In a (so far) spectacular season, the court scenes in this episode really stood out as inept and mishandled.
Jean Loring is the worst
lawyer I have ever seen on a television program. She objected once when Thea took the stand and was overruled. After that, she didn't bother to object again -- even when Laurel was just blasting her client with allegation after allegation and not even bothering to pretend to be cross-examining Moira.
Every time they cut to Jean at the defendant's table, she was just watching blankly as her client and their defense strategy was being ripped apart or she was jotting notes on a legal pad (probably devising elaborate murder schemes to reunite her with her ex-husband).
After the verdict was announced and Ollie reacted by doubting its authenticity, I expected him to say, "Innocent? But Jean Loring was her attorney..." At least the verdict was explained away as being the result of Merlyn's tampering and not the result of Jean Loring's terrible skills or the jury being swayed by Moira's stiff and unsympathetic testimony.
Bungled defense aside, the decision by District Attorney Manhunter to make Laurel the lead counsel in such a high-profile case against the mother of her ex-boyfriend and current BFF makes zero sense. Clearly this was done for dramatic reasons, but it remains preposterous on several levels.
However: whenever the show exited the courthouse, Arrow returned to being the cool show that I've greatly enjoyed this past season. The prison breakout and Doll-Maker cameo were excellent and -- though I hated the killer GA of last season -- the arrows into the chest of Vertigo weren't unwarranted or indiscriminate. In this situation, I feel he was justified to use lethal means. My hope is that this action has consequences in future episodes and not just shrugged off by the character or his writers.