From the Hip (1987) - full transcript

Apprentice lawyer Robin Weathers turns a civil suit into a headline grabbing charade. He must re-examine his scruples after his shenanigans win him a promotion in his firm, and he must now defend a college professor who is apparently guilty of murder.

Come on, Jo Ann. Let's get up.
Come on.


Yes. Wake up.

You said to use guerrilla
tactics if necessary.

You said to use guerrilla
tactics if necessary.


This is phase one,

escalating every 60 seconds.

Let's go.

Get up!

Get up!

Ok, Jo Ann.
Here comes phase two.

You said you wouldn't marry me

if I let you oversleep.

Just remember,
this one's for love, babe.

Aah! Oh!

You said that the morning
was hypercritical.

Your words.

Your words.

I was drunk.

You don't drink.

I must drink.

How else could I feel
this way in the morning?

Jo Ann.

Ok. Phase 3.

60 seconds to phase 3.

You won't like phase 3.

Come on, Jo Ann.

I've got something important
to talk to you about anyway.

Seriously. I'm about to
compromise my values...

Seriously. I'm about to
compromise my values...

I think.

I'm gonna do something that some
people might construe as unethical.

Well, sort of a little
bit unethical.

I mean, not unethical
really--just opportunistic.

more than unethical.

I just can't stand this waiting.

I want to get at it.
I want to practice law.

It's what I've wanted
all my life.

When other kids were playing
cowboys and Indians,

I was playing plaintiff
and defendant.

I was playing plaintiff
and defendant.

I want to go to trial. I want
to object and be sustained.

I want to pace up and down
and wave my arms

and bang on tables and be overruled
and all that lawyer stuff.

Are you listening?


You know what we
always talked about--

You as earth mother between
your acting and modeling jobs,

looking after crippled
kids and the homeless

and abandoned old folks;

Me defending migrant farm workers--you
know, fruit pickers and stuff.

Are there any fruit
pickers in Massachusetts?

Are you listening? Jo Ann.

Are you listening? Jo Ann.


Jo Ann. Mmm.

You haven't heard
a word I've said, have you?


Mm-hmm? Oh, well, uh,
are you listening now?


Oh. Oh, good,

because I got a phone
call this morning,

and, well, it seems that I've been awarded
the nobel prize for jurisprudence,

and, well, the Harvard law
school wants to have me bronzed

and hung out over
the law library.

Do you think I should do it?


Mm-hmm. And a big
dinosaur came down

mm-hmm. And a big
dinosaur came down

and jumped on my head,
and I caught on fire,

and I was running around naked
with feathers in my ears.

Should I do that?



Hypercritical, you said.

Oh! Oh!

Robin! Oh, god!

Come back here, you coward!

Oh, god. Oh. 7 A.M. why
didn't you wake me?


Oh, Jesus. Steve,
what are you doing?

What are you doing?

Nothing. Just seeing
if Duncan was in.

How come you're here so early?

Uh, catching up.

Uh, catching up.

You know, filing,
proofreading, the usual.

Yeah, tell me about it.
Are we still on for lunch?

Yeah. We got to be back for
Roberta's birthday party

at 1:30.

Half an hour to eat. We better
order ahead for that pork tartare.

How many of those things
are you gonna eat?

What? They're good for you.

Staying power.

You mean oysters, Steve.
Those are clams.

Oh. Well, they're wet and slimy.

What's the difference?

You know, you should
really try some of these.

You know, you should
really try some of these.

What for? I can't get a date.

What, no.

Are you kidding?
I can't get near a girl.

I can't get near anyone.

If I were a tree, dogs
wouldn't piss on me.

I had an imaginary
playmate once.

Well, he liked you.

Nah. He used to beat
the shit out of me.

What's the matter with you?

I just can't take it anymore.

Every day it's the same--

Research, file,
proofread, research--

Robin, don't start again.

Nobody tries cases their first
year out of law school.

Look, Steve, we work harder

than anyone in that firm.

Nobody notices.

I got to do something
to get their attention.

I got to do something
to get their attention.

Hey, you guys, let's go. Roberta's
birthday party. Let's move.

No, I can't make it.
I got to work.

That's a great way
to get their attention.

Ignore a senior partner's
birthday party.

Yeah. We're going, babe.

You know, Roberta hates me.

Roberta hates everybody.

All women hate me.

Yeah. They're right.

♪ The old gray mare ♪

♪ She ain't what
she used to be ♪

♪ Ain't what she used to be,
ain't what she used to be ♪

♪ The old gray mare, she ain't
what she used to be ♪

♪ Many long years ago ♪

♪ Many long years ago ♪

Speech! Speech!

God, it looks like
the Chicago fire.

I know meticulousness
is a virtue for lawyers,

but do we have to be quite so
unerring in the candle count?

Make a wish.
It's never too late.


Now, you listen to me,
you roach!

You tell that client of yours

that if he's not off the
premises by noon tomorrow,

that if he's not off the
premises by noon tomorrow,

I will not only sue him,

but I will send a 300-pound
thumb-breaker down there

to buff-dry the vaseline plastered
to the little greaseball's head.

Baloney! The guy is greasier
than Zorro's hatband.

So you tell that little hangnail

to scribble out a check,
and it better be good,

because the only thing
that I want to see bounce

because the only thing
that I want to see bounce

is that little weasel's butt

right out of the building!


Cindy, would you get me a--

Oh, I'm sorry.
Could you hear that?

Hear it? You blew
the candles out.

What was that?

That was a tenant.
He won't vacate.

My god. You haven't had
him guillotined yet?

My god. You haven't had
him guillotined yet?

I'm really sorry. I guess I
was a little bit overzealous.

Happy birthday.

Not at all. We enjoyed it--

Particularly the part
about Zorro's hatband.

That's a very original
term in jurisprudence.

It's negotiation as art form.

I'm very sorry.

It was very industrious.

All right, cake for everyone,

and noses back in your briefs.

You'll forgive the expression.

And thank you all very much.

And thank you all very much.


All right, who's the
hungriest person here?

Cindy. She carried the cake.

You slick son of a bitch.

Zorro's hatband?

It just came to me.

Roberta's nostrils actually flared.
I swear to god.

Desperation is my middle name.


Come on.

Weathers, damn it!

You want me?

The torkenson trial
is on for tomorrow.

Why wasn't I notified?

I sent you a memo last week.

No, you didn't. I never got it.

Sir, did you check your box?

Of course I checked my box.

You didn't send it
to me, that's what.

Sir, I did.

No, you didn't.

All right, find it.

I know I sent it.
It has to be here.

I know I sent it.
It has to be here.

You never sent it.

What about these files
over here?

Keep your nose out of that.
That's another case.

I've been through that 50 times.

Maybe it's all mixed up on
that stuff on your desk.

You're the one that's mixed up.

Why don't you just
admit you never sent it?

What's this?

Here it is. See?
Dated June 12--last week.

How did that get down there?

Trial June 19.

No continuance. We're
screwed, totally screwed.

What's the matter?

The torkenson trial
is on for tomorrow.

The torkenson trial
is on for tomorrow.

There's no continuance, and
I've never seen the files.

I can try it. What's it about?

You can try it?

What's it about?

Our client punched someone,
and he's being sued

for $50,000.

I know the case. I can try it.

It's a pimple. Let him try it.

What choice do we have?

Our client is
the president of a bank.

I can do it.

He can do it.

Phil, be serious. He's a kid.

Go with him and hold his hand.

You can do it.

Yes, sir.

Good boy.

Good god.

Good god.

Thank you, sir.

Good luck.

Ha ha hah!

You didn't. Tell me you didn't.

Ok, I didn't.

You did.

You stonewalled Duncan
on his own court date.

Robin, you're either gonna
wind up on the supreme court

or in San Quentin.

Maybe I shouldn't have done it.

Maybe I shouldn't have.

Maybe I shouldn't have.

It was unethical, wasn't it?

Are you serious?

Robin, you're kidding, right?

You heard ames. It's a pimple.

I'm sorry I didn't
think of it myself.

You're right. It's a great case.

I got a great game plan,
and I can't lose.

I'm gonna call Jo Ann.

Are you guys jumping again?

Are you?

Hi, sweetheart.

Mrs. jamison, would you take

the kids for a few minutes?

The kids for a few minutes?

I'd appreciate it. Silly, isn't he?

Would you believe
some of these kids

couldn't talk when we got them.

And they're closing
this program down.

More of the right wing's war against
wasteful social programming.

Sometimes I think you'd
like to give up the acting

and do this stuff full time.

No. I can only have
my heart broken

a few hours a day.

I got something for you.


It's for your collection.

It's a new don Wright.


Ha ha ha!

You like it?

Oh, yeah. This is an original.

Oh, yeah. This is an original.

Oh, man.

Duncan. Yup.

You happy?

Oh, yeah.

I'm gonna get it framed.

So tell me all about the case.

Can't. I don't want to be late

for my first meeting
with my first client.


Your place or mine?

Mine. There's a slight
problem with your bed.

