The Practice
Judge Knot

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Judge Thyself

Greg walks right into her office and closes the door. "Ms. Gamble. How well do you know Judge Fleming?" Well, she's appeared in front of him a number of times, and when he was a D.A. they all sat in on his trials; in fact, she was at a dinner last night in his honour. Mitchell cuts her off: "We have reason to believe Judge Fleming has been accepting bribes." The Good Man Gone Bad March props up Helen's jaw. "Charles Fleming?" Greg nods. Helen says, "Come on." Greg takes the cue and sits down so that he's staring at her bony jaw, which is still on the floor. He says, "In this case that you're handling, he might eventually admit the evidence to compensate for his recent spate of suppressions and acquittals, and to check any attention that he might have already drawn to himself." Helen sits her own self down. Blah valid case basis for the evidence, blah admit it blah. Mitchell doesn't think that's going to happen, despite Helen's persuasive arguing skills. In fact, Greg tells her that by reserving his ruling, the judge telling the defense attorney that he's open for a bribe. Apparently, this has been the judge's M.O. in over a dozen cases that they've reviewed. Helen: "It never occurred to you that he might just prefer not to make impulsive decisions from the bench?" Greg looks at her sideways. It's really strange, actually. Almost as if the actor thinks that he looks better from that particular angle. It hurts my neck just looking at it. Mitchell continues, "We have a witness. A federal prisoner looking to reduce his sentence on a robbery conviction." Helen snarks, "Well. That's reliable." Blah previous case, blah his lawyer, blah paid five grand, blah acquittal blah. And that's not the only time. Apparently, the Department of Justice has been looking at the judge for over eight months. Helen wants to know if they've approached any of the attorneys in the other cases, or spoken to "anyone upstairs." Mitchell insists that they didn't want to tip off the judge. They prefer, in these matters, to handle the case "through a sting." Yes, that's right, he actually said "sting." You set 'em up and get 'em. You know, I'm sure the FBI does enough undercover work. But terminology like "sting," well, it's just for the benefit of bad dramatic television. Mitchell explains that they create a case and then assign an attorney they believe might be involved. Helen says, "Is that what this is? You want me to prosecute a fabricated case?" Greg: "Actually, Ms. Gamble. You already are." That's right, say it with me: "Of course she is!"

The Firm. Helen, Greg Mitchell, and Bobby's client Cassell are sitting in the conference room. As Bobby walks through the door, they all stand up. Rod glances around the room, and then says, "Cassell. What are you doing here?" Helen, trying to calm the storm before it starts, says, "It's okay!" but you know Rod, always tossing those emotions around like a salad: "Like hell it is." Ah, such a formidable Emperor. He moans, "You can't meet with my client without my approval." And just before the fountain of tears starts, the Headmaster of Operation Sting walks forward and introduces himself. That stops Rod dead in his tracks. He just stares at Mitchell like he's an alien with more than three heads. Mid-stare, Mitchell introduces Cassell as "Agent Donegan." Cassell/Donegan says, "How you doin', Mr. Donnell." Bobby is exasperated: "You're a Fed?" He almost spits out the last word. Helen pipes up. Apparently, her "idiot cop" is also a Fed, and she had no idea. Bobby yells, "What is this?" Mitchell tells Rod that his office believes Judge Fleming is "on the take." Which is why they are creating a "sting." Mitchell explains that they've been observing the judge for some time, and they plan to "bring him down" with the trial Bobby is currently defending. The Emperor does not take kindly to those acting sneakier than he; we know this because he screams, "Get out of my office!" Not "How can I help." Or "I had no idea." Just Get The Freaking Hell Out. So typical, so very "emotional," so very Rod. Mitchell: "You have a very impressive track record in front of Judge Fleming." Bobby spits, "You think I'm somehow in on this?" Greg is a smooth-talker: "Well. We were suspicious but based on your interactions with Agent Donegan, we're no longer targeting you -- you're off the hook! It's official!" Mitchell smiles like he's the devil that just acquired your soul. Bobby turns to Helen and barks, "Are you involved in this?" She's stunned: "What? Bobby? No!" Translation: "I'm hot for you this episode, so, of course not!" Apparently, she tried to shut the whole thing down, but now she thinks that Rod should at least listen to what the guy has to say.

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The Practice




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