Wolfram & Hart and…Legal Ethics?

Our latest monthly column at Subculture for the Cultured has just been published.  It answers the following question sent in by Arthur:

On Joss Whedon’s show Angel, the law firm Wolfram and Hart hire Angel as CEO. As far as I know, if you incorporate a law firm, it can only be owned by lawyers. Does any rule like this apply to officer positions as well? Would there be any legal ramifications of having Angel as their CEO without any business or legal experience?

The answer might just surprise you!

5 responses to “Wolfram & Hart and…Legal Ethics?

  1. Unfortunately a lot of what Wolfram and Hart does is so obviously illegal that there aren’t many good questions about them.

  2. If a vampire counts as dead, can a vampire be in a law firm at all, legally?

    If a vampire counts as alive but not as a human, wouldn’t this raise a similar question as to whether sentient aliens that aren’t human have rights? Some laws require that someone be human, or homo sapiens, or require citizenship or some other status that only humans can get.

    • This has been touched on elsewhere. Far more important questions revolve around Angel’s legal identity, taxes and nationality.

  3. Then there is the question of Gunn’s behavior in “Time Bomb”, when he has trouble remembering that his client is the Fell Brethren, not the mother. (I know, ethics at WOLFRAM AND HART?)

    But the episode gives another line on the legal status of non-humans. Can the contract selling the child to the Fell be voided on some sort of “informed consent” grounds, because the woman did not know that the Rites of Whozis were a human sacrifice? Or would a court just rule that demons have no rights the US is bound to respect? Or would a judge throw the contract out because the sale of children is against public policy?

    • I can think of several grounds it would be thrown out on. 1) slavery is illegal, so you can’t make a contract for the sale of a human being in the first place 2) unconscientability- no court is going to enforce a contract giving up anybody to get killed, regardless of if the mother knew it at the time or not ( she’s lose the kid if she knew, but to the state, not to the Fell Brethren.

      However, surprisingly, the Rites being human sacrifice probably wouldn’t be a sufficient mistake to interrupt the contract. the contract probably says “I, X, sell my baby, Y, to the Fell Brethren for use in the Rites of Whozis” which is materially the same regardless of what the Rites are. ( basically, how it works is that a contract will only be set aside if the mistake means there was no true meeting of the minds as I understand it. In this case, it was close enough- especially since anyone with half a brain would have asked what the Rites entailed beforehand- that the contract would not be invalid on those grounds. Courts aren’t generally in the business of making up for someone merely being a but of an idiot- they’re in the business of preventing someone from taking unfair advantage of someone using normal care over signing a contract ( it’s why a contract that was illegible due being really small print would probably at least raise eyebrows)

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