Legally Binding

Synopsis: Rival lawyers Rebecca Jacobs and Stanley Poole have been battling each other in courtrooms for years. One of their tirades causes them to realize they have much more in common than they originally believed (or perhaps they were in denial of the chemistry/dynamic between them). Could this be love ? If so, what does it mean for their future as nemeses of each other ?

~*~ CAST ~*~

Rebecca Marie Jacobs:

Stanley Poole:

Ms. Heather Wycombe: (once married to Thomas)

Mr. Thomas Bailey:

Lola Angelino: (Thomas' 'other woman')

Brian Bailey: (Tom and Heather's son)

Amy Bailey: (Tom and Heather's daughter)

Mrs. Elise Maryfield:

Mr. Harold Maryfield:

Simon Maryfield: (Elise's delinquent son)

Cory Weatherly: (Simon's delinquent best friend)

Justin Stafford: (another one of the delinquents)

Luigi Cicero: (another one of the delinquents)

Tito Salvador: (another one of the delinquents)

Judge Joe Brown:

Sherriff (Hank Gosford):

Security Guard 1:

Security Guard 2:

Jury Member 1:

Waitress: (Fawn)

Ms. Holly Blankenship: (Rebecca's boss)

Mr. Maximillian Poole: (Stan's boss *and* dad)

Various Witnesses:

Scene 1--A Likely Story

It's a typical day in court. A couple is suing over rights of belongings going through a legal proceeding of their divorce. They also are suing for rights over their children, who are being torn apart by their parents' constant fighting.

Rebecca: (with some malice in her tone) Fancy seeing you here again, Stan.

Stan: (sarcastically) Yeah. (short laugh) You do know we really should stop bumping into each other like this.

Rebecca: (firmly) Stan, you know I wouldn't bump into you or even allow myself to have my eyesight tainted by your ugly mug if I could help it.

Stan: (mockingly) You wound me.

Rebecca: I'll wound you even more today, Mr. Poole. This case is as good as settled with me adjudicating it.

Stan: Oh, we'll see about that, Ms. Jacobs. We'll see who hands whose tuchus over on a silver platter to and who will owe whom a dinner after all is said and done.

Rebecca: (self-assured laugh) You're on, Stan.

(Everyone is abuzz in the courtroom)

Sherriff: All rise for the Honorable Judge Joe Brown.

(Courtroom settles down considerably)

Joe: (bangs gavel) I call the case to order. Ms. Heather Wycombe is with us today to settle the case of her divorce as well as declare custody of her children, Brian and Amy Bailey. Approach the stand, Ms. Wycombe.

Heather: (coming up to the stand) Hello, Your Honor. Why, you're much handsomer in person than I originally thought.

Joe: (furrows eyebrows) Don't try to butter me up, missy. That isn't going to win you this case. I'm the one who judges whether you're a fit mother for those kids or not.

Heather: (sticks nose in the air)

Stan: (with Bible) State your name.

Heather: Heather Wycombe:

Stan: Raise your hand.

Heather: (does so)

Stan: Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God ?

Heather: I do. (flirty smile)

Stan: Do you care to tell the court why you are here today ?

Heather: Oh, where do I begin ? (long drawn out sigh) It all started with that moron sitting next to the other attorney.

Thomas: (angrily) I have more brain power in my pinky than you do in one strand of your hair, you vindictive bitch !

Heather: (keeping calm) He was sleeping around with that whore in the midst of the witnesses.

Lola: (flipping hair defiantly) Girl, you know your sex life was already fizzling with him. (saucily) With me, the sex sizzles.

Heather: (clenches fists) Anyhow, that woman, for lack of better term started to tear us apart. Not only that but I realized that Thomas wasn't a proper male role model for the children. I felt it was in my best interest if I take them.

(mutters)Also I am due to collect what is rightfully mind concerning some artwork I have been eyeing…

Joe: What was that last part again ?

Heather: (bats eyes) Oh, nothing important, Your Honor.

Stan: When did these incidents begin ?

Heather: Like I stated beforehand, when I found Ms. Angelino out. I began noticing Thomas' character change. Then, when I began finding lacy panties in the underwear drawer that weren't mine, my suspicions of infidelity were confirmed. Not only had the hussy been in my house but he had been screwing her in my own bed.

Stan: (startled) How terrible that must've been for you.

Heather: (mock tears) It was. I admit our marriage had started unraveling long before the infidelity ensued, but part of my little Southern heart still loved the son of a gun.

Witness stand: Awwww.

Rebecca: (slapping her head with her hand) Oh, give me a break.

