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Rainmaker The

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{y:i}My father hated lawyers.|{y:i}All his life.
{y:i}He wasn't a great guy. He drank|{y:i}and beat up my mother, and me, too.
{y:i}You might think I became a lawyer|{y:i}to piss him off, but you'd be wrong.
{y:i}I'd wanted to be a lawyer since I read|{y:i}about civil rights lawyers of the 60's, -
{y:i}- and the amazing uses they found|{y:i}for the law. They did the impossible:
{y:i}They gave lawyers a good name.
{y:i}So I went to law school. It pissed my|{y:i}dad off, but he was pissed off anyway.
{y:i}In my first year, he got drunk and fell|{y:i}off a ladder made by his own company.
{y:i}He didn't know who to sue first.|{y:i}He died a couple of months after that.
{y:i}Some of my classmates knew they'd|{y:i}be going from school to top law firms, -
{y:i}- thanks mostly to family connections.
{y:i}My only connections were made in|{y:i}the bars I worked in to pay my tuition.
{y:i}I still had plans to shine the light|{y:i}of justice into every dark corner, -
{y:i}- but I needed a job, badly.|{y:i}There's too many lawyers in Memphis.
{y:i}This city's infested with them.
I don't think so.
{y:i}What can be more embarrassing than|{y:i}admitting you work for Bruiser Stone?
{y:i}I mean, he's a lawyer, and they call him|{y:i}"Bruiser". That's how desperate I am.
- Shut the door.|- No, not that. Not that, either.
Sure. Let's make it my house.
I pity the FBI technician who'll have to|extract the data from that conversation.
Live sharks in a lawyer's office.|It's a joke, get it?
- So Prince, is this the law student?|- Yes. I just finished my third year.
Couldn't you use him here?|I'll vouch for him. The boy needs a job.
He's tended bar at our clubs.
This would be a great place|for you to work, Rudy. A great place.
You'd see what real lawyers do.|It ain't exactly a salaried position.
- It isn't?|- My associates pay for themselves.
They generate their own fees.|Talk to me.
- How exactly does that work?|- You draw a thousand dollars a month.
You keep one third|of the fees you generate.
If you can't cover your draw at the end|of the month, you owe me the balance.
- Do you understand?|- Sounds fair to me, Rudy.
You'll make a lot of money.
That's the only way I operate.|And I'll get you a lot of good cases.
I have cases.
One is a will I'm drafting for an|older woman. She's worth millions.
My other case is an insurance case.|Great Benefit. You heard of them?
- You got these clients signed?|- I'm on my way to see them now.
- I helped them before, at a workshop.|- I want you to talk to Deck Shifflet.
He used to work with the big insurance|firms. He handles the big stuff here.
Deck!
- You got the paperwork on this stuff?|- In my car.
Hey, good-looking.
This is Deck Shifflet.|He'll get you plugged in.
Draw up a lawsuit against|Great Benefit, and put my name on it.
- We're gonna file it today.|- Thank you.
- You're gonna learn a lot.|- Rudy, I'm glad you came here.
- You're making good choices already.|- Close the door on your way out.
If there's somebody in an office,|you can't have it.
This is the bathroom.|Sorry.
- Are you an associate here?|- Sort of. Actually, I'm not a lawyer yet.
Bruiser asks me to review|the insurance cases.
I used to work for Specific Mutual.|I got sick of that, I went to law school.
- When did you finish law school?|- Five years ago.
I'm having a little trouble with|the bar exam. I sat for it six times.
- When do you take yours?|- In three weeks. It's that hard?
Yeah. I took it a year ago,|I don't think I'm gonna take it again.
This is Bruiser's library. If you want to|use the fridge, put your name on stuff.
Put that in for me.
Daisy, I made a mess here.|Pick that up, huh?
What happens when you go to court?
I haven't got caught. There's so many|lawyers, they can't keep up with us.
- Bruiser owns all this.|- Oh... nice.
You can't call it a firm,|it's every man for himself.
You'll learn.
- Are you moving?|- Evicted.
Here's the policy.
- What do you think?|- This is the armpit of the industry.
- What are their grounds for denial?|- They first denied it on principle.
Then they said that leukaemia, as a|pre-existing condition, isn't covered.
- Have all the premiums been paid?|- Every one, according to Mrs Black.
This is a typical debit insurance scam.
The blacks call it "streetsurance".
- So what do I do?|- You sign them all up.
- To J. Lyman Stone.|- All right.
- I'll help you on this one.|- Thank you, I appreciate it.
There's nothing more thrilling|than nailing an insurance company.
Mrs Black, Rudy Baylor. I'm handling|your case against Great Benefit.
- I met you at the law workshop.|- Come in.
I'm sorry about them crazy dogs.|I thought you was a Jehovah's Witness.
- Where's Buddy?|- In the car.
- Where's he going?|- Buddy isn't going nowhere.
He ain't right in the head.|War injury. Korea.
He could walk through a metal detector|buck naked, and the thing would go off.
- He's got a plate in his head.|- Oh... that's awful.
- How's Donny Ray?|- Well, good days and bad.
"Plate in head".|Maybe I can meet him later.
Great Benefit first denied your claim|last August, -
- when Donny Ray was diagnosed.|Why wait till now to consult a lawyer?
Stupid, I guess. I just kept writing them,|and they kept writing me back.
This here's the latest one.
"On seven prior occasions|we have denied your claim in writing."
"We now deny it for the eighth time.|You must be stupid, stupid, stupid."
"Sincerely...
...Everett Lufkin,|vice-president of Claims."
- I don't believe this.|- You're the lawyer...
Mom says nice things about you.
She says you're suing those bastards|over at Great Benefit.
- Gonna make them pay, huh?|- That's right.
- Hi, Mama.|- Hi, honey.
Before we can file the claim,|I need all three of you to sign this.
- Is Daddy coming in?|- Well, he said he wasn't.
- Some days he does, some he don't.|- This is a contract.
- What's in it?|- The usual. It's standard language.
It says you hire us to represent you,|and we take care of the case for you.
We handle any expenses|and get one third of any recovery.
- It takes two pages to say all that?|- Don't light that.
No wonder I'm dying.
- All three of us have to sign it?|- Yes, ma'am. Where your name is.
- He said he wasn't coming in.|- Then take the pen and go out there.
I guess I could...
Buddy, you got to sign this paper,|so Donny Ray can get his operation.
Or I'll throw that damn bottle across|Union Street. Now sign the damn thing!
You must think they're crazy.
They're nice folks.
Hey, man...
Your nose is bleeding.
Mrs Black!|Hold your head up.
It's okay, I got it...|Put your head back.
Oh, sweetie.|You'll be all right.
I got it.
- I got to...|- You're gonna be all right.
- Where's the paper?|- You can wait.
- No, I want to do this now.|- Okay.
All right, you can do it.|Go ahead, you're doing it.
Ms Birdie? It's Rudy Baylor.
Who is it?
It's Rudy Baylor.|We met at the law workshop.
Oh, yes! Come in.
- How are you doing today?|- Fine.
- I want to talk about your will.|- I want to cut my children out. Cut, cut.
I had trouble sleeping last night.|I was worried about your estate.
If you're not careful, the government|is gonna get a big chunk of this.
A lot of these taxes can be avoided|with careful estate planning.
All that legal gobbledegook. I suppose|you want your name in the will?
- Of course not.|- Lawyers always want their names in.
