Class Action (1991) Script

The principle, your honor, is informed waiver, a concept deeply embedded in the black-letter law of this state.

This is a simple case of a contract willingly and completely executed.

Appeals to the contrary based on emotion have no place in a court of law.

This is not a court of law.

You did not enter through a doorway.

That, ladies and gentlemen, is the rabbit hole, and we, like so many Alices, have plunged through it directly into Wonderland.

Behold the Queen of Hearts...

Carrigan Chemical, a company that has spewed its bile into the Laughing Well River for 17 years.

Plants wither, children die, and no court in the land can stop them.


One man has had enough.

Frustrated, desperate, he slams his truck into the plant manager's office, and for one bright, shining day, that hellhole of a factory shuts down.

Do we honor him?

Do we throw him a parade?

Do we even say thank you?


He is put on trial.

Welcome to the Mad Hatter's tea party.


Objection? Why not "off with their heads"?

Paid him fully according to the contract.

Now he wants more, intending to get it by harassing my client.

Yes, the plaintiff is a man of moderate means.

Yes, Zydex is a successful corporation, but the law, not charity, must dictate our course here today.



He rammed through that wall.

And yes, he did shut that hellish factory down for one day.

And yes, he is responsible for damages in the amount of $427,000.

How high a price is that to pay if he saved just one single life?

Madam, I'll give you $427,000 for your child.


And you, madam, same price for your husband.

And you, counselor.

How about an even half a million for your precious hide?

Objection, your honor!

Order! Order!

Counsel is way out of line here.


Mr. Ward, sit down.

Order! Order!

Defense is prepared to mount its case.

We have witnesses, agreements, dep-depositions, and volumes of evidence to prove my client acted fairly.

But to what end?

The plaintiff has offered no viable case.

In the interest of justice, defense moves for nonsuit. Submitted, your honor.

Would you remind them next door that justice is blind and not deaf?

As to your motion, counsel...

12 minutes.

12 minutes!

Those idiots took 81/2 days to mount their case.

It's too bad you mispronounced heresy.

It's too bad you didn't get a chance to.

So, counselor, have you decided where you'll be spending your vacation?

No vacation.

Maggie, come on. You got to have three, four weeks coming.

No. I hear something big's happening on Argo Motors.

You know anything about it?

Mm-mmm. Argo? No. Have you?


Want to be big-time lawyers? Learn to lie better.

Maggie. Maggie. Lawyers never lie.

We just tell the truth judiciously to guarantee utter confusion.

Goddamn, you could lose your hand in one of these things.


Mr. Ward, excuse me. Howard CRayhill.

I've read all your books.

I've read Civil Rights on Trial twice.


You found a copy they hadn't burned.

Grateful client?

No. It's a present for your mother. Anniversary.

Hard to believe we've been together 34 years.


You biting your fingernails again, Margaret?

Don't say it.

Minor flesh wound. He didn't even draw blood.

Brian, my father always draws blood.

I was getting ready to make a left.

I had the blinker on.

I saw the other car coming towards me in the rear-view mirror.

I couldn't move, couldn't get out of the way.

I just watched him, kind of in slow motion.

At first, I couldn't believe it was happening, you know?

It was like watching TV or something.

And then the guy hit me, and the car just kind of...pow!

It just exploded, and there was fire... Everywhere.

And my wife started screaming, and my baby boy...

Son of a bitch. I'm sorry.

You have nothing to apologize for.

What happened to you...

I'm so goddamn tired of this.

Those bastards, they just think they can do anything they want... lie, kill, destroy whatever they touch, and get away with it.

Let me tell you, Steven, they don't always get away with it.

Sometimes people like us, this law firm, we stop them.

This is going to be one of those times.

Mr. Ward, I'm very grateful.

I just wish I'd been with your firm from the beginning.

Well, we're here now.

Good afternoon. Quinn, Califan & Lunt.

I'm sorry. He's away from his desk right now.

May I take a message?

Hold on one second.

Maggie. Maggie, Mr. Grazier wants to see you.


Ok. Tell me what you know about Argo Motors.

They're our biggest client, 21% of last year's billing.

26. They're headed by a man named, uh, Eugene Forrest.

He came aboard two years ago... in a hostile takeover.

Thinks the automobile industry's future is in computerization.

Rumor is he's looking to merge, perhaps with a Silicon Valley type.

Wrong. He found it.

Loracatron Electronics.

Geez. Big-time.

But there's a catch.

This is where we come in.

Three years ago, a class-action suit was filed against Argo, claiming that their 1985 station wagon, the Meridian, blew up on impact.


Did they have a case?

No. I've handled Argo since that car was still on the drawing boards.

It's totally clean.

We managed to persuade the other side's attorneys that they couldn't win, but now another firm has refiled, a much more aggressive firm.

The American way... find the guy who busted his hump to build it, then rob him blind.

What do we do, guys?

Settle for chump change.

Get confidentiality. Keep the press away.

No, we have to win in court.

Loracatron is a very conscientious company, very consumer-oriented.

But something like this is time-critical. You can't... ok, ok. If I decide we fight it, one of you will be on point. It's good input.

Thanks for your time.

You know, my hobby is rebuilding American cars. I can... get out of here.


You have to give me this case.

I know Argo backwards and forwards, I'm a better litigator than any associate, and you're too busy to go to court on the prep work.

Bernstein has a lot going for him.

He's a team player.

Second team.


Michael, please. This is the partnership express.

I deserve this.

Why throw lightweights like Bernstein at me?

Look. Ok, ok.

I want you on this one.

There's no question.

There's a problem.


The plaintiff's attorney is your father.


Yeah? What's wrong?

We got no case.

Sure, we have a case.

Look at the facts.

I've looked at the probability charts backwards and forwards.

The facts are that Argo built half a million Meridians and a few of them blew up.

132 cars?

Out of half a million built, that's only a few cars.

That's not that many more than would have blown up, no matter what.

Ok. Maybe Argo designed the Meridian wrong. Maybe they didn't.

But that doesn't make a case.

Hey, I got a car that blows up, people who almost died in them, and the company doesn't care.

To me, that makes a case.

Rosenberg-Blittman had everything that we have.

They had it for three years.

They dropped the case, Jed.

They couldn't find anything.

Billy Blittman couldn't find his butt with both hands.

That's true, but it's a contingency case, Jed.

Even if we win, we see no money for years.

Can we afford that?

Hey, I know it's not a slam dunk, Nick. I know that.

Sometimes you got to go with your gut... the passion.

I got a feeling about this.

Network news time.

I like seeing you on TV.

It's just... whoa, whoa, whoa.

This isn't about my ego. It's about us, what we stand for.

This firm was built on David and Goliath cases.

They're just not around anymore.

You got all these fascist Reagan judges.

They hear you're after a big corporation, they throw your ass out.

It's just too goddamn discouraging.

Something like this comes along... good plaintiffs, decent evidence, a judge who will listen...

I've gone to war with a lot less.

It would be fun to nail those Argo bastards to the wall, wouldn't it?

Going to kick their asses.

I believe so.

Just once, I'd like to see you sleep through the night.

