"CASE LAW" CHARACTER GUIDE

Case Law: A humorously corrupt law firm, and an equally irreverent and slapstick legal sitcom.

The Firm:

ATTICUS CASE (33 yo Partner), a graduate of Yale Law, gifted attorney and son of Case Law's aging founder, Ulysses Case; has taken the firm in a corrupt direction since receiving control of the firm's day-to-day operation from his father.

Growing up in the shadow of Ulysses, whom Atticus views as an overbearing, self-righteous father, with a self-reflexive microscope pointed at the world (Dad expected his footsteps be followed precisely by Atticus, as well as others); Atticus would grow contemptuous of all that, in his mind, is represented by his father. As a result, Atticus disdains authoritarians.

NATASHA DONNEL (32 yo Associate), a graduate of Harvard Law, is the feistiest and best looking cog in the Case corruption machine. Although Natasha has a general disdain for authority, her secret affair with (and love for) Atticus is the main reason she accepted to go along with Case Law's crooked new direction. She has a soft spot for Ulysses, who she views as her future father-in-law.

LARRY TRIPPER (45 yo Associate) received his law degree from Willamette University... barely. He is a long-time family friend of the Case's, which is the only reason he maintains his position. Larry's hobbies include women and being a perv.

Larry's driving force is a search for the respect so long denied him by the Legal community. He eagerly accepted Atticus' new, corrupt direction, which has lead him to courtroom victories, money, and even some respect from his peers outside of Case Law; however, within Case Law, he's still viewed as a lawyer-by-the-numbers, possessing little ingenuity; He was accepted into Atticus' new direction mostly to placate Ulysses, as the founder would have balked at Larry's termination (obviously, Larry now knows too much to be fired, regardless).

STUART STEVENS (33 yo Associate, African-American), Atticus' equally-brilliant childhood pal, graduated Yale Law together with his best friend, and is as neurotic as he is brilliant. Atticus has always been the more irreverent of the two, and barely managed to beg/convince/coax Stuart to partake in Case Law's corrupt new direction

Stuart's life has been an unending loop of paranoia and ulcers, tempered only by his admiration of Atticus, as well as his hope that the firm will eventually return to legitimacy, which has been Atticus' guarantee.

BECKY RIVERS (21 yo), the firm's spunky and kind-hearted secretary, was specifically selected by Atticus because of her naivety and simplemindedness. She remains unaware of the firm's corruption; however, she is growing up, studying to be a paralegal, and is growing just a bit smarter each day.

ULYSSES CASE (68 yo, Senior Partner) is the benevolent, aging founder of Case Law, which he opened for all the right reasons. He pops in for quarterly visits, but has removed himself from any day-to-day management and remains clueless as to the firm's corruption, as well as the resentment directed toward him by his son.

The Judges:

JUDGE GERTRUDE "GERTIE" DELL (55 yo) is on the take, being paid by Case Law for favorable findings in civil litigation. Objections toward the inner workings of the legal system, as well as jealousy of her wealthy friends, lead Gertie to simply stop caring.

JUDGE MILTON KLEIN (50 yo) continually launches unsuccessful attempts to uncover Case Law's corruption from behind his criminal court bench. His short fuse and fidgety nature should undermine his moral correctness in viewers' eyes, rendering him, more or less, a running joke.

Other:

BRAD RADLEY (26 yo) is a fledgling prosecutor, and he's always a step behind the brilliant attorneys at Case Law. His inability to formulate arguments, and sometimes sentences, is manipulated, as well as mocked, by the Case Law crew.

CASE LAW
SITCOM PILOT
SHMUEL BREBAN

FADE IN.

INT. SMALL CONFERENCE ROOM - DAY

ATTICUS CASE fills out some paperwork, while speaking with client FRANK MARCONI (well dressed, but shady). Atticus retains focus on his paperwork, while responding to Frank's statements in a matter-of-fact manner.

FRANK

Just so you know, I didn't do it.

ATTICUS

Don't care.

FRANK

You don't care if I did it?

ATTICUS

(momentarily looking up at Frank)

Mr. Marconi... is your check going to clear?

FRANK

Yes.

ATTICUS

(back to paperwork)

Then, I don't care.

Frank mulls it over.

FRANK

Well, in that case... I... uh, I actually did do it.

ATTICUS

Good for you.

FRANK

But... but, the guy's a real ass.

ATTICUS

Probably had it coming.

FRANK

Yes! Yes, he did! Wow. You guys are great. I'm going to tell all my friends.

ATTICUS

(looking up)

We'd appreciate that... just no murderers or sexual deviants.

FRANK

I understand. Got to draw the line somewhere.

INT. BREAK ROOM - DAY

NATASHA DONNEL fixes herself a cup of coffee.

LARRY TRIPPER enters.

LARRY

Well, hello there, Na-ta-sha!

NATASHA

Larry, if you so much as utter a single word relating to helping me out with my legal briefs, then so help me, I will shove a gavel so far up your...

LARRY

Whoaaaaa... where's all this hostility coming from??? I have no such intentions.

NATASHA

Same thing goes for the penal code.

LARRY

Damn... Hey, Natasha... why did you go along with this... new direction that Atticus has brought to Case Law?

NATASHA

Excuse me?

LARRY

I mean, I know why I did... Nobody in the Legal community gave me any respect, but now that I've got a few wins under my belt and some cash, that's changed.

NATASHA

It has not.

LARRY

Well, not inside the firm, but... that's not the point. You didn't need this. You're smart, and you've got a body that makes me want to do some nau-ty things...

Natasha shakes her head in semi-disgust.

LARRY (CONT'D)

So why'd you agree to be a part of the corruption?

Natasha, clearly hiding something, fails to concoct an immediate response.

NATASHA

Yu... (pointing finger) you're offensive to women.

Natasha storms out of the room.

LARRY

(confused)

Broads.

INT. ATTICUS'S OFFICE - DAY

Atticus chats with STUART STEVENS.

STUART

I can't believe you bamboozled me into this, Atticus. You've been getting me into trouble ever since we were kids and throughout Yale, but this... Your father is going to make us, and then our bacon is fried.

STUART (CONT'D)

(holding stomach)

Uh! Fried food... I believe that I'm forming another ulcer.

ATTICUS

Stu, you need to relax, enjoy your money, and stop worrying about that overrated fossil.

STUART

(rebukingly)

He's you father, Atticus.

ATTICUS

He's a self reflexive blowhard, who named his own son after an equally pompous lawyer from an equally overrated novel. You try growing up with that.

Stuart isn't pleased with Atticus' tone.

ATTICUS (CONT'D)

Look... remember when we were still at Yale, and how we fretted over paying our tuition? Well, of course, the good ship Ulysses paid for mine, but did you ever think that you'd be a millionaire by the age of 33?

STUART

No... But you said we'd go legit.

ATTICUS

Eventually. And we will. So, enjoy what you have right now. We can go legit whenever we deem it...

Atticus notices something.

ATTICUS (CONT'D)

(hushed)

Kayfabe! Kayfabe!

BECKY RIVERS enters.

BECKY

Hey, guys.

Atticus is nonchalant, but Stuart overacts innocent.

BECKY

The Big Cheese'll be arriving within the hour. Need anything?

Just as Atticus is about to reply "no", Stuart holds his stomach and chimes in.

STUART

Rolaids.

Becky indicates confusion.

Cue music and credits.

END OF SEGMENT 1

SCENE 2

INT. CONFERENCE ROOM - DAY

Atticus (12 o'clock), Stuart (2 o'clock), NATASHA Donnel (10), and LARRY TRIPPER (8) prepare for the day.

ATTICUS

All right... Stuart and I will be handling the Marconi case in front of Judge Klein. Natasha and Larry will take the Tanner case with Gertie.

LARRY

(to Natasha)

Well, isn't that a spicy little threesome.

NATASHA

Uh! You prurient, lascivious little toad; there isn't enough liquor in the country!

LARRY

I can have some imported.

ATTICUS

(to Natasha and Larry)

I've taken care of Gertie's... compensation, so the case is in the bag; just make it look good.

ATTICUS (CONT'D)

And my father will be dropping by momentarily to address us... Please be on your best behavior.

Everyone looks towards Larry.

LARRY

What's everybody looking at me for??? Hey, Ulysses and my dad are best friends. He loves me!

NATASHA

We're aware. That's the only explanation for your current employment status.

LARRY

(complaining to Atticus)

Atticus!

ATTICUS

Well, you're not here because of your bottom-of-the-class at Willamette University!

Everyone but Larry laughs.

LARRY

It's an accredited school!

STUART

Raise your hand if your law school does not advertise in subway cars.

Stuart, Atticus, and Natasha raise their hands.

Larry keeps his hands down and frowns.

LARRY

Look, just because the two of you went to Yale, and the future mother of my children over there went to Harvard...

Natasha indicates "ewwww."

LARRY (CONT'D)

Doesn't mean that your education was any better than mine!

Everyone quiets down.

ATTICUS

I heard that their law reviews are published in graphic novel format.

Everyone but Larry laughs.

ULYSSES CASE enters.

There is abrupt silence, and everyone stands.

ULYSSES

Good evening, ladies and gentlemen.

Ulysses hugs Atticus.

ULYSSES

(hugging Atticus)

Son!

Atticus' face screams that he'd much prefer a handshake.

Ulysses sits at the head of the table.

ULYSSES

I'm so proud of how all of you have marched on in my absence. I'm not here to barge in and amend anything, I'd just like a short rundown.

ATTICUS

Of course, sir.

ULYSSES

As you know, pro bono work is very dear to myself and this firm. I even named my firstborn Atticus, after the fictional Atticus Finch, because that's the type of firm that I envisioned.

Atticus throws a "see what I mean" look at Stuart, who partially accepts Atticus' point.

ULYSSES

So how are we doing in that category???

LARRY

Well, just last night, I counseled an indigent defendant at no cost.

CUT TO:

EXT. SHADY NEIGHBORHOOD - NIGHT

Larry and PROSTITUTE wear handcuffs as they're escorted away from a car by POLICE OFFICER.

LARRY

(to Prostitute)

Do not - say - anything!

Prostitute nods in agreement.

CUT TO:

INT. CONFERENCE ROOM - DAY (CONT'D)

ULYSSES

Very good, Mr. Tripper. Your father would be most proud. Who else?

NATASHA

I recently lobbied against Big Tobacco without remuneration.

CUT TO:

INT. MANHATTAN SIDEWALK - DAY

SMOKER blows smoke a bit too close to Natasha's face.

NATASHA

If you don't watch it, I'm going to kill you well before lung cancer ever gets a shot!

CUT TO:

INT. CONFERENCE ROOM - DAY (CONT'D)

ULYSSES

(proud)

A personal favorite of mine. Excellent, Miss Natasha!

Natasha blushes.

ATTICUS

(to Ulysses)

And Stuart and I just met with a judge to see what we could do to benefit Big Brothers.

CUT TO:

INT. JUDGE GERTIE'S CHAMBERS - DAY

Atticus and Stuart watch, as a lethargic JUDGE GERTIE holds an envelope and nonchalantly counts a small pile of 100-dollar bills.

GERTIE

So, the older brother did it, huh?

ATTICUS

Oh, he's guilty as sin.

GERTIE

Whatever.

CUT TO:

INT. CONFERENCE ROOM - DAY (CONT'D)

ULYSSES

That's my boy! But let's not forget about Big Sisters, as well.

LARRY

(pruriently)

I never do, sir.

INT. RECEPTION AREA

Becky sits behind the desk and chats with Larry.

BECKY

Huh? I don't get it?

LARRY

Which part, Beck? The legal briefs or the penal code?

BECKY

Um, neither.

LARRY

See, the lawyer is talking about...

Natasha interrupts.

NATASHA

We need to leave, Larry.

Larry is reluctant.

NATASHA (CONT'D)

I'm certain that there will be other girls young enough to be your daughter whom you can hit on at the courthouse.

Larry reacts positively.

Becky smirks.