Well, your side of the bed.

What did you do to my bed?

You didn't think I was
gonna let you get away

with this morning, did you?

I was just following orders.

Yeah, that's what
Hitler's boys said.

What did you do
to my side of the bed?

What did you do
to my side of the bed?

I, uh, kind of tarred
and feathered it.

You tarred and feathered my bed?

With honey and saltines.

You're sick. You're sick.

I'll undo it. I promise.

Now that you're a
litigator, you get a break.

I love you.

I'll see you.

I get to pace up and down

and wave my arms
and pound on tables.


Ok, we don't
have very much time,

Ok, we don't
have very much time,

so let's go over your testimony
and discuss your defense.

There's no defense,
and I struck the man.

Excuse me?

It's a loser. Just drag it out.

Uh, I'm not sure that I follow.

Well, I want at least a 3-day
trial, run up his fees.

He may get 50, but I
want it to cost him 20.

3 days? It's a one-day case.

Just stretch it out.
That's all I ask.

Sir, shouldn't we try to win?

I like your spirit, kid.

God knows I love a fight.

But, sir, I can win it.

You can't win it, son. Trust me.

I hit people
all the time. I know.

I hit people
all the time. I know.

See you in court.


It's just because of tomorrow.

Probably. Will you
still marry me?


This could be serious.

Robin, you're just preoccupied.

I'm a lawyer. What kind of
marriage are we going to have

I'm a lawyer. What kind of
marriage are we going to have

if trials make me impotent?

I think you'll recover.

Do you think I was wrong,
how I got the case?

Uh, it's a close call.

Some people would
call it initiative.

What would you call it?

Creative sneakiness.

Oh, god.

Oh, god.

I got to make
my own breaks, Jo Ann.

I didn't exactly finish
at the top of my class.

You never even met your class.

You went to 3
lectures in 3 years,

and you still finished
in the top 10%.

You're gonna be great
tomorrow, just great.

But the point is,
I'm supposed to be

calm, collected, and commanding.

I am a lawyer.

Here I am lying in bed,
scared completely stiff.

Well, not completely.

Well, not completely.


Ha ha ha!

Oh, god. Laugh. Go ahead. Laugh.

It's a really funny joke.

He's groping, your honor.

Well, a little grope
never hurt anybody.

Overruled. Continue,
Mr. weathers.

No further questions
at this time, your honor.

How's he doing?

I don't know, but he's
having a great time.


What are you doing?

What are you doing?

I don't want Duncan to see me.

I should be working.

Mr. cowens, if we're
not bothering you.

Yes, sir. So let me
get this straight.

The plaintiff, a trustee,

criticized your bank's
lending policy

after a board meeting.

That's correct.


So you punched him.

I struck him
because he was rude.

He called me an idiot.

But he never physically
threatened you, did he?



And there was no
skirmish of any kind

preceding your act
of violence, was there?


Do you mind?

No, sir.

You just felt like hitting
him right out of the blue,

so you did.

Isn't that right?

I suppose so.

No further questions,
your honor.

Redirect, Mr. weathers?

Yes, your honor.

Mr. torkenson, how long have you
known the plaintiff Mr. wilby?

Oh, approximately 12 years.

Oh, approximately 12 years.

And over that duration, did
you have an opportunity

to form an opinion as to the
character of the plaintiff?

I did, yeah.

Could you please state
that opinion for the court.

You mean what I
really think of him?

Your honest opinion, sir.

He's an asshole.


You bet. Sustained.

The answer will be stricken.

Sidebar, your honor.

Sidebar? What for?

Because I want a sidebar.


I respectfully
request, your honor,

that the answer be allowed.



It should stand. It is relevant.

And it's offensive. Don't
compound it, counselor.

Your honor, if I may--

Tell the witness
to rephrase the answer.

Well, that's just it, your honor.
He can't.

The word has a very
distinct connotation.

There's nothing else
that quite captures it.

I object. Are you saying
the president of a bank

can't articulate his thoughts
without using profanity?

What I am saying, sir, is
that there aren't many words

to describe the particular slime

that your client oozes.


Mr. weathers, just where
in the name of god

do you think you are?

I think, your honor,
that I'm in a place

where every citizen
can have his say.

Where every citizen
can have his say.

Yes, yes, but not in
any way he wants to say it.

Tell him to pick another word.

Like what? Deceitful? Dishonest?

Conniving? They're all close--


But asshole really fits.

It's the only word that
accurately describes the man,

and we can demonstrate
just that.

Everybody thinks
he's an asshole.

Son of a bitch.

That's good, too.

Shut up!

What the hell?

Court's adjourned.

In my chambers, now!

Duncan. Fuff fuff
fuff fuff fuff.

Duncan. Fuff fuff
fuff fuff fuff.

All right, now what kind
of horseshit is this?

I'm sorry, your honor.
I can't tell you how--

Excuse me, sir, but, your honor,

you know as well as I do that
the word has a unique meaning,

and my client has a first
amendment right to expression.

Give me a break.
Change the word.

Fine. Give me the replacement.

Give me one word that
captures the same inference.

One word. You name it,
and I will use it.


Can you come up with a word?

Sure. Uh, antagonistic.


With all due respect, counselor,

you're making defense's
point for him.

I still object.

I still object.

Oh, come on. I move for a
hearing on the matter.


You want me to have
a special motion

on the admissibility
of the word asshole?

Well, let me have "ass," then.

That's close enough.

What law school did you go to?

I'll agree to it, your honor.

You will? Why?

I don't want any
interlocutory appeals.

What are you, a comedy team?

All right. We'll
hear it tomorrow.

Just "ass," though.

We'll bring the jury
back on Thursday.

That's OK with me.

Oh, good!

What's this snot-nose

doing in my courtroom anyway?

You were scheduled for
this trial, Duncan.

You were scheduled for
this trial, Duncan.

We had a trial
run over, your honor.

Mm-hmm. I'll tell you what.

I'm holding you
personally responsible

for his behavior.

He steps out of line again,

I'm gonna hold you in contempt.

Me? Yeah, you!

It's going on your record.

Any questions? Good.

Get out.

Uh, w-wait a minute. I, uh--

Get out!

Lunatic. Moron. Cretin.

We'll have to change
the name of the firm

to sleaze, sleaze, and panda.



Well, you got your 3 days.

I love it.

Ha ha hee hee!

He's screaming at
the judge, yelling,

fighting, and I'm gonna
be charged with contempt.

And they're really
going to have that motion?

Oh, yes, yes, yes.

They're going to argue
over the word "ass."

Can you imagine such
language in a court of law?

Well, that boy's got balls.

I'll have to give him that much.

No brains, but

Then geld him.

Then geld him.

Relax. Give the kid some credit.

He's parlayed a little tort case

into a first amendment battle.

He's demonstrated a willingness

to embarrass this firm.

There's no telling
how low he'll stoop.

Oh, I know how low he'll stoop.

Robin, what are you doing now?

Steve, just the man I need.

We got to get Larry. We've
got to collect some books.

The word appears
in all kinds of literature,

from dictionaries to sonnets.

Look at these books.

Shakespeare, dickens, Hemingway,

Shakespeare, dickens, Hemingway,

George Bernard Shaw,
James Joyce,

Lawrence, both d.H. And t.E.

Freud, faulkner, chaucer.

But it's not good enough
for Mr. cowens.

He doesn't like it.

Too harsh.

Mr. weathers, please come out.

And face unpleasantries?
Oh, I'll bruise.

And face unpleasantries?
Oh, I'll bruise.

Mr. weathers,
this court orders you

to come out.

I'll come out, your honor,

to face reality,

but I won't stay out if you
let plaintiff's counsel

turn this courtroom into a
fortress of censorship.

The swell of obscenity
is everywhere.

Vulgarity has permeated
almost every walk of life.

But here, the courtroom
of America,

has stood to stem the filthy
tide of manmade decadence.

This place, the place where years of
integrity, honesty, and dedication

culminate for the few who earn the
right to wear that black robe

culminate for the few who earn the
right to wear that black robe

and be addressed as your honor.


I object to this
groveling drivel.

First he objects
to the word ass,

and now, your honor,
he's kissing yours.

This is grounds for disbarment!

Your honor, how can you
stand this clown?

Yeah? Yeah.

Why don't you grow up?

Mr. weathers. Mr. weathers.


That's it, counselor.

That gets him a contempt order.

Be sure you spell
his name right--


Ha ha.

In my chambers.

Weathers. Weathers,
you're fired.

You're finished, do you understand?
You're through.

Let me tell you something.

Let me tell you something.

If you fire him, you'll
not only lose our bank,

you'll lose our 3 subsidiaries,

and I'll personally see
that you never represent

another lending institution
in this state.

He's great.

Great? Are you serious?

You bet... Asshole.

Robin "stormy" weathers

and Matt cowens almost
came to fisticuffs

in what some insiders
have described

as the most brilliant legal
engagement in recent years.

The only question now, Ted, is,

will the two lawyers
kill each other

before we get a verdict?

Before we get a verdict?

