The Practice
The Case Of Harland Bassett

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Ragdoll: B- | 1 USERS: A+
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Humble Harland

The Hospital, Emergency Pain. The doctor wants to run one more test on poor ol' Harland. His heart is fine. They just want to make sure it was really an anxiety attack. The doctor says they can keep him overnight, but Harland has to leave; he's got a trial in six hours. Eugene and Jimmy are by his side. Eugene thinks they can probably get a continuance. Harland isn't so sure. The judge is a hard nut, and he said the last continuance is final. Eugene insists that this time he has a valid medical reason. Harland excites, "That's the problem!" Apparently, he was so underprepared for the trial that he faked a heart attack to get the last continuance. The judge said that if something goes wrong this time, another lawyer would have to try the case, because he's moving forward regardless. Eugene says Harland is the only one who can try the case. No one else knows the case well enough. It's decided, then: Harland will try the case. End of anxiety-attack drama. Jimmy just stands there looking lumpy as Harland starts ripping out tubes and asking Eugene to grab his pants.

Whoosh. The Firm. Bobby "The Emperor's New Move" Donnell asks if they're going forward. Eugene says that Harland claims he's ready. We see a nice shot of Bumbling Bassett through the doorway, working steadily on in the conference room. I'm imagining we're supposed to suspend our disbelief in thinking that he can't hear Bobby and Eugene talking about him. Oh, make that Bobby, Eugene, Ellenor, Lucy, and Jimmy talking about him and the case. Eugene asks Lucy about the exhibits. She tells him they've been delivered to the courthouse. Ellenor, the one on maternity leave who seems to get more lines than Rebecca, a woman who is not and has never been pregnant on the show, jokes, "Do you guys have any chance?" Rod insists that they settle the first chance they get. Don't worry. That's Eugene's plan. He doesn't want to be tied up in this any longer then he has to be. Harland approaches the group and says stolidly, "Are we ready." Eugene: "Ready." Harland: "All right." And then he walks away, looking like the Penguin from Batman Returns. Bobby gives Eugene a half stink-eye, because you know he can't stand anyone doing anything that doesn't involve him.

The Courthouse Of Drug-Related Pain And Suffering. Annie's pediatrician is on the stand. She's explaining how the young girl had a sinus infection that she (the doctor) first treated with a different antibiotic. When that didn't work, the doctor prescribed Reflexin. Harland clarifies, "Reflexin. This is also an antibiotic?" Correct. Moving on -- after taking the drug, Annie immediately went into acute liver failure, and she required two separate transplants. The lawyer asks if Reflexin caused the liver failure. The doctor answers that she can't state that for a medical certainty, but she can't think of any cause other than the Reflexin. Rebbie Rebhorn objects. Harland carries on as if he were a lark singing in the wind: "Now, Doctor, did you know that Reflexin was dangerous?" Rebbie restates his objection: there's no foundation. He's holding his pen in the air like he wants the teacher to call on him. He's a keener. The judge sustains. Harland asks the doctor, "What were your expectations regarding the safety of the antibiotic?" She was aware that it hadn't been tested on children, but neither are eighty percent of the drugs on the market today. Obviously, she didn't know it was that dangerous, or she wouldn't have prescribed it. Harland: "But this is an adult drug." Yes. But they have to prescribe adult drugs to children, because the pharmaceutical companies won't test them properly on children; the doctors don't have alternatives. Harland asks if many pediatricians prescribe adult drugs to children. The doctor says that they all do -- routinely. Then Harland The Herald Of Children Everywhere wants to know how the pediatrician heard about Reflexin. A drug sends out a rep, a "detail person," to promote the product. Harland: "Did this detail person say anything about the safety of Reflexin?" Wow. Harland is calm, cool, and totally in charge. He's not bumbling through his questions. He's not checking his notes a hundred times. He's not pissing off the judge. It's a miracle. The detail man didn't warn the doctor about the dangers in prescribing the drug to kids.

Cut to Rebhorn's cross, where he first asks if the Mullens sued the doctor for malpractice. They did, and they settled out of court in return for her testimony in this trial. Sly Rebbie tries to make it look like the doctor is covering her own ass by testifying. She responds by emphatically stating that she only agreed to tell the truth, which is exactly what she's doing today. Rebhorn walks back to his table and asks if the detail person from "his client" included "all labeling material" in his information. The doctor says yes. He enters said labeling information into evidence, and asks the doctor to read the highlighted section that states that the drug is not proven safe and effective for children under sixteen. Rebhorn: "And you prescribed this to a thirteen-year-old girl?" Again the doctor states, "It's done all the time." Rebbie thanks the doctor and smirks. Although I don't really know why he's smirking. The judge asks if Harland wants to re-direct. Harland leans into Eugene for advice. Co-counsel thinks Harland got what he could from the witness, and Eugene doesn't think giving Rebhorn another cross is a good idea. In short, Harland dismisses the witness, but only after a moment of silence where Eugene must remind him that he needs to tell the judge he has nothing further.

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