There are all kinds of lawyers. But I|do need to know where the money is.
Is it in bonds, stocks, cash?
Rudy, not so fast.
Okay, ma'am.|So we have this money, somewhere...
Who do we leave it to?
I want it all to go to the Reverend|Kenneth Chandler. Do you know him?
He's on television, out of Dallas.|He's got curly grey hair, premature.
He wouldn't dream of touching it up.|I want him to have the money.
- Forgive me, Ms Birdie...|- What?
I just have a real problem|drafting a will -
- that's gonna cut out family|and convey the bulk of the estate -
- to a TV personality.
- He's a man of God.|- I realise that. I know.
Is there any way we could...|Do you have to give him everything?
- Could it be 25%?|- He's got a lot of overhead.
His jet is getting old.
Just draw it up the way I asked,|and bring it back so I can review it.
Here's the hustlers when they were|still young and sweet. Cut, cut, cut.
- You come back now.|- Oh, I will.
- Thank you.|- No, thank "you".
- Is that a little apartment back there?|- It used to be. Do you like my garden?
- It's fine. Do you do the work yourself?|- A boy cuts the grass once a week.
30 dollars, can you believe it?|It used to be five.
Are you interested in renting it out?|I couldn't afford much, though.
You could have it reasonably,|if you'd assist me with a few chores.
- Perhaps a little weed-pulling.|- Weed-pulling's my speciality.
I go to hospitals all the time.|Bruiser has contacts at the precinct.
- They feed him accident reports.|- Can I ask you something?
What does Bruiser expect me to do?
You get the case, find the victims,|sign them up. Put the case together.
- So I should solicit?|- What did they teach you in school?
- Not to chase ambulances.|- Learn quick, or you'll starve.
No problem. Ask your doctor,|we can admit you here.
- Nice flowers.|- Thanks.
- William.|- How you doing, Deck?
346.
- Dr Wells.|- Good morning.
Don't act like a lawyer.
"Do not enter."
- How you doing, Mr McKenzie?|- How are my tests?
Gall bladder. Wrong fish.
Mr van Landel...|Good afternoon, Mr van Landel.
Can you hear me?|Hi.
- Who are you?|- Deck Shifflet, paralawyer.
You haven't talked|to any insurance companies?
Don't, they're just out to screw you.|Do you have a lawyer?
My firm handles tons of car wrecks.
Insurance companies are afraid of us,|and we don't charge a dime.
- Can you wait till my wife gets back?|- Your wife?
Sorry.|I'm very sorry, Mr van Landel.
- Where is your wife?|- She'll be back in a little while.
I'll have to talk to her in my office.|Just sign right there.
You only talk to your doctor. People|will be offering you settlements.
I do not want you to sign anything|without me reviewing it first.
My number is on this card.
Rudy Baylor's number is on the back.|Call that number for him anytime.
Any questions? Good,|we're gonna get you a bunch of money.
- Let's go.|- I'm real sorry.
I'd like to be alone, please.
And that is how it's done.|Piece of cake.
What if the guy had a lawyer?
We came with nothing. If he'd|thrown us out, what have we lost?
Dignity? A little self-respect?
In law school, they don't teach you|what you need to know.
It's all theories and lofty notions|and big, fat ethics books.
- What's wrong with ethics?|- Nothing, I guess.
You should fight for your client, refrain|from stealing money, and try not to lie.
- That was blatant ambulance chasing.|- Who cares?
There's a lot of competition. What they|don't teach in school can get you hurt.
{y:i}How do you know when a lawyer|{y:i}is lying? His lips are moving.
{y:i}What's the difference|{y:i}between a hooker and a lawyer?
{y:i}A hooker will stop screwing you|{y:i}after you're dead.
{y:i}Lawyers love lawyerjokes.|{y:i}They're even sort of proud of them.
{y:i}Why do you suppose that is?
What the hell are you doing?
I'm studying.
- You study on your own time.|- I know...
But the bar exam is next week.|I'm scared.
You want to study? Run over|to the hospital and study with Deck.
- I'm not gonna study with Deck.|- I got a police report here.
- Do we represent her? Is she here?|- Not yet.
Go to the hospital and check it out.|Maybe you can sign her up.
Here you go.
Now, where did this all come from?|You have to tell me where it came from.
{y:i}I know what's going on the second|{y:i}I lay eyes on them. Like I'm ten.
{y:i}My father crying in the bedroom, my|{y:i}mother with blood all over her face, -
{y:i}- telling me Dad's sorry,|{y:i}he won't do it again.
Just tell me yes!
Why are you doing this to me?|It's always the same with you.
You make me so crazy.
Kelly Riker was admitted|three days ago, -
- at midnight, I might add,|with assorted injuries.
The cops found her on the sofa, beat|to hell, wrapped in a blanket, naked.
Cliff Riker, her spouse,|was intoxicated and highly agitated.
He wanted to dish out to the cops|what he was giving his wife, -
- which was, by the way,|a severe beating with a baseball bat.
Evidently his weapon of choice.
- Let's talk about Ms Birdie's millions.|- No, I want to talk about Cliff.
- What happened to Cliff?|- His family bailed him out.
He's due in court in a week.|Nothing will happen.
Colleen Janice Birdsong's late second|husband left her a couple million.
But lawyers,|bad trust department investments -
- and the IRS devoured the estate,|except for $40,000, -
- which Ms Birdie|probably tucked in her mattress.
Sorry.
- Good morning. Isn't it a lovely day?|- Yeah, it's beautiful.
Oh, here's my mulch!|That's right, there.
Stop it! Put it right there.|My yard boy will get it.
Right down there.|Isn't that a fine bunch of mulch?
Excuse me.|I'm not one to meddle, but...
Are you all right?
Are you in pain?
No, but thanks.
I'm up here studying for the bar exam,|so if you need anything, holler.
Anything, all right?|I'll get it for you.
- My name is Rudy Baylor.|- Kelly Riker. Nice to meet you.
Why don't you sit down?|Go ahead, take a seat.
What school do you go to?
I went to Austin Peay,|then to law school at Memphis State.
I always wanted to go to college, -
- but it didn't work out.
I always thought I'd go,|but it didn't work out.
- What kind of lawyer will you be?|- I enjoy trial work.
I'd like to spend my days|in a courtroom.
- Defending criminals?|- Maybe. They're entitled to a defence.
- They have a right to their day in court.|- Murderers?
Most murderers can't afford|a private lawyer.
Rapists and child molesters?
No.
Men who beat their wives?
Criminal work is a rare speciality.|I'll probably be doing more...
...civil litigation.
- Lawsuits and stuff?|- Right.
Excuse me.
- Rudy Baylor.|- It's me. How's the fishing going?
- I'm talking to the prospect now.|{y:i}- You better sign her up.
{y:i}- Can you hear me?|- I enjoyed meeting you.
Thanks for the company.
- Tomorrow night?|- Maybe.
Time is up. Pass your test booklets|to your right so we may gather them up.
{y:i}In my first year of law school,|{y:i}everybody loved everybody else.
{y:i}We were studying the law,|{y:i}and the law was a noble thing.
{y:i}By my third year, you were lucky|{y:i}if you weren't murdered in your sleep.
{y:i}People stole exams, hid research from|{y:i}the library and lied to the professors.
{y:i}Such is the nature of the profession.