Stan: (gesturing for her to go on) Continue.

Heather: Despite the love I had for the loveable galloot, I also observed some rather unsavory behavior he had been engaging in. He hadn't been a drinker before, but with that harlot, he had taken to champagne and bourbon. I didn't want my beloved Brian and Amy being exposed to such (uppity) vile behavior.

And what's worse is the house had begun to smell of smoke. It wasn't Tom who smoked, so I was sure it was Lola. Amy would often complain of the stench and find ashtrays scattered around the household; an item we didn't have in the house before.

Stan: I surmise you were growing tired of the whole thing altogether.

Heather: (assuredly) Damn right I was, Mr. Poole. All I can hope is that I can appeal to the witness' gentler mercies and convince them that my household is no place for my sweet, innocent children.

Stan: Thank you, Ms. Wycombe. No further questions.

Judge: Now for the defendant, Mr. Thomas Bailey.

Stan: (murmuring to Rebecca) Good luck, sweet-cheeks. You're gonna need it.

Rebecca: (clenched teeth, murmuring back) Bite me, Stan ! (clears throat)

(Thomas approaches the stand)

Rebecca: (with Bible in hand) State your name.

Thomas: Thomas Bailey.

Rebecca: (Thomas places his hand on the Bible) Do you swear to tell the truth, whole truth and nothing but the truth ?

Thomas: (confidently) Sure will.

Rebecca: Excellent. When did your marriage troubles start, Mr. Bailey ?

Thomas: (long, drawn out exhale) Where do I begin ? I think it began in our tenth year. I had always been faithful to my wife before then. But, sadly, our love life, or lack thereof, began rearing its ugly head. I admit that I did turn to comfort from Ms. Angelino when the romance began to disappear from our lives.

Heather: (enraged) "Comfort" ? Likely story ! I know you came to her for more than comfort, Tom !

Joe: (bangs gavel) Order !

Tom: Unlike my ex-wife's testimony, I can attest to not engaging in an affair with Lola, nor drinking in excess around my children.

Rebecca: Which is true. According to the breathalyzer the police gave him earlier, there was no trace of alcohol in his system. And according to a search warrant brought on by yourself, there wasn't even a trace of cigarette smoke, let alone an ash tray on the premises.

Joe: What about the supposed allegations of infidelity ?

Rebecca: Also, nothing was shown of foul play.

Stan: (standing up quickly, loudly) Objection ! The lady herself said she found lacy panties in the bedroom ! What more evidence do you need ?

Joe: Overruled.

Tom: (pleading, with dewy eyes) Take upon yourselves, jury, to find me innocent. Think of my beautiful children. They can't go home with that woman. She's a monster !

Heather: (angrily) You bastard ! I am no such thing ! How dare you speak such slander against me ! You used to love me !

Tom: (shaking head left to right, muttering) Not anymore, psycho hose beast.

Joe: I bring the case of Bailey versus Wycombe to recess. Jury will deliberate and we will reconvene in 5 minutes.

(The two defendants leave, escorted by guards)

(Sitting in the break room, being eyed saucily by Stan)

Stan: Your counter-argument was moving, my dear. I don't know, you just may win this one. But, I dunno. Maybe the jury will be more swayed by Ms. Wycombe. They are, after all, mostly women.

Rebecca: (smirks) Do you think I am blindand dumb ? (tsks) You really don't know me that well.

Stan: Oh, I know you more than you might think.

Rebecca: (groans) Keep telling yourself that, Stanley. (sarcastic chuckle)

(They are brought back into the court, but before they go into court, they bump into each other)

Rebecca: Watch your step, you big oaf !

Stan: It's not like I meant to bump into you. Your big fat tuchus got in the way.

Rebecca: Well at least I have an ass, unlike SOME people !

Stan: (imitating hari kari) Arrggghh, fatally wounded ! (laughing) Honey, keep the compliments coming. I'm lovin' them !

Rebecca: You are meshuggenah. Completely.

Stan: (tipping imaginary hat) Again, (sing-song) thank you !

(They take their seats)

Rebecca: (Before Stan can ask) Has the jury reached a verdict ?

Jury Member 1: We have. We, the jury, find Thomas Bailey not guilty, thereby granting him custody of his children and the items he desires.

Heather: (infuriated) No ! NO ! You can't do this to me !

Amy: Daddy ! (running to him) (embracing him)

Tom: It's so good to finally be with you again !

Brian: (to Rebecca) Thank you, Ms. Brooks. You have no idea how much of a witch that woman actually was !