If we fire him,
we'll lose the bank.

We have to fire him.

We have our reputation,
our dignity.

Neither of which means
anything without our clients.

We need that bank,

not to mention that
we've had inquiries

from 4 major firms directly due to Mr.


One client cannot be worth
an institution's integrity.

For the love of god,
Craig, control him.

I can't. He's not afraid of me.

I can't. He's not afraid of me.

Little shit.

I don't know why the
judge puts up with it.

He loves it. Loves it.

He's been sitting in civil
court for 30 dull years.

He gets off on it.

I won't have it, Phil.

It cannot continue.

Wait a minute.

Aren't--aren't we
losing sight of something?

This cowens kid is good.
He's very good.

Weathers has a no-win case.
He'll lose.

After he loses, torkenson's
passions will cool,

after he loses, torkenson's
passions will cool,

and then we'll quietly
can the little bastard.


Now, Mr. wilby,

do you recall saying
anything to the defendant

on the morning
of the day in question?

I, uh--I don't remember.

But you did speak to him.

Probably. I speak
to him every morning.

About what?

I don't know. It could
be most anything.

Well, did you tell him
that you want to have

a sexual encounter
with his grandmother?

A sexual encounter
with his grandmother?


He said it could be anything.

Ah, that's contempt
order number two.

Charge it to him.

Mr. weathers,
do you desire another?

Sure. What does he care?

Your honor, why is it
that he can remember

the afternoon conversation
word for bloody word,

but for the morning,
he's stuck for a topic?

Because I wrote it down.


I wrote the afternoon
conversation down.


In my journal.

Is that how you remember?

Yes, it is.

Do you have that book here?

It's right over there.

Your honor, I want that book.



The law is clear, Mr. cowens.

Present recollection refreshed.

Produce the book.

What? You mean he can read it?
All of it?

Every smut-filled page,
you disgusting worm.

Objection! Objection!

Oh, that's novel. Objection
in two-part harmony.

Nope. Too late.

That's it, counselor.

Contempt order number 3.

He keeps this up,
maybe I can give you life.

I move for
a suppression hearing.

I move for
a suppression hearing.


Ha ha ha ha ha!

Nothing. Absolutely nothing.

What did Duncan say?

Duncan has stopped
talking to me.

He had his eyes closed
the whole time.

You know, I think
that we should just

take all this
circumstantial material

and just create whatever
inferences we can.

And just create whatever
inferences we can.

Sure. Truth be damned.

Truth? What is this
woman talking about?

This is law. Are you
really going to marry

this rabble-rouser?


Jo Ann.

There's something
I've got to ask you.

If I win this trial, try
not to embarrass me.

What do you mean?

Remember in law school
when I won that mock trial,

you started screaming and
whistling and turning cartwheels?

One. One cartwheel.

And you mooned
the prosecuting attorney.

I did not.

One cheek perhaps, maybe.

One cheek perhaps, maybe.

This is the big-time,
so would you please

try and temper your emotions?

I'm gonna boo and hiss,
and then I'm gonna moon

the attorney for the defense.

Moon me later, OK?

Isn't he cute?

Shut up. Shut up, shut up,
shut up, shut up, shut up!

Shut up!

The question's closed.

He can use the book to impeach,

but, Mr. weathers,
you better damn well

but, Mr. weathers,
you better damn well

stick to the facts of this case.

Nothing--I repeat, nothing--
That doesn't concern

the facts of this case
is admissible.

If you so much as breathe
one irrelevant excerpt

from that book, I'll throw
you ijail until you rot!

You got that, mister? Rot!

Yes, your honor.

You're positive?

Positive, sir.

You're absolutely positive?

Absolutely positive, sir.

Very well. Proceed.

Now, Mr. wilby,
I've read your journal.

Tell me, do you enjoy
molesting little girls?

Tell me, do you enjoy
molesting little girls?


Lock him up! Duncan. Right now.

And muzzle him. Get one
of those dog things.

Put it on his face. Aah.

Your honor, I have cause.

You'd better damn well have

a good-faith basis
for this question,

or this trial is over.

I'll direct a verdict
for the plaintiff,

and you'll never practice law
in the commonwealth again!

But, your honor--
In my chambers!

But, your honor--

How would you like this gavel

tattooed to your forehead?

Your honor, please read
this top paragraph.

I don't want to read it.

You have to read it. Please.

"I think I pressured her

"into doing something
she wasn't ready to do.

I forced her. August 1956"?

That's teenage sex,
for god's sakes.

Those statements suggest
the elements of rape.

You're out of your mind!

He says he forced
a girl to have sex.

He may have committed a crime,

and if he was
convicted of that crime,

then it is relevant because
the rules of evidence state

that every conviction
bears relevance

upon the credibility of any
witness who takes the stand.

That is the law.

I'll be damned. Hmm.

I'll be damned. Hmm.

Snot-nose grows up, huh?

Violence begets violence,

so I say to you make him pay.

Show him and everyone
else like him

that unprovoked violence
has a price.

And that price is justice.

That's all I ask--justice.

Thank you.


This is stupid.

All of this because one
banker guy hits another.

It's called battery, defined
as an offensive touching.

Now, ladies and gentlemen,

you have to decide
what's offensive.

A man calls you an idiot
in front of your peers.

That's offensive.

That's offensive.

A man gets slapped,
doesn't even get a scratch,

and he wants a $50,000 band-aid.

That's offensive.

Now, think about susie Walker,

a little girl whose
whole body was burned

when a boiler exploded.

Think about a little
8-year-old girl

who never got one penny
for her crippling injuries

because she died before
her case came to trial.

The man is totally without shame.

Then think of all the
frivolous, meaningless cases

in which nobody gets hurt
that fill up the courts

in which nobody gets hurt
that fill up the courts

so that the susie walkers
never get there.


The man got slapped,

and he wants 50,000 bucks!

That's offensive!

You're the one that
should get slapped.

For that kind of money, beat me.

Susie Walker got nothing.

Who the hell is susie Walker?

That's his attitude.

Who the hell is susie Walker?

Who the hell gives
a damn about her?

Who the hell gives a damn

who the hell gives a damn

about crippled, dying children?

That is offensive.

Now think about it.

That man did not get hurt.

He has wasted the court's time.

He has taken up
a week of your life.

Now, everyone always says how
terrible the court system is

because it takes literally
years to get a trial date.

Well, you wonder why.

He wants $50,000, and he can't
even show you a bruise!

He wants $50,000, and he can't
even show you a bruise!

I say don't give it to him!

Tell this guy no, and maybe
the next guy won't try it.

Send a message because
there's a long line of guys

just like him waiting
for their chance

to roll the dice.

Well, you tell them that their
place is in Atlantic city,

not in the courtrooms
of America!

Has the jury reached a verdict?

Yes, your honor, we have.

And what say you, madam foreman?

Your honor, we, the jury,

acting in accordance
with the laws

of the commonwealth
of Massachusetts,

find for the defendant,
Raymond torkenson.


Son of a bitch.

Somebody just said that I'm
gonna be on national TV.

Well, don't squint,

because your eyes disappear
when you squint,

and you'll be eyeless
on national television.

You're nuts.

Was that spectacular?

I think you're gonna
have to give

some serious thought to
making that boy a partner.

It'd be good for business.

Just thought you might
want to think about it.

They were wrong.
You're the asshole.

They were wrong.
You're the asshole.

Double time!

Hee hee hee!

And backwards!

It's your client's party.

It's in your honor.

Have a little dignity.

What is that?

♪ Da da da da ♪

And they said the
man couldn't dance.

And they were right. Sir. Sir.

Where's your date?

Oh, she couldn't make it.


He got stood up.

I got stood up.


Told you I was a lonely guy.

Hey, is that cowens?

What's he doing here?

What's he doing here?

I invited him.

Hey, you're both good lawyers.

You did yourself proud.

He's got as much cause
to celebrate as you do.

Anyhow, I know
you're both professionals.

You won't let your differences
affect a social gathering.

On the other hand,
maybe they'll slug it out.

Welcome. There's
a friend of yours.

Are you lost?

It's a party. I was invited.

I don't know if
you realize this,

I don't know if
you realize this,

but this party is in honor
of you being whipped.

The only thing whipped around
here is your reputation.

Your client used you.

He'll hire me next, as
soon as you get disbarred.



Why don't you tell the
bimbo here to take a hike?

Oh, that's it.

Bimbo? Let's go.

You got it.

It's not worth it, Robin!


Stay back. It's between us.

In the boathouse.

Robin? We have to stop them.

Let them get it
out of their system.

They won't hurt each other.

They won't hurt each other.


Well, what?

Wipe this, you windbag.

We did it. We did it.

We did it. We did it. We did it.

We did it. We did it!

Did you see the look
on the judge's face

did you see the look
on the judge's face

when I asked for a hearing
on the admissibility

of the word "asshole"?

Wait. We're supposed
to be fighting.

Make some noise.
Make some noise.

Ha ha ha!

What are they doing?

They're probably talking it out.

Maybe not.

