For The People (2018–…): Season 2, Episode 6 - You Belong Here - full transcript

Why are marble floors so expensive

but marbles are, like, super cheap?

I actually don't know
how much marbles cost.

Why am I here, again?

We're going into a negotiation

with one of the best litigators
in the country...

Phillip Kaws. Yep.

Saw his name on the door
and the building.

And he's, like, super famous.

Why am I here?

You're here because Kaws is
gonna try to intimidate us

by packing this room
with an army of attorneys.

So I'm a seat filler.

No, we just need you to sit with us

so our side doesn't look so empty.

That is literally
exactly what a seat filler does.

What's the case?

Please do not distract me.

This is why I came back from Texas...

to go up against legends
like Phillip Kaws.

- This is my moment.
- Stop.

Okay, maybe "This is my moment" was a
little over-the-top, but it felt...

No, I mean, yes, that was insane,

but that's not what I'm talking about.

We are colleagues,

and I am taking time away
from my busy caseload

to help you out.

What is the case?

We're negotiating
the surrender of Isaiah West,

huge real-estate developer.

Yeah, I know. His name
is on buildings, too.

Seems like a great guy.
He was just on "The View."

What? I like "The View."

West paid out nearly $20 million
in bribes all over New York

to win the Hudson Nine
construction contract...

three multi-use skyscrapers
going up in midtown.

We have him on a dozen counts
of wire fraud and bribery.

We have e-mails, we have documents,

we have cooperating witnesses.

We have a witness who will
testify he heard West offer...

Okay. Okay. Got it. You have a case.

What are you worried about, then?

Kaws has an army of associates. So what?

They're just people.

Have they blinked?

Third from the left...
she blinked, I think.

Twice. I think.

That guy has red eyes.

Actual cyborg eyes, like the Terminator.

Shh. It's just tactics, that's all.

They are insanely good seat fillers.

Mr. Kaws should be here any minute.

We're fine. Thank you.


I see.

Mr. Kaws would like to apologize.

He had a sudden family emergency
and had to leave.

Can we call your office
once we have more information?

- Now what?
- We call his bluff.

You think he's lying about the emergency?

Don't know. Don't care.
I'm calling the FBI

and having them pick up Isaiah.

We came here to avoid the spectacle

of having a prominent New Yorker

cuffed and dragged through the streets.

I am not going to let Kaws play me.

Mr. Knox.

Turns out Mr. Kaws' wife
was only in a fender bender.

She's being released from the hospital.

Would you be fine meeting in an hour?

You want us to wait here for an hour?

Actually, would you mind meeting
Mr. Kaws at his apartment?

I kind of want to see where he lives.

Is there a seat filler needed?

Otherwise, I'm going back to work.

We got this, thanks.

You were good.

What's good?

Nothing is good.

I've been calling Anderson Frank
all morning. He's not picking up.

It's generally not a super-literal
question. More like a greeting.

Seriously, we need to make sure
he's coming to court tomorrow.

He is our key witness...

- Ask me.
- Huh?

Ask me what's good.

What's... good?

I had a great breakfast.
Talked to my mom for a bit.

Then I went to the boxing gym.

20 on the heavy bag, did pads, sparred.

Then I went to Anderson Frank's house

and confirmed that
he'll be in court tomorrow.

That's what's goo.

I thought you said
it wasn't a literal question.

You box?

You made a face like I told you

I won a national lumberjack
competition in high school.

Yeah, I box.

You just don't look like the type.

What's the type?


What do you know about looking tough?

- I'm tough.
- You box?

No, but I bet I could pick it up.

- You're tiny.
- I'm fast.

- You don't work out.
- You don't know that.

You're always here.

I have superhuman stamina.

You've probably never
punched anyone in your life.

Mm, Noah Sullivan,
Maureen Moreno, Duncan Pressman.

Kindergarten, fifth-grade summer,

senior year high school.

Two hooks and a jab.

Oh, let's fight, then.

Not here. My gym, Canal and Church.

I go Tuesdays and Thursdays.


I guess I'll show you what's good.


Nice weather. People are out.

