Ep. 7 - ABOMASTE: The Work/Life Balance of a SuperHuman Attorney
A great Lawyer Wellness Program is something that Jennifer Walters could really benefit from with her stressful life of being the face of the GLK/H law firm's SuperHuman Law Division. Unfortunately, it doesn't look like that is offered by the firm, so she accidentally ends up in a group wellness session at Emil Blonksy's ranch retreat.
We discuss the various legal and personal issues raised in Episode 7: The Retreat of She-Hulk: Attorney at Law. After being ghosted by "Too Good to Be True" Josh, Jen finds that Emil Blonsky (AKA The Abomination) may have violated his parole requirements after his inhibitor bracelet malfunctions. The Retreat may be just what Jen needs to find a balance between working at a BigLaw firm, dating life, and the fact that someone seems to be out for blood… gamma-radiated blood, specifically.
While we do not appear in court this week, there are still many legal issues ranging from simple assault, to property damages, insurance claims, and possible fraud and sexual assault. Just for fun, we also talk about how Disney is bringing in more and more Mutant (X-Men franchise) characters into the MCU fold.
Joshua Lenon joins in from the airport as he winds his way across the US this week before landing in Nashville for the Clio Cloud Conference, October 10 – 11, 2022 in Nashville, TN. He is looking forward to everyone asking him more legal questions about She-Hulk, so make sure to find him if you are in attendance. We are also hoping that he'll have some SHLD Podcast Stickers to hand out!
We are making our way to the end of Season One of She-Hulk: Attorney at Law. Reach out to us on Twitter to make suggestions of what we should cover next on the podcast. Maybe Batman's Trial on the animated series? More She-Hulk comic book storylines? The legal standing of The Boys? A look back at Netflix's Daredevil series? Let us know!!
Contact us at @glambert, @JoshuaLenon, or @SuperHumanPod and let us know what you think!
We have a website: SuperHuman Law Division (transcripts also available here)
Artwork by @ChangoATX
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Stay Super Everybody!!
Greg Lambert 0:19
Imagine running a SuperHuman Law Division at a law firm. That's exactly what we're going to talk about here. And we're going to start off the series by reviewing the new She-Hulk: Attorney at Law show on Disney Plus. And we're going to dive in this week to episode seven the retreat. I am Greg Lambert, and alongside with my SuperHuman Law Division co counsel and Joshua Lenon, who is on the road currently in Denver on his way to ClioCon. Joshua, how's travels going?
Joshua Lenon 0:52
Things are going well, I'm going down a little early for the Clio Cloud Conference. It's actually going to be in Nashville this year. So Denver is just a stop along the way. And we're very excited. One of the weird things I got to do as part of my job today was have a phone call with Neal Katyal, who's going to be one of our keynote speakers, and talk about how he is one of the most prolific Supreme Court litigators ever. I got to do that this morning. So it's been a pretty cool day, all things considered.
Greg Lambert 1:26
Well, let's see if we can keep it cool by discussing this week's episode. What was your thought? I know there's not a lot of not a lot of GLK/H in this one.
Joshua Lenon 1:38
Very, very little GLK/H. And so it was less She-Hulk Attorney at Law and more, Jen Walters, group therapy is how I would rename the episode.
Greg Lambert 1:52
Joshua Lenon 1:53
What were your thoughts?
Greg Lambert 1:54
We really had about three again, kind of three different segments here. We had the the too good to be true, Josh that she met at the wedding last week, and his ghosting of her. We had a very short conversation with Nikki her paralegal at GLK/H. And then we spent the bulk of the episode at Emil Blonsky's retreat called Summer Twilight somewhere in California. And I have to have to say right off the bat, the seven soulmates were nowhere to be found on this episode.
Joshua Lenon 2:34
Oh, that's right. So in Emil Blonsky's parole hearing which we saw in episode three, I believe. He had character witnesses in the form of seven pen pals soulmates, seven women, who for some reason were dressed remarkably similar and gushing over him in the background. We were we were kind of led to believe in the end cap, court images that he left them behind once he obtained his parole. So they weren't anywhere on the retreat that we saw, although it appears to be huge grounds and immaculately maintained. So I'm wondering, who does all thatwork?
