Harry's Law

Episode 2.20 : Class War

  • Harry's Law
    • Episode Premiere : May 06, 2012
    • Distributor : NBC
    • Genre : Drama
    • Seasons : 2
    • Show Period : 2011 - 2012
    • Production Company: Bonanza Productions Inc., Warner Bros. Television
    • Official Site : http://www.nbc.com/harrys-law/

Cast and Crew

  • Director Howard Deutch
  • Screenwriter Lawrence Broch
  • Main Cast
    • Kathy Bates as Audition Singer: 'Even the Horses Had Wings',
    • Brittany Snow as Shizuku (voice: English version),
    • Aml Ameen,
    • Nate Corddry,
    • Christopher McDonald,
    • Karen Olivo,
    • Mark Valley as Tunnel Technician

The Story

Chunhua tries to hold back a gang of thugs as they barge into the law offices and demand to speak to Harry. "You know these guys?" Oliver asks in shock as Harry greats them with open arms. They are former clients of Harry's from when she first opened up her firm. They are there to tell Harry that Malcolm is in jail and needs her help. Harry is taken aback by the news; the last she heard about Malcolm was that he was in law school. She meets with Malcolm in jail and learns he's being charged with breaking into a city councilman's office.

Adam meets with Phoebe and her latest client whom she needs help defending. Tony Trafford is a British gentleman who currently owns a neighborhood tea shop, but he's at risk of being deported to England because, in his youth, he was an art thief who stole a famed Rembrandt painting. Recently the painting has been recovered, and the American government wants to extradite him back to England on charges of grand theft. "Certainly when you were in law school you must have dreamed of one day championing the cause of an innocent man; admittedly I'm not that, but I am a decent chap," Trafford says to Adam who is dubious that he can help.

Harry is back at her firm with Malcolm and demands to know how he ended up in jail. Malcolm tells her it relates back to Li'l D, the gang member she briefly helped after he killed a police officer. Harry's firm wasn't up to the task of defending a suspected cop killer at the time, so she passed him off to another attorney; Li'l D was eventually found guilty and is currently on death row. Malcolm tells Harry that Li'l D is innocent and killed the cop in self-defense. "You said you'd help him. You said you would defend him, then you bailed!" Malcolm pointedly blames Harry as the reason he is now working the case on his own.

Harry heads to death row with Malcolm and Tommy to meet with Li'l D. Dressed in prison garb and shackles, Li'l D explains to them how a dirty cop hired him to torch a dilapidated building in some insurance scam with a local councilman named George Beacon. After Li'l D burned down the building, he met with the officer to get paid, but the cop tried to kill him instead. So Li'l D shot back and killed the cop in self-defense. "I shot a criminal conspirator who was trying to kill me, who would've killed me, if he was a better shot." Li'l D tells Harry.

"I'm telling you, there's nothing you can do with this," Tommy tells Harry as they arrive back at the office. She disagrees and tells Tommy she feels obligated to help Li'l D after she left him out in the cold the last time. On Cassie's advice, Harry decides to argue for a new trial for Li'l D with the new evidence of a dirty cop and councilman conspiracy before them. Harry meets with Malcolm in her office and tells him how everything he sees around him, the offices, the firm's success, is his doing. "You changed my life, falling off that building," Harry says as she tears up in gratitude, but from now on, he needs to stay on the straight and narrow. Malcolm agrees, but he wants to know what Li'l D's chances are for a new trial. Harry nervously breathes in and tells Malcolm that Li'l D's chances stink.

Oliver talks to Li'l D's trial lawyer and finds out he didn't want Li'l D to testify because his criminal past and gang affiliation would've ruined any credibility with the jury. However, on the good news front, Cassie learns that a real estate investment firm owns the land that the torched building was on and that the government gave them that property for practically nothing after the fire. Cassie explains, "Cincinnati took the land by eminent domain and then gifted it to a developer. It is all part of this gentrification push where they take these blighted properties and give them to developers to fix up and improve the neighborhood." "Who got rich when Li'l D torched that building?" Harry asks. Cassie answers that the real estate investment firm did, as she shows them evidence that connects Councilman George Beacon and the real estate developers.