And miss these great movies?

They are on cassette.

No. It's not the same.

Oh. I'm freezing.




Do you like me?


Do I like you?


What kind of a question's that?

A surprise.

How can you not know that?

How can I know that? How can anybody?

I mean, tomorrow, if I did something you really hated, would you still be here?

Listen. Come here.

Now listen to me.

That's not the way these things work.

I'm not your father.

This has nothing to do with him.

Oh, yes, it does.

Maggie, I want this to work.

I really do.

Now, I trust you.

You want to know if you can trust me.

Ok. All right.

Give this place up.

Live with me.

No, Michael.

We said we'd talk about that after I made partner.

Maybe we need to talk about it now.


Why not?


It might help, but...

I'm just not ready to go public yet.

What, you don't think they suspect?


There's a difference between suspecting and being on the mailing list.

Who cares what they think?

I do.


Because it's different for a woman.

I don't want them saying I made partner for anything other than my work.

Maybe I should be the one asking how much you like me.



I think so.

Oh, no. No. Come on.

One anxiety attack at a time.

Your turn, is it?

My turn. Ok.


♪ My mother died from asbestos ♪

♪ My father's name was Estes ♪

♪ Might have known that messed us ♪

♪ up, what a day ♪

♪ My brother was workin' at the boiler ♪

♪ at the boiler ♪

♪ Glad he wasn't workin' as an oiler ♪

♪ Then my sister went and lit a match ♪

♪ and up is where they went ♪

♪ They went ♪ ♪ up, up, up ♪

♪ like a guy ♪ on a rocket ♪ ♪ up, up, up ♪

♪ Keep your luck, don't hock it ♪

♪ Up, up, up ♪ Who's Cyd Charisse?

Oh, Deborah, your dad's new intern. She's really great.

Aren't they all? Aw, come on.

♪ Numerous to mention ♪ ♪ Don't you know ♪ ♪ who's goin' up ♪

♪ and up and up and up and up ♪

♪ up ♪ yeah.


Good luck with the school board.

Oh. Luck I got. Votes I need.

Thanks a lot.

Mom! Hiya. Hi.

Come on, mom. You're the bride.

You're supposed to be having a good time.

Are you having a good time?

Yeah. I haven't talked to dad all evening.

Hey, Maggie!

Maggie, be nice.

Yeah, yeah.

Maggie, I got one for you.

Stop it. Hi.

Weems vs. United States, 1910... what was the issue?

Damn. A pop quiz, and me without a blue book.

These are the easy ones.

Come on.

Cruel and unusual punishment.

They put a guy in chains for 15 years.

That's absolutely right.

Ok. So you do know everything.

That's absolutely right also.

Terrific. Everybody's right.

Why don't you and Maggie dance?

You promised!

Excuse me, excuse me, but this used to be a party.

All right, all right.

Come on, Nick. Dance with me.

Jed, dance with Maggie.

All right. You're a party pooper!

One more, one more!

1941... Kemper vs. Walden. Issue.

♪ Bum bum bum ♪ come on! Issue!

All right, all right.


All right, all right! Wait!

I haven't the vaguest idea.

The court ruled that children have the right to sue their parents for nonperformance.

♪ That canned, canned music ♪

♪ Canned music ♪

♪ Playin' on the radio ♪

♪ Canned music ♪ The guy in the peach trunks, that's "nature boy" Rick Flare.

I represented him once.

Then he was wrestling under the name of...

Son of Satan.

Son of Satan, right.

He had the horns, the pitchfork, the whole shot.

He had a great thing going with another guy named Angel of God.

One morning, Satan wakes up and sees the light.

Becomes a born-again Christian.

Blows the whole rivalry.

What happened?

Ah, Son of God, he goes berserk.

He sues my client for breach of contract.

Did they have a contract?

Beside the point.

He was imposing on my client's...

Religious freedoms.

Dad, can I talk to you?

The judge threw us out of court.

He thought we should all go to hell.

Dad. What?

I need to talk to you.

Ok. See you guys.

Kids, you know?

Now, what about this Walden vs. Kemper?

Did you make that up?

Look it up, counselor.

No, I, uh...

I wanted to ask you about something about work.

You want to ask me something?

Yeah. I know.

You want my advice?

Shocked the hell out of me. I know.

Uh, I've been offered a case... good case, you know? Partnership time.

Why would you want to be partner in that firm?

Don't make me sorry I asked.

Go ahead. Ask. What's the problem?

For God's sake.


Anyway, it's a great case.

I could try the hell out of it, but I'm wondering if I shouldn't pass it up because there's an extreme conflict involved.

How extreme?

They want me on Meridian.

So what's the problem?

Wait a minute. Well, it's obvious, isn't it?

Obviously there's no problem.

You're not taking it.

Oh, really?

Just like that?

Margaret, don't you see?

They're using you as a parlor trick.

They think I'll see my precious daughter and go all soft.

I think it's more than that.

You think, Margaret.

You're an associate at Quinn-Califan.

They pop out baby lawyers like you like a shark grows teeth... in rows.

When it comes to the crunch, they'll send in the big boys.

They already did.

You mean you?

Did it ever occur to you that I might be a very good attorney?

You better be. I raised you.

No. Mother raised me! You had a date!


I'm looking forward to it. It's kind of funny.

I don't see the humor.

Fred Quinn thinks he can rattle me with my daughter.

And what if she wins?

Someday maybe, but, please...

Don't force me to be immodest, ok?

No one ever had to before.

Whose side are you on anyway?

Oh, Jed. Don't be an ass.

Absolute nonsense.

What do you mean, it's absolute nonsense?

You don't know what you're talking about.

What should I do, buy her flowers?

She hates me!

She doesn't hate you.

She hates me, goddamn it.

I see it every time I look in her eyes.

Oh, yeah?

I don't hate her, and I have every right to.


Does it matter to her that these cars are blowing up? No.

Does it matter to her that people... babies are being killed?


Does she care that she's in bed with the vilest kind of corporate vermin?

I'm talking to you!

No, you're not. You're talking to the jury.

Listen, Jed, I love you dearly, but you are a superior, self-righteous bastard who's never satisfied with anybody or anything.

If I were Maggie, I wouldn't want you to be my father, either.

So I'm the bad guy here, huh?

Oh, I don't know.

I should have locked you two in a room years ago and not let you out until you kissed and made up.

I thought...

In time you'd come to your senses.

Boy, was I wrong.

So now I spend my life between two bickering children, both of whom are old enough to know better, especially you.


You know, Margaret I can take.

A swine like Frederic Quinn, no problem at all, but you...

You rattle me.

Stelly, I love you.

You know me for the old codger that I am, and you still hang around.

I can't for the life of me understand why.


This case will...

Eventually go away.

Please, please...

Don't make her go away with it.

They asked me how long I lived here.



Hi. How are you?

Fine? Good.

Beep beep.

Maggie, taking one for a test drive?

I don't even have a learner's permit.

You don't need one. On-the-job training.

Very funny. Very funny.

So what's wrong?

I didn't say a word.

I know, and very loudly.


I'm worried, Maggie.