Greg Lambert 3:21
Maybe it's done through magic. So we'll have Yeah. I did want to just briefly cover the scene at GLK/H. And there was one thing that stood out to me. And that was the fact that Jen was nominated for Female Lawyer of the Year, from what I'm gathering. It's SCLA, which probably a Southern California Lawyers Association. Yeah, these these types of awards are quite common in the legal industry.
Joshua Lenon 3:56
Right. So all of our bar associations and law societies will have Awards where they honor someone, and it could be based on a particular type of practice area that they do, right, like the best family law lawyer, or the most innovative IP law lawyer, or it could be based upon lifetime service. And in this instance, it seems like the award is recognizing someone who is making contributions as a lawyer, who is a woman, and Jen been nominated. So we don't know all the details behind the group. But yeah, these types of awards, you see announcements for them in a lot. And they're different than kind of the directory programs that are out there, which oftentimes have similar confusion names, like Super Lawyers, which is, I think, an appropriate example for this podcast. It's basically a marketing slogan that will reach out to lawyers and say you've been identified as a Super Lawyer. By now to claim your profile, you get a badge you put on your website and all of these kinds of things. And the criteria, those are nebulous at best.
Greg Lambert 5:19
Yeah, yeah. It's interesting, because if you'll remember back for the promotional materials, there's the picture of She-Hulk sitting on a bench with an advertisement on it. And Super Lawyer is actually the the name use there. So I know some of our marketing people were wondering whether or not the magazines that do the Super Lawyer were consulted about that using that name, or if that's just so generic and name that they were able to use it.
Joshua Lenon 5:50
Yeah, I think if I remember correctly, they actually had blocked out part of the bench, right? Because she said, No, I think that's how they got away with it.
Greg Lambert 5:59
That's probably true. That's probably true. It's very, very crafty. So that was really I didn't see anything else that the GLK/H this week. Did you?
Joshua Lenon 6:09
They that the entirety of the episode after that, outside of the law office and not no real courtroom scenes either.
Greg Lambert 6:17
You want to jump next into I think we should probably save the the Josh part other than being ghosted. You want to save that to the end and go into the meat of the episode, which was up to the ranch with the Emil Blonsky?
Joshua Lenon 6:32
I think we want to highlight one thing, and that's because Jen had had several dates with this Josh character, and things seem to be progressing well. When she stopped hearing from him, it really started to weigh heavily on her. And I think that's important to highlight going into the reason she's been called out to the retreat, because it then sets up some of the like conflict and character development that we see later on. Because Jen is stressed, angry and disappointed that the situation with Josh does not appear to be working. Yeah. And and then she wakes up to a call.
Greg Lambert 7:14
Yes. So she she doesn't see Josh since Thursday. And then Sunday morning, she gets a call from Chuck Donelon, the parole officer for Emil Blonsky. And so do you want to talk about what happened to make the parole officer give her a call?
