Law & Order (1990–2010): Season 3, Episode 12 - Law & Order - full transcript

An innocent man confesses to killing his girlfriend and takes a plea. A.D.A. Robinette suspects that his defense may have conspired with the victim's estate planner to sandbag him for financial reasons.

Are you wondering how healthy the food you are eating is? Check it -
(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.

If she ever asks, we
finished early last night.

We went for a beer at Tommaso's

and watched the game
till almost midnight.

I hate football.

You like it now.

You beat the spread, took
a double sawski from me,

and you bought a
couple of rounds.

Who played?

Bears, Vikings.


Sherri's a good woman.

What do you want
to hurt her for?

Okay, remember your
lines, nobody gets hurt.

I don't know.
When I get hitched...

Hey, you gotta have
a date first, bozo.

Uh, Spiegelman, 6-A.

[vehicles honking]

Who won, anyway?


She must be out.

Follow me.

[door opening]

(Newman) Used to be, every
apartment in New York was eggshell.

Now we're talkin' peach, olive.

Nice. Rent control.

She pays less
than I do in Corona.

Six rooms.

What do you say we
start in the kitchen?

I could use a cup of coffee.

A place like this, I could
lose a couple of kids.


[man on radio chattering]

Sorry, I got on at 9:00.

Nobody except
regulars, in or out.

Hmm. What about
the watch before yours?

Uh, 6:00 p.m. to 9 a.m.
Only security's a buzzer.

Okay. Thanks.

(Taft) Blood's still wet.

This one's hot off the presses.

Took it in the back.

Knees bruised.
Probably standing.

You got a weapon?

Found it in the sink.


Well, at least he's neat.

Did you dust the drawers?

Mmm, nothing.

But we did pick up some
prints on other knives inside.

Long shot, but...


Barbara Spiegelman, 61.

No sign of forced entry.

Could have been my mother.

(Briscoe) Hand cut crystal.

[glass clinks]

My mother never
had any of these.

[people chattering]

"Barney Greengrass,
The Sturgeon King."

Time stamped, 7:18 this morning.

That's what? About
five blocks from here?


So, she's over 60, it's winter,

she makes a couple
of stops along the way.

Could be the delivery
boy brings it in the kitchen.

Could be he didn't like the tip.

Could be nothing's that easy.

[camera clicking]

Used to be human
beings lived in this city.

Sam, Barbara: good people.

Regulars every Sunday.

Sam the husband? Yeah.

Heart attack. Went
like that two years ago.

Carole, uh, hired
me to do the shivah.

Their daughter. Nice girl,
but too much like Sam.

A smile now and
then would be nice,

you know what I mean?

Barbara. Was she
here this morning?

Yeah. Half a pound of Nova,
couple of chubs, two poppies,

two sesames, and a happy
face button on her coat.

She didn't by any chance have
the package delivered, did she?

No. Barbara wanted to eat
her breakfast before lunch,

but kids working for tips,
not in much of a hurry.

(Briscoe) Thanks.

Crash and burn.

Now there's only eight
million other suspects.

Yeah, maybe, maybe not.

That's a lot of lox
for one person.

What are you thinkin', a
heated game of mah-jong?

Hey, my old lady's friends,

I wouldn't play
without a helmet.

What's the daughter's
name? Carole?

Not my favorite part of the job.

My sophomore year at Penn,

my roommate got a call.

Her father died.

After that, every
time the phone rang,

I don't know, I was
just prepared for Dad.

[crying] I never even thought...

My mother-in-law
never carried cash.

There was really nothing
of value in the apartment.

We're thinking maybe
it wasn't a robbery.

Why would anybody...

(Briscoe) Carole.
Whoever did this,

it looks like your
mother had to let them in.

Was she expecting
anyone this morning?

Well, the last few months
Barbara has been involved.

She had a boyfriend?

Although Barbara denied
it, it was kind of obvious.

Stephen Gregg, a designer.

Avenue Fashions, 39th and 7th.

W-we were supposed
to have dinner last night.

She couldn't fit me in.



I yelled at her.

I told her she only
thought about herself.

I didn't know.

[phone ringing]

I begged her to move in with me.

Yes, detectives,

that's what people
who love each other do.

You just caught us a
little bit off-guard there.

We were together
for three months

before she'd go
out in public with me.

She said that it
was for my benefit.

I had a business.
People would talk.

Makes sense. What
are you? Uh, 35?


When I met her,

I had no idea how old she was.

By the time I found
out, it didn't matter.

Barbara took such
good care of herself.

When was the last
time you saw her?

(Gregg) I have an
opening next week.

I worked till midnight.

I spoke to her about 10:00.

She was fine.


[phone ringing]

This guy's a designer.

Do we even know
if he likes girls?

He likes them enough to
ask one to move in with him.

