The Verdict (1983) Movie Script

(pinball machine)
Mrs Dee, this is Frank Galvin.
He's a good friend of ours,
and a very fine attorney.
Well, it's just a shame what happened
to your husband, Mrs Dee. He was a...
I knew him vaguely at the Lodge.
He was a wonderful man.
It was a crime what happened to him.
It was just a crime.
If I can help, uh... in any way...
...don't hesitate to call.
(sniffs) Well...
If this can help in any way...
What is that?
Oh. Um... It's my card.
What the hell is that?
I was a friend of your father's.
You never knew my father.
Get out of here.
- Who the hell do you think you are?
- Excuse me, Mrs Cleary.
Who the hell do you think you are?!
- Hey, you know me.
- I don't want you coming back here ever!
- You understand?
- I was just talking to the guy!
Those are bereaved people in there!
(Irish accent) So Pat says...
He says "They got this new bar...
...and you go inside, and for half a buck
you get a beer, a free lunch...
...they take you in the back room
and get you laid."
- Another one, Frankie?
- Yeah. Everyone.
Mike says "Now wait a minute,
wait a minute, wait a minute."
"There's a new bar, and you go inside,
and for half a buck...
...they give you a beer,
a free lunch and they get you laid?"
Pat says "That's right."
"Have you ever been in the bar?"
He said "No, but me sister has."
Oh, yeah. Everyone.
Frankie! Frankie, you all right?
Oh, Frankie.
Come on, get up.
Get up, Frank! Oh, Christ.
What the hell's goin' on here?
What have you been doin'?
I got a call from Sally Doneghy.
Who's that?
You're in court in ten days,
and you haven't even met with them yet.
Sally Doneghy? Who is that?
One lousy letter in 18 months.
I try to throw a case your way, and look at ya.
...I got these people to trust you.
They're gonna be here at noon,
by the way, and look at this shit.
I got this expert doctor to talk to ya.
Remember his name? Dr Gruber?
It's been 18 months, and I've been
doin' all the fuckin' legwork.
You're due in court
in less than two weeks...
...and I bet you haven't even
looked at the goddamn file.
What are you, my nanny?
Now listen to me, Frankie.
Frankie, listen to me,
cos I'm done fuckin' with ya.
I can't take this any more.
I mean, you're not gonna change.
Look around ya.
I mean, what's gonna change?
You think it's gonna be any different
next week, next month?
It's gonna be the same goddamn thing.
Now I got you a good case.
It's a moneymaker.
You do it right, it'll take care of ya.
But I'm through, you understand?
I mean, I can't take this shit any more.
Life's too fuckin' short, Frankie.
I'm gettin' too fuckin' old.
(wheezes and coughs)
Excuse me, sir.
Mrs Doneghy. Hi. Frank Galvin.
- Why didn't you go in?
- It's locked.
I'm sorry.
God, I hope... I hope this didn't put you out.
Let me see here...
Come on in. I'd get you
a cup of coffee, but, uh...
...looks as though my girl went out.
It's not a good case, it's a very good case.
A young, healthy woman goes into a hospital
to deliver her third child, and...
Well, it's just beyond comprehension.
She's given the wrong anaesthetic.
- We love her, Kevin and me.
- I'm sure you do.
But what can we do?
She don't know who's visiting her.
Mm-hm. I know. I went.
- You saw her?
- Oh, yes.
My sister? You know how beautiful she was?
Her, uh... husband left her,
and he took her kids.
They, uh...
...they let you die in there.
They don't care. Nobody cares.
The Patriot Home, the Chronic Care
in Arlington? They'd take her in.
Perpetual care.
$50,000 they want in endowment.
I don't wanna leave her. Kevin, he, uh...
And Father Laughlin,
he said it was God's will.
Well, I understand.
My doctor told me I gotta move out West.
That's when we filed in court.
- We didn't wanna sue.
- Oh, I understand that too.
But Kevin's looking for two years in Tucson.
They called him up
and they said to come out.
He's a good man.
He's only trying to do what's right.
(Frank) Come on in.
This is my husband.
Come on in. Sit down.
I told your wife, I'm sorry we have to meet
out here, but I got a case in superior court.
- The place is full of papers.
- That's all right.
- I was also telling her you got a good case.
- He saw her at Northern Care.
I may get some very important
corroborating testimony from a Dr Gruber.
It'll be a problem getting one doctor to testify
that another doctor's negligent, but...
The archdiocese called and said who was
our attorney, cos the case is coming to trial.