I'd like you to drop the case.

Tell him to drop it. I dare you.

He won't. I dare you.

You know he won't.

This is the first time I have him in a place where he doesn't make the rules... in a courtroom... someplace I can beat him.

Beat him?

He's your father, Maggie.

So what?

I am sick and tired of being afraid of him.

All my life, he's made me feel like I wasn't good enough.

Never mind if he was.

He made some mistakes.

That just makes him human.

Too human.

You of all people should know that.

All of those women. Were those mistakes?

What happened between your father and me is our concern.

If I can put it behind me, you should, too.

Well, I've tried...

And I can't.

Mom, I was there. I saw how much he hurt you.

Why didn't you just leave him?

Come on. Talk to me.

About what you choose?

What about what I want?

I won't drop this case.

I won't.

Somebody has to fight him. You didn't.

Oh, Maggie, you never understood.

Maybe that's my fault.

Look, I had to make a choice with your father.

It was a very hard choice.

Sure, I could have left.

God knows I thought about it.

But I still love him.

So I decided to stay and try to make it work.

It took a long time, but we got through it, and I honestly feel that I got a lot more than I gave up by staying, and I still do, whether you believe it or not.

That's fine, mom.

You forgive him.

You have a right to your own choice, and I have a right to mine.

We'll just be following you around for a couple of days, videotaping you, uh, the boat, the docks, trying to show what your life's been like since the accident.

My life is not so very interesting.

We think the jury will find it very interesting.

We want them to see what you've lost, what you can't do anymore.

I cannot fish is what I cannot do.

That's good.

Is good I cannot fish?

No, no, no, no, Mr. minh. It's a terrible thing.

We need to hear the stories from all the Meridian owners who got hurt.

Mr. Minh, thank you... who is this man with Mr. Ward?

Oh, that's Jack Tagalini. Mr. Ward helped him, just like he's going to help you.

Mr. Ward must be great man.

A very great man.

Now, listen.

You take care. We'll be in touch.

Bye-bye. Good-bye.

Pretty severe burns. Yeah, but his English.

The jury might not understand him.

So we shoot the video.

If it doesn't play, we lose him.

Who's next?

We'll go right to the summary proceedings and then, uh...

How do I look?

Nervous. Why?

You have pepto-bismol on your mouth.


Hi. Hi.

Are we still friends?

What do you think?

Don't worry about me, Margaret.

I'm just your old, decrepit father.

Be strong, be strong.

Your honor, it all boils down to evidence, and plaintiff doesn't have any.

The only reasonable course of action is to grant my client summary judgment.


Thank you, your honor.

Next case.


Case number 861947...

Kellen, et Al. Vs. Argo Motors.

For the plaintiff, Jedediah Tucker Ward.

For the defense, Margaret Eleanor Ward.

I'm glad I won't be at your house for the holidays.

I presume the proper waivers have been signed here.

They have, your honor. They... ok. What have you got for me?

The court has before it a discovery motion compelling the defendant to supply the names, job descriptions, current addresses of all Argo employees involved in the design of the Meridian between 1980 and 1985.

Response, Miss Ward?

It doesn't deserve one, your honor.

This is a bald-faced fishing expedition.

Counsel knows full well there are people who worked on that car who might have something interesting to say on the subject.

Your honor, if my esteemed colleague had the vaguest idea what he was looking for, he might narrow his discovery to something smaller than the phone book.

Miss Ward, I think he deserves something.

What he's asking for is out of the question.

A number of those people haven't worked for Argo for years.

They've scattered to the four winds.

Generating a current address list could take thousands of hours.

We will give him the names.

Mr. Ward?

That's a start, your honor.

The job descriptions along with the names really are not much value without the current addresses.

Mr. Ward, really, in all fairness, I think Miss Ward has proved that supplying the addresses would put an undue burden on the defense.

I was very concerned about that, too, so I told the pension department at Argo I had a former friend I was looking for named John Smith.

Had anybody by that name worked for them?

They called him up on the computer and got me his address.


That's an illegal invasion of privacy.

They keep an updated record of all former employees so they can send them their pension statements.

Your honor... then they asked me if I worked with him at Argo and where did I live, and then they sent me this newsletter.

Wasn't hard at all, your honor.

I want those addresses.

Of all the cheap sideshow tricks.

It worked.

Because Symes is a sucker for your antics.

Lighten up. I'll buy you ice cream.

Oh, Jed, cut it out.

Stelly, shush.

No more.

No. There's a lot more.

This is just the beginning.

She used to like ice cream.

She used to like you.

I know.

I know, Michael.

Don't try to make me feel better.

Call 911!

This will slow us up.

Brian and Howie haven't had a whole weekend off in months.

Oh, no!

Somebody get an ambulance!




Come on! Hurry! The bottom of the stairs!

1, 2, 3, 4, 5.

1, 2, 3, 4, 5.

Stand back! Let us through!


1, 2... Is there a doctor?

Did you call the doctor?


1, 2, 3, 4, 5.

1, 2, 3, 4, 5.

♪ Yeah, yeah, I'm on my way home ♪

♪ On my way home ♪

♪ Yeah, when you're here in my home, Lord ♪

♪ When you're here in my home, Lord ♪

♪ Don't worry about me ♪

♪ Don't worry about me ♪

♪ When you're here in my home, Lord ♪

♪ When you're here in my home, Lord ♪

♪ I don't want you to worry about me ♪

♪ Don't worry about me ♪

♪ When you're here in my home, Lord ♪

♪ When you're here in my home, Lord ♪

♪ Don't worry about me♪

♪ Don't worry about me ♪

♪ I'm just another soldier ♪

♪ Yeah, yeah ♪

♪ And I'm on my way home ♪

♪ On my way home ♪

In 1954...

I was watching the McCarthy hearings on television, and...

I had trouble keeping my mind on the testimony.

There was this beautiful woman sitting in the first row of the gallery.

Every time the camera would catch her in the background...

She was doing this.

I was fascinated.

I watched for hours, trying to catch sight of her.

Finally I couldn't stand it any longer.

I called the hearing room, had the guard...

Ask her if she would call me during recess.

Amazingly enough, she did.

I introduced myself and asked what she was doing.

She was mouthing the words, "McCarthy is a weasel.

McCarthy is a weasel."

Subliminal advertising, she called it.

She said it would stick in people's minds forever, no matter what, she claimed.

It was the way the deaf vote.

I got on the next plane, and we were married a month later.

I'm sure wherever Stelly is now, there are 12 guys better than me who are chasing her around.

But if you have a moment...

I just have this to say... remember, please, forever that I love you.

Don't be late for work tomorrow, ok?

You ok?

I've been better.

How's it going in there?

It's going, uh, ok.

People are starting to leave.


You need something?

A priest.


You know, somebody I could confess to, somebody who'd tell me it wasn't my fault.

It wasn't your fault.


Maggie, she shot an embolism.

These things, they take...Years.

They build up...

Then you... but then I took this case.


You know, Nick, all my life...

Whatever I wanted, she's always been there for us, and the one time she asked me to do something... now, now, now, now. Come on.


You can't blame yourself for that, Maggie.

