needle scratch.


Ryan: [00:28:11] Yeah, exactly. And the judge goes, “whoa, whoa, whoa. This is huge allegations. I’m going to need the defendant and his counsel in chambers immediately.” And so they, like, go off and everybody’s freaking out. So after some set amount of time, they come back and the judge says the defendant has chosen to proceed, in this case pro se and represent himself. But the defendant’s lawyer will serve as co-counsel, which makes no sense. So here’s why ineffective assistance of counsel just wouldn’t work here legally. It’s it’s not something that you see in a civil case at all. It’s actually a right that the criminally accused have to competent representation. It’s closely tied to your Miranda rights, your right to counsel, among others. And if a criminally accused gets convicted, one of their appeal rights is the right to claim ineffective assistance of counsel. But it is so, so hard to win on, You know, you’re trying to get that sentence vacated or overturn that conviction. But in order to do that on an ineffective assistance of counsel claim, you have to prove that the attorney’s representation was reasonably and objectively deficient. They did something that no other lawyer would reasonably do and and but for that representation, you would have won your case, right?


Bo: [00:29:36] Right


Ryan: [00:29:36] Yeah. Good luck with that.


Bo: [00:29:39] Yeah. That is definitely not something that happens very often. For sure. For sure. And, like you talked about, it only applies in criminal cases, not civil. But that kind of makes sense a little bit why that was in there because actually read later, when reading about the show, that the initial plan was to make it a criminal trial and not a civil trial. But they actually did some research and they found that in the state of California where they were filming, it’s actually illegal to make someone believe they are sitting in judgment on a criminal case.


Ryan: [00:30:13] Oh wow [laughter].


Bo: [00:30:14] So you can do it in a civil one, as long as you follow certain, you know, kind of safeguards. But a criminal case, completely off limits.


Ryan: [00:30:22] Pretty good reason to have an entertainment lawyer on your production.


Bo: [00:30:26] Exactly. So, you know, it was funny they said that they were kind of joking throughout production, like season two of this show may well be us all on trial for doing this show.


Ryan: [00:30:37] Wow [laughter].


Bo: [00:30:37] So but I really can’t stress enough you really got to watch this show. What they pulled off with this is I mean, it’s unbelievable. I mean, think about it from this perspective, right? Think about if you’re one of the actors on the show. And as we talked about, there were dozens of them, many of whom were around Ronald almost all day, every day. Right. Okay. You’re one of those actors all of this time has been put in all of this money, all of this effort, putting this show together. All of these people are involved. And if you screw up, if you say the wrong thing, if you call someone by the wrong name, if you step to the wrong place and, you know, reveal a camera, anything in one second, one mistake could blow that entire show. I mean, the whole thing could be revealed. That had to be wild for the actors.


Ryan: [00:31:35] Oh, it’s so stressful too.


Bo: [00:31:36] I mean, it’d be like a razor’s edge man. I’d be, like, nervous I was gonna [mess it up]. Can you imagine how upset everyone would be? So the fact that they were able to get through it and in the last show they actually showed some of the near misses they had. But, you know, they pulled it off and it was unbelievable. And, you know, the very fact that the producers picked this guy, Ronald Gladden, to be the victim slash hero of this show, a true stroke of luck. I mean, he was so good. Apparently, he was one of thousands of people who had answered an ad on Craigslist about appearing in a documentary on jury duty. But I mean, they just strike gold with this guy for sure. I mean, he’s he’s clearly just such a nice, sweet guy. He tried so hard to do the right thing. And he was just kind. You know, he was so supportive of everyone, no matter how wild or weird things got, you know. And people are confessing these, you know, deep, dark secrets to him. And he’s, you know, just, you know, being there for them and helping them and supporting them.


Ryan: [00:32:51] Or Calling somebody’s ex-girlfriend and trying to plead for him to take them back, you know.


Bo: [00:32:55] Really was unbelievable. And the whole last episode of the show is devoted to showing him find out the extent of the way that he was tricked, you know, how far they had gone to put this ruse together. I mean, it honestly it was so effective that it actually kind of f**ked him up a little bit.


Ryan: [00:33:21] Oh, I bet.


Bo: [00:33:22] I read an interview that said that he’s paranoid, you know, and he’s constantly questioning reality. He’s, you know, he’s, you know, he’ll go into a coffee shop and if anything weird happens or, you know, a server drops a spoon, he immediately starting to look around for hidden cameras, you know, I mean, they fooled him so completely that to this day, he still thinks he may be on a TV show. I mean, that’s some Black Mirror sh*t right there.


