<321 - Infected

Written by: David E. Kelley
Directed by: Dylan McDermott

-------------------- Disclaimer --------------------

I do not own the characters in this story, nor do I own any rights to the television show 'The Practice'. They were created by David E. Kelley and belong to him and David E. Kelley Productions.

This is not a novelisation or a script. It is a straightforward and dry transcript of the episode 'Infected'. It also includes descriptions of the settings and camera movements where I felt they were needed. I am not making any money or any other benefit off this, it is purely for fun.

I made every effort to accurately transcribe the dialogue from this episode. If you notice anything that has been transcribed incorrectly, please email me, and I will post an update.

This transcript was written by Ryana.

-------------------- Prologue --------------------

A prison. Ellenor is talking to Gary Armbrust through the screen.

Ellenor: Basically felony murder. If in the commission of a felony murder happens, they can get you for murder even if it's accidental. Intent doesn't matter.

Gary: W-what was my felony?

Ellenor: Your attack on your father. The DA's calling it aggravated, which brings it up to felony. Which means she can push through with felony murder. It's completely bogus, Gary. She is punishing you for refusing to testify against your dad.

Gary: Well, can this stick?

Ellenor: I'm bringing a motion to have it kicked and I hope the judge -

Gary: (accusingly) Why didn't you tell me they could do this?

Ellenor: It's an outrageous charge. She is angry -

Gary: (still accusingly) You told me that I was facing perjury, Ellenor. That's what you said. And now I'm going up on murder. Why didn't you tell me?!

Ellenor: I'm gonna take care of it. She knows you didn't commit the crime; it is completely punitive. I am going to take care of it.

A car park.

Helen: Forget it.

Ellenor: Come on, Helen. You know -

Helen: Your kid made a choice, Ellenor.

Ellenor: My kid? I took him at your request to advise him against perjury. You never threw out the possibility of felony murder.

Helen: Because I hadn't thought of it then.

Ellenor: This is prosecutorial misconduct and you know it!

Helen: Ellenor, bring your motion. I'm not letting him go!

Ellenor: Listen to you. Listen to the sound of your voice. You've lost your way.

Helen: Somebody was murdered. Somebody's gonna pay for it. That's my way.

-------------------- Opening Credits --------------------

The office.

Ellenor: You know she's crazy.

Lindsay: She's not crazy. She's just a little (she hesitates for a second) motivated.

Jimmy: So, we're continuing on with the kid?

Ellenor: Well, I guess I'm still his lawyer. This is a nightmare!

Lucy: (punching a button on the phone) Anybody want an attempted murder? I got Sybil Boyle from the PD's office. They got a guy who'd fired six lawyers. Trial starts tomorrow. They're looking to lujack.

Ellenor: Tell them thanks but no thanks.

Rebecca: (rising) I'll do it. (they all look at her) Attempted murder beats paperwork.

Lindsay: (teasingly) You know, Rebecca, when you were office administrator you'd kick and scream at all the pro bono stuff. Now that you're a lawyer…

Rebecca: (pointedly) Like you all say, it's good experience.

Lucy: Well, I got her on hold here.

Rebecca: Tell her I'll do it.

Lucy: Yeah.

She punches the button on the phone again.

A courtroom

Mr. Minor: She was convinced she'd look better with higher cheekbones. I thought it ridiculous, but -

Bobby: But your wife wanted it.

Minor: Yes. So she went in to get implants, they told us it would be pretty routine.

Bobby: They being?

Minor: Dr Leach and the others at the hospital. She went in on a Monday, had the surgery on Tuesday and came home that day.

Bobby: And everything seemed okay?

Minor: Well, she was swollen and in some pain, but they gave her medication. Everything seemed okay until Wednesday night.

Bobby: What happened then, sir?

Minor: She complained about having a fever and then, suddenly, just blacks out. I called 911 and the paramedics came. They, uh, they said she had no pulse. They brought out those… shock paddle things and started jolting her. And then they stopped. She was gone.

Bobby: Did Dr Leach offer any explanation?

Minor: He said she got a little infection.

Bobby: From the operation?

Minor: He didn't know. He said she could've gotten it at the hospital or she could've gotten it at home… He said these things happen, sometimes.

Bobby: But you believe Dr Leach did something wrong.

Minor: Yes.

Bobby: Why, Mr. Minor?

Minor: The way he told me. The way he cut our conversations short ever since. The way he wouldn't talk anymore. (there's a pause) He did something wrong.

The prison. Rebecca enters.

Rebecca: Mr. Little? My name is Rebecca Washington; I'm your new lawyer. (he doesn't respond) I understand you've had some difficulty with your six previous lawyers. Anything in particular they got wrong? I'd like to get a head start.

