The Practice
Germ Warfare

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Germ Warfare

Whoosh. Courthouse. Judgment. Something's awry -- the jury came back in an hour. In hushed tones, Mr. Jamison wonders if it's a good sign that they came back so fast. Ellenor shakes her head: "Deliberations on damages would have been lengthy. If they find no liability than damages will be moot." He wants to know if they can still take the EPA's offer. Apparently, Ellenor asked and they "laughed." The judge asks if the jury has reached its verdict, and they have: "In the matter of Steven Jamison et al vs. the Environmental Protection Agency. We find in favour of the plaintiff and order the defendant to pay damages in the amount of $72,000,000." A Victory Cheer waddles away in the background as everyone hugs each other and we fade to commercials.

Courtroom. The judge orders everyone to settle down. The Anti-Bobby jumps up, finds his spine, moves to remit the award, and asks that the verdict be set aside. Ellenor opposes. Steven Jamison jumps up, wondering what's going on, and his lawyer explains that the EPA are looking to strike the award as excessive. The Jamisons are understandably confused as Ellenor, Lindsay, and Jimmy go to speak with the judge in chambers. The Anti-Bobby is already yammering before we even get into chambers: "The number alone tells you the jury was off base, the fact that they deliberated for an hour?" Ellenor: "Maybe it has something to do with the merits!" Judge Salt-on-the-Wound grants the defense's motion to remit, and the "knockdown" number is $135,000 per child. Team Toxic pauses on a note of communal horror until Ellenor mutters, "What?" Lindsay picks up where Ellenor left off: "You chopped it from $72 million to less than $400,000?" Ellie: "That's less than they offered!" He doesn't care. He's Judge Grouchy Pants, who decides that cases won on pure speculation are not worthy of a jury's judgment. They are taken to a higher court -- yeah, that's right, Judge Old Fart court -- where he can substitute his own judgment for that of nincompoops from the jury pool. Team Toxic isn't happy; Ellenor insists that they don't have to "eat" his number and have a right to a new trial. Perhaps, but Judge Fat-Ass is going to keep the darn trial on his docket; there's no guarantee that the new jury will be as "stupid" as this one, and, in the end, they might not win. If they do win, Judge Party-Pooper will bring the next knockdown to $75,000, and with that, he strongly suggests that Team Toxic accept this proposal: "This isn't right." Ellenor says, "This isn't right." Judge Take-All-The-Fun-Out-Of-Winning closes, "Meet with your clients. Then notify my clerk of your acceptance."

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The Practice

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