allegedly with Bo and Ryan | Season 2 Episode 1
Today on the podcast, we discuss the top legal news of 2022 including the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision, Depp v. Heard, and more…allegedly.
Allegedly… with Bo and Ryan Podcast S2E1| Transcript
Bo: [00:00:00] You fight like the civil rights movement, you gain, you make progress, you gain freedoms, you move forward. Well, then the Dobbs case comes along.
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 competitive that he once won a staring contest with his own reflection.
Bo: [00:00:47] And Ryan is such a rugged outdoorsman that when he goes for a hike, his feet never get blisters, but his shoes do.
Ryan: [00:00:56] Together, we are Savannah’s consummate renegade legal titans,
Bo: [00:01:00] and the only corporate entertainment lawyers in the free world who have never lost a single case…
Ryan: [00:01:06] Allegedly.
Bo: [00:01:08] Welcome to season two, episode one, Ryan. As you know, we took a little break for the holidays to get caught up on all the work we missed while we were taking a little break for the holidays, but back and better than ever, my friend. Welcome back.
Ryan: [00:01:26] Thank you. It’s exciting to be back. And even even Sasquatch took a vacation, you know?
Bo: [00:01:31] That’s right. Well, I, for one, am looking forward to a whole new year of exciting topics and hot legal takes and thinking of some special guests we’re going to have this year. But most importantly, of course, cutting the fool with you, Ryan.
Ryan: [00:01:47] Absolutely. Well, I could think of no better way to kick off a new year than to look back at some of the legal news and topics that happened in 2022. And man, it was there was a lot.
Bo: [00:02:01] Yeah, 2022 was a crazy year. A lot of wild legal things happened last year.
Ryan: [00:02:07] So, I mean, when going through this list and thinking of different things that we could talk about, there were a lot of good contenders because just so much happened. I mean, a reality show, TV star Chris Chrisley ends up in federal prison, right? That doesn’t make the list, but it could. You also got IMDB being sued for including actors’ ages and different biographical information. And again, they lost that lawsuit.
Bo: [00:02:36] Well, in fairness, as someone who’s almost 30, I get it.
Ryan: [00:02:41] Fair enough. That actually reminds me of a situation that happened about ten years ago. Do you remember a Rebel Wilson from the Pitch Perfect movies?
Bo: [00:02:49] Sure. The Fat Amy.
Ryan: [00:02:51] Exactly.
Bo: [00:02:51] Which, by the way, probably can’t do that anymore.
Ryan: [00:02:54] No, it hasn’t aged so well. But there was actually a situation where Rebel Wilson put on her Wikipedia and put out in the public that she was like 30, right? Or she was 20-something at the time, but she was actually ten years older. And it was a classmate, a high school classmate, that said she was in my she was my high school class, though. She’s like ten years older then she actually says she is. But by that point, she had already been so successful that people were like, Yeah, we’ll give her a pass. But it is true. There’s so much ageism in Hollywood.
Bo: [00:03:27] Oh, that’s mean. I hear that all the time. So yeah, and I can get why. You know, there’s that moment where, you know, when you’re young, you want to be older, and then you hit that age and it’s like, Yeah, every birthday is going to be a U-turn from now on,
Ryan: [00:03:43] Right. I remember when I was doing music full time and I’d get like a write up. They’d be like, “He’s wise beyond his years” and I would just get so aggravated. And then I’m like, Now I’m like, Well, they can’t say that about me anymore. I’m just like “wise.” I don’t know.
Bo: [00:03:59] You’re at least beyond your years.
Ryan: [00:04:00] Yeah, he’s he’s very average with his age right now. But, you know, there’s been so many, so many legal things that happened this past year. I’d love to just kick off and get your take on what you thought was some of the big legal news.
Bo: [00:04:14] Well, I mean, to me, you know, when you talk about the biggest legal news of 2022, there was one that was far and away the top legal news of that year, in my opinion. There were a ton of big legal developments last year, but to me, one of the biggest legal stories of all time, not just 2022, was the US Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade.
Ryan: [00:04:46] Absolutely.