Byron Little: I didn't like 'em.

Rebecca: Okay. Well, uh, since your trial starts tomorrow I need to get up to speed. So, according to the officers you fired a revolver at them. (she waits for a second. He doesn't answer) Did that happen?

Little: No.

Rebecca: Okay, two officers are testifying it did. Do we have anybody on your side to say that it didn't?

Little: No.

Rebecca: Okay.

Another courtroom.

Ellenor: This charge is clearly punitive. The district attorney has no good faith belief that defendant is guilty of felony murder.

Helen: Defense counsel has no foundation to evaluate my good faith -

Ellenor: She was prosecuting the father for murder.

Helen: The defendant admitted to attacking his father causing the gun to go off.

Ellenor: But you don't believe that, Helen and you know the jury won't either.

Helen: (at the same time) Again, you're a mind reader!

Ellenor: No. I have ears. You stood in front of the jury and you said that Gary Armbrust was making this whole thing up to spare his father a life sentence.

Judge Hollings: Counsel, these are questions of fact. The boy stated under oath that he assaulted his father, that's enough for me to hold him.

Ellenor: Even assuming that to be true, felony murder still doesn't apply. That law was designed for robberies or kidnappings, rapes… Felonies for which it is foreseeable that a murder could result.

Helen: You charge a man with a gun it's foreseeable it could go off.

Ellenor: I would also remind the court of the Merger Doctrine. The felony act has to be independent of the killing for a felony murder to apply. Here it was the alleged felony itself that caused the death -

Helen: Massachusetts has never recognized the Merger Doctrine.

Ellenor: Can I finish?

Hollings: Actually, you have. I'm denying the motion to dismiss. The charges stand. The defendant will be held without bail, we can conference (quick pause as he checks his calendar) Wednesday to set a trial date.

Ellenor: This is a railroad!

Hollings: Excuse me?

Ellenor: This boy is being charged with a crime we all know he didn't commit.

Hollings: Well, next time he should think better of confessing. Next case.

-------------------- Commercial --------------------

A courtroom.

Doctor Reynolds: She had gone into septic shock. That led to full cardiac arrest which was ultimately the cause of death.

Eugene: And, doctor, do you have an opinion as to what caused Mrs. Minor to go into septic shock?

Reynolds: The blood tests show a massive infection caused by streptococcus bacteria. This would explain why her fever spiked.

Eugene: And, doctor, do you have an opinion as to how Mrs. Minor became exposed to this bacteria?

Reynolds: It had to happen during her cheekbone implant operation. The likelihood is there was some contamination in the operating room.

Mr Walton (Opposing Counsel): You can establish that for a fact?

Reynolds: Well, we can't say it to a medical certainty, but since all other explanations have been eliminated…

Walton: No autopsy was done on the patient, was there, doctor?

Reynolds: No, and there should have been -

Walton: Well, without an autopsy we can never really know for sure what killed Mrs. Minor, can we?

Reynolds: When a postoperative patient goes into septic shock within 48 hours of the operation we know -

Walton: Move to strike, non-responsive. Move to strike!

Judge: Overruled.

Reynolds: People should not die from cosmetic surgery.

Walton: Did you ever examine Mrs. Minor, Dr. Reynolds?

Reynolds: No.

Walton: Did you ever meet her?

Reynolds: No

Walton: Ever see her body after the death?

Reynolds: No, but that has -

Walton: You answered the question, sir. Are you being paid for today's testimony?

Bobby: Objection.

Judge: Overruled.

Walton: Are you being paid, sir?

Reynolds: Yes.

Walton: How much?

Reynolds: Seventy-five hundred dollars

Walton: How many court cases do you testify in per year?

Bobby: Objection, this is completely irrelevant.

Judge: I'll allow it.

Walton: How many, sir?

Reynolds: I have no idea.

Walton: More than 50?

Reynolds: Probably.

Walton: In fact, that's what you do, isn't it? You're a hired gun who goes from courthouse to courthouse. You're on every plaintiff attorney's list, aren't you?

Bobby and Eugene: Objection!

Judge: Sustained.

Walton: You have no evidence that my client did anything negligent, do you, sir?

Reynolds: When one of his patients dies -

Walton: Please answer the question. I'm not asking for any assumptions. You cannot point to any specific incidence of negligence in respect to Dr. Leach, can you?

Reynolds: No, I wasn't in the room.

Walton: Thank you, doctor.

A prison conference room

Little: I was going to visit a friend.

Rebecca: At 3 o'clock in the morning?

Little: Yeah.

Rebecca: And then?

Little: I heard shots, I ran, they grabbed me. What, that's not in there? Those other 6 lawyers didn't take notes?

Rebecca: The police said -

Little: I know what they said! It didn't happen.