{y:i}Half an hour ago, her husband|{y:i}threw a bowl of soup at her, -
{y:i}- because she won't get it through|{y:i}her head how much he loves her.
{y:i}Pregnant at 18, married. A miscarriage,|{y:i}probably because he beat her up.
{y:i}- And still, she can't leave him.|- You're gonna have to help me.
{y:i}Everything tells me she's a loser.|{y:i}Scarred, broken, maybe dangerous.
{y:i}But I've never seen anyone like her,|{y:i}and all I want to do is protect her.
Visiting hours are over.
- So...|- He should be shot.
Any man who beats his wife with|an aluminium bat needs to be shot.
- How did you find out?|- Police reports, ambulance reports...
How long will you wait until he decides|to hit you on the head with his bat?
That would be it.|A couple of good shots to the skull...
Don't tell me how it feels.
Look at me, Kelly.|Can I ask you something?
Do you have a father or a brother?
Why?
If my daughter got beat the way your|husband beats you, I'd break his neck.
No big brother?
No...
No one to take care of me.
I'll try to help you any way I can,|but you have to file for divorce.
Now, while you're in hospital.
It'll sail through.|What better proof is there than that?
I can't file for divorce.
- Why not?|- Because he'll kill me.
He tells me so all the time.
- That's not gonna happen.|- Could you put a pillow under my foot?
There's one over there.
Here.
- Is that okay?|- Yeah.
Could you pass me my gown, too?
Thanks.
- You need some help putting it on?|- No, just turn around.
- Hey.|- Who are you?
- I live here. Who the hell are you?|- I'm Delbert's wife.
- Who? How did you get in here?|- Birdie gave me the key.
I live here.|You have no right to be in here.
Get a grip.|Birdie wants to see you.
- What is this?|- You must be the lawyer.
- I'm Rudy Baylor.|- I'm Delbert, Birdie's youngest.
He yelled at me|and told me to get out.
- Is that so?|- Damn right.
I don't want neither one of you|going through my stuff.
I come to see Mama and she's got|a stinking lawyer living with her.
- You been messing with Mama's will?|- She's your mama, ask her.
- She won't say a word.|- Then neither can I.
That's a lawyer-client privilege.
But I'll tell you what...
I made a couple phone calls,|verified some accounts...
Your mama's second husband|left her an enormous fortune.
- How big?|- Big.
I hope you're not meddling, boy.
Mama, wouldn't you just love to come|and visit us in Florida for a while?
Mama, come in and get some cake.
We ain't but 180 miles away|from Disneyworld.
- How you feeling, Donny Ray?|- Great. Don't I look fantastic?
- You feel up to this?|- Yeah, let's go already.
{y:i}A lawyer isn't supposed to become|{y:i}personally involved with a client.
{y:i}But there's all kinds of lawyers...|{y:i}and all kinds of clients, too.
You okay, baby?
Can I get you guys anything else?
- You want something?|- I'll have a shot of Jack Daniels.
What's it gonna do, kill me?
- This is my friend Donny Ray.|- I'm so glad to have you here.
You just come right over here|and sit down. Have a rest.
You have me all blocked off here.
- Ms Birdie, my back's killing me.|- I almost forgot, this came for you.
- Oh, my God!|- Isn't it exciting?
- I'm so proud of you.|- I passed the bar.
Here's to Rudy.|Congratulations on passing the bar.
- What the hell is that?|- Iced tea.
You did good work. I got a cheque|today from the van Landel settlement.
I'm giving you a bonus.|$5,500 each.
- Thank you.|- Sign up some more cases.
Are we gonna be ready|for tomorrow morning? Nine o'clock?
We're gonna argue|Great Benefit's motion to dismiss.
I think we're ready.
Deck and I have been going over it.|I think we're ready.
I hope so, because I might have you|handle some of that argument, Rudy.
It would be awfully embarrassing|if we lose this case on a dismissal.
Boss?
I got to go.|The food's on me.
- Enjoy your meat.|- Thanks, Bruiser. Appreciate it.
Something's about to go down.
He never split money like that before.
- What's behind this generosity?|- Come on, man.
Oh yeah?
One of his ex-partners testified.|I think he cut a deal.
- He's gonna be singing on Bruiser.|- So what?
- You're gonna have to make a move.|- I just got here.
Things might get a little hot.
Jury tampering,|tax evasion, money skimming...
- I'm real nervous.|- Why? They can't arrest us.
Suppose they come with|subpoenas and hacksaws?
They do that in racketeering cases.
They confiscate|the files and computers.
I'm not worried about being arrested,|I'm worried about my job.
- So what are you saying here?|- Let's bolt.
- How much money you got?|- $5,500.
Me too. We can rent|a small office. $500 a month.
We operate on a shoestring|for the first six months.
We split everything|right down the middle, fifty-fifty.
Costs, expenses, profits, everything.|Right down the middle.
What's the matter?|You don't want to be my partner?
It's not that...
You're hitting me with this,|and you got to give me a minute.
We have to act fast.
Okay, let's do it.|We'll do it for a while, see how it goes.
- How many files do you have?|- I got three.
Get them out, take them home.|But don't get caught.
- Is somebody watching us?|- The Feds.
I'm eating too fast.
Sorry.
The FBI is chaining up the office door.|Is Bruiser coming?
I doubt it. Arrest warrants are out|for both Bruiser and Prince.
Just relax. You can do this,|it's just a motion.
- Me?|- You know this case, you'll be fine.
- I don't even have my licence.|- You don't need a licence.
{y:i}I memorised the Black files cold.
{y:i}I read all the books onjurisprudence,|{y:i}the rules of evidence and discovery.
{y:i}But a look around the courtroom, and I|{y:i}know I haven't even been born yet.
Excuse me, Your Honour.
I'm here for|the Black vs. Great Benefit hearing.
- And who are you?|- Baylor. I work for J. Lyman Stone.
Oh, you work for J. Lyman...
Staunch supporter|of the tobacco lobby.
Where is Mr Stone?
Honestly, I don't know.|He was supposed to meet me here.
Why doesn't that surprise me...?|You want a continuance?
- No, I'm prepared to argue the motion.|- Are you a lawyer?
I just passed the bar,|and these are my clients.
Mr Stone filed this on my behalf|until I passed the bar.
You got a nerve. Now get the hell out,|get your licence, and "then" come back!
Come back when you got a licence!
May it please the court...
Leo F. Drummond, of Tinley Britt,|counsel for Great Benefit.
If this young man has passed the bar, -
- let him argue the case.
We welcome him to big-time litigation.
You have no objection?
I would be honoured to introduce him|to the practice of law in Tennessee.
You can give him the oath right now.|I'll be pleased to stand for him.
Are you certain|you're prepared to proceed?
Yes, Your Honour.
Very well, raise your right hand.|Do you solemnly swear -
- that you will support the constitution|of the United States faithfully, -
- and conduct yourself to the best|of your abilities, so help you God?
- I do.|- Okay, let's move on.
Congratulations. Welcome.
{y:i}Sworn in by a fool,|{y:i}and vouched for by a scoundrel.
{y:i}I'm a lawyer at last.
- May I, Harv?|- Sure.
Sit down.
This lawsuit bothers me.|I wouldn't use the word frivolous, -
- but I'm not impressed|with the merits of it.
I'm really tired of these type of lawsuits.
I'm inclined|to grant the motion to dismiss.
You can re-file it in federal court,|take it somewhere else.
