Law & Order (1990–2010): Season 6, Episode 4 - Law & Order - full transcript

Detectives Briscoe and Logan investigate multiple deaths when three people at a magazine office are shot at work. The magazine's editor, Eddie Nicodos, came from a rich family whose family business was food distribution. They check into ex-employees and a computer game developer who was suing the magazine over a bad review. When they learn that Eddie and his brother Peter had been arguing over the lawsuit. ADA McCoy's biggest challenge is the presiding judge, Edgar Hynes, who seems to go out of his way to rule against the prosecution. After the prosecution rests its case, the judge grants the defense request to dismiss the case. Adam Schiff knows Hynes quite well and when he hears that his old friend is going through a divorce, he begins to suspect corruption.

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




Gil, we'll be home
in half an hour.

Come on, Cin.
They did it in Fatal Attraction.

Sure, with stunt doubles.

It's now or never.

In a couple of years, we'll need
notes from our chiropractor.

We'll need new jobs
if we get caught.

GIL: It would
have been great.

It'll be great

in half an hour with
the front door locked.




Are you crazy?
You stay here.

Call 911.

The cleaning crew doesn't
show up till after 9:00.

I was pretty sure we were the
only ones left in the building.

The people in this
office, you know them?

Just to say hi.

Like we told the other detective,
they ran a computer magazine.

They seemed like a fun bunch.

They always had music playing.

Thank you.

Body count's three. We found four shells.
Nine millimeter.

As far as we can tell,
all the vics worked here.

Sally Kestler, 26.
She used to have black hair.

Nose ring's new, too.

Along with the bullet hole.

What's his story?

First unit on the scene

found him hiding in the john
over there, pale as a ghost.

I'll bet. Be sure to check his
hands for powder residue.

Detective Curtis
already put in a request.

Jesse Rand, 24. Powder burns on
his shirt, bruises on his hands.

Probably from beating on
the guy who shot him.

Make sure Mr.
Rand gets under the microscope.

I already got that one from Detective Curtis.
He's in there.

Hey, I paged you three times.

I was stuck in
the Midtown Tunnel.

Anyway, it sounds like
you had it covered.

Meet Edward Nicodos, the Editor-ln-Chief.
Two shots, in and out.

Those accountants said they heard two
quick shots and then two singles.

Right. That makes him first.
Who says it's good to be the king?

"BYTEhead Magazine.
Feeding the head of Generation X."

Better make that
Generation X'd out.

I can't believe this crap.

They were looking for
gun powder on my hands.

Take it easy.
They were just following procedure.

You know, if I wasn't hugging
porcelain when the shooting started,

I'd be dead right now.

Two weeks on the
job and I'm dead.

Was there anyone in the office
besides the four of you?

No, we just put
issue 14 to bed,

and Eddie popped the cork
and ordered takeout.

Well, between the champagne and
the General Tso's Chicken,

my stomach started
doing wheelies.

What about office romances?

Maybe somebody's significant
other got jealous?

I just did phones and errands.

I mean, the grapevine didn't
exactly grow my way.

Then who on your
staff would know?

You're looking at
what's left of the staff.

There was Eddie, and Sally,
the Senior Editor,

and Jesse, the Associate
Publisher, and me.

You're saying four people
ran this whole thing?

Eddie ran a virtual office.

There was a part-time editor in Saratoga,
and a graphics guy in Baltimore.

Everything got done
with faxes and modems.

Beats coming into
work every day.

Sally Kestler's roommate says
she wasn't seeing anybody.

And judging by his dance card, Eddie
Nicodos was seeing everybody.

And Jesse Rand's boyfriend was
playing bass at a club last night.

Jesse Rand?
He's the one with the powder burns?

Yeah, shot almost point
blank near a fire exit.

Forensics pulled some dark blue
wool fibers from under his nails.

He probably got
his mitts on the guy.

CSU check the fire door?

Yeah, they found some powder residue on
the handle and a couple of dozen prints,

mostly smudged, mostly from the vics,
and one from the kid in the john.

Popular door.

Yeah, it leads
to the side street,

but it's not wired
up to an alarm.

Well, somebody who's been
there before would know that.

Start with former employees.

We checked the offices,

but the place was big on gadgets,
not personnel records.

What about the next of kin?

They've been notified.

They own Nicodos Food Distribution.
It's a big operation.

Yeah, I've been stuck behind
a few of their trucks.

You talk to Elaine Nicodos?

She's listed as
Executive Editor.

I don't understand.
Edward was my baby.

Why would somebody do this?

Come on, Mom, sit down.

Elizabeth, be a dear and
take the children upstairs.

Come on, let's go.
Let's go upstairs.