Adam and Phoebe represent Trafford at trial and explain that he has been a law-abiding citizen for the past 20 years and a crime he committed at 17 should not ruin his life. The prosecutor disagrees and tells the judge, "He may be a nice guy, but you don't get to erase your criminal past with subsequent niceness." Suddenly a spectator in court stands up and asks to be heard as a character witness for Trafford. She explains how Trafford is a wonderful man and a pillar in the community, as a gallery of others supports clap in agreement. Phoebe tells the judge that she plans to call all the supporters in the gallery as witnesses to showcase how the community is better served for having Trafford in it.

"I have no idea what you're talking about," Councilman George Beacon tells Harry as he sits in her office. Harry hits back that he knows all about the eminent domain scam she's talking about; that's why he agreed to the meeting. "There is a link between you and this real estate firm," Harry tells him, "and we are establishing a link between you and this officer. The truth always comes out." She tells the visibly nervous councilman that when the truth does come out, he will not only be on the hook for burning down a building, but also charged with felony murder for the death of a cop. "Mr. Beacon, you are going to pay the piper here. My client is on death row. I happen to believe him when he says that the cop shot first, but nobody knows the cop to be anything but honest except you."

Adam talks to Trafford and all of his supporters to try to strategize their defense. Trafford feels he's not worth all the effort and it might be better if he is deported. "At the end of the day, I'm just a pretender with nothing much to offer anybody." His supporters fight back and say that's not true. Going to his tea shop and hearing his adventures is the highlight of their day. It brings hope and excitement into their lives, and "that ain't nothing."

Harry reiterates to the judge that the act of killing the cop was self-defense, not a vengeful killing as Li'l D sits on the witness stand. The prosecutor asks Li'l D why he didn't tell that whopper of a story at the original trial. Li'l D answers back that on advice from his lawyer, he didn't take the stand because of his prior convictions. "But now, Hail-Mary time, huh?" the prosecutor asks as she tries to stop Li'l D from receiving a new trial on what she believes to be false evidence.

Harry and her firm try to figure out a new way to get a stay of execution for Li'l D as the trial seems to be going against their defense. Harry blames herself for not getting into this case sooner and is obsessed with getting Li'l D the justice he deserves. Suddenly, Councilman Beacon walks in; Harry's threat got to him, and he agrees to testify. Later in court, Beacon testifies about eminent domain and how developers, contractors and neighborhoods can all come out ahead when a blighted area is redone. He tells the judge that the neighborhood in question was abandoned but not deemed blighted enough by the government, so he worked with others to burn down abandoned buildings so they could use the eminent domain rule to tear everything down and build it back up.

Councilman Beacon testifies that he paid the cop $40,000 to burn down a building in order for him and his real estate development partners to get the neighborhood on the eminent domain list. He did not know how the cop planned to burn the building down or that it would lead to the cop's murder. The prosecutor asks Beacon if Li'l D's story is true - that the cop shot first while Li'l D fired back in self-defense. Beacon replies that he does not know how the situation went down. "In fact, you have no new information about the shooting," the prosecutor asks as Beacon nods his head in agreement.

Adam starts his closing argument on how Trafford is too beneficial to his neighborhood to be extradited for a crime he committed over 20 years ago. "Excuse me," the judge interrupts, "he tells stories and makes tea, did I miss something?" Adam responds back that clearly he did. The tea shop Trafford owns is in a blighted neighborhood; the people who live there do not get to travel or take vacations. Instead, they live through Trafford's stories and "take their imaginations on the most incredible journeys." Trafford enriches his neighbors, and for a theft that happened when he was 17, over 20 years ago, losing this simple tea shop will truly be a blight for the community.

"Nothing new has come to light. You don't get to throw new theories against the wall; verdicts are final," the prosecutor says as she closes her case against Li'l D. Harry stands and disagrees; there is new evidence to grant a trial, since it turns out the "hero" detective was really a dirty cop. There is now a reasonable possibility that he shot first, leaving Li'l D to fire back to defend himself. Harry fights passionately for Li'l D, but in the end, the judge rules that the fact that Li'l D had this evidence during his first trial means it cannot be considered newly discovered for the purpose of a new hearing; the verdict stands. Harry hangs her head low as she apologizes to Li'l D for not being there for him in the beginning as he is sent back to death row.

Adam and Phoebe learn that they won their case and celebrate the victory with Trafford and his supporters. Later, Adam walks Phoebe home as she praises his skills as an attorney. They arrive at her apartment, and as Phoebe once again thanks Adam, she suddenly leans in and kisses him on the lips. They smile back at each other as Phoebe walks up to her apartment and wishes a love-struck Adam a good night.






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