Let them figure that one out.

I can't believe this.
This isn't Robin.

We fixed a trial.

We fixed a trial.

Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa.

We did not fix a trial.

All we did was stage
the presentation.

We gave the jury the true facts,

and they could have
gone either way.

Man, all we did
was tell each other

what we were gonna
do and say, hmm?

You're right.

They think we're
the fastest-talking,

quickest-thinking, baddest-ass
lawyers in the world!



Ow! Ow! Ow!

I love this kind of
human interaction.

Ha ha ha!

Are you ready for this?

I got an interview Monday...

Ha ha ha!

What? What?

For the assistant d.A. Job!


I'm going down there.

I'm going down there.

They're coming.


You asshole!

It's OK. It's OK. He gave up.

You son of a bitch.

He put up a hell
of a fight, though.

You're nuts.

All right, kid.
You kicked his ass twice.

I love it.

I love it.

Does that guy know how to swim?

I told you that boy
was partner material.


I thought we were gonna
wax the little bastard's ass.

We agreed to fire him.

That's what we voted to do.

Famous or not,
the man is a blight

on our very existence.

I, for one, will no longer allow

a born-again punk to degrade
the reputation of this firm.

He's finished.

We shall not waiver
from the only sound decision

to waft from these walls
in the past month.

Warren, tell them.

Based upon projections
from the new clients

that Robin weathers
has brought in to date,

the average earnings
of each partner

will increase this year
by $28,000 to $32,000.

I'm delighted.

Thank you, sir.

Thank you, sir.

I'm sure you can imagine
how excited we all are

to have you as a partner.

I appreciate that, Roberta,

and I hope that I can live
up to your expectation.

I palpitate at the thought.

Thank you. Um,
if you'll excuse me now,

I have to meet the decorator.

He's here about the new office.

♪ For he's a jolly good fellow ♪

♪ For he's a jolly good fellow ♪

♪ For he's a jolly good fellow ♪

♪ For he's a jolly good fellow ♪

♪ Which nobody can deny ♪

Thank god he's dead.


Oliver Wendell Holmes,
who founded this firm.

Roberta, he's
been dead 50 years.

The longer, the better.

Let's not get carried away.

He's a partner now,
and that's that.

Stormy weathers.

Couldn't we at least put an
asterisk beside his name?

You have
a great deal to answer for.

My dear, a great litigator

is never without an answer.

Ms. Jensen, bring it in, please.

And this is?

The benoit case.

The benoit case?

We decided to turn down
the benoit case.

Oh, yes, we did. Why?

Unwinnable. The man was caught

with the murder weapon

and the victim's
blood-stained clothes

under the seat of his car.

Exactly. Unwinnable.



It stinks.

Yes, it does.

And not only that,

but at the prospect
of being represented

by the incendiary Mr. weathers,

professor benoit
was easily induced

to plunking down a
retainer of $75,000.

Craig, have you any idea
how cynical this is?

What about our obligation
to the client?

Oh, yes.

Well, actually, I've
taken a bit more credit

than I deserve.

Benoit wants him. He
doesn't want anybody else.

Benoit wants him. He
doesn't want anybody else.

You told him the boy is one
year out of law school

with one trial?

All right. If the little
weasel starts to sink,

I'll bail him out.

Well, I still don't like it.

What none of you wants to admit

is that the kid is good.

We'll see.

You know the benoit case?

The b.U. Doctor?

I am defending him!


You heard it. Me.


The bastards are setting me up!

The bastards are setting me up!

It's a complete no-win.

But it's a great chance.
You should be thrilled.

Thrilled? There could be
a death penalty.

Not for the lawyer.

Oh, funny. Maybe
I can get him to confess

or plead guilty.

Now, wouldn't that be
somewhat in violation

of his mandate
as a defense attorney?

So what?


Why you?

How strange you should ask that.

Let me explain something
to you, Mr. weathers.

Through the vicissitudes of wholly
gratuitous genetic accidents,

through the vicissitudes of wholly
gratuitous genetic accidents,

I was visited with
extremely high intelligence.

I was further blessed,
or burdened, as it were,

with certain physical traits
that would suggest,

shall we say, good breeding.

Now, in this proletarian stew which
today we laughingly call society,

these attributes are not
always advantageous.

You, on the other hand, are the
current messiah of the blue collar,

you, on the other hand, are the
current messiah of the blue collar,

the people's choice, a sort
of pissed-off Abe Lincoln.

My story, which
by the way is true,

will be better served
if you tell it.

You have to realize that I'm
a creation of the media.

I've only tried one case
in my entire career,

and a murder case is
a very complex beast.

Modesty is a banal
and self-serving device.

It really doesn't become you.

And don't patronize me.
I have no tolerance for it.

Say what you mean.

Say what you mean.

This case can't be won.

I said what I meant.

I don't have
the years of experience

needed to recognize
the traps and tricks

that can sway a verdict
either way.

Scott Murray is acting
for the prosecution.

I'm not being modest
when I say that

I may be in over my head.


I was there.

It was very impressive.


Come, come, come.
Don't be so slow.

Come, come, come.
Don't be so slow.

The torkenson case.


You were remarkably intuitive.

That was a simple assault case.

If you analyze it unemotionally,

this is just a simple
assault case

with somewhat more dire results.

If you equate a bloody nose

with a hammer claw
through the brain.

A matter of degree only,
Mr. weathers.

You have the gift.

It was uncanny how you
anticipated every move,

turned every subtlety
to your advantage.

Turned every subtlety
to your advantage.

But most important of all,

they liked you.

You have the common touch.

They wanted you to win,
and they were looking

for any reason
to give you that win.

Well, that is what I need.

That is what I have paid for.

And according to your superiors,
that is what I will get.

Oh, what a sweetheart--

Sort of a cross
between Charles manson

and William Buckley.

My god. I can hear my
opening statement now.

My god. I can hear my
opening statement now.

Ladies and gentlemen, I know
my client had a motive,

had opportunity, was caught
with the murder weapon

and the victim's
blood-stained clothes

and is a superior,
obnoxious, elitist swine

who makes you want to throw up,

but you're going to
have to overlook all that.

Oh, now, don't
underestimate yourself.

I mean, based on your work
on the torkenson trial,

I'd say benoit's life
is in good hands.

Let's go. We got to
get back to work.

Jo Ann?

Jo Ann?

Jo Ann?

I'm in a bit of trouble.

I don't know how to tell you.

That's why I'm telling
you while you're asleep.

You know how I got the trial,

but what you don't know

is that cowens and I
set up the trial, too.

I don't want to
exaggerate what we did.

I mean, we didn't bribe
the judge or the jury

or rig the trial,

but we conspired to make
ourselves look good.

Conspired. Ooh.

I mean, that wasn't what
we thought we were doing,

but anyway, we set each other up

but anyway, we set each other up

so we could both be heroes.

I'm not excusing anything,

but I thought it was more of a
misdemeanor than a felony--

No harm, no foul, you know?

Are you still asleep?


Afterwards, I felt really low,

mostly because I knew that you
would be disappointed in me.

Mostly because I knew that you
would be disappointed in me.

But I thought I'd just go on,

be a good guy, and everything
would be all right.

But now I've been
given a murder trial.

And you know why?

Because the client saw me
in the torkenson case,

and he wants me because
I was so brilliant.

I just feel like such a fraud

because the torkenson trial,

it... Seemed like a game show.

High theater, high jinks.

Now this thing comes along.

It's almost biblical.

But, Jo Ann, I got to tell you,

I love it.

The limelight, the attention,

being on national TV.

Being on national TV.

I'm shocked. I'm a junkie.

Now, I don't have to take
the case, not really,

but I just want to.

I always thought of
myself as an idealist,

but maybe I love glory more.


It's been nice talking to you.

You're a good listener.

Oh, Robin.

Unfortunately, it doesn't matter

unfortunately, it doesn't matter

that her body was never found.

Brain tissue was
all over her jacket.

Somebody's dead, and the jury
will be perfectly willing

to believe that
it's Liza Williams.

Now please, let's go over
your story one more time.

Shall I say it
in hebraic this time

or maybe Latin?

They do still teach Latin
in law school these days?

Actually, yeah. Steve, tell him
the Latin for pain in the ass.

Uh, boxima ridem.

Very good.

Very good.

That plebian wit will serve us well.
Keep it up.

All right. Again.

Liza Williams was
a call girl in my employ.

She was blackmailing me.
She disappeared.

Her blood-stained clothes and
the murder weapon, a hammer,

were found in my car.

I have no alibi, and...

We were heard arguing on the
night that she disappeared.

Do you ever listen to yourself?

What does this add up to?

I'm telling you this
for the last time.

Don't play peripatetic with me.

You're talking about
a guilty plea.

You're talking about
a guilty plea.

To manslaughter.
There's a reduced--

Don't waste my time!

Listen, Doug,
you don't seem to--


Is that what you were
about to say, Mr. weathers?


I understand

every fiber of every
little twitch

of every little neuron in that
sly little mind of yours.