Terribly sorry for your loss, Mrs.

I buried my husband a year ago.

I thought after his memorial yesterday,
we could move on with our lives.

If I didn't have Peter and his
family living here with me,

I don't know what I'd do.

We'll help you any way we can.
Just tell us what you need.

Well, to start with,
can you think of anybody

who might have had a grudge against
your brother or the magazine?

No. Nothing comes to mind.

Eddie had a lot of friends.
Everybody liked him.

Well, somebody he fired might
have a different opinion.

Were you aware of any problems
with a former employee?

If there were,
I really wouldn't know.

But you are the Executive
Editor of the magazine, right?

It's just a title.

Just Eddie's way of saying thank you
for giving him the start-up money.

So you didn't keep up with
the day-to-day over there?

Our business is
food distribution.

The magazine was
strictly Eddie's venture.

We'd like to see his personnel file.
There was nothing in the office.

He retained a business manager.
I'll have the records released to you.

Eddie was full of ideas.
He had so much promise.

How could someone
take him away?

All three of them?
That's incredible.

I'm totally floored.

I just spoke to Sally
a few weeks ago.

Really? We didn't think you were still
on speaking terms with the people there.

Why, because I was fired?

Well, that's one reason.
Another one is this letter.

"You're a son of a bitch,
John's a son of a bitch,

"and you can both go to hell,
the sooner the better."

We found this in your
personnel file, Ms. Russell.

So? I worked five months straight
giving that rag its look,

and then I got dinged 'cause I wouldn't
let some lech play grab-ass with me.

I'm supposed to be happy?

The lech, that would be John?

John Wheeler.

I'd be in his office working,

and all of a sudden he says
he has to take a leak.

He unzips right there
and pees into a cup.

Guy was a pig.

So you complained.

Eddie thought it was funny.

I spelled it out for him.
It was me or John.

So after you got

why didn't you let a lawyer
write your hate mail for you?

I did. She said I had
a great case,

until she realized the
magazine had no assets.

Well, Eddie got his
consciousness raised.

John Wheeler was fired
two weeks ago.

Oh, God.

When Sally called me, she sounded worried.
John had started in on her.

He even followed
her home one night.

Leave me a number. I gotta finish
this piece on molecular computers.

I got two magazines
bidding for it.

Hey, that badge we showed you
means we got dibs on your time.

Now, let's hear about your
problem with Sally Kestler.

Come on. You look at some
chicks the wrong way,

you become a serial rapist.

You follow them home,
maybe you are.

Big misunderstanding, that's all.
Sally never had a sense of humor.

Did you lose yours
after she got you fired?

That had nothing to do with it.

Eddie was just
jealous of my talent.

Couldn't deal with the fact that I was
the real juice behind the magazine.

Right. You're so brilliant, you're
hustling the freelance market.

Temporary setback.

Look, man, I wrote
this killer review

on this mega carnage piece of
crap CD-ROM Thrasher.

Burned the game, the programmer,
got a lot of buzz from it.

Eddie felt threatened.
Only room for one resident genius.

What the hell. Mozart couldn't
hack the nine-to-five either.

Just what masterpiece
were you creating,

say two nights ago,
around 8:30?

I was at Annie's Diner on Lex.

Johnny has some fast
hands for a white boy,

but he was never
getting a piece of this.

Now, you, you might
have a chance.

Not without a note
from my wife.

What time did Johnny take off?

Just before 9:00.

He said he had a date with
some girl on his computer.

So I asked him, what
is the thrill in that?

I'm sure he types fast with one hand.

So Wheeler's story checked out.

He's quite the wordsmith.

I read his review.
Most of it's up your alley,

but the thumbs down part comes
through loud and clear.

Well, a little controversy gets people talking.
Eddie couldn't have minded.

Well, he may have
had second thoughts.

Their latest issue, there's a
retraction printed on the last page.

So the guys who invented the
game must've weighed in.

Well, only five lines.
Not much of an apology.

My girlfriend insists on
flowers and a box of Godiva.

Well, maybe somebody came
back for the chocolates.

Thrasher is an action-thriller
music-video-adventure experience.

I get that riding the subway.

So BYTEhead magazine didn't like your game.
That calls for an apology?

They weren't
supposed to review it.

I let Eddie Nicodos
see a prototype.

Bastard said he wouldn't write about
it until I worked out the bugs.

So what happened?
Eddie didn't say I'm sorry loud enough?

I worked three years on this project.
I lost my backers.

I've been on the phone every day,
trying to raise new capital.

Yeah, all those busy signals
can get pretty frustrating.

You want to tell us where you
were the night Eddie got shot?