Yeah, one who graduated from
college the year he was born.

Hey, May-December. It happens.

The guy seemed sincere enough.

Yeah, and Ted Bundy
got a gold star for honesty.

This guy Gregg, did
he have any priors?

No. But you gotta
start somewhere.

Even if they were
more than just friends,

gigolos steal, they don't kill.

(Logan) Do they
lie? Look at this.

Gregg's LUD's.

He didn't call anyone at 10:00.

What about the woman?

She made one call.
8:13 this morning.

Arlene Ross.

I... I can't believe this.

I spoke to her this morning.
She was bubbling over.

Did that have anything to
do with this Stephen Gregg?

It had everything
to do with him.

Love has a way of
making you smile.

Didn't you think it
was a little strange?

You're married to
somebody for 40 years,

you start to see life
through a single window.

It was always Sam and
Barbara, the Spiegelmans.

A straightjacket for two, huh?

Barbara loved Sam,

but she was a lot
more than Sam's wife.

With Stephen she
went to museums,

she went dancing.

Would you happen to know

what window she was
looking out of last night?

Dinner at Chanterelle
with Stephen and a client.

A buyer from Bloomingdale's.

Is there a law that says you
can only fall in love once?

(Karen) Stevie? Sure.

Been doing business with
him the last five years or so.

Used to be with
Dominick D'Alleva.

People would kill for a
chance to design for the master.

He seems to be doing
all right on his own.

Yeah, well, who
would've guessed?

I mean, he's a nice guy,
he's got talent up to here.


Don't get me wrong,
Stephen's very good.

Ladies apparel's the
toughest gig there is.

Maybe if the recession ends this
century, he ends up one of the biggies.

Oh, like nobody can afford
$200 for a sweater, right?


Avenue Fashions, try
multiplying that by five.

No wonder he can afford
dinner at Chanterelle.

Hey, I'm the buyer, remember?

Last month Lutèce,
before that Perioli.

Stevie's tax deductions
go straight to my hips.

But I like fine dining.

Especially when it's free.

And last night,
uh, dinner for two?

I wish.

You gotta admit, the guy's cute.

But he had that scarlet
"T" tattooed on his forehead.


Although, last night
I thought maybe not.

Oh? Things weren't,
uh, so hot between them?

Pure ice. Uh-huh.

They were trying
to be civil, but, uh,

when they got in the cab,
we're talking explosion.

I could hear it from the curb.

[phone buzzing]

Excuse me.

Yeah, he called her last night.

From the other side of the bed.

I panicked, okay? I knew
what you would think.

I loved Barbara.

From what we heard,

maybe the other night the
feeling wasn't so mutual.

My sister Debra wanted
me to visit her next week.

I... I thought it
best if I went alone.

Sounds like love to me.

My friends have been on my back

and I didn't need
my family, too.

I guess you won't have to
worry about that anymore,

will you, Steve?

I owe everything to Barbara.

She talked me into
going out on my own,

she encouraged me to
expand, be more aggressive.

She believed in me
more than I did myself.

You think she still believed
in you yesterday morning?


We had breakfast.

I kissed her goodbye
around 8:00 a.m.

I was here by 8:30 a.m.
Now, you ask anybody,

anybody who's seen us together,

and they will tell
you there is no way

that I could ever hurt her.

He works for other
people his whole life.

Suddenly he's out on his own?

Hey, you saw
Spiegelman's apartment.

Didn't look like she
had capital to invest.

What, you think everybody
lives up to their means?

Alright, play it out, Mike.
Say she gives him money.

Why's he gonna kill her?

He wants more.

Maybe she wants a
return on her investment.

Maybe we'll get lucky and
find a motive at the apartment.

"Age of Civilization."

Everybody's got
one. Nobody reads it.

Yeah, and Book of the
Month makes a fortune.

"10th row, aisle. Tom Jones."

I didn't know
he was still alive.

Barbara sure was.

Looks like she went
everyplace with Gregg.

Looks like a honeymoon.

You've never been married.

Hey, look at this.

Letter from Burton
Charles. Chemical.

Vice President. Private Banking.

Liquidation of bearer bonds.

I never got letters
like that from my bank.

(Charles) Sam was in printing.

Struggled for years. Direct
mail becomes the rage,

he's sitting on a cash cow.

And Barbara got to milk it?

(Charles) She wasn't
a business woman.

Took the first offer
that came her way.

After taxes, $20 million.

We've managed the
entire portfolio for her.

We've done very well.

I just hope we're
allowed to continue.

Well, who's calling
the shots now?

You'll have to ask Kevin Doyle.

Trusts and estates lawyer.

He sent us the
Spiegelman account.

He handles the
family's legal affairs.

I was with
Mr. Woodward all morning.

He's another client.

