South Park, “Chef Aid” (Season 2, Ep. 14) (10/7/98): Irrelevant material (MR 3.4)

Contributed by Eric Ziegel

Chef is suing a record company for copyright infringement. After the plaintiff rests, the record company's attorney, Johnnie Cochran (voiced by Trey Parker) stands up and presents "the Chewbacca defense" - irrelevant information unrelated to the case.

Under MR 3.4(e), a lawyer is not to "allude to any matter that the lawyer does not reasonably believe is relevant." The Cochran character openly admits it is not relevant.

This defense also violates MR 3.1 (meritorious claims and contentions). It is a waste of time, in violation of MR 3.2 (expediting litigation).



  1. As Mr. Ziegel presented, Cochran clearly was violating Rule 3.1 and Rule 3.5. Cochran violated 3.1 by breaching his duty to use the legal process to the fullest benefit for his client. Cochran was presented information that was irrelevant to his client's case. Cochran also abused his duty not to abuse the legal procedure. Cochran presented information that was not reasonably relevant and did not support admissible evidence. I believe he also breached rule 3.5(d) in which he engaged in conduct intended to disrupt the tribunal. -Orlando Duarte

  2. South Park is a fantastic show. Matt Stone and Trey Parker are experts at social commentary. This clip showcases a textbook example of a violation of rules 3.4(e) and 3.2. I also agree with Orlando regarding Cochran violating rule 3.5(d). The Chewbacca defense was absolutely intended to disrupt the court. --Ryan Gilbert


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