Law & Order (1990–2010): Season 1, Episode 1 - Law & Order - full transcript

Detectives Max Greevy and Mike Logan investigate the death of teenager Suzanne Morton in a hospital emergency room after her father files a complaint saying she was murdered there. She had gone to the hospital to have her prescription for antibiotics refilled and was dead a few hours later. All of the doctor's in the case are tight-lipped about what happened but when the detectives find that part of the girl's chart was erased with white-out, they come to believe that someone is covering up. Their investigation leads them to the hospital's Chief of Medicine, Dr. Edward Auster, an eminent cardiologist who had been drinking heavily at a reception just before going into the ER. The challenge for Executive ADA Stone is to mount a case against someone with his sterling reputation and prove that he has a problem with alcohol.

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Narrator: In the criminal justice
system, the people are represented

by two separate yet
equally important groups...

The police who investigate crime

and the district attorneys
who prosecute the offenders.

These are their stories.

(woman crying, chattering)

(arguing)

H-o-r-t-o-n, that's the guy
you should've brought in here.

Miss, I've been here 40 minutes.

I just need to
know where she is.

I told you before, sir,



I have to check with
admitting. It's ridiculous.

Nurse: Get a doctor, stat!

Man: We need some
help in here, please! Now!

She's turning blue.
She can't breathe!

Get the ambu bag.

No pulse. Call a code!

Come on, let's go, move!

I need a line in!

Get the defibrillator.

You knew that wasn't right.

You can't go in there, sir.

Call the guard. Sir!

No pulse. Give her Epi IV.

No response. Get me adrenaline.



Excuse us, please.
Please wait outside.

We're doing everything
we can. What's going on?

Excuse us... Please,
that's my daughter.

You can't come in here...
Don't even try. What's going on?

The last blood gases.

Let's call it.

23:17.

Oh, my God. What
the hell happened?

Your daughter
had cardiac arrest.

Resuscitate her, defib her!

Please, please! Your
daughter is dead.

Where are you
going? I don't get this.

She only had a sore throat.
This is insane! Some help please!

Come on, pal, let's go. No,
guys, she only had a sore throat!

She didn't even have a fever!

She only came in
for a prescription.

I don't understand, guys.

(theme music playing)

Where was she murdered? I
told you, Urban Medical Center.

I'm sorry, Mr. Morton,
I'm a little confused.

Your daughter was
killed at the hospital?

Yeah, in the emergency room. I
want to swear out a murder complaint

against the resident
in charge of it.

This resident was treating her?

No, killing her.

But she was at the
hospital for treatment?

Yeah, a sore
throat. Muscle aches.

She only went in
to get a prescription

for some antibiotics.

Sometimes people are a
lot sicker than they look.

Listen to me. I was
a medic in Vietnam.

I know who's
dying and who isn't.

My daughter was not that sick.

Somebody in that emergency
room did something that killed her.

Who's he want to
bring charges against?

The resident in charge
of the emergency room.

Oh, come on, Max.

People die in hospital
emergency rooms

every hour of every day.

That may indeed be
tragic, but it is not criminal.

Unless somebody
was criminally negligent.

How the hell would
Mr. Morton know

if that had happened?

He was a medic in Vietnam.

He says she wasn't
sick enough to die.

He was very convincing.

I'm not saying no.

I just had my first
day off in two weeks.

There is a world out there.

Logan: You're the intern
who treated a young girl

named Suzanne Morton?

Yeah, she's the last patient
I admitted before I took off.

Bronchitis.

She dramatized
her symptoms a bit.

So I ordered a chest x-ray

and put her aside to
wait for a bed. Why?

Right now we're doing a
routine investigation of her death.

Death?

What, she died?

You sound surprised.

Don't people croak
here every day?

She wasn't that sick.

You don't die from bronchitis.

Suzanne Morton.

She had pneumonia.

The sputum examination and
blood culture were indicative.

We discussed it during rounds.

Pneumonia, huh?

