Saturday, October 5, 2013

Staten Island Law: Recap of Episodes 5 & 6

Elura and Michele hit the Staten Island Museum archives to settle a dispute between two men—each of whom claim their bar to be the oldest on the island.

Staten Island Law is a new reality show that first aired in January, 2013 on OWN. The show’s stars are attorneys and best friends, Elura Nanos and Michele Sileo. The ladies came up with the concept to film their mediation sessions with clients and showcase their problem solving skills. I decided to give the show a try based on the promo because these two ladies are funny, intelligent, informative and play off of each other so well it’s like they are a legal comedy team. I loved the concept of the show, but the first four shows were, in my opinion, overloaded with things having nothing to do with mediation. I wrote recap blogs on the first four shows and offered up some constructive criticism: more mediation and problem solving and less of the “extras” like shopping, visiting the hair salon, and contemplating cosmetic surgery. OWN decided to re-air the first four episodes of Staten Island Law last night, from 6 to 8 PM and then aired two brand new episodes from 10 to 11 PM. I am happy to report that there were big changes in the format of the show! Basically, the things I thought needed to be changed were changed and all for the better. The thirty minutes were mostly spent mediating and problem solving with maybe one “extra” thrown in. The legal expertise and sense of humor of both ladies came shining through, while informing viewers about the various legalities of the situation. I have to say it is very refreshing to watch a reality show that is entertaining and educational with little to no “drama.” Now let me get to my recaps!

Episode 5: “Battle of the Bars”

Two bar owners in Staten Island each claim that their bar/tavern is the oldest. Michele and Elura are called in to resolve this issue. Side issue in this episode is buying a birthday present for uncle Jerry and Michele decides on cigars. The ladies visit a smoke shop and crack a few jokes about how men have found yet another place where they can sit around and do nothing while women are taking care of the house. Eventually, they drop off the cigars to Uncle Jerry, at his liquor store.

So two bar owners want this dispute settled once and for all. The clients are Killmeyer’s Old Bavarian Inn owned by Ken and Liedy’s owned by Larry. Elura feel this is really a factual dispute so they bring both parties together to clear up “why” they need to know which bar is the oldest. They feel the oldest bar will get more tourists to visit it which leads to more profit. Liedy’s boasts of four generations of owners, while Killmeyer’s was established in 1859. The ladies are learning a lot of Staten Island history in the process of researching this case. Staten Island had the first linoleum factory in the United States near Ken’s Bar. And, Michele is thrilled to find out that Madonna made a video in 1988 in the old phone booth that occupies a space in Liedy’s bar. She is so taken with that fact that she has to sit where Madonna sat and says, this is where Madonna made that phone call to her father about having an illegitimate baby. They visit the office of the Staten Island Advance, a local newspaper, that covers all Staten Island happenings. An article in the Advance claims Liedy’s is the oldest bar in Staten Island. Michele and Elura decide they need to visit a historian at the Staten Island Museum, which has archives of resources that date back to the 1600’s, to help them make a definitive decision. The joking doesn’t stop as Elura and Michele don white gloves to touch the documents handed to them and Michele adds they will protect the manicure she just got. The historian shows them a map dated 1859 where is clearly shows the existence of Killmeyer’s. Elura is distracted by Michele’s “Mickey Mouse hands.” It turns out that Liedy’s has only been established since 1905. Michele and Elura have made their decision, and they meet again with Larry and Ken. They lay out the facts: Liedy’s has been established and in Larry’s family since 1905, while Killmeyer’s was established in 1859. Michele wants to know why Larry thinks his bar is older? He says it has the longest running liquor license. Elura tells them what the historian has to say. Kenny owns a piece of history, but Larry is the history. However, Michele announces Killmeyer’s is the oldest bar in Staten Island.  A somewhat shocked and disappointed Larry still isn’t buying it even if 1859 does come before 1905. The legal team suggests creating a historic society of Staten Island taverns to help all their businesses. The two guys are happy.

Episode 6: “Disturbing The Peace”

A loud singer, Angelica, disturbs the peace of her neighbor, Rudy, an engineer who likes to work in his yard which is in close proximity to her bedroom window. Angelica practices three to five hours every day. Side issue has Michele buying a birthday gift for Elura and settles on a bracelet with a toggle clasp, because Elura loves toggle clasps. A little family celebration takes place at a local restaurant.

Rudy is pretty serious about this dispute and is threatening to sue Angelica if they cannot resolve the noise issue. Each of the ladies meets with the clients separately. Michele meets with Rudy and Elura with Angelica. Rudy says the singing is a constant annoyance when he tries to work in his yard and he can’t concentrate. Angelica needs to practice at home, in her bedroom, she can’t afford a studio. Rudy wants to be able to enjoy all of his property and not be forced to work indoors. He is ready to sue, he can‘t go on like this. Elura tells Angelica that even though the  law ordinance doesn’t prohibit noise between 8 and 11, Elura explains that there is a civil matter involved and she could be sued because she is interfering with Rudy’s right to enjoy his property. They make Angelica sing to assess the situation. Michele is outside with Rudy and can definitely hear the problem loud and clear. Michele decides to measure the decibels of Angelica’s voice, which registers at 98, in the same range as a jackhammer or a train, which is surprisingly loud. Time to sit down with both Rudy and Angelica and hammer out a solution. Michele and Elura have a bite to eat while they think. They need pizza to nourish their brain cells. It works! Michele gets a brilliant idea. She thinks they should used Rudy’s profession as an engineer to help solve the problem. Maybe he can sound proof Angelica’s bedroom and they can split the cost, which is not very expensive. They present their solution to Angelica and Rudy. Both of them are pretty agreeable and are happy with the outcome, neither of them wants a lawsuit. Michele and Elura have done it again!

I have to say I am much happy with the changes made and the focus being mainly on Elura and Michele. These two are so refreshing. Just to show you how irresistible they are, my daughter, who would never have put this show on to watch, actually put down her laptop and watched it with me! She never does that, ever. I can’t tell you how many laughs I have per episode and all the while I am learning about every day law. Why wouldn’t anyone watch this show? I can’t even do it justice in a recap because both ladies have such big personalities, you just have to see them in action.

Tune in to OWN next Friday night at10 PM and watch two more new episodes of Staten Island Law! You can probably catch earlier episodes on OWN and their website! Follow Elura and Michele on Twitter because you never know when you might need a little creative mediation in your life (@EluraNanos & @MicheleSileo)

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