That's not what she would have wanted.



I got to go home.

No. I think what you got to do is stay here and be here with your father.

He'll be fine, Nick. He's got you.

He's got me, yeah, but he needs you.

He needs you, Maggie.


Laura's looking for you.

Take your dish.


Yeah, thanks for coming, man.

See ya.

Take care.

I never knew she kept this.

My jelly jar glass.

Do you remember when she boycotted grape jelly in sympathy with the farm workers?

Yeah. And all I'd eat was peanut butter and grape jelly sandwiches.

I didn't know that.

Yeah. I solved the problem, though.

At least I thought I did.

I found a grape jelly without grapes in it.

All chemicals.

She'd never let you eat that.

No, of course not, but it put her in a real moral dilemma.

She didn't know whether to satisfy this demanding child with an affront to human rights or cop out to toxic sludge.

What did she do?

She introduced me to marmalade.

Hey, Jed. Yeah.

Give you a call.

Ok, thanks.

What a mess.

Your mom was always in charge of organization.

She had a dental appointment today.

How fast was that, Dr. Getchell?

30 miles an hour.

It's amazing.

Just amazing.

Isn't that amazing, Maggie?

All that damage for just going 30.


Yeah, well, there's going to be damage till we can figure out a way to make cars bounce.

Do you test every model this way?

Every model, every year.


Feds say we got to.

Of course, this is only one test.

We do 77 others.

Don't want no surprises.


That's what gets my goat about this damn lawsuit.

What you got here is just about the safest car on the road.

You'll say that on the stand?

Oh, hell, yes.

But don't stop with me.

What's this?

Meridian performance charts.

The '85 model exceeded every federal standard that year.




Plus Rowena.

Who's Rowena?

Not who. What.

An independent research facility.

The car passed every test.

I can't find my keys.

You're late.

I need you to chop ze onions.

Aren't we going out for dinner?

No. I'm making your mom's menudo.

You're cooking?

How many tablespoons in a teaspoon?

Do I look like a calculator?

Maybe I should make something.

Oh, ho ho ho, no, thank you.

I prefer to die in ze bed.

It's supposed to look like this?




No, nothing.

So I just left everything the way it was.

You finished?

Hmm? Yeah.

It's not bad for a couple of lawyers.

Yeah, it wasn't your mother's, but, uh...

It was great.

I just wanted some of her smell around, you know?

I got some of your mom's things packed up.

I figured you might like them.


Want to see? Yes!

Oh, no. What?

Oh, my God. Look at all your hair.

Oh, you had a beautiful mother, magpie.

Look at that. Oh, my God.


You haven't called me that since...

I must have been 12.


The prettiest, smartest...


Mouthiest kid.

Ahh, the People's Park festival.

Oh, yeah.

1967, '68. Yeah.

They don't make marches like they used to.

Remember this?

No, only what I read in the paper.

You left mom and me at home, of course.

I remember I just turned 13.

My first boyfriend had dumped me, and I could have used you.

Well, young love was always your mother's line, Margaret.

I was busy trying to keep the planet in one piece.

Burning a few bras in the process.

I was more interested in burning draft cards.

Oh, really?

I thought you were more interested in the women's movement.

Relationships were more...

Casual in those days.

They were just more open.

Oh, please, please. I'm so tired of this sixties crap.

I was on the road for six, nine months.

None of this ever meant anything to me.


Not even Alice Worth?

So that's it? Case dismissed?

You're out of order, counselor.

And you are guilty as charged.

Alice Worth was my law partner.

Oh, please, dad.

You think I didn't know?

This is none of your business, goddamn it!

Alice Worth was very much my business.

She wasn't just some nameless one-nighter.

Alice was a friend.

She was mom's friend.


Jesus, she was everything I wanted to be.

She was smart and beautiful and a lawyer.

I used to follow her around when she was here just to watch how she'd cross her legs or how she'd hold her drink, and then mom finds her letters to you.

She never cried in front of me. She wouldn't do that.

But when she thought I was asleep, I could hear her, alone in her room, 3:00, 4:00 in the morning.

I'm really tired of this ancient history.

Well, she was never the same after that!

Something in her eyes went dead.

You have to know that I was committed to your mother.

You have to...

No. You know, in one fell swoop, you took away the woman I admired, the mother I knew, and the father I believed in.


The conscience of America.

Defender of the huddled masses.

The only thing you cared about the huddled masses was how tall you could stand on their shoulders.

Hey, wait a minute.

There's more to this. Just hold on.

I've spent my life trying to help people!

You gotten any thank-you notes from Jack Tagalini recently?

Oh, Jesus.

I had nothing to do with that!

Oh, yeah? I think you're being a little modest.

Before you met Jack Tagalini, he was this nice guy who was pissed off at the cost overruns at Zembella Air.

It never occurred to him to go public.

I had to show him how.

You forced him or conned him or whatever it is you do to get on the cover of newsweek.

Aw, Jesus Christ!

I was on the cover of newsweek because I was right.

Goddamn it!

That jury was out for 2 hours and 27 minutes.

They gave us every single point.

But what about Jack Tagalini?

You turned him into a whistle blower without telling him what it would cost.

He lost his job, his friends, his professional life... that case changed the law.

It affects every single person who gets on an airplane.

Then you stopped taking his calls.

You dumped him.

The world keeps turning.

I had other battles and other people to help.

You dumped him!

I couldn't hold his fucking hand, ok?

You didn't hold a hand, not unless it was young, female, and attractive!

You're a user, dad.

You used Tagalini, you used all those women, and you used mom!

Goddamned hypocrite!

How dare you question my behavior, you, whose great claim to fame is being one of Quinn-Califan's young Nazis.

At least my clients don't blow their brains out.

If your mother could hear you...

She can't.

Wherever she is, she's got to be happier than she was with you.

Why, you...

so finally, words fail the great Jedediah Tucker Ward.

You! Get... dad!



I heard you were having dinner with your father.

Figured you could use a friend.

Oh, Michael.

Mr. Quinn is ready for you.

Thank you, Sally.


Come in.

Thank you.

How are you?

Fine. Thank you, sir.

You look tired.

Oh, well, I'm fine.

When my mother died...Well, I know how long it can take to get over, and with the workload you're carrying...

I'll manage.

I want to believe that, but in looking over this transcript, I'm worried about this Steven Kellen deposition.

No, it's...

It's all completely under control.

He's wearing down.

If he gets into court in that wheelchair with this story, he'll be far too sympathetic.

I understand that, Mr. Quinn.

I can't put this in strong enough terms.

I want him eliminated as an effective witness.

Yes, sir.

Are you prepared to do that?


Then you won't mind if I sit in?




Now, uh, Mr. Kellen, when the paramedics were pulling you out of the vehicle, how did it feel to be on fire?

God sakes, you just asked me that question.

No, I believe I asked you if you remembered being on fire, and I asked you when did you know you were on fire?

Now I'm asking how did it feel to be on fire?

It was...

I'm warning you, we are already halfway out the door.

Mr. Kellen, were you ever a patient of a Dr. Maxwell Chastain?

Maybe. So?