Rebecca: Okay. The friend you went to see. You never saw him?

Little: I had the wrong address.

Rebecca: Okay. Can you tell me anything else?

Little: Nope.

Rebecca: Okay. (slight pause as she writes something) I want you to think about something. That building was dark. The police were shooting. Self-defence is a possible option.

Little: I said I didn't do it. Are you deaf? (shouting) ARE YOU DEAF?

Rebecca: (calmly and quietly but clearly shaken) No, I'm not deaf. (there's a pause) Please don't scream at me. Given your, ah, felony record my plan is not to have you testify. If you take the stand all your priors can come into evidence, so for now I don't plan to put you in the witness chair.

-------------------- Commercial --------------------

Helen's office.

Mr Hunter (Mr Armbrust's attorney): Thank you for seeing me. I thought if we all got in a room… We can all agree that there has been a certain level of frustration at work here. (He, Gordon and Ellenor sit)

Helen: Why are you frustrated, Mr. Hunter? You got an acquittal for your client. (Helen sits)

Hunter: Yes. But if you proceed to try Gary for felony murder, that would obviously be pretty disturbing for Gordon. And who knows? He might even get up there and testify that he shot his wife of his own accord, no provocation from Gary.

Helen: In which case I go after him for perjury.

Hunter: This really is not about threats. I came in here to make an offer. Certainly if Gordon did give that testimony, implicating himself in a crime for which he has already been acquitted, then double jeopardy would mean…

Helen: (leaning forward) Get out

Hunter: Here is the offer. Gordon will accept a year on a perjury charge, I'm sure Miss. Frutt can convince Gary to accept a one year sentence also on perjury, and that means no one walks off free and the public and you can feel some sense of vindication.

Helen: (rising) How dare you come in and even suggest that?!

Ellenor: (appealingly) Helen…

Helen: (turning on her) And you…

Ellenor: (defensively) Look, I didn't know what he was going to say. Look he's the guy you want a year is better than nothing.

Helen: Your guy's getting life, Ellenor. Life! (turning to Gordon) As for you, I'll figure something out.

Armbrust: You're not going to figure anything.

Helen: Get out, Mr. Hunter!

Mr. Hunter: I am making an offer -

Helen: I said get out! (she walks to the door and holds it open)

Armbrust and Hunter get up and leave.

Ellenor: Can I talk to you outside this case for a second?

Helen: No.

Ellenor: You could destroy yourself with this. Don't let that happen.

Helen: Ellenor, please leave.

Ellenor leaves.

A courtroom.

Mrs. Henderson: There was some kind of panic.

Eugene: By panic you mean?

Henderson: Dr. Leach came rushing in, it was about 20 minutes after the call that Mrs. Minor was dead. He huddled up with Dr. Morganson, chief of staff.

Eugene: Did you hear what was being said?

Walton: Objection, hearsay.

Eugene: Excited utterance.

Judge: I'll allow it.

Eugene: What did you hear, Mrs. Henderson?

Henderson: Well, Dr. Morganson was already upset over another patient who died. It's not like him to become animated but he was here. He was demanding lists of surgical teams and he wanted an M & M conference that very night.

Eugene: What's an M & M conference?

Henderson: It's a mortality and morbidity conference. Doctors convene secretly to discuss the cause of death of patients. Often for unexplained deaths.

Eugene: Do you know the results of this meeting?

Henderson: No, the contents are secret. Nobody but the doctors ever finds out what goes on in there.

Eugene: Thank you.

Eugene sits.

Walton: Gee, You make it sound like big conspiracy. M & M conferences are routinely held in hospitals, aren't they, Mrs Henderson?

Henderson: Yes, But this was -

Walton: Thank you. And one of the reasons that they have these meeting is, among others, so that doctors can freely swap information to learn. Isn't that correct?

Henderson: Yes.

Walton: They have these meetings whether things go wrong or not.

Henderson: They seemed to have this one in a hurry.

Walton: Well, is it possible Dr. Leach was upset about the death and he wanted to find out quickly if something went wrong? Is that possible?

Henderson: Yes.

Walton: And here you are presenting a doctor's concern about his patient as something incriminating

Henderson: Doctors have two kinds of expressions. One is concern for the patients, the other is concern over liability. This seemed to be the latter.

Walton: So you based today's testimony on your ability to read an expression?

Henderson: I was there, Mr Walton. Something was wrong.

Walton: But you weren't in that operating room, were you, Mrs Henderson?

Mrs. Henderson: No, I wasn't.

Another courtroom.

Officer Gibson: We had driven into the middle of a gang shoot-out. We pursued several suspects on foot into an apartment complex. We entered into a lobby area and we became immediately under fire.

Mr Thompson (Opposing Counsel): Did you see who was firing at you?