Right here. Look, Eddie might
have been a back-stabbing jerk,

but I wouldn't kill him.

At least not until my lawyer
was through with him.

Liability here is
eight figures.

That review damaged my
client's business reputation.

It interfered with his
contractual relationships.

So a lawsuit gets
your name in the paper.

All you'll be able to do with a judgment
against the magazine is frame it.

We didn't just sue
Eddie Nicodos.

You found deeper pockets?

His family's business Nicodos
Food Distribution Inc.

Has also been
named in the suit.

Our position is they're the
true owners of the magazine.

We sure nailed his brother
on it at the deposition.

Brother Peter, who never kept up
with the day-to-day at the magazine?

We definitely
had his attention.

Do you have a transcript
of the deposition?

I have a videotape.

I don't see how my mother
giving money to Eddie

has anything
to do with this.

That's what we're
here to find out.

Has your brother's magazine received
any other funds from Nicodos Foods?

PETER: Wait, wait, wait, wait a minute.
What do you mean, "Any other funds?"

The start-up money came from my mother's
personal account, not the business.

Remind me to borrow this
next time I can't sleep.

This is all very interesting,
but I've got things to do.

Ed... No, I'm here,
so you're here, too.

It's your
problem, Pete.

You want to sue me,
go right ahead.

The magazine's

You think you can collect from
my brother, be my guest.

You irresponsible, spoiled brat.
I'm sitting here, taking this... Sit down!

Go to hell!

Nice family.

Who said we're not
the city of brotherly love?

The lawsuit is
just a lot of smoke.

Our business has nothing
to do with Eddie's magazine.

My attorney assures me
we're in the clear.

So when you didn't tell us about
it, that was just an oversight?

I didn't think it was relevant.

A $12 million lawsuit?

Hey, we understand if you
didn't want us to know

how upset you were
at your brother.

We saw the deposition tape.

So I overreacted.

Eddie put us in a
vulnerable position.

My grandfather built this firm.

I take seriously my duty to
protect the family's interests.

I'm not gonna sit back and let some little
shyster bleed us over a computer game.

No, you're going to yell at your brother.
Makes perfect sense.

We weren't twins, Detective.
We handled things differently.

My brother was imaginative.

BRISCOE: Well, we have
imaginations, too,

so if you could tell us your
whereabouts the night he was killed?

I was here. I spent the
entire day with my mother,

the memorial service,
dinner at Periyali.

Payroll checks don't
sign themselves.

What time did you leave?

Around 9:30, so I could kiss
my children good night.

Now, if you'll excuse me,
I have people waiting for me.

I still can't get over it.
I knew Eddie since he was in short pants.

That kid could never sit still.

The things his folks would
let him get away with.

What about lately?
You see him around here with Peter?

No. Last time he was around
here was five years ago.

He was out of college.

The old man talked him into taking
a job in the sales department.

Not his cup of tea, huh?

He lasted two months.

Pete was his boss.

They had a blowout on the loading dock
and Eddie found something else to do.

According to your log book, you were
on duty the night he got killed.

That's right.
I had a man out sick.

CURTIS: Did you see
Peter come in?

About 8:00.
He went right up to his office.

He's not a talkative man.
He's always got something on his mind.

What time did he leave?

That I couldn't tell you.

Sometimes he goes out
through the warehouse.

Why do you want to know?

Well, we got a lot of blank
spaces to fill in on our reports.

Do you happen to know if he
keeps a gun in his office?

No, he doesn't.

Had to think that one over?

Mr. Brice, if you want
to reconsider your answer...

Mr. Nicodos' secretary keeps a
licensed handgun locked in her desk,

for nights when she works late.

She worries about carjackers.


And this morning, she called
me to report it missing.

Did Mr. Nicodos know
she had a gun?

He signed the affidavit
for the premise permit.

Last time she saw it was the
day before the shootings.

And as far as she knows, Nicodos
does have a key to her desk.

According to her permit, it's
a Ladysmith nine millimeter.

I checked the rifling.
It's a six with a right twist,

same as the slugs
we recovered from vics.

Making Peter a prime
candidate for a sit-down.

No point putting him in the hot
seat if we can't keep him there.

Nicodos went straight from
the memorial to the office.

With one stop in
between for dinner.

Forensics found dark blue wool
fibers on one of the victims.

I'm no Donna Karan, but I know the
right fashion for solemn occasions.

I really don't remember
what Peter was wearing.

I'm sure it was
something appropriate.

Where are those people going?

The warrant allows us to search
the whole house, Mrs. Nicodos,

starting with your son's room.

What do you expect to find?
It doesn't make any sense.

