Real Lawyer Reacts to South Park Chewbacca Defense

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Published: 1 week ago
Why does Chewbacca live on Endor?! IT. DOES. NOT. MAKE. SENSE.
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Ever heard of the Chewbacca defense, it’s a parody that became a real thing. LOOK AT THE MONKEY.

If you're dealing with copyright issues yourself IRL, check out my very own Learn all of my tips and tricks to fight demonetization and bogus copyright claims. 

Here's my review of the Seinfeld finale that also features a Johnny Cochran parody:

Check out Adam Neely's video on Dark Horse:

Wikipedia sums it up perfectly:

“In a jury trial, a Chewbacca defense is a legal strategy in which a criminal defense lawyer tries to confuse the jury rather than refute the case of the prosecutor. It is an intentional distraction or obfuscation.

Because a Chewbacca defense distracts and misleads, it is an example of a red herring. It is also an example of an irrelevant conclusion, a type of informal fallacy in which one making an argument fails to address the issue in question.

The name Chewbacca defense comes from "Chef Aid", an episode of the American animated series South Park. The episode, which premiered on October 7, 1998, satirizes the O. J. Simpson murder trial—particularly attorney Johnnie Cochran's closing argument for the defense. In the episode, Cochran (voiced by Trey Parker) bases his argument on a false premise about the 1983 film Return of the Jedi. He asks the jury why a Wookiee like Chewbacca would want to live on Endor with the much smaller Ewoks when "it does not make sense". He argues that if Chewbacca living on Endor does not make sense—and if even mentioning Chewbacca in the case does not make sense—then the jury must acquit.

In the Simpson murder trial, the real Johnnie Cochran tried to convince jurors that a glove found at the crime scene, alleged to have been left by the killer, could not be Simpson's because it did not fit Simpson's hand. Because the prosecution relied on the glove as evidence of Simpson's presence at the scene, Cochran argued that the lack of fit proved Simpson's innocence: "It makes no sense; it doesn't fit; if it doesn't fit, you must acquit." "If it doesn't fit, you must acquit" was a refrain that Cochran also used in response to other points of the case.”

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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!

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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comment  Comments

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1 week ago

Where was the "real lawyer"? It wasn't this guy, he thought Brett Kavanaugh was guilty based on no evidence and unsubstantiated accusations, which now more and more has shown to be highly questionable. Doesn't sound like a principled lawyer to me.

2 days ago

Hey can you weight in on the loot box stuff and the whole false advertisement fallout 76 is doing? I have also a couple other topics. I dont know if you get bored, I think your commercial background would bring these topics into a broader understanding. Also you need to post more videos. Fallout 76 or Bethesda is doing some very questionable business like saying that they are only doing cosmetic loot boxes when it was first being marketed to now the Atom store having refrigerators being sold at $7 and stuff like that, that add quality of life and gameplay to a game that is already a full priced game.

3 days ago

Would it be possible to get a breakdown of the Spiderman Marvel-Sony split? I tried reading about it and... well, I'm not a Lawyer :|

4 days ago

Familiar with the Otter Defense (Animal House)?

5 days ago

Marc Stevens exposes the legal system on his Youtube Channel... With one simple question... Do you have any factual evidence your laws apply to me? How can you prove I violated your law when you have no evidence it applies to me, or anyone else?

6 days ago

Objection! Chewbacca never lived on Endor

5 minutes ago

Have you done Lincoln Lawyer?

20 minutes ago

Is anyone suprised that Johnny Cochran was killed by a brain tumor?

1 hour ago

Why is Deadpool pretending to be a lawyer?

5 hours ago

Tommy Robinson was found guilty of contempt of court and given a 9 month sentence in a civil case. Please do an analysis on that case please. He was also sent to a maximum security prison where they send the worst offenders like child molesters and murderers.

6 hours ago

Learned more from this video than I ever did as a law student.

The problem I see with copyright law, especially where music is concerned, is that it's quite likely that you will find two people who are unaware of each other's works coming up with something that sounds similar independently of one another. In those cases, it can come down to who gets the complaint in first.

That's currently even more true of the games industry. There was a time when companies would sue each other left, right and centre (yeah, Atari, I'm looking at you) for IP infringement but today, with an over-saturated market full of clones, there's just no point. Many of these developers are small back-bedroom operations with no money - unless the clone they've written of your game does well.

6 hours ago

OJ stopped taking his joint medication to swell up his hands so the glove did not fit.

11 hours ago

I'm an ill-eagle

12 hours ago

I like this react series. I am curious what your analysis would be of a more classic film Trading Places.

13 hours ago

Objection! 8 Million years is too short for such a heinous crime!

14 hours ago

Nice episode! can you react to trial from batman the animated series

14 hours ago

Even if the glove didn't fit, latex or not, I think it was a red herring. Oj probably put it there so he could use it in court. I mean cmon, what kind of idiot would forget to get something up as crucial as a glove worn whilst the murder was happening. Oj killed those people, whether you believe it or not.

14 hours ago

Please review The Practice and their Plan B tactics. Love the show but figure most of these tactics would end with heavy sanctions. Love the channel.

15 hours ago

Boy does he sound like a lawyer. Disgusting!

15 hours ago

I would like to see you react to the arrest and trial from Cars

15 hours ago

I want to see LegalEagle react to a Final Destination movie just to count all the malpractice incidents and OSHA violations.

15 hours ago

Lincoln Lawyer, ya gotta make a video on that one!

15 hours ago

RON GOLDMAN WAS NOT NICOLE'S LOVER! He was her WAITER at dinner that night. She left her sunglasses and he was taking them back to her. He was at the wrong place at the wrong time. My BRAIN exploded when you said that!

17 hours ago

I had no real idea as to why cochran's argument was what got OJ off, I didn't know the actual argument rested on just a glove and how the prosecution was inept of dealing with that scenario. Now I know, thank you legal eagle, that was very enlightening.

17 hours ago

I wanna see you do Legally Blonde

17 hours ago

But O.J. was guilty. Only found innocent due to a flawed bias jury.

18 hours ago

React to The Santa Clause and tell us how we can sue for those continuous arguments in spelling

18 hours ago

Please do one for Legally Blonde!

20 hours ago

OJ=33+Capricorn One>>Megyn Kelly

20 hours ago

Chewbacca cannot speak in any Human tongues, what legal routes does he have for defending against this outright slander?

20 hours ago

Hi! You should react to the courtroom scene in *Idiocracy*, how the law works in the year 2500.

21 hours ago

you are one cool dude

21 hours ago

Legal questions: I know it's irrelevant to the Chewbacca defense, but here goes.

If you are inadvertently declared legally dead when you are still alive, and then you go on to commit a crime, how can you be prosecuted? Also, what if you don't have a legal identity for other reasons, like you were born in some incredibly rural area and for some reason just never got entered into any government records?

And though I realize you're not supposed to be prosecuted twice for the same offense, what happens if after being officially found innocent, you publicly confess to being guilty and show undeniable proof of your guilt?

Edited (Added this later): Is the DA ever obligated to prosecute a case even if they don't want to? Like maybe the guilty person technically committed a crime, perhaps even a very serious crime, but it's something along the lines of grabbing a gun, tracking down the person who brutally murdered your family and killing him - extremely illegal, but also extremely understandable. Let's assume that the man's guilt is undeniable. It was all recorded by a security camera.

21 hours ago

Please do goofy's trial

21 hours ago