Lives three blocks from Barbara.

I almost stopped by with papers.

Maybe if I had...

When I got the message,
I was devastated.

I imagine in your business,

uh, you get a lot of
messages like that.

My clients die,
but not like this.

This city.

I don't envy you your jobs.

And Barbara was
more than a client.

I saw her almost weekly.

Hey, I needed
to rewrite my will,

a PBA lawyer wouldn't
even answer my call.


Six years ago,

Barbara dragged Sam
to the Philharmonic.

Dvorák's Slavic Dances.

I met them at intermission.

Until a year or so ago,
10 Saturdays a year

I was the beneficiary
of Sam's season ticket.

Barbara stopped
enjoying your company?

When she met Stephen,

she didn't have time
for anybody else.

I guess she was entitled.

What about Stephen Gregg?
What was he entitled to?

I'll admit, it was odd.
Barbara and Stephen.

But as far as I could
tell, it was genuine.

You're not thinking...

Hey, our job, we have to ask.

Why not?

It'll be a matter of public
record in a couple of weeks.

Carole, the daughter,
gets the residuary estate.

English, Counselor.

Everything left, after
specific bequests.

And the specific bequests?

"To my friend, Stephen
Gregg, $2 million."

I had no idea that she
had this kind of money.

So, uh, the ski
trip and the cruise,

uh, you thought she won
those things from Ed McMahon?

She told me that she
had a good income.

She never told me
that I was in her will.

And what, tomorrow
you're gonna tell us

you panicked and had to lie?

For the first time in
my life I was happy.

Why would I kill her?

(Briscoe) Hey, I'm
happy, too, Steve,

but $2 million would
make my smile a lot bigger.

I'm not like that.

I wanted Barbara, not her money.

(Logan) Well,
today's your lucky day

because the law says
if you kill somebody,

you can't collect
under their will.

So Carole and her husband
will be spending that $2 million.

Her husband? Mmm-hmm.

What are you talking about?

Carole hasn't seen
Douglas in over a year.

They're not married?

They've been divorced for
as long as I've known her.

Listen, Gregg's told
enough lies to run for office.

So there's a problem?

Hey, you don't
think it's strange

the daughter hasn't
seen her ex in over a year,

and he just suddenly shows up

the day his mother-in-law
takes one in the back?

We accuse a guy of
murder, and I think he's a liar.

Excuse me for being cynical.

What if Gregg's
telling the truth?

Carole and her ex
kiss and make up,

they never have to work
a day the rest of their lives.

If Barbara Spiegelman was
anything like my ex's mother...

Hey, Marge's mother and I
aren't exactly hugs and kisses.

I smile a lot at Christmas

and do everything I can not to
answer the phone on Sundays

but I don't play Jack the
Ripper with a steak knife.

Marge's mother isn't dangling
$20 million in front of your nose.

Okay. Talk to them.

And tell Romeo not to
go too far from home, huh?

Carole and I were
divorced on paper only.

Separating was not our idea.

Whose idea was it?

The lovely mother of the bride.

Barbara never cared
too much for me.

My profession.

(Logan) Which is?

Well, it's changing.

Right now, I'm in
liquor distribution.

Someday I'll have my own place.

Barbara never
believed much in me.

Ah, it's part of being
a mother-in-law.

Nose gets into places
where it doesn't belong.

Did you ever think about
getting an unlisted number?

I would have moved
to the West Coast.

30 years ago they were
supposed to clip the umbilical cord.

You have enough
money, you get to retie it.

So Barbara used her
money as leverage.

Sam left a couple
of million in trust

and all distributions to Carole

were at the discretion
of the trustee.

And that was Barbara.

She gave Carole a choice.

Lose me, or lose
$10,000 a month.

So Carole chose the money.

Well, what would you do?

The problem was,
Carole still loved me.

All that sneaking around.

It was like having an
affair with my own wife.

[phone ringing]

Yeah, I promise to
love, honor and obey,

as long as it doesn't
affect my inheritance.

Remind me never
to marry for money.


Say the old lady finds out

that Carole's divorce
is all smoke and mirrors.

What does she do?

She'd call her lawyer,

tell him to run her will
through word processing

and delete Carole's name.

You think that
would upset Carole?

$20 million? It'd ruin my day.

People like Barbara,

like most of my
clients, for that matter,

they're able to control
their families with money.

My father called it

the primary advantage of wealth.

Sounds an awful
lot like bribery to me.

Barbara was not fond
of Douglas Pomerantz.

She wanted him
out of Carole's life.

She got what she wanted.

And she had no idea

that he was back
for a return visit?

I would have been
the first to know.

I... I know where you're
going, and you're wrong.

Barbara and Carole had problems,

but certainly not
enough to kill for.

These problems, did they
concern Stephen Gregg?