That day at the memorial service, did
anything happen between your sons?

Eddie couldn't be there.
I told him it was all right.

He had a deadline
at the magazine.

But you haven't answered
my question, Detective.

What do you expect to find?

Why don't we just wait and
see what happens, okay?

That day is like
a blur, Detective.

Peter was on the phone with his office,
the church and the restaurant.

My youngest had the flu.

Did your husband say anything
to you about his brother?

He was disappointed that Eddie
was missing the service,

but we really didn't
have a chance to talk.

Just as we were about
to sit down to dinner,

he was called away to a
meeting with his lawyer.

Did he mention
what it was about?

It was that lawsuit
with the magazine.

Detective, we got grays,
taupes and pinstripes,

but nothing in a dark blue.

There's nothing in the other
closets, either. And no gun.

Even money there's a blue suit
fertilizing the dump at Fishkill.

Yeah, with a nine
millimeter in the pocket.

Now, the mother said Eddie
skipped the old man's service.

Maybe Peter took it personally.
Could've sent him over the edge.

Or maybe talking
to his lawyer did.

His wife said he ran off to a meeting
about the lawsuit after the memorial.

Yeah, the nothing lawsuit
that just couldn't wait.

I doubt if his lawyer will
tell us what was so pressing.

Maybe the other
guy's lawyer will.

How do I know why he
went to see his lawyer?

I'm sure I'm not the
only thorn in his side.

You were that day.

You know, Lennie, we'd be remiss
if we didn't call his clients.

They might want to
find another lawyer

while Mr. Kaiser here is under
investigation for obstruction.

Now, wait a minute.
I'd love to cooperate,

but you know I can't divulge
information from my client's file.

We're not asking about
privileged conversations.

We just want to know what bug you
dropped in Peter Nicodos' shorts.

I found a shell corporation.

Gaston Inc. It was getting $10,000
a month from Nicodos Foods.

I believe that's how they
diverted money to the magazine.

I served a set of interrogatories
on Nicodos' attorney that morning.

Here we go. Penthouse E.

You'd think with 10 grand a month, Gaston Inc.
Could afford a sign on the door.

Not if the building
is zoned residential.

CELIA: Who is it?

It's the police.
Could you open up the door, please?

Gaston Inc.

Yes, I'm Celia Gaston.
What do you want?

Well, we'd be more
comfortable inside.

Excuse the mess.
I just got back from a business trip.

What business is that,
Ms Gaston?

I'm an interior decorator.
I have clients all over.

Including Nicodos Foods?

I've done some
consulting for them.

Ten thousand a month?
What'd you do, redecorate their warehouse?

Peter Nicodos is a personal
friend of yours, am I right?

A very generous
personal friend?

I don't see how that's
any of your business.

Believe me, it is.

What's going on?
Is Peter in trouble?

If you don't mind, we'll ask
the questions, Ms. Gaston.

When was the last
time you saw Peter?

Three nights ago.

He came by after his dad's service.
Said he couldn't see me anymore.

Did he give you a reason why?

It was personal.

Now I think you should leave.

Ms. Gaston, his brother
Eddie was shot that night.

We think he might
have been involved.

Oh, my God.

I had no idea.

One more time, Ms. Gaston.
Did he tell you anything?

If you don't cooperate, we can have you
arrested and held as a material witness.

We'd rather not do that, but...

It's because of that lawyer.

The one suing them.

Eddie told him who I was, and the
lawyer called Peter that day.

He said he had
to settle the case

or he'd tell
his family about us.

He was being blackmailed.

Nice move, Eddie.

When Peter left here, did he
tell you where he was going?

No. He was just ranting about Eddie.
He was furious.

How furious was that?

I've seen him mad at Eddie before,
but nothing like that night.

Does Peter keep
a change of clothes here?

I felt so sorry for him.

Peter had so many obligations.

That job he hates, his family.

He said when he was with me,
he could just be himself.

Looks dark blue to me.

Okay, bad news first.
The suit's a wool-cotton blend.

Fibers from the victim
are tropical wool.

And the good?

The suit had
cat hairs on the pants.

Right, the girl has a cat.
So that's good.

Well, the cat gets around.

I pulled similar cat hairs off the
same victim who had the fibers.

Nicodos might have picked up some
hairs from his girlfriend's place.

They end up on
the guy he struggled with.

You sure the hairs
are the same?

I said similar. I'll have to run
tests for a positive match.

Give me a few weeks, and
I'll sign my name to it.

Similar's good enough for me.
I hope it's good enough for a judge.

Mr. Nicodos.

Excuse me.

Can't this wait?
We're going to be late for the Met.

Don't worry, it'll still be
there 25 years from now.