Well... I doubt very much
that the case will ever come to trial.
We told them we didn't want it
to come out this way.
I completely understand.
- See, we just, uh...
- We just can't do it any more.
This is our chance to get away.
I'm gonna see that you get that chance.
How much is this gonna cost?
It's not gonna cost you anything.
It's done on a contingency basis.
Whatever the settlement is, I retain a third.
But that's normal procedure.
You can check around.
His name is Frank Galvin. Boston College,
class of '52, was second in his class.
Editor of the Law Review.
Worked with Mickey Morrissey 12 years.
Criminal law and personal injury.
Married Patricia Harrington, 1960.
Joined Stearns, Harrington, Pierce,
1960, as a full partner.
Resigned the firm, 1969,
over the Lillibridge case.
- He was accused of jury-tampering.
- Accused, not indicted. He resigned the firm.
Divorced, 1970. Galvin worked with Michael
Morrissey until Morrissey retired in '78.
Since then he's been on his own. Four cases
in three years. He's lost them all. He drinks.
Four cases in three years.
The man's an ambulance chaser.
- Tell me about this case.
- This is a nuisance suit.
He's asking for $600,000
and betting we don't want to go to court.
- No, we don't want this case in court.
- Neither does he. That's where he loses.
He's scared to death to go to court.
We only have to call his bluff.
I want to settle and be done with it. I don't
want the archdiocese exposed, Mr Alito.
No. Absolutely.
And we're going to see that it's not.
So, what I want to do is stop it here.
I'm going to make him an offer myself.
I want it to come from me.
All right. But let's keep the price down.
I called Ed Concannon. He recommends we
continue to respond as if we're going to trial.
If we were to go to trial,
would we win the case?
Well, of course it's always dangerous.
I know that answer. Would we win?
Dr Gruber?
Yes. Galvin, right?
Well... well, I sure appreciate
a man as busy as you are...
It's perfectly all right. Look, I'm kinda rushed.
Do you mind if we walk while we talk?
I read the hospital report on your client.
Deborah Ann Kaye? They called. They want
to settle. It's just a matter of jacking 'em up.
- Who called?
- The archdiocese. They wanna settle.
- And you're gonna do that?
- Yeah.
- You're gonna settle out of court?
- Well, yeah.
In the interests of her family.
And you, Doctor.
You can never tell what a jury's gonna do.
St Catherine's is a renowned institution.
- Her doctors are...
- Her doctors killed her.
- I'm sorry?
- Her doctors killed her.
They gave her the wrong anaesthetic,
and she drowned in her own vomit.
- The doctors murdered her.
- Do you know who her doctors were?
Yeah, I read the file. Marx and Towler.
I know who they were.
- Two of the most respected...
- I thought you wanted to do something.
I've no interest in the woman's estate.
No offence, we all know
where the money is going.
I have an interest in hospitals. I don't want
those bozos in the same profession as me.
They gave her the wrong anaesthetic, they
killed her and her kid, and you caught 'em.
You want a cigar?
No, thank you. The hospital's
owned by the archdiocese...
What are they gonna do?
Not invite me to their birthday party?
Look, I'm sorry I'm rushing,
but I have to be in Cambridge.
When can we get together again
and get a deposition?
OK. We'll meet here Tuesday night.
I gotta go. Are you goin' my way?
OK. But we're gonna have to
keep you under wraps, you know.
- You can't discuss the case.
- I understand.
You're gonna meet me here on Tuesday.
We'll go over your testimony.
Right. Seven o'clock in the locker rooms.
- I got it.
- Thank you.
- Thank you.
- My pleasure.
Why are you doin' this?
To do the right thing.
Isn't that why you're doing it?
Sorry. Nobody ever stood here since 1952.
Give me a Bushmill. Who are the civilians?
Lousy weather, good for business,
Frankie. There you go.
- Would you like a drink?
- I'd like an apartment.
Would you settle for a drink?
No. Thank you.
I had a good day today.
Let me at 'em.
- To ya.
- To ya. To ya.
(Frank) I cut myself so badly shaving
this morning, my eyes almost cleared up.
- Bad?
- (laughter)
I'm glad you had a good day.
- Good night.
- Thank you.
Well, well, well, well, well. Hey.
It's a long road that has no turning.
That's for sure, Frankie.
Yeah. I'm going to the archdiocese tomorrow.
At two.
Yes, I know you don't. I know you don't.
You're just following your own life.
You have a life to live too.
You have to go out West.
You're not gonna do yourself good here.
I'm sure she knows that you care for her.