Carole wanted her
mother to be happy.

But the idea of Barbara
supporting Stephen...

She was giving him money?

A couple of weeks
ago Carole called me.

She was hysterical.

She discovered that Barbara
was writing checks for Stephen.

She wanted me to
talk to her about it.


Part of my expertise

is knowing when
not to get involved.

Of course I was mad.

My father breaks his back,

and she throws it away
on this person half her age.

What, you thought
there'd be none left for you?

$50,000, $75,000.

The money didn't matter to me.

I couldn't stand to see
her taken advantage of.

Did you know what the
money was gonna be used for?

I found these cancelled
checks in her apartment.

Metropolitan Financial Corp.

Yeah, I never
heard of it either.

So I called.

It's a factor.

She was paying off loans
made to Avenue Fashions.

Avenue Fashions, sure.

In the hole for
roughly $1 million.

So you gave them
$1 million just like that?

I'm a factor. I'm banking
on his receivables.

He's paid back a
good chunk so far,

but, uh, sales slowdown,

I tend to get a little nervous.

Nervous enough to
call in the entire loan?

As of last week, Gregg's
in for about $600,000.

This economy...

If he were anyone
else, I'd let him slide.

But a past like his, it's
a little too shady for me.

We checked.
There's nothing illegal.

(Regan) Did you
check Connecticut?

One of my clients tells
me that back in Westport,

Gregg got caught
with his hand in the till.

He gets a check on
my desk by next week

or my truck's hauling out
whatever's left in his warehouse.

(Baker) He was 25.

First job in fashion. I
hired him as a stock boy

but physical labor
wasn't exactly his forte.

What was?


Especially if the customers
happened to be women.

Oh, he wasn't Paul
Newman or anything like that,

but there was definitely
something there.

Best numbers,
two years in a row.

A shame to lose a
guy like that, huh?

In more ways than
you'll ever know.

Wait a minute, you
mean, you and him, uh...

Robbing the cradle is not
gender-specific, detectives.

Thank you, Gloria Steinem.

So what?

He took advantage
of your friendship?

In the front door with flowers,

out the back door
with the inventory

to the tune of $30,000.

And you didn't press charges?

You bet your buns I did.
He spent a year in Danbury.

Hey, the guy's
down for the count.

He needs major amounts of
cash by the end of the week

or it's goodbye haute couture.

And just like that,

he's solvent, plus
$1 million to spare.

Could be he's lucky.

Could be next week I'll be
doing shampoo commercials.

Paul, this guy tried
to get lucky before.

He's got priors?

Yeah, imported from
the Toll Booth State.

He flashes his pearlies

while his fingers do the walking
through his girlfriend's pocketbooks.

The older, the better.

[phone rings]

What? It's still
all circumstantial.

I'm looking for something that
directly connects him to the murder.

You mean, like,
uh, fingerprints?

Connecticut just
faxed us Gregg's file.

I thought the murder
weapon was wiped clean.

It was. Others in
the drawer weren't.

(Logan) Right.

He reaches in, he
grabs Exhibit One,

but he's not careful,

so he touches Exhibit
Two, Three and Four.

It's as close as
we're gonna get, Paul.

My guess is, he starts singing

as soon as we slap
the cuffs on him.

Pick him up.

[car honking]

[phone ringing]

Stephen Gregg.

What is it now?

You're closed for business.

Wait a minute.
This is ridiculous.

Stephen Gregg,
you're under arrest

for the murder of
Barbara Spiegelman.

You've the right
to remain silent.

Anything you do say

will be used against you in a court
of law. Do you understand that?


You have the
right to an attorney.

If you cannot
afford an attorney,

one will be provided if you so
desire, prior to any questioning.

(court clerk)
"Docket no. 788146.

"People v. Stephen Gregg.

Charge is murder in
the second degree."

Do we have a plea?

Not guilty, Your Honor.


The defendant savagely murdered
an elderly woman, Your Honor.

(Franks) Wait,
wait, wait, wait, wait.

It says here, now, Mrs.
Spiegelman was 61.

That's correct, Your Honor.

(Franks) On my 61st birthday

you were cramming
for a torts exam.

I'd advise you to
choose your adjectives

a little more
courteously, Counselor.

The People request
bail of $500,000.

My client can hardly afford
cab fare to Brooklyn, Your Honor.

Why not make it $1 million?

Why not?

[chuckles] And they say the
elderly lose their sense of humor.

[Franks laughing]

Bail is set at $250,
cash or bond. Next.

There's a pattern here, Adam.

He's a predicate felon,
he lied to the police.

Motive, fingerprints.
When you add it all up...

You add it all up,

you get a basket of goose eggs.

Not one piece of
direct evidence.

A first year law student

could punch more
holes in your case

than Con Ed has in Third Avenue.