I don't want it clogging up my docket.|Excuse me while I go to the can.
Rudy, I'm a very expensive lawyer.
I'm from a very expensive firm|and I've handled a lot of cases.
I told my clients at Great Benefit -
- that costs alone here are going to be|a big deal. And for you, too.
They've authorised me -
- to offer you and your clients...
...$50,000 to settle this thing out.
I may even be able|to raise that figure up to... 75,000.
No admission of liability.
Of course, if you say no,|it's going to be World War Three.
- My turn. May I, Harv?|- Sure.
There's not much of a lawsuit here.
Maybe I can lean on Leo to settle.
They'll throw some money at you to|keep from paying him $1,000 a minute.
He already offered me|the cost of the defence.
- Oh really? How much?|- 75,000.
Jeez...
Look here, son,|you'd be crazy not to take that.
- You think so?|- 75,000, that's a bunch of money.
- It doesn't sound like Leo.|- He's a great guy.
- So?|- It was an ambush.
- What happened?|- They tag-teamed me.
- Would they have done that to Bruiser?|- No, he's too savvy for that.
- They offered me 75,000.|- Good. Our third is 25,000. We need it.
He was serious about dismissing|the case. He's just an old, angry man.
Let's grab what we can|to make things easier on his parents.
- They made an offer to settle.|- What kind of offer?
$75,000.
That's what it'll cost|to pay their lawyers to defend the case.
They think they can just buy us off?
That's exactly what they think.
You better talk to him.
Do you want to settle, Rudy?
Some of the money is yours.
No way.
I want to expose these people.
- Could you get me a glass of water?|- Sure, baby.
Whatever you get out of this case,|will you take care of my family with it?
I really love them.
{y:i}While we're all out there scrambling,|{y:i}like we're never gonna die, -
{y:i}- this boy's looking right at it,|{y:i}and he's doing it almost alone.
{y:i}I can't even begin to imagine|{y:i}the courage it must take.
- Hello.|{y:i}- Guess who died last night.
- Do you ever sleep?|{y:i}- Harvey Hale, 62, quite a pedigree.
- Judge Hale?|{y:i}- Heart attack. Died in his pool.
You've got to be kidding me.
{y:i}- Guess who got the case in his place.|- How the hell am I supposed to know?
{y:i}Tyrone Kipler. Black, Harvard,|{y:i}civil rights lawyer, hates Tinley Britt.
{y:i}And he's tough on insurance|{y:i}companies. Great luck for us!
{y:i}You know what a rainmaker is?|{y:i}The bucks will be falling from the sky!
When are you coming?|We've got to talk about fast-tracking.
{y:i}Coffee's on the way.
Mr Drummond, you've objected|to the fast-tracking of this case.
- What's the problem?|- Judge Hale already ruled on the issue.
The preparations required|place undue burden on both parties.
Nonsense.|Let me ask you something.
As a defence lawyer, have you ever|agreed to fast-track a lawsuit?
- I believe I have.|- Fine...
Give me the name of the case|and the court.
I'll have to get back to you on that.
Call me this afternoon by three.
- I won't be in before three.|- Call when you get in.
I'm very anxious to hear about this case|you agreed to fast-track.
This boy is about to die. You do agree|we need to record his testimony?
Of course, Your Honour. But my trial|calendar is pushing me around good.
- How about next Thursday afternoon?|- Great for me.
- I'm sorry.|- That's a week from today.
I'm out of town Thursday.
The deposition is set for|next Thursday afternoon, two p.m.
Sorry if it inconveniences the defence, -
- but there's enough of you guys|to handle it.
- What's next?|- The motion to dismiss is still pending.
Oh, yes. That motion is denied.
- Well, I guess that's it.|- Gentlemen, let's go.
Congratulations on your appointment,|Your Honour.
Mr Drummond...
Don't forget to call me with the name|of that case you agreed to fast-track.
I'll look around.
You in over your head, son?
Absolutely.
{y:i}Deck wants to do an ad on the local|{y:i}rap station, but we can't afford it.
{y:i}Furnishings, bar dues, 750 for a fax,|{y:i}400 for a lease on the computer, -
{y:i}- down-payment on a car,|{y:i}and we're broke again.
{y:i}But Deck's thrilled|{y:i}with the way things are going.
Rudy, hi.
- How are you?|- Good.
I'm going up to Cleveland Wednesday,|the headquarters of Great Benefit.
I'm going to take depositions|from all the executives.
We'll take care of the expenses.|It's no problem.
Awkward...
- My associate, Deck Shifflet.|- How do you do?
- Rudy, Tyrone is here.|- Okay. The judge is here.
Wait, Dot, give me that.
- Hello.|- Hello.
- Come right in.|- Mrs Black, Judge Kipler.
It's a privilege to meet you.|Come on in.
There's not a lot of room here.
Let's take a look outside.|Is that all right with you, son?
Sure.
I'll show you the way.
{y:i}These lawyers get $1,000 an hour,|{y:i}and I hate them.
{y:i}From their lofty perch, pissing down|{y:i}on thejustice system with disdain.
{y:i}I used to hate them because|{y:i}I wasn't good enough for them.
{y:i}Now I hate them for who,|{y:i}and what, they represent.
- Your Honour, how are you?|- Fine. The dogs didn't startle you?
- We're doing this thing outside?|- It's cramped inside. Have a seat.
Thank you.
- Hey, Donny Ray.|- Hey.
You've already met Judge Kipler.
This is Leo F. Drummond|and associates.
- This is Tammy, the court reporter.|- Swear him in.
Do you swear your testimony will be|the truth, and nothing but the truth?
Yes, I do.
- I told him...|- Don't worry about it.
- It's just a deposition.|- I represent Great Benefit.
And I'm very sorry to be here|under these circumstances.
We wouldn't be here if your clients|had done what they should've done.
You want a stick of gum?
Did you break your arm?|You had an accident?
- Why?|- I'm a lawyer.
Give it to your mom. You're his mom?|Maybe I can get you some money.
I'll help that gentleman first.|No, I got it.
- Can I help you, sir?|- I'm just looking.
Sit in the back row of the cinema down|the street. I'll be there in 30 minutes.
Cliff wants me to have a baby.
You have a decision to make.
He's obsessed with sex.|He thinks it'll keep us together.
I don't want to talk about that.
I just wanted to see you.
{y:i}I think I can smell her perfume|{y:i}all the way to Cleveland.
{y:i}It's hard keeping my mind on|{y:i}Leo Drummond and his people.
{y:i}They'll be flying in first class, and after|{y:i}dinner, they'll discuss my destruction.
{y:i}When I check in to Motel Six, they'll|{y:i}be sleeping soundly in their suites.
{y:i}They'll wake up fresh and rested|{y:i}and ready for war.
{y:i}It's my deposition, but it's their turf.
Young Rudy Baylor.|And just on time, too.
- Get this boy some coffee.|- Jack Underhall.
A young lawyer's|always a hungry lawyer.
{y:i}There must be a hundred years of|{y:i}experience gathered around the table.
{y:i}- My staff flunked the bar six times.|- Rudy, don't be intimidated.
You get them on the golf course,|they fold like a cheap suit.
Let's see what we got here...
I think it's appropriate to start with the|corporate designee, Jack Underhall.
- I don't think so.|- I beg your pardon?
I wanted to start with Jackie|Lemanczyk, the claims handler.
It's best we start with Mr Underhall.