Don't ever tell me
that I don't understand.

I know what you're thinking
before you think it.

I understand
the ultimate conclusion

to every one of these
little legal peregrinations.

Did you think that I hadn't
thought all this out?

Did you think I was going
to leave it all to you?

Don't make me laugh.

I know that this case can't
be won on the evidence.

Substance is not on our
side despite my innocence.

Style is what
will win this case.

And that is why you are here.

Do you know what you're like, Mr.

You're like one of those
cute little performing seals

that plays little
tunes on horns.

They're adorable.
Everybody loves them.

But do you think anybody
cares what tunes they play?

No. They just love to see
them blow their little horns.

Well, you go out and start blowing
your little horns, Mr. weathers.

Is this your version
of a pep talk?

Very good. I'm impressed.

I am impressed.

Understand one thing, and
we'll get along very well.

When I say something, I
don't want an argument.

Just do it.

There will be no plea bargain.

Who is Luther Moses?

Liza's pimp.

He's disappeared.

Ah. Yes, now you're thinking.

He knew that she was blackmailing
others as well as me.

He used to accuse her
of holding out.

He had motive and opportunity.

Yes, demonstrate to the jury

yes, demonstrate to the jury

that he's just as likely
a suspect as I am.

Why else has he disappeared?

You tell me.

And what does that mean?

Isn't it true that you
had several altercations

with Moses?

We had an argument--

Oh, you had a bloody fistfight,
and he beat you senseless!

That is ridiculous.

He humiliated you,
and you hated his guts!

What are you talking about?

Nobody ever beat me in my life.

Two people saw that beating--

Liza Williams and her mother!

Liza Williams and her mother!

He beat you, benoit.

He humbled you in front of them,

and you hated him,
and you killed him,

and that's why he's disappeared!

I presume you were taking
the part of the prosecutor.

Of course.

Your point is well taken.

Since we cannot use
Mr. Moses' disappearance,

you will never mention
Mr. Moses to me again.


What a warm guy.

He'll make a great witness.

Not thinking of jumping, are we?

Nah. There's a celtics
game tomorrow night.

I'll jump Friday.

Tough day, huh?

Tough life.

Ooh. That's heavy.

You want to talk?

If I knew where to start.

Wait a sec. I can help.

Ok. Go ahead. Talk.

You heard it all, didn't you?

Yes, I did.

Yes, I did.

What do you think?

I think this is a revolutionary
therapeutic technique

that we've developed here.

I mean, this kind of
counseling ain't cheap.

All right.

Give me a quarter's worth.

A quarter's worth?

Well, yeah. Don't I get
some kind of a discount?

Yeah. For a quarter's worth,

my advice is you should jump.

Well, what did you
want for a quarter?

I wanted you to tell me
I'm right.

Can't do that.

Can't do that.

I can tell you that I love you.

I can tell you
that I understand.

I can tell you that
you're one of a kind

and that you got a good heart,

but I can't tell you
that you're right.

You think I'm wrong?

Of course you were wrong, Robin.

Don't come to me for
absolution, all right?

I'm not your mother or a priest.

I'm your lover.

I mean, you'd have to come
up just short of murder

for me not to support you,

for me not to support you,

but you can't ask me
to make it right.

Just go out there
and be a good guy.

It's all that I can tell you.



We gonna take the case?


Is he guilty?

He says not.

They all say not.

That's why they all
have to be defended.

That's justice.

Yeah. With all the justice
there is in our legal system,

you might as well
play spin the bottle.

You might as well
play spin the bottle.

Whoever it points to wins.

Ha ha ha! Sorry.


That's great. You've just
invalidated my entire existence.

I think I'll jump.

No. There's a celtics
game tomorrow night.

Look. All I'm saying is,

I mean, look at all
that we've got.

I just--I just feel like
we should be giving

some of it back,

and I'm not saying that we
should be saints or martyrs.

I would just like
to land somewhere

between mother Teresa
and imelda marcos.

Between mother Teresa
and imelda marcos.


All right. You're right.

We'll be the first
yuppie missionaries

with all the shoes we can eat.

Queer. I know. It's queer.
It's really dumb.

I love you, you know?

I know.

It keeps me going.

Candy mead,
benoit's former mistress.

Can't find her. She's
married and relocated.

You've got to find her.

We can't allow
the jury to believe

for a fraction of a second

that benoit's capable
of that kind of violence.

If he ever hit this candy mead,

that's it, we're through.

Put another detective on it.

All right.

Now did you talk
to benoit's wife?

Gave her the whole litany--

Smile, hold his hand,
be understanding.

She's actually very
supportive of him.

And how was benoit?

It was one of his good
days-- warm, charming.

You could actually
put him on the stand

if he showed this
side of himself.

Yeah? The guy's a chameleon.

I cannot get a fix on him.

I cannot get a fix on him.

Do I have your attention?

Sit down.

I found him. Who?

A pathologist, Dr. c.R. Peckham.

Now he's willing to state

that based on the blood
sample from her jacket

that Liza Williams
died more than a week

after she was seen with benoit.

That is great! Peckham's
one of the best.

He's gonna be good
on the stand, too.

He's firm, feisty,
sense of humor.

That blows Murray's pathologist
right out of the water.

Now all we got to do is keep
Murray from painting benoit

now all we got to do is keep
Murray from painting benoit

as a violent womanizer.

Is there anything we missed?

I don't see how.

We've empanelled a good jury.

We've been over
everything 10 times.

I think we're ready.

We're ready. We're ready.

We're ready.

All rise!

All rise.

Hear ye, hear ye, hear ye.

Lions and tigers
and bears, oh, my.

All ye who have business
before the superior court

in and of the county of Suffolk

in the commonwealth of
Massachusetts draw near.

In the commonwealth of
Massachusetts draw near.

Give your attention,
and you shall be heard.

Be seated.

Ladies and gentlemen,
we have a long way to go,

so let's get to it.

Mr. Murray, Mr. weathers,

we had reasonable decorum
in the pretrial hearings.

I'd like to see that continue.

Bring the jury in, please.

Is the commonwealth
ready to open?

We are, your honor.

We are, your honor.

And the defendant's
counsel, are you ready?

Yes, your honor.

Very well. Mr. Murray, proceed.

Good morning. Good morning.

How are you?

Ladies and gentlemen
of the jury,

let me begin
by saying I'm sorry.

I'm sorry because what I'm
about to do is not very kind.

I'm going to take
12 very fine people,

most of you leading good, happy
lives with lovely families.

Most of you leading good, happy
lives with lovely families.

I'm going to make you live through
the ultimate sin of man--murder.

You see, it's my job to make you feel
the horror little Lisa Williams faced.

I'm going to ask you
to close your eyes

and hear the sick sound
of crushing bone

as the defendant
repeatedly bludgeoned

a helpless 22-year-old girl.

It's my job to make you hear the
hollow crackle of a bashed skull

it's my job to make you hear the
hollow crackle of a bashed skull

as the defendant beat
and beat and beat his prey.

You'll almost be able to see
the spattering of blood

that must have been
all over the defendant

when he finished
this act of terror.

I'm sorry.

But it's my job
to tell you how life ended.

It's your job to decide
what to do about it.

Mr. weathers,
do you care to open?

Yes, your honor.

Evidence. Mm-hmm.

That's tagged, you know.


Mr. weathers.

That's how a hammer sounds.

I've never heard it hit bone
before, but neither has he.

Mr. weathers.

Mr. weathers, that's enough!

So let's skip the acoustics
and get to the question--

Who did it?

Who swung the hammer?

Mr. weathers!

Now the district attorney says,
"close your eyes and hear it."

Now the district attorney says,
"close your eyes and hear it."

Well, he has a great case as long
as you keep your eyes closed.

The defendant,
on the other hand,

says, "keep your eyes open,"

because you can't see
the truth with your eyes closed,

so keep them open.

Order! Order! Order!

That is enough!

You people in the courtroom,
this is not Fenway park.

Mr. weathers, you're not
gonna pull that in this trial.

Another stunt like that,
and you'll regret it.

And you're gonna pay
for that table.

Mr. Murray, your first witness.

The commonwealth calls Mrs.
Martha Williams to the stand.

The commonwealth calls Mrs.
Martha Williams to the stand.

Mrs. Martha Williams, please.

Robin. It's cowens.

I guess he got the assistant d.A.

That Murray's a smart
son of a bitch.

Figures cowens knows
you, knows your style.

Do you swear to tell the truth,

the whole truth, and
nothing but the truth...

Anything unusual occurred on
the evening of November 12?

Well, Liza was extremely upset.

Do you know why
she was so upset?

Yes. She'd had a terrible
argument with Dr. benoit.

Do you know why this
particular argument

upset your daughter?

Yes. She said that Dr. benoit
had threatened to kill her.

Object, you fool.

Did she say why he
wanted to kill her?

Did she say why he
wanted to kill her?


She'd been blackmailing him.

He said if she didn't
stop, he'd kill her.

No further questions.


Untimely, Mr. weathers.

I move to strike, your honor.