It was intentional,
That is, murder two.

Anything less is a gift.

All right,

now unless he prances
in here with a confession

you're gonna play Santa

and you're gonna deal
him down to man one.


Please, Mr. Stone,
I read the bill.

David Copperfield couldn't
make a case appear.

Miss Knight, your
client lied to the police

about spending the night
with Mrs. Spiegelman.

A couple of your detectives
knocked on his door.

What did you expect?

He was afraid they weren't
free thinkers like you and me.

His fingerprints were on
the other knives in the drawer.

You've come a long way, baby.

She washed, he dried.

He spent seven
nights a week there.

If you didn't find prints, we'd
have something to talk about.

The jury won't overlook
a $2 million motive.

I told you, I had no idea.

Mr. Gregg, please,

if you want to spin
the wheel, go ahead.

But I'm sure your
attorney'll tell you

that for two-time felons,

it usually stops on 25-to-life.


Miss Knight.

If you didn't ask him
about his past record,

you ought to be
ashamed of yourself.

And if you did,

what does it say
about his credibility?

Your client served
time in Connecticut.

Grand larceny.

A couple of thugs shook me down.

I was a kid. What
was I supposed to do?

Give me 10 to talk to my client.

About what? I
didn't do anything.

I loved her.

[door opens]

[people chattering]

Half hour. I don't know.

Gregg didn't look like the word
"plea" was in his vocabulary.

Well, you spend
one year in prison,

I doubt if you want to
go back for 25 more.

[door opens]

[door shuts]

Man two. He serves the minimum.

It was intentional homicide.
Man one is as low as I go.

Whatever happened
happened in the heat of passion.

He says he loved the woman.

Then let him think about
her for the next 15 years.

7 to 21, you've got a deal.

All right.

Why are you doing this to me?

(Gelfant) As I read it,

you were in front of Judge
Franks only yesterday.

To what do I owe the pleasure?

If I may, Your Honor,

the defendant wishes to
withdraw his plea of not guilty

and enter the plea of guilty to
manslaughter in the first degree.

The People concur,
Mr. Robinette?

Yes, we do, Your Honor.

And we've agreed
with defense counsel

upon a sentence of 7 to 21 years

in the state
correctional facility.

Please stand, Mr. Gregg.

(Gelfant) Do you
understand the charges

to which you are
pleading guilty, sir?

I do.

Please describe
in your own words

what occurred on the morning
of the eighth of this month.


I was at Barbara's apartment.

That's Mrs. Spiegelman?


Go on.

She was sitting
with her back to me.


Your Honor...



I took a knife out of
the kitchen drawer.

And what did you
do with it, Mr. Gregg?

I stabbed her in the back.

And you killed her for money?


Has your attorney explained

that this plea

has the same effect as
a guilty verdict by a jury?


The court accepts
the defendant's plea.

The defendant is remanded
to the custody of the state

pending sentencing.

[gavel bangs]

I just went over
the forensics report

on the Spiegelman case.

The case is closed, Paul.

Well, maybe it shouldn't
be. The report said

Barbara Spiegelman had
bruises on both of her knees.

So she was standing
when he stabbed her.

That's what the ME concluded.

Only in court today,
at his allocution,

Gregg said Barbara was
seated with her back to him.

You said he was nervous.
Maybe he made a mistake.

You don't forget how
you killed someone.

Maybe he didn't like
his options. He's 38.

Maybe seven years
looks a lot better than 25.

An attorney is going to
let an innocent man deal?

Justice is swift,
it's not always fair.

Sally Knight, four
years Brooklyn legal aid

before she hung
out her own shingle.

Last year, 62 cases, 59 pleas.

And her trials?

O for three.

All right, talk to her.

(Knight) It doesn't matter
how fast you are, Mr. Robinette,

you can't return your own serve.

I'm counsel for the
defense, remember?

And I'm counsel for the People.

All of them.

I know you plead
over 50 cases last year.

And I figure I saved my clients

collectively over 500
years behind bars.

Don't let the grandeur
fool you, Mr. Robinette.

My clients don't drink
martinis at the Oak Room.

You guys set up the
plea bargaining system.

Don't blame me for using it.

Did you ever consider

that Stephen Gregg took
the deal for the wrong reason?

He always maintained
he was innocent.

His mother died when
he was eight years old.

His dad beat the hell out
of him between six packs.

I've heard it all before.

If I didn't buy the story,

how could I take a
chance with the jury?

If Stephen did kill
Barbara Spiegelman,

why would he lie in court
about how he killed her?

I've got 30 court appearances
in the next two weeks.

I can't afford to
think too much.

We're talking
about a man's life.

Look, you guys pile a stack
of evidence in front of me.

Kevin tells me the guy is
guilty and should rot in hell.

I gave Gregg his options,

he made his
choice. I did my job.