Gibson: That man (points to Little)

Little begins hitting the table with his hand

Judge Phillip Swackheim: (warningly) Mr. Little. (banging his gavel)

Little: (standing and pointing at the police officer) Judge, this man is lying.

Swackheim: Your attorney will have opportunity to cross-examine. You will remain quiet. (Rebecca pulls Little down)

Thompson: What happened next, officer?

Gibson: We returned fire, at which point he dropped his gun and began to run for the stairwell. We entered the stairwell. We encountered him coming down. We told him to freeze. He took off up the stairs, we pursed him, caught him and placed him under arrest.

Little: (standing) I never had a gun.

Swackheim: Mr. Little.

Little: I never had a gun!

Swackheim: (banging gavel) Mr. Little!

Little: (loudly over Judge Swackheim's yelling) I wasn't even on that balcony. I was just coming downstairs.

Swackheim: All right bailiff, take him out now. Take him out! (the bailiff forcibly grabs Little. The jury look shocked and uncomfortable) People like you need to respect this room. This isn't the street in here. You don't get away with that. (Little is taken away struggling) Miss Washington, I'll see you in chambers. Mr Thompson, you too.

Swackheim's chambers

Swackheim: You've got yourself a problem, young lady.

Rebecca: Yes, your honour. And for the record, I don't think you handled that too deftly.

Swackheim: What should I have done? Asked him about his childhood? His mother, hmm? Okay, here's your problem. In addition to his general scumhood, his yelling in court, in my mind, is the equivalent of testimony. The DA is now free to cross-examine it.

Rebecca: Just hold on a second -

Swackheim: He yelled that he was not on the balcony and that the officer was lying. That's testimony, mmm-hmm.

Rebecca: But he wasn't under oath!

Swackheim: The jury heard him!

Rebecca: If you force him to take the stand all his priors can be admitted.

Swackheim: Well, isn't that tragic.

Thompson: Your honour, at this point I don't want to cross-examine. This case is pretty straight for us. The last thing I want to do is give them grounds for appeal. Are you forcing him to take the stand?

Swackheim: Well…. That's your call. But for the rest of the trial his hands are cuffed to the chair and his mouth is taped.

Rebecca: Your honour, that would be so prejudicial.

Swackheim: It's not up for debate! (Rebecca looks angry)

A courtroom

Dr. Leach: When I learned she had died I, of course, was devastated. In addition to being my patient, Mrs. Minor was an extraordinary person. We were all quite fond of her.

Walton: Dr. Leech, what happened?

Leach: I don't know. We'd been through the procedure over and over and over. Everything went according to plan, nothing indicated…

Walton: You've heard the suggestion that Mrs. Minor may have picked up this infection during the procedure.

Leach: The room was sterile, Mr. Walton. Whatever happened to Mrs. Minor, it didn't happen in that room.

Walton: Well, could she have gotten the infection elsewhere?

Leach: I don't know what happened after she left the hospital, what happened at her home. My dialogue with Mr. Minor stopped at that point, so… All I can tell you, whatever caused her to die - it didn't happen in that room. Sometimes, people die, Mr. Minor. And sometimes, there's no explanation as to why.

Minor: (rising) People don't just die.

Judge: Mr. Minor.

Minor: They don't just die.

Judge: Mr. Minor. (to Leach) Doctor, please don't address the plaintiff.

A room at the courthouse.

Rebecca: This judge isn't going to go for any of that stuff. You have to stay quiet. We're lucky the DA didn't take him up on his offer and put you in the chair to be crossed. Can you at least look at me? (Little moves only his eyes to look at her) If your prior felonies come out you can forget it. You have two assaults, one with a deadly weapon. That's all the jury needs to hear. Now, I'd like to take a shot with a plea. If we can get 8 years, I think we should take it.

Little: You're still deaf.

Rebecca: Byron I'm not saying you did it, but with the evidence...

Little: I didn't do it, you bitch! (he rises and knocks over the table, sending Rebecca to the floor) You stupid bitch! You just like the rest of em! But I bet you hear me now, huh?! I bet you hear me now! Come here! Come here! (Guards rush in and grab him, he struggles) Get off of me! Get off of me! (They throw him to the ground) Ahh, get off of me! (he continues to scream, as Rebecca sighs and puts a hand to her head)

Night. Helen and Lindsay's apartment.

Helen is seated on the couch, Lindsay enters, sees her, and walks over.

Lindsay: Hey.

Helen: Don't start.

Lindsay: I'm gonna start.

Helen: Lindsay…

Lindsay: Just listen first, okay? Then I'll shut up. You don't believe that kid had anything to do with the murder. You're punishing him because he screwed up the prosecution of the father, and in part you're punishing Ellenor for not convincing him to stick to the truth. You come from anger.