No. I'm gonna allow it now.

Mr. weathers?

I have no questions, your honor.

The witness may step down.

The witness may step down.

The one thing they didn't
have was predisposition,

and now they've got it.

Your honor, the commonwealth calls Dr.
Charles peckham

to the stand.

What's he doing?

Check the witness list.

Here it is.

I thought it was our list.

I'm sorry, Robin.

Why is he calling our witness?

He's gonna discredit him,
our one expert.

It's the oldest trick
in the book.

It's the oldest trick
in the book.

Object. I can't.

I've already accepted
the witness list.

I'm sorry.

The whole truth,
and nothing but the truth?

But you are familiar with
the degradation propensity

of amorphous materials,
are you not?

I'm a pathologist. That's all.

Your honor, I'm
terribly embarrassed.

Ladies and gentlemen
of the jury, I'm sorry.

Unfortunately, I assumed Dr. peckham
was qualified for this case.

In light of the fact that he has no
background in polymer chemistry,

in light of the fact that he has no
background in polymer chemistry,

I'm afraid I'd be
less than honest

to hold him out as an expert.

I'm very sorry.

What's this guy
gonna do to us next?

Very well. Dr. peckham,
you're dismissed.

Would you care to bring one
of your other experts?

I counted on Dr.
Peckham's testimony

taking up the afternoon.

However, I do have a Mr.
Harvey Beals present,

who would like an early
appearance if possible.

Beals. He's not scheduled for two weeks.
What do we have on him?

Nothing. We haven't
even reviewed him yet.

Do you swear to tell the truth,

the whole truth, and
nothing but the truth?

Tried to leave
Dr. benoit's company?

Tried to leave
Dr. benoit's company?

Oh, yes. She'd had
enough of that fella,

that's for sure.

Mr. Beals, did
Dr. benoit get upset

at this point?

Yes, he did.

He said that he knew how
to keep whores from lying.

I have nothing further.

Good afternoon, Mr. Beals.

It's Harvey, isn't it?

And may I call you Harvey?

Thank you.

Now you just happen
to be the only person

now you just happen
to be the only person

who heard that statement.

Probably. The bar was closing,

and I think I was the
only person around them.

And had you been drinking, sir?

No. No?

You just happened to be
in a bar until closing,

and you didn't have a drink?

Come on, Harvey.

Actually, I'd just arrived.

I'm the night cleaner.

Mm-hmm. I see.

How old are you, Mr. Beals?

I'm 72.

And how's your hearing?


Ever have any problems with it?

I'm sorry, counselor.
I didn't get that.

He asked if I had
any problems with it.

No more questions, your honor.

My hearing, I presume.

throughout much of the midwest

with rivers cresting
near record levels

in Michigan, Indiana, Illinois,
Missouri, and Minnesota.

So far, 11 communities
along the Mississippi river

have suffered almost
complete inundation

have suffered almost
complete inundation

with dams threatening
to give way in numerous others.

On the local scene, the
prosecution has rested its case

in the benoit murder trial.


Uh, I'm looking for a guy
named stormy weathers.

Do you know him?

Never heard of him.

Oh. Now, I heard
that he's an ace lawyer

and that he lives right here.

No. I live here.

Barney rubble. Nice to meet you.

What's that?

A present.

Actually, it's sort
of a good luck charm.

You bronzed my cartoon.

This is incredible.

Look at all that detail.

Jo Ann, this is great.

I love it.

Come here.

I think it puts the whole
thing into perspective,

don't you?

Don't you?

Yeah. Well, it does sum up the way
I've been handling this case.

You know what's
wrong, don't you?


Why do you think that I
came here today looking

for stormy weathers?

Everybody is looking
for stormy weathers.

I faked my way
into a murder trial,

only this time
I don't have a blueprint.

Robin, you've got to look

at the torkenson
case objectively.

Ok. You won because you
used your imagination.

Ok. You won because you
used your imagination.

You just disguised it
as stormy weathers.

You came up with
the ass defense,

you seiz on wilby's journal

and turned it into
a credibility issue,

you invented the whole
susie Walker defense.

You were thinking on your feet.

That's what won it for you.

You were stormy weathers.

That's quite an analysis.

I don't know if it's accurate,

but it's astute.

Actually, I had some counseling.

Actually, I had some counseling.

Oh. From who?

Matt cowens.

You went to see cowens?

No. He came to see me.

I mean, he couldn't
come see you.

That would be unethical.

He thought that you
would find that ironic,

but he meant it.

He's concerned about you. Yeah.

He's also annoyed.

He says that benoit entrusted
his life to stormy weathers,

he paid for stormy weathers,

and he suggests that you
give him stormy weathers.

And he suggests that you
give him stormy weathers.

Good grief.

He says it doesn't matter.

They're gonna kick
your butt anyway.

He said that?

He said it.

They think they can
handle stormy weathers?

Well, um, how about you?

What's the news, good and bad?

Started rehearsals for the
revere wharf theater.

That's bad. That's good.

That's bad. That's good.

It's a good part. Yeah?

Do they have seats now?

Yes. Little ones.

Um, the sunshine school
closes in a couple of days.

That's bad. That's bad.

Get started on it right away.

Robin, this is a lot of work.

We can't start
a new case right now.

No. It's not a case.
It's a motion.

Get leavitt to write it.
He owes me a favor.

Listen. I want to
file it two days.

Go. Thanks.

Mr. weathers,
your first witness, please.

Uh, yes, your honor.
The defense calls.

Dr. Charles peckham
to the stand.

This is the same Dr. ch--

This is the same Dr. ch--

Yes, your honor.
The very same doctor

that Mr. Murray attempted
to discredit earlier

in the trial.


I remind you, doctor,
you're still under oath.

Yes, your honor.

Now, doctor, Mr. Murray
dismissed you as an expert

because you didn't specialize
in polymer chemistry,

is that right?


Fine. Could you
kindly tell the court

how much yak manure
is deposited annually

how much yak manure
is deposited annually

on the plains of rapshu?

What? I object.

This is going
someplace, counselor?

Yes, your honor.

Will you try and get
there in a hurry?


I don't know. I'm not an
expert in yak manure.

Fine. Could you tell us, then,

the amount of bat guano
accumulated monthly

by the flapped-wing
Chilean fruit bat?

I object!

What does bat guano
and yak manure

have to do with this case?

I'll tell you what it has
to do with this case!

It has as much to do
with it as polymer chemistry.

Exactly nothing.
It is all a lot of crap!

Exactly nothing.
It is all a lot of crap!

Because, ladies and gentlemen,

this case is not
about polymer chemistry.

It is about murder and blood,

and this gentleman here has
studied blood and blood samples

for the past 18 years.

He studied the victim's blood

and the blood-stained jacket,

and he knows damn well
what those blood stains reveal!

And as for Mr. Murray's
little foray

into polymer chemistry
and the degradation propensity

of amorphous materials,

well, your honor,
we all know what that was.

That was a lot of yak manure.

Order! Order! Order!

And you concluded,
lieutenant sosha,

that since the murder weapon

and the blood-stained clothes
were found in his car,

the murder must have been
committed by Dr. benoit.

Well, that was
strong evidence, yes.

But you didn't find any
fingerprints, did you?


And does it seem strange

that someone would be so careful

to wipe away every
single fingerprint

and then leave the
murder weapon in his car

for someone to find?

Well, it's a little unusual.



Isn't it possible
that someone else

put those items under the
defendant's car seat?

It's possible, but why
didn't he call the police?

No. He knew the stuff
was in the car.

It was right under him.

Isn't it possible
he didn't know?

He was sitting right over
it, for Pete's sake.

So it would be ridiculous
for him to have not known?


Then it would be ridiculous

for someone not to know
that he was sitting

over a caged rabbit,

someone like you,
lieutenant sosha?

Someone like you,
lieutenant sosha?

What's that, a rabbit?

This is outrageous.

Is it?
No telling what we'll find

in Mr. Murray's trial bag.

Oh, my god. That boy.

Well, we will assume Mr. Murray

did not know this was in there.

Or did you?

Your honor, please!

Don't look at me. It ain't mine.

It's a monster.

Candy mead--
I found her.

Your honor, may we
have a minute, please?

Take two, Mr. weathers.
Thank you.

Lieutenant, you're dismissed.

It's great. He never
laid a hand on her.

It was the other way around.

She says she bullied him.

He was afraid of her.

Look at this.

Look at this.

Oh, god. That's incredible.

There's more.

He never made love to her.

He couldn't get it up.

He was Mr. limp. I knew it.

Pure pasta.

Heh heh heh.

She says he took her to all the
big functions, school events,

told everybody what a stud
he was, but get this.

She says she has a pimp

and that her pimp beat
the hell out of benoit.

Sound familiar?

This is great. Will she testify?

She says she will.


Ha ha ha!

This--this is too funny.

This--this is too funny.

The prosecution is
depicting you as a monster

who pistol whips with a hard-on.

Candy mead can defuse that.

She can make you look harmless.

Yes, but this
picture is doctored.