Bo: [00:04:47] That was the case of Dobbs v. Jackson Womens Health Organization. I got to say, Ryan, all joking aside, I’m in my 50s. I have seen a lot of social progress in my lifetime. Take gay marriage, for example. I mean, when I was in high school, no one would have ever thought that was even a possibility that gay marriage would be legal. But now, not that many years later, it is now so accepted. It’s so routine. It’s hard to even fathom that it was illegal and people were so adamantly opposed to it not that long ago. And I’ve always thought that’s kind of how things are supposed to work. You know, you fight like the civil rights movement. You gain, you make progress, you gain freedoms, you move forward. Well, then the Dobbs case comes along and for the first time, certainly in my lifetime and maybe ever, the entire country takes a huge step back in time. And freedoms are being stripped away from people. I mean they’re being stripped away from women all over the country. To me, that’s almost unthinkable.
Ryan: [00:06:06] Yeah, absolutely. I mean, the whole idea, I mean, we get down to a debate on constitutional interpretation, right? And I agree with you that this is a document that’s over 200 years old at this point, and it’s supposed to grow with society. And that’s what the democratic process is so great with. You know, as we evolve as as societies, norms and morals change, then then we can make some real progress. But right now, as we’ve seen with this Dobbs case, there’s a majority of of the bench that is tied to what was the framers original intent of this document in 1776.
Bo: [00:06:49] Well, at least that’s the excuse they use, right? Right. I mean, but they are really doing so many things, this court. So remember, they had a case last year where they suddenly said at public schools, it’s okay for a coach to say a prayer on the 50 yard line during. I mean, it’s like it’s insane. Some of the way things, it feels like, are being marched backwards.
Ryan: [00:07:14] Right.
Bo: [00:07:14] You know, but but to just be a little more specific about the Dobbs decision. Okay, Roe v. Wade, this actually marks the 50th year since it was decided. It was it was decided in 1973. And in a nutshell, it held that a woman’s right to an abortion was protected by the US Constitution. It was the legal foundation basically for legal recognition that women can make their own decisions regarding their reproductive rights in the United States. And that was just completely taken away, one fell swoop, and it was by a 5-4 vote. They held that the Constitution does not guarantee the right to an abortion, nor even the right to privacy. And it just overturned Roe v. Wade very explicitly. Now, if you remember, Ryan, that’s wild and unbelievable enough. But if you remember, it’s made even crazier by the fact that the decision got leaked two months early.
Ryan: [00:08:21] Oh, yes.
Bo: [00:08:23] I mean, so and there was this huge backlash before the decision ever came out. But nevertheless, two months later, it still comes out pretty much unchanged, pretty much verbatim. So that easily gets my vote as the top news story of 2022. You know, a lot of people think that that decision, you know, that was expected to be that huge red wave in the midterm elections. Right. I mean, it was fully anticipated. Both sides believed that the Republicans were going to retake both houses of Congress. And it was the backlash to the Dobbs decision that a lot of people think had a major impact on those midterm elections and kept that from happening. It certainly had a major impact on people’s perception of the Supreme Court. If you look at study after study, you will find that distrust in the United States Supreme Court is at an all time high, lower than it has ever been in US history. And I have to believe, I mean, we like to have fun on this podcast, but I truly believe that that Dobbs case is going to impact both the political landscape and, more importantly, the lives of millions of women for many years to come.
Ryan: [00:09:48] Well, it goes beyond that, though. And that’s that’s the concern for me, right, is that the right of a woman to an abortion, from the Roe case, stemmed from the Equal Protection Clause and the Due Process Clauses of the of the Constitution, which were also the same clauses that granted federal rights to gay marriage, you know, those …
Bo: [00:10:08] and Interracial marriage.
Ryan: [00:10:09] All these other civil liberties and civil rights that we’ve earned over year after year have been tied to these two provisions that don’t explicitly say that. Right? So all of those are also arguably on the chopping block.
Bo: [00:10:24] I mean, it’s I’ve got two daughters, both of reproductive age, and it’s terrifying to me. It really is. And, you know, I think one of the things that really stuck with me as a kid, because I was only five when Roe v. Wade came along, but of course, there was still a lot of discussion about it as I was growing up. But I remember hearing someone once say, and I wish I could tell you who said it, but, but, but I can’t. But I remember hearing someone once say that Roe v. Wade was not the beginning of abortion in the United States. It was the ending of people dying from illegal abortions.