(While the newly reunited family joyously begins to celebrate, Heather is still whining)

Sherriff: (escorting her out of the court room) Come on, darlin'. You've got alimony payments to start makin' and I don't know what your ex asked for, but I think you're gonna have to find someplace new.

Heather: (cries like a baby) Mr. Poole, I hate your rotten stinking guts !

Stan: (sighing) Damn, and I thought I had the case this time…I was so sure.

Rebecca: You owe me dinner, Stan ! (confident grin)

Stan: I loathe, you, Becky. To the marrow of my bones.

Rebecca: I know you do. Just do me a favor and shush…I want to bask in victory ! (dances)

Stan: (groaning)

Scene 2--Chemistry

(Don't Stop Believing is playing on the jukebox in the diner and Rebecca sings along. Stan smiles a bit, but immediately frowns once Rebecca catches his eye.)

Rebecca: You're footing the bill, right ?

Stan: (blandly) Right.

Rebecca: And I can have whatever I like…right ?

Stan: (begrudgingly) Yes ! Order what you want already.

Rebecca: (waving to grab the attention of the waitress) Fawn ?

Fawn: Oh, hi Ms. Jacobs ! (jovially) Won another case I see.

Stan: (covers his eyes with his hand in mortification)

Rebecca: Bingo ! Now, let me see. I want a specialty pizza, everything on it, no anchovies. I also want a dessert pizza, and cheesy breadsticks.

Fawn: Anything else ?

Rebecca: (deliberating a bit) Hmm. No. Just a Pepsi.

Stan: I'll take a Coke, Fawn. (flatly) Thanks, much.

Fawn: (perkily) You're welcome. I'll get that into the kitchen stat.

Rebecca: She thinks she's cute because she's getting a degree as an RN.

Personally, I think it's working for her. (giggling)

Stan: (lowers head and mock weeps)

Rebecca: Oh come on ! Don't take it so hard, Stan. It's not like I have been beating you every single time ! There are some cases you kick the stuffing out of me on.

Stan: Yeah, well…I've been kinda off my game lately. (looks up at her, pouting) And I don't like it !

Rebecca: (feeling his foot brushing up against hers somewhat) Would you quit playing footsie with me ?

Stan: Oh ! Sorry. I can't help that I have extremely long legs. These blasted booths just don't come equipped for a man of my stature.

Rebecca: (laughing but covers her mouth)

Stan: Aha ! The woman does have a sense of humor.

Rebecca: Be quiet, Stan ! Allow me to gloat…Don't ruin this !

Stan: (takes his shoe off with his left foot and uses his right foot to tickle her leg)

Rebecca: (high pitched giggle) Stan ! Cut it out !

Stan: You know we're both in this game for the same thing. (greedily) Money and lots of it.

Rebecca: (blushing at his gentle touch) Yes, but I was hoping there was more to being a lawyer than being stereotyped as a parasite. We're not leeches, Stan.

We're not crooks. (unsure) Are we ?

Stan: (continuing to tease her) Mmm…I don't think we are. Never knew how silky those lovely gams of yours were. I could do this all day. (wriggles eyebrows)

Rebecca: (giggling and squealing, embarrassedly) Stop it, now !

Stan: (backs off) As you want. (slight pause) Sorry, but I couldn't resist. (pause) Hasn't anyone ever flirted with you before ?

Rebecca: (sigh) Not in a long time, Stan. (still blushing)

Stan: (noticing her beauty and becoming a little smitten) You know, I never realized it but in this light with your cheeks glowing magenta, you look dazzling. My Lord. All this time, I had been working with a knockout and I was completely blind to it.

Rebecca: Do you mean that or are you up to something ? (raised brow)

Stan: No. I mean it. I didn't have this epiphany until now, Becky. (taking her hands) All these years, we had been yelling and screaming at each other in court when we're actually not so different from each other.

Rebecca: (blushes and jerks her hands away, to which he gently retrieves them and smiles lovingly at her) How do you mean ?

Stan: We both want to help people. It's not about the money at all. It's about the people.

Rebecca: Yes, that's absolutely true. Yet, you do realize that if we were to ever join forces what that would mean for us.

Stan: A complete change of tactics. We could do that, Becky ! (squeezes her hands) I can't believe how happy I am right now just holding your hands. My heart feels like it's about to explode.

Rebecca: (slightly grossed out) Marvelous imagery there, Stan.

Stan: (stammers) N-N-no. That's not what I meant ! What I meant…

Rebecca: I think I know, Stan. We've been feuding long enough, and all to cover up for love.

Stan: Love ? (this time he blushes) That's a pretty heavy word, girlfriend.