Peter Nicodos, you're under arrest
for the murder of Edward Nicodos.

You have the right to remain silent.
Anything you do say

can and will be used against
you in a court of law.

"Case number 830695,
People v. Peter Nicodos Jr.

"Three counts of murder
in the second degree."

I'm ready for your
plea, Mr. Nicodos.

Not guilty, Your Honor.

Your Honor, the People ask
for remand without bail.

Absurd, Your Honor.

The defendant shot three
people in cold blood.

He's wealthy, his family
owns a private plane.

He poses a
significant flight risk.

My client will gladly surrender his
passport and the keys to his plane.

He has numerous ties
to the community.

He has a wife and two small children.
He's not going anywhere.

The defendant
killed two witnesses.

He's shown how far he'll
go to avoid prosecution.

And I want him
where we can find him.

The defendant is
remanded to custody.

It's a disgrace, McCoy.

My client should be home, helping
his kids with their schoolwork.

I saw the crime scene photos.
I know how much his family means to him.

But I'm innocent.
I didn't kill anybody.

You've already learned the Rikers
Island theme song. Good for you.

I'm not dealing for anything
less than a full sentence.

You better check your cards
before you shoot the moon.

Forensics ties him
to one of the victims.

His fingerprints were on Eddie's desk.
He had access to the murder weapon.

He had opportunity and motive.

Motive being?

Thanks to his brother,
he was being blackmailed.

Well, then, he'd be angry at the people
blackmailing him, not at his brother.

Not according
to Ms. Gaston.

Well, she can't
establish motive,

if she can't testify.

It's black letter law, Your
Honor, as black as it gets.

Out-of-court statements used to support the
truth of the facts stated are hearsay.

Anything my client said to Ms.
Gaston is inadmissible.

It is black letter, but you're
looking at the wrong law.

Any statement by a
defendant is an admission

and falls outside
the hearsay rules.

That would be correct if we were talking
about a statement made by the defendant,

not a statement made by a
third party to the defendant.

Ms. Gaston told the police

the plaintiff's lawyer threatened Mr.
Nicodos with blackmail.

That's hearsay.

He's right, Mr. McCoy.

The statement is excluded.

With all due respect, that doesn't
preclude her from testifying

to the defendant's
state of mind.

New packaging, same bad taste.

Her observations
aren't hearsay.

She can testify that Peter Nicodos
was angry at his brother that night,

and according to her, angrier
than she'd ever seen him before.

Under extraordinary
conditions, Your Honor.

He was angry at his brother for not
attending their father's memorial.

And this will be totally
misconstrued by a jury.

Yeah, I have to agree.

Under the circumstances,
the prejudicial effect

of Ms. Gaston's testimony will clearly
outweigh its probative value.

I have no choice but to
preclude her from testifying.

Judge Hynes put
in a good day's work.

He yanks the rug out, then he sends
Peter Nicodos home for dinner.

I shared a cubicle with
Edgar Hynes, 35 years ago.

His heart didn't bleed then.
I doubt it does now.

If you lost, it was fair and square.
Look on the bright side.

He probably did you a favor.

By knocking out
our motive witness?

A woman who'd been given her walking
papers by her lover. Some witness.

Check your messages?

Rothenberg's feeling his oats.

I don't expect a call from him.

Lost the dialing
instructions on your phone?

I won't shop for a deal, Adam.

We've got the forensic evidence, we've
got the tapes from the deposition.

It won't take much
to convince a jury,

these brothers didn't walk
out of beau geste.

I was at the office 10, 12 hours
every day, and sometimes weekends.

To your knowledge, during
the weeks you worked there,

did the defendant ever visit
the magazine's offices?

No. I didn't even know Eddie had a
brother until I read it in the papers.

He never talked about him.

Earlier, we heard testimony

that the defendant's fingerprints
were found on Eddie's desk.

Now, let me ask you,

were you working late the
night before the shooting?

Yes. I was there
until midnight.

Were you present when the
cleaning crew came around?

Yes. They showed up
around 9:00.

Did you see them
clean Eddie's desk?

Yes. They wiped
everything down.

Thank you.

Mr. Ricardi,

you have testified that during the two
short weeks you were at the magazine

you were employed as a gofer.

Now, does that mean that you ran
errands outside of the offices?

Yes. Sure, to the printers
and advertising agencies.

A lot of errands.

Isn't it possible that my client dropped
in on his brother when you were out?

Yes, it's possible, I guess.

Now, when these shootings occurred, you
were hiding in the bathroom, correct?

I wasn't hiding.
I was busy in there.

So you did not see my client
shoot anyone, did you?