Ryan: [00:11:06] Wow.
Bo: [00:11:07] So to think that we may be headed back that direction is truly troublesome.
Ryan: [00:11:13] Absolutely.
Bo: [00:11:14] So. Well, that was my very depressing and serious take on the biggest legal story of 2022. And again, one that I think will will echo for many years to come. But what about you? What’s your after that? What’s your pick for the biggest legal story of 2022?
Ryan: [00:11:34] Well, to lighten things up and to pick a legal matter that completely engrossed the entire nation just captured everybody’s attention to a level that hadn’t been seen since the O.J. Simpson case. And I’m, of course, talking about the Johnny Depp Amber Heard trial.
Bo: [00:11:54] Oh, love it, man.
Ryan: [00:11:56] And I don’t necessarily even want to talk too much about just the facts of the case and the law, but just just how it functioned on a national stage and just all of the like considerations that went into people’s public perception of that case.
Bo: [00:12:15] Oh, I mean, for sure, because you’re talking about in the Dobbs case, you’re talking about a case that impacts millions of lives, millions of people. That case impacted two people. And yet you if you go back and look, you’ll see that all the social media studies showed that people were reading way more about that case than they were the Dobbs case throughout the entire life of that trial.
Ryan: [00:12:38] Oh, absolutely. So, you know, for anyone that’s been living under a rock, this case centers around allegations that Amber Heard made in an opinion piece published in The Washington Post. She talked about alleged abuse that she suffered at the hands of Johnny Depp and a marriage that only lasted about 15 months. Right. And on June 1st, the seven person jury determined that both Depp and Heard both defamed each other. There was counterclaims, cross-claims, all that good stuff. But eventually Depp’s verdict was higher than hers, and it kind of was all a wash. Not that he was ever going to try to collect this thing anyway.
Bo: [00:13:21] Well, you know, it is funny because the headlines were all that Johnny Depp won the trial. But you’re right, both actually won or both lost because the jury found in favor of both. But since Johnny’s damages were higher and, you know, it ended up she owed him money once one offset the other. That was the story. Johnny Depp won.
Ryan: [00:13:44] Well, I think he won for a number of reasons, because when the story first came out, it just gutted Johnny Depp’s career overnight. So without question, he gets pulled from the Pirates of the Caribbean movies. Disney drops him. The terrible Harry Potter spinoff drops him. I mean, he’s just completely blackballed from Hollywood. Nobody wants to touch him. And I feel like this case was a case not so much to collect a judgment or try to, you know, fight injustice, but really to reclaim his reputation. And for that, I think he largely succeeded at.
Bo: [00:14:25] Yeah, I mean, you’re right. He definitely got the better of public opinion. I mean, to me, the wildest part of that whole thing had nothing to do with the legal issues and the facts. It was just hearing all of these stories about their marriage and their relationship.
Ryan: [00:14:42] And we were at a conference two months ago and Camille Vasquez, one of Depp’s lawyers, was there, and she said it absolutely right. You know, you can win a case, but lose the court of public opinion and you lose the case. And I think that that was that was also a deciding factor in this case: that Johnny had these incredibly talented, very personable, very attractive attorneys. Where Amber Heard, her attorneys weren’t as attractive, weren’t as prepared, weren’t as well spoken. And because of that, this whole narrative was spun that they just didn’t have the juice to to fight against Johnny.
Bo: [00:15:23] You heard it here first, folks: choice of lawyer is important, which is why … I’m just kidding. We won’t go there yet.
Ryan: [00:15:31] Yeah, but it’s true. Amber Heard came across not very likable, I would say just she was she was combative. I think she was also probably coming on the wrong side of this case, probably coming on the wrong side of of the MeToo movement. Right. And you got Camille Vasquez who who becomes this TikTok superstar overnight with her cross-examinations and just her whipsmart with throwing objections. And people are starting to really root for for Johnny here for the whole three weeks of this freaking trial going on. And it just everybody’s wants him to win.