A lot of people die
of that these days?

When it's complicated by
chemical pneumonitis, sometimes.

Patient was feverish
and fell unconscious.

She must have aspirated some
of the contents of her stomach.

Stomach acid and
lungs do not mix well.

This can happen fast?

Yes, it can. Excuse me.

Hmm. Busy woman.

Yeah, so busy she can't
even make eye contact.

Suzanne Morton.

Yes, if you see Mr. Morton,

please extend my condolences.

Dr. Raza, were you on
rounds when they reached her?

Yes, yes, that is right.

I came right away.

Why? I didn't think
she was that sick.

We hear bronchitis,
maybe pneumonia.

No, no, no. She was very sick.

She should've been in
the intensive care unit.

Unfortunately
there were no beds.

In my country, we accept death.

But here, you're
expected to live forever.

You ever hold a human
heart in your hands?

Only mine.

What year are you in? Third.

We go hands on.

Did you ever lay your
hands on Suzanne Morton?

The pneumonia, yeah.

I spent 40 minutes
trying to find an orderly

to take her to intensive care.

On the way back,

I passed a gunshot
wound through the neck

with a six-inch exit. You
ever see one of those?

Yeah, well, they're
not so exciting

when you run into
one in a crack house.

Max: Tell me some more.

This guy in the emergency room,

must've been his
daughter who was sick.

He was going nuts yelling why didn't
they do this, why didn't they do that?

Sounded like he
knew his way around.

Around the hospital?

Around sick people.

Those doctors?
Something wasn't right,

the way they looked.

What, worried? Excited?

Embarrassed.

Embarrassed.

Does this make
sense to you, Max?

Sure. She had bronchitis,
she had pneumonia.

She was fine when she got here,
she was dying when she got here.

God-like pronouncements

sound like normal
medical procedure to me.

So Max, what's your problem?

Meaning?

Meaning your attitude.

'82.

My partner and I go
into this fleabag SRO.

To pick up some
junkie bank robber.

I'm putting the cuffs on him,

his girlfriend comes from
out of nowhere, jumps me.

We're rolling around, I hit
my head against the radiator.

It hurt like hell,
but it's no big deal.

A week later

I start slurring words.

I go see a neurologist.
Quote, "Top guy in Manhattan."

He looks at me,

he says, "I want
you in the hospital.

I'm going to do a CAT scan."

Yeah, well, I would
definitely freak.

The next day, Dr. God comes in,

he says,

"You have an inoperable
brain tumor in your cerebellum."

He said it like
he was telling me

they'd be serving
chicken for dinner.

We decide to get
a second opinion.

I go see another
"top neurologist."

He does another
CAT scan, he comes in

and says, "You don't have

a brain tumor in
your cerebellum,

you have a subdural
hematoma here."

(chuckling)

A month later, I was fine.

Hey, at least he caught
the mistake, all right?

(sighs)

Yeah.

And when they don't,
they just bury them.

Dr. Auster will see you now.

Let's go see the
Chief of Medicine.

I'm sure he'll be God-like, too.

A diagnostician
is like a detective.

As a matter of fact, Conan
Doyle modeled Sherlock Holmes

on Dr. Joseph Bell.

You solve every
case you work on?

We can tell a felony
from a traffic ticket.

Look, a patient walks
in with a headache.

She have a
subarachnoid hemorrhage,

a berry aneurysm,

a retro-orbital tumor,

or does she just
have a headache?

Do you give her an aspirin,

or do you saw open her skull?

You make this
speech at funerals?

I saw that girl in the
emergency room on rounds.

She was in the hands
of competent staff.

The girl is dead.

People like to believe that
medicine is pure science.

Medicine is a science,

but doctors know
it's also a lottery.

See what I mean? The
guy's Chief of Medicine,

and all he can come up with is,

"It's a lottery."

Proceed, Sherlock.

What do you do when you
make a mistake? Use white-out?

Huh-uh. You cross
it out and initial it.

This ain't no letter
to Dear Abby.