It's my deposition, I'll call the witnesses|in the order in which I see fit.
I'd like to start with Jackie Lemanczyk.
Maybe we should just call the judge.
We don't have to get pugilistic|this time of the morning.
I don't mean to be pugilistic.
We're just having a little problem with|Jackie Lemanczyk, this Polish woman.
What sort of problem?
- She doesn't work here anymore.|- Was she fired?
She resigned.
- Where is she now?|- She no longer works for our client.
We can't produce her as a witness,|so let's move along.
All right. Russell Krokit. Anybody|in the room named Russell Krokit?
He's gone, too.|Downsized.
- What a coincidence.|- My client's going through downsizing.
How about Everett Lufkin?|Has he been downsized, too?
No, he's here.
You're Everett Lufkin?
My congratulations, Mr Lufkin...
...on your survival of the carnage|of late here at Great Benefit.
I may not be 100% today,|but I'm here in spirit.
- I'm curious.|- About what?
I'm just wondering, do you even|remember when you first sold out?
You're an arrogant little pissant,|aren't you?
I advise you to mind your manners.
Mind my manners?
I come from Memphis to depose|four people, two of whom are not here.
- And you tell me to mind my manners?|- It's your dime. What's your call, son?
I'm going to depose Mr Lufkin,|then I'm going to go back to Memphis.
{y:i}This is how the uninsured die.
{y:i}In a society filled with brilliant doctors|{y:i}and state-of-the-art technology, -
{y:i}- it's obscene to let this boy|{y:i}wither away and die.
{y:i}He had an insurance policy|{y:i}that his mother paid good money for.
{y:i}Not big money, but good money.
{y:i}I'm alone in this trial.|{y:i}I'm seriously outgunned and scared.
{y:i}But I'm right.
{y:i}I sit with this poor, suffering kid,|{y:i}and I swear revenge.
Hello?|What's wrong?
{y:i}- I need your help.|- Where are you?
{y:i}- I'm at the store.|- Don't move, I'll be right there.
Rudy Baylor.
She's in here.
Thanks for coming.
- What happened?|- Let's show him.
- I got you, it's all right.|- Rudy, I'm so glad you called.
You poor child.|I'm going to take care of you now.
Don't worry, we'll manage just fine.
You know where I'll be if you need me.
{y:i}I'll do whatever I have to do|{y:i}to get her out of this.
{y:i}Because this guy will never stop|{y:i}until he's killed her. Never.
Now it's a wrongful death suit.|Gazillions!
I'm so sorry, Dot.
Thank you so much for coming.
You'll be okay.
For bugs?
This bugging device has got|medium-grade circuitry.
It's a weak transmitter.
Probably manufactured|in Czechoslovakia.
I don't think the cops or the Feds|have placed this.
- Somebody else is listening.|- Who else would be listening?
I got a pretty good idea.
Rudy, I'm just checking in.|You need anything from downtown?
{y:i}Guess who wants to settle.|{y:i}Dot Black.
- Dot Black!|- I went over today with a fruitcake.
She said she just doesn't have|the willpower to withstand a long trial.
- How much?|{y:i}- She'd take 175,000.
{y:i}- I think we should take it.|- We'll sleep on it. See you tomorrow.
{y:i}- I say we take it.|- I'll think about it.
Son, this family has been through|a hell of a lot.
- I feel this woman wants to settle.|- I'll talk to her.
You call her.|I'll wait here one more hour.
I'll get back to you.
{y:i}I'm sorry about the boy.
{y:i}My client wants to settle, Rudy.
{y:i}Let's say, to put numbers on the board,|{y:i}that the claim was covered...
{y:i}My client should have paid out|{y:i}somewhere around 150,000-175,000.
{y:i}- If you say so.|- They bugged our phones.
- We should tell Judge Kipler.|- I don't think so.
Why not?
I have an idea.|Kind of a crazy idea.
Jury tampering. I love it... I love it!|Who's our biggest nightmare?
{y:i}Thejudge gave us the names|{y:i}of 92 potentialjurors.
{y:i}We checked them out and rated them|{y:i}with plus or minus numbers.
{y:i}Any direct contact would, of course,|{y:i}be a serious offence.
- What are we doing?|- Just do what I say.
- Rudy Baylor, please.|{y:i}- This is Rudy Baylor.
This is Billy Porter.|You stopped by the shop today.
- Thank you for calling back.|- What do you want?
{y:i}It's about the trial you got a jury|{y:i}summons for. I'm one of the lawyers.
- Is this legal?|- Of course, just don't tell anybody.
{y:i}My client's son died of leukaemia|{y:i}because Great Benefit wouldn't pay.
That sounds awful. I had an aunt|who had that same disease...
- I'll do what I can.|{y:i}- Thank you, Mr Porter. Have a fine day.
- Where did the aunt come from?|- You told me to be sympathetic.
I know, but don't elaborate.|Get your coffee, let's go back up there.
- I'm just trying to help.|- Come on.
Ladies and gentlemen, I'm about to ask|the most important question of the day.
It can be answered yes or no.
Listen carefully. Have any of you|been contacted about this case?
- This is serious business.|- Bingo.
We need to know.|Let me ask it another way.
Did any of you have a conversation|with Rudy Baylor or Deck Shifflet?
- Objection! This is an outrage.|- Mr Drummond?
- I believe they've been tampered with.|- He's accusing me!
- I don't understand what you're doing.|- Neither do I!
Approach the bench.
- This panel's been tampered with.|- I want proof.
I can't say without divulging|confidential information.
- You're out of your mind.|- I can prove it.
You accuse us of something like that?|It's ridiculous.
Allow me to finish questioning them.|The truth will come forth.
- Any objection, Mr Baylor?|- No objection.
Very well, proceed.
- What the hell is going on?|- It's just lawyer stuff.
Mr Porter, I want to ask you|a direct question.
I'd appreciate an honest response.
Ask an honest question,|I'll give you an honest answer.
Fair enough.|Did you or did you not -
- have a phone conversation|a few days ago with Rudy Baylor?
Hell, no.
I thought you'd give me|an honest answer. Are you sure?
- I'm damn sure!|- This is a courthouse of the U.S.!
I say you did not provide|an honest answer.
- Don't call me a liar!|- You "are" a liar.
Bailiff, remove Mr Porter. Mr Porter,|you are excused from the jury.
Your Honour, I move|to dismiss the entire panel.
- Denied.|- It's been tainted!
Your shoe...|you left it over there.
Are we ready to proceed now|with the jury selection?
- I'm ready to proceed.|- Thank you.
- We'll file it today.|- He'll go crazy.
- He'll come after you.|- I hope he does.
This is that good processed turkey.
I've got to get back to court.|I'm late.
- What about your sandwich?|- I was going to take it with me.
I'll see you later.
- How did it go?|- I served the papers on Cliff.
He didn't take it too well. I said|I was ready to rumble. He backed down.
You better watch your back.
Thanks a lot, Butch. I appreciate it.
Do you swear your testimony will be|the truth, and nothing but the truth?
- Yes, I do.|- You may take the stand.
- Please state your name.|- Mrs Marvarine Black.
You are the mother|of Donny Ray Black, -
- who recently died of leukaemia|because Great Benefit...
Objection! Leading.
Sustained.
- Your son needed an operation...|- Objection!
- Leading.|- Sustained.
Did you buy this policy because you|were concerned about medical care?