Ryan: [00:33:56] Oh, for sure.


Bo: [00:33:58] You know, I got to say: that show, I give it a ten out of ten. I mean, it was so good. And while most of the things on the show clearly were very exaggerated for comedic effect, actually pretty realistic. It will give you an idea of what jury duty is really like. There was certainly a few wonky things that would never happen in real life, but man, it is a fun show to watch.


Ryan: [00:34:21] Oh, for sure. I mean, kind of like how fun it is to work with the Bowen Law Group and watch all your dreams come true.


Bo: [00:34:27] Exactly, Ryan. Which is why we are the most successful lawyers in the history of human jurisprudence… Allegedly.


Ryan: [00:34:36] Well, that’s our show for today. Thanks for listening to the legal mastery of the highly intelligent and easily most attractive true legal outlawyers in Savannah. And remember the only lawyers in the free world who have never lost a single case … Allegedly. To continue to receive free edge-of-your-seat legal anecdotes, mind blowing takes on hot topics and a general masterclass on law-someness, please head over to and see all the platforms you can subscribe on. Wow. You actually let me finish that one.


Bo: [00:35:02] I’m not a monster.

about the hosts

Bo Bowen

Charles “Bo” Bowen is Savannah’s preeminent corporate and entertainment attorney. Bo’s clients range from dozens of well-known movies and television shows to small local businesses to large multinational corporations. When asked if it’s true he can draft corporate resolutions and partnership agreements in his sleep, Bo cracks a sly smile and responds, “In fairness, there’s really no other way to do it.”

It’s that quick wit that has helped catapult Bo to the top of his profession. Clients love him because he’s confident, fast, and entirely entertaining. According to Bob Cesca, a national political commentator, writer, and radio host, Bob had hired lawyers all over the country but had never met one like Bo. “From the first moment I met him, it felt like we had been lifelong friends. When I reached out to Bo, I was very upset over a legal issue that had been plaguing me for months. He instantly made me laugh, but he also made me feel calm, safe, and protected,” said Bob. “And then he literally picked up his phone and resolved the entire case with one call.”

Bo takes great pride in righting wrongs, no matter the opponent. So lest you believe his ready smile and quick laugh are in any way representative of his skill, a few minutes in the courtroom will quickly disabuse you of that notion. He is a highly skilled and ruthless psychopathic assassin, metaphorically speaking. His fearlessness and success in the courtroom against all foes, no matter how powerful or seemingly invincible, has inspired fierce loyalty from his clients and earned him nicknames such as “giant killer” and “dragon slayer.”

Bo came to the conclusion early in his career that being a lawyer is not much fun, so he started The Bowen Law Group with the modestly-stated ambition of completely changing the way law is practiced. By all accounts, he has succeeded.

When asked how he would describe Bo, Bob Cesca thought for a moment. “Bo combines the swagger and charm of George Clooney with the quick wit of Mark Twain and the legal ability of Perry Mason,” Bob finally responded. “I’ll put it this way: Bo is the lawyer that God would have invented if He had thought that at all a good idea.”

Ryan Schmidt

Originally hailing from New Hampshire, Georgia transplant Ryan Schmidt is an Attorney at The Bowen Law Group. A lawyer passionate about protecting the rights of creatives and business owners, Ryan’s law practice focuses on entertainment and music law, business formation, contract disputes, non-compete litigation, and creditor’s rights. 

Ryan, who toured extensively as a singer/songwriter prior to law school has been featured on the NBC’s “The Voice” and Apple iTunes’ “New Music Page” and was named “Critics’ Choice” at the Starbucks Music Makers Competition. As a professional musician, he experienced firsthand the cutthroat nature of the business and the restrictive contracts creatives are too often asked to sign. Answering the call to be a fighter for his fellow artists,  content creators, and influencers, Ryan knew he needed to pursue a career in law. And so, Ryan attended Belmont University College of Law in Nashville, where he graduated at the top of his class, summa cum laude, after serving as Executive Officer for both Belmont’s Law Review and Federalist Society.

Before moving to Savannah, Ryan clerked for a Nashville-based law firm representing clients in the music industry, fine arts, and digital media. Since joining The Bowen Law Group in 2018, he has represented countless clients in various business and entertainment matters.

For Ryan, being an advocate is not only his duty but also his privilege. As a lawyer, he stands in between what is and what should be. Each day is another opportunity to narrow that gap.