That includes the FBI and the NYPD,

which means more arrests, more cases,

and less of anything else
you do in your free time.

Good morning.

A dinner cancellation for you, Sandra.

Continue never making plans.

Jay, you won't be
riding your bike anytime soon.

Actually, I'm gonna give this
to someone more senior.

Well, what is it?

A drug case.

I had 16 drug cases last year... at once.

This isn't a normal drug case.

I'm not a normal public defender.

This client is a federal inmate.

I meet my clients in jail all the time.

Federal prison. Otisville, not the MCC.

Federal prison is different.

I'm a city kid, Jill. I can handle this.

How do I get to Otisville?

Mr. Knox.

- Ms. Littlejohn.
- No.

Ah, respect.

But it's Leonard, Kate, and Phil
from this point forward.

And thank you for coming to me.

I know it's highly irregular,
but couldn't be avoided.

Y'all like pie?

Mmm. My wife, Cheryl...

the smell of sweet potato pie
really brightens her up.

Is she okay?

No concussion. Back's a little stiff.

She was lucky.

And she's got a good lawyer.


- Sir...
- Phil.

- We should talk.
- Of course.

I will personally escort him to you,

but we enter through
the back of the building.

No agents, no press.

We'd prefer if a few plain-clothed agents

escort Isaiah from his home.

The paparazzi camp out in his building

because of all the high-profile
people that live there.

There will be an overanalyzed photograph,

and we can't afford that.


No agents. And no leaks.
There'll be no press.

It's nice to work with
reasonable prosecutors.

So, Monday, noon.

Tuesday would be better.

His daughter Goldie... she just turned 5.

Unbelievably cute.

She has her first ballet recital
Monday night.

We conceded everything else.
We're not conceding on the day.

Isaiah will surrender his passport.

He wants to face these charges.

Just not until Tuesday.

You're trying to make me care
about things I don't care about.

He can't miss that recital.

And I need him in on Monday.

Kate, why don't we have some pie?

See if we can't... change Leonard's mind.

You ate his pie, and now his client

gets to come in the back door?

On Tuesday?

When I and the FBI
explicitly told you Monday?

West already surrendered his passport.

He's got two G5s.

We will have him in custody
on Tuesday. That's what matters.

You know what matters? Perception.

And now the perception is,

if you are a billionaire
with a fancy attorney,

the U.S. government will
polish your shoes for you.

What was wrong with his wife this time?

Flu? Minor car accident?

A fender bender.

I mean, hey, you're not alone.

The city is littered with prosecutors

who have been felled
by the smell of Kaws' pie.

Sir, I...

You ate his pie!

Your Honor, the defendant, Isaiah West,

is charged with four counts of wire fraud

and seven counts
of bribery of a public official.

As set forth in the indictment,

Mr. West engaged in a sophisticated...

He has the indictment right there
in front of him, Mr. Knox.

I think we can move this along.

Your Honor, always a pleasure
to be in your court.

We're asking that Mr. West

be released on his own recognizance.

- He's a flight risk.
- He surrendered his passport.

He has two private planes.

And where's he gonna land them? The moon?

I believe they might have
that capacity, Your Honor.

This is a nonviolent offense.

Which is only one factor to consider.

He also poses no threat to the community,

which is another factor.

Should we go through all of them?

Okay. Great. You two done?

Bail is set at $1 million.

The government also requests
home detention.

Uh, Your Honor, if I may,

Mr. West is scheduled to appear

at the I Have A Dream Foundation
in Washington, D.C., this week,

where he's being honored as one
of their annual Dream Holders.

I contacted the I Have A Dream Foundation

in advance of this hearing.

As Mr. West's honor was bestowed

primarily because of his
generous financial donation,

which the Foundation
has now decided to return,

pending clarification
of Mr. West's pecuniary ethics,

he is no longer being honored
as one of their Dream Holders.

I'm sorry to interrupt, Mr. Kaws.

I just thought we could move this along.

I'll agree to home detention.

We're in recess.

- Nice work.
- I know.

You ready to talk deal?


You coming to me?