Helen: Don't tell me -

Lindsay: I will tell you, because I saw it. I know what happened to you when you lost that nun killer. And I could see what was happening when this case started to go south, and I see you now. And I know how this thing will play out. If you try him on felony murder he's going to stand up and tell the real truth, which will be consistent with his statement to the cops and his testimony at the prelim. You will never get past reasonable doubt and you'll be stuck going after him for perjury six months from now. Drop the felony murder. Let him cop to the perjury now. Then go to the gym and hit the heavy bag. It's the only thing you can really do. (pause) Helen?

Helen: I don't know if I can do this any more.

Lindsay: Do what?

Helen: This job.

Lindsay: Helen. This is just a couple of fluke cases. (pause) Are you okay?

Helen: Fine. I'm fine.

-------------------- Commercial --------------------

A courtroom.

Bobby: Why did you schedule an M & M conference the very night Mrs. Minor died?

Leach: Because, as I explained, her death upset me. I wanted to make sure we didn't cause it.

Bobby: Did you?

Leach: No.

Bobby: That was the conclusion reached in the M & M conference?

Walton: Objection. Those meetings are sealed. Counsel is trying to get the witness to waive the privilege -

Bobby: If it's no, it's no.

Walton: I object to the trick. He knows the meetings are secret. He is trying to exploit this secrecy to make us look like we are hiding something.

Bobby: What are you, a fortune teller now?

Judge: All right. Sustained. Mr. Donnell, continue.

Bobby: You wanted the meeting that night because you were urgent to find out what happened?

Leach: Yes.

Bobby: Did you recommend to Mr. Minor that you do an autopsy?

Leach: He didn't seem to want that.

Bobby: My question is, did you recommend it?

Leach: I don't think I did.

Bobby: In fact, didn't you say to Mr. Minor and his daughter "we can do an autopsy if you want, but it won't bring her back." Weren't those your very words?

Leach: I don't remember. But it's possible I said that.

Bobby: It sounds almost like you were discouraging an autopsy.

Leach: The blood work revealed she died of a bacterial infection.

Bobby: But you didn't know that at the time you discouraged the autopsy.

Leach: I didn't discourage it. I just didn't push for it.

Bobby: You didn't push for it. That doesn't go with this urgency to find out what happened. Was the urgency to conceal what happened?

Leach: No, that isn't what happened.

Bobby: Why was Dr Morganson so upset? Did he know Mrs. Minor?

Leach: He was upset because another patient had died. And this news on top of that…

Bobby: He knew something went wrong, didn't he?

Walton: Objection.

Bobby: Patients don't just die from cheek implants, do they, doctor?

Walton: Objection!

Bobby: Something went wrong!

Judge: Mr. Donnell.

Bobby: You say you want to know what happened, but you don't urge an autopsy, there's a late night secret meeting -

Walton: This exactly what I'm talking about.

Judge: Mr. Donnell, that's enough.

Bobby: Is it your testimony that you have no idea how she got this fatal infection?

Leach: That's my testimony.

The courthouse.

Helen: He pleads to perjury and we go right to sentencing today.

Ellenor: I'd want to be heard.

Helen: You can be heard, but -

Ellenor: Why rush it? We might as well -

Helen: We do it now, or there's no deal. (pause) It's just… I want this to be over. And you should want it to be over too. Because the longer I live with it, the angrier I ... There's an offer before you. Take it or not.

A prison. Ellenor is talking to Gary through the screen.

Gary: What would I get? For perjury?

Ellenor: It's discretionary, but I think I can make a pretty decent argument to the judge.

Gary: Do we have to decide today?

Ellenor: There is really no decision, Gary. If we don't plead to the perjury then the felony murder charge doesn't get dropped, and we can't risk that. They've got you dead to right on perjury anyway, so there's no real reason not to jump on this.

Gary: Then why do the sentencing today?

Ellenor: The DA wants to put this behind her and so do you. Now, there is a chance we can get you out of here, so let's just do it.

Gary: (after a pause) Okay.

A courtroom.

The camera pans up Little from foot to head. His hands and feet and chained to the chair, and his mouth is covered in electrical tape.

Officer Helms: I had fired several shots, at which point he dropped the gun and ran into the stairway.

Thompson: The defendant?

Helms: Yes. We then entered the stairway on the lobby floor and met him coming down. He started going back up but we caught him.

Rebecca: You say he started shooting at you as soon as you entered the lobby?

Helms: That's correct

Rebecca: And you immediately returned fire.

Helms: Yes.

Rebecca: At which point he dropped the gun and ran into the stairwell.

Helms: Yes.

Rebecca: Any prints on the gun?

Helms: None that were useable.