Joshua Lenon 7:31
Jen gets a call from the parole officer because she is the attorney on record for Emil Blonsky. And in addition to that, she is also a Hulk. And so the parole officer is been notified electronically that the inhibitor, I think it's an anklet that he's wearing, right. Kind of like a you might see in a home arrest, ankle monitor. Apparently, there's some malfunction. They don't know what it is. And so he as the parole officer must go and investigate. And he really doesn't want to go alone and investigate with some guy you could turn into like, What did you say with a 12 foot tall lizard monster? No public servants getting paid enough to do that. And so Jen agrees, I think for two reasons, one to protect her clients interests. And two, there's a strong chance that she'll get to kind of exercise some frustration. And that is something she's looking for. And so she begins the trek out. Now, I think it's important to highlight some of the legal aspects of parole that many people aren't aware of. So when a prisoner agrees to be paroled, it's not as if they just get to go and do whatever they want. There are conditions placed upon them. One of the explicit ones that we've seen with Emil Blonsky, is he has to wear this inhibitor colander at all times, and refrain from turning into his Abomination alter ego, but he's also actually waived certain constitutional rights. As a part of his parole, most paroles are limited and when, where and how they can travel, they're supposed to constantly check in with their parole officer. So usually they might be limited to a county or metropolitan area, maybe a state, depending upon the resources of the justice system that's available. They also have given up their rights against unreasonable search and seizure. So in Blonsky's case he's not in government housing, like a halfway house. He's in his own particularly owned dwelling, this giant retreat estate, it's probably the best way to describe it. Yeah. But if a parole officer comes knocking, he has to open the door and has to consent to the search to do otherwise would be a violation of his parole and he'd be right back in for isn't without a trial without necessarily any defense. And so there's a lot to be said for the parole officer making this visit on announced on a Sunday. You didn't even have to call the lawyer. He did specific mitigate some big green back up.
Greg Lambert 10:20
You notice that one he has a code to the gate. So he must have been given that code to the gate, although he's struggling to enter the code to the gate. And as part of your showing up on announced when Jennifer pulls in and the gate opens for her, apparently she has a remote open for the gate. And she gets up and starts honking the horn to alert him which completely makes the parole officer come unglued for doing that. He's he does not want to face the 12 foot tall lizard monster so so he even asked Jen to make sure she Hulks up before they meet with Blonsky. The inhibitor apparently was malfunctioning because Blonsky was chasing after his favorite chicken and came in contact with the electric fence as it was his excuse or reasoning for that. And then one of the things that Jin tells him and kinda I think this is kind of both as a comment and a warning. And that was you spent a lot of effort to get out of jail. I would hate to see you go back. And so I think she was kind of warning him to be careful.
Joshua Lenon 11:38
Yeah, yeah. I think she's rightfully notified him, but he's under this heightened scrutiny. Yeah, right. And good intentions don't matter.
Greg Lambert 11:47
Yeah. And I was wondering, Is GLK/H going to charge him for this time?
Joshua Lenon 11:54
Right. We would definitely see Holden asking why weren't they? But it might depend upon the retainer agreement between GLK/H and the abomination. Yeah, given the nature of the firm, I'm betting these are billable hours, including travel time and mileage.
Greg Lambert 12:11
Yep. Yep. That's, that's what I would bill. So. All right, so Donelon, the the parole officer hightails it out. Jennifer is right behind him. Unfortunately, her car gets disabled when a couple of and these are really D-list players in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But Man-Bull and El Aguila. That's some serious damage to Jen's Prius Prime. And I noticed that they really say Prius Prime a lot in here felt like an advertisement.
Joshua Lenon 12:50
The brand there. Yeah, I think we I think we've just seen some product placement. And they weren't quite stealth about it.
Greg Lambert 12:57
No. So Man-Bull is, runs into the car, disables it, he goes, and again and she turns into She-Hulk and stops him and tosses them to the side to protect her property. Man-Bull admits fault right there on the spot. And she basically demands money payment for the damages,
Joshua Lenon 13:20
Which used to be for a car accident, fairly amicable, right? Depending on the state, right? It could be that insurance isn't even involved here. no fault insurance actually means that you don't necessarily need a police officer to come and review certain types of damage. All you need is a report. And then you can file it for your insurance and they'll cover it. Given that it's California we can we can look that up and see what type of car insurance and can Jen make a claim for the fact that her car was hit head on by a Man-Bull. A tragic lab accident gone wrong.
Greg Lambert 13:56
Yeah. And I was also wondering the fact because Blonsky admits that he is allowing Man-Bull and El Aguila to work out their differences in a safe environment, which means that he may be responsible for the actions that they're taking, because he is in his business. As part of his business. That's his advice for them. So I'm just wondering if Blonsky may be responsible for damages as well?