Probation? $25 million fine?

What's $25 million
to someone worth $2.5 billion?

Well, I believe it's still $25 million.

With no jail time. The
government needs a deterrent.

Well, who are you trying to deter?

All the developers
that do this all the time?

Here's an idea for a deterrent...

prosecute them.

I will.

But your client could go to jail
for 20 years.

Because of excessive
and redundant charging,

which might appear

as if the government
is out to get Isaiah.

You know, if I didn't like you,

I might... start saying as much
in the press.

For the whole world to hear.

Every... potential... juror.

You know, Isaiah is beloved in this city.

He was born and raised in Brownsville.

I can accept five years, $5 million fine,

with 5 years supervised release.

Five years supervised release?

Which means that he couldn't
work in real estate

for five years?

You want to effectively
put him out of business.

I want my deterrent.

Or would your client prefer to miss

every milestone in his daughter's life?

I'll take it back to Isaiah.

Acknowledge this moment with me, Leonard.

You're a prosecutor

in the Southern District of New York.

I am a partner at one of the largest

and most prestigious law firms
in the country.

Two black men negotiating

above the greatest city in the world.

Moments like these were unfathomable

back when I decided to go to law school.

I always like to acknowledge them.

You are extremely talented.

This is an honor, sir.

You've been something
of a role model to me.

You'll hear from me.

Do you know what
you're being charged with?

They're saying bagman plus ITD.

That's right.

Is that right? I have no idea
what you just said.

Possession with intent to distribute.

That is right.

The allegation is you were in the yard

when a drone dropped
a tennis ball filled with meth.

There's a video of me grabbing the ball.

The wack-ass guard
found the dope in my cell.

I'm cooked.

I just wanted to send
some money back to mom.

I'm the only one she's got.

I was supposed to be out in two months

off my original gun charge.

Now it'll be years.

I know you're not feeling lucky now,

but your luck changed
when Jay Simmons took your case.

Who the hell is Jay Simmons?

I am Jay Simmons.

I took your case.

Listen to me.

This is a single incident
with a tiny quantity.

You've been way overcharged here.

- You think so?
- Oh, I know so.

I know the prosecutor, too.

We can work together.

Fight fans around the world!

Boy, have we got
something special for you!

A battle royale!

Welcome... to... the...
Affair in the Square!

- Stop.
- I'm just trying to lighten the mood.

The mood is fine.
I'm charging distribution.

If he pleads guilty, he stays at
Otisville an additional four years.

Four years?

We're talking about a quantity so small,

it fit inside a tennis ball.

You... You can't name
three balls smaller than that.

That... sounds stupid.
Why would I do that?

I love the way we communicate. Celia...

I'm still charging your client
with distribution,

unless Mr. Brooks cooperates,

flips on someone else in that prison.


How was the Affair in the Square?

Eh, a bit of a letdown,
if I'm being honest.

Should have been there.
No backing down, no pie eating.

I earned his genuine respect.

I'm just waiting for an answer.

I think we have it.

The excessive and redundant
charging in this matter

clearly demonstrates
that, for some reason...

for some reason...

the U.S. government is out
to humiliate Isaiah West...

take him down, show him his place.

Now, you might ask yourself,
why might that be?

I will not allow the governmet

to rob this black man of his livelihood.

He will not be used as a scapegoat,

as men who look like him
have been for centuries.

I have two words for the government

and my friend Leonard Knox...

no deal.

- What is this?
- Draft remarks for my press conference.

- What press conference?
- For the West case.

- That's not happening.
- I have to respond.

No, you do not. You will not.

If Kaws gets out in front of this...

He's out in front of this.

He's out in front of you.

He framed the narrative.
He owns it in the public now.

And you going on TV will
only exacerbate the situation

and make you and this office look petty.


What do they say? "Fight a boxer
and box a fighter"?

Kaws is trying to make this
a street fight.

Build the case, win on points.

Ooh! That all you got?

I nearly took your hands off, dude.

Decent, but if you want more power,

you got to open up your stance.

- You're a righty?
- Yeah.

All right.