SCENE 3

COURT HALLWAY - DAY

From a distance, and zooming in:

Atticus and Stuart intensely debate something.

Atticus emphatically makes a point.

Stuart, agitated, counters.

Atticus yells.

Stuart hollers back.

ATTICUS

I can't comprehend how an intelligent man such as yourself... can maintain that Boston Legal was superior to The Practice. Why would anyone watch a television program that reduces the realism of our legal system into slapstick comedy!

STUART

Slapstick?!? Now, you're just being inflammatory. It's not like it was a sitcom. I realize that nobody would watch a Legal sitcom.

ATTICUS

Of course not.

JUDGE MILTON KLEIN approaches.

KLEIN

The two of you. Chambers. Now.

INT. JUDGE KLEIN'S CHAMBERS - DAY

Klein, Atticus, and Stuart enter.

KLEIN

I'm onto you, Case! You and all of your co-conspirators!!! Oh, I'm hip to the whole lot of you!

Stuart indicates that he's queasy.

ATTICUS

Not this again, Your Honor!

KLEIN

I'm this close... This close! My file on your firm is growing by the second. The second! I had a clerk review all of your firm's cases adjudicated by "Judge Gertie", and do you know what I found? Do you know what I found?

ATTICUS

That judges often abuse their clerk privileges???

Stuart, holding his stomach, shakes his head "no."

KLEIN

No, smart-mouth! I found an unusually high winning percentage, counselor! Unusually high! Because you're in cahoots with that hussy! Cahoots!

ATTICUS

We also enjoy a high winning percentage on cases presented before Your Honor: perhaps, we're in cahoots, as well!!!

Stuart's anxiety increases.

KLEIN

Oh! Oh! You know what I... I said "unusually"! "Unusually high"! Oh, how I'm going to relish the day that I nail you and your lemmings, Case! It will be indisputable, and it will be glorious!

ATTICUS

It will also be fictional.

Klein reacts poorly.

Stuart feints.

Klein has a mixed reaction, as Atticus bends over and tends to Stuart.

SCENE 4

INT. JUDGE GERTIE'S COURT ROOM - DAY

JUDGE GERTIE presides (her placard reads "HON. GERTRUDE DELL"), as Larry examines GARY TANNER (45 yo, jerk) on the stand. Natasha sits at one table, while OPPOSING COUNSEL and CHASE BLEVINS (42 yo) sit at another. BAILIFF is present, as well.

GARY

So, his house is on the corner, right. He has all this property in front of his house, and a little strip right next to mine on the side. And where does he put all of his trash? Right by my house! I don't want to have to look at his trash all day! And I don't know what they're doing over there, but by the time garbage day rolls around, he's got like 10 huge bags with flies all over them. It's disgusting.

Chase rolls his eyes.

OPPOSING COUNSEL

Objection!

GERTIE

Overruled.

GARY (CONT'D)

And I ask him politely to stop, but he just ignores me. So I say to myself, guess what neighbor, two can play this game! So, I start parking my car right in front of his house. And I have a driveway, but he doesn't, so I'm leaving my driveway empty and parking in front of his house. I actually had my wife do it with her car, too. She was glad to do it, because his wife's a bitch.

OPPOSING COUNSEL

Objection!

GERTIE

Overruled.

Opposing Counsel and Chase indicate confusion.

Gertie shrugs it off.

Natasha reluctantly releases a slight smile.

GARY

Anyway... So now he's coming home from work every night and driving around the block looking for a spot! Ha ha. Classic. But that street is just as much mine as it is his, right, Larry?

LARRY

Uh, I think so.

LARRY

(to Gertie)

Your Honor?

GERTIE

Correct.

Opposing Counsel reacts.

Natasha shakes her head in disgust.

GARY

It's an $80,000 car, and I have a driveway, but I don't care. I'm parking it out on the street just to watch him do laps every night. Y'know, just as a big "screw you". Nothing illegal about saying "screw you" to somebody, is there, Larry?

LARRY

Uh, no, I think it's protected by one of the amendments.

Natasha, once again, shakes her head in disgust.

Larry looks to Judge Gertie for help in ascertaining to which amendment he's referring.

LARRY

(to Gertie)

Your Honor?

GERTIE

It's the first one, Larry.

OPPOSING COUNSEL

Objection! Your Honor and opposing counsel can't engage in... ad hoc law classes!

GERTIE

Overruled.

Opposing Counsel indicates shock.

GARY

Anyway... I keep doing that every night, and it starts getting to him, so I offer him a deal: keep your trash in front of your own house, and I'll park my car in my driveway. He says no, and he even starts putting more trash on the very edge of his property. So then, every time we have friends or family over, I make sure that they all park near his house.

GERTIE

The punchline, Mr. Tanner.

GARY

Oh. He took his golf clubs and turned my $80,000 Porsche into a hooptie.

Gary's demeanor suggests that a "hooptie" is a worthless wreck of a car.

GERTIE

All right. I'm ready to rule.

OPPOSING COUNSEL

But we haven't even called our first witness yet!

GERTIE

Fine! We'll be back with the respondent's case after this short recess.

END OF SEGMENT 2

SCENE 5

INT. JUDGE KLEIN'S COURT ROOM - DAY

Atticus presents his opening statements to JURORS, while Frank Marconi sits with Stuart at one table, and PROSECUTOR BRAD RADLEY sits another. BAILIFF #2 is present, as well.

ATTICUS

You've heard my esteemed opponent's opening statements... All he has, his entire case, rests upon the statement of one witness. Some other jurors might be fooled, but you guys look like a smart bunch.

Judge Klein, who presides (his placard reads "HON. MILTON KLEIN"), rolls his eyes and shakes his head.

ATTICUS (CONT'D)

You've seen a few episodes of Matlock in your day...

Jurors laugh.

ATTICUS (CONT'D)

So, I'm not going to insult your intelligence by pointing out just how notoriously inaccurate lone-witness accounts can be. You know it. I know it. Judge Klein knows it.

Klein isn't amused.

ATTICUS (CONT'D)

The only person who doesn't seem to know it is rookie prosecutor Brad Radley.

Brad indicates mad.

Stuart enjoys Atticus' spiel, while Marconi's nerves act up.

ATTICUS (CONT'D)

Just how accurate is the human eye, anyway?

Judge Klein rolls his eyes.

ATTICUS (CONT'D)

Do you know that when we see a color, we don't actually see it; we merely see the closest shade which our imperfect eye machines are able to register.

Brad reacts indicates perplexity.

Stuart, enjoying the spiel, encourages the nervous Marconi to get into it, as well; but Marconi remains anxious.

ATTICUS (CONT'D)

Do you know that we never actually see the sun as it is at that moment. In order for us to see, we need light to hit our retinas, and it takes 8 minutes for the sun's rays to reach us; therefore, we only see the sun as it was 8 minutes ago. There's the imperfect human eye for you.

Judge Klein indicates anger.

ATTICUS (CONT'D)

Furthermore, do we ever truly see anything??? After an image hits our retinas, our crazy circuitry flips it over, and does some sort of front-tuck-back-handspring...

Jurors laugh.

Judge Klein indicates rage.

Stuart enjoys Atticus' humor.

ATTICUS (CONT'D)

By the time we stick the dismount... who knows! My client, Frank Marconi knows: that's who! And when I'm done with Five-O over there, so will you. I'm Atticus Case, and my client is innocent. Thank you.

SCENE 6

INT. BREAK ROOM

The break room is an office-style lounge, with a table and chairs, a couch, a refrigerator, a microwave, and a coffee machine.

Natasha and Larry sit at the table and drink in celebration.

NATASHA

(raising drink)

To yet another victory!

LARRY

(raising drink)

To Judge Gertie!

Natasha and Larry drink.

Becky enters.

BECKY

Hey, guys. How'd it go with Judge Dell???

LARRY

We won big!

BECKY

That's awesome, Larry! Y'know, it's like Judge Dell always totally understands us and our clients.

Natasha and Larry share a look, as Becky reaches for something inside the refrigerator.

Becky takes her sack lunch and joins Natasha and Larry at the table.

Natasha reacts in an "is she really going to sit there" manner.

Larry pantomimes for Natasha to start up a conversation with Becky.

Natasha pantomimes that she doesn't know what to say.

Becky takes a bite from her sandwich and a sip from her juice box.

Larry encourages Natasha some more.

NATASHA

Um... so, Becky... how are you doing with the paralegal course?

BECKY

It's pretty sick, Miss Donnel. We just had a test on the entire Bill of Rights, and I aced it!

NATASHA

Oh! We could've use you in court today.

Larry reacts.

SCENE 7

INT. JUDGE KLEIN'S COURT ROOM - DAY (CONT'D)

Brad examines HOWARD TESLA (40 yo, professional) on the stand.

BRAD

Please state your name for the record.

TESLA

Howard Tesla.

BRAD

Why are we here today, Mr. Tesla?

STUART

Objection... vague.

Atticus giggles.

BRAD

(to Klein)

Your Honor, they're doing it again.

KLEIN

I'm aware, counselor... Just rephrase the question.

BRAD

(to Tesla)

Mr. Tesla...

Brad has difficulty rephrasing.

Atticus and Stuart attempt to get Marconi into the giggling at Brad's expense.

BRAD

Okay... have you ever had the occasion to meet the defendant, Mr. Marconi?

Brad looks to Klein for approval of the rephrasing.

Klein gives the "A-okay" hand gesture.

TESLA

Yeah. Marconi stole my radio!

STUART

Objection! Mr. Tesla never saw any theft... assuming that we ever truly "see" anything.

Stuart and Atticus share a giggle.

KLEIN

(to Howard)

Mr. Tesla, you are to limit your testimony to that which you witnessed.

TESLA

Fine. I saw him running away from my car, holding my car radio.

STUART

Objection! There exist more than 50,000 of the radio model in question.

Brad attempts to get a word in.

TESLA

Mine had a sticker on it!

STUART

(ho-hum)

5,000.

Brad, once again, tries to get in a word.

TESLA

It's still set to all of my stations!

Brad reacts in a "hmmm, not bad" manner.

Stuart gives an "oops" look before re-taking his seat.

Marconi reacts.

Tesla is proud of himself.

Fast forward. Atticus cross-examines ARTHUR PATENT (45 yo, head-of-neighborhood-watch type).

ATTICUS

Mr. Patent, you've testified that Mr. Marconi stole Mr. Tesla's radio. So... while the thief was bending over inside the car... you were somehow able to get a good look at his face?

PATENT

Uh, no... I saw the defendant's face while he was racing away... like a guy who had just stolen something would do.

ATTICUS

Very clever, Mr. Patent. So the perpetrator was "racing" away at a high speed, correct?

PATENT

Like a bat out of hell.

ATTICUS

Let me see if I have this correct, Mr. Patent... The theft occurred in the middle of the night, that's the darker portion of our day; and the thief raced away like a bat out of hell. Hmmm. Just how good a look did you get at this nighttime blur of a face?

PATENT

There was a streetlight. I know what I saw.

Atticus retrieves a photo from Stuart, and then presents it to the court.

ATTICUS

Your Honor, Defense Exhibit A, a photo of the crime scene.

Atticus hands the photo to Bailiff #2, who then places it before Judge Klein.

KLEIN

(upon verification)

So entered.

ATTICUS

I'm not a crook, Mr. Patent... but if I were, I'd probably rob a car that isn't near a street lamp. And that's exactly what our culprit did.

Klein hands the photo to Patent.

ATTICUS (CONT'D)

There isn't a lamp anywhere near Mr. Tesla's car.

Brad indicates worry.

PATENT

(upon studying photo)

Yes... but I saw the defendant's face as he was running past a streetlamp!

Brad indicates hope.

ATTICUS

And just how far from the culprit were you at that moment.

PATENT

About 25 feet.

Brad indicates contemplation.

ATTICUS

Well, we mere mortals struggle with maintaining 20/20 vision in daylight, but it's your testimony that you can study a stranger's face from a distance of 25 feet? At night? While he's running away???

The jury watches as Patent struggles for an answer.