Joshua Lenon 14:26
I think it's tougher to say kind of the the third party liability here on this. He may not necessarily be encouraging them to take things as far as they have. But I do want to point out that the very fact that he is counseling these individuals may itself be a parole violation.
Greg Lambert 14:44
Another question I had.
Joshua Lenon 14:46
Many, many paroles blew the condition of no association with known felons or other members of the criminal elements. We don't know the entire history of the characters that we see throughout this episode. But several of them have been criminals or superpowered villains in the comics, that She-Hulk has been a part of the very fact that he has these people on his estate and he's counseling them, even if it's for like a good cause, right to rehabilitate them, it could technically be a violation of his parole. And I was really surprised to see the nature of his retreat attendees.
Greg Lambert 15:30
Yeah, I agree. That was a question I was gonna throw at you so good. On a side issue here, not related to the story here. But El Aguila is actually in the comic books is a mutant. And in fact, you see a little bit of his powers as he shoots bio genetic energy through his sword. But if he's a mutant, that means that he's part of the X Men franchise, which was actually sold off in 1994 to 20th Century Fox. Did you know that they bought the rights to X Men and all the mutants for a measly $2.6 million in 1994. And they've had over $7 billion in revenue.
Joshua Lenon 16:14
I didn't realize it was that small amount? Yeah. That's very interesting. And we've talked before about the tortured nature of IP rights in contracts that has impacted the Marvel Universe. Spider Man was the example we bought before but now, it's interesting that we see a mutant popping up, especially after we've seen us now in the Ms. Marvel miniseries that was on Disney Plus, and within the Doctor Strange multiverse of badness. So it seems as if Disney is getting ready to really leverage their new Fox acquired IP of the mutants and so we're gonna see a lot more excellent.
Greg Lambert 17:04
Yeah, so both Man-Bull and El Aguilar are two of the characters but then we have more show up so we see porcupine Yeah, show up and then we have Saracen. Who is apparently the son of blade another franchise that's out there. That's that's coming back. So the vampire slash vampire hunter also shows up. And then we have a kind of a surprise visit from Wrecker who is part of the Wrecking Crew who attacked Jen in episode three. So she does a fourth wall break here and does a Wait, did they do a previously on this guy? Instead of waiting, she just goes ahead and does a previously on so that she reintroduces Wrecker to us.
Joshua Lenon 17:46
Of him when she breaks the fourth wall. I really appreciate that. So she rightly reacts, I think in a defensive fashion, accuses him of assault and Hulks out, which is the phrase that they've they've established. Yep. And it turns out that kind of behaviors really unwelcome. When it's a group therapy session,
Greg Lambert 18:06
I know. It must not be a safe environment for them to work out their problems. So
Joshua Lenon 18:11
So as Jen waits for a tow truck, she is kind of forced to be a part of this group therapy session. Because the only place she can access her cell phone, see if Josh is texting her right? Or if she's still being ghosted, and eventually gets drawn into the therapy session.
Greg Lambert 18:31
Yeah, it makes me kind of kind of worry what all can can happen in this. In fact, when she does get into this, you feel like this is a trap at some point. But so far in the episode, it was not. And so you say that, her attacking Wrecker, you think that's justified no action taken by wrecker on what Jen did to him?
Joshua Lenon 18:56
Well, I think she could make an argument that this is a person who was attacked her before, especially when he kind of appears out of nowhere, which he had just done again. And so she was acting with reasonable fear for herself and protected herself. And depending again, on the state, it could fall under a kind of a Stand Your Ground Doctrine.
Greg Lambert 19:17
Okay. All right. So just during the sharing with the circle during the group therapy, I think Jen once again, and this is kind of a theme that we see throughout the entire show, is really kind of separating almost two completely different individuals between She-Hulk and Jennifer Walters and really kind of talking in the third person about Jennifer Walters while she's in the She-Hulk form. So I'm wondering if at some point because I know in the comics, there was a point where Jen basically stopped being Jen and she was She Hulk all the time. And I wonder if we're are leading up into that type of result, at the end of the season?