Left foot forward.

Feet shoulder-width apart.

Drive through the punch.

Okay. Now throw that Duncan Pressman hook

and really step into it.

- Wow! That's...
- Better.

But if we were sparring,
I could easily counter.

- Yeah, you wish.
- Right down the middle.


You're throwing a solid punch,

but your hands drop
when you bring your glove back.

All right, you're punching out like this.

Your left hand has to stay
at the side of your face

because you're most vulnerable
when you open up.

And when your glove comes back,

it has to come right back to your chin.



Right there.

All right, put those pads back on

so I can hit you some more.

One, two, three.

Herbert, I really am sorry,

but I couldn't get the
prosecutor to agree to a deal.

It's fine.

Now, if you want to cooperate...

I want to go to trial.


That is absolutely your right,

but I have to advise you,

there will be
some real challenges, given...

I mean, how can they tell what I pick up

in a grainy video?

It's not actually that grainy.

Maybe I picked up a rock.

Maybe. Or maybe it was yellow
and bounced like a tennis ball.

And these drugs are in my cell?

Says who?

The prison guard. He is who says that.

This court doesn't even have
jurisdiction over me anyways.

I really don't think we have
a jurisdictional argument.

Under the UCC, we do.

The Uniform Commercial Code?

Maybe the FCC?

Or the UFC.

- That could be it.
- That's not it.

Why... Why are you...

I just know that my lawyer thinks

that I'll get acquitted
if we go to trial.

Your lawyer?

I am your lawyer.

Yeah. Of course.

But I picked up inside counsel, to.

Inside where?

Here. This prison.

I got lucky.

Randy Stanton agreed to take my case.

Who the hell is...

Randy Stanton. Nice to meet you.

- I'd shake, but, uh...
- I understand.

You're eyeing my sneakers.

Air Force 1s... classics.

I have no idea what they are,
but they are blindingly white.

Like, so white. Like, how do you
keep sneakers that white?

You're from New York?

I had some questions about my client,

whom I hear you've been advising.

Herbert's a sweet kid.

Just needed some help
with his trial strategy.

You see, that's the thing.

There isn't any trial strategy

because if we go to trial, we will lose.

Certainly with that attitude.

Listen, I can coach you
through the precedents

we'll be citing on our client's behalf.

My client...

You don't have to be threatened by me.


We're just two lawyers strategizing.

- Oh, you're a lawyer!
- Technically?

You're either a lawyer
or you're not a lawyer.

I practice law.

I educated myself
in the prison law library.

25 years of studying, as opposed to 3.

Not quite the same
as attending law school

taught by accredited legal professionals.

- You're right.
- Mm.

I'm also not buried
in so many student loans

that I have to live with my parents.

I don't live with my parents.


For, like, weeks.

A week.

Feels like much, much longer.

How did you know I lived with my parents?

I was just highlighting
a particular type of experience.

Listen, the strategies
you filled Herbert's head with

will not work.

Trust me. I know this prosecutor.

And Herbert has to flip on someone,

or he will be here for years

instead of a few more months.

The world out there is very different.

You want me to...

You have to talk to Herbert.

Giving the government something
is his only way out of this.

I'll talk to him.

If I were Kaws, and also because

I'm the only one here
who worked at a big firm...

- Mid-sized firm.
- Bigger firm.

...I would want to separate Isaiah
from the rest of the company,

say Isaiah had no clue what was
happening underneath him.

We have multiple credible witnesses
who are going to testify

that Isaiah was overseeing
this entire effort.

The assemblyman's aide personally
saw Isaiah make an ask.

So why isn't Kaws
having Isaiah take a deal?

He can't... guys like this
promise their celebrity clients

they can get them off, no problem.

There's no benefit to Kaws settling.

If he wins, he's a magician.

If he loses, the case was unwinnable.

Mr. Knox?

Just put it on the desk.

Whoa, whoa! What's all this?

Is it cool if I just leave the
other cart outside your door?


They're motions from the defense...

dozens and dozens of motions.

A Motion to Suppress.

A Motion to Change Venue.

A Motion to Compel.

