Reality TV

Teresa Giudice

It’s time for me to wake up. I do need to read things before I sign them. I do need to understand things before I sign them. … I gotta make sure I fully understand something, or fully read it, or find a lawyer — like a contract lawyer — that could help me. Because, you know, I don’t read contracts every day.

– Real Housewives of New Jersey star Teresa Giudice, explaining some of the ways she plans to change her life in the wake of receiving a 15-month sentence for mail, wire, and bankruptcy fraud. She’ll report to prison on January 5, 2015.

(Giudice claims she was “shocked” to have received a prison sentence, even after signing a plea agreement that called for up to 27 months of jail for her crimes. Why was she so shocked? The answer might make your brain hurt.)

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Casting call for L.A. lawyers who want to be on television. Somebody is putting together a show, and they need a “young attorney” and, well, where else would you find a solid young attorney who wants to be on television than Craigslist?

Check out the ad. It’s the kind of thing that will make you say, “What is this, I don’t even.”

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Teresa Giudice

For a moment, I thought about probation. For a moment. I need to send a message that it isn’t who you are, how famous you are. If you do something wrong, there will be consequences to pay. Confinement is absolutely necessary in this case.

– Judge Esther Salas of the District of New Jersey, speaking during Real Housewives of New Jersey star Teresa Giudice’s sentencing yesterday afternoon. Giudice was sentenced to serve 15 months in prison, and her husband, Joe Giudice, was sentenced to serve 41 months in prison.


Lawyers and reality television: a match made in heaven? Some might regard Andi Dorfman, the beautiful Atlanta prosecutor turned Bachelorette, as a goddess (and some might disagree).

Talk of paradise brings us to the latest high-profile reality TV offering: Utopia. This “big, bold, and expensive” Fox show debuted last night to ratings described as “not ideal.” The premise of the show: drop 15 people into an isolated five-acre camp in the California wilderness, with no internet, electricity, or plumbing, and watch these “founding fathers and mothers” try to “form a new society and rethink all the fundamental tenets of civilization.”

An Above the Law reader who watched the first episode described Utopia as “a complete train wreck.” But at least it’s a train wreck featuring a lawyer — a rather attractive lawyer, in fact….

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Jim Marchese

I don’t fight. I think it’s stupid. I’m trained as an attorney. If I want to hurt you, I’m going to sue you. I’m going to leverage your house. I’m gonna give you three years of hell in a courtroom. I’m going to bleed dry you financially, and I’m going to humiliate you as I depose you for eight hours and make you my bitch.

Jim Marchese, husband to Amber Marchese (one of the newest cast members of the Real Housewives of New Jersey), explaining why he chose to avoid a fight with Joe Gorga, another Real Housewives husband, on the latest episode.

(Marchese is a graduate of Seton Hall Law and was a whistleblower in the Cell Therapeutics case, which earned him $1.6 million. Marchese recently claimed to be involved in the bankruptcy fraud prosecution of Joe and Teresa Giudice, but a spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey said “[n]o one involved with the prosecution has any idea who that man is.”)

Andi Dorfman

If you weren’t in love with me, I’m just not sure why you made love to me.

Nick Viall, the runner-up on the latest season of The Bachelorette, announcing on live TV that while the show was being filmed, he had sex with Andi Dorfman, the assistant district attorney who accepted a marriage proposal from another man.

Phaedra Parks

Back in 2010, we told our readers about Phaedra Parks, one of the new stars of the Real Housewives of Atlanta. The buzz about Parks was huge, in part due to the fact that she had a successful professional career as an attorney before the show aired. Parks, a “Super Lawyer” in the field of entertainment law, previously described herself as “fabulous, fierce, and beautiful” — but these days, the UGA Law grad may not be feeling so hot.

It seems that her husband, Apollo Nida, is once again in some serious trouble with the law. What happened this time, and how is this going to impact the reality TV show’s upcoming season?

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Kimberly Kisselovich from @Kimberly_Kisse

Move over Andi Dorfman. The Atlanta prosecutor who traded murder trials for handing out roses may appeal to those seeking a lawyerly “girl next door” fix, but if you’re looking for more of a lawyerly “girl on girl action” type, then meet reality TV’s latest legal star, Kimberly Kisselovich.

California native Kisselovich served as Playboy’s “Cyber Girl of the Month” for June 2013, but what readers didn’t know if they weren’t diligently reading the articles is that she was working on her law degree at a top-ranked school at the time.

Which show is she on? I’ll give you a hint, it’s famous for stars parading around in skimpy outfits, getting drunk, and having inappropriate makeout sessions on camera.

Oh, wait, that’s every reality show. Except Wicked Tuna.[1]

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Andi Dorfman

When ABC announced that Andi Dorfman, an assistant district attorney in Atlanta, would star in this season’s The Bachelorette, we all expected the media to force her Wake Forest Law degree down our throats as evidence that she’s smarter than the standard vapid Bachelorette. And in the process we’d hear more about how law is an exciting David E. Kelley-produced reality. To ABC she’s a real-life Ally McBeal. Except Jewish, which actually would better explain McBeal’s bundle of neuroses.

So it was no surprise when ABC treated us to this insultingly stupid interview where they force Dorfman to explain how she’s using “what she learned in law school” to find a fake husband the way other law grads find fake jobs.

How does a law degree help you choose a mate?

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Andi Dorfman

First we heard that Bachelor contestant and now Bachelorette Andi Dorfman, a prosecutor at the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office, left her job to star on The Bachelorette.  That would not be too offensive except that she left mid-murder trial, leaving her coworkers high and dry.  Though, she was apparently assisting on the trial, so there was likely another district attorney to take over the reins.  Still, her boss called the leave “highly unusual,” and it seems to be a disservice to the public for a prosecutor to leave in the middle of a murder trial for a TV show.

Now, there is word that attorney and former Bachelorette contestant Craig Robinson allegedly left his client high and dry to star on the show.  The case was your run-of-the-mill slip-and-fall matter.  Robinson apparently left for the TV show just before the case was to go to trial, resulting in a dismissal of the case…

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