Stuart smiles.

Brad reacts negatively and flings down his pen onto his table.

Judge Klein stares an evil hole through Brad.

Brad reacts in a "hey, I tried my best" manner.

Judge Klein isn't appeased.

SCENE 8

INT. BREAK ROOM

Atticus, Natasha, Larry, and Stuart drink in celebration.

STUART

(pointing to Atticus)

You all should have seen this gentleman today!

ATTICUS

Me? This guy over here almost set a new one-day objection record.

STUART

Missed it by 2, but we had that rookie again, so it would've been an asterisk anyway.

LARRY

Brad Radley! Pshh. That guy makes me look like Johnnie Cochran.

Everyone laughs.

NATASHA

Have you seen the boy attempt to rephrase a question! It's as if he were trying to extinguish am inferno with a water pistol!

Everyone laughs.

Atticus mimics Brad attempting to rephrase.

Everyone laughs.

ATTICUS

But, in fairness, we were all rookies not too long ago...

Everyone looks at Larry.

Larry reacts negatively.

ATTICUS (CONT'D)

Most of us, anyway... But no longer.

ATTICUS (CONT'D)

(raising drink)

To the fastest rising law firm in New York!

NATASHA

(raising drink, with glimmer of pride)

To Case Law!

ATTICUS, LARRY, STUART

(raising drinks)

To Case Law!

Everyone drinks.

END OF SEGMENT 3

SCENE 13

INT. RECEPTION AREA

Atticus, Natasha, Larry, Stuart, and Becky prepare to leave for the night.

BECKY

(to Atticus)

Good night, Mr. Case.

ATTICUS

Good night, Becky.

Larry, Becky, and Stuart approach the door.

LARRY

(to Becky)

You know what's beautiful this time of year?

BECKY

Uh, no...

LARRY

My apartment.

Becky looks confused.

Stuart shakes his head.

Larry, Becky, and Stuart exit.

Atticus and Natasha sneak a peek at the closing front door.

They make eye contact.

ATTICUS

I thought they'd never leave.

Atticus and Natasha kiss.

NATASHA

For how much longer do you think we'll able to keep this up.

ATTICUS

Well... we're pretty good at keeping secrets.

Natasha smiles.

Natasha and Atticus begin to kiss again.

FADE OUT.

CASE LAW
EPISODE 2: THE STELLAS
SHMUEL BREBAN

FADE IN:

INT. SMALL CONFERENCE ROOM - DAY

ATTICUS CASE, types on his keyboard, as he interviews TONY BRUNZELLO (30 yo Italian, shifty).

Tony

...And then the cop found the gun.

ATTICUS

All right, Tony... please allow me one moment to retrieve the pertinent file... There.

TONY

But I don't understand, Atticus. There was five a'us in the car... Who says the gun was mine???

ATTICUS

(while scanning computer screen)

It's called presumptive possession, Tony. NYPD can assume that everyone in the car was in possession of the firearm.

TONY

That don't make no sense.

ATTICUS

That's not a very strong defense, Tony.

TONY

Then how come they didn't charge none of the other guys.

ATTICUS

Presumptive possession is permissive, not mandatory; which means that the State has the prerogative to charge as many of you, or as few, as they please.

TONY

And they charged me just because I'm the one with the biggest record.

ATTICUS

Tony Bennett has records. You have a catalog.

Tony reluctantly concedes.

Atticus suggests defenses listed on his computer file.

ATTICUS (CONT'D)

Okay... perhaps you had just been attacked by an armed assailant. Fortunately, you were able to win a struggle and confiscate his gun. The officer then arrested you before you had the opportunity to file a report and turn over the gun to the proper authorities.

Tony

Ehhhh... I dunno. I mean, don't get me wrong... It ain't bad, or nothin... What else you got?

Atticus clicks on his mouse, as he scans the screen.

Tony

Hold up... You guys got, like, computer files with lists a'excuses for every crime?

ATTICUS

We prefer "defenses," Tony. Excuses are what you provide your teacher for not doing the homework assignment.

Tony

Heh...

Atticus continues perusing the computer file.

Tony

(mildly insulted)

Y'know somethin... you didn't even ax me if the gun was legal.

ATTICUS

Oh... Was it registered?

Tony

(mildly insulted)

No... but ya could'a axed... all I'm sayin.

ATTICUS

Guess I just know you better than that, Tony.

Tony reluctantly concedes once again.

ATTICUS

So, he pulls you over for running a red... Maybe it was yellow?

Tony

Could be... I mean, I was so wasted... who knows.

ATTICUS

Right... blood alcohol of... (surprised) .16! Tony, you could've killed somebody!

Tony

I know... I know.

ATTICUS

Seriously, Tony.

Tony

I know.

ATTICUS

So he gives you the breathalyzer and then finds the gun... Did he read your Miranda rights?

Tony

Course. They always do.

ATTICUS

(determined)

Don't even joke like that.

Tony backs off.

ATTICUS

Mitigating circumstances... Why did you have the gun, Tony?

Tony

Cause this drug dealer t'reatened my life.

ATTICUS

Tony... you're a drug dealer.

Tony

Naw... I just sell drugs. He's a dealer.

Atticus doesn't buy the distinction.

Tony

Ey, he said he was gonna kill me. Room full a'people, and he said it. I needed that piece!

ATTICUS

Hmmm... that's not bad. Say I get it knocked down to third degree gun possession, you'll cop and do your time?

Tony

(quickly and impressively)

Possession in the third, no reckless endangerment, sentencing to run concurrently with the DWI, 18 to 24 months, parole at 12, AND...

Atticus finds Tony's terms, thus far, to be reasonable.

Tony

I get da top bunk!

Atticus reacts.

Cue music and credits.

END OF SEGMENT 1

SCENE 2

INT. LARGE CONFERENCE ROOM - DAY

Atticus (12 o'clock), STUART STEVENS (2 o'clock), NATASHA Donnel (10), and LARRY TRIPPER (8) prepare for the day.

ATTICUS

Oh! And one more thing... I need one of you to "convince" me to drop a case. My father wishes us to represent his friend... This imbecile is getting divorced because he's an alcoholic, but he claims that the Sud Beer commercials "testify" that beer can only, quote, "help with the chicks."

Natasha chuckles.

Stuart chuckles.

ATTICUS (CONT'D)

Anyway, the pretense will be that I'm enthusiastic about the case; however...

LARRY

(insulted)

Heyyyyy!

ATTICUS

Yes, Larry...

STUART

Oh, not this again...

LARRY

You all know that it's been my dream ever since law school...

ATTICUS, STUART, NATASHA

(coughing)

Willamette.

LARRY

I heard that.

NATASHA

We really must place a cease and desist on the Willamette references.

LARRY

Thank you, Natasha.

NATASHA

So, Larry attended a community law school. Big deal.

Atticus and Stuart laugh.

LARRY

Be that as it may... ever since then, it's always been a dream of mine to represent a Stella case.

Natasha shakes her head in protest.

ATTICUS

I find that difficult to believe... considering that the Stella awards are based on that hot coffee case litigated in 1992, and you began your studies at Willamette in...

STUART

1892?

Natasha laughs.

Larry reacts.

BECKY RIVERS, holding some faxed sheets, enters and places the sheets near Atticus.

BECKY

What are the Stella Awards?

STUART

Stella Awards are given to those who file the most outrageous and frivolous of lawsuits.

BECKY

Like that thing with the coffee on that Seinfeld episode.

STUART

Exactly.

LARRY

And it's been a dream of mine to represent a litigant in a Stella-award-winner.

BECKY

That's pretty cool.

LARRY

Thank you, Becky.

The gang rolls their eyes a bit.

BECKY

(to Larry, while exiting, sincerely)

If anyone can do it, it's you, Mr. Tripper.

The gang cracks up.

Larry reacts.

ATTICUS

(calling after Becky)

Becky!

Becky re-enters.

BECKY

Yes, Mr. Case?

ATTICUS

Please phone that private investigator we used last month, uh...

BECKY

Andy Monczyk.

ATTICUS

Right. Please have Monczyk check out Frank Bordello. He's the arresting officer on the Tony Brunzello case.

BECKY

Sure thing, Mr. Case.

SCENE 3

INT. HALLWAY - DAY

Larry approaches the smaller conference room.

LARRY

(rubbing hands, chomping at the bit)

Time to bring home a Stella!

INT. SMALL CONFERENCE ROOM - DAY

Larry and Natasha interview MARC DUFFY (42 y.o.)

MARC

And you know how their ads are... They tell you that if you drink enough beer, women will be all over you. And not just regular women, but ones with...

Marc looks over to Natasha, and then decides to be "discreet" by pantomiming "huge cans" to Larry.

Larry empathizes with Marc.

Natasha rolls her eyes.

MARC

And they don't dress like...

MARC (CONT'D)

(pointing to Natasha)

Like her.

Natasha reacts.

MARC

They're in these swimsuits: bikinis, thongs, red ones, yellow ones, polka dot ones, two-piece, one-piece, tankinis, bandinis...

LARRY

All right, Marc... we get the point...

Larry, desiring his client to sound as ridiculous as possible at trial (and, perhaps, enjoying the conjured imagery), reconsiders.

LARRY

Actually... go on.

Natasha reacts.

MARC

Well, you've got camikinis, maillots, swimdresses, boy shorts... Oh, the boy shorts!

NATASHA

That's enough, Mr. Duffy. More than enough...

MARC

Anyway, I met my wife at a bar. Then we starting going out... to more bars. We get married... open bar... Always keep beers in the fridge, but I didn't think drinking could affect our marriage. You never see one of those young ladies in the commercials leave a guy cause he's drinking too much. If anything, the more he drinks, the higher they bounce up and down.

LARRY

(to Natasha)

That's true.

Natasha shakes her head in disgust.

MARC

I mean, they have this one commercial where the guy is playing pool in a bar, and the girl could care less; but then he drinks some Sud Light, and all of a sudden his pool cue is bigger, and the chick is into him.

LARRY

(giddy)

I love that one!

Natasha reacts.

MARC

Yeah, but in reality, it's more like the other way around, if you know what I mean.

LARRY

(empathizing, agreeing)

Fzfzf, oh yeah.

MARC

So, do you think I have a case?

NATASHA

Well, to be honest with you, Mr. Duffy...

LARRY

Hell yeah, you've got a case!

MARC

Yeah?

LARRY

Let's nail those beer-pedaling bastards!

MARC

(enthusiastically)

Yeah!

Natasha reacts.

LARRY

We're gonna kick their asses, Marc!

MARC

(excited)

Yeah! ...And then maybe I can get my wife back!

LARRY

(ho-hum)

Sure, whatever.

SCENE 4

INT. BREAK ROOM - DAY

Natasha, Larry, and Becky enjoy some snacks and drinks.

BECKY

So, then Amber Star-69's his ass, right.

Larry, who has a crush on Becky, listens intently.

LARRY

Mm-hmm.

Natasha is in a "please make her stop" place.

BECKY

And guess what!

LARRY

What??? What?!?

BECKY

That sucka was cheating on her from like before they even started dating.

LARRY

Wooooowww!

NATASHA

(to Larry, annoyed)

How can that even possibly make sense? It is axiomatically...

Atticus, with Stuart following, anxiously takes a step inside.

ATTICUS

(excitedly)

Quick, guys! The rookie's coming, and I want the numbers to intimidate him.

Larry and Natasha, while exiting, pass by Atticus and Stuart, who wait near the door.

Becky follows.

ATTICUS

Actually, Becky... we don't really...

STUART

Atticus, I think that Becky should join us in there... especially considering how she was the youngest student to ever graduate at the top of her class at Harvard Law.

ATTICUS

Ahhhhhh! I like it!

BECKY

(confused)

Huh?

INT. HALLWAY - DAY

While Atticus leads the way to the large conference room, Stuart explains the situation to Becky.

STUART

Yes, Becky, but Brad Radley doesn't know that!

BECKY

Ohhhhhhhhhh!