Doyle. The old lady's attorney.

Gregg asked him for a
lawyer, Kevin sent me the case.

I guess he thought I could use
a client who could actually pay.

Doyle and Knight?

He's Paul Stewart, she's K-Mart.

Not the kind of
referral you'd expect.

Gregg is hardly
solvent, Doyle knew that.

He's not gonna give him
Melvin Belli's telephone number.

He's gonna call
the bar association

and get someone
within his price range.

He's just trying to help out.

Or maybe not.

Doyle told Briscoe and Logan

there was no way Gregg
could be a murderer.

But he told Knight there
was no question he was guilty.

What are you saying, Paul?

If he was involved,

what better way to
have the case disappear

than refer it to a lawyer
who's afraid to go to court?

But Doyle is Barbara
Spiegelman's attorney.

What motive could
he possibly have?

Kevin and I started here the
same day, same department,

but, uh, he was
miles ahead of me.

Law school, I took civil rights,

he took tax planning
for the wealthy.

Sounds like he
knew what he wanted.

He wanted to live among his own.

Played touch football
in Hyannis Port.

I learned the hard way that
people like that aren't made,

they're evolved.

Doyle hasn't learnt that yet.

Oh, he didn't have to.

The guy is Exeter,
Princeton, Harvard Law.

He's that kind of guy.

Kids like me from Regal Park,

we don't get on the
letterhead of Smythe & Bradley.

What about Doyle?

I'll tell you what.

We all thought Kevin
was a slam dunk.

He got passed over as a partner?

Goes to show.

Recession hits, nobody
cares how blue your blood is.

[glass clinking]

The trick to becoming a
successful estates attorney,

join the right clubs
and outlive your clients.

And Kevin Doyle
never learned the trick?

Oh, he learned very well.

That boy's as good as it gets.

No, I sponsored him
for Winged Foot myself.

He's good enough for your club,

but not good enough for partner?

No, on the contrary,
Mr. Robinette.

Perhaps we weren't
good enough for him.

He turned you down?

First time in the
history of the firm.

He said he didn't
want the headaches.


avoid partnership
liabilities during a recession.

But he doesn't get a
piece of the profits, either.

Exactly. But what goes around...

That Spiegelman
estate should buy him

five bedrooms at Sag Harbor.

I thought he doesn't
share in the profits.

Oh, he doesn't
share in the legal fees,

but read the will.

He's got one hell of an
executor's commission

coming his way.

Barbara loved the boy.

How much will he get?

$20 million estate,
roughly 2.5%.

You do the math.

He gets it all? Mmm-hmm.

Now, if he were a partner,

he'd have 75 mouths
biting into that apple.

Firm rules:

associates get to keep their
commissions all to themselves.

(Stone) He had motive, Adam.



After the Feds, state and
city get through with him,

you can cut that down to half.

A Wall Street attorney's
gotta be making six figures.

If he needed money...

(Schiff) If he needed money

he would've accepted
partnership, or gone to his family.

Maybe his family's
not so generous.

What do we know
about Doyle, anyway?

Harvard Law, '78.

We got over 300 lawyers
working in this office.

Somebody must have
gone to school with him.

(Alter) Kevin Doyle

loves to wave the
crimson banner,

never shows up at
alumni cocktail parties.

He doesn't have fond memories?

He wasn't at Harvard
long enough to have them.

Transferred in his third
year from Brooklyn Law

took extra credits just so his diploma
would have the proper pedigree.

Well, it served him well. He's
working at Smythe & Bradley.

Where else? We're
all in ripped jeans

he shows up to
class in a tweed jacket

custom-made at Tripplers.

Some people,
that's a way of life.

Well, if your name
was Rockefeller, maybe.

Kevin struts around campus
with his Mark Cross briefcase,

everyone thinks he's Forbes 400.

And he's not?

Only if they're listing
the country's top frauds.

After graduation, we
had this going away party.

You know, family, friends.

Kevin's there for
about 20 minutes,

tells us he has to
run to the airport

to see his folks off to Europe.

You don't believe him. I did.

Till a few of us hit some
all-night greasy spoon, 2:00 a.m.

Guess who's there
with two pitchers of beer

and a bucket of fried chicken?

Kevin Doyle.

Mama, Papa and baby Doyle.

It wasn't Kevin's blood
that was blue, Paul,

it was his collar.

He took one look at us

and herded his parents
into their beat up Chevy.

I haven't seen him since.

In the early '80s

Doyle put all his
money in tax shelters.

Everything from shopping
centers to cable TV.

All seven-to-one write-offs.
Never paid a nickel in taxes.

And in the '90s,

Uncle Sam disallowed
those deductions.

Penalties, interest.

Adds up to almost $400,000.

What about his bank accounts?


