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Harry's Law

Episode 1.10 : Send in the Clowns

Harry's Law Poster

TV Info


Episode Premiere

March 21, 2011

Distributor

NBC

Genre

Drama

Show Period

2011 - 2012

Production Company

Bonanza Productions Inc., Warner Bros. Television

Cast and Crew


Director

Michael Pressman

Screenwriter

David E. Kelley

Main Cast


Additional Cast

Synopsis


Harry arrives in the shop to find Marty Slumach, an old boyfriend, waiting for her. He needs her help in trying a case because a recent ethics violation limits him to second-chairing. The case involves the defense of a young man accused of armed robbery, of which Marty assures Harry he is innocent. Harry reluctantly agrees to take the case and goes with Marty to meet with the client, Ronald Perry, at the jail. It turns out that Ronald doesn't talk, and he also has a prior conviction for armed robbery. Harry tells Ronald that the one thing she can't handle is being surprised at trial, so she wants to know if he committed the crime. Harry actually succeeds in getting Ronald to speak. He tells Harry he didn't do it, but wonders if it matters, since he figures he's already convicted anyway.

Back at the shop, Amanda Knott, a performer at a local club who also happens to be a transvestite, wants help keeping her job. Amanda explains that she was fired because she's been having an affair with the manager. Now that he's gone back to his wife, the wife insisted that Amanda be let go. Amanda has until Friday to get this sorted out or she'll be out of a job. At the courthouse, Harry and Marty run into the D.A. who's prosecuting the case, George Kupcheck. Marty asks him for a continuance so he can get Harry up to speed. But George is not at all amenable to continuing the trial and accuses Marty of engaging in his typical delaying tactics.

Adam accompanies Amanda to Chez Paris, where auditions are being held for her replacement. Adam and Amanda meet with Chez Paris manager Carl Thomas and his attorney, Ralph Emerson. Emerson states that the termination was performance-related. Adam points out that Amanda has performed satisfactorily for the past three years and is one of the most popular acts and asks what's changed. Emerson won't let Carl answer and tells Amanda she should just take the generous severance package because really, does she want this to go trial? Carl admits that he made a mistake in having an affair with Amanda and keeping Amanda in his employ would put his wife through agony. Carl has two young kids and he wants to avoid a lawsuit so they don't ever learn the details of this affair, which is why the severance package is so generous. Carl appeals to Adam's humanity to be fair.

Harry and Marty discuss the case over lunch at the shop. Harry wonders what their strategy is, because on paper, the case seems open-and-shut. The victim is a very credible witness who will testify that Ronald did it. Harry wonders how Marty can be comfortable putting dangerous guilty criminals back on the street. Marty says that Ronald has an alibi witness - and wonders how Harry can judge him since they're in the same line of work. Harry points out that Marty hardly leads a noble life. When Marty asks Harry if that's why she left him, because he's not a noble person, she says that was part of the reason.

Later that night, Harry assigns Malcolm the task of finding Ronald's alibi witness. She tells Malcolm to get Damien's help. Jenna tells Harry that she's heading to Chez Paris to see Adam's client perform. She meets Adam and Chunhua in the packed club. Amanda is already performing and she's very good. Clearly, Amanda was not fired for performance reasons.

At the trial, Kupcheck questions victim Bernard Layton. Bernard describes how he was running late. While fumbling with his car keys in the dark parking lot, he suddenly saw the barrel of a gun. Bernard confidently identifies Ronald as the perpetrator. He says that Ronald asked for his watch and wallet. Bernard testifies that he identified Ronald in a police line-up the following day. Harry cross-examines Bernard. He agrees that he told the police that the suspect was very overweight. Harry shows Bernard a photo of the line-up, which consists of the heavy-set Ronald and four other guys, none of whom are overweight. Despite Harry's questions about the lighting, the shock of having a gun stuck in his face and the lack of details in the description of the suspect he gave to the police (nothing beyond "fat Latino"), Bernard insists that he saw Ronald clearly.

Back at the shop, Jenna and Malcolm talk in the storage room. Jenna is really concerned that Harry would date an unethical schlub like Marty. Jenna thinks that Harry must have esteem issues if she dated someone so beneath her. Jenna says she knows because she has esteem issues and has always dated men who were less than. Malcolm glares at her and walks away. Harry and Marty discuss how the case is going in the courthouse corridor. Dr. Carleton Waters approaches Marty, asks for his money to testify. Marty offers him a check, but Dr. Waters wants cash and turns to leave. Harry promises to cover the check if it bounces. When Dr. Waters responds rudely to Harry, Marty takes him aside and firmly sets him straight that he will treat Harry with respect and testify convincingly.