It isn't even me. Ha ha ha!

Doug, that's crazy.
Now, listen--

No. You listen to me.

You can't possibly ask this
poor, little psychotic girl

to recite these lies.

She can help our case.

No. She can't help it.
She's lying.

No. She can't help it.
She's lying.

I broke off the liaison.

It's a very sad attempt
to humiliate me.

Doug, impotence is
a common problem.

Robin, we got to go.

Guy should be weaving
baskets somewhere.

Robin, come on.

And during the course
of your 12-year friendship,

did you have an
opportunity to observe

the behavioral patterns of Dr.

I did.

And are those
behavioral patterns

consistent with the
type of behavior

that Dr. benoit is being
charged with today?

They are not. Doug
benoit may be mercurial,

but he doesn't have a
violent bone in his body.

Anybody who's ever
met him knows that.

Anybody who's ever
met him knows that.

Thank you, sir. Your witness.

No questions.

The witness may step down.

Mr. weathers.

Your honor, we are
going to bring this trial

to a rapid conclusion.

The defense would like to
call our next witness,

the victim Liza Williams!

Objection. I object!

Do you, Mr. Murray?

Well, you can object
to the girl's face

because she is on her way up.

Because she is on her way up.


The reason a body
was never found

is because Liza Williams
never died.

She is on her way
up these stairs,

and in 15 seconds,
Liza Williams is going to

walk through those doors.

Sorry. Traffic.

I guess I was wrong.

I guess I was wrong.

Liza Williams is not
coming through that door,

but every one of you looked.

You all watched that door,

an if you looked, you must have
thought for a split second

that she just might,

and if you thought
for the slightest fraction

that she could come
through that door,

then you have
a reasonable doubt,

and if you have
a reasonable doubt,

you must find
the defendant not guilty!

Now you remember, when you
go back into that room

now you remember, when you
go back into that room

to decide my client's fate,

remember to ask yourself
one hard, honest question--

Did you look?

Well, he does have
a certain flair.

Well, he does have
a certain flair.

This court is adjourned
until tomorrow morning.

Robin! Robin!

I think he did it.

He never looked at the door.

That's not good enough, Doug.

It's good enough for me.

Every person
in that courtroom looked,

every single person.

They couldn't help but look.

It was compelling.

It was compelling.

I've told you before.

Your thought processes
are so transparent,

they're laughable.

Look. Not that it
wasn't a good trick.

It was quite clever.

In fact, it's just the
kind of cheap theatrics

that might win it for us.

Indeed, I may not
even have to testify.

Rubbish. You n get yourself
another lawyer, pal.

Robin, take it easy.

On what basis will you
justify withdrawal

at this point in a trial?

Lack of disclosure.

You told me that
you were innocent.

If I had known that
you were guilty,

I would have chosen
a different course

or refused the cas

or refused the cas

but I am innocent.

I have never concealed anything,

have I, gentlemen?

Oh, well, speak up.

I have maintained my
innocence from day one,

and I still maintain it.

No one here has heard me say

anything to the contrary.

Robin, he's right.

Go ahead. Withdraw. Gohead.

I will get a mistrial,

and you, my dear sir,

will get a disbarment.

I guarantee it.

You really are bloated

with self-importance,
aren't you?

Don't provoke me.

Other people have provoked me.

Like Liza Williams
and Luther Moses?

I was about to say,
"and lived to regret it."

Do you seriously think that you
can prod me into a confession?

Oh, you really are amusing.

I'm sick of you, benoit.

I'm sick of seeing
you prance around

I'm sick of seeing
you prance around

like some ridiculous peacock.

Have you any idea what it takes

to kill a human being,
Mr. weathers?

I don't mean one brute bashing

I don't mean one brute bashing

another brute's skull out

of primitive passion.

I mean, the kind of measured,
dispassionate action

that comes from absolute
clarity of mind,

transcends rational thought.

Thkind of action that Springs

from absolute necessity,

unclouded by the
restraints of conscience,

mercy, pity.

The kind of action
that allows one to take

a common, ordinary hammer
and with clinical precision

split a skull so cleanly that the cranium
cracks right through the medulla,

allowing the claw
of the hammer to be used

to pry back the skull cleanly,

exposing the brain while
the subject remains alive,

even aware.

Even aware.

Such a man is to be
envied, revered,

and much feared.

Never paralyzed
by impotence of will.

Luther Moses may well have
encountered such a man,

and Liza Williams,

and Liza Williams' mother
must fear such a man.

And Liza Williams' mother
must fear such a man.

Even you may encounter
su a man someday.

Do not involve yourself
in betrayal, Mr. weathers.

But if you imagine
that I am such a man...

Then your judgment
is clouded indeed.

Then your judgment
is clouded indeed.

Oh. I merely tell you
this so that you know

the sort of man
you're looking for.

I am a professor of
English literature.

In short, a somewhat

but benign English teacher,

a perceptive but innocent man.

So do let's get on
with it, gentlemen.

Good day to you all.

Oh, my god.

That was quite a show.

Show? What are you
talking about?

He ripped her skull open.

God knows what he did to Moses,

and god knows what he's
gonna do to Liza's mother.

He didn't say that.

Robin, I think he
wants a mistrial.

The acquittal ratio goes up
dramatically in second trials.

You know that. He knows that.

Now you have absolutely
no basis whatsoever

for withdrawal.

He admitted nothing.

He threatened
Mrs. Williams' life.

Listen. We're representatives
of the court.

Listen. We're representatives
of the court.

We're obligated to reveal that.

It was a hypothetical statement,

a veiled threat at best.

Maybe he wants to be guilty.

I mean, it happens.

All this implied violence

is contradictory to his
established behavior.

That's the weak link
for the prosecution.

The guy hasn't shown the
slightest tendency to violence.

The truth is, we don't
know what the truth is,

which is exactly what he wants.

Well, what are we gonna do?

I'm going home.

This isn't fun anymore.

I'm sorry, Robin, but theories
don't mean that much to me.

I just keep seeing
that poor woman.

God. You shouldn't
have told me all that.

You're right. I shouldn't have.

Yeah. You should have.

Why can't you make him
plead insanity?

That's what he is.

I mean, anyone who can even
think of such a thing.

I can't make him do anything.

I can't make him do anything.

I can either defend
him or withdraw

and probably be disbarred.

Then be disbarred.

I'd rather see you be disbarred

than have anything to do
with letting this man go.

Is that really what
you want me to do?

No. What good will that do?

There will only be a mistrial,

and he'll probably
get off anyway.

They may find him guilty.

It's still very close.

And he may be innocent.

And he may be innocent.

You believe that?


Jo Ann, Charlie's
getting really hot.

Come on!

I'm coming. Two minutes, OK?

I got to go.

I'll see you later?

I don't think so.

I think I--I just
got to let you do

what you have to do.

I can't help, and I
can't deal with that.

I can't help, and I
can't deal with that.

It sounds serious.

It's not.

I mean, it's-- it's
not serious for us.

I'll see you when it's all over.

Meaning you're not
coming tomorrow.

No. I don't think so.

Just promise me one thing--

That you'll try your best
to let the truth come out.

I mean, that's what it's
supposed to be about, isn't it?

I mean, that's what it's
supposed to be about, isn't it?

In fairy tales.

So make this one come true.

You can do it.

You're stormy weathers.

I'll see you.

Yeah. Here you go, Mr. weathers.

Don't do anything I wouldn't do.

Thank you, sir.

Heh heh. Heh heh heh!



The vibrator.

Yeah. That's right.

Ha ha ha!

I'll tell you, Mr. weathers.

You are good.

You know, I been here
nearly 20 years,

you know, I been here
nearly 20 years,

you're the slipperiest
one I ever seen.

I mean, rabbits, missing
bodies, yak shit. Ha!

You're gonna get this guy off,

I'm telling you right now.

You got this jury snowed.

Well, I'm out of here.
I'll see you.

Oh, god.

Mr. weathers!

You look like hell.

I'm gonna go wash up.

You turned gruel
into chocolate mousse.

You should be exultant.

What's happened?

I think I'm about to get
a psychotic acquitted.

Go clean up and
come to my office.

Yes, ma'am.

You're as naive as the
day you walked in here.

They're almost always guilty.

But almost always convicted.

Benoit may walk.

So you've done a good job.

So you've done a good job.

You've upheld your oath.

I know. The code
of legal ethics say

that I must do everything I can

within the boundaries of the law

to get an acquittal.

And the dilemma is?

My sense of right and wrong
say that I shouldn't.

How can the ethical
thing not be moral?

Because that's the way it is,

and even stormy
weathers can't do

anything about that.

Would this be that easy for you?

No. This is about as
brutal as it ever gets.

No. This is about as
brutal as it ever gets.

Actually, I had
a similar situation

early on in my career.

It wasn't life-involving
but important,

and I followed the code.

The results were
somewhat tragic.

I've never forgotten it.

The wounds pile up.

The wounds pile up.

After a while, you are afraid

you're nothing but scar tissue.