IRS has liens on his
apartment, his car,

his place in Seaview.

End of the month,
they take it all.

So Doyle needs $400,000.

He collects $500,000

as Barbara
Spiegelman's executor.

No, it was a lot more
than money for Doyle.

He's from Brighton Beach.

He wants the world to
think he's from Palm Beach.

Yeah, but without
more than a motive,

we're left in the
starting blocks.

Doyle told Briscoe and Logan

he was with a client the
morning of the murder.

Why did they even ask him?

They didn't. He just offered.

Could be he was feeling guilty.

Call Briscoe.

Paul, weren't there unidentified
prints in the apartment?

Four sets.

When I took the bar exam,

they took my fingerprints
for identification purposes.

Doyle said he was
with a Don Woodward.

And he wasn't?

Fortunately, his clients
don't tell him everything.

Mr. and Mrs. Woodward were
celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary.

A month in Aruba.

(Briscoe) Ben.

[sighs] The prints on
the kitchen counter.

Four point match with Doyle.

Oh, God. I don't
believe this guy.

Paul, file a motion to withdraw
the charges against Mr. Gregg

and let's get him
home as fast as we can.

And read Mr. Doyle his rights.

An attorney? My pleasure.

Paul, William Patton
has never done

a day of pro bono in his life.

I thought that Doyle was broke.

Well, his firm posted bail.

They're probably
picking up the tab.

Yeah, well, at $450 an hour,

I don't think we're gonna
see any deals on this one.

(court clerk)
Oyez, oyez, all rise.

The Supreme Court
of the State of New York

Criminal Part 57
is now in session.

The Honorable
Mark Burns presiding.

(Milgrim) The CSU officers

found seven fingerprints in
Mrs. Spiegelman's kitchen

that were readable.

One of them belonged
to Kevin Doyle.

Where exactly was
that print located?

On the kitchen counter,

directly above the drawer which
contained the carving knives.

Thank you.

Tell me, sir, is there any way you
can say beyond a reasonable doubt

that these prints were left
on the day of the murder?


So they might have
been a week old?

That's right.

How about a month? Or a year?


We get your point,
Counselor. Sustained.

Well, you have
to understand, um,

Mom and Dad never
really had very much.

All of a sudden, there
were banks and brokers.

They all promised the world.

Mom didn't... didn't
trust any of them.

But she trusted Kevin Doyle?


(Carole) She said, um,

a young man like that
doesn't need our money.

Was Kevin Doyle in the habit of

showing up at your
mother's apartment uninvited?

Sure. Yeah, um, Mom
wouldn't have hesitated

about buzzing him right in.

There were always
papers to sign.

She trusted him.

Thank you.

Did your mother ever complain

that Mr. Doyle
overbilled his hours?


Did she ever say that his
legal advice was unsound?


So it's fair to say, then,
that he was a good attorney?



To your knowledge,

was your mother
aware that as executor,

Mr. Doyle was entitled
to a commission

of approximately 500,000?


Did she ever say that
amount was excessive?


Why do you suppose
that is, Miss Spiegelman?

I said, she trusted him.

She liked him.

You suppose she liked him enough

to lend him $500,000 if
he desperately needed it?



[phone ringing]

Patton raised reasonable
doubt with every witness.

That's why he drives a Ferrari.

And they've written textbooks
on his closing arguments.

Yeah, It's too bad
that Doyle didn't hire

his old friend Sally Knight.

Paul, you said that Doyle
was from Brighton Beach, right?

And you said that Knight
worked for Brooklyn Legal Aid.

Do you think she
ever visited the beach?

What are you saying,
they're in cahoots?

(Stone) Adam, if you
were a defense attorney

and a prosecutor came
to you with evidence

that tended to prove that
your client was innocent,

what would you do?

I'd celebrate up and
down Center Street,

and then move to
set aside the plea.

Until we withdrew the charges,

there wasn't a peep
out of Miss Knight.

(Schiff) If we took the license

of every incompetent
lawyer in the city,

we wouldn't have to
recycle the New York Times.

"Sally Knight, 704,
Mermaid Avenue,

Brighton Beach, Brooklyn."

She may be incompetent,

but I think I can
make a hell of a case

that she's also unethical.

Let's give her a visit.

When you work here,
someone sends you a case,

you take it, you
don't ask questions.

I do, Miss Knight. And
what I want to know is,

would Stephen
Gregg still be in prison

if we hadn't
withdrawn the charges?

What the hell are you implying?

I'm saying that you
grew up with Kevin Doyle

he referred the case to you,
and Stephen Gregg cut a deal.

This is crock.

No, it's a case of accessory to
murder in the second degree.

How much of the $500,000
did he promise you?

First of all, I don't
know if Kevin did it.

Second, if he did,

you have no proof
that I was involved.