No more questions for
this witness, Your Honor.

The victim had powder
burns on his shirt,

and there were bruises on the
knuckles of his right hand.

JACK: What, if any,
conclusions did you make?

I concluded the victim was
engaged in a very close struggle

with his attacker
when he was shot.

Did you make any other
findings, Detective Chung?

Side bar, Your Honor?

Mr. McCoy is soliciting testimony
about cat hairs found on the victim.

If that's foundation
for this report, I object.

What's in the report,
Mr. McCoy?

Forensics matched those hairs
to hairs found in the apartment

of the defendant's mistress.

Your Honor, I received
this report two days ago.

I've barely had
time to skim it.

This is trial by ambush.

They got it an hour after we did, Your Honor.
Nothing was withheld.

If they need time to prepare, we
don't object to an adjournment.

Your Honor, it's not
a question of time.

Our trial strategy was founded

on the presumption the People
did not have this evidence.

The damage can't be undone.

I want this report and any
testimony thereto excluded.

Your Honor...

Mr. McCoy, you're lucky I'm not
sanctioning you for discovery violations.

Now, let's move on.

I sent Chung three memos.

He kept promising we'd have
the report before trial.

Have you finished
prepping Detective Curtis?

Yes, but he's not scheduled to
take the stand until tomorrow.

We planned to spend the rest of
today talking about cat hair.

Find him.
Hynes expects us to have a witness

by the time we get
back from lunch.

I don't know who I want to kick
most, Hynes or that lab technician.

Jack, we haven't lost the game.

Right. Just make sure
Curtis gets here in time.

CURTIS: The defendant's
secretary reported

that the nine millimeter handgun she
kept locked in her desk was missing.

We confirmed that the defendant
had a key to the desk.

And what can you tell us
about that missing weapon?

It was a Smith & Wesson
Ladysmith auto.

It had the same rifling as the
slugs recovered from the victims.

Six lans and grooves
with a right twist.

Thank you.

Detective, did you know
that Smith & Wesson

makes eight other
models of handguns

that produce that same
rifling as the Ladysmith?

No. Did you know that
Browning and Walther

also make handguns that
produce that same rifling?

No. Do you know how
many of these weapons

are registered in the Five
Borough area? I don't.

Well, the license division
at One Police Plaza does.

There's just over
5,000 of them,

and this is not counting
the unlicensed ones.

Did you check any of those guns to see
if they might be the murder weapon?

CURTIS: Mr. Nicodos didn't have access
to those weapons, so the answer is no.

No further questions.

The People rest, Your Honor.

Your Honor, pursuant to Criminal
Procedure Law, Section 290. 10,

the defense moves for a
trial order of dismissal.

On the grounds that the evidence against
my client is not legally sufficient

to prove the offense charged.

Your Honor, the People have established
every element of the crime.

I don't agree, Counselor.

All counts of the indictment against Mr.
Nicodos are dismissed.

The jury is excused.
I thank them for their time.

Court is adjourned.

He as good as acquitted him.

With jeopardy attached, we
can't lay a finger on Nicodos.

Right. Blame the judge.

Adam, defense attorneys

routinely move to dismiss
and judges routinely deny it,

or they wait until
after the verdict.

Why the big rush
to let a murderer walk?

I don't see the big rush.

You barely made the case.

Because Hynes took
a chainsaw to it.

He threw out every good
piece of evidence we had.

If your Mr. McCoy wants to
rewrite the rules of evidence,

give him a pencil
and point him to Albany.

He thinks you were quick on
the draw dismissing the case.

You agree?

So, you invite me for a drink
just to kick dirt on my shoes.

The case was weak.
The jury probably would have acquitted.

You had no reason to take
them out of the loop.

Well, that's why the
ponies run at Belmont.

Everyone has an opinion, Adam,
but since I wear the robe,

mine's the only
one that counts.

You're still a cocky
son of a gun, Edgar.

Whatever. You know as well as I do
I can't discuss a case with you.

That never stopped you before.

I said everything I had to say
in my order of dismissal.

I have to go.

Say hello to Jane.

Maybe we can all get together
for a sail around the Sound.

I sold the boat.
Jane filed for divorce last month.

But thanks for asking.

You wanted to see me?

People v. Carruthers, 1988.

The bell's not ringing.

One of Ben Stone's cases.

Hynes presided. Page 54.

"Defense motion to suppress
a ballistics report."

Which was turned over to the defense the
day before the expert took the stand.

Hynes let this report in.

Maybe he joined the Golden Agers
Club at the ACLU since then.



The last new trick
he learned was the twist.

He's predictable.

Up until a couple of days ago?

I'm afraid so.