Yes or no, please.


Is Dr. Chastain a psychologist specializing in car phobias?

Is he, Mr. Kellen?


A car phobia means you are afraid of driving, true?

It's not as simple as that.

What's not simple? Either it's true or it's false.

I guess it's true.

Which makes you cautious, correct? Maybe too cautious?

Objection. Argumentative. Noted.

The car blew up. How can you be too cautious about that?

Technically, it burst into flames.

Prior to the accident, Mr. Kellen, how many times have you been cited for driving too slow?


Are you sure it wasn't three times?

We have December of '81, August of '83, then again in October.

Objection. This is beyond the scope... and since the crash, have you had other accidents?

Don't answer that.

If he doesn't answer here, he answers in front of a jury.

They weren't my fault. Other people hit me.

I wonder why.

Do you really?

Do you even care what happened?

I know what happened.

Oh, my God.

Oh, no. Oh, my God.

And so do you.

I don't believe this. I don't believe this!

We're out of here.

Who the hell do you think you are? This wasn't my fault.

This deposition is finished.

Are you fucking human?

Do you even care about anybody?

Nick. Please.


Nice pictures. Real nice.

What's a good set of 8 x 10s cost these days, 10, 15 bucks?

This is important, Fred.

What's the going rate for a man's dignity, huh?

You stole his wife, his kid, his body.

Now I guess you spend another $10 or $15 and get the whole package?

That's what this is

He's after your money, and you're protecting it?

You hold onto it real tight, because without a heart and soul, that's all you'll ever have.

Jed, we have angles like this on all your people.

Bottom line... you don't want to try this case.

Steven Kellen had me buck naked in a hailstorm.

I need better information. We've got four weeks before the trial.

242 people worked on the car's design, so there are 242 chances for you people to do something right.

Most of those folks don't want to talk with us.

That's just excuses. Bullshit excuses.

I don't want to hear it.

You're always going on about the great David and Goliath cases.

You forgot about how hard the David work is.

We have worked very hard.

If you cannot see that, then maybe we aren't the problem here.

What do you think?

Needs something.



I'm Ray.

I'm Maggie.


What do you do?


I'm a professional killer.


Do you like your work?

Yes and no.

See, it's, uh...

It's long hours, and it's a lot of stress, but when you finally put your head on the pillow at night, there's this kind of warm feeling you get from knowing you tore at least one person's heart out that day.

I'm a lawyer.

I think you've had enough.


There's never enough.

The big question I have is, did they count their time in bed together as billable hours?

Sure. At Grazier's rates.

Maggie's the associate. I assume she ends up doing all the work.

Especially the oral arguments.

What about oral arguments?


Um, it's just a case we heard about.

Drilling rights.

Maggie, Maggie, you didn't go home last night, did you?

It's a month before trial.

The list of people that worked on the Meridian, wasn't there a Pavel on it?

Yeah. He was one of the research guys.


Nah, it's just a weird thing in Getchell's file... commendation letter to Getchell from, uh...

Flannery, who was the CEO back then.

Blah, blah, blah. Usual hype.

Then it says, "Please accept my gratitude and thanks for keeping Pavel and the Meridian issue in the family."

And it's signed at the beginning of the 1985 model year.



What issue?

It could be something.

I want to talk to him.

Thank you.

♪ You can tell the truth ♪

♪ You can tell a lie ♪

♪ You can try to run ♪

♪ From what you feel inside ♪

♪ Tell yourself, tell yourself ♪

♪ You don't need him ♪

♪ Then you might believe it ♪

♪ But don't be misleaded ♪

♪ You might think it will be ♪

♪ that way ♪

♪ Ay yay ay yay

♪ Ay, yeah ♪

♪ But you know ♪

♪ you can't fight free ♪

♪ You can run ♪

♪ but you can't run away ♪

♪ Yeah, that's what you do ♪

♪ No matter what you say ♪

♪ When you can't fight free ♪

You want a rabbit?

They are the best ones.

I even got them toilet trained.

Dr. Pavel.

Yes? I'm Margaret Ward.

My law firm was in contact with you and said I'd be stopping by.

I'd like to talk about some research you did while you were working at Argo on the Meridian.

What Meridian?

A car.

You did extensive research on its electrical system.

It was project 0243.

Zero... I'm no longer good with numbers.

It was a 1985 model, uh, station wagon, and, uh, and you said there were problems with it.

The depth charge.

Excuse me?

That's what I called it. The depth charge.

Herbert, stop flirting with the lady.

Uh, depth charge, sir, it, uh...

You want to know about the circuits.

Yeah, yeah. Ok.

Oh, I saved their ass on that one.

Really? How?

Well, there was this guy, hillbilly...


What's his name.

You mean Getchell? George Getchell?

That's the one. Getchell. That's the name.

He, uh, he was your supervisor for 16 years.

16 years.

Just testing, testing, testing.

Did you know that... What's his name designed that circuit, and I was supposed to test it?

But he said, "Alexander Pavel, leave it alone."

"We've already tooled up for it on the assembly line.

The circuit is ok."

That's what he said.

But I am a scientist.

I test it anyway on my own.

You see, I like to mix things.

I like to see how things combine.

But the circuit was ok.

Until I started hitting the carb and the left turn signal was flashing.

And then pow.

Depth charge.

It blew up?

It blew up.

The Meridian...Blew up?


You see, where there's an impact of metal on metal...


In this area, the devices are maybe 50, 75 centimeters apart.


If there's an arc in the flow of the circuit, just as it's penetrating the electrical fuel pump, then the gas tank will blow up.

It's just a...

Simple chain reaction.

So what you're saying is that if the car is hit from the rear when the left turn signal is functioning, it just might blow up.


Well, if you are really interested in this, why don't you read my report?

And let's have coffee.

The report, um...

When you filed this report, did you give a copy to Getchell?

To the company.

May I see another copy?

No. The company has it.

The company has everything. Yep.


My notes.

You do have notes?

Of course.

May I see those, please?



If you want my notes, you need to go to Iron Mountain.


Thank you.

Miller's left the office.

You want me to try him at home?


You know, I think I should have died the day Nixon resigned.

Look at this.

See? Look.

See this?

This guy right here.

How about I make you some dinner at my place?


Thank you, but, um...

I'm really not very hungry.

So, um... Anyway, listen.

I think I found something interesting a little while ago.

What's that?

A commendation letter from Flannery to Getchell.

You remember an Argo research guy, Alexander Pavel?

Look at this.

Thank God.

I don't know.

Maggie, we're talking about Argo Motors.

They have guys who research everything.

A glitch like this that takes three or four things to happen simultaneously could slip by.

I get Getchell to come clean, we settle quietly out of court, and Argo Motors avoids a public scandal.

Maybe. Maybe.

Then again, maybe Pavel is a nut bar.


Look, I grant you, these days the guy is a couple of sandwiches short of a picnic, but somebody was home when that report was made.

Mr. Getchell is returning your call.

It's our good buddy from Argo.

Dr. Getchell.

Ms. Ward, how are you?

Fine, sir.

How would you like to discuss Alexander Pavel?