Joshua Lenon 20:03
we are going to see her struggle with kind of bifurcating her life between these two things. And at some point, realize that there are a lot of advantages and maintaining her She-Hulk for, right, just the height, the strength, the invulnerability, the ability to intimidate all of these things can be really positive things, right? The People's mostly positive reactions to her, which is not something that every hope has has gotten to benefit from is also something that must be really enticing. Most of the problems between having kind of two personas seems to be when Jen feels like people are rejecting the Gen persona, and only wanting the She-Hulk. And so the struggle will be how do I kind of combine those in a way that lets me have the best of both worlds?
Greg Lambert 21:03
Yep. So after the group therapy, and they kind of talk She Hulk and Jen off the ledge, so to speak, as she turns back into Jin, the group decides together that they should go and kill Josh. Do we have a conspiracy? Charge here with the threatening to kill Josh? Threatening
Joshua Lenon 21:25
No, right? Freedom of speech, even around threats, is actually really tough to show, like an intent and a crime. But if they had gone through with it, then everybody in that session may be up for a conspiracy charge. And Jen, as an attorney actually has an ethical duty to disclose that a crime might be happening to the authorities, even though she has a client there. They could invoke like attorney client confidentiality. Any attorney that knows about a commission of a crime and will cause harm to an individual must report it.
Greg Lambert 22:06
Yeah, the only other legal thing that I that I saw, and maybe you saw some more was, they gave her a kind of a going away card at the end. And it was signed by Blonsky. And the gang and which, again, a gang and Blonsky quickly goes now not a real gang, just in case of the parole board.
Joshua Lenon 22:26
Yeah. And that's, again, a reference to associating with felons and other other criminal elements. And so clearly, that was kind of part of his mind there. But for some reason, doesn't apply to his counseling. I'm still trying to figure that out. We know that he did do kind of amateur counseling to other people within his super villain prison. Right. And so it could be that he's continuing that work, and it is sanctioned. We'll have to see about that. But I do think it's actually important to note that federal prosecutors, especially when it comes to drug trials, are looking for anything that they can label this kind of gang related activity, because it is considered an aggregating factor in terms of the charges that are available and the sentences that are recommended. So if I were in the criminal elements, I would be very mindful of being labeled a gang member as well. And we even see in immigration law, that these kinds of gang designations on things that may or may not actually be gang designations, like wearing a certain color, right, are definitely things that immigration lawyers need to be mindful when it comes to deportation orders around their their clients. It seems like a little joke, but it's pretty serious in the legal world.
Greg Lambert 23:52
Yeah. Did you notice that the tow truck had the name slot on the side of it? That was towing off her car?
Joshua Lenon 24:00
I did not. That's amazing.
Greg Lambert 24:03
And the driver had a name tag that looked like it said, Daniel. So Dan Slott, to wrote the savage She-Hulk, which is the one that I think the focus is the most on her legal career. So there, there was a little shout out for Dan Slott. And so then we get to the the really, really tough part, which is we find out that too good to be true. Josh, is really too good to be true. I did want to point out that I did find the QR code again. And that was on one day my question. Yeah, one of her dates with Josh there's like a food truck and there's a QR code there and it actually goes way back to a Tales to Astonish 1958 comic book, which introduced porcupine so there's our there's our tie in porcupine has been around a long time.
Joshua Lenon 24:57
I did not realize that and he's the guy who were There's a suit that has kind of the appearance of a porcupine. Right. And apparently the the needles can do certain things like we saw a bunch of knife blades pop out of that tangle the brush of his suit.
Greg Lambert 25:12
Yep. And apparently he's been wearing it way too long. So it smells pretty bad.
Joshua Lenon 25:18
It smells pretty bad. Yeah, it's almost become like his security blanket, right? This means of dealing with the world from a place of, unfortunately, poor mental health.