INT. LARGE CONFERENCE ROOM - DAY

Atticus escorts BRAD RADLEY into the room, joining (seated on one side of the table): Stuart, Natasha, Larry, and Becky.

Becky now wears glasses, and her (exaggerated) posture and mannerisms pretensefully exude Ivy League credentials.

ATTICUS

Here we are...

Brad Radley

(taking seat on opposite side of table)

You said that you had an offer, so...

BECKY

(to Brad Radley)

Yes, well, as you know...

The gang indicates surprise to Becky's initiative.

BECKY (CONT'D)

Our client Tony Brunzell has never committed so much as a misdemeanor...

Atticus shakes his head "no" to Becky.

BECKY (CONT'D)

Has never committed a felony...

Atticus shakes his head "no" once again.

BECKY (CONT'D)

Has never committed a violent felony...

Atticus cringes his face a bit and pantomimes "so-so" with his hand.

BECKY (CONT'D)

(practically questioning herself along the way)

Yes, well, what I mean to say is... our client Tony Brunzell hasn't committed any... definitively violent and felonious...

Atticus holds his breath.

BECKY (CONT'D)

Assaults?...

Atticus gives Becky the "thumbs-up."

BECKY (CONT'D)

Assaults. And being the he isn't a violent...

Atticus gives the "so-so" again.

BECKY (CONT'D)

A particularly violent man...

Atticus nods in agreement.

BECKY (CONT'D)

We feel that... something in the range of possession in the third, no reckless endangerment, can be sold, with some prodding, to our client.

Brad Radley

Oh, I'm sorry... I would've fulfilled my 2-drink-minimum, had I known I was invited to a COMEDY SHOW!

ATTICUS

Brad... seriously now, how many times have you faced Me and Stuart at trial?

Brad Radley

5 or 6...

BECKY

More like 13.

ATTICUS

(to Brad Radley)

13. And how many have you won?

Brad Radley

This will be the first.

STUART

Just make the deal, Brad Radley.

Brad Radley

No way. I know how you guys make fun of me behind my back. Well, no more! You've lit a fire under my ass, gentlemen! To trial we go! A FIRE!!!

BECKY

Then you best purchase The Patch, "Brad Radley," cause Case Law is about t'smoke ya!

Brad Radley reacts.

The gang indicates impressiveness in regards to Becky.

Brad Radley attempts to mount a comeback, but can't think of anything to say.

Atticus sardonically mimics Brad's "I'm thinking" mannerisms.

The gang laughs.

Brad reacts, grabs his briefcase, and then stomps out of the room.

END OF SEGMENT 2

SCENE 5

INT. ATTICUS'S BEDROOM - MORNING

Atticus and an anxious Natasha conclude dressing.

NATASHA

Hurry up, Atticus.

ATTICUS

So, we'll be a bit late. Who cares?

NATASHA

Natasha Donnel is never tardy! And we cannot arrive together, either, so you absolutely must wait outside the building until I enter the office.

Atticus mocks Natasha behind her back, before responding.

ATTICUS

(politely)

Yes, dear.

SCENE 6

EXT. CASE OFFICES BUILDING - MORNING

INT. CASE OFFICES

Natasha walks briskly as she enters, but then immediately slows down and puts on an air of casualness, as she approaches Becky's desk.

NATASHA

(to Becky)

Good morning, Becky. Have you seen Atticus?

BECKY

Nope, Ms. Donnell. He's not in yet.

NATASHA

Hmmm... that's odd... and surprising!

BECKY

(mildly confused)

Uh, yeah... I guess.

NATASHA

Well then, I suppose the matter will wait until he comes up... (amending) I mean, until he arrives at the office. I don't know why I said "comes up."

BECKY

(confused)

Ohh-kayyy.

Natasha fumbles for words, before turning away sharply and exiting.

Becky shrugs, before returning to her work.

SCENE 7

JUDGE GERTIE, unhappy to be there, presides.

JUDGE GERTIE

Alright... Let's get this show on the road.

Larry, Natasha, and Marc Duffy sit at one table, while Attorney DANIEL MOJICA (35 yo Latino) and Respondent TEX PIERCE (50 y.o. good ole' boy, beer magnate; cowboy hat; bolo tie; more annoyed than worried, as he has cavernous pockets) sit at the other.

Natasha attempts to stand, but Larry waves her off.

LARRY

I got this one, Tasha.

Natasha indicates disapproval.

Larry questions Marc Duffy, who sits in the witness chair.

LARRY

You like Sud Beer, Marc?

MARC

Oh, yeah! I love Sud Beer!

LARRY

It's pretty amazing, isn't it?

MARC

I'd say it's a lot better than that, Larry!

Marc and Larry share a laugh.

Tex looks for an explanation from Daniel, who shrugs in response.

LARRY

(to Marc)

Sud Beer ever do anything good for you, Marc?

MARC

Oh, all the time, Larry. All - the - time.

Judge Gertie indicates confusion, before indicating that she simply doesn't care, and tuning out.

LARRY

(to Marc)

The commercials are pretty good, too, right?

MARC

Well, they're funny, and they have great lookin women,(changing tune) but they also...

LARRY

So overall, beer's a sweet deal, don'tcha think?

Daniel indicate confusions, while Tex doesn't care.

Natasha indicates disapproval.

MARC

Beer can be great while you're drinking, but there are also...

LARRY

Times when you run out??? I know. I hate that.

Judge Gertie, oblivious, checks her hair in a hand-held mirror.

MARC

No, Larry! There are consequences!

LARRY

Which is why the companies always advise you to drink responsibly; don't they???

Marc's agitation grows progressively.

MARC

(upset)

Sure, but they do that at the end of the commercial, after convincing you to behave irresponsibly throughout the entire 30-second spot.

LARRY

But isn't it the end that counts the most?

Natasha indicates dwindling patience.

MARC

What Sud Beer shows throughout most of their commercials, which is all lies, ruined my marriage! Why should the last 2 seconds count more than 28?!?

LARRY

Because that which a party states at the conclusion is definitive. Everything else is just a form of work product... Is it not???

MARC

No. I...

Judge Gertie files her nails.

NATASHA

(standing, yelling)

OBJECTION!!!

JUDGE GERTIE

(startled)

What?!? Oh... uh, (authoritatively) sustained!

Natasha indicates anger, as she returns to her seat.

LARRY

No further questions.

Larry walks back to his table

Marc indicates confusion.

JUDGE GERTIE

(to Daniel and Tex)

Uh... you two got anything to ask???

DANIEL

No... we're good.

Natasha whispers angrily to Larry at their table.

NATASHA

You're purposely sabotaging the case to increase Stella awardability!!!

LARRY

(giggling proudly)

Yeah...

LARRY (CONT'D)

Hey, wanna come home with me tonight???

NATASHA

Excuse me!

LARRY

All this whispering is getting me aroused... So, how bout it.

Natasha "as if's."

SCENE 8

INT. OUTSIDE JUDGE KLEIN'S COURT ROOM

Atticus and a sickly Stuart stand and chat.

STUART

(holding stomach)

It's happening again, Atticus.

ATTICUS

Relax, Stuart... Everything will be fine.

JUDGE MILTON KLEIN, approaching the court room door, taunts Atticus.

JUDGE KLEIN

Good luck with this dog, Case. Pfft.

Stuart's indigestion flares up, as Judge Klein walks through the door.

INT. JUDGE KLEIN'S COURT ROOM

Prosecutor Brad Radley nervously searches through some documents at his table, while the JURY, Judge Klein, BAILIFF, and, sharing a table, Atticus, Stuart, and Tony, wait.

Judge Klein grows impatient.

Brad Radley

(fumbling documents)

Just one more sec, Your Honor. I know it's here somewhere

Atticus and a nauseated Stuart, holding his stomach, converse quietly at their table.

STUART

My stomach's acting up again, Atticus. I've got a terrible feeling about this one.

ATTICUS

Relax, Stuart. Just follow my lead, and we'll be celebrating back at the office before night's end.

Stuart procures a couple of antacid pills from a container and swallows them.

STUART

They've got us nailed this time... Not even Mock Trial over there can blow this one.

Brad Radley opens a toy lunch box

Brad Radley

(fumbling through documents in lunch box)

I know I packed it. Just give me one more second...

ATTICUS

(to Stuart)

I think you're underestimating his penchant for ineptitude.

Stuart giggles, before indicating that his stomach is acting up once again.

Judge Klein indicates dwindling patience.

Fast forward. Brad Radley holds a small piece of paper, as he questions Officer FRANK BORDELLO (37 y.o. Italian, dressed in uniform).

BRAD RADLEY

(scanning cheat sheet)

Okay... what next... let's see here...

Judge Klein shakes his head in disgust.

The jury is unimpressed.

Atticus and Stuart withhold laughter.

BRAD RADLEY

Oh yeah! Now I got it...

BRAD RADLEY (CONT'D)

(to Frank)

And why did you only arrest Mr. Bordello, but not the other 4 men who were present in the car???

FRANK BORDELLO

It was Mr. Bordello's vehicle, and in addition to that, he had the most extensive criminal record.

Fast forward. Atticus cross-examines Frank Bordello.

ATTICUS

Officer Bordello, you were suspended for a week without pay as a result of questionable evidence retrieval, were you not?

FRANK BORDELLO

It was a long time ago... Just a big misunderstanding.

ATTICUS

It hasn't been expunged from your record... Regardless, what was the name of the man, upon whose car you're believed to... have employed questionable evidence retrieval?

FRANK BORDELLO

I can't recall.

ATTICUS

Did it end in a vowel?

FRANK BORDELLO

Scuse me?

ATTICUS

His name was Andrew Funicello, an Italian-American with a healthy rap sheet, correct???

FRANK BORDELLO

Something like that.

ATTICUS

Mr. Bordello, do you target Italian Americans whom you feel give your people a bad name?

FRANK BORDELLO

No. I target criminals.

Atticus walks toward Stuart, who hands documents to Atticus.

ATTICUS

(presenting documents)

A colleague of mine discovered that you led a large-scale letter-writing campaign against the Sopranos television show, and in it, you used numerous slurs against Italian Americans. Is this correct???

FRANK BORDELLO

You sayin that I'm prejudiced against Italians? I AM Italian!!!

JURY FOREMAN (a grizzly, tough Italian American, 60 y.o.) indicates dislike for Frank.

ATTICUS

Did you, or did you not utilize numerous terms of derision, when referring to elements within the Italian American community.

FRANK BORDELLO

Yeah, but only against the criminal elements.

ATTICUS

(upset)

Mr. Bordello, I'll have you know that there are many proud Italian Americans who feel no need to apologize for their heritage, such as my co-counsel himself.

Stuart juts out his chin, lifts his hands up, and curls his fingers, in an exaggerated gesture meant to verify his Italian roots.

FRANK BORDELLO

(dismissive)

What... he can't be Italian.

ATTICUS

Why not?

FRANK BORDELLO

Because... because...

ATTICUS

Hmmm?

FRANK BORDELLO

...

Brad Radley

(standing)

Objection!

STUART

(while seated, to Brad)

Which one?

BRAD RADLEY

Wat do you mean, "which one"? I object!

ATTICUS

(to Brad)

Yes, but on what grounds?

STUART

Exactly.

BRAD RADLEY

Uh... His Honor knows which grounds.

STUART

We know he knows, but do you know?

ATTICUS

That's what I'd like to know.

BRAD RADLEY

...

Judge Klein bangs his gavel.

JUDGE KLEIN

Objection sustained!... On grounds of irrelevance.

JUDGE KLEIN (CONT'D)

(contemptuously, to Brad)

The line of questioning... (gritting teeth) is irrelevant.

Brad reacts in a "darn, I knew that one" manner.

ATTICUS

(to Frank)

Officer Bordello, isn't it true that you recognized the defendant, Mr. Brunzello, and knew that his criminal record was similar to that of Funicello's; so, after you pulled him over, you decided to take the liberty of planting the gun in this case, as well. And isn't it also true that Mr. Brunzello was the only Italian American in that car, a car which WAS occupied by other men who have criminal records, and THAT'S why Mr. Brunzello is the only one on trial here today?!?