These charts got
to show everything

or there could be serious
legal repercussions.

Serious legal repercussions,
that's what we have here.

Somebody used white-out
on Suzanne Morton's chart.

Now, on top of the white-out

it says acetaminophen...

A common, everyday painkiller.

But underneath the white-out

it said, "meperidine."

It's a narcotic.

Big difference.
Third-rate cover up.

Whoever did it probably wasn't
expecting an investigation.

Whoever wrote meperidine
also wrote acetaminophen.

Look at the E's
in acetaminophen.

See the kind of like
cursive penmanship

and English style
popular in the colonies.

You see the shape and
the angle of the loop?

Now it matches
notations that were here,

here, and here.

All of them initialed "ER."

Emergency room?

Ekballa Raza.

Doctor: She had a headache
and a low-grade fever.

Nothing more.

I gave her an antibiotic
and an antihistamine.

No doctor would've
done anything more.

Sounds like you're
on solid ground.

Her psychiatrist had
her on phenelzine sulfate.

She was seeing a shrink?

She'd been depressed
since her mother's death.

When did that happen?

Last year.

She developed peritonitis
after her hysterectomy.

This... phenel... what is it?

Phenelzine... Nurse: Doctor?

Miss Rossi is ready.

Thank you. Phenelzine sulfate.

An anti-depressant.

A strong one.

The patient died,
but don't worry,

the doctor is doing just fine.

Okay, the tox screen
shows acetaminophen.

It shows aspirin, and it
shows an antihistamine.

So there's no sign
of meperidine?

Huh-uh. We ran the standard
gas and chromatography.

We know the girl was on
something called phenelzine.

Not a trace.

Meperidine, phenelzine,
recreational drugs.

Do another tox screen.

I think you're
wasting your nickel.

Nobody takes meperidine
and phenelzine...

unless they want to
risk ending up here.

They can be a fatal combination.

I was exhausted.

I'd just came off
the cancer ward.

I wrote meperidine
without thinking.

But I gave her acetaminophen.

What about the white-out?

There is paperwork required
when you write a narcotic

and I did not
have time for that.

Dr. Raza,

you just confessed

to falsifying hospital records.

That's a class E felony.

Look, when they look at me here,

they see an Indian or a Paki...

They don't even
know the difference.

We're all supposed
to be bad doctors.

You ask anybody. I have to be
twice as good as everybody else

just so they will think I am
as good as everybody else.

My children want to stay in this
country, my wife wants to stay.

And to stay, all I have to do
is to be perfect all the time.

Well, you fell a little
short of perfection

on Suzanne Morton's chart.

It was a simple mistake. Really?

If the toxicologist
finds meperidine

in Suzanne Morton's body,

you'll be lucky if
you're only deported.

P.A.: Dr. Fleming,
please report to admitting

in the Comprehensive
Cancer Care Center.

Have fun.

Thanks.

Max, dig this.

Now here's a guy...

swallowed his false teeth

and they bit through
his intestines.

(laughs)

What did Dr. Raza prescribe,

a good flossing?

Oh, here we go.

Mistake, crossed out, initialed.

Same here.

Look at this, we could
be holding in our hands

the evidence to a mass murder,

and we wouldn't even know it.

Yeah, all these have

evening rounds at 6:00 to 6:30,

and the night that
Suzanne Morton died

rounds were after 9:00.

If you hear hoofbeats,
it's probably a horse,

not a zebra.

Old medical school saying...

"Students tend to find exotic
diseases in ordinary symptoms."

They need to be reminded
that most things are

what they appear to be.

You gentlemen
are on a zebra hunt.

Either a zebra or a
horse using white-out.

(chuckling)

Or maybe Dr. Raza made
a mistake in the chart.

Maybe he made a mistake
in the emergency room.

No.

You trust Dr. Raza, don't you?

I offered him a job.

Wrote a letter to
Immigration this morning.

Strange time to
be hiring the guy.

A good doctor...

is a good doctor.