Greg Lambert 25:32
Yes. All right. So the last part would be our interaction with Josh. And of course, we've already talked about, you know, they dated, they had their third date just spent the night and then apparently ghosted her. But then at the end, we find out there's actually a lot more going on. I know, they show Josh waking up to leave in the middle of the night. His phone is apparently stealing all of the information off of Jennifer Walters phone. So we have that issue there. I know, there might be an issue that some people talk about sexual coercion, whether or not he was lying and using some type of fraud. I know in the United States that that is a very, very hard charge to stick. Not sure Jen has much there. But he also takes a picture of her while she's sleeping, which, first of all, you know, gross, don't, don't do that. And then text the following emojis to the Hulk King, which we know from that terrible website. For man babies,
Joshua Lenon 26:50
the intelligencia. What a misnomer.
Greg Lambert 26:53
Yeah. So the emoji is a blood syringe, a green test tube, and a thumbs up. And so before we get into that, I just want to say Hulk King. Is that, is that going to then lead us along with Daredevil to King pen? That's what I'm wondering, or is it the leader? I'm up in the air? Now,
Joshua Lenon 27:15
think because they've established that turning into your Hulk persona is called Teen out? Yes. This is, let's turn everybody into a hoax project.
Greg Lambert 27:26
Okay. I guess the last two episodes will let us know.
Joshua Lenon 27:30
I know. Yeah. So yeah, there's there's inducement here, which, as you say, is definitely a hard charge to make stick? I think for a couple of reasons. One, nobody even knows where Josh is. Right? And so being able to charge him with a prime in some you can charge him but you can't really prosecute if you can't find them. And then the only real record we have, right, because Jen doesn't know about any of this nefarious stuff at the end. Is the fact that you yourselves have gotten back to we have a stream of text messages. That's it. That's all the evidence we have. And so unfortunately, it is a he said she said in a situation that just is very difficult to handle.
Greg Lambert 28:16
Yeah. Any other legal issues around Josh?
Joshua Lenon 28:20
Well, I've definitely if he is taking, like blood samples and things like that without a permission. That's just straight up assault. Right. Right. And when that comes to light, that will be problematic. And depending upon what he does with that picture. It could also be criminal publication as well. So
Greg Lambert 28:40
the infamous revenge porn.
Joshua Lenon 28:42
Yeah. And that one's really tough to fight under standard tort law, because oftentimes, again, it's difficult to prove, was there consent to the image? Was there consent to the image being published? Who is actually publishing the image? Right? If Josh is texting it between friends and a close circle, is that considered publishing? Is it being done for the purpose of embarrassing, Jen? There's a lot of different factors that we might have to wait for this. And then again, we would have to look at is there a state law criminalizing this activity? And would it be applicable in this instance, there are some interesting it approaches to revenge porn, being able to file copyright claims under the digital management Copyright Act, that allows for the kind of these quick takedowns internet sites of information that's been published, and so we'll have to see what's done with this photo. What actions Mallory book might have to take on Jen's behalf?
Greg Lambert 29:43
Yeah, well, you know, the the saddest thing about this episode is that it all ends next week. We only have two more episodes. So oh my gosh, and so I am lining up after the series wraps up for us to do a wrap up episode as well. And I'm lining up a couple of guests. Hopefully that will join us. And we'll talk about some of the interactions within the law firm and kind of just do a recap. So sad to see it ending next week. But also exciting to see if we ever get Daredevil to show up. And who the big bad turns out to be. Yeah, I'm
Joshua Lenon 30:24
excited for that as well. This really feels like they're using the season to set things up. And then it's going to end on a node that definitely, I think, leads into a second season. Yep,
Greg Lambert 30:35
I sure hope so. But more time. Yep. So Josh, I know you get a you get to catch your next flight to your next location. So thanks for taking the time to on your trip to talk with me. Anything else?
Joshua Lenon 30:48
As always advise our audience to stay super. And to remember all the good that lawyers do doesn't just happen when you're big and green.
Greg Lambert 30:58
All right. Well, thank you, Josh. I hope if people see you at ClioCon, I hope they come up and talk She-Hulk to you.
Joshua Lenon 31:03
I hope so. I'm looking forward to it.