Adam meets with Amanda, Jenna offering commentary in the background. Adam tells Amanda that they have to file suit because her dismissal was clearly not performance-based. Amanda insists that there's no way she can go into a courtroom. Adam thinks that just drafting a complaint and sending it to opposing counsel will get Carl and the club to settle.

Adam is called to Judge Coulis' chambers. He's confused as to why he's being required to appear at the court when he hasn't even filed the complaint yet. Judge Coulis points out that the mere filing of the complaint in this case could destroy a man's life. Judge Coulis proposes that she will conduct an evidentiary hearing and the courtroom will be sealed. If she is satisfied that there's enough evidence to warrant a claim, she'll allow the lawsuit to be filed. At the shop, Jenna apologizes to Malcolm for what she said about dating beneath her and assures him that she wasn't referring to him in that category. Jenna tells Malcolm how highly she thinks of him. They're interrupted by Harry's arrival. Harry is cranky because Malcolm still hasn't located the alibi witness.

Harry examines Dr. Waters on the stand. He's an expert in the field of mistaken eyewitness identification and testifies about the high frequency with which eyewitnesses do make such mistakes, even when they were sure. Kupcheck cross-examines Dr. Waters. He establishes that Dr. Waters has testified in about 50 of Marty's cases and that he gets paid for his testimony. That night, Harry and Marty talk over pizza. Harry accuses Marty of strong-arming Dr. Waters to get the testimony he wanted. Marty points out that big corporations pay experts for their testimony all the time. Marty gets frustrated with Harry's attitude and argues that regardless of guilt, all clients deserve their best efforts. He's hurt that someone who knows him as well as Harry does thinks he's law trash and he leaves.

The next morning, Malcolm and Damien bring Stevie Kazz, Ronald's alibi, to Harry. Stevie tells Harry that Ronald didn't commit the robbery because he was watching TV with him that night. Stevie adds that Ronald didn't commit the robbery he was convicted of six years prior, either - that was just Stevie. At the courthouse, Harry and Marty discuss using Stevie as a witness. Marty thinks associating with Stevie will make Ronald look like a liar and if Stevie testifies, that allows in evidence of Ronald's prior conviction. Marty thinks they shouldn't use Stevie and instead should just go to closing arguments.

In Judge Coulis' courtroom, Amanda testifies about her affair with Carl and being fired after it ended. She explains that performing is her lifeline. Carl's attorney, Emerson, establishes that in the past, other clubs have tried to steal Amanda and that she hasn't looked for other work since being fired. He also gets Amanda to admit that she's called Carl many times since the breakup in an effort to get back together with him. In chambers, Judge Coulis announces to the lawyers that she's tossing out Amanda's case because Amanda has made no effort to mitigate and conceded the boss/employee relationship wasn't in play. Adam counsels Amanda that maybe this is for the best, because she has a better chance of moving on if she's not working with Carl. Adam kindly reassures Amanda that she will find love again and he makes a plan to attend her final show later.

In the other courtroom, Kupcheck gives his closing, emphasizing that Bernard was unwavering in his identification of Ronald and that the defense offered no alibi. Harry gives her closing and references the numerous cases that Project Innocence has handled in which wrongly convicted people were later cleared by DNA evidence despite having been identified by eyewitnesses. Harry tells the jury it's their job to doubt Bernard, especially because there was no physical evidence connecting Ronald to the crime, nothing at all to corroborate the eyewitness testimony. Harry reminds the jury that Bernard was in shock and only described his assailant as a "fat Latino." Harry then praises criminal lawyers like Marty who fight for their clients against overwhelming odds and calls him a hero. She challenges the jury to hold the state to its burden and acquit Ronald.

The jury acquits Ronald. Both Harry and Marty are surprised. Ronald walks away without a word to either of them. Outside the courtroom, Marty suggests that he and Harry team up in a criminal practice. She gently declines. Marty then tries to get Harry to go out with him again and she also gently declines that invitation. But Harry agrees when Marty suggests that they'll always be good friends and that they can act as co-counsel on some cases in the future. Later at the shop, Adam and Chunhua eat dinner while Jenna eavesdrops. Chunhua accuses Adam of pulling away, and asks him if there's someone else. He insists there isn't. Adam promises to communicate with her better. He, Chunhua and Jenna head to Amanda's last performance.

At Chez Paris, Amanda gives a fantastic final performance as Adam, Chunhua and Jenna watch in the crowd. Meanwhile, Harry walks home by herself, reflecting on the fact that it's the people in your life who make your life what it is.

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