I was heavily influenced by the iconic comedy, “Liar, Liar” when I was a kid, as I’m sure many of my fellow law students were as well. The story of Fletcher Reede and his inability to tell a lie will go down in history as one of the most epic law-themed comedies ever made.
With that being said, now that I have been in law school for a couple of years, there are some glaring inaccuracies with the movie that I feel compelled to address.
Greta’s Friend Was Sued
I’m sure you remember Fletcher’s lovable and sassy secretary, Greta. Most of the movie seems to be pretty accurate up until this point in the movie, when Greta is packing up her office after finding out the Fletcher lied to her about his reasons for denying her a raise.
She says to him, “A couple years ago my friend had a burglar on her roof, a burglar. He fell through the kitchen skylight, landed on a butcher’s knife cutting his leg. The burglar sued my friend; he sued my friend. And, because of guys like you, HE WON. My friend had to pay the burglar $6,000. Is that justice?” Fletcher, being unable to lie, says “No. I’d’a’ got him ten.”
Now, this part always got me because I distinctly remember one San Diego personal injury attorney state how highly inaccurate this story would have been IRL. The fact is, California personal injury law explicitly protects homeowners from being subject to state premises liability laws when someone is trespassing on their property.
Audrey Moving Max Across the Country
This one seems pretty obvious to me, but it definitely wasn’t when I was a kid. I remember thinking about how awful of a mom Audrey was to be moving her son all the way across the country. But, this is another inaccuracy, as there is no way Audrey would be legally allowed to just pick up and move without the permission of Fletcher.
California child custody laws would never allow this, unless Fletcher had terminated his parental rights. I mean, even parents with only visitation rights would be able to object to such a significant change of residence.
The Prenup Scene
Now, I have to hand it to the directors here. I mean, everything about the courtroom scene seemed pretty accurate, apart from the fact that Fletcher didn’t show up with boxes of paperwork and was leading his witnesses. Seriously, if he had just asked Mrs. Cole to describe her relationship with the guy she had an affair with, he could’ve avoided the whole beating himself up thing.
But the real kicker here is how Mrs. Cole was able to come away with half the marital assets (or $11,394,000) because she was underaged and therefore unable to legally enter into a prenuptial agreement. However, they were married like 15 years and she never made an effort to contest the prenup or come clean about her age. This would mean Mr. Cole could then go back to court and argue that the prenup was, in fact, enforceable.
I’m sure there are other inaccuracies, I mean, this is Hollywood, but these are the ones that stuck out most to me after rewatching “Liar, Liar” as an adult. Did you find any legal issues with “Liar, Liar”?