Bo: [00:16:13] Yeah it really does go to show America loves its trashy celebrity stories. And by America, of course I mean me.
Ryan: [00:16:25] Well, fair enough. So that’s that’s a more of a feel good kind of gossipy type legal matter. What else you got?
Bo: [00:16:34] Well, I think my second biggest legal story of 2022 kind of splits the middle of those between serious and, you know, crazy. And that would be Elon Musk and his misadventures in purchasing Twitter last year. Now before Elon bought Twitter Do you know what the largest social media deal of all time was, Ryan, prior to that?
Ryan: [00:17:09] Oh, man. The way that you ask that makes me think it might have been like MySpace.
Bo: [00:17:12] No, it was actually back in 2006. Okay. Google bought YouTube for $1.5 billion. I mean, it was one of the biggest deals of all time, especially for a social media site. Up until last year, $1.5 billion was the most anyone had ever spent to purchase any kind of social media site. Well, then Elon Musk decides to purchase Twitter for $44 billion.
Ryan: [00:17:48] Oh my God.
Bo: [00:17:50] I mean, just the numbers alone would have made that a huge news story. I mean, but what could have, in theory, been a fairly straightforward purchase devolves into one of the biggest legal quagmires in history, and had people talking about it pretty much every day for weeks.
Ryan: [00:18:13] Yes.
Bo: [00:18:14] So they were just so many twists and turns as this thing went along. First it was the controversy. This is kind of what kicked it off. I don’t know if you remember this, but there was this controversy about whether Elon Musk was going to join Twitter’s board of directors. Right. And people were just breaking that down. The pros and cons. Should it happen? Well, then he finally makes this offer that’s 40% higher than the company’s estimated value. Okay. And it just it feels like at this point, well, this is a done deal. I mean, this I mean, it’s just going to happen. But no, it doesn’t just happen. Then one of the wildest things happens because Elon tries to back out of the deal completely.
Ryan: [00:19:03] Whoops.
Bo: [00:19:04] You remember that?
Ryan: [00:19:05] Yeah, of course.
Bo: [00:19:06] I mean, he tried to say, “well, I did my research and Twitter just has way too many spam accounts, you know, So. So I’m just not going to do it anymore.” And he he tries to formalize the termination of the acquisition, you know. He could say it was spam accounts, but in reality, my theory personally, he just realized he had offered $44 billion for Twitter. I mean, not Apple, not Microsoft, not the Los Angeles Lakers, Twitter. So, I mean, that was that was crazy. Well, I’m sure you remember exactly what happened next. Twitter filed suit to force Elon Musk to go forward with the purchase. They filed suit in Delaware, We all get treated to months of Daily blasts from Elon Musk, you know, and then they finally, finally announce that they will be moving forward with the purchase. And that announcement is made, I’m sure, completely coincidentally, one day before the trial is set to begin in Delaware.
Ryan: [00:20:24] Genius.
Bo: [00:20:25] And I have to say, in most cases, you would think, well, maybe that’s the end of the story. But Oh, no, no, no, no, my friend. It just got crazier from there. Remember how the first thing that happened when he actually took over, people start getting fired left and right?
Speaker4: [00:20:44] Yep. And then, you know, a lot of these people who get fired file a class action lawsuit.
Bo: [00:20:51] And then the complete compliance and content moderation staff just walks out, like furious. And then Elon starts reinstating the accounts of people who all had been like, banned from Twitter for violations of the terms of service, and for hate speech and for, you know, all sorts of crazy things. I mean, there has not been a week that has gone by since then without some headline detailing more crazy issues with Elon Musk and Twitter. So in a nutshell, Ryan, I would say that there is a word that very perfectly sums up Elon Musk buying Twitter.
Speaker4: [00:21:39] What’s that?
Bo: [00:21:40] I’ll give you a hint. It rhymes with fluster duck.
Ryan: [00:21:46] Okay. I think I can get that one.
Bo: [00:21:49] So that would have been my pick for the second biggest legal story of 2022.
Ryan: [00:21:54] But I mean, come on, bro. He did have some good ideas while at the helm. You know, he the paid-for blue verification check point. I mean, what what was going to go wrong with that, right? Yeah.
