The Practice
Liar's Poker

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

Lindsay chases Alan down the hall, carting along some polygraph results. Martin passed with flying colours. Alan doesn't believe her. She tells him Martin is innocent, again. She asks him for a favour, again. Only this time, Alan bites, offering five years and five more probation, and he has to waive parole. Lindsay looks pleased. She doesn't hear me screaming "don't take the deal, the witness is dead" at the television. No, her ears are too damn full of the stupid Melody Of Bad Mistakes. Poor Lindsay -- I actually feel really, really bad for her right now, and I feel even worse for her mousy, pimply-faced client about to do five years of hard time just because he happened to be wearing a green hooded sweatshirt.

Lindsay meets Martin in the client room. He doesn't want to go to jail for five years for something he didn't do. Lindsay assures him it's a good deal. "No," he screams, "the guy who shot that woman is still out there. Don't they care about that?" Obviously not, and Lindsay doesn't care about it either; she doesn't want him in jail for twelve years if doesn't plead. Martin: "But it's not the truth!" Lindsay yells at him to forget about the truth, because that's not how things work around there, especially when she can't win the case. Ah, poor Martin looks like he's about to burst into tears. Lindsay: "Five years, you still have a life left; twelve, and you don't." Martin looks at the ground, but he'll listen to Lindsay, because she's the lawyer and he's just the innocent kid about to be railroaded.

The Courtroom Where They Commit To Serious Amounts Of Pain. Alan informs Judge Wilcox that they've come to an agreement. Martin rises and affirmatively answers the judge when he asks if he's changing his plea. Then the judge asks Martin some questions. Is his decision to change his plea being made voluntarily? Yes. Did you talk about it with your attorney? Yes. Blah evidence, blah jury deciding your guilt, blah waiving all these rights blah. Martin stutters, but agrees. The formality continues, and the judge asks Martin to establish a factual basis for the guilty plea. Martin mumbles, "What she said." Pause. "My lawyer already told you I'm pleading guilty." Wilcox explains, while calling him "son" in that patronizing older-man-who-knows-best sort of way, that he needs to state exactly what happened, or else the court can't accept the plea. Martin is in miles of emotional pain. He just doesn't want to do this; he doesn't want to plead guilty, he didn't do it, and saying that he did is like pulling teeth. It's awkward, and difficult, he stumbles, "I did what the prosecutor said I did." The judge fills in the blanks: "You robbed and then shot the woman in the convenience store?" Yes. As to the charge of attempted murder, you wish to plead guilty? Yes. And that is that -- the defendant is remanded into custody, Lindsay asks if he's okay, he doesn't answer, and they cart him off to prison. Lindsay walks over to Alan and thanks him, saying she won't forget his little piece of kindness. Wow, how long is that going to last? Not very, judging from the pained expression on Alan's pretty little face.

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The Practice

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