Well, enough homilies
from aunt Roberta.

I understand he did
not admit his guilt.


And he did not tell you directly

that he was going to harm Mrs.


Well, then as far as I can see,

your choices are quite simple.

Your choices are quite simple.

You do your best to get him off,

or you get him to confess.


That's within your mandate.

Get him to admit his guilt.

Let the truth come out.

That's what it's
all about, right?


I still believe that.

Dr. benoit.

Mr. weathers, we're not
going to take chisels

to one another again, are we?

It's getting wearisome.

No, we're not.

We have to decide whether or not

you're going to testify.

I will decide whether
or not I testify.

Do we have it won?

You know better than that.

You never know what
a jury's gonna do.

You never know what
a jury's gonna do.

It could go either way.

You're going to get me
if you can, aren't you?

Or maybe I shouldn't testify.

I don't think you should.

You won't be a good witness.

I'll be as good as I need to be.

Is that your decision?


Yes. I think so.

All right, but I must warn you

all right, but I must warn you

that Murray is brilliant, truly.

The emphasis, for my
benefit, on "truly"?

You're pushing the right
buttons now, Mr. weathers.


But I am brilliant, too,

or hadn't I told you?

Do you swear to tell the truth,

Do you swear to tell the truth,

the whole truth, and
nothing but the truth?

I do.

Be seated.

Would you please state
your name for the record?

My name is Douglas benoit.

And your occupation.

I am a professor of English
literature at Boston university.

And how long have you
been so employed?

14 years.

Are you married, Dr. benoit?

Yes. I have been
married for 19 years.

Yes. I have been
married for 19 years.

That is my wife
sitting right over there,

and I thank god that through
all this she still loves me.

Your marriage is
important to you, then?

It is the most important
thing in my life.

Sir, did you have an
affair with Liza Williams?

Yes. I am ashamed
to admit that I did.

I am a vain man, Mr. weathers.

I am a vain man, Mr. weathers.

I have trouble in resisting

the attention of women,

but despite the contradiction,

I love my wife.

I always have.

Dr. benoit, where were you
on the night of November 12?

I was at my home.

With your wife?

No. She was away
visiting her sister.

You are aware, sir, are you not,

that this was the night of
Liza Williams' disappearance?

Yes, I am.

Yes, I am.

And do you have any information

pertaining to the disappearance
of Liza Williams?

I swear I don't.

I saw her the evening
she disappeared,

but I have never seen
her again since then.

You are also aware that the murder
weapon was found in your car?

I have no idea how it got there.

Someone had to have
put it there,

someone who wanted the
girl's death linked to me.

Someone who wanted the
girl's death linked to me.

Obviously, he or she
did an excellent job.

Sir, did you kill Liza Williams?

No, I did not.

I know that I was at home alone.

I have no alibis or anything,

but if you didn't do anything,

then you don't need an alibi.

I am innocent.

All I have is my word,

all I have is my word,

but I am innocent.

Thank you, Dr. benoit.
Thank you.

Your witness.

Your honor, one moment, please.

Bring that book to Jo Ann.

Bring that book to Jo Ann.

Mr. Murray?

Dr. benoit,

I take it by your testimony

you're a man with
a rather heavy libido.


He testified as to his sexual
encounters with Liza Williams.

His sex drive or lack of it

have nothing to do
with this case.

I want to know why the defendant
spent time with the victim.

I'll allow it.


I do not deny having had sexual
relations with the girl.

Nor do I deny
other indiscretions

which similarly bear upon
my sense of fidelity.

But I did not murder anybody.

I could not even imagine

that kind of violence.

I see.

And during the course
of your marriage, sir,

how many other women
have you slept with?



He unwilling to defend
is honor is not a man.

He unwilling to defend
is honor is not a man.

Henry David Thoreau said that.


Frederick flintstone
said that. So what?

Ask questions, Mr. Murray.

A man should defend his honor,

shouldn't he, Dr. benoit?

Yes, I think he should.


If you were wronged, sir,

would you passively accept it?

I would like to think not.

And in fact, when Luther
Moses wronged you,

you didn't lie down
for that, did you?



You physically attacked
him, didn't you?

Objection. Prior acts
are inadmissible.



He's badgering him.
That's what benoit wants.

He's blowing it.

Liza Williams
wronged you, didn't she?

I suppose.

You suppose?

She blackmailed you,
exploited you,

taunted you.

What's he doing?

He's making benoit
look sympathetic, damn it.

Can you identify this?

It's the hammer that
was found in my car.

Ever see it before this trial?

Ever see it before this trial?


Ever hold it comfortably
in your hand

the way you're
holding it right now?

Objection! This is outrageous!

He's put the hammer in his hands

to facilitate
the picture for the jury,

and when he asks them later

to close their eyes
and imagine it,

they'll be better able to imagine
it, your honor, because--

Save your speech!
You made your objection!

My objection is just beginning!


No, your honor, on the record.

This man has committed
gross misconduct

to get me to move for a mistrial

because he knows he can't win!

What in god's name--

He has introduced evidence
that he knows to be false!

He knows--

Counselor, this is
a serious charge.

He knows my client
is not a violent man!

The state psychiatrist told him.

He called the defendant
"timid, submissive."

He knows my client did
not attack Luther Moses.

He knows my client did
not attack Luther Moses.

You have two eyewitnesses who saw
him cower from the confrontation!

I did not cower!

He tells the jury how
comfortable the hammer looks

in his hands.

But does he tell them about
the trace of vomit on it?

Does he mention

that when the police first
showed the blood-stained hammer

to the defendant,

he became so queasy
that he threw up?

Your honor, he's testifying!

You testified, too,
and you lied!

I move for--

Mr. weathers.

...false implications!

This is a last-minute
grope to depict my client

as a violent womanizer

when he knows that just
the opposite is true!

Don't presume what I know!

It is in your own files!

Attack Luther Moses?

He begged him for mercy.

He crawled away like a frightened
puppy, and you know it!

He crawled away like a frightened
puppy, and you know it!

Mr. weathers?

Heavy libido? Ha!

You have a signed statement

saying that he was
sexually inadequate!

You want to hear
about his sex drive?

Let's ask his wife!

Mr. weathers.

They tried to save their
marriage by having a child,

but he couldn't come through!

This is a man who is
a sex-driven killer?

Mr. weathers.

Look at the adjectives
used to describe him

in your own files.

That is enough.

A scared man, a weak man.

Mr. weathers,
you are in contempt.



Mr. weathers!

Mr. weathers!


Mr. weathers!

Shut up!



Dr. benoit?

Dr. benoit,
you may step down now.

What's he done?

My god, he's gotten
him to confess.

My god, he's gotten
him to confess.


May have gotten himself
a disbarment.

We can continue at a later date.


Dr. benoit?

Playyy ball!

Obviously, we cannot proceed.

Mr. Murray and Mr. weathers,

in my chambers, please.

Your honor?

The prosecution
has no further questions.

There are times when one wishes

one had the wisdom of Solomon.

Mr. weathers?

Your honor...

In light of what we have seen
in this courtroom today,

in light of what we have seen
in this courtroom today,

I move that these proceedings

be declared a mistrial

and the attorneys for Dr. benoit

be allowed to prepare
an appropriate defense.

Lacking the wisdom of Solomon,

I must rely upon
my own judgment.

The question of
guilt or innocence

has not been impeached
by Dr. benoit's outburst.

The question of
his state of mind

can be addressed by an appeal.

This trial will continue.




Do you wish a recess
at this time?

Mr. weathers?

The defense rests.

I note for the record

that Dr. benoit has waived
his rights to be present

at the reading of the verdict.

Madam foreman,

ladies and gentlemen
of the jury,

hearken now to your verdict.

Hearken now to your verdict.

"We, the jury, find the
defendant, Douglas benoit,

guilty of murder
in the first degree."

So say you all?


So be it.

Sentencing will take place
two weeks from today.

Mr. weathers, I shudder
to think of the implications

of what has happened
in this courtroom,

though I must confess

I am not entirely without
sympathy for your actions.

Nonetheless, for your contempt,

nonetheless, for your contempt,

I order you to serve 10 days
in the county detention,

commencement of sentence
to be delayed pending appeal.

This jury is dismissed.
This court is adjourned.

All rise.

What would you have done?

I would have gotten him off.

You'd really have let
that man walk the street?

You'd really have let
that man walk the street?

I'm a lawyer!

Robin, you did the right thing.

Anything else would
have been wrong.

I hope so.

I wouldn't want you as my
lawyer, you understand.

Ha ha ha!


Why are you crying?

I don't have the slightest idea.

We're suing the president
of the United States.

Well, it's a class action
on behalf of brigitte

and all the kids
at the sunshine school.

They got rights.

But the president...

But the president...

And the U.S. congress.

I don't mess around.

I'm gonna cry.

You are crying.

No, I'm not.

Look. You said
you needed a good lawyer.

Well, you got an ex-hotshot
criminal attorney,

fresh out of the limelight.


Yeah, I know.

I'm a hell of a guy.