19 1 / 2013

One of the great things about being a lawyer is that you’re introduced to a lot of ways that people’s lives can be truly messed up. So here’s a list of various things that still are unlikely to happen to Lydia, but that nobody else has mentioned because only a lawyer would think about these things.

So here are some more things that won’t happen to Lydia.

Taxes owed to the government.

This is far too convoluted and unsexy to happen, but suppose that Lydia and Wickham got married in Vegas before the end of the year (does not fit facts, seems unlikely) and file taxes jointly. Then Wickham gets in trouble for…something.

If you file a joint return with someone, and that someone is doing something that means that they are underestimating their taxes, you are jointly liable for the underpayment on taxes. For instance, did you know that if you are married to a drug dealer and he doesn’t report his drug revenue on his tax return, and he’s then carted off to jail, that you’re liable for amounts owed?

Setting aside the massive improbability of this, can we just pause and appreciate that this is a plot point that only a lawyer would love?

No, no scratch that. NOT EVEN A LAWYER WOULD LOVE THIS, NOT EVEN A LAWYER WHO SPENDS ALL HER TIME ON FERC CASES. It would be the most amazing way to take all the sexiness out of Darcy’s sacrifice and solution.

"And then I sat her down with my accountant and my lawyer, she retroactively amended her tax return to a filing status as ‘married filing separately,’ Darcy explains. "We didn’t even have to petition for relief for innocent spouses. And I did it for you, my dearest, loveliest Elizabeth."

No. Just no.

Immigration issues.

I actually think that would be a really, really fascinating alternate version of Pride & Prejudice—if the Bennets were illegal immigrants who had brought their children over at a young age. Any scrutiny that fell on Lydia would highlight the condition of their entire family—and her screw-up could get the entire family kicked out of the country.

This one is actually something that meets most of the criteria involved—that is, if we were writing the Lizzie Bennet Diaries from scratch, this is something that we could choose as Lydia’s “fall” that would have approximately the same disastrous impact as P&P Lydia’s fall—basically destroying the lives of all the Bennet children.

It’s even Darcy-soluble: executive clemency in this situation is something that Darcy might be able to obtain as a CEO.

But it’s pretty obvious that the LBD isn’t going there. For one thing, Lizzie has been Charlotte’s “from fetuses best friend” because they knew each other in their current neighborhood. That strongly implies she was born in this country. Since Lizzie was born in the US, she’s a US citizen. (That, I suppose, could be disputed by a certain set of people who insist on ignoring/willfully misinterpreting Reconstruction Era amendments to the Constitution, but fuck ‘em.) For another thing, the LBD has been generally apolitical and this is a highly charged political issue.

This brings me to something that will have to be another post about Lydia, because otherwise I will not get enough done today: Various criminal things. I recognize that Lydia is a fictional character, but I want to sit her down and have a long talk with her about the Fourth and Fifth Amendments.