Alexander Pavel is a senile old fool.

You didn't take his advice on the blinker circuit?

I decided his test results were inconclusive and communicated that fact to Mr. Flannery, the CEO at the time.

People were blown up, sir.

We changed that light in the next model year.

I suggest you get yourself an attorney.

I've already talked to one.

It was right at the time the report came out.

He said we had nothing to worry about.

What idiot told you that?

Why, if I'm not mistaken, he's your boss... Michael Grazier.

Ms. Ward?

Are you there?

What? What did he say?


Mag... it was a rough time. I, uh...

I was buried, working on 50 things at once.

It got lost in the shuffle.

You gave advice on something you hadn't reviewed.

I mistook it for another report.

Then why didn't you tell somebody?

Well, Quinn had just made me liaison with Argo's in-house counsel.

That was a huge plum.

If I did it well, they were going to give me all of Argo's litigation.

Not a good time to appear sloppy.

Now what?

We have to lose it.

I am not going to be a party to destroying evidence.

Maggie, Argo paid this firm over $8 million in fees last year.

Do you really want to jeopardize that?

We'd be hurting ourselves and the client.

That would compound the mistake.

Michael, people were killed!

Yes, I know that.

It was a bad mistake, but it's done, over.

We have to move on.

I don't know.


What don't you know?

People make mistakes.

Mea culpa.

But they don't want to trash their lives.

Guilty as charged.

Sometimes you have to learn the hard way.

You're not the only one that doesn't sleep at night.

Ok. Ok, tell me you don't make mistakes yourself.


Oh, Maggie. Come on, please.

If you have any feelings for me, please...

Think about this for a while, huh?

Hey, come on.

Oh, Michael. No.


You didn't give me this case to help my career.

You wanted to cover your ass.

You figured if this ever came up, who better to keep your little secret than someone you're sleeping with!

You asked me for this case!

You threw the bait in the water and waited for me to snap it up.

Maybe this isn't clear. If I go down, so do you.

I haven't done anything wrong.

But you're about to.

You're going to break rule number one... don't fuck your friends.

You turn on me, every lawyer here's going to turn on you.

You'll be on the bricks faster than you can dream of.

You'll be lucky to get hired as a messenger.

I guess that's a risk I have to take.

Look around you, Maggie.

I'm all you've got...


Now, you do this...

You are all alone.

Frederic, the way I see things...

The way you see things is what's gotten us in this position.

My father wants all the information on Pavel.

We hand this over, we lose Argo and the case.

And if we don't give them full disclosure and we get caught, we lose the confidence of every other client we have.

You're jeopardizing the biggest corporate play this firm has ever been involved with.

We're down to the wire here.

We cannot let this become even more of a disaster.

What do you want to do?

How long did Pavel work for Argo?

32 years.

You have to figure...

An awful lot of paper would build up over that time.


So we bury it.

We send them everything... every letter, every phone message, every scrap of paper. Anything we can find.

We'll send them the goddamn Library of Congress.

They'll pull the files from the year the research was done.

Things get misfiled.

You can't do that.

We can inventory them any way we want to, come up with some arcane structure...bury it.

Bottom line... it is within the letter of the law.

It'll work.

It had better, Michael. It had better.

Now, both of you, this matter is quarantined.

No one outside this room is to hear about it.

There's still the matter of Miss Ward.

What does that mean?


I think it's obvious there are serious questions regarding her loyalty to this case.

I consider her an important and extremely loyal member of this team, Michael.

Are you going to have a problem with that?



Let me see that, please.

There it is. Page 23, third from the bottom.

I transposed the numbers, put it in project 2340.

Plausible deniability.

Congratulations. They'll never find it.

That is the idea.

Ah, the glamour of law.

Justice by avalanche.

Maggie, you're just defending your client.

What about the victims?

Well, they should have had a better lawyer.

This entire box is from 1963.

This is a joke.

All of my labels are falling off.

Let's just keep digging.

Maybe we'll find what we're looking for.

Hey, what's going on?

We lose our lease?

No. This is a father's day gift courtesy of Quinn, Califan & Lunt.

What's so funny?

Oh, don't you get it?

We asked for one man's files, she sends us a paper blizzard.

She's hiding something.


I ever tell you you're a terrific lawyer?


I lied.

Find this guy Pavel. You know, the bunny man?

I want to talk to him.

Because the testing methodology was state-of-the-art at the time, that's what we went by.

Ok, George. We're through for today.

You're still talking a little above the jury, not that that would be difficult.

Just keep it simple.

Wish to hell I'd never seen that damn report.

That makes two of us.

May I ask a question, please?


Why didn't you just change the blinker circuit?

It's just a question.

I told Flannery about the problem a month or so before he died.

He called in his head bean counter.

What's a bean counter?

Risk management expert. Right, George?


Flannery asks him how much it would cost to retrofit... you mean recall?

Yeah. You got it.

To retrofit 175,000 units.

You multiply that times $300 a car, give or take.

You're looking at right around $50 million.

So the risk guy, he crunches the numbers some more, and he figures out you have a fireball collision about every 3,000 cars.

That's 158 explosions.

Which is almost exactly as many plaintiffs as there are.

These guys know their numbers.

So you multiply that times $200,000 per lawsuit.

That's assuming everybody sues and wins.

30 million Max.

It's cheaper to deal with the lawsuits than it is to fix the blinker.

It's what the bean counters call a simple actuarial analysis.



Ms. Ward? What an honor.

You've come to admire your handiwork, I see.

Is he here?

He's gone.

This wasn't my idea.

I'm sorry.

I'm glad to hear that.


You guys got anything stronger than herb tea to drink around here?


That bad?

Ha ha!

I'm sorry. Deborah usually does this kind of thing.

Oh, you mean she has another job?

Maggie, she's married.

That never stopped him before, Nick.

She's married to a woman named Cindy.


Really. He doesn't play around anymore.

Or maybe you hadn't noticed?

Nope. Maybe I didn't care.

Of course you care. The man owns you.

I swear he does.

Everything you are, everything you do is based on driving him crazy.

Well, thank you, Dr. Freud.

Like it takes a real genius to spot it?

Jesus, Maggie. If he stands up, you sit down.

If he turns right, you turn left, even if you don't want to.

Your biggest aspiration is to be his mirror image, exactly the opposite of what he is.

The problem is you don't know what he is.

That makes being you impossible.

You give him too much credit, Nick, but I guess you always have.

And what the hell have you done?


You're probably going to beat him, Maggie.

We both know that.

You got the staff and the money to grind us into the ground.

But even if he loses...

He'll know he went down on the right side.

You'll have your big success, your partnership...

And what else?

I got work to do.


Oh, no.

Oh, no!

Of course, he denied everything.

You mean there's not one single copy left?


Well, then, who's to say the notes ever existed?


Good. Good dog.

Go get the ball.

It won't work, Mr. Quinn.

I can still testify.

I can tell them the notes existed.

What then?

Your testimony will be vitiated by Michael, who has an impeccable record and loyal friends in the legal community, and he will have destroyed a very promising career.

I'd hate to see that happen.

What about Pavel?

