Harry's Law Review: American Girls

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Going into tonight’s episode, I thought the double meaning of "American Girl" was going to be a lot of fun to watch, seeing as it applied to both Harry’s constitutional rights as an American and to Leigh having lived with her adopted parents for the last four years in America.

I was wrong. Watching Adam and Cassie fight for the birth parents of Leigh was heart wrenching. It was well performed, but painful. Adam was right when he said “No matter how you rule there will be a lot of pain," but who knew he'd also be speaking about the audience?

Adam in Court

Wait, I take it back, watching Connor Bertram (Jordan Wall from The Glades) kicking Oliver’s ass in court on his very first trial was enjoyable, as was Harry threatening to mistake the police officer for a quail. While they didn’t fully offset the anguish and pain Adam and Cassie’s case induced, it helped.

Seriously though, I was as impressed with Connor as Harry was. Was anyone else shocked when she offered him a job? Do you think he knows that we can count the number of attorneys she has offered a job to on two fingers? 

When Chunhua walked in with the Chinese couple who had their daughter taken away because of China’s one child law, my first thought was Oh jeez, again... While the case was emotional, I was glad that David E. Kelley stuck to it being about what’s best for the little girl and didn’t get on his soapbox even once about the one child law.

That was because he saved all of his soapbox dancing for the other story line.

I know going into Harry’s Law that Kelley is going to work in a social message of some sort every week. You can usually pick it out by what Harry goes on a rant about. This week actually pushed the soapbox preaching to 11. Its become so prevalent that I considered making a drinking game out of it, but realized I would be so hammered I couldn't type. 

We get it; the economy is in the crapper. Yes, we know that outsourced jobs have contributed to the economy. Yes, we know a lot of people are loosing homes, and are unhappy. But did you really need to beat us over the head with it for the better part of the hour?

I was really hoping to enjoy George Wendt as Mayor Franklin Chickory. But we had to listen to him justify why he enacted a “buy American” ordinance in the city regarding cars. Clearly Kelley was trying to make the most a plausible but ridiculous policy that would allow him to spew his thoughts on the state of the economy and our international trade policies. 

Putting aside the fact that it would be impossible to get an ordinance like this active without bankrupting the city, given they would only get it approved by offering to assist anyone with a foreign car switch, certainly they would have had some sort of grace period for non-residents or have just told Harry to turn around.

Back off the soapbox, it looks like Chunhua is making a return. Maybe Adam will mention to her what happened with Rachael. That would be refreshing, wouldn't it?

Review

Editor Rating: 2.8 / 5.0
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Rating: 4.1 / 5.0 (39 Votes)

Jim G. is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.

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Symptoms of diabetes in chrediln and adults are:o Frequent thirst You may just be thinking your child drinks a lot.o Frequent infections Many consider this just a part of childhood.o Blurred Vision Your child may not tell you as the blurred vision can come and go. It's not always constant.o Cuts/bruises that are slow to heal It's easy to think the injury was just a bad one and it's taking longer to heal.o Tingling/numbness in hands or feet Again you child may not notice or tell you about it as it's not usually constant.o Frequent urination Many just think it comes from drinking more.o Extreme hunger Often parents think their child is going through a growth spurt and just requires more food.o Unusual weight loss This symptom does normally make parents concerned. If the child has bee overweight, parents sometimes think ..Great, the weight is finally coming off.o Irritability Can often be labeled as parent/child confrontations. Also many parents of teens just think it's a normal part of the teenage years.You won't see all of this at once. You will notice one of them, then a month or two latter something else

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Sarah Beat-Rogers - Absolutely lovely pitcerus for two of the most lovely people I have ever met. Wish you both the very best. And to the artist, I love that lake, you captured it perfectly along with the sweetness that I know of Krysten and Andrew.

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Paying a fine to keep a second child is a relatively recent development (late 1990s?) that has only become practical for very many Chinese after the recent economic boom in China (last 3-6 years). I suspect Chinese officials would be loath to honor late payment of the fine -- since the child would tend to be a Westernized dissident. International child visitation rights do NOT exist. In fact interstate visitation rights cannot be enforced and most US states prohibit courts from even suggesting such arrangements. That is not to say that families or ex-families might not make their own arrangements...based on trust or outright financial blackmail. Although again some states might make that illegal without prior arrangement, viewing the child as now being first a ward of that state and only granting any parent or guardian provisional custody.

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Some of you got half the points right. But most still can't see why US law cannot be imposed on circumstances originating in foreign country. First all Chinese adoptions are arranged via the consulate/embassies of the receiving country under that country's law. Also US and international law usually considers adoptions via 3rd county illegal unless one adopting parent has citizenship there. Also note China's stripping adopted children of Chinese citizenship is NOT recognized very many places due to several hundred years of formal international law saying dual citizenship. But still not welcome back. Having the adopting parents' country do the adoption makes sure the children can leave China forever. Out of country helps preserve the aura of widespread loyal obedience to the population law. Additionally the US and many other countries screen adoptions for acceptability as well. The US screens for communicable disease and economics of health support (i.e. if parents aren't rich, the life time hospital basket cases are refused). Some nations screens for matching ethnicity etc. Note: paying a fine to keep a second child is a relatively recent development (late 1990s?) that has only become practical for very many with the recent economic boom in China (last 3-6 years). I suspect Chinese officials would be loath to honor late payment of the fine -- since the child would tend to be a Westernized dissident. International child visitation rights do NOT exist. In fact interstate visitation rights cannot be enforced and most US states prohibit courts from even suggesting such arrangements. That is not to say that families or ex-families might not make their own arrangements...based on trust or outright financial blackmail. Although again some states might make that illegal without prior arrangement, viewing the child as now being first a ward of that state and only granting any parent or guardian provisional custody.