Max: What time were
rounds that night?

Sometime after 6:00.

They stand around gabbing
and we're trying to keep

some poor jerk from
bleeding to death.

So what happened that night?
Why were rounds so late?

We waited for the
Chief of Medicine.

Dr. Auster.

God on high descending.

Well, he descended late.

He said he'd been
delayed at some...

retirement party for
one of the service chiefs.

Seemed like Dr. Auster
had a good time.

What do you mean?

It smelled like he
had been drinking.

The hospital wanted to
lay out cheese in a can

and white wine from Bulgaria.

So I had the party catered.

Duck liver paté,

Beluga malossal caviar.

Oh, yes.

Anesthesiology has
been very good to me.

Did Dr. Auster have a good time?

Oh, I hope so.

The caviar cost
400 bucks a pound.

Did Dr. Auster have a drink?

Oh, yes. That's why I had bar.

Happy Hour catering.
25 bucks a head.

Max: You guys just
supply bartenders?

We supply bartenders,
barmaids if you want 'em,

ice, glasses, napkins, mixers.

Booze? You supply, you save.

You work the hospital job?

I was there. Two waitresses
and Rory, another bartender.

Remember this guy?

Yeah, Jim.

No, Ed. Edward Auster.

No, no. Jim. Green.

The bourbon?
That's what he drank.

On the rocks. One
every five minutes.

I can smell it.

Somebody gave
her the wrong drugs.

I don't know if it was
Gunga Din or Auster,

but one of them
screwed the pooch.

Mike, you look like
you got a problem.

All I know about
hospitals is that my father

is still walking today

because he had a heart
transplant in one seven years ago.

(sighs)

I'm not saying all
doctors are bad.

99% of them are solid pros.

It's the rotten 1%, to
quote our friend Auster,

that make it a lottery.
You bet your life.

Come on, Max, you ain't
exactly a fan of the profession.

I just want them held
to the same standards

that cops are when
somebody gets shot

or pilots when there's a crash.

Yeah, and that's
what bothers me.

Listen. Say I'm out with Maggie,

we're having dinner, I
have a few pops, okay?

Mm-hmm, go on. I
look out the window,

I see someone getting mugged.

I run out, pull my service
revolver out of my sock,

I yell, "Halt."

Now one of the muggers
reaches into his pocket,

takes something
out, turns around.

Pop, I blow him away.

Yeah, but the
something ain't a weapon.

It's the victim's wallet.

That is still a totally
righteous shoot.

You know that, I know that.

Internal affairs smells
liquor on my breath,

they crucify me.

I got to tell you this,

that's how this feels to me.

There's a difference
between a few pops

and a bourbon
every five minutes.

Come on, the kid's exaggerating.

Maybe he wasn't.

No one said Auster
looked or acted drunk.

They smelled it on his breath.

You know looking and
acting drunk don't mean squat.

What are you guys talking about?

Back when Max
and I were partners,

I had a little bit of
a drinking problem.

Well finally he told me
he wouldn't partner with me

unless I went to AA.

And?

And I told him to mind
his own freaking business.

I was under control, I
knew what I was doing.

I was just a social drinker.

He made me so damn mad,

I went out and I had
a few social drinks.

A couple hours later,

I was standing in the
middle of Lexington Avenue,

not looking or acting drunk,

but I had my gun
pointed at a taxi driver

because I didn't like the
way he was honking his horn.

That night I went
to my first meeting...

and I've been sober ever since.

Get back to the hospital,

and twist a few people, huh?

I'm begging you, don't
make me torpedo my career.

We need a second witness.

Hmm?

Look,

Auster forgets more
every week than I know.

I came to New
York because of him.

Do you know what it means
to be able to say I studied

under Dr. Edward Auster?

He could destroy
the rest of my career.

What career?

He was drunk.

The girl had muscle pains.

The doctor ordered meperidine

and the resident said
something about phenelzine.

I-I-I don't think he even heard.

He took the meperidine,
he injected it himself.

