Real Lawyer Defends Shaggy’s It Wasn’t Me Defense // LegalEagle
- 18 Jan 2020
- 248 989
- 12 485
Is “it wasn’t me” a valid defense? Allegedly! How would I defend Shaggy?
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Summary from Wikipedia:
A Shaggy defense is a legal strategy in which the defendant denies that they were the one witnessed or recorded committing an alleged act. The strategy's name is derived from reggae musician Shaggy's 2000 single "It Wasn't Me", which is based around the concept; it was coined by Slate writer Josh Levin in 2008 to describe the defense used by singer R. Kelly while he was on trial.
"It Wasn't Me" by reggae musician Shaggy was released in September 2000 as the first single from his fifth album Hot Shot, eventually reaching #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and other countries. The lyrics of the song depict one man asking his friend what to do after his girlfriend catches him with another woman. His friend's advice is to deny everything, despite clear evidence to the contrary, with the phrase "It wasn't me". As the narrator describes all the evidence his girlfriend has against him, from a video recording to witnessing the cheating herself, his friend adamantly repeats "it wasn't me". Ultimately, the narrator says that the advice "makes no sense at all".
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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 representing clients and teaching law students how to kick ass in 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!
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