Rebecca: It is, but look at us. We're like an old couple in the court room. It's ridiculous. Let's stop the charade and get to know each other better. Let's see just how far our chemistry takes us.

Stan: (exhales) Woo boy. (wipes sweat from brow) That's all a bit hefty for me, dear. Let me have some time to process all of this.

Rebecca: Forget processing…(leans forward to kiss him affectionately)

Stan: (stunned) Done.

Rebecca: Wasn't so bad, now…Was it ?

Stan: (dreamily) Damn woman…You're an incredible kisser.

Rebecca: There's more to me than meets the eye.

Stan: (amazed) I'll say.

Rebecca: Then, it's official. We…are not only partners in the firm, or soon will be, but now an item.

Stan: Let's just hope that our office mates can stay quiet about this.

Rebecca: Oh, they will. (grins mischievously)

(They eat, laughing and enjoy the rest of their date while "You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet", and to that, against the backdrop of a city skyline, Stan takes her home and kisses her goodnight. Triumphantly, he 'cha-chings' his way to the car, dancing to the beat of the song before he drives off toward his apartment.)

Scene 3--Poole and Jacobs

(Both of them walk into work to their respective businesses)

Stan: Dad, I have some business I want to discuss with you.

Max: Then, shoot son ! (eagerly) I'm all ears.

(Split screen)

Rebecca: Ms. Blankenship, I wish to speak to you about an important manner.

Holly: Go on, then, Rebecca. I'm waiting. You know I am a very busy woman.

Rebecca: (slightly nervous) Yes, of course I do.

Stan: I was wondering, dad…

Max: Mmm-hmm. (gestures him to continue)

Rebecca: A sudden flash of inspiration has hit me ! I was thinking that…

Holly: Get on with it, Becky.

Rebecca: (anxious laugh, clears throat) Of course, very well.

Both (in split screen): If Poole and Jacobs became one. Well, what do you think ?

Max: Are you out of your mind ?

Holly: You've gone absolutely bonkers.

Max: No. (firmly) NO ! Why would you ever want to do something so foolish ?

Stan: (meekly) Merging businesses are all the rage. And in this economy, think of the jobs we can create through uniting our firms !

Rebecca: It'll be good for everyone, Ms. Blankenship.

Holly: My answer is still…

Both bosses together: NO !

(A musical montage to "We Can Work it Out" plays in the background as the two try to convince their bosses that the unification of the two businesses would be best, but still have no luck.)

(They walk out from their prospective businesses and meet each other on the street for lunch, both a bit sad of their failures.)

Stan: How did it go ?

Rebecca: (sighs in frustration) How did it look like it went, Stan ? Ms. Blankenship is one tough cookie. I can't convince the old bat of anything that might actually help our firms in the future. I mean, look at this economy. I'm no actuary, but still…It's going to be years before we dig ourselves out of this depression.

Stan: (patting her shoulder) At least you didn't have to go up against your old man, like I did. Man, is he one hard nosed guy. What your Ms. Blankenship is to you, I think my old man is ten times worse.

Rebecca: Come on, let's have a Stromboli and drown our tears in some cheesecake.

Stan: Now you're talkin' my love. (kisses her cheek) You know just exactly how to cheer me up.

Rebecca: (takes his hand and squeezes it) Being with you cheers me up.

Stan: (huge grin) Glad to know, my dear.

(Transition to court scene)

Sherriff: All rise ! The honorable Judge Joe Brown, approaching.

Joe: Thank you, Hank.

Sherriff: No problem, Joe. Just doin' my job.

Joe: Order ! (bangs gavel) The case presented is for one Simon Maryfield to be released from police custody. The defendant states to non-involvement with the assumed 'tagging' incidences within town with a group of friends. Also, petty theft has been stricken from the record, despite past incidences of the same offense.

Stan: State your name.

Simon: Simon Maryfield.

Stan: (holding Bible) Do you swear to tell the whole truth, and nothing but that ?

Simon: Yeah, yeah. Don't like swearin' on that Bible much though. (irritated) Come on, let's get this over with.

Stan: (put off) As you wish, Mr. Maryfield. On the night of May 17, 2009 at the mall, what were you and your friends allegedly doing ?

Simon: We were pulling off rad stunts with our skateboards. Tryin' to train for X-Games. Do you know how hard it is to get enrolled ? Dude, they're like friggin' tyrants !

Stan: Can any of your witnesses attest to that fact ?

Tito: Sure, hombre. We were all there. Dude, just ask any of us.

Luigi: Tito's the most honest one in our clique, man. You can trust him.

Justin: Don't believe anything that the defense might say about us…It's just hearsay.