What, no one tried to stop him?

What are we going to do, wrestle
Dr. Edward Auster to the floor?

I-I didn't even
know he was wrong.

You know now.

Now we have to get approval
from an Executive Assistant DA.

Stone's the boss. What
do you want me to do?

This case is
politically sensitive.

It gets tougher
all the time, Mike.

The David’s kid already
made the turn once.

He said flat out,
"Auster was drunk."

Stone: I want to go in with
more than a nervous resident.

The bartender says Auster
drank like a fish at the party.

If the resident testifies,

there's a good chance we get

the rest of the ER
team to follow suit.

Pick him up.

P.A.: Dr. Demacus to CCU.

Dr. Demacus to CCU, please.

(laughing)

See we did a procedure
called balloon angioplasty.

Woman: Oh. But the pain?

No, no, I don't
think it'll come back.

I'm not saying that you
could take up racquetball,

but you will be able
to walk, climb stairs,

and swim.

Thank you.

Guess we won't need our guns.

Edward Auster...

We have a warrant
for your arrest.

Practicing medicine drunk.

It's not prosecuted much.
We're going to have...

First in his class at
Harvard Medical School.

Residency and fellowship...
Say hello to Phillip Nevins,

Dr. Ross' attorney.

Author of the classic
textbook in cardiology,

winner of the Lasker
award for medical research,

published 175 journal articles.

Does he walk on water?

The trash that you
people usually prosecute

can't murder fast enough
to kill as many people

as Edward Auster has saved.

Now I'm just trying to save
you from a mistaken perspective.

Failing to perceive

a substantial and
unjustified risk

that might cause
Suzanne Morton's death...

Criminally negligent homicide.

Consciously disregarding

that substantial
and unjustified risk...

Manslaughter two.

See you in court, Stone.

Nevins is going to
flood the witness stand

with famous doctors
swearing that Auster

is a cross between Albert
Schweitzer and Albert Einstein.

And we've got a father who
was a medic 25 years ago?

Morton took on heavy odds.

Maybe we can even them out.

I want you to interview
people who know Auster.

So you're the dipstick

who's prosecuting Bud Auster.

Is that what you call Dr. Auster
around the fishing hole?

It's what I've called him
since the second grade.

Some people do things,

and others...

What do you and Auster do?

We catch trout in Maine.

Last time was in June.

We sleep in the woods,

tell each other we're just
as young as we used to be.

And drink. Somebody pass
a law against drunk fishing?

I first admired America

when I saw "Judgment
at Nuremberg."

Everybody pays for their crimes.

I never thought it would be me.

There'll be no prosecution
if you testify against Auster.

And no job.

I got to love America,

and leave it.

Two or three times each month

he calls, says he's coming.

He's always late
because he's drunk.

You know what they
call those rounds?

Liver rounds.

Everyone knew.

Suzanne Morton
did have pneumonia.

And Dr. Auster
did tell you to lie.

I have flexible
hours in my training.

Do you know how important
that is when you're raising a child?

That's non-responsive, Doctor.

Auster didn't act drunk.

He never acted drunk.

But he was drunk, wasn't he?

He was always
drunk on liver rounds.

Wasn't he?

And he did tell
you to lie, didn't he?

That poor girl.

All she needed was some aspirin

and an antibiotic.

Am I going to lose my license?

That's not my decision, Doctor.

However I will give you immunity

from prosecution for conspiracy

if you testify.

You suspect, you know,
but what are you going to do?

Contact the medical
society? Sure.

Intern Stephen Simonson
wishes to file a complaint

against the leading
cardiologist in the United States?

Look, I admitted Suzanne Morton.

It looks like I
blew the diagnosis.

Is that what's bothering you?

Look,

six months ago

I get this guy,
he's 25 years old,

he's basically healthy, right?

He walks in with the
worst headache in his life.

His neck is sore,
but that's ambiguous.

And Auster showed up?

He prescribes him
peridine for the headache

without a patient work-up.