Bo: [00:22:05] And he actually said, “well no one’s going to spend ten bucks or whatever it was, for a verification if it’s not them.” Oh, have you met anyone in America? Well, that’s my choice for second. What about you, Ryan? What was your second biggest legal story of 2022?
Ryan: [00:22:27] Okay, So this is a legal story that has been playing out for the last two years now, but it just keeps developing. So that’s going to be, of course, the the “Rust” shooting with the Alec Baldwin movie.
Bo: [00:22:44] Oh, my gosh. I forgot that. And we haven’t even gotten into all the the Trump documents. I mean, that’s how crazy 2022 was.
Ryan: [00:22:55] Oh, it’s crazy.
Bo: [00:22:56] But you’re right that that “Rust” situation, I mean, it’s still developing. But what a tragedy and what a just a wild thing, especially when you think about how many guns have been shot in movies with without incident. I mean, there have been a few, like what happened with Brandon Lee and and which was a freak accident. But the “Rust” thing takes it to a whole new level.
Ryan: [00:23:21] Yeah. And we talk about this all the time. You know, my understanding of this movie was: it’s a period piece. It’s a Western. Right? And this was a, you know, a six shooter type thing. You would expect if something was going to happen on a set, you would expect it in a movie where there’s thousands of guns, you know, like a “John Wick” type situation. But …
Bo: [00:23:47] You mean a shoot em up, right?
Ryan: [00:23:48] Exactly. So even just the type of film that that created this is is startling. But this actually starts back on October 21st, 2021, when the horrific incident happens. And from there, there’s just been a slew of civil lawsuits first. And then, of course, while we’re putting this thing together, oh, now there’s criminal indictments, right? So back in October 21st is when there’s this fatal shooting on set. On November 17th, the script supervisor filed suit against Alec Baldwin and the rest of the producers. January 12th, the armorer filed suit against another prop provider. And then a month after that, February 15th, 2022, the Hutchins family, the the family of the cinematographer who passed, files a wrongful death lawsuit against the film’s producers, including Alec Baldwin. And then a few months later, the film’s production companies actually issued a willful citation and fined $136,000 by the New Mexico Environment Department’s Occupational Health and Safety Bureau. And this is the highest level of citation in the maximum fine allowed under New Mexico law. And then a few months after that October 5th, 2022, the Hutchin family actually announces that that wrongful death case is settled. A few weeks after that, the New Mexico police turned the whole file and the investigation over to the district attorney. And we all know what’s happening, what’s coming down the pipeline after that. Just a few days after the beginning of the new year. Alec Baldwin and the armorer are indicted for involuntary manslaughter charges. And, I think from a from a legal standpoint, we don’t know the facts, but just from a gut reaction, it sounds like there was probably some criminal negligence on the part of the the prop handler. Why was there live rounds in this gun that’s handed to talent? I have a hard time with with the Alec Baldwin part of it. Was there like a reckless disregard for human life?
Bo: [00:26:23] Well, let’s be honest. It’s more complicated by a couple of things. First of all, by the fact that it’s Alec Baldwin, you know, Alec Baldwin is a very polarizing person. I mean, even he’s polarizing even to just me, much less the country as a whole. Right. You know, I mean, he’s he’s very outspoken. He can be very charming. He can be funny. You know, I mean, I love 30 Rock, I love him on Saturday Night Live, that kind of thing. Well, then you hear, you know, the the audio calling his daughter a little piggy. And just to hear him being so insufferably smug and obnoxious, he was very easy to dislike sometimes as well. Other than maybe like Sean Penn or something, there’s there’s very few people who are quite as polarizing as Alec Baldwin is. Well, then you also have the fact that America loves their guns, which makes 90% of the people on social media suddenly the foremost gun experts in the world.
Ryan: [00:27:36] Right.
Bo: [00:27:36] And so you’ve got people on social media saying things like, “listen, as a gun owner, I know you never point a gun or point or pull a trigger of a gun unless you have actually opened it up and checked and made sure it’s not a live round. So, absolutely, he should be criminally liable because he failed to do that.” While being completely ignorant of the fact that that’s just not how it happens on movies.
Ryan: [00:28:06] Right.