Look into it.

Judge Smith's got a week to kill
before his time-share in Sun Valley,

I tossed him a
slam-dunk robbery.

Judge Jones wants to upscale his image,
I give him bank fraud. Happy to oblige.

You got the Nicodos Case from Part 40?
A triple homicide?

Right, right. I passed that
over to Judge Hynes in 49.

Luck of the draw?

A pair of adorable
dimples. Hynes' clerk.

He asked for the case.

Did he tell you why?

I didn't ask.

I heard Hynes
is getting divorced,

so maybe he wanted a murder
case to cheer him up.

Judge Hynes had just done
seven drug cases in a row.

He wasn't looking
forward to another one.

Did he specifically mention
the Nicodos case?

Yes. There was a lot
of publicity about it.

Am I done?

Yes. And I remind you not to discuss
this interview with anybody.

Maybe Hynes just wanted to
see his name in the papers.

By holding the door open
for a three-time killer?

That's not the kind of press a
judge wants on election day.

Somebody reached out to him.

Peter Nicodos.

He didn't just throw darts
at the judges directory.

He must have had
some connection to Hynes.

Or his lawyer does.

I'll convene a grand jury
and subpoena Hynes' records.

Even if we can prove Nicodos
bribed Hynes, it's a B Felony.

He can get a year.

Not much of a consolation
prize for three murders.

We're not just running for
second place here, Claire.

If he bribed the judge, he can't
hide behind double jeopardy.

The Constitution says he can.

I don't think the Constitution
protects rigged trials.

Find the bribe.
We'll make the argument.

I talked to the AG's office
and to the Ethics Committee.

They've never had a complaint
about Nicodos' attorney.

Well, I ran his name through
AJIS, and I talked to OCCB.

Nothing. I mean, the guy
squeaks when he walks.

A defense lawyer?
That'd be a first.

Then it's a first.

I cross-referenced
him with Hynes.

They've never even been in the
same courtroom until Nicodos.

And speaking of, we're not having much
luck putting him together with Hynes.

Different hobbies, different
tailors, different alumni clubs.

Different generations.
What about his parents?

File's pretty thin
on Peter Nicodos Sr.

You know, I saw something in here, some
bequest from the family business...

Yeah, " To Yale, in memory of Peter Nicodos Sr.
, class of 1955."

What, that does
something for you?

Plenty. Hynes went to Yale.

Yeah, here, Edgar
Hynes, Class of '55.

So he and Nicodos Sr.
Drank from the same keg 40 years ago.

You think he'd go to the wall for
one of his frat brother's kids?

If the price is right.
What about his bank records?

Just a lot of red ink.

A month ago, Hynes took out a second
mortgage on his house in Sand's Point.

Six hundred grand.
Here, take a look at this interest rate.

Five percent, fixed.

I had to get on my knees just
for a seven percent adjustable.

It gets better.
According to the documents,

he only has about a 200,000
equity in the house.

I don't see how this guy qualifies
for anything beyond a car loan.

Yeah, I've heard of friendly bankers,
but this sounds like love.

What did Fitzgerald write?

"The very rich are different
from you and me"?

That goes for their loans.

Judge Hynes received
a preferential rate

that we reserve for our
important customers.

Well, Gatsby would be
an important customer.

I've seen Judge Hynes' bottom line.
He's hardly in the same league.

We made our own determination.

What convinced you?

His debts or the fact that
he has virtually no equity?

Maybe there was a shortfall, but we
are entitled to make character loans.

I really don't need to justify our
banking procedures to you, Ms. Kincaid.

You'd rather justify them
to a grand jury?

I can make a phone call and
schedule you for this afternoon.

The important customer
was Elaine Nicodos.

Her family's been banking
with us for many years.

She spoke to you
about this loan?

She asked us to treat Judge Hynes
as a most favored customer.

Give him the loan at cost.

Our accountants
ran the numbers.

He'll be saving a little
over $300,000 in interest.

Counting the $600,000 you loaned
him, that's quite a gift.

Let's say I got the sense
that if we didn't go along,

Mrs. Nicodos would close her accounts
and take her business elsewhere.

That we couldn't afford.

So, they keep their money
in the same bank.

So do a million other people.

Those people don't have Mrs.
Nicodos to scratch their backs.

I had no idea she
spoke to the bank.

JACK: When you saw the mortgage
papers, what did you think?

It was bargain day
at the savings and loan?

I only saw this woman once

at a class reunion 15 years
ago with her husband.

I've done nothing improper.

NO VAK: Edgar...

HYNES: No, no, this is lunacy.
It's a vendetta.


Get rid of him.

Edgar, are you sure...

He's sure.