Rebecca: The look you got of him on the balcony that was 3, 4 seconds?

Helms: I suppose that's about right.

Rebecca: With a gun barrel pointed in your direction?

Helms: Yes.

Rebecca: And the stairway was behind him. Is that not right?

Helms: Yes.

Rebecca: So, he turned and ran with his back toward you?

Helms: I suppose.

Rebecca: You suppose. Did he back-pedal or did he turn and run?

Helms: He turned and ran

Rebecca: And how were the lights up there on the balcony?

Helms: We got a good look at him.

Rebecca: It was dark, wasn't it?

Helms: We saw his face.

Rebecca: You say we like you're speaking for Officer Gibson. Did you two go over your testimony?

Thompson: Objection!

Swackheim: Sustained.

Rebecca: You said in your statement there may have been others on the balcony, but it was too dark to tell. Was that your statement?

Helms: Yes, but we got a good look at him.

Little stands up and tries to protest, but is hindered by his chains and the tape over his mouth.

Swackheim: If you don't settle down, Mr. Little, I'll remove you. Don't think I won't have you hauled right out of here.

Everyone looks uncomfortable.

Cut to Bobby knocking on the door of a house

A man answers the door

Bobby: Mr Stanton? I'm Bobby Donnell. I called…

Mr Stanton doesn't look impressed.

Inside, at a table.

Bobby: Our information shows your daughter died on the same day, and there's been testimony that the chief of staff was very upset about it. I'm not entitled to see her medical records without your permission.

Mrs. Stanton: And what does Carol's death have to do with your case?

Bobby: Well, maybe nothing, but that's what I'd like to find out.

Stanton: I'd like you to please leave, sir.

Bobby: Mr. Stanton, a woman died here. I'm just -

Stanton: A woman died. That's why you're here? You're concerned about a woman's death. My daughter died, Mr. Donnell. We're finally at a point where our lives have resumed, and you happily come along to dig it all up again. Because of your deep concern.

Mrs. Stanton: Darryl.

Stanton: No, he's here about money! You think twice about whether we'd want this kind of visit? Our daughter was 19.

Bobby: I'm just trying to represent some people with a claim against a hospital…

Stanton spits in Bobby's face, then gets up and walks away. Bobby reels back in shock, Mrs Stanton gasps.

Mrs. Stanton: Oh, I'm so sorry. (she hands Bobby a dish towel) Carol's death was devastating. She was an only child and, the idea of reliving her death… He always… It was just so…

Bobby: How did she die?

Mrs. Stanton: (bitterly) She went in for minor surgery and got some post op. infection.

-------------------- Commercial --------------------

Bobby driving, and talking on a cell phone.

Bobby: I want to find out how many people died in that hospital a week before and a week after. Get the names - just listen, Lucy. Get the names and have Jimmy, Lindsay and Eugene contact the families and find out how they died. And this has to be done now.

The courthouse.

Thompson: Rebecca. (Sits down next to Rebecca on a bench) We may have a little bump here.

Rebecca: What do you mean, bump?

Thompson: There was an internal police investigation regarding the shooting. I just found out about it, I promise you. Here's the report.

Rebecca: The shooting surrounding this arrest?

Thompson: Yes, Officer Helms evidently once claimed he wounded the suspect on the balcony. Now, he's since backed off it, but blood was found on the balcony. The sample was lost

Rebecca: Excuse me, lost?

Thompson: I don't know what to say. If you want to move for a mistrial, I won't oppose.

Swackheim 's chambers

Swackheim: We're not having any mistrial.

Rebecca: What?!

Swackheim: We're late into it, I don't -

Rebecca: If the man on the balcony was wounded then that clears Byron Little.

Swackheim: The officer said he was wrong about wounding him.

Rebecca: Oh, come on.

Swackheim: You expect me to throw out an entire trial because -

Rebecca: First of all the state has a duty to turn over all exculpatory evidence, I'm just getting this report now.

Swackheim: He just got it.

Rebecca: Second, this is material. This completely affects how I would have cross-examined Officer Helms.

Swackheim: You can recall him.

Rebecca: And they say they lost the blood sample. I need time to investigate.

Swackheim: Look, counsel, they caught your man running down the stairway.

Rebecca: But he's been saying he wasn't the man on the balcony and that blood may prove it.

Swackheim: How? The officer claims he did not wound the suspect. That means the blood is irrelevant. I'm not throwing out this trial.

Rebecca: You can't be serious.

Swackheim: Look, young lady, you might be used to your clients being freed on stunts and technicalities, but not in my court.

Rebecca: They withheld material evidence.

Swackheim: The trial goes on. You can recall the officer and re-cross him. That's all.