Bo: [00:28:07] I would dare say that Keanu Reeves probably pulls the trigger of a gun 10,000 times, at least in the John Wick movies.
Ryan: [00:28:21] Yeah, definitely.
Bo: [00:28:22] So could you imagine if he’s like “Hold on, before we go forward, let me stop. Let me take a look. Let me make sure this is not a live round.” Absolutely not. You have safety measures in place to make certain that doesn’t happen.
Ryan: [00:28:37] Right. If I’m if I’m jumping out of a building and the safety stunt coordinator rigs me up with a harness, I’m not going to question what they did and say, “hey, I think I think you need to retie this and redo this.” I’m going to trust that expertise, because I just don’t have it.
Bo: [00:28:54] Right. I mean that’s exactly why I’m saying mean. Look, I can’t speak for Alec Baldwin, but if I flipped open a six shooter, I wouldn’t be able to tell you if that was a live round or a blank. I would just see the back of a bullet.
Ryan: [00:29:06] Right.
Bo: [00:29:07] That’s all that would mean to me. Again, you have to trust the experts. That is why they are there.
Ryan: [00:29:14] And so a conversation that you and I have had about this whole matter before, and you being the film and television guy, I’ve asked you before, why is there even any type of live round on any set? And you’ve told me, you know, you’ve given me a great answer there.
Bo: [00:29:30] Well, yeah. Most of the time you don’t need it, but there are certainly scenes in movies. Take a scene where, um, a father is teaching a son or a daughter to shoot and they’ve got a watermelon set up on a fence post, and you see someone shoot the watermelon and then the bullet hits the watermelon and it explodes. That that’s the type of thing you would actually use a live round for. Now, it should never be pointed at anyone. And extreme safety measures should be taken at all times. I mean, to make certain that those live rounds could never, ever get mixed up with a blank. But there are literally dozens and dozens of reasons why you may need a live round on a set. But again, rules are in place to make certain that accidents like this never happen. And when you think about how many movies have been made and how many guns have been shot and how few accidents there have been, those safety measures are obviously hugely successful and effective. It’s just a mystery to me how it could have gone so wrong, so tragically wrong in this situation. Well, I think that’s a good choice for a top four man. A lot of wild and crazy things. So 2023, you got your work cut out for you. I mean that wasn’t even close to all the wild and crazy stuff that happened in 2022.
Ryan: [00:31:05] No kidding. No kidding.
Bo: [00:31:07] Do you remember, um. What else? I mean, there was that Megan Thee Stallion shooting. The guy got found guilty of murder.
Ryan: [00:31:19] Attempted murder. She’s still alive.
Bo: [00:31:23] Yeah. Sorry. Attempted murder. You’re right.
Ryan: [00:31:27] Still making bangers, you know?
Bo: [00:31:28] That’s right. Um, it was like. Wasn’t there a big, like, Katy Perry lawsuit last year?
Ryan: [00:31:35] There was a Katy Perry lawsuit. Now you’re making me go through…
Bo: [00:31:38] It was like something to do with, like, a Christian rappers’ copyright. Or something like that. It was like it was wild.
Ryan: [00:31:45] That sounds that sounds right.
Bo: [00:31:47] Yeah, they were. I mean, just a ton of crazy legal issues last year. But, you know, I will say we will definitely be on the lookout for more wild and crazy legal issues in 2023 to bring you right here on Allegedly with Bo and Ryan. And I have to say, it is good to be back with you, my friend. I’m sure we will break down everything that happens in 2023 and do our job, which is, of course, to sit here and make fun of everything.
Ryan: [00:32:20] You mean kind of like how 2023 will become internationally known as the year of the Bowen Law Group?
Bo: [00:32:26] Exactly. Ryan The year we once again prove we’re the most successful lawyers in the history of human jurisprudence …
Ryan: [00:32:35] Allegedly. That’s our show for today. Thanks for listening to the legal mastery and 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 legal anecdotes, mind blowing takes on hot topics, and a general masterclass in awesomeness, please head over to bowenschmidt.com/podcast.
Bo: [00:32:58] And listen dude, it’s 2023. Surely people have figured out how to hit the subscribe button by now.