You can't possibly
believe that I...

What I believe is
irrelevant, Miss Knight.

And if you took the time
to go to court now and then,

you'd know that the
mere appearance of guilt

is enough to get you convicted.

Now if you tell us all you
know about Kevin Doyle

we may spare you the burden

of defending yourself
against felony charges.

Retaliatory prosecution.
I could get you disbarred.

We're about to play
chicken, Miss Knight.

And given our
respective reputations,

I think I know
who's likely to win.

I'll tell you what I know.

But you can't charge
me with anything.

That depends on
what you tell me.

(Knight) Kevin came to me.

He said the case was a gimme.

He said Gregg
was guilty, cut a deal

make a couple of grand
without much effort.

Did Mr. Doyle tell you

why he chose to
refer the case to you?

Kevin and I grew up together.

Now he was this
big muckety-muck,

and I was still
begging for cases

outside of the courthouse.

I thought he was
trying to help me.

But he wasn't?


Once again,

Kevin Doyle was thinking
only of Kevin Doyle.


No opinions, Miss
Knight. Sustained.

What did the defendant tell you?

After Mr. Robinette presented

what might have been
exculpatory evidence,

I went to Kevin's office.

He told me not to be stupid,

to collect my money
and keep my mouth shut.

I told him I could be
ruining a man's life.

And what did Mr. Doyle say?

He actually started to panic.

He said I'd ruin everything.

The great Kevin Doyle.

He didn't actually
come out and say it

but I suspected.

Suspected what?

That he was somehow involved.


(Burns) Sustained.

The jury will disregard
the witness's last statement.

Uh, Miss Knight,

there's one thing
I don't understand.

Despite your suspicions,
you did nothing.

People like me ride the F train.

We buy new clothes
maybe once a year.

I thought maybe if I helped him,

someday maybe he'd help me.

Thank you.

Do you believe
that Stephen Gregg

and Kevin Doyle
acted in concert?


So, if Mr. Doyle is guilty

then your client Stephen Gregg

has to be innocent,
isn't that true?


Did you do anything whatsoever

to secure his
release from prison?



(Patton) So you admit

that you have violated
Disciplinary Code 7-101

of the ABA's Codes for
Professional Responsibility?


Tell me, Miss Knight,

how do you expect
this court to believe

an attorney who, under oath,

admits to committing
a disbarrable offence?



Of course, my fingerprints
were in Barbara's apartment.

I visited her several
times a month.

What was the
purpose of those visits?

Barbara was the trustee

of a trust created
under Sam's will.

I frequently had
papers for her to sign.

Tax returns, distributions,
transfers, things like that.

(Patton) So these visits
were strictly professional.

A good estates attorney
is a family advisor.

Like a rabbi, if you will.

(Doyle) Barbara asked my advice

on everything from investments
to what kind of car to buy.

She trusted me.
She respected me.

I respected her. It
was almost like family.

It's preposterous to
think that I could kill her.

Thank you.

Mr. Doyle, it's true, isn't it,

that you represent

some of the wealthiest families

in New York City?

(Doyle) I suppose so.

And do they all invite
you into their households

like, uh, Barbara
Spiegelman did?

For the most part, yes.

Why do you suppose that is, sir?

I happen to be a very
good attorney, Mr. Stone.

Oh, there are a lot of good
attorneys in New York City.

I mean, couldn't they hire
Miss Knight, for example?


(Stone) No?

Well, if she's not
a good attorney,

why did you refer
Stephen Gregg to her?

(Doyle) She's
competent. She's just not...

Oh, she's not, uh...
She's not what, sir?

She's not their kind of people?

That's right.

And you are?


Which means Miss Knight

doesn't have the
education, or the upbringing

or the family
history, is that right?

That's correct.

And if she were
in financial need,

she could not go
to her family for help

like your clients could, right?


Now, Mr. Doyle,

people have testified
in this courtroom

that you are in
dire financial need.

Did you ever go to
your family for help?


(Stone) Why not, sir?

Is it because a garage mechanic

is not likely to have $400,000
sitting in his bank account?

I went to Harvard.

I work on Wall Street.

But the truth is, sir,

you are not really

"their kind of people," are you?

So the question is,

how far would you
go to conceal that fact?



No more questions.

[traffic rumbling]

We may have a problem, Ben.

After Knight's
testimony, I don't think so.

I can't find Doyle.

He didn't pick up
his phone last night.

This morning?



Call Briscoe and Logan. Thanks.

If he left town, he didn't
take much luggage.

(Logan) Paul. Lennie.

Oh, my God.

Lawyers killing their
clients for money.

They left that one out
of the Canons of Ethics.

Well, for Doyle,

money was only
the means to an end.

(Stone) He climbed
as high as he could,

and couldn't bear the fall.

Who could?