It's the worst thing you can do.

It masks the
symptoms of meningitis,

which is what the guy had.

We saved him... barely.

Now every time I see
Auster walk into the ER,

I want to grab whoever I'm
treating and hide them in a closet.

(door opens)

Good afternoon, Dr. Simonson.

Sir.

Stone: That'll
be all, thank you.

So...

are we early?

Stone: We got what we
needed from Dr. Simonson.

An intern, Mr. Stone.

Are you planning on asking
the cleaning lady to testify too?

About the time I
threw the tissue

into the wastepaper
basket and missed?

Ed, please... Every
doctor in this country

has to worry about
some shyster lawyer

suing for malpractice.

Now...

we've got a prosecutor
looking over our shoulder.

The next time I
write a prescription

am I supposed to
ask the Supreme Court

to vote on the dosage?

Look, Stone, you haven't
got a chance to convict,

but this trial alone can
stain Dr. Auster's reputation.

Are you proposing we give him the
Nobel Peace Prize and call it even?

No.

Adjournment with an
eye toward dismissal.

Because of Dr. Auster
a young woman is dead.

A doctor, Mr. Stone,

is not a magician.

If you drove drunk, this would
be an open and shut case.

When you practice
medicine, Mr. Stone,

sometimes a patient dies.

And when you're a
lawyer, Dr. Auster,

some of the people you prosecute

are convicted.

Defendants index, 1983.

Where are computers
when you need them?

Here's a little job for you.
Keyboard every lawsuit

ever filed in New York
County into a computer.

Most malpractice
doesn't result in lawsuits.

You got any better ideas?

Go door to door, ask if anybody
saw Auster kill the patient?

We're going to do that next.

Ah. Aye.

There, I just saved
us a lot of shoe-leather.

"Stivic versus Auster,

In re: the death
of Angela Stivic,

age 11."

When Dr. Auster's
attorney told us

they'd offer us a settlement,

my husband said, "Take it.

It'll be over.

We can stop thinking
about Angela all the time."

We bought the apartment

and the furniture.

My husband sat
in the recliner once.

I'm sorry.

When Dr. Auster came
out of Angela's room

to say they couldn't
stop the bleeding...

I smelled liquor on his breath.

Bourbon.

All I wanted was
for Dr. Auster to say,

"I killed Angela Stivic,

the beautiful daughter of
George and Melanie Stivic."

Excuse me.

You know the difference

between Auster
and a serial killer?

The weapon.

You objected to the
administration of meperidine?

Raza: I suggested acetaminophen,

but Dr. Auster grew angry.

He said if I didn't like the
way the hospital was run,

I should continue
my training elsewhere.

Stone: Thank you, Doctor.

Do you know how long

Dr. Auster has been
practicing medicine, Dr. Risa?

Raza.

Um, I don't know.
25 years, maybe?

And do you know where
he went to medical school?

Harvard, I believe.
That's correct.

How long have you been a doctor?

Two years, sir.

I see.

And where did you
go to medical school?

At the University of Peshawar.

Thank you.

Stone: Dr. Mills, were
you present on March 15th

when Suzanne
Morton was admitted?

Mills: Yes.

And what was your
reaction when Dr. Auster

prepared to inject Suzanne
Morton with meperidine?

I said her chart showed

she was taking phenelzine.

Meperidine was contra-indicated.

And where did you
go to medical school?

Harvard.

Thank you.

Stone: So in your expert opinion

the administration of meperidine

in conjunction with phenelzine

killed Suzanne Morton?

That's correct.

No further questions.

But isn't it true you had to run

a second toxicological screen

to even find meperidine
and phenelzine

in Suzanne Morton's body?

That's because both drugs

are unusual unto themselves...

Thank you, Doctor.
And would not be found

unless specifically requested...

Thank you, Doctor!
Which they were.

Isn't it possible that pneumonia
killed Suzanne Morton?

It's possible...

that death rays
from Mars killed her...