Stan: Hey, I'm on your side. (turns around, mouthing) Teenage moron.

(back to Simon) So, nothing else happened on that night ?

Simon: Other than trying to impress some passing hotties…No.

Stan: Typical. (cockily) No further questions. (walks back to his bench, and Simon follows soon after)

Rebecca: State your name.

Elise: Elise Maryfield.

Rebecca: (holding Bible) Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help you God ?

Elise: Lest He strike me down with a lightning bolt. So be it.

Rebecca: On the night of May 17, 2009, where was your son ?

Elise: Out and about like he usually is, with his punk friends. I tried to pull him away from them, both Harold and I did, but sadly, it hasn't been worth even our best efforts.

Rebecca: I see he's gotten into quite a bit of trouble in the past.

Stan: (loudly) Objection ! Relevance !

Joe: (bangs gavel once) Over ruled. I'll allow it.

Elise: Yes, and I had no idea what Simon and the guys were getting themselves into that night. I saw him packing something into his backpack before he left with his board. Harold was in the family room reading his newspaper, so he didn't notice Simon leaving. I had an inkling Simon was up to something, so before I left, I asked him where he was off to.

Stan: How did that end ?

Elise: Not well. He said a few choice words I can't repeat in the court room and left in a huff.

Stan: Ouch. Sorry to hear that.

Elise: I love my son, but he's always been disrespectful since he turned 13.

Stan: Did you try contacting him again later that night ?

Elise: Yes, but his cell phone was turned off.

Stan: When you were contacted by police, what was your initial reaction ?

Elise: Like Harold, we were ready to raise hell and we immediately took away video game, internet and cell phone privileges from him.

Stan: What any parent would do in this case. No further questions.

Rebecca: I call to the witness stand, Mr. Weatherly. (to Cory) State your name.

Cory: Cory Weatherly, ma'am.

Rebecca: So polite ! (beams) Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, so help you God ?

Cory: The whole God thing…Not big into it, but sure, whatever you like.

Rebecca: Where were you on the night of May 17, 2009 ?

Cory: With the crew, hangin' out at the mall.

Justin: With plenty of spray cans.

Cory: Justin ! Shut up !

Rebecca: The whole truth, Mr. Weatherly.

Cory: (mutter) Damn. (clears throat) (begrudgingly) With spray cans.

Rebecca: So you were tagging buildings when you were supposedly 'hanging out' ?

Stan: Objection !

Joe: Stan, there is no objection. Enough already.

Stan: Sorry, Your Honor.

Rebecca: Let me get this straight. You were the one who had the idea to paint the buildings with graffiti ?

Cory: (exhales sharply) Simon pitched it and we joined in, thinking it would be a blast. All of us knew it was a federal offense but we were bored as hell.

Tito: It wasn't much longer that the security cops called the authorities. And well, you know the rest of the story.

Rebecca: No further questions then.

Joe: Let's take a 5 minute recess. We'll reconvene with a verdict.

(The next scenes are set up to a montage of "We Go Round & Round & Round".

The delinquents are seen as guilty and sentenced to community service with possibility of re-entering society upon good behavior if they learn from their devious ways. Finally, the two lovebirds are able to make the merger official. Both of the firms are seen celebrating. Even Ms. Blankenship and Mr. Poole cozy up to each other.)

Scene 4--Marriage

Stan: I guess all that prodding finally worked.

Rebecca: Another quality I admire in you, determination. (mock punch in the arm, playfully)

Stan: (chuckle) There was one other thing I wanted to ask of you though.

(pulls out ring)

(Everyone gasps)

Poole associate: (mouthing) Please say yes, please say yes !

Stan: Becky, my partner, my friend, my lover…My everything. My compliment, my sunshine, my darling. Would you be mine ?

Rebecca: (kissing him fully on the lips passionately) Does that answer your question, Mr. Poole ?

Stan: (a bit drunkenly) Yeah…It sure does !

Max: What are you standing around for ? Cork open some champagne ! My boy is getting married, and to a fine young Philly I might add.

Rebecca: (blushing) Thank you, Sir.

Max: Call me dad, darling. (hugs her and kisses her cheek)

(There's much joviality seen and the two are finally brought together through marriage and dance to "Wrapped Around Your Finger". Then, Stan carries out Rebecca in his arms, kissing her happily. On the back of their white limousine it reads, "Just Married", and people following them happily behind them, cheering.

They wave goodbye to their friends and family and draw together for a last, final romantic kiss. The words "Case Dismissed" flash on the screen before "The End" follows after the ellipses.)

(Roll credits)