SYNOPSIS OF THIRD EPISODE
This episode was a contrast in emotions, from extreme gravity, to moments of levity, with some hard-ball tossed in for good measure. It began with the introduction of new client Dr. Gerald Braun and his wife Roberta. Their daughter Donna had been violently killed by Ronald Martin, who is claiming he was temporarily insane. Martin had been Donna's boy friend, but she was trying to break it off. The trial, in which the beleaguered prosecutor Borgue must cross examine the priest who has testified for Martin, has been a grueling ordeal for the Brauns. It shows most on Dr. Braun. His outbursts of hostility are frequent. Bobby will handle the civil lawsuit for wrongful death against the defendant, once the criminal trial is over. Right now he is trying to provide comfort and counsel to his two clients, while at the same time he leads a desperate search to find a former girl friend of Ronald Martin. She may be able to testify that he brutalized her in the past. The criminal trial is reaching its conclusion.
Meanwhile, for long-time client Benjamin (Free Willy) Holsten, the day got off to a rocky start, which left him handcuffed, one wrist to a hooker's wrought iron bed and the other to a dwarf. Predictably, this resulted in a charge of patronizing a prostitute. The trial was highlighted with a far-fetched defense that included Holsten's response to the question what did he think when the hooker took his hand and said "three hundred;" "I thought she was guessing my weight." Eugene's powerful "United-States-of-America" summation was a fascinating example of what can be said when there is almost nothing to say. After the jury was unable to agree upon a verdict, Eugene went to work to arrange a compromise plea his client could accept, one that resulted in Mr. Holsten consenting at last to the in-patient therapy he has long been avoiding.
In the tobacco litigation, disaster for client Emerson Ray's claim that smoking killed his wife, was narrowly averted, just when things were bleakest. The tobacco company seemed on the verge of winning a motion for summary judgment which would have dismissed the case on legal issues and without a trial. The judge who was assigned the case for all purposes, seemed to be heavily biased in favor of the tobacco company. Lindsay learned his past included a heavy tryst with a young woman now working for the tobacco company's law firm. Bobby was able to "play that card," by threatening to file a motion requesting the judge be removed because of the appearance of impropriety. The judge avoided scandal by abruptly denying the summary judgment motion and "recusing" himself from the case, so that another judge could be appointed. The case can now proceed to trial.
In the midst of it all, we learned that the bank which loaned 70 thousand dollars to "The Practice" on bank officer Jimmy Berlutti's representation that the money was needed for "office expansion" is investigating and will no doubt discover that there is in fact no office expansion. Bobby's frayed nerves showed when he erupted in anger at Rebecca for answering the bank investigator's telephone questions candidly. Berlutti lost his job; the loan was called, and because Jimmy happens to be a lawyer, and a friend, whose troubles began when he tried to help, Bobby takes him into "The Practice." One new member. One more mouth to feed.
And the roller coaster ride is complete. A very difficult day's work.