Episode PremiereApril 29, 2012
Show Period2011 - 2012
Production CompanyBonanza Productions Inc., Warner Bros. Television
Harry and Adam reluctantly meet with Phoebe at a college gym where the college marching band practices their routine. She needs help with her newest client, the marching band. She is representing a member of the band who, with the rest of the band, is being charged with murder for the hazing death of one of their members. "I know your gig; you're a fee splitting middleman," Harry throws at Phoebe, "you get client after client and saddle us up to do the work." Phoebe fights back and says it's a strange case; 40 people are charged with first-degree murder. She needs Harry's help.
Tommy tries to convince his client Alden Pratt to drop his lawsuit, but Alden won't budge. Tommy reiterates how he went to the D.A.'s office and was told there's no case to be made, and for once, he agrees with the D.A. Alden stands up and tells Tommy to look into his eyes, "She raped me. I did not choose to have sex with her, it was not consensual... the woman raped me." Later, Amanda, Tommy's former girlfriend, walks up and tells Tommy she will be representing Cecilia, the woman accused of rape. They both know a man accusing a woman of rape sounds far-fetched, but they decide to depose both sides and then meet up after their findings.
Harry, Adam and Phoebe meet with their marching band client Seth. He explains to them the hazing ritual where a new band member would run through a gauntlet of bandmates and get punched until he reached the other side. Unfortunately, Ryan had an unknown heart defect and died from a heart attack. Seth admits he was in the group but doubts one of his punches could've landed; "I punch like a girl." Phoebe believes she could win the case if they go to individual trial, but all the motions to separate have failed. They are trying all 40 band members in mass because of judicial economy.
"We have 20 lawyers representing 39 clients, is that our final count?" Judge Buckland asks A.D.A. Cruickshank at the preliminary hearing. Cruickshank tells the judge that the state has offered involuntary manslaughter as a plea bargain to the accused, but so far, only 13 have accepted the offer. The judge tells the defendants that they need to decide on a lead counsel for the defense, and just on cue, Sam Berman struts in with his full bravado. "Try'em in bulk, Costco justice," Berman laughs about the 39 defendants. Berman is at his outrageous best as he tries to smooth talk the Judge. He has everyone in the room raise their hand who thinks the charges are ridiculous; "we are raised to haze," Berman yells out like a circus ringmaster. The judge gets control back of his court and orders all the defense attorneys to meet and pick one or two lead counsel.
"Has he gone nuts?" Adam asks Harry about Berman's latest shenanigans in the courtroom. Harry warns Adam not to underestimate Berman; he acts a little crazy on purpose to get opposing attorneys off their game. "There is no way we can let him spearhead this case," Adam warns. Later, as all the lawyers meet, Berman stands up saying he should lead since he has the most clients. He may be erratic, Berman tells the group as he starts taking off all his clothes, but it will keep the prosecution on their toes; "by the time they figure out what the game is, Sam Berman has already won it!" he screams out. The lawyers quickly vote not to have Berman be one of their leads.
Later, at the defendant's meeting, Harry brings up the option of challenging the felony murder rule on the ground that it is a dumb and outdated rule. "If we get it tossed, then all these cases go away," Harry suggests. The other lawyers scoff at such an idea; the felony murder rule has been around for ages. Harry scoffs back that they find the idea ludicrous. Phoebe speaks up that Harry's idea has some merit, and perhaps they should let Harry take the lead and see if it pans out. "I've seen her; she's really good," Phoebe says as Harry realizes she's just been forced front and center in a loser of a case.
Tommy and Amanda have their clients in for a deposition. Amanda asks Alden how her client made him sleep with her. Alden tells them how they met at a party, flirted and eventually ended up at her place when he gave her a lift home. He regrets going inside her apartment, since he is a married man, but he did; and they began passionately kissing. It was consensual up to that point, but Alden now believes Cecilia put something in his drink to make him aroused and groggy. "I wasn't myself," Alden says as he told Cecilia to stop when they began having sex; "I would say she was having intercourse, I was laying there," Alden explains as he tells them he repeatedly asked her to stop.
Harry explains to Seth and his family the strategy to challenge the felony murder rule. "Basically it is a prosecutor's tool," Harry says. "It allows them to skip over proving elements of the crime, and intent is a big piece of the crime." She tells them that obviously no one in the band intended to hurt their friend, but with felony murder all the prosecution has to do is prove that a crime occurred, no matter if it was an accident or for totally unforeseeable reasons. "This band has been doing the initiation for 50 years and no one has ever been hurt; this kid died of a heart attack." Seth's father pleads to Harry to do whatever she thinks is right.