A courtroom

Ellenor: Did he lie under oath? Yes. Are there mitigating circumstances? Of course there are. His mother was murdered. He was turned into the star witness against his father. A father who he had an estranged relationship with. A father who, as you can see by the psychiatric reports, Gary lived for his approval and rarely got it. Here he is. A kid with a drug history, emotionally unstable, being asked to put his dad away for life. He couldn't do it. He couldn't do it. The law insulates us from having to testify against a spouse. Well, a son's connection with a father can be just as powerful. Gary Armbrust isn't a bad kid your honour, we all know that. He just couldn't go through with sending his dad to prison.

Helen: Yes. The law does protect spouses from giving testimony against each other but there is no such immunity when it comes to father and son, and they don't get to just make up a law because in there minds the love is just as powerful. What's at stake here is the integrity of this process. He committed perjury, he lied under oath and if we tolerate it we have to consider the worst-case scenario, the day may come where witnesses lie to help free premeditated murderers. This case, this case is the worst-case scenario a murderer is walking free because the defendant committed perjury. Your honour, you and I… you and I walk in to this courtroom every day without clients. In essence, we work for the room. What he did to this room… And technicalities and fourth amendments… He killed her and stuffed her in a closet. He killed a nun! He…

She breaks off. Everyone looks shocked.

Ellenor: Helen

Helen: I'm sorry. He, he lied. We work for the room, your honour, we work for the room.

She walks back to her table with Ellenor's worried glance following her.

-------------------- Commercial --------------------

Another courtroom.

Helms: I did say once that I thought I wounded him, but I was wrong

Rebecca: And what suddenly convinced you you were wrong?

Helms: When we caught him he wasn't wounded so obviously, I was wrong.

Rebecca: Or maybe the man you shot at, the man shooting at you, was not the same man you chased in the stairwell?

Helms: No, it was him. I saw his face.

Rebecca: And what about the blood that was found?

Helms: That was old dried blood.

Rebecca: In this report -

Helms: I first thought it was fresh because in my excitement I thought I wounded him, but it was old dried blood that had been there.

Rebecca: And did you test this blood to determine -

Thompson: Objection. Relevance.

Swackheim: Sustained

Rebecca: Your honour,

Swackheim: The jury will disregard any mention of blood. It has no relevance whatsoever! Counsel, step up.

Rebecca: Those blood samples could exonerate my client. He can't know it's old blood and the fact that those samples were somehow lost…

Swackheim: There will be no mention of blood, it's not relevant and if you mention the police losing it you but yourself a jail cell.

Rebecca: I am just trying…

Swackheim: This trial will not be prevented by sleazy defence lawyering. I've had about enough of you already, damn it!

Helen's office

Lindsay: You need to take some time off.

Helen: Yeah. I'm not losing my mind, Lindsay, I….

Lindsay: You just mixed up defendants. You called the perjurer a nun killer, Helen. I'm worried about you. You've had this look in your eye lately and your voice… Will they give you some time off?

Helen: I think so. It's just not fair anymore.

Lindsay: What's not fair? Tell me what's not fair.

Helen: (plaintively) My sister has a radio.

Lindsay: (confused) Your sister has a radio?

Helen: She has a nice job at an insurance company. She gets to sit at a desk, and she plays her radio. She can hear music during the day. Just once I'd like to turn up the radio in that room…and sing the bad days away. Sing away.

Lindsay: If I have to take you on vacation myself, I will. You definitely need some time off.

The conference room.

Bobby: Four patients in three days, all routine surgeries, all dead from streptococcus sepsis. Your hospital had a bacteria.

Leach: Four cases does not constitute an outbreak.

Bobby: All the same strain? In three days and you don't tell him? He asked what happened you just leave that out?

Leach: The other patients have privacy rights, I just can't reveal their case histories.

Bobby: Is that what your going to say when I recall you? Seven million dollars today or I notify the health marshal.

Walton: That kind of threat could get you a trip to the overseer.

Bobby: I'll risk it. I'm tempted to call the district attorney. This borders on corporate murder. You had a lethal strain of bacteria killing patients and you sat on it! The health marshal might close your doors to investigate it. At 300,000 a day, that'll run you two to three million and that's just in actuals. The long term damage could be worse, that's probably why you concealed the outbreak in the first place. You were afraid the health marshal would move in. You'll pay the seven today and be grateful and I don't care how you split your policies.

Walton: You still haven't discovered negligence as to her cause of death.

Bobby: I can establish a cover up and that's all I need and we all know it.

Minor: I asked you what happened and you looked me in the eye and say, "I don't know". You looked me right in the eye.

Leach: Because of him, Arnold. We get sued for everything because of lawyers like him. Every patient that comes through the door we have to look at as a potential plaintiff. There was nothing I could say after that could bring her back.