Objection! I'm sorry, Your Honour.|Leading.
Why don't you show her the policy|and ask her why she bought it?
Mr Baylor, you must ask|to approach the witness.
- Permission to approach the witness?|- You may.
Take it easy.
"July 7, 1996."
"Re: Policy 7849909886."
"On seven prior occasions, we have|denied your claim in writing."
"We now deny it|for the eighth and final time."
"You must be stupid, stupid, stupid."
"Sincerely, Everett Lufkin,|vice-president, Claims Department."
- Read it again.|- Objection! Repetitious.
- I tender the witness.|- Mr Drummond.
Please remove that exhibit.|Mrs Black...
Turn it off.
- Why did you sue for $10 million?|- Is that all?
- I beg your pardon?|- I thought it was more than that.
Your client has a billion dollars,|and your client killed my son.
I wanted to sue for a lot more.
What would you do with the money|if the jury awards you $10 million?
I'm gonna give it to the American|Leukaemia Society. Every cent.
I don't want a dime|of your stinking money.
You're under oath, Mrs Black.
Approach the witness?|I want you to read from the policy.
Page 16, section K,|paragraph 14, item E.
The insurance company says it will not|pay for experimental procedures.
You say your son would have survived|if he'd had a bone marrow transplant.
Only 7,000 bone marrow transplants|are performed a year in the U.S.
- Less than 200 in Tennessee.|- Objection. He's leading the witness.
This is cross-examination.|Leading is allowed. Overruled.
As to leading.
So it was not covered by the policy.
Who was it who first diagnosed|your son's condition?
At the very beginning,|our doctor, Dr Page.
- Your family physician?|- Yes, sir.
- Is he a good doctor?|- Very good.
Is it not true that this capable man|told you repeatedly -
- the transplant wouldn't help your son|due to the type of leukaemia he had?
No, he didn't say that.
Not like that... to me.
- Approach the witness?|- You may.
Is this not Dr Page's letterhead?
And at the bottom,|is that not his signature?
He can't introduce evidence that way.|Plus, it's hearsay.
Objection.
A letter from the Blacks' physician|to Mr Drummond is inadmissible.
That's correct, and I'm not asking for|this letter to be admitted into evidence.
I'm only asking the witness be allowed|to read the letter under Rule 612.
So her recollection can be refreshed.
- Mr Baylor, what do you say?|- I don't know. I object to this.
- We were not furnished this letter.|- Mr Drummond?
I had no idea it would be needed.|I expected this lady to tell the truth.
Anything else?
No.
I'm going to give you a little latitude,|but don't stray too far.
Does that letter|refresh your recollection -
- as to whether Donny Ray's leukaemia|could be helped by a transplant?
- He is not a specialist...|- He is a licensed, capable physician.
He told you what you, quite|understandably, didn't want to accept.
That he'd die of leukaemia despite|the best efforts of medical science.
- But I didn't believe him.|- Not only did you not believe him...
But you were less than truthful with us,|moments ago, when you told us -
- that Dr Page never said that your|son's leukaemia could not be treated.
Your words were: "He never said that.|Not like that... to me."
He wasn't a specialist.
I just wanted Donny Ray to have|the best medical treatment available.
- You'd do the same thing.|- Of course, ma'am.
Of course.|That'll be all.
You may step down.
- I didn't do very good.|- You did fine.
The jury can see exactly|what he's up to. Don't worry.
- I need a smoke.|- Later.
I hope he hasn't changed the locks.
- Are you scared?|- Yeah.
Let's do it.
What a pig.
- I'm sorry.|- Hurry, Kelly. Come on.
There's more in the closet.
You can't take everything.
Oh, no!
Hey! Hello!
What do you know...|What do we have here?
- What have you been doing?|- Take it easy.
Tell me. I'm your husband, remember?|You shut up!
Listen, buddy...|Take it easy.
You hurt me so bad, baby.|Why are you doing this to me?
Rudy!|Cliff, you idiot, what are you doing?
You see what you did? Is this|what you wanted? It's not my fault.
Stop it, Rudy!
- Give me the bat and leave.|- What?
Give me the bat and leave. You|were not here tonight. Give me the bat.
You were not here tonight.
- He finally killed her.|- No, it's him. "He's" dead.
- You're sure? How did it happen?|- I don't know.
{y:i}They say murderers make 25 mistakes,|{y:i}and they're lucky if they remember five.
{y:i}It was self-defence, but he's dead.|{y:i}The mistakes are piling up in my mind.
{y:i}But Kelly knew what to do.|{y:i}She knew it was time.
{y:i}With all that was at stake,|{y:i}her first thought was for my safety.
{y:i}And I left her in there all alone.
Damn you, Kelly,|what the hell is going on here?
What the hell did you do?
You killed my son, goddamn you!
I'm her lawyer, and I insist|on being here during questioning.
- This is your attorney?|- Yes, sir.
I want her released in my custody.
I can't do that.|We got a dead body here, -
- and bond needs to be set by a judge.
- I'm going to jail?|- Can we arrange for a private cell?
Look, asshole, I don't run the jail.|You need to talk to the jailer.
They love lawyers down there, right?
If your lawyer's worth his salt, you'll be|out tomorrow, if you can post bond.
- You got five.|- Thank you.
They're watching us|through the window, -
- and this room is probably bugged,|so be careful what you say.
- What does "manslaughter" mean?|- Murder without the element of intent.
- How much time could I get?|- You have to be convicted first.
That's not going to happen.
Cross your hands behind you.
This way, ma'am.
Mr Lufkin. You are the vice-president|of Claims for Great Benefit.
- Approach the witness?|- You may.
You recognise this?|Go on.
Read that to the jury.
"On seven prior occasions, we have|denied your claim in writing."
"We now deny it for the final time.|You must be stupid, stupid, stupid."
"Sincerely, Everett Lufkin.|Vice-president, Claims."
- That's you?|- Yes.
How do you explain that?
It was a difficult time for me personally.|I was under a lot of stress.
We'd denied this claim|seven times before.
I was trying to be emphatic.|I snapped.
I regret having written it|and I apologise.
- Isn't it a little late for an apology?|- Maybe.
Maybe? The boy is dead, isn't he?
Yes.
Who is Jackie Lemanczyk?
Jackie Lemanczyk|is a former claims handler.
- She worked in your department?|- Yes.
{y:i}- When did she stop working for you?|{y:i}- I don't remember the date.
- How about October 30th?|- Sounds close.
- Two days before her deposition?|- I really don't remember.
{y:i}I'd like to refresh the witness's|{y:i}recollection under Rule 612.
October 30. Two days before she was|to give a deposition in this matter.
She was the person responsible|for handling Donny Ray's claim.
And you fired her?
Of course not.
- How did you get rid of her?|- She resigned. It says so in the letter.
Why did she resign?
"I hereby resign for personal reasons."
- It was her idea to leave herjob?|- That's what it says.
- Nothing further.|- Step down, sir.
Hi, I'm Jackie Lemanczyk's brother,|James.
{y:i}- Is it possible to see her?|{y:i}- James Lemanczyk? One minute.
All rise.
Let me explain, Ms Lemanczyk.|I'm really not your brother.
Rudy, good.|I'd like you to meet Jackie Lemanczyk.
This is Jackie Lemanczyk.|Where she goes, Carl goes.
This is my partner, Rudy S. Baylor.|Just tell him what you told me.