Turn that off.

Adam, you of all people know
this is absolute garbage.

Don't insult me, Edgar.

You believe it?

I personally
authorized the warrant.

How could you?

You're a judge,
for heaven's sake.

Think of your oath.

I thought after 35 years, you'd
give me the benefit of the doubt.

The hell with the 35 years.

You betrayed your office.

I couldn't think about that.

I was being killed
by the divorce.

Everything I worked for, Adam.
She was getting it all.

But I...

I needed the money.

Adam, can you help me here?

You're going to prison, Edgar.

Where and for how long
is up to you.

Well, tell me what
to do, I'll cooperate.

Elaine Nicodos came
to me for help.

She said that she would
square things with the bank.

If you let her son take a
walk on three murders.

Adam, they have so much money.

They would have
beaten it anyway.

Hardly the point.

ROTHENBERG: You sent your
troops to arrest a woman

in front of her
own grandchildren.

And for what? Bribery?

Anybody ever tell you
you're a sore loser, McCoy?

Only when I lose,
Mr. Rothenberg.

We have a statement
from the loan manager,

and we have one
from Judge Hynes.

Don't fault Edgar Hynes.

He just took pity
on an old widow.

Judge Hynes won't be the only officer of
the court facing charges, Mr. Rothenberg.

I'd start thinking
about a second career.

Let me make something
very clear, Mr. McCoy.

No one else knew.

Not Mr. Rothenberg,
and certainly not Peter.

Mrs. Nicodos, you don't seem to realize
the seriousness of your actions.

I used my influence
to save the son I have left.

The son I might have neglected.

It's the least
I can do for him.

Go on, punish me.

But Mr. Rothenberg tells me you
can't do anything to Peter.

That's all I care about.

Don't be so sure your son
is out of the woods.

I'm reinstating the murder
charges and ordering his arrest.

What part of double jeopardy
don't you understand?

I'm well acquainted with it, Mr.
Rothenberg, and it doesn't scare me.

ROTHENBERG: Double jeopardy was
written into the Constitution

to protect citizens from repeated
attempts by the State to convict them.

Finality of acquittal is the
essence of that guarantee.

The Founding Fathers never intended double
jeopardy to go to the highest bidder.

But it was their intent that the State
get only one bite at the apple.

JACK: One fair bite.

Fair is a four-letter word when
it comes to the Constitution.

The deck is deliberately stacked
in favor of individual rights.

There is no individual right
to profit from illegal acts.

But you're asking this court to deny one
of our most closely held protections.

Your Honor, jeopardy never
attached at this defendant's trial

for the simple reason
that he never was in jeopardy.

The judge was bribed.
The fix was in.

Point well taken.

Your Honor, to allow
these charges to stand

penalizes my client for the
actions of a third party.

He had no knowledge
of this alleged bribe.

He comes into court
with clean hands.

JACK: It's irrelevant.

The outcome was predetermined.

The process was corrupted.

The defendant cannot profit from it.
Your Honor...

I've heard the arguments, Mr.

Double jeopardy may be sacred,

but not at the expense of the integrity
of the criminal justice system.

The motion to dismiss is denied
and the charges will stand.

You kick the system,
Mr. Nicodos,

don't be surprised when it
turns around and bites you.

Don't imagine for a second that
this is the end of the road, McCoy.

We plan to pursue this all the
way to the Supreme Court.

It's a free country.

I'll get started on our briefs just
as soon as we convict your client.

Claire, signal the guard that Mr.
Nicodos is ready to return to Rikers.

There was an offer
on the table.

Nothing less
than a full sentence.

Right. Murder two, three
counts, concurrent sentences.

After 25, he takes his chances
with the parole board.

Your final word?

Then we have nothing
left to talk about.

JACK: As for Mrs. Nicodos, I plan to seek
the maximum time under the statutes.

In practical terms, that's 25
years, but I'll settle for half.

Is that what you want for
your children, Mr. Nicodos?

To visit their grandmother in the
geriatric ward at Bedford Prison?

he's blowing smoke.

Mr. McCoy, I'll accept your offer if you
drop the charges against my mother.

Peter, no!
We can fight this in court.

Mr. McCoy?

Mr. McCoy,
don't listen to him.

Peter, I won't
allow you to do this.

You're not going to jail.

Mr. McCoy, do we
have a deal or not?

You got around double jeopardy.

You climbed Everest in your
shorts on a very cold day.

Good work.

As long as we stayed
out of Appellate Court.

With their bankroll, sooner or
later they would have creamed us.



Thank you.

They found Edgar Hynes

on the beach at Sand's Point,

a gunshot to the head.

Bring that over here.