Bobby: So, why even volunteer the truth?

Leach: Yes, sometimes we lie, Mr. Donnell.

Walton: Nelson,

Leach: I'm talking in general, lawsuits have driven the truth under ground, Mr. Donnell.

Bobby: Well, this one dug it up, didn't it?

Walton: I'll have to discuss all this with the board before I get back to you.

Bobby: You're authorized to settle.

Walton: Not at that amount.

Bobby: Well, then, go talk to them.

Walton and Leach leave.

Minor: I thought he was a good man.

Eugene: He probably is. That's what's so sad about it.

A courtroom

Rebecca: How did it happen that we can't trust the police? I mean, this is an institution that is supposed to protect us. I don't doubt these officers think the guy is Byron Little. They tackled him in the stairwell after they saw the man on the balcony run into the stairwell. It's completely reasonable to believe it must be the same guy. Hey, I did. I mean one look at him, he looks like your typical urban criminal. He acts violent and we all know our honourable your honour thinks he's the guy too. But mistakes and cover-ups, those are two very different things. One of the officers said he wounded the suspect, blood was even found on the balcony, though it's been deemed irrelevant for the sake of this trial, but when they examined Mr. Little back at the police station they found no wound, and suddenly the officer amends his account and says he must have missed. And they march into this court and positively identify him as the shooter. They see him 30 feet above on a darkened balcony for three seconds tops, all the while being shot at and yet, they're positive. Not it looked like him, not it was probably him, definitely him. How could that be? And why start hiding internal reports from the defence lawyers? Why forget to mention the blood? Why come in with all this absolute, positive eyewitness accounts? Why forget to tell us 'oh yeah, one of our officers who was so positive wasn't so positive before he changed his mind'. Why not just be up front with what you got? Why? Because without all that absolute positive stuff, they lose him, they lose the guy they think did it. And let's be fair, they lose so many, and I know it turns stomachs. It's turned our honourable your honour's stomach so, he thinks nothing now of taping criminal defendant mouths' shut, of handcuffing them, making them look guilty. Hey, it's his court, he's old, he's probably had enough and he doesn't care. But the thing about juries, it tends to be their one and only time serving this process. So, they tend to take it seriously, and not just rush through with a bunch of assumptions. And therein lies Byron Little's only hope. Not with the police, not with our honourable your honour, it's with you. You have two choices here. You can hold up the oath you took at the beginning of all this, or not. Maybe guys like this, we're not supposed to care.

Rebecca sits.

Thompson: Two eyewitnesses saw him shoot the gun, saw him run into the stairwell. They pursued him into the stairwell and caught him. Sometimes we just want things to be all juicy and complicated when they're not.

Thompson sits down

A courtroom.

Hollings: I am mindful of how difficult it must be to be faced with testifying against one's own father, especially when that testimony could result in life imprisonment. But I am also mindful of the courts' need to assure the integrity of this criminal justice process. Perjury is to be taken very, very seriously. I know you know this. I know you were apprised of the risks. Nevertheless, you chose to assume those risks. In fact, given these warnings, your commission of perjury was particularly knowing. I sentence you to 20 years, at [something something] {I couldn't pick it up}. The sentence is to begin immediately. Bailiff. We're adjourned.

Ellenor: (to Gary) We'll appeal.

Gary: (as the bailiff takes him away) Ellenor,

Ellenor: Gary, I want you to hang in there. We're going to appeal. We're going to appeal.

Ellenor looks desperate. Gordon sits down, stunned. Helen's face is expressionless as she stares straight ahead. We see Lindsay in the gallery looking at her worriedly, but Helen doesn't move.

Donnell, Young, Dole and Frutt

Eugene: How'd it go?

Ellenor: Not good

Ellenor goes to conference room and Eugene follows her.

Eugene: Tell me.

Ellenor: He's just a kid. He got afraid at the last second. He didn't want to hurt his dad.

Eugene: What'd he get?

Ellenor: Maximum. 20 years. God, Eugene, what have I done?

Eugene: Hey, this isn't on you, Ellenor

Ellenor: If I would've come down on him harder, if I would have just anticipated a felony murder…

Eugene: This isn't on you.

Ellenor: He's going away for 20 years.

A courtroom

Swackheim: Will the defendant please rise? Has the jury reached a unanimous verdict?

Foreperson: We have, your honour.

Swackheim: What say you?

Foreperson: On the matter of the Commonwealth vs. Byron Little, on the charge of attempted murder, we find the defendant not guilty.

Swackheim: Unlock him, let him go. Jury's free, we're adjourned.

Little walks away

Rebecca: You're welcome.

The camera pulls back, showing Rebecca sitting in the courtroom as everyone leaves.

-------------------- End --------------------

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