The Practice
Liar's Poker

Episode Report Card
Ragdoll: F | Grade It Now!
Who says lawyers are all liars?

The Courtroom Where They Discourse On Pain. A television in the courtroom plays a tape of a variety store hold-up. The detective on the stand is narrating, blah the attendant did everything right, blah she stayed calm, blah she didn't look at the thief, blah public service announcement blah. The cop says, "But he shot her anyway." Pause. "It's a miracle she didn't die." Hunky DA -- ah, welcome back, we missed you last week -- says, "When did you arrive on the scene?" Within minutes, there was another woman in the store -- an eyewitness, Martha McKee, who called the police. What happened after you arrived? Mrs. McKee gave them a description of the shooter. Then they pulled the surveillance tape and started looking for the shooter. They found the defendant on a stoop drinking beer with a couple of his friends. According to the detective, "He was dressed just like the guy on the tape. Same sweatshirt and everything." Hunky DA wants to know what happened next. Well, they placed Martin under arrest and searched his pockets, finding over five hundred bucks. Blah they showed a photo six-pack to the witness, and she too picked Martin out. Okay, why didn't Hunky DA ask the cop how much was stolen from the register? See, if they were really doing detective work, they should have taken the tape from the day, subtracted the float, and determined the exact amount that was stolen. Then, if Martin was carrying that same amount, he probably committed the crime, but there are about a hundred logical explanations behind his simply carrying around that amount of cash: he just got paid, he was paying his rent, he owed the money to a friend. Come on, prosecution, you can do better than that. I hate it when the cases are so "stacked" with evidence that really doesn't make any logical sense.

Any. Way. Lindsay gets up for her cross-examination. Did the clerk make a positive identification too? No. She couldn't identify the shooter. All she knew was that it was a white male. Did they find the gun? No. Hunky DA makes some notes on his legal pad. Oh, Hunky DA, want to make some notes on me? I'll be your legal pad -- oh, wait, did I say that out loud? I'm blushing. Did they find any fingerprints? No. He was wearing gloves. Did they find the gloves? No. Okay, so they arrested Martin because he was wearing a sweatshirt and carrying some cash? Sounds like these police officers need a good lesson in how to fill out the details.

Whoosh. Damn. We'd made it through four episodes without a whoosh. Martin and Lindsay are sitting in a client room. He mumbles, "It went good, didn't it?" Lindsay insists that it looked like him on the tape. Martin says half his block has a sweatshirt like that. She insists that the prosecution has a witness. He jumps in: "Who's wrong." Yes, but she's "unequivocal." Blah the witness has a great résumé blah. Martin screams, "But she's wrong." His eyes start to bulge out of his head. Veins are popping. Lindsay tells him he needs to calm down, in that snotty way of hers; then she explains why they can't put him on the stand because of his prior record. Martin: "What, for getting high and stealing some CDs? I don't take off stores and shoot people." Of course, rousing chorus, "because he's innocent." Lindsay believes him, but she met with the witness and spoke with her, and she's worried that the jury will take the witness's word. Martin: "That can't be enough to put me in jail." Yes. Knocking hard on his wooden head, Lindsay explains that it's enough to put him away; Mrs. McKee is an eyewitness, which essentially makes the prosecution's case. Put that together with the cash he was carrying, and damn, Martin is in trouble, which makes him very unhappy. He wipes all the papers off the table in A Fit Of Frustration of the sort usually reserved for an Emperor. Lindsay wipes her nose. The music points up Lindsay's difficulty with her client. She states, "These are the questions you will be asked." Martin holds his head down: "All the money I got I carry. It just, makes me feel big, you know?" Pause. "So, why all of a sudden do you think I'm going to lose?" Blah Lindsay's court acumen, blah she didn't like how the jury was looking at him, blah the police officer was credible blah. Oh, and if Martin was hanging out with his friends, drinking beer, doesn't that mean he has an alibi? Damn, these paper-thin but on-the-edge-of-drama cases drive me to distraction. More tension-building crap: blah if they lose Martin will get attempted murder, that's fifteen to life. Lindsay: "And your mother not showing up, that didn't help." Sure, kick the guy when he's completely down, Lindsay. Martin fights to hold back the tears. Then he holds back the years. Then he asks Lindsay to promise that he won't go to jail. And she can't make that promise; she wants him to plead out, because the non-cards are so very heavily stacked against them. Or, rather, DEK's too lazy to develop a logical case with real evidence. It's all about the drama, and man, does that ever make this show unbearably melodramatic.

The Conference Room Where They Book The Pain. Jimmy is talking with Spanky. He explains the problem behind the timing of the lottery ticket purchase. Apparently, Spanky's divorce didn't become final until a week after he bought the ticket, meaning that his wife is still entitled to half the winnings. Spanky picks up the file and asks, "Why is this a problem?" Blah legally she's entitled to half blah. Well, the bookie didn't hire Jimmy for a legal "opinion," he hired Jimmy to keep his ex-wife from getting any of the money. Blah segregated funds blah. He kept the money aside in anticipation of the divorce, and he bought the ticket with that money. Jimmy's not arguing, but he doesn't know if a judge would believe him. And if the judge thinks that he's committing fraud, he could award Spanky's ex-wife all the money, and that's what Jimmy is most worried about. Spanky says, "Listen to me. I already give her six thousand bucks a month -- more than I have to." Jimmy: "Which we will point out." Spanky: "Just to keep her yap shut about what I do." Jimmy: "Which we will not point out." Blah his ex-wife gets her nails done and bangs her boyfriend, blah this is how she shows her gratitude blah. Damn. Jimmy wants to try to settle the matter out of court. Spanky screams, "Why?" Simply because Jimmy doesn't want the case coming down to his demeanor or his word of honour because, well, he's a bookie and they really can't be trusted. The Lump wants to set up a meeting. If he can manage to get the ex-wife to agree to forty, leaving Spanky with sixty, well, that's a good outcome. The bookie smiles, points to Jimmy, and says, "But that does you no good." Yes, Jimmy knows that, but man, the judge could switch it around or even award the entire settlement to the ex-wife. Now that would really suck, and Spanky sure thinks so too, because he says he'd kill his wife first. Jimmy's face falls. The Melody Of My God Why The Wives rises. Maybe that should be their strategy, Spanky says -- tell her to walk away for health reasons. Jimmy: "Are you threatening her?" Nah, he wants Jimmy to intimidate her. Again, the Lump asks, "Are you threatening her?" Spanky's somber mood lightens; he smiles, and says, "No, of course not." Pause. "Just get my money." Ah, you know the wife is going to end up dead now, and you know the bookie is going to claim that he's innocent. You know, we'd really like to see a plot on this show that does not involve husbands or wives killing each other or their respective lovers. Enough is enough; leave the damn wives alone.

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