A Motion in Limine to exclude.

A Motion in Limine to admit.

I'm gonna have to argue
every single one of these,

even though most of them are baseless.

At least now we know
what Kaws' strategy is...

to wear us out.

Tell me what we got.

Your Honor, the defense's
Motion to Change Venue

is entirely baseless.

We obviously disagree, Your Honor,

but in light of new discovery
provided by the prosecution,

we'd like a day's recess
to better prepare our argument

and revise the motion.

Your Honor, the defense's motion

is based on the type of paper used

to copy the defendant's bank statements

that we've entered into evidence.

It's junk.

The defense has conferred with

and is prepared to call
several paper experts

who can testify to the high
probability of inaccuracies

when facsimiles are created on paper

as low-caliber as the kind
the government utilizes.

Motion denied.

Our witness's private posts

in his fantasy football league
are irrelevant.

Your Honor, first and foremost,
fantasy football

in the way this league
was set up is illegal.

The witness already broke the law.

And his posts show a pattern of lying

and racially insensitive comments.

Motion granted.

Here's the bread I owe you.

Motion denied.

Denied. Denied.


Reconvene on Monday morning

for the commencement of the trial.

You look beat. Get some sleep.

How are things at Otisville?

Let me tell you what it's like...

to ride a bike through the city, Jill.

It's never an entirely smooth ride...

You can have the bike metaphor
or the helmet.

Not both.

Not either.

Hit a little snag, but going well.

Snag? I told you, prison clients
are a different beast.

It isn't the client. It's his attorney.

Aren't you his attorney?

He hired inside counsel.

A jailhouse lawyer
certainly complicates things.

Do not worry.

I've already used my wit
and expertise to win him over.

Herbert is going to cooperate.

So this is under control?

Like I said, I am a kid from Queens.

I can do anything.

Under control.




You have got to take that helmet off.

Wait. What's this?

Your case at Otisville.
A call came through.

Herbert got tossed in the SHU.


"Mission Impossible"?

What are you doing?


Is that my newspaper?

What kind of question is that?

You're in my office.
You're holding a newspaper.

I'm pretty sure it's got my name on it.


The Sentinel ran an artice
today about Kaws.


- He talks about the case.
- Of course he does.

He talks about you.

- Let me see.
- You shouldn't.

Do you think that's
the last paper on Earth?

You need to focus on this trial.

- Read it to me.
- What?

You're not gonna give it to me,
so read it to me.

It's a distraction.

Read it... to me.

Uh, Kaws talks a lot about
himself and his upbringing.

Don't care.

"Isaiah West is a favorite son
of New York City."

What does he say about me?

"Contrast Mr. West

with the prosecutor, Leonard Knox,

who has been handed
everything in his life.

Son of a United States Senator...

privileged enough
and blind enough to history

to be a black Republican."

"As Mr. Kaws gets visibly irritated,

I understand the historical significance

of words like 'token' and 'Uncle Tom.'

As a black man
born in the Jim Crow South,

I don't use these words lightly.

I know their power.

But in this case,

I don't see any other way
to describe Mr. Knox.

I wonder if he even realizes

the true reason
he was chosen for this case.

Pure optics."


Is that why I was chosen for this?

I can't answer your question.

You put me on this case!

No, I didn't. I put Littlejohn
on it, and I was overruled.

This came from above.

I need to talk to you
about the Isaiah West case.

Something's bothering you enough
to barge into my office,

so let's talk about it.

Why was I chosen for this case?

You think you want the answer,

but what you really want
is for me to lie to you.

That's not what I want.

Yes, it is.

You want me to tell you
that you were chosen

solely because of your immense talent

and tremendous work ethic.

I can't do that, because I chose you

because you're a black man. Mr. Knox.

Of course you are talented.

You wouldn't be
in this building otherwise.

But you were specifically chosen

due to the color of your skin.

I know how Phillip Kaws plays the game.

I also know Isaiah West is
a beloved figure in this city.

And I also believe that he broke the law,

and I dislike when people
break the law and go unpunished.

Why do you look surprised?