(audience laughs)
but I don't think so.

Dr. Auster must've spoken to you

during the course of the party.

Every five minutes.
"Fill her up."

Nevins: Was his speech slurred?

Not so I remember.

Did he seem drunk in any way?

I never saw anyone
hold his liquor better.

Stone: During your years
of research into alcoholism,

Dr. Walters,

have you ever observed
people who appear to be sober

but are, in fact, drunk?

It happens all the time.

It could happen to Dr. Auster?

Objection, it could
happen to my Aunt Minnie,

but it doesn't.

Judge: Sustained.
(audience laughs)

I'll rephrase the question.

If a 55-year-old man

weighing...

185 pounds,

having consumed 10 shots
of bourbon in two hours,

appears to be stone cold sober,

does that mean he is, in fact,

in full possession
of his faculties?

No.

Now if that same 55-year-old man

weighing 185 pounds

has several drinks

and he appears
to be quite sober,

and makes a mistake,

would that mistake necessarily
be caused by his drinking,

or might he have made
that mistake anyway?

Obviously that's
impossible to say.

You'd have to be that
55-year-old man to know.

(audience murmurs)

We've got Auster drunk at
Suzanne Morton's bedside,

prescribing the
medicine that killed her.

Why do I feel like
we're on the ropes?

Better go back over
every shred of evidence

and find out what we missed.

Because Auster's brilliant doesn't
mean he didn't do something dumb.

And cheer up, we
got all weekend.

Over the past five years,

the state health
department has been notified

of six adverse occurrences

in the Urban Medical
Center emergency room.

Adverse occurrences.
Nice phrase.

There were people who died
for reasons not immediately clear.

In all six cases

no fault was found.

Five of the cases
happened on nights

Dr. Auster happened to
be in the emergency room.

Interesting, not evidence.

Suzanne Morton, Angela Stivic,

a 25-year-old guy
with meningitis,

now statistical anomalies.

This is beyond coincidence.

In the case of the Morton
girl, you cannot prove

that he crossed the line
between criminal recklessness

and unfortunate mistake.

If he knew he was an alcoholic,

then drinking
before going to work

was criminally reckless.

The crime did not take
place in the emergency room.

It took place at
the cocktail party.

Excellent.

Okay, okay.

I'm an alcoholic and I
know I'm an alcoholic.

What do I do? Buy liquor?

We've got charge receipts
for enough bourbon to prove...

It proves he drank, it doesn't
prove he knew he was a drunk.

Go to AA meetings.

We can't canvas hundreds of AA
meetings before tomorrow afternoon,

and there are no AA
meetings in his calendar.

Whoa.

What?

Whenever he left town, he
called the office every day.

Collect.

Except on his last fishing trip.

Stone: Where did you spend

the week of June
10th, Mr. Hoffman?

In Maine, fishing.

Was Edward Auster with you?

Was Edward Auster with you?

No.

Stone: Did he ask
you to tell people

that he had been
with you on that trip?

Yes.

And why was that, Mr. Hoffman?

He didn't want anyone
to know where he was.

Why was that?

He was embarrassed.

And why was that?

He had checked
himself into a clinic.

Stone: What clinic?

Hoffman: The Colson Clinic.

What kind of clinic
is the Colson Clinic?

Mr. Hoffman?

It's a substance abuse clinic.

(audience murmurs)

Stone: Thank you.

In his first group
sessions at the clinic,

Dr. Auster told us he had

gone through
college in three years.

And he became Chief of Medicine

at a major New York
hospital in only 10 years.

Stone: Anything else?

I believe he also mentioned
that he skipped fifth grade.

(audience chuckles)

Dr. Auster had very little
patience with our program.

How long does your
treatment program last?

28 days.

How long did Dr. Auster stay?

Six days.

He left against our advice.

Stone: Would you say Dr. Auster
knew he was an alcoholic

by the time he left?

He would never have come
in the first place if he hadn't.

Stone: I have no
further questions.

Are you positive?