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It was a beautiful episode showing how individual communities can thumb their noses at the literal text of the Constitution -- which specifically reserves the powers to regulate international and interstate commerce to the federal government. The fact is the Constitution was adopted by a few criminal fanatics and imposed on the rest of the nations citizens ever since. God Bless Democratic judges who are gradually undermining that rag and substituting community standards and demoting the document as simply symbolic of our separation from European monarchies.

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This episode has just aired in Australia this week. I agree with some other comments that the acting of Marianne Jean-Baptiste as the judge was outstanding.

Realdiehl

@BRENDA There was a similar case in an episode of THE PRACTICE (another David E. Kelly production) where a 12 year old child of Romani descent was fighting to stay in the United States instead of going back to Romania where her parents had arranged a marriage for her. Keep in mind the child was only 12 years old and she was going to be wed to an adult she didn't even know. In this case the judge ruled against American values even though the child was going to become a victim of what in America would be statutory rape. I strongly disagreed with the verdict in that episode and I disagree with the verdict in this episode as well. The biological parents should have been given custody.
But you are right in that most shows do tend to take the American's side in these types of cases. I only point this out because I was surprised at the outcome of the case. I expected an American-centric verdict. FYI: The Practice, Season 8, Episode 9, "Victim's Rights"

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First, Chinese law limits the number of children a family can have. So, Chinese authorities removing an over quota child is more like the state taking custody of a child whose parents have broken the law than it is to kidnapping. American courts don't get to interpret or judge Chinese law any more than Chinese courts can rule in Americanlaw. Second, families who can afford to pay a fine equal to a few thousad dollars, are able to keep over quota children, and routinely do so in China. Anyone who could afford to fly to the US from China, stay here throughout a trial, and hire lawyers would have simply paid the fine back in China and kept the child. Third, there are no private adoptions in China. Thay are controlled by a complex state apparatus. When a child is adopted by non-Chinese, s/he is stripped of Chinese citizenship. Were a couple of Chinese birth parents able to get a foreign country to undo the legal Chinese adoption, which they had agreed to recognize, the child would be a stateless person. Finally, were there to be a court challenge to the legality of a Chinese adoption by an American family, it would be a matter of international Law, an interpretation if the Hague convention not something handled in state court. The whole scenario was ridiculous as presented. The writers did not do their homework and have created a new source of misinformation about international adoption. Molly

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First off, I like the show a lot. This episode unfortunately was disappointing. It seems strange to have a show about lawyers but has nothing to do with the law. In the story about the little girl stolen from her family and then her parents being reported as dead, this would make any adoption illegal. The welfare of the child wouldn't even come into question unless the biological parents were deemed unfit, and this was not the case. Anyway, an illegal adoption is illegal. The second story about "Buy American" left several points that makes it more an episode for Fantasy Island. First off, this case isn't so much about constitutional rights as it is the town ordinance is in direct violation of Department of Transportation and the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) rules and regulations of the roads and right of ways. They also never defined what constituted as American. They did briefly mention the Toyota plant in Mississippi, but left it at that as far as cars go. The Mayor said he drives a Ford. How does he know that Ford wasn't built in Canada. Even if it was built in the U.S., how many parts came from overseas plants? They also seemed to be hyper about Mercedes Benz. Freightliner, a manufacturer of large trucks built in the U.S. is owned by Mercedes Benz.

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Well, Babs, you proved my point: "The pain associated with losing an adoptive child cannot compare with the pain of the biological parents losing a child taken from them at the tender age of two." Well, actually, you are wrong. Though you don't believe it, if someone came to take away my 4-year-old after being with us for 3 years, I would experience the same horrible, wrenching pain that you or any biological parent would. You know why? BECAUSE I AM A REAL PARENT. I AM A REAL MOTHER. Just like you. You begin by saying "as a mother of 4;" ...are you more of a mother because you have more than one child? Do you care more? I, being just the mother of one child (and it may seem odd to you, but we never think of her as an "adopted" child or of ourselves as "adoptive" parents), can understand the judge's ruling. Because though the judge understood each side, she had to make a choice. She chose what she thought was best for that child. And though you may disagree, a 6-year-old being torn away from her family would very likely be more tramatic than at 2. As a parent who has done a lot of research on attachment disorders in adopted children, it is widely accepted that the earlier a child is placed in a home, the better. Though the show portrayed the child remembering her parents (which would be very rare - language recognition at the level displayed even more rare if not impossible), being taken from her home to theirs, and changing her culture yet again would be, obviously, life-altering. You say the "adoptive parents should have had more compassion and allowed the child to be placed back in her proper place." It occurs to me that maybe the biological parents should also think about what is best for the child they love, should be overwhelmed by the look of fear on that child's face when she is trying to deal with the thought that she might be taken from her parents. And once again, I think the crux of this problem is that many believe that as adoptive parents, we don't care about our children like you do, that they don't care about us the same as yours do. You assume that she was not in her proper place. That is your opinion. Respectfully, I say you are wrong.

Harry's Law Season 2 Episode 7 Quotes

Try to get this. I'm white, I'm rich, I'm a Republican which makes it legal for me to mistake you or a quail.

Harry

Harry: Ok, we clear... any problems, any emergency at all..
Tommy, Cassie, Adam:[together] Nobody Call

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