I'm disappointed.

Because we're post-racial?

Because I value winning
over your feelings?

I have earned everything
I have ever gotten in my life.

I can tell that you believe that.

But no. You haven't.

No one has.

I grew up in Battle Creek, Michigan.

My mother worked at a cereal plant.

My father worked everywhere and nowhere,

if that makes any sense.

Needless to say, my mother was thrilled

when I was accepted to Stanford in 1983.

I was terrified

of how liberal
everyone said California was.

Yet it took all of seven hours
for someone to suggest

that I was only there

because of some affirmative action quota.

I called my mom that night,

tried not to break down.

I told her what was said to me.
Her response?

"So what?"

So what, Mr. Knox?

What are you gonna do

now that you know
you've been used as a pawn?

And if you've been running around life

thinking race doesn't matter,

that nobody notices
that you're a black man,

then I'm happy
to have done you this favor.

They notice.

Anything else?



I'm putting the assemblyman's
aide up first.

He's our strongest witness.

- We can follow with Ag...
- Leonard, how are you doing?

I'm fine.

We can follow with Agent O'Donnell.

What did Delap say?

- It's nothing.
- You're not fine.

You don't know anything about me.

Who does?

Close the door.

I went to boarding school.

Woodberry Forrest.

Sophomore year,
I went home for the holidays.

My mom got me a BMW.

Navy with tan interior.

One night, I was leaving the movies,

and a police officer
started following me.

Felt like an hour.

I took a right at a traffic
light into my neighborhood.

He turned his sirens on.

I pulled over.

He walked up, hand on his gun,

and asked whether the car was stolen.

He told me to get out,
put my hands on the car.

While he ran the plates, I stood there

confused, terrified, embarrassed.

He walked back and said,

"Your mama's doing an excellent job."

He apologized and let me go.

I didn't tell my mom what happened.

We have never talked about race.

She thought talking about it
made a perceived handicap real,


when I went back to school,
I thought I could talk

to one of the three other
black kids in my class about it.

When I tried, Andre Merriweather...

told me nothing had really happened,

because I wasn't really black.

Said my mom was a sellout, and so was I.

When I talked to my best friend,
Mark Spathe...

a white kid... about it,

he said, "Cool. You got away with it."

He started talking about where
we should go on spring break.

I am sick of this.

Not belonging...



Just for being exactly who I am.

Then people call me arrogant
'cause I walk with my head high,

say I blow right past them.

They don't want me anyway.

I am not quitting this case.

I am gonna win this case.

Mr. Blinken, you were an aide

to Assemblyman Charles Thomas, correct?

Yes, that's correct.

In the course of your work
for Assemblyman Thomas,

did you arrange a meeting
between the assemblyman

- and the defendant, Mr. West?
- Yes.

And can you tell the jury

what transpired between Mr. West
and Assemblyman Thomas

at this meeting?

Mr. West offered Assemblyman Thomas

the use of a penthouse apartment
in one of his buildings.

He also offered contracting services

for the assemblyman's current residence.

How did Assemblyman Thomas vote

on the Hudson Nine development
after that meeting?

He changed his vote
to support Mr. West's bid.

Did Assemblyman Thomas know Mr. West

- prior to this meeting?
- He did not.

- Did they socialize?
- Not to my knowledge.

Did Assemblyman Thomas socialize

with other New York developers
bidding on Hudson Nine?

Yes, he did... frequently.

White developers?


Your Honor, I'm simply
trying to establish

that Mr. West was at

a serious institutional
disadvantage to his rivals

in having access to decision makers,

like the assemblyman.

I'll withdraw my question.

Agent O'Donnell,
you led the investigation

into the defendant, Mr. West,
including the analysis

- of Mr. West's financial records?
- Yes.

Did Mr. West distribute cash

or in-kind donations to organized labor

involved in the Hudson Nine development?


Have you investigated

other New York real estate developers

for allegedly bribing
union officers, Agent O'Donnell?


- How many?
- Eight.

In how many of those eight investigations

was the target of the
investigation African-American?


- All white?
- Objection.

