As a company and later as Lockhart/Gardner’s largest legal client, search engine ChumHum features prominently in multiple episodes in the series, starting with legal maneuvering by then client Sleuthway.com to get them to leave China, then on individual cases including the political and moral ramifications of handing over IP addresses to foreign governments and adjusting search results of competitors. Although the company and search page is shown in most of the episodes it’s mentioned in, the full domain name ChumHum.com is only displayed in the episodes below.
In Two Girls, One Code [S04E03], Lockhart/Gardner goes up against Internet search giant ChumHum once more in court as they represent the owners of Margarita Motions – a voice recognition software company whose search listing results ‘mysteriously’ dropped over 20 pages the same week they decline to purchase ad space from ChumHum. Although they later discover that it was due to ChumHum purchasing their competitor Wicked Savage Designs, ChumHum’s owner Neil Gross triumphs over the firm by offering the owners of Margarita Motions a position at Wicked Savage, leading them to drop the lawsuit.
At the end of the episode, Will decides to ‘ChumHum’ himself, and had a wry smile as the search engine asks if he was searching for ‘Will Gardner Disbarred lawyer’. As mentioned above, although ChumHum the company had been featured in several episodes and glimpses of the website have appeared, this episode contains the first appearance of the full domain ChumHum.com.
In Hitting the Fan [S05E05], the 4th year firm associates and other employees are still plotting to leave to set up their own firm when Diane Lockhart discovers Alicia’s pending departure. From there the race is on to take what they can for their new firm as well as any clients they can poach.
Both groups in particular go after the biggest client of them all, ChumHum. Getting past a duel restraining order impasse, Lockhart/Gardner originally convince the head of ChumHum Neil Gross to stay with them, until Alicia’s husband as the new governor of Illinois intercedes with musings on the nature of the state’s internet taxation laws. After his speech is posted on various news sites including ChumHum.com, Neil Gross sees the error of his ways and decides to go with the newly formed Florrick/Agros.
In Discovery [S07E09], the ChumHum corporation comes under fire once more when their Chummy Maps feature is accused of unfairly marking certain neighborhoods as “unsafe”, resulting in a dramatic loss of business for a minority owned restaurant in one of the marked areas. A lawyer representing the restaurant owner goes to Lockhart, Agos & Lee based on their previous experience, with the firm of Canning & Meyers (joined by Alicia and Lucca) representing ChumHum.
The case eventually expands beyond street mapping to cover all of ChumHum’s services including chummail (email), chummypix (photos), and chumhum search; the episode is a good discussion on the effects of race on online services when the diversity of the users and developers don’t reflect the larger population.
Real Life Use:
Although ChumHum.com was registered by the show a couple of months prior to the first mention of the company, there is no indication that it was used to point to a website. This information may change in the future, current records on the domain can be found via the links in the Reference section below.
- [WHOIS Records for ChumHum.com]
- [Google Safety Check for ChumHum.com]
- [Archive.org screen capture of ChumHum.com]
*** Thanks to reader AJ for sending us this domain! If you know of any domains/URLs that should be added, please let us know via our Post Suggestions form!