The jury buzzes.

FRANK BORDELLO

NO! I swear it! He's guilty! And the gun was his!

ITALIAN GRANDMA JUROR, her lips pursed, shakes her head in disgust.

ATTICUS

(to Judge Klein)

Your Honor, I'd now like to call our rebuttal witnesses... The other passengers.

SHIFTY NON-ITALIAN #1 testifies.

SHIFTY NON-ITALIAN #1

There was no gun.

SHIFTY NON-ITALIAN #2 testifies.

SHIFTY NON-ITALIAN #2

No gun.

SHIFTY NON ITALIAN #3 testifies.

SHIFTY NON-ITALIAN #3

No gun.

SHIFTY NON-ITALIAN #4 testifies.

SHIFTY NON-ITALIAN #4

No gun.

ATTICUS

No further questions.

Judge Klein indicates disappointment with Brad Radley, who responds in a "sorry... I tried my best" manner.

Fast forward. The jury returns (after deliberating).

STUART

(concerned)

That was quick.

ATTICUS

Worry not, Stuart. I'm reasonably confident that you sold them with the...

Atticus mimics Stuart's afore-performed exaggerated Italian hand gesture.

Stuart reconsiders his negative assumption regarding the impending verdict, as if to say, "Good point, Atticus."

Tony, anxious, throws a nasty look at Stuart, who immediately places a cease and desist on frivolity.

Fast forward. Jury Foreman concludes the recitation of the verdict.

JURY FOREMAN

...Not guilty.

Tony celebrates with Atticus and Stuart.

Brad Radley looks pathetic.

Judge Klein indicates anger, as the defense continues to celebrate, with Tony jovially mimicking Stuart's hand gesture. Then, Stuart joyfully reprises his gesture in reciprocation, much to the delight of Atticus and Tony.

Judge Klein indicates full-blown rage, before staring holes into Brad Radley.

Brad indicates apprehensiveness.

SCENE 9

INT. JUDGE'S GERTIE'S COURT ROOM (CONT'D)

Larry excitedly chats with Natasha at their table.

LARRY

This is so exciting!!! I can't believe it's finally going to happen for me! After waiting all those long years, I'm finally going to win a Stella! I can't believe it!!!

NATASHA

Yes... who would've ever fathomed that Larry Tripper would find association with outrageous frivolity in law. Truly the end of days.

LARRY

Mock me all you want, Tash...

Natasha disapproves of the nickname.

LARRY (CONT'D)

But a dream is about to come true.

NATASHA

Larry, I almost hate to disappoint you... almost... but I do believe that, once again, your Willamette analytical prowess is proving to be your downfall.

LARRY

(agitated)

Y'know, I've had enough of the Willamette...

NATASHA

Larry! Do you recall that Case Law compensated Judge Gertie in exchange for favorable findings this week?

LARRY

Yeah... we do that every week. So?!?

NATASHA

And I assume your thought process is as follows: In this particular case, your favorable finding would be a loss; therefore, Judge Gertie will rule accordingly.

LARRY

Exactly.

NATASHA

Larry... have you, at any juncture, actually informed Judge Gertie as to your desired loss???

Larry contemplates for a moment, before indicating deflation.

LARRY

...

Judge Gertie rules.

JUDGE GERTIE

It is apparent that years of false advertising on behalf of Sud Beer planted the seeds that caused the rift in Mr. Duffy's marriage. I therefore rule in favor of the complainant.

Marc Duffy slams his hands together in delight.

Larry indicates shock.

Natasha smiles.

Daniel indicates surprise/disappointment, while Tex remains even-keeled.

JUDGE GERTIE (CONT'D)

In the amount of...

Judge Gertie goes back and forth in her mind, as if whimsically selecting a number.

Daniel scowls.

Tex couldn't care less.

Marc salivates.

Larry shakes his head in disgust.

LARRY

(tilting head downward)

No...

Natasha considers placing her hand on Larry's shoulder in moral support, before opting against it.

JUDGE GERTIE

Eh, let's just make it an even 250 grand.

Daniel indicates anger.

Tex (nonchalantly) takes out a bag of money and tosses it to Marc, who gleefully makes the catch.

JUDGE GERTIE

(banging gavel)

dismissed.

Larry deals with the blow, as Judge Gertie retreats to her chambers.

LARRY

No... no... no...

Larry stands..

LARRY (CONT'D)

Stella!

Larry drops down to his knees and looks upward.

LARRY

STELLLLAAAA!!!!!!!!!

Larry, remaining on his knees, hunches over and makes sobbing noises.

Natasha bends over near Larry from behind, as if to hug him, but then winces as she shakes her head "no," before backing away.

Larry continues grieving.

END OF SEGMENT 3

SCENE 10

INT. BECKY'S DESK

A dejected Larry leans on the desk as he speaks with Becky.

BECKY

Sorry you won your case, Mr. Tripper.

LARRY

Yeah... Thanks, Beck.

BECKY

Hey, maybe you'll lose, like, big time on the next case, and then the right people'll hear about it and totally put you on blast.

LARRY

(cracking slight smile)

A guy can only hope.

Becky smiles.

FADE OUT.

CASE LAW
EPISODE 3: HARDCORE HANK
SHMUEL BREBAN

FADE IN:

EXT. CASE LAW (OFFICE BUILDING) - DAY

INT. ATTICUS'S OFFICE - DAY

NATASHA Donnel conducts a consultation with potential client MELVIN STIPINSKY (48 y.o. conspiracy theorist-type; glasses; slightly scruffy, with irritation around neck and chin).

MELVIN

I want to sue somebody.

NATASHA

Yes, I gathered as much, Mr. Stipinsky. With whom would like to litigate?

MELVIN

(itching irritated neck)

No one in particular.

NATASHA

(confused)

Come again?

MELVIN

I just want to sue somebody... anybody, really.

NATASHA

(angrily)

Did Larry commission this jocularity!?!

MELVIN

(itching neck)

I don't... I just figured...

NATASHA

Do I strike you as the type of woman interested in tomfoolery, Mr. Stipinsky!?!

MELVIN

No... and please call me Melvin.

Natasha indicates anger.

MELVIN (CONT'D)

Please allow me to explain... I watch the news all the time, and we live in a very litigious society, Ms. Donnel. Everyone's suing everybody, and over the silliest of things. It seems like all lawyers need is some middleman through whom they can litigate. So... why not Melvin Stipinsky???

NATASHA

Get out!

MELVIN

Look... you already have me booked for the 15 minutes, so why don't we just give it a shot, Natasha... Can I call you, Natasha?

NATASHA

You may not.

MELVIN

Okay, I understand... (itching neck) So, here's what I'm thinking...

NATASHA

Mr. Stipinsky, is there anyone specific who has wronged you or damaged you in any way?

MELVIN

Not that I know of, but if you'd simply allow me to tell you a little bit about myself, I'm confident that we can find somebody to sue for something.

NATASHA

Mr. Stipinsky, you embody all that is defective within our legal system. You are a reprobate of the highest order, and the blatant irreverence which you display toward myself, my profession, and jurisprudence is inexpiable!!!

Natasha rises and then grabs Melvin's arm.

NATASHA (CONT'D)

Now get up, and get out!

While being escorted out by Natasha, Melvin itches his neck.

MELVIN

Have it your way, but I think that you're missing out on a great opportunity here.

Natasha, holding Melvin's arm, stops just short of the door.

Natasha has a thought, causing her to reconsider Melvin's value as a potential client.

NATASHA

Why do you perpetually scrape at your neck???

MELVIN

Oh, uh, I bought one of those fancy new Babyface electronic shavers, the one with all the commercials, and the blades have just been irritating the hell out of me.

Melvin walks awkwardly as he's pulled back into the office by a grinning Natasha.

MELVIN

Wha... whoa, take it easy!

END OF SEGMENT 1

SCENE 2

INT. CASE LAW HALLWAY

ATTICUS CASE and Natasha approach each other in a professional manner from opposite directions.

ATTICUS

Good morning, Ms. Donnel.

NATASHA

Mr. Case.

As they pass each other, Atticus smacks Natasha's buttocks.

Natasha turns and quietly chastises Atticus.

NATASHA

Atticus!

ATTICUS

(mock-conciliatory)

Sorry.

Natasha indicates outrage as she turns to walk away.

Walking away, Natasha cracks a slight smile.

INT. ATTICUS'S OFFICE - DAY

Atticus shows FRANCES FITZGERALD (47 yo; controlling; upset) and GERALD FITZGERALD (15 yo; wearing hat backwards; enthusiastic, but stifled by Frances) to their chairs.

ATTICUS

It's good to see you again, Frances.

ATTICUS (CONT'D)

(seated)

So... what's up?

Frances

(mad, indicating toward Gerald)

This... This...

Gerald indicates discomfort.

ATTICUS

Okay, Frances... just relax...

Frances

This numskull over here... he... I can't even fathom how he... he...

ATTICUS

(to Gerald)

Gerald, why don't you tell me what happened.

GERALD

Uh, okay, Mr. Case... So like, me and my boys hit this wrestling show at the Arena, right. We get there early, like always, so we can hang out, kind of like tailgating, right.

Frances

Stupid professional wrestling, Atticus! Can you believe this!

ATTICUS

Okay, Frances. Let's allow Gerald to finish, please.

GERALD

(to Atticus)

So, Hardcore Hank is there, right, and we're chillin with him...

ATTICUS

Is he important?

Frances

No... but he's material to the case.

ATTICUS

(to Gerald)

Then I need you to tell me who he is, Gerald. I'm not up to date on my WCW.

GERALD

Oh, he ain't a wrestler, Mr. Case. He's just a fan named Hank. He gave himself the nickname "Hardcore," on account of all the crazy stuff he does.

ATTICUS

I see...

GERALD

So this time, Hank's going on about how tough he is, and how he can take any punishment the wrestlers can take. So then my boy Tommy goes...

Frances

Another Rhodes scholar...

GERALD

Tommy calls bull... you-know-what...

ATTICUS

I do.

GERALD

He says that Hank would cry like a... you-know-what...

ATTICUS

I do.

GERALD

...If he even got chopped in the chest. So Hank hollers at everyone around, something like 200 fans, that they could chop him for a buck.

ATTICUS

(dubiously)

You mean... Hank gave permission for everyone to strike his chest... with full force???

GERALD

So long as they gave him a dollar first, yeah.

Frances

(to Atticus)

See what I'm telling you.

Atticus subtly concedes the point to Frances.

GERALD

So, like, 100 dudes and this 1 chick line up, 'cause how often do you get a chance to chop the... you-know-what out of a dude for just a buck, right...

Atticus exaggeratedly nods in agreement of the fantastic opportunity.

Frances shakes his head and exhales in disgust.

GERALD (CONT'D)

So I'm like number 57. I shoulda been way before, but these big fat men kept cutting me in line, and then a couple of the wrestlers came out, 'cause they heard what was going on, and they wanted to pay their dollar, too, so we let them cut the line.

ATTICUS

(dubiously)

The gentlemen from the television programs exited the arena and paid money to "chop" this "Hardcore Hank"?

GERALD

I swear, Mr. Case. It was awesome!

ATTICUS

Indeed...

GERALD

So, then it's finally on me, right.

Gerald excitedly rises and re-enacts the scene.

GERALD (CONT'D)

I get all up in Hank's face, right.

ATTICUS

(uncomfortably)

Right.

GERALD

And I'm all, "You ain't hardcore"... and then I say the B-word, right.

ATTICUS

Uh... right.

Frances shakes his head in disgust.

GERALD

(chopping the air)

Then I rear back, and ka-pow!

ATTICUS

Ka-pow?

GERALD

(chopping the air)

Ka-pow!

Atticus look as if he's seen a Martian.

GERALD

But then after ka-pow... um, I guess I can sit back down now.

Frances holds back his rage, as Gerald re-takes his seat.