Ms Lemanczyk.|It's a pleasure to meet you.
- Is it all right if I sit down?|- Sure.
- The Black file was assigned to you?|- Yes, that's correct.
The initial claim was sent to me.
Pursuant to company policy,|I sent her a denial.
- Why?|- Why?
Because all claims|were initially denied.
- All claims?|- All claims.
This is how it works.
The policy is sold door-to-door|in the poorer neighbourhoods.
Paid in cash, each week.
{y:i}The claim comes in|{y:i}and is assigned to a handler.
Basically a low-level paper-pusher.
Anyway, the handler reviews it -
- and immediately sends a letter|denying the claim.
The handler sends the file|to Underwriting, -
- who sends a memo to Claims saying,|"Don't pay until you hear from us."
All these people work for this company,|but they don't know each other.
The departments are intentionally|kept at war with each other.
And, meanwhile, there's the client...
They're getting all these letters, some|from Claims, some from Underwriting.
Most people give up.
And this, of course, is intended.
- Your next witness.|- The plaintiff calls Jackie Lemanczyk.
Objection!|Approach the bench?
This is a complete surprise.|When did you find her?
- I didn't know she was lost.|- It's a fair question.
- It's my first trial.|- That's not good enough.
- We have the right to be notified.|- I agree.
- You're saying she can't testify?|- She's listed in the pre-trial order.
Pursuant to Rule 26.06, we have|the right to call her as a witness.
Objection overruled.
Go memorise.
- State your name.|- Jackie Lemanczyk.
- How long were you at Great Benefit?|- Six years.
- When did your employment end?|- October 30th.
- How did your employment end?|- I was fired.
- You did not resign?|- No, I was fired.
Approach the witness...? This letter|says you quit for personal reasons.
The letter is a lie. I was fired so they|could claim I no longer worked there.
Would you point out the man|who made you write this letter?
Jack Underhall.
He told me I was leaving immediately,|and I had two choices:
I could call it a firing and leave|with nothing, or I could write the letter -
- and the company would give me|$10,000 in cash to keep quiet.
I had to make that decision right there,|in his presence.
Go on.
I took the cash...
...and I signed a letter saying I would|never discuss my files with anybody.
- Including the Black file?|- Specifically the Black file.
So you knew that|that claim should have been paid?
Everybody knew.
- The company was playing the odds.|- What odds?
The odds that the insured|would not consult a lawyer.
Now, during that time -
- you were a senior claims examiner.
Were you ever given instructions|on how you should handle claims?
Deny all claims for a year.
Add the money saved, deduct|the amount spent on settlements...
- There's a pot of gold left.|- Approach the clerk?
This has been marked|defence exhibit 6. Do you recognise it?
It's Great Benefit's|company claims manual.
Would you flip over|to section U, please?
- There is no section U.|- Was there one in your time?
Yes. It was an executive memorandum|in the senior examiner's manual.
This is Jackie Lemanczyk's|actual senior claims manual.
Within it, there is a section U.|I ask...
Objection! Approach the bench!
We weren't given a complete manual.
These are stolen work papers.|They may not be admitted.
I ask you instruct my colleague not to|read from or make reference to it.
Why isn't this admissible?
- It wasn't proffered at the correct time.|- I just found out about it.
Assuming I can't get this in now,|do you have any more questions?
- No, Your Honour.|- You may cross-examine the witness.
Is it true...
...that you have been committed|to an institution for various problems?
I was not committed. I am suffering|from alcoholism and depression.
I voluntarily checked into a facility.|I was covered by Great Benefit.
- But they're denying my claim.|- Is that why you're here?
Because you're angry|with Great Benefit?
I hate Great Benefit and|most of the worms that work there.
Was Mr Lufkin a worm|when you were sleeping with him?
Objection!
Mr Drummond may find this fun|to talk about, but this is not relevant.
- This is no fun for me.|- Overruled. Let's see where it takes us.
You had an affair with Mr Lufkin?
Ms Lemanczyk?
As long as I had sex with|certain executives at Great Benefit, -
- my pay was increased|and I was promoted.
- When I stopped, I was demoted.|- Ms Lemanczyk...
You agreed not to disclose confidential|private claims information, yes?
You testified that you sealed that|promise by demand of $10,000.
- That payment was not my idea.|- But you accepted it.
Even though you never intended|to keep that promise.
You were very angry|at Great Benefit and Mr Lufkin.
They preyed on me because I was|broke and single and had two kids.
So you threatened to go to his wife.|That $10,000 was just blackmail.
A way to extort money from|the company you hated. Isn't that right?
Your testimony here is just a lie!|You stole confidential reports -
- as blackmail for revenge. Hell hath|no fury as what, Ms Lemanczyk?
A woman scorned!
I move that all documents|provided by Ms Lemanczyk -
- be deemed stolen work papers|and struck from these proceedings.
Based on the evidence|presently before the court...
...these documents are inadmissible.
- No further questions.|- Mr Baylor?
You may step down, Ms Lemanczyk.
I'm sorry.
- I need to speak to Big Rhino.|{y:i}- Big Rhino? Just a second.
- Hello? Deck, how you doing?|{y:i}- Good, how are you?
{y:i}- Are you here?|- I'm here and there.
Here and there...|Listen, I got a stolen evidence situation.
Okay, stolen evidence...|Let me see...
DeSoto case.|Carmine DeSoto. You remember him?
{y:i}- Club Ruby.|- Where do I find that?
Around '92,|6-50 something, Southwest 2nd.
{y:i}- Boss, you're a lifesaver.|- Club Ruby case.
92, Carmine DeSoto, Club Ruby...
It kind of rings a bell.
I got it from Bruiser, of all people.
- How did you know where he was?|- I got an emergency contact number.
They got me in touch with him. Nobody|knows more about stolen evidence.
It's his stock-in-trade.
- Hello?|{y:i}- This is the Shelby County DA.
{y:i}Could you come here tonight?|{y:i}I'd like to discuss the Kelly Riker case.
In the case of DeSoto|versus Club Ruby, -
- there are reams of stolen evidence.
- Not now. I've got to go.|- You got to go?
The CEO of Great Benefit is coming in|tomorrow. We've got to nail this guy!
- Good luck, Kelly.|- Thanks.
I met with the DA.|She's not going to prosecute.
She said she'd never get a conviction.|It was self-defence.
The plaintiff would like to call|Wilfred Keeley to the stand.
Do you swear your testimony will be|the truth, and nothing but the truth?
- I do.|- You may take the stand.
- State your name.|- May I approach the witness?
Mr Keeley, is your name|on the Great Benefit brochure?
- Yes.|- What do those initials stand for?
- CEO?|- Yeah, what do they stand for?
- Chief Executive Officer.|- Thank you.
So you're the main guy, the cheese.|The buck stops with you.
You could say that.
I'd like to turn the questioning|over to my partner, Rudy Baylor.
- You don't have a licence!|- I had no choice. You're late!
Good morning, Your Honour.|I'm sorry I'm late.
- Approach the witness?|- You may.
- This is Ms Lemanczyk's manual.|- Objection! You ruled on this.
- Sustained.|- May we approach?
I thought this matter was settled.
Just this morning I found a case|that is controlling in this situation.
If you'll just take a look at this ruling.|It's Club Ruby versus Carmine DeSoto.
Here are copies. Number 5-85,|Southwest 2nd, page 431.