It goes to bias, Your Honor.

Overruled. You may answer.

Yes... all white.

How many indictments were issued

as a result of these investigations?


So, to be clear,

you investigated eight white developers

for the same kind of conduct
alleged here,

but in each of those instances,

the U.S. Attorney's Office
declined to indict?

That is correct.

You were employed by Mr. West?

Yes, I was... for three years.

What was Operation Friendship?

Operation Friendship
was Mr. West's campaign

to influence decision makers
on the Hudson Nine project...

unions, politicians, community leaders.

Did Mr. West speak specifically about

what he would use to influence
these decision makers

as part of Operation Friendship?


He spoke about in-kind gifts,

as well as cash disbursements.

You were fired by Mr. West, correct?

We had a disagreement.

Yes or no?


Where do you work now, Mr. Ogoff?

At Lakesea Development.

A competitor of Mr. West's.

- Yes.
- Isn't it true, Mr. Ogoff,

that Lakesea Development has been cited

by the Department of Housing
and Urban Development

14 times for racial discrimination

and other violations
of the Fair Housing Act?


Why is Herbert in solitary?

Threw his dinner at a guard.

- Herbert?
- He had to get in the SHU.

You told Herbert to
throw his food at the guards?

No. I told him he had to get in
the SHU by any means necessary.

Client discretion.

Some guys steal, some guys shank.

You just don't get it, do you?

I'm trying. I really am trying.

How many defendants have you had
in federal prison?

I don't usually like to talk
about past cases.

So none.

I've had hundreds.

You have any idea why

the government overcharged
Herbert for a few grams of meth?

Because they thought his
original sentence was too light.

I know this stuff.

They're trying to squeeze Herbert.

The bosses in here know this, too.

They've been circling Herbert,
knives out,

since you came through the door.



what do we do?

All of a sudden, it's "we"?

Like you said, bud,
life is different out there.

I did what I could
to help my client in here.

He's still gonna face
four more years in prison.

But at least he'll be alive.

What kind of life is that?

I've been in here 25 years,
and I'm never leaving.

Herbert will have to figure it out,

just like I did.

You're stealing my moves.

I wish I would have known.
We could have coordinated.

I did a dress rehearsal in the courtroom

the night before my first big trial.

State vs. Montgomery, 1986.

You wrote about it in your book.

It's great, isn't it?

The sport of it.

And this...

this is the arena.

But it can get ugly.

Because everyone wants to win.

I truly hope that we can
shake hands at the end of this.

You don't respect me.

You're a complete phony...

empty, hollow, just like this case.

You claim to be for the people,

but you're not for anyone
other than yourself,

because if you were...'d have Isaiah take a deal.

My record is out there for anyone to see.

That's the first true thing you've said.

You've spent the last 20 years

mostly representing corporations,

making sure white CEOs don't go down

for sexually assaulting their employees.

Your last big case? Rampart Bank.

They literally stole a billion dollars

from everyday Americans

in Wisconsin, Minnesota,
Idaho, and Wyoming.

You made sure those people walked away

with as little as possible.

Swifton Foods knowingly shipped
their contaminated produce

to supermarkets in the inner city

because they thought they could
get away with it there.

Black children died.

Which side were you on?

- One day, you will understand...
- Shut up, dude! I understand right now.

I understand
you don't stand for anything.

And since you already took it there,

not standing for anything

is the least black thing I can think of.

And if I was really petty...

...which I'm not, but...

I'm gonna make an exception for you...

I would also remind the world

how you left your black wife
when she was sick with cancer

for a 26-year-old blonde.

You're not John Lewis, bro.

You are lost.

You are a loser.

And your biggest mistake,
beyond your many moral failings,

was underestimating me.

Mr. Knox?

Isaiah West is a role model.

He's a man to be admired. I admire him.

Some of you may have
known of him prior to this case.

He may have spoken at your high school

or at your college graduation.

You may have seen him giving out toys

to underprivileged kids on television.

He is a self-made New Yorker.

He is an overwhelming success.

Isaiah West is all of those things,

and also a man who broke the law.