GERALD (CONT'D)

After ka-pow, it was like, kiii-rackkk.

ATTICUS

Can you be a little more specific, Gerald?

GERALD

The doctor says I broke Hardcore Hank's clavicle.

Frances

Allegedly.

ATTICUS

(to Frances)

That goes without saying...

FRANCES

This "Hardcore Hank" fellow has already settled with the wrestling promotion - the injury occurred on their lot and they didn't want the bad press - and now he's coming after us.

ATTICUS

I see...

ATTICUS (CONT'D)

(to Gerald)

Gerald, how many times was this entrepreneurial Hank fellow struck prior to your... "chop"?

Frances

Dudddddeeee... Like 80 times. Maybe more, 'cause this one old dude, like older than you, Mr. Case...

Atticus indicates that he doesn't consider himself old.

FRANCES (CONT'D)

He's going through a divorce, or somethin', and bought, like, 7 chops.

ATTICUS

I see...

Frances shakes his head in disgust.

SCENE 3

INT. SHADY DOCTOR'S OFFICE

Melvin Stipinsky enters, joining DR. SHADY (shady looking doctor).

MELVIN

Uh... Dr. Shady? I'm Melvin Stipinsky. Case Law sent me.

DR. SHADY

Oh, yes... Come on in, and let's have a peek at that neck.

Dr. Shady examines Melvin's neck.

DR. SHADY

Mm-hmm, mm-hmm... very good.

MELVIN

Very good?

DR. SHADY

(confirming)

Very bad.

MELVIN

Which is very good?

DR. SHADY

Exactly.

Dr. Shady retrieves a tube and hands it to Melvin.

DR. SHADY

Rub this onto the affected area 3 times daily.

MELVIN

This'll make my rash better?

Dr. Shady laughs.

DR. SHADY

(shaking head "no")

No.

Dr. Shady escorts a confused Melvin to the door.

SCENE 4

INT. CASE LAW BREAK ROOM - DAY

LARRY TRIPPER and a concerned BECKY RIVERS converse as they eat, while STUART STEVENS mostly keeps to himself as he dines. Larry has a crush on the young secretary/paralegal-in-training, so he hangs on Becky's every word.

LARRY

What's a matter, Becky?

BECKY

(to Larry)

Nothing... It's just my roommate, Mr. Tripper.

LARRY

(familiarly)

What did Tara do now?

Stuart takes pause at Larry's intimate knowledge of Becky's personal life.

BECKY

I think she's hooking.

LARRY

(feigning disgust/concern)

That's horrible, Becks.

Stuart takes note of the familiarity once again.

LARRY (CONT'D)

What's makes you think that?

BECKY

She's totally been having, like, a different guy come by every night.

LARRY

But Tara's always been like that...

Stuart takes note again.

BECKY

I know. But these are, like, old guys.

LARRY

Uchh. Disgusting.

Stuart notices the irony.

BECKY

I know! So then I sort of snooped on her computer for just a sec... Is that illegal, Mr. Tripper?

LARRY

I have no clue.

Stuart indicates "doesn't he work for us as an ATTORNEY?!?"

BECKY

Well, anyways, she's all up on Craig's List... Did you know they have hookers on Craig's List, Mr. Tripper?!?

LARRY

I had no idea.

Stuart indicates "yeah, right."

Atticus enters.

ATTICUS

(to Stuart)

Stuart... when you get a chance, I could use your expertise on an injury case.

Stuart excitedly covers his half-eaten sandwich and rises to leave.

STUART

Oh, please yes.

Becky notices Stuart's zeal to leave and indicates mild insult.

Stuart takes note of Becky's reaction, and then places his hand on his stomach, indicating indigestion.

STUART

(to Becky)

Because my stomach is acting up again, and I just can't have another bite.

BECKY

Oh. Feel better, Mr. Stevens.

As Atticus and Stuart exit, Larry addresses Becky.

LARRY

Hey, can I have Tara's number...

Becky indicates uncertainty.

LARRY (CONT'D)

So that I can advise her of all the disastrous legal ramifications of her reckless behavior.

Becky buys it hook, line, and sinker, and then begins to search her cellphone for the number.

INT. HALLWAY

Atticus and Stuart chat, as they slowly approach Atticus's office.

STUART

They'll probably cite all of the recent case law pertaining to unauthorized fight clubs... Law enforcement been cracking down on them, even in cases where all of the participants signed wavers and granted permission to be struck, and none of them were injured. We should attempt to argue that the striking done in our case differs substantively... but our odds aren't great.

ATTICUS

Well, then let's just hope that we land Judge Gertie.

Stuarts holds his stomach, as his indigestion rears it's head.

STUART

Don't talk about our... (quietly) "arrangement" out loud.

ATTICUS

Oh, relax, Stu... Our secrets are perfectly safe.

Atticus enters his office, with Stuart about to follow.

INT. ATTICUS'S OFFICE - DAY

Atticus enters, and is immediately grabbed by Natasha.

While being kissed by Natasha, Atticus attempts to explain the impending doom, but is unable to get out the words.

Natasha uses her free hand to push away the door, but it doesn't close (fully). Stuart, not apprised of the situation, opens the door further, in order to enter.

Stuart is shocked by what he sees.

Atticus and Natasha, who are mid-kiss, freeze in place, but for their eyes, which turn toward Stuart.

Realizing that he now has an additional secret to keep, Stuart's indigestion flares up, prompting him to place his hand on his stomach and wince in pain.

END OF SEGMENT 2

SCENE 5

INT. ATTICUS'S OFFICE - DAY (CONT'D)

A fidgety Stuart stands speechless just inside of the open doorway.

ATTICUS

Just take a deep breath, Stuart.

Stuart trembles.

NATASHA

(to Atticus)

Is he... sound?

ATTICUS

Stu just have some indigestion and and anxiety issues....

Stuart's facial contortion reveals internal despair.

ATTICUS (CONT'D)

He'll recover momentarily... (to Stuart) Isn't that right, Stu?

STUART

Okay... okay... maybe I didn't see what I just saw. I mean, the two of you...

NATASHA

Shut the door!

Atticus shuts the door.

ATTICUS

(to Stuart)

Stuart... Natasha and I have been seeing each other, but you can't tell anyone.

STUART

Oh, no! Not another secret!

Stuart feels queasy and grabs his stomach.

ATTICUS

You must. Just one more secret, buddy.

STUART

No more secrets, Atticus! You're giving my ulcers - ulcers!

ATTICUS

Just this one...

STUART

How... For how long...

ATTICUS

Since a few weeks before the firm's... new direction.

STUART

And you don't tell your best friend of over a decade!?!

NATASHA

Atticus desired to inform you... He was merely concerned that perhaps... proficiency in handling classified information isn't your forte.

STUART

But it's not serious...

ATTICUS

(minimizing)

Well, we've really just...

NATASHA

(authoritatively)

We've moved in together.

Natasha throws a nasty look at Atticus, who indicates remorse.

Stuart's condition worsens.

SCENE 6

EXT. ATTICUS'S APARTMENT (BUILDING) - NIGHT, DAY

INT. ATTICUS'S BEDROOM - MORNING

Atticus and Natasha, already dressed, prepare for work.

NATASHA

I'm merely attempting to communicate that I would prefer if you wouldn't downplay the extent of our relationship. Is that too much to ask???

ATTICUS

(searching for something)

You're right, I'm wrong. Now can I just get ready for work.

Natasha indicates annoyance.

ATTICUS

Do you know where I put that envelope that I had earlier?

NATASHA

I haven't seen it. Perhaps it's hiding beside your commitment issues.

Atticus shakes his head in disagreement as he grabs his briefcase.

SCENE 7

INT. CONFERENCE ROOM - DAY

Larry, Natasha, and an itchy Melvin sit opposite CORPORATE ATTORNEY #1 (CA #1) and CORPORATE ATTORNEY #2 (CA #2).

CA #1

Our client has had its electric shaving kits inspected in every possible manner.

NATASHA

Your client has invested vast amounts of capital on advertising and promotion, in attempt to be the next "it" product; however, the quality of its blades are pathetic.

CA #1 and CA #2 reluctantly, subtly indicate acceptance.

NATASHA (CONT'D)

Babyface shavers must have known that its product would result in an adverse reaction for those with sensitive skin.

CA #1

We assume that your client is unopposed to a sealed settlement.

NATASHA

Certainly... provided that your client upgrades its blades.

LARRY

Oh, I'm sure there's no need for us to dictate policy to these fine gentlemen.

NATASHA

(to Larry)

Excuse me, Larry?!?

LARRY

(to CA #1 and CA #2)

We'd be fine with the honor system.

CA #1 and CA #2 indicate pleasant surprise.

NATASHA

(chastising Larry)

They are selling a defective product!

LARRY

And I'm sure they'll do whatever they feel is right to rectify that. Isn't that right, guys?

CA #1

(feigning sincerity)

Oh, of course.

CA #2

(feigning sincerity)

We'll get right on it. You have our word.

Natasha indicates disapproval.

MELVIN

(to Natasha, indicating toward Larry)

Yeah... I'm with him on this one.

NATASHA

(to herself)

Unbelievable.

LARRY

(rubbing hands together, to CA #1 and CA #2)

Well, boys... what's the number?

CA #1

Just to get rid of this nuisance today, we are prepared to make a one-time offer... one-twenty-five.

LARRY

(unhappily)

Tzzzziiii...

CA #1 and CA #2 indicate confusion.

LARRY (CONT'D)

Here's the thing... We'd retain a third of our client's settlement, and 125 just doesn't divide evenly by 3.

CA #1 and CA #2 find Larry's objection to be unorthodox.

LARRY (CONT'D)

We'd have to get change, and it would be whole a thing... so, how about...

Larry pontificates.

LARRY (CONT'D)

(whispering to Natasha)

Is one-eighty divisible by three???

NATASHA

(whispering maternally)

What's 60 times 3, Larry?

Larry contemplates, before having an "ohhhhhhh" moment.

Natasha indicates annoyance.

LARRY

(to CA #1 and CA #2)

One-eighty. We end this right now. Nobody has to do any complex math. Everybody's happy.

CA #1

We can go as high as 150...

Larry attempts to crunch the numbers in his head, but has some difficulty.

CA #2

(to Larry)

Uh, that would mean 50 for you, and 100 for your client.

LARRY

Oh! Thank you.

CA #2 indicates "no problem."

Larry looks to Natasha for approval.

Melvin indicates anticipation.

NATASHA

(reluctantly)

Fine.

Melvin indicates joy.

NATASHA

(pointing to CA #1 and CA #2)

But don't forget that you're on the honor system!

CA #1 and CA #2 indicate "absolutely."

SCENE 8

INT. BECKY'S APARTMENT - NIGHT

Becky, seated on the couch, takes notes from a textbook.

TARA LANGSTON (22 yo, pretty and friendly) escorts in JOHN JOHNSON (45 yo, average-looking professional, wearing suit and tie).

TARA

And here we are...

Becky looks up and notices the guest.

BECKY

(irked)

You have got to be kidding me!

TARA

Hey, Becks.

Becky rises and approaches Tara and John.

BECKY

(to Tara)

Another "friend" of yours?

TARA

Yeah, from work.

BECKY

(dubiously, to John)

YOU work at the Waffle Palace?!?

JOHN

Well, uh...

TARA

No, silly. He's my customer.

BECKY

I bet he is.

TARA

What exactly are you saying, Becks???

BECKY

I'm saying that this is the 5th "friend" you've brought home in the last 2 weeks.

TARA

I know, but don't worry, we're just gonna hang out in my room for a while.

BECKY

(insulted by Tara's level of gall)

Uh!

TARA

Because we don't want to interrupt your studying.

BECKY

Yeah, right!

BECKY (CONT'D)

(to John)

Sir, uh, I don't know your name...

JOHN

John.

BECKY

(to Tara, indicating the irony)

His name is John!!!

TARA

(mitigating)

It's a very popular name.

JOHN

(as if memorized)

I'm John. I'm Tyra's customer at the Waffle Palace, and we're just here to hang out.

