The Practice
Dog Bite

Episode Report Card
Dog Bite

The Firm. A disgruntled man busts open the door to the office and exclaims, "If anyone threatens to assault me or my client, there will be repercussions." He lands in front of Ellenor's desk; however, as our heroine is dealing with the numerous ways she's about to break the law, she ends up just staring blankly at this strange, violent gentleman. He continues, "I will not be intimidated. I will assert myself at all times -- possibly to the detriment of others." ["Let me tell you, I was shaking in my boots." -- Deborah] Ellenor is still stuck on "blank." "I'm here on the dog-bite manner," the man prompts her. The Lump bumps up, "Oh, that's me. James Berluti. Nice to meet ya." The lawyer turns around to face Jimmy. "I was here when Eugene mugged your client. I don't do that." His opponent responds, "I'm heartened." (Honestly, I think Ally McBeal would have been better served if this guy was cast as Richard Fish. He looks like the type that could really turn some stomachs shooting off Fish-isms). He jumps right in, stating that the case probably isn't worth their time and he was hoping that they could settle amicably without having to do the depositions: "However, I do retain the right to remain assertive." Back to Jimmy, who offers Fish $82,000 to make the dog bite go away. Mr. Assertive: "I deeply beg your pardon?" Jimmy's been doing some jury verdict research and a bite on the lip, with scarring -- only to be interrupted by Mr. Assertive: "Eleven stitches and she provoked the dog." "She went to pet him." Rebuttal: "Mr. Berluti, my time is valuable. Your time is valuable. My client is an oncologist. His time is exceptionally valuable. Do you really want to proceed with two time-consuming depositions over eleven stitches and a dog bite?" As calm as ever, The Lump responds, "It would seem so." Well then. The insurance company has authorized $24,000. Jimmy says, "Let's split the difference and go $75,000." Fish doesn't bite, er, budge: "Have you booked a court reporter?" Yes. They schedule the depositions for three o'clock that afternoon. The men glare at each other a little bit, kind of marking their territory.

Courthouse. Eugene's cross-examining Ms. Bancock. He uses the pat: so you've described the area of the assault, the conditions, the exact time, in all kinds of detail. She looks like the type to be fixated on details. "But when it came time to describe a suspect, you said: Black. One leg. That's it." She felt that description should have been enough. Eugene counters that she didn't provide any details of his face to the police, just that he was black and had one leg. The witness starts to get short with Eugene: "When a man hops out at you in the dark on one foot, you don't tend to notice how long his sideburns are." There is a titter from the jury box. The camera follows Eugene as he struts past Renee the DA with, get this, a smile on his face: "I can appreciate that, Ms. Bancock. More than you know."

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The Practice




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