My father will find him, call him as a witness, and he'll blow the cover.

Oh, I don't think so.

We can neutralize him.

How? You.


I watched your deposition of Mr. Kellen.

You discredited him while making it seem like he was doing it to himself. That takes talent.

And as you mentioned, the good doctor's a far more impeachable witness.

You shouldn't have any problem with him.

The jury accepts this kind of thing much better if a woman does it.

But even if it's not, you can be certain we will have the doctor dispatched by someone.

It's going to happen.

This is really the way you want it?

That's the way it is.

Bottom line...

Michael Grazier has put us in an extraordinarily difficult position.

When it's over, he's going to pay for it.

But that needn't concern you.

You're going to be far too busy...

As the youngest partner in the history of this firm.




Margaret, are you here?

Yeah. Yeah, I am.

Hey. Nick said you came by the office the other night.


I guess we just missed each other.

How did you get in?

I used your mother's key.

I tried calling you, but your phone's been disconnected.

Yeah. Come on in.

I didn't want to use it, but, uh, well, I...

I got worried.

I thought something had happened to you.

Your mom was mad at me when she died, and I...

Don't worry. I'm not going out any windows.

I just wanted to say that I was sorry, and I'm wrong.

I was dead wrong.

I...I got real defensive, and I...Started...

I was acting like a clown, you know?

I was bullying people, you.

Dad, you don't have to do this.

Wait. I'm not finished yet.

I, um...

I guess I'm finished.

Would you sit down?


Oh, you can just toss that.


God, I wish mom were here.

Wish I could call her and talk to her.

Yet I know exactly what she'd tell me.

And I was going to call you.

I was.

I wanted to, but I didn't know how.

I'm so used to being angry with you that anything else just didn't feel right.

It felt kind of awkward, you know?

I'm sorry. I've spent my whole life being angry with you.

I mean, it's been... it's been a constructive anger.

I've gotten a lot done somehow.

You were also my scapegoat.

If anything went wrong, I blamed you.

Anything. Anything. I could fail a test, and somehow it was your fault.

Now I look at things as they are, and I realize...

I need a new approach.

And I don't have the slightest idea where to begin.

I don't know.

I get up in the morning, and I pray to God that I'll get through the day without somebody catching on.

In between, it's just all smoke and mirrors.

I always thought I was doing the right thing, but maybe I was wrong.

I don't know.

I think that's the first time I ever heard you say that.

Guess I should work on that, shouldn't I?

Come in.


These are for you.


Nothing terribly important.

Interrogatories, depos, summaries, witness lists.

Just leave it.

Michael, you were right.

I would make a lousy messenger.

I'm listening.

I saw my father last night.

We talked about a lot of things, even got some of them straightened out.

And afterwards I did some thinking, and I realized...

Well, I realized it had been a long time since I'd done any thinking.

It felt good.

Somebody once told me an emotional lawyer is a bad lawyer.

I've been a pretty bad lawyer lately.

No argument.

I've come very close to blowing everything around here for everyone, including myself.

So... What do you say?

You forgive me, I'll forgive you.

Or I'll forgive you, you forgive me.


Tell me what you know about Pavel.

He doesn't have a chance.


Dr. Pavel, let's talk about the Meridian blinker circuit.

In your capacity as research scientist at Argo, did you have occasion to test it?

Yes, sir, I did.

Did you have problems with it?

Did we have problems?

That circuit is garbage.

It blew up the gas tank.

I said so in the report to Mr. Getchell.

But it was his big invention.

Big deal.

Mr. Getchell.

So I just gave him the report.

After that, I don't know.

But you were certain then this shouldn't have gone into that car?


Calls for conclusion.

Your honor, his job at Argo was reaching conclusions just like this.


Should this circuit have gone into the Meridian?


If you want to kill people.

No further questions.

Your witness, Miss Ward.

Your honor, does plaintiff's counsel intend to introduce this alleged report?

Mr. Ward?


So the only evidence of its existence is testimony such as that of Dr. Pavel?

Yes. Just testimony.

Dr. Pavel, um...

In all of your years at Argo, you must have worked on hundreds of projects, correct?

Oh, yes. Hundreds.

Would you tell me about your favorites?


Dr. Pavel's former research has no relevance here, your honor.


Please answer, doctor.

There were lots.

The Atlas.

That was a terrific car.



Uh, no. The Python, doctor.

Did it have circuit problems?

No. But I worked on different motorcycles, and maybe some of the others... perhaps like the A-100.

Remember a defective gasket on that?



What about CA-3200?

According to reports, an axle had to be replaced.

Yes, yes.

That was a wonderful motorcycle.

That was the first time we put that linkage in a two-wheel vehicle.

The CA-3200 was a pickup truck, doctor.


She's testifying for the witness.



What is 2762396?

Objection! This is not a math test.

It goes to the quality of his memory.

Overruled. I think without the report that the doctor's memory is relevant.

I'm going to allow this line of questioning.

I'm not so good with numbers anymore.

Could you please repeat it?



Isn't that your phone number, sir?

Objection! Overruled.

How about 94536?


Overruled. Sit down, Mr. Ward.

Your zip code, sir.


I don't know.

Isn't that your birthday, sir?

And 0243... objection. Your honor... all right, Miss Ward.

Isn't that the Meridian, doctor?

Miss Ward! Your honor.

No further questions.

I move to have that last remark struck.

Miss Ward, I don't want to warn you again.


You may step down, doctor.

I'm sorry. That's all right.

Not good with numbers anymore.

That's not a crime, is it?

I still remember the most important things.

Next witness, Mr. Ward.

Your honor, plaintiff calls Michael Grazier.

What? Objection, your honor.

This is completely unsupportable!

I need him on the witness stand.

It's outrageous! Hold on!

I want you all in my chambers now.


I need him on the stand.

No, Jed, you listen to me.

Turn some other courtroom into a circus with your half-assed stunts!

If it's a stunt, if I'm a joke, let me prove it!

The jury decided that one long ago.

Hey, wait a minute.

Hold it! All right. Just sit down.

Look, people, listening to you spit on each other is entertaining as hell, but I got to move this thing along.

Jed, what the hell are you doing?

I have to have him testify to show Argo's state of mind when they built that car.

He can't put me on the stand without prior notice.

That's within your discretion, judge.

He's just trying to save face in front of his clients.

There's no offer of proof here.

You're asking for a real leap of faith.

Give me one reason why I should.

The worst that can happen is I'm wrong.

If I am, you'll make it ugly for me.

I'd think the thought of that would be irresistible to you.

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

I do.

Be seated and state your name.

Michael McKinley Grazier.

As I understand it, you're in charge of legal affairs for Argo in the firm of Quinn, Califan & Lunt.

I'm the chief legal liaison between Argo and my firm.

If somebody asked for a safety report on Argo, someone like me, for instance...

You would get it, and you would turn it over to them, right?


All of them.

Every single one.

Mr. Ward, you have all the safety research in existence.

You mean there might be a report that is no longer in existence?

There might be eight-legged mice on Venus.

That's another question I can't answer.

Easy for you to make jokes.

You have both your arms and legs.