BECKY

(excitedly)

Her name is TARA!

John indicates "whoops!"

Tara shrugs her shoulders.

SCENE 9

INT. JUDGE GERTIE'S COURT ROOM - DAY

JUDGE GERTIE presides, while ATTORNEY questions HARDCORE HANK (24 yo Caucasian; 5'4" and hefty; non-threatening, wrestler wannabe; backwards cap) on the stand. Atticus, Stuart, Frances and Gerald sit at one table. BAILIFF and a few GALLERY MEMBERS are present as well (there is no jury).

HARDCORE HANK

So then, basically, they all line up holdin' them dollars, to, basically, get a shot at Hardcore Hank.

ATTORNEY

And what happened next, Hardcore Hank?

ATTICUS

(standing)

Objection to counselor referring to the witness as "Hardcore Hank," Your Honor. He's suing over a little chop; he's clearly not hardcore.

HARDCORE HANK

(threatening Atticus)

I'ma git out this chair and pop you one, son.

ATTICUS

Nevertheless... I maintain my objection.

JUDGE GERTIE

(lethargically/annoyed)

I don't care.

Atticus indicates mild discontent for his objection being quashed as he re-takes his seat.

HARDCORE HANK

So then, basically, they step up, pay their buck, and gimme a little chop. Not too soft, basically 'cause Hardcore Hank can take it, but not crazy rough, either. That until Mistah Gerald Fitzgerald over there...

Gerald reacts sheepishly.

HARDCORE HANK (CONT'D)

Basically rears back and unleashes the fury of a thousand hells onto the big ole', 60-inch-chest of Hardcore Hank. He, basically, crizackkkked my clavicle right dere, basically.

ATTICUS

(standing)

Objection! The witness is embellishing in attempt to inflame Your Honor!

JUDGE GERTIE

(not in the mood)

Eh... what difference does it make.

Atticus indicates surprise at Judge Gertie shooting him down once again. As he re-takes his seat, Atticus looks toward Stuart for an explanation.

Stuart, clueless, shrugs his shoulders.

Fast forward. Attorney concludes.

ATTORNEY

No further questions, Your Honor.

As Attorney returns to his table, Atticus rises.

ATTICUS

(to Gertie, presenting DVD)

Your Honor, at this juncture, the respondent would like to enter into evidence rebuttal footage, which was filmed by a wrestling fan at the event in question.

JUDGE GERTIE

(lackadaisically hand-motioning that she'll allow it)

Whatever.

Bailiff places the DVD into the player.

The DVD plays, showing footage of a YOUNG WRESTLING FAN, who stands directly in front of Gerald at the head of the line, handing a dollar to ASSISTANT (18 yo male), who stands near Hardcore Hank, before many FANS.

ATTICUS

This is approximately 1 minute prior to the incident in question.

On the monitor, Young Wrestling Fan chops Hardcore Hank's chest, and the other fans clap. Then, 3 LARGE WRESTLERS, each holding a dollar, approach and request to partake in the festivities.

ATTICUS (CONT'D)

These 3, rather large men are professional wrestlers. As you can see here, they are granted permission to cut in line ahead of the respondent.

SCREEN - WRESTLER #1 viciously chops Hardcore Hank, to the delight of the fans.

Judge Gertie indicates mild impression.

SCREEN - WRESTLER #2 thunderously chops Hardcore Hank, and the fans cheer once again.

ATTICUS (CONT'D)

It is clear as day that the powerful strikes delivered upon the plaintiff by these massive wrestlers speak for themselves.

SCREEN - WRESTLER #3 brutally chops Hank.

ATTICUS (CONT'D)

And here, my client pays his dollar and takes his turn.

SCREEN - Gerald pays a dollar and then chops Hank; the chop is of moderate impact, not nearly as devastating as those inflicted by the wrestlers.

Hank immediately reaches toward his upper chest and crumbles toward the ground.

ATTICUS

Your Honor, my client didn't strike with malice or with a negligent amount of force. It was those large wrestlers who should be on the stand today. I move for immediate dismissal.

Frances nods in agreement.

JUDGE GERTIE

Eh... I don't think so.

Atticus indicates surprise, once again.

Stuart follows suit.

ATTICUS

But, Your Honor, the footage is self-evident... My client weighs 140 pounds, and those monolithic wrestlers...

JUDGE GERTIE

(rising)

I'll be back in a sec with my ruling.

Atticus indicates perplexity in regards to Gertie's cavalier interruption and exit.

Atticus looks to Stuart, whose body language indicates confusion, as well.

Fast Forward. Judge Gertie rules.

JUDGE GERTIE

(nonchalant)

Yeah, so I'm ruling for the plaintiff...

Atticus and Stuart (both seated at their table) indicate a blend of anger and surprise, while Gerald indicates dejection.

Frances indicates rage.

Hank and ATTORNEY celebrate.

JUDGE GERTIE (CONT'D)

In the amount of...

Atticus eagerly anticipates.

ATTICUS

(quietly to himself)

One dollar... Come onnnnn, one dollar...

JUDGE GERTIE

(whimsically)

Eh, let's make it an even one... hundred grand.

Atticus reacts negatively.

Frances indicates rage.

Fast Forward. Atticus converses quietly with Judge Gertie at her bench.

ATTICUS

Gertie... what happened?!?

JUDGE GERTIE

What happened is you didn't pay me this week.

ATTICUS

What are you talking about?!? I allocated the appropriate funds, and... (light bulb) and I forgot the envelope at home. But we would've paid you today. You didn't have to rule against us.

JUDGE GERTIE

Sorry, babe. Mama don't work on credit.

Judge Gertie, holding a file, rises and walks away.

Atticus exhales.

END OF SEGMENT 3

SCENE 10

INT. BECKY'S APARTMENT - DAY

Tara, wearing a white robe, laughs as she exits her bedroom, entering the living room.

TARA

Ha ha ha ha! And that one with the penal code and legal briefs was hilarious!

Larry, disheveled and buttoning his shirt, exits the bedroom.

LARRY

Thanks, Tara... Just don't tell Becky I was here, okay?

TARA

No problem.

Becky enters through the front door, notices Larry buttoning his shirt, and then indicates disappointment.

LARRY

Mr. Tripper!!!

Larry attempts to conjure an excuse, before submitting and shrugging his shoulders.

FADE OUT.

CASE LAW
EPISODE 4: TABULA RASA
SHMUEL BREBAN

FADE IN:

INT. JUDGE MILTON KLEIN'S COURT ROOM - DAY

The scene: JUDGE MILTON KLEIN presides, as neighbors GARY TANNER (45 yo, jerk) and CHASE BLEVINS (42 yo), the same litigants from Episode 1, are back at it again, but this time it's in criminal court. ATTICUS CASE and STUART STEVENS represent Gary, who's on trial for destroying Chase's property, as will become apparent. Fledgling prosecutor BRAD RADLEY represents the State of New York. At the moment, Atticus is questioning Gary, who's on the stand, and Chase is sitting among the GALLERY. BAILIFF is present, as well. Brad and Stuart are sitting at their respective tables.

GARY TANNER

Every time the local elections roll around, this guy Chase Blevins has his stupid signs up, telling me how to vote. "Vote Smith" all over his lawn. But those signs are stupid. They never give any reasons, they just say, "Vote Smith"... but WHY should I vote Smith? Because your lawn is nicer than the one that says "Vote Jenkins?!?!? Which is isn't... his lawn has weeds.

Chase stands in the gallery.

CHASE BLEVINS

My lawn has weeds?!? He smokes weed on his porch every night!

Gary attempts to convince a skeptical Judge Klein otherwise.

GARY TANNER

Your Honor, I would never do such a thing.

ATTICUS

But Mr. Tanner, lots of people have placards on their lawn, do they not?

GARY TANNER

No, they have A placard. This guy... this guy has 'em all over the place. He had 12 Vote Smith's all over his lawn... and two of 'em were right near the property line, where he still puts ALL HIS GARBAGE!!!

Chase grins and smirks in the gallery.

ATTICUS

Did you ask Mr. Blevins to limit the number of placards?

GARY TANNER

Oh, I asked him nicely... very, very nicely, but noOooOooo, he's got to be different than everybody else. He needs helicopters to know they should vote for Smith.

ATTICUS

Mr. Blevins has testified that, in retaliation, you dug trenches in his front lawn. Is there any truth to that?

GARY TANNER

No.

Gary attempts to convince a skeptical Judge Klein.

GARY TANNER (CONT'D)

I would never do such a thing, Your Honor.

ATTICUS

But Mr. Tanner... the trenches spelled out "Vote Jenkins"???

GARY TANNER

Yeah, well, lots of people could've done that. After all... (smirking) Jenkins ended up winning in a landslide.

Chase indicates anger.

Brad Radley is standing and objecting.

BRAD RADLEY

Objection!

STUART

Yeah? Which one?

BRAD RADLEY

(fumbling)

Um... the one with... well, what difference does it make, I mean, our case, why does it matter who won the election... I guess what I'm trying to say here is...

Atticus has taken the seat next to Stuart. They will now cheerlead, with Atticus leading and Stuart responding. They will use their arms and hands to form the letters which they cheer, as will the Gallery, once they chime in. All of them will also dance, as if cheerleading, while remaining in their seats.

ATTICUS

Ready? Okay! Give me an R!

STUART

R! I gotcho R! I gotcho R!

BRAD RADLEY

(painfully)

Not again...

ATTICUS

Give me an E!

STUART

E! I gotcho E! I gotcho E!

Judge Klein is dumbfounded.

ATTICUS

Give me an L!

The entire gallery joins Stuart.

GALLERY

L! We gotcho L! We gotcho L!

Brad scratches his head as he attempts to figure out what everyone is spelling.

ATTICUS

Give me an E!

GALLERY

E! We gotcho E! We gotcho E!

An excited Brad Radley jumps up and down.

BRAD RADLEY

Relevance! REL-UH-vanccccce!!!

A flustered Judge Klein sighs.

JUDGE KLEIN

Sustained.

ATTICUS AND STUART

Boooooooo!

END OF SEGMENT 1

SCENE 2

INT. NICE RESTAURANT - NIGHT

Atticus and Natasha dine.

ATTICUS

...and, yes, the win was against Brad Radley, but a win is still a win.

NATASHA

Are you avoiding my inquiry, or merely traveling a circuitous route so that we enjoy the scenery?

ATTICUS

Natasha...

NATASHA

I'm simply reminding you of the terms of our... arrangement, Atticus. You stipulated that our... loose interpretation of legal ethics would extend only for the space of time necessary to achieve our deserved status as an exceptional firm.

ATTICUS

I know that, Natasha, and we're almost there. Clean slate, coming soon.

Natasha grows emotional.

NATASHA

That has been your ongoing position in this matter for quite...

ATTICUS

We're almost there, I promise... We just have so much on our plate right now. And that free consultation ad that I placed is going to drum up even more business!

Natasha has difficulty speaking.

NATASHA

... I... Not long ago, that lascivious lothario, Larry questioned my motives for partaking in our firm's... discretionary rationalizations... and I... I had no response. Nothing.

ATTICUS

You have my word, Natasha. Soon... you have my word.

Natasha indicates a modicum of acceptance.

ATTICUS (CONT'D)

Now, how about us? Perhaps it's time to apprise the rest of the firm of our... discretionary relationship.

NATASHA

You're misusing the word...

ATTICUS

I was playing off of what you...

NATASHA

It doesn't matter...

ATTICUS

Okay, can we remove our grammar police badge for just a second?

Natasha pantomimes the act of removing a badge on placing it on the table.

ATTICUS

So...

NATASHA

Were they to discover the true nature of our relationship, our colleagues would think less of me.

ATTICUS

We both know that's absolutely false. They know that you're a genius attorney and that we're lucky to have you. And Stuart, poor Stuart, ulcers and all, he already knows, so it's really just Larry and Becky.

NATASHA

And Ulysses...

ATTICUS

Who adores you!