Argued by J. Lyman Stone. It shows|that stolen documents are admissible -
- if the lawyers played no part|in that theft.
According to this, this case|would overrule your objection.
- Sorry, Leo.|- Oh, I'm sure you are.
- But note my strong objection.|- Objection noted.
- May I approach?|- Do so.
Sorry.
Excuse the interruption. We were|talking about the claims manual.
Is that a complete|Great Benefit claims manual, sir?
- Yes.|- Does it have a section U?
It has a section U.
Let's talk about this mysterious|section U. Let's explain it to the jury.
Just read paragraph three.
"Claim handlers are directed|to deny all claims within three days."
How would you explain this?
Sometimes we get frivolous|and fraudulent claims in our business.
Sometimes we use this language|to focus on the more needy claims.
Do you honestly expect this court|to believe that explanation?
This chapter merely denotes|in-house processing guidelines.
In-house processing guidelines?|No, section U does more than that.
- I don't think it does that.|- It explains how you re-route claims.
- Anything to avoid payment.|- I admit nothing.
- Your Honour, approach the witness?|- You may.
How many policies did|Great Benefit have in effect -
- in the year 1995?
I don't know.|But let's see.
Does the figure 98,000 sound correct?
- Maybe. That could be right.|- Thank you.
Now, of these policies,|how many claims were filed?
I don't know.
Does the figure of 11,400|sound correct to you?
That's about right,|but I'd have to verify it, of course.
- But the information is in that book?|- Yes.
Can you tell us, of the over 11,000|claims filed, how many were denied?
- No, that would take more time.|- You've had two months. Answer him.
Well, I don't think...
9,141.
11,462 filed...
...9,141 denied.
Your Honour,|I have yet another document.
This is a report from|Great Benefit's medical committee.
Request permission under previous|precedent to present to Mr Keeley.
- Same objection.|- Overruled, objection noted.
That is a report from Great Benefit's|own medical committee, -
- which you chaired.
Would you please read from line 18?
"Since bone marrow transplants|have become standard procedure, -
- we would be financially justified|in investing in bone marrow clinics."
- Approach the witness?|- You may.
There you go... a little louder.
- Objection. Repetitious.|- Overruled.
I want the jury to hear this.
"Since bone marrow transplants|have become standard procedure, -
- we would be financially justified|in investing in bone marrow clinics."
Financially justified. That's what|it's all about at Great Benefit.
- Tender the witness.|- Mr Drummond.
- We'll rest on our objections.|- You are excused, Mr Keeley.
Rudy, come on, get up.|It's time. Let's go.
What will giving a judgement|of $10 million accomplish?
All insurance company premiums|will spin out of reach -
- and it will lead to government|controlled health coverage.
Yours is a grave responsibility.
Be wise, be careful -
- and be just.
Be just.|Thank you.
- Mr Baylor, your rebuttal.|- Thank you, Your Honour.
Ladies and gentlemen of the jury.
When I think of Donny Ray Black...
...gasping for his last breath of air,|slowly dying...
...I am disgusted with myself.
And with the entire legal profession|that could not save him.
I don't even feel good enough about|myself to make my own summation.
So I thought I'd let Donny Ray do that.|Exhibit 16.
{y:i}I weigh 110 pounds.
{y:i}11 months ago, I weighed 160.
{y:i}The leukaemia was detected|{y:i}in plenty of time.
{y:i}I was being treated when they realised|{y:i}that the only thing that could save me -
{y:i}- would be a bone marrow transplant.
{y:i}So I got released from hospital,|{y:i}because my family couldn't afford -
{y:i}- what they had recommended.
{y:i}Great Benefit denied our claim.
{y:i}If I had had a bone marrow transplant,|{y:i}I'd have had a 90% chance of survival.
I hope that you are astonished,|as I am, -
- that a wealthy company would|take money from a low-income family, -
- and then keep it,|while denying a legitimate claim.
It's no wonder they spend so much|on their lawyers and PR machine -
- to convince us we need tort reform,|that we need to end punitive damages.
I'm asking you, the jury...
Just do what you think is right,|in your hearts.
If you don't punish Great Benefit,|you could be their next victim.
That's it.
Don't be nervous.
- Has the jury reached a verdict?|- Yes, we have.
Is it written on paper, according to my|instructions? Please read the verdict.
We, the jury, find for the plaintiff|and award actual damages -
- in the amount of $150,000.
And we, the jury, find for the plaintiff|and award punitive damages -
- in the amount of $50 million.
All rise.
{y:i}These people were trying to|{y:i}hide things, and they got caught at it.
{y:i}The lead attorney on the case,|{y:i}Rudy Baylor, was trying his first case.
{y:i}That's a staggering verdict...
Not bad for a yard boy.
It wasn't difficult. We had a great jury,|and the facts just fell into place.
$50 million?|How much do you get?
- You get right to the point.|- Stop it, that's not what I meant.
We get one third,|but the money's not in the bank yet.
- I'll see you later.|- You're gonna leave her all alone?
Not for long.
Rudy, I've decided|I'm gonna put your name in my will.
You are just too kind to me.
Hot off the news wire:
"Wilfred Keeley, CEO of Great Benefit,|was detained yesterday at JFK, -
- just after boarding a flight|bound for Heathrow."
"He claimed he was sneaking away for|a holiday, but couldn't name a hotel..."
{y:i}... at which he was expected. Today|{y:i}Great Benefit filed for bankruptcy.
{y:i}Great Benefit is under investigation.|{y:i}A number of lawsuits have been filed.
{y:i}Rudy, Leo Drummond here.
It appears|the company has been looted.
I'm sorry. I wanted you|to get every penny of that money.
{y:i}Everybody loses on this one.
- I wanted you to know.|- Thank you, Mr Drummond.
Great Benefit's like a bad slot machine.|It never pays off.
We should have taken the $175,000.|What the hell were we thinking?
It just got all twisted,|this legal profession.
{y:i}Every lawyer in America|{y:i}was talking about me, -
{y:i}- but it doesn't make me feel like|{y:i}a member of the legal community.
{y:i}I might be able to go on practising law|{y:i}if I was working with my whole heart, -
{y:i}- but I can't do that and cover Kelly.|{y:i}And she's gonna need a lot of cover.
{y:i}I love the law, but maybe I should be|{y:i}teaching it instead of practising it.
{y:i}- I need time to work it out.|- Great Benefit has gone belly-up.
Barring a miracle,|we won't get a dime.
You put them out of business.
One little woman from Memphis|bankrupted them sons of bitches?
I'm gonna go to Donny Ray's grave|and tell him all about it.
I guess Kelly and I will be taking off|first thing in the morning.
We made history, Rudy.|Do you know that?
We can always brag.
{y:i}I'm hot. In fact, I'm so hot, there's|{y:i}no place for me to go but down.
{y:i}Every client I ever have will expect|{y:i}the same magic, nothing less.
{y:i}And I could probably give it to them,|{y:i}if it didn't matter how I did it.
{y:i}And then I'd wake up one morning and|{y:i}find that I'd become Leo Drummond.
Give me a call|when you pass the bar exam.
Yeah, piece of cake.
{y:i}Every lawyer, in every case,|{y:i}crosses a line he didn't mean to cross.
{y:i}It just happens. And if you cross it|{y:i}enough times, it disappears forever.
{y:i}Then you're nothing but a lawyerjoke.|{y:i}Just another shark in the dirty water.
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