Objection! Argumentative.


Opposing counsel has not suggested anything that justifies keeping Mr. Grazier on the stand.

Isn't it time to move on?

I'm leaning in that direction myself.

Please get to the point.

Mr. Grazier, do you know of the existence now or in the past of a report calling into question the safety of the Meridian model?

I can't testify on some hypothetical report.

It wasn't hypothetical to Dr. Pavel.

He wrote it.

So he says.

So he says under oath.

Do you understand, sir, that you're testifying under oath?

Yes, I do.

And committing perjury is grounds for disbarment?

Mr. Ward, I find that objectionable.

I do know the law.

So do I, and you're using semantics when all you have to do is answer a simple question!

Did you see that report?

Yes or no! Objection.

The question has been answered.

It has not been answered!


Yes or no? You're being evasive.

I'm not being evasive.

I'm answering the questions you're asking.

The hell you are, Mr. Grazier!

You and I know that. The jury knows that.

I think everybody in this courtroom knows it.

Mr. Ward, sit down!

The son of a bitch is really getting to the jury.

No. He's only bluffing.

He did the same thing in Rangel vs. Kincaid.

I can handle this.

Then do it.

Miss Ward?

Uh, Mr. Grazier, Mr. Ward has been thundering on for quite some time now, and it occurs to me that with all his fire and brimstone, he might have just confused the issue, so I'll ask you a question straight out.

Have you any knowledge of a report calling any version of the Meridian unsafe?


Have you ever seen one, read one, or heard of one?


No further questions.

Members of the jury, what you've just seen here is obviously unusual.

Mr. Grazier's presence on the stand should in no way influence you to find for or against his client.

You may step down.

Your honor, plaintiff calls Anthony Patricola.

Mr. Patricola.

Who the hell is Anthony Patricola?

I've never heard of him.

His name was there.

You must have missed it.

I'm sure I gave it you along with a bunch of other papers.

You got the goddamn Library of Congress.

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

I do.

Be seated and state your name.

Anthony Patricola.

What do you do for a living, Mr. Patricola?

I am the Chief Accountant in the Risk Management Division of Argo Motors.


Are you what is affectionately called a bean counter?

Yes, sir.

Is it fair to say you're the head bean counter?

Yes, sir.

So you see a lot of reports in your job, and you take these reports...


...make a simple actuarial analysis.

You gave him Patricola.

...if we understand what that means.

I'm sorry, Michael.

I guess it's in the genes.

You have a defective part.

You make a decision on whether to replace that part in a recall or suffer a lawsuit, whichever's cheaper.

Is that correct?

I don't make the decisions.

I just analyze the reports.

The reports, yes. Let's talk about them.

Do you recall one questioning the safety of the 1985 Meridian model?


Your honor.

Mr. Quinn.

May we approach?

Defense requests a conference.

And, your honor?


Lead counsel only.

All right, Fred, what's on your mind?

Your honor, there's been an appalling conspiracy here, one that has compromised our entire case. I demand a mistrial.


Let's hear it.

Well, Miss Ward's turned over privileged information to her father, and he's accepted it in flagrant violation of every principle of legal ethics I know.

Which one would that be?

Enough, Jed. This isn't a joke.

The joke is, your honor, you're being asked to consider legal ethics argument from the boss of Michael Grazier.

Michael Grazier no longer works for Quinn-Califan.

He's a closed issue.

Ballast off a sinking ship.

I'll have you referred to the State Bar for disciplinary action.

Please do it!

I'll have your daughter thrown out of the profession.

Your honor, Miss Ward discovered that Michael Grazier had deliberately destroyed Dr. Pavel's report.

I'm entitled to that evidence.

That proved my case.

She couldn't give it to me, so she told me about a corroborating witness.

That's ethical, legal, but imperative.

By the way, you so much as look in my daughter's direction, they won't be able to identify you with dental records.

Fred, if what he says is true, your firm has violated at least three sections of the State Bar Act.

Listen, in the best interest of your client... but, your honor... and what remains of your reputation, I think you ought to end this thing as quickly and as quietly as possible.

Ok. Ok.

I'm going to have to clear this with Argo, but, um...

What's it going to take?

I was looking forward to trying this.

30 million.

I've got a real good chance of winning.

Oh, come on, Jed.

Some of your clients weren't even hurt that bad.

$50 million.

Oh, damn it, Jed! What's it going to take?

Bottom line, Fred?

You can't count that high.

Alexander Pavel.

Here's to Mr. Minh's fishing fleet.

Here's to $100 million.

P.T. Barnum...

Ohh! Father of us all.


Jed. Maggie?



So, how'd it go?

It worked. Good. Good.

Hi, darling.

Thank you, Maggie.


Counselor. I can still call you that, right?

Yeah. Yeah.

You did good, Maggie.


Just...You two together.

I was beginning to think maybe parenthood wasn't such a good idea, but you give me hope.


Thank you.

Hey, you did it.


Thank you.

You know, I never told you, but when your mom told me that she was pregnant and we were having you, I went out, and I got really drunk, and I prayed fervently there had been a mistake at the lab.

Even those days, you didn't listen to me.

And then you were in my arms, and I...

I looked down at this little...

Crossed eyes and...

And I knew you were going to break my heart.

You did.

But you give me back your mom in your hands, in your face... dad.


I love you, too.

I promised mom once...

That we would dance.

♪ If you don't know me by now ♪

♪ You will never, never, never know me ♪

♪ Ooh ooh-ooh ooh ooh ♪

♪ All the things ♪

♪ That we've been through ♪

♪ You should understand me ♪

♪ Like I understand you ♪

♪ Now, girl, I know the difference ♪

♪ Between right and wrong ♪

♪ I ain't gonna do nothin' ♪

♪ to break up my happy home ♪

♪ Oh, don't get so excited ♪

♪ When I come home a little late at night ♪

♪ 'Cause we only act like children ♪

♪ When we argue, fuss, and fight ♪

♪ If you don't know me by now ♪

♪ If you don't know me ♪

♪ You will never, never, never know me ♪

♪ No, you won't ♪

♪ Ooh ooh-ooh ooh ooh ♪

♪ If you don't know me by now ♪

♪ You will never, never, never know me ♪

♪ Ooh ooh-ooh ooh ooh ♪

♪ We all got ♪

♪ Our own funny moods ♪

♪ I've got mine and ♪

♪ woman, you got yours, too ♪

♪ Just trust in me ♪

♪ like I trust in you ♪

♪ As long as we've been together ♪

♪ it should be so easy to do ♪

♪ Just get yourself together ♪

♪ or we might as well say goodbye ♪

♪ What good is a love affair ♪

♪ when you can't see eye to eye, oh ♪

♪ If you don't know me by now ♪

♪ If you don't know me ♪

♪ You will never, never, never know me ♪

♪ No, you won't ♪

♪ Ooh ooh-ooh ooh ooh ♪

♪ If you don't know me by now ♪

♪ You will never, never, never know me ♪

♪ Ooh ooh-ooh ooh ooh ♪

♪ If you don't know me by now ♪

♪ You will never, never, never know me... ♪