NATASHA

It's just not... I'm not ready yet.

ATTICUS

But you've been saying that for a while now...

NATASHA

We're almost there... I promise.

Atticus makes a connection.

ATTICUS

Oh, I see what you're doing!

NATASHA

(evasively)

I have no idea as to what...

ATTICUS

You're manipulating an expedited action on our first point of negotiation by tying it to our second.

NATASHA

I? I'm but a simple female... Such devious tactics would simple befuddle one as myself.

ATTICUS

You're saying that we can go public with our situation once I rectify the firm's situation.

NATASHA

I've tendered no such proffer... but now that you've nominated such an equitable solution...

Atticus reacts in a "you sly dog, you" manner.

SCENE 3

EXT. CASE LAW OFFICE BUILDING - DAY

INT. CONFERENCE ROOM - DAY

Atticus, Stuart, and PRENTICE BOONDOCKS (30 yo Caucasian male; piercings; writer/hipster; counter-culture spokesperson type; diva) sit on one side of the table, opposite ATTORNEY and WILLIAM FORESTER (48 yo author, fidgety).

ATTORNEY

Clearly, your client has infringed upon Mr. Forester's copyright.

William nods in a agreement.

ATTICUS

Clearly?

ATTICUS (CONT'D)

(to Stuart)

Stu, is it clear to you that Prentice infringed anything?

STUART

Not at all.

ATTICUS

Well then, let's ask him.

ATTICUS (CONT'D)

(to Prentice)

Prentice, did you violate Mr. Forester's copyright?

PRENTICE

I most certainly did not.

ATTICUS

Looks like your assertion is controvertible, counselor.

Attorney indicates annoyance.

FORESTER

(indicating toward Prentice)

He plagiarized my work! There's no two ways about it!

STUART

How do you figure, Mr. Forester?

FORESTER

I've already explained this to him a dozen times... 25 years ago, I published a book entitled The Silent Symphony, in which the penultimate chapter was purposefully left blank. And now this... hack!

Prentice indicates offense.

FORESTER (CONT'D)

This hack goes and does the same exact thing!

PRENTICE

That's spurious at best. My "Subtle Utopia" is nothing like your... crooked-table-fixer.

FORESTER

How dare you!

Stuart attempts to conceal his giggle.

FORESTER (CONT'D)

Chapter 15 in your latest hipster trash is empty. The empty chapter is part of my copyright.

PRENTICE

Well, I maintain that my emptiness differs significantly from yours.

Atticus indicates admiration.

FORESTER

How so???

PRENTICE

Mine is sandwiched between two chapters that don't suck.

Forester indicates rage.

STUART

(impressed)

Oh snap.

ATTICUS

That was a good one.

ATTORNEY

This isn't a laughing matter, gentlemen.

Atticus and Stuart indicate contrition.

STUART

Of course.

ATTICUS

I apologize.

FORESTER

He stole my blank chapter!

PRENTICE

I improved it!

Forester indicates dwindling patience.

PRENTICE

(to Attorney)

It took your client 20 pages to write his blank chapter, I did mine in 8!!!

Forrester rises and prepares to assault Prentice.

FORESTER

You little punk!

Attorney restrains Prentice.

FORESTER (CONT'D)

So instead of plagiarizing 20 pages from my novel, you pilfered 8. What difference does it make. You still stole 8 of my 20 silent pages!!!

PRENTICE

(smugly)

Which 8?

Atticus attempts to hide his smile.

FORESTER

(attempting another attack on Prentice)

Why you little...

Attorney increases the power of his restraint on Forrester.

CUT TO:

INT. BECKY'S DESK - DAY

Larry flirts with secretary BECKY RIVERS.

LARRY

Soooooooo... Becks... how are the paralegal classes going?

BECKY

Not bad, y'know?

LARRY

If you ever need any tutoring, I'm your guy.

BECKY

Nah, I'm good, Mr. Tripper.

LARRY

Larry. We're friends, you can call me, Larry.

BECKY

(giggling)

Okay... Larry...

LARRY

When I was your age, Becks, which really wasn't all that long ago when you think about it...

BECKY

You're like 30, right?

LARRY

30? Yes, 30! And back when I was studying law, much like your doing presently, I found that a great way to relieve the all of the tension...

Larry sticks out his fingernails, as if claws, and makes an "errr" sound.

LARRY (CONT'D)

And the stress..

Larry one again sticks out his fingernails, as if claws, and makes an "errr" sound.

Becky playfully performs the same claw and "errr."

LARRY (CONT'D)

...would be to simply, and this is backed by extensive science, mind you...

Becky nods her head.

LARRY (CONT'D)

...would be to just--

Natasha approaches and interrupts.

NATASHA

(to Larry)

Atticus requires our assistance with his newly expanded (derisively) free consultation program...

NATASHA (CONT'D)

(to Becky)

Was Mr. Tripper forwarding overtures to you?

BECKY

(mildly confused)

Um, I don't think he cc'ed me on anything...

Larry smiles.

NATASHA

(slightly annoyed)

Was he propositioning you?

BECKY

(confused)

Huh?

NATASHA

(annoyed, teen-like)

Was he, like, trying to (making air quotes) "hook up" with you?

BECKY

Ohhhhh, of course not! OMG, he's like 30!

Natasha smiles at a deflated Larry.

END OF SEGMENT 2

SCENE 4

INT. OFFICE ROOM - DAY

Larry and Natasha interview prospective client FRANK TONES (35 yo, annoying).

FRANK TONES

...And then I saw your free consultation ad in the paper, so here I am!

LARRY

And the part where someone has damaged you?

FRANK TONES

Oh, no, nobody's damaged me...

NATASHA

(muttering)

The evidence begs to differ.

FRANK TONES

Well, not yet. That's why I'm here. See, I have this crazy neighbor Jim, I call him crazy Jimmy, anyway, he just loses it around me--

NATASHA

Can't fathom why.

FRANK TONES

I know. So, I'm thinking, well, I know that I can get him to hit me, and then you guys can come out from behind the bushes, or whatever, it doesn't have to be the bushes...

Natasha indicates anger.

FRANK TONES (CONT'D)

Anyway, you guys take pictures of him - (using magic word) damaging me - and then we clean up. He's rich. We clean up. I know I can get him to hurt me. I know it.

NATASHA

Mr. Tones, you are--

LARRY

(to Tones)

How bad?

FRANK TONES

Oh, six figured bad.

Larry indicates that he's considering it.

Natasha stares daggers through Larry.

Fast forward. Larry and Natasha interview DIVA (18 y.o.), who chews gum and acts overly teenage-aloof. Larry ogles Diva.

DIVA

So, like, I know I have a case against him. I mean, like, harassment, HELLO?

NATASHA

(annoyed)

What - precisely - did he--

Diva touches her bluetooth

DIVA

(to Natasha)

T.O., I got a call.

Natasha's eye open wide with fury, as Diva speaks into her bluetooth.

DIVA

(friendly, into bluetooth)

'Sup, bitch?

Natasha and Larry mutter to each other, while Diva (inaudible) speaks on her phone.

NATASHA

(to Larry)

I'm going to stab her.

LARRY

(lasciviously)

Me, too.

DIVA

Listen, I gotta bounce. I'm in this (rolling eyes and shaking head subtly, as if annoyed) "meeting."

Natasha indicates rage.

DIVA (CONT'D)

Love you too, bitch.

Diva ends the call.

DIVA

So, like, what were we talking about again?

Natasha indicates more rage, while Larry smiles at Diva.

DIVA

(to Larry)

Like, what's her problem???

RETURN TO:

INT. CONFERENCE ROOM - DAY (CONT'D)

The negotiations continue...

STUART

(to Attorney)

The truth of the matter is that blank space existed in books long before Mr. Forester published Silent Symphony. Most chapters end with a blank half-page, or so.

PRENTICE

Yeah. I guess I shouldn't be able to use the word "the," because it's the copyright of the first person who wrote it.

FORESTER

(agitated, to Prentice)

For the millionth time, my blank chapter significantly differs from any other coincidentally blank space. Mine is purposeful, and therefore, something.

ATTORNEY

Look, gentlemen, we're not going anywhere. So, what's the offer?

Prentice reluctantly hands a folded piece of paper to Attorney.

PRENTICE

(handing paper)

Here.

Atticus indicates uncertainty.

Attorney scans the piece of paper, subtly rolls his eyes, and then hands the paper to Forester.

FORESTER

(peeved)

It's blank!

PRENTICE

Yes... but according to you... that's "something."

Forester indicates rage.

Stuart and Atticus cover their mouths to conceal their laughter.

Attorney restrains Forester.

CUT TO:

INT. OFFICE ROOM - DAY (CONT'D)

Larry and Natasha continue the free consultations with GRANDMOTHER (75 yo).

GRANDMOTHER

He was no good. Always stepping out on me. Never apologized for nothing. And I never believed that it would come to this, but I'm afraid thatI'm going to have to sue him.

NATASHA

Sue WHOM?!?

GRANDMOTHER

My dead husband. Pay attention, missy.

LARRY

Ma'am, you want to sue a dead man?

GRANDMOTHER

He never apologized! I want half of everything!

LARRY

But didn't you, y'know, the will? Didn't you already inherit everything?

Grandmother ponders.

GRANDMOTHER

Oh, my... heh, I suppose I did.

Natasha's facial expressions indicate "shoot me now."

SCENE 5

INT. JUDGE GERTIE'S CHAMBER - DAY

Atticus, Stuart, and Attorney sit and chat with JUDGE GERTIE.

JUDGE GERTIE

(to Attorney)

My apologies, but this case is just ridiculous, Counselor.

ATTORNEY

Ridiculous, Your Honor? Ridiculous?

Stuart and Atticus enjoy the show.

JUDGE GERTIE

A copyright on blank space?

ATTORNEY

Yes, there is a precedent in the music indus--

JUDGE GERTIE

Ridiculous. Just ridiculous. Isn't this ridiculous?

ATTICUS

Yes, Your Honor. Very much so.

STUART

Ridiculous.

ATTORNEY

(to Gertie)

Listen, I might be just some no-name attorney, and they're Case Law, but I have every right to bring this case into your--

JUDGE GERTIE

Counselor, this case will be laughed out of my courtroom, followed by possible sanctions against you for the frivolous, not to mention--

ATTICUS AND STUART

Ridiculous?

JUDGE GERTIE

RIDICULOUS nature of the suit. So, I recommend, in the strongest terms possible, that you drop this - ridiculous - suit immediately!

Attorney indicates repressed rage.

INT. OUTSIDE JUDGE GERTIE'S CHAMBERS - DAY

Atticus, Stuart, and Attorney chat.

STUART

(to Attorney, quasi-sincerely)

Tough break in there.

ATTORNEY

There's no need to patronize me, "counselors." We all know that I didn't lose on the merits of the case.

Stuart indicates concern.

ATTICUS

Excuse me?

ATTORNEY

Do you gentlemen, and I use that term as loosely as humanly possible, sincerely believe that you're fooling everybody?

Stuart holds his stomach.

ATTICUS

What are you insinuating?

ATTORNEY

Word has gotten around, Atticus Case of the corrupt Case Law firm. Enjoy your misbegotten victories while you can, Case, because this won't end well for you.

ATTICUS

Jealousy does not become you, Mr.--, what did you say your name was again?

ATTORNEY

Yes, I may be a no-name attorney, but I've earned everything that I have, and I can sleep well at night. You give lawyers a bad name, Case. The both of you do. Good day.

Attorney exits.

Stuart holds his stomach and winces in pain.

STUART

We must put a stop to this, Atticus. We need to go straight.

ATTICUS

Relax, Stu, he's got nothing.

Atticus exhales and subtly indicates hurt pride and disappointment in himself.

END OF SEGMENT 3

SCENE 6

INT. OFFICE ROOM - DAY (CONT'D)

Larry and Natasha conclude the free consultations with MAN.

MAN

No, you don't understand... The coffee was REAL hot...

Natasha and Larry both indicate "oh, come on already."

FADE OUT.