Now I am going to ask
you to limit your responses

to my question to
a simple yes or no,

so we can avoid these
subjective flights of fantasy

that your last
statement exemplified.

Do you understand my
request, Dr. Rasmussen?

Yes.

Good, thank you.

Now, did Dr. Auster say to you,

"I am an alcoholic"?

No.

In fact, didn't
Dr. Auster say to you,

"I am not an alcoholic"?

You must under... Yes or
no, Dr. Rasmussen, please.

Did he say, "I am
not an alcoholic"?

Yes.

(audience murmurs)

No more questions.

Judge: You may
step down, Doctor.

Stone: Did Dr. Auster
discuss his drinking with you?

Anything that transpired
between Dr. Auster and myself

is protected by
patient/doctor privilege.

As well as patient and
doctor, you're friends,

We are.

Where did you have
lunch with him on June 7th,

in your office?

No, at The Four Seasons.

Did you conduct your physical
examination of Dr. Auster there?

Uh, no.

Did you bill him for your time?

No, it... it was a...

A friendly lunch? Yes.

So privilege is
not an issue here.

Did you say anything during
your friendly lunch that upset him?

Doctor?

I... I...

I told him

that, um...

if he didn't stop drinking
he'd be dead in five years.

(audience murmurs)

Thank you.

Judge: Does the
defense wish to begin,

or would you prefer to break
for an early lunch, Mr. Nevins?

If it please the court,
the defense can bring

its one witness before noon.

Proceed.

The defense calls
Dr. Edward Auster.

(audience murmurs)

And so the tragic
death of a six-year-old

led to sight for one child

and a new heart for another.

The boy who got the heart
is now the star shortstop

to the little league
baseball team.

Nevins: Finally,
how many doctors

and immediate family
members of doctors

have you treated
in the past 10 years?

(laughs) I really have no idea.

Well, I do. I did some research.

Over 300.

So it seems you're
the kind of doctor

whose hands other
doctors put their lives in.

I certainly hope I've
lived up to that trust.

Oh, brother.

Defense rests, Your Honor.

Judge: Mr. Stone?

The hour is almost up.

Could you hold your
cross-examination until after lunch?

Of course, Your
Honor. (gavel bangs)

Good job. I thank you.

That many?

So then you do think patients
should know as much as possible

about the doctors
that treat them?

Yes, of course. Where he
was trained, who trained him.

Personal habits?

I don't see why...

unless it impacts on
his ability as a physician.

Well, let's talk about that.

Have you had a drink today?

Objection, Your
Honor, relevancy.

I'll allow it.

Yes.

Stone: More than one?

Yes.

(audience murmurs)

How many more than one?

I'm not sure.

Do you recall, was it
between two and five drinks?

I don't recall.

Doctor, is it not a fact

that you had six
bourbons on the rocks

at Chance's Pub
not 45 minutes ago?

Nevins: Objection, Your Honor.

Judge: I'll allow it.

Let's move on, Mr. Stone.

Would you step into
the well, Dr. Auster?

Objection, Your Honor,

there's no need for
Dr. Auster to stand.

Sidebar, please, Your Honor?

What's going on, Mr. Stone?

Does Dr. Auster look
drunk to you, Your Honor?

What the hell is that
supposed to mean?

I must be allowed to show Dr. Auster
is in the courtroom and he's drunk.

Your Honor, I
strenuously object to this.

Overruled.

Proceed, Mr. Stone.

Step into the well, Doctor.

This is a New York City
Police Department manual.

I'm going to administer
a standard test

to determine whether a person

is operating a motor vehicle

under the influence.

This is an outrage.

Do as Mr. Stone
instructs you, Doctor.

(sighs)

Raise your arm

to the level of your shoulder,

close your eyes,

and point to your nose
with your index finger.

Dr. Auster, did you
appeal the verdict?

No, I'm sorry... Nevins:
Could you please leave?

Congratulations.

How did you know?

My father.

Every day at lunch.

(theme music playing)