Cecilia admits that her seduction of Alden was exactly as he explained, but she does dispute the claim that it wasn't consensual. "Married men often do the unfaithful dance right before they commit adultery," Cecilia says as to why she didn't take his pleas to stop seriously. Tommy jumps on her comment and finds out this is not the first time Cecilia has slept with a married man. He immediately asks for the names of her previous conquests. Amanda tries to claim rape shield, but Tommy tells her that law only works for his client, not the accused rapist. "Welcome to my side, counselor," Tommy slyly smiles to Amanda.
Harry meets with Berman and reiterates to him that his behavior is getting more and more erratic. Berman responds with a smile and tells her that for the first time in life, he is able to sit back and appreciate all the little things. For once, he is truly happy. Later at trial, the judge seems flabbergasted that Harry wants him to toss the felony murder rule. "This rule is a prosecutorial shortcut," Harry says as the judge sounds dubious about agreeing to her argument. Harry shows video of the hazing ritual, the band chanting and hitting Ryan as he runs through the gauntlet. It's a brutal ritual, but displays the band's great concern for the victim. "What the D.A. really wants is involuntary manslaughter," Harry argues, "and he's using the felony murder rule as a means to plea bargain. It's bad faith."
Cruickshank argues against Harry's case to disavow the felony murder. He tells the judge that he respects her opinion, but her recourse is with the legislature. "Your job, your honor, is to interpret and apply the law. Ms. Korn would like you to rewrite it; that is not your job or fortunately your right." He feels the rule is right for a case where a young boy is dead by the hands of a gang of 39. He then artfully compares that there is no difference between this gang of bandmates and the hazing rituals of violent street gangs. Just because they go to college does not mean they are not responsible for his death from an initiation ritual that is exactly like the ones found on the street. "We punish for murder, but because the gang members here wear uniforms and play trumpets, we're supposed to smile and say boys will be boys? I think not."
Tommy tells Alden that things are not looking good for his case. He drove Cecilia home, and the sex, at least in the beginning, was consensual. "I think you need to let this go," Tommy advises. Alden shoots back with tears in his eyes, "Would you say that to a woman? By starting to get physical, she loses the right to say stop?" "We draw different presumptions with men, fair or not," Tommy tells him, "and the presumption here would be against you." Later, Tommy decides to continue with the case. Alden has nothing to gain in continuing with the charges. He's not seeking money, and he will have to tell his family about the affair if the case continues. "It can only be that he's telling the truth."
Cassie introduces Tommy to one of Cecilia's former boyfriends. He reluctantly tells them that Cecilia was a really kinky girl and a fantasy come true for any guy. He then whispers that most times he's intimate with a girl he suffers from "performance anxiety," but it didn't happen the first time he was with Cecilia; in fact it was the direct opposite. "I think she laced my drink with a little Viagra," he tells them. When he asked Cecilla about it, she didn't deny the accusation and just smiled in return. He also tells them that he felt Cecilia also drugged him, as he was unfortunately very groggy throughout the sex.
"He is lying; the sex was consensual," Cecelia tells everyone as they meet in Tommy's office. Alden yells back that she is lying; he made the mistake to go back to her place, but he would never freely have sex with her. Alden tells them that he does not want any money; he just wants an acknowledgement and apology from Cecelia. "That's all you're looking for; it stays sealed?" Amanda confirms as Tommy and Alden nod yes. "I apologize, I thought you might like the thrill of being seduced," Cecilia tells Alden, confirming all of his accusations of rape. Suddenly, Tommy turns on his TV where he was taping her entire confession. They are outraged that Tommy lied about keeping the confession private as he gleefully mixes Cecelia's confession with an auto-tune music video app.
The court rises as the judge reveals his findings on the felony murder law. He finds the felony murder rule used in this particular case to be overbroad and misused; "that count against all defendants is dropped." The court erupts in relief, but all the other charges stand, and the bandmates have a long way to go before the tragic hazing death is behind them. Later, Berman finds Harry in her office and congratulates her on a job well done. Then as Berman awkwardly stands in front of Harry, he surprisingly asks her out on a date; "you're a wonderful lady and I'm partial to wonderful ladies." Harry smiles at the notion and tells him, "I haven't been asked out since the Carter administration."