Make no mistake... that is the
only thing we are here to judge.

The defense did not dispute the
fact that Mr. West broke the law.

The defense did not dispute
any of our facts.

Instead, they attempted
to cloud your brains

with baseless conspiracy
theories to obscure the facts.

Is Isaiah West
the first real estate developer

to use bribes in order to land business?

I don't believe so.

Has he experienced prejudice
and retaliation

from the established old guard
of New York City developers?

I believe so.

But that does not change
the fact he broke the law.

There are times where
breaking the law is necessary,

where it is an effective way
to bring about change.

Rosa Parks, John Lewis,
Nelson Mandela, Bree Newsome.

And there are points in history
where we should look at a crime

and understand the larger social context

and potentially have that affect
our determination of guilt.


right here, this moment, this case...

is not one of them.

This is a financial crime

in which an incredibly wealthy
man bribed officials

in order to make himself
even more wealthy.

And Mr. Kaws is banking on you
not seeing the distinction,

but Isaiah West is not Rosa Parks.

This is not a protest of a rigged system.

It is a crime.

Our role models are not perfect.

It is a sad day when we realize this.

They make mistakes,

and they should not be
let off the hook when they do.

I'm ready to go to trial.

You wanted it, you're getting it,

but I'm not laying down.

Forget the Affair in the Square.

This is Scotland versus King Edward I,

and I'm gonna fight you to the death.

You're gonna wish you settled this case,

because I'm gonna watch
that scene from "Braveheart"

every night until this trial is over.

You haven't seen "Braveheart."

I'm dismissing the case.

You're dismissing the case?

This case? T-This one?

This is the case you're dismissing?

The guard who said he found the
tennis ball in your client's cell?

He says he was wrong.

He wasn't in that cell after all

like magic gone, just like my case.

- Fore.
- What?

Golf ball, Ping-Pong ball,
squash, and racquetball...

four balls smaller than a tennis ball.

I would have crushed you.

You'll be out of here in 53 days.

It's my Mom's birthday today.

I couldn't get her anything.

But this should make up for it.

Do you mind if I have a minute
with my co-counsel?

Thank you both.

The guard changed his testimony.

It is a surprise.

Not really.

These guys are busy.

They got a lot of pressure
on them. They forget things.

I've seen it before... many times.

So, what are you gonna do now?

You know how it is.

You win a case, you lose a client.

Got to get right back out here.

Lot of business, though.

And while I do have
a particular expertise

in dental malpractice, I'm a generalist.

Assaults, dog bites, uh...

auto accidents, murder, estate planning.

Auto accidents in here?

Guards and their families, mostly.

You represent guards?

Everyone is entitled to a lawyer, Jay.

I-I have to go.

You're one of the good ones.

I hope we get to work together
in the future.

Take care of yourself, Randy.

Got no other choice.

You came back.


Yeah, I like it in here.

I like that you're here.

I like seeing you outside the office.


My life is my work.

I go to sleep, I go to work.

I'm not complaining.
It's the way it has to be.

It's what I love to do.

People's lives are in my hands,

and nothing is more important than that.

So I don't watch TV, I don't read books,

I don't go to the farmers market,

and I'm not in a bowling league...

because I can't afford distractions...

of any kind.

But this cleared my mind the other day.

I worked better.

And I liked what you taught me.


I'm here.

I'm choosing boxing as a distraction.

But that is the only distraction
I am choosing.



We are boxing.


So let's box.

Have you reached a unanimous verdict?

Yes, Your Honor.

In the matter of
United States vs. Isaiah West,

how do you find
the defendant, Isaiah West,

on Count One, wire fraud?


With respect to Count Two,

bribery of a public official,

how do you find the defendant...
guilty or not guilty?


With respect to Count Three,

conspiracy to commit wire fraud,

how do you find the defendant...
guilty or not guilty?


Good job.

Ride with me?

You said something to me once. You said,

"You don't celebrate
people going to jail."

I don't think I fully
understood that until now.

I can't go back up there.

What are you doing?
Hand Pulled Noodle House?

I have some more work... to do.


You belong here.