- Well...
- (Mrs Doneghy) She's so unprotected.
Finally, we're none of us protected.
I mean, we just... have to go on... help where we can and go on...
She's stuck there.
Maybe she knows when we're there.
- Will she think we've abandoned her?
- Yes, I know that you love her.
I know that you're acting out of love.
Uh-huh. As soon as I know.
- My husband sends his respects.
- Well, you give him my respects, too.
- Thank you. Sorry to call so late.
- Not at all. No, not at all.
Good night.
- God bless you, Mr Galvin.
- Well, bless you, too.
Good night.
"Jimmy" I said. "You don't go
in your pocket if there's nothing there."
And what did he say?
Sir, you're not allowed to be in here.
You can't be in here.
I'm her attorney.
It's a question of continuing values.
St Catherine's, to do the good
she must do in the community...
...must maintain the position
she holds in the community.
So... we have a question of balance.
On the one hand, our hospital,
its reputation, and so its effectiveness...
...and that of two of its important doctors.
And on the other hand,
the rights of your client.
A young woman in her prime,
deprived of her life, her sight, her family.
It's tragic. It's a tragic accident.
Nothing, of course,
can begin to make that right.
But we must do what we can.
We must do all that we can.
Yes, we must try to make it right.
It's a generous offer, Mr Galvin.
Nothing can begin to make that woman well,
but we could at least try to compensate...
...make a gesture.
How did you settle on the amount?
We thought it was just.
You thought it was just?
Because it struck me, um... neatly three went into
this figure - 210,000.
That means I would keep 70.
That was our insurance company's
Yes, that would be.
Nothing we can do
can make that woman well.
And no one will know the truth.
What is the truth?
That that poor girl put her trust into the...
...the hands of two men who took her life.
She's in a coma.
Her life is gone.
She has no home, no family.
She's tied to a machine.
She has no friends.
And the people who should care for her...
...her doctors...
...and you and me...
...have been bought off to look the other way.
We've been paid to look the other way.
I came here to take your money.
I brought snapshots to show you
so I could get your money.
I can't do it. I can't take it.
Because if I take the money, I'm lost.
I'll just be a...
...ambulance chaser.
I can't do it. I can't take it.
If we may discuss money, Mr Galvin...'s your law practice?
Not too good.
I only got the one client.
I gotta talk to you.
Mickey, come on. Hey, let's go get a drink.
Hymie, sit in for me, will ya?
- Are you out of your mind?
- I need your help.
You need my help?
You need a goddamn keeper.
Are you telling me
you turned down 210 grand? Huh?
What are you, nuts? What are you
gonna do, bring her back to life?
- I'm gonna help her.
- To do what?
To do what, for Christ's sakes?
Help her do what? She's dead!
- They killed her. They're trying to buy it.
- That's the fuckin' point, dummy!
Let them buy it.
No, we let them buy the case.
That's why I took it. Now, look,
you just drop this, you understand?
We'll go up to... up to New Hampshire.
- We'll kill some fuckin' deer.
- Mick. Mick!
You said... No, listen to me!
- You said "If not now, when?"
- I know what I said. But not now, all right?
I'll tell you something else.
I can win this case.
But you won, Frank. You won!
When they give you the money,
that means you won.
Now, look, we... we don't wanna go to court.
Is this... is this getting through to you?
Do you know who the attorney
for the archdiocese is? Ed Concannon.
- He's a good man.
- "He's a good man"?
He's the prince of fucking darkness!
He'll have people testifying
they saw her water-skiing.
- Frank, don't fuck with this case, huh?
- I gotta stand up for that girl.
Frank, I know you're trying
to wipe out some old business.
I understand that. I do. But not now.
- Call the bishop, will you?
- I'm gonna try this case. Will you help me?
I'm gonna need your help, Mick.
Will you help me?
Anybody ever hear
"For want of a shoe, a horse was lost"?
- (laughter)
- Who's going on vacation tomorrow, hm?
Friedman? St Barts, is that right?
Yes, sir.
Send Mrs Friedman a dozen roses
tomorrow morning, please, Sal.
No, wait a minute... Send her a sun lamp.
Friedman, I'm sorry, but you'll have to stay.
There'll be no vacations
until this thing is cleared.
You're all acquainted with this case.
It's been on the calendar for 18 months.
Now I think we have a... definite court date.
February... 19th.
The plaintiff's attorney is Francis P Galvin.
I trust you're all familiar with his record.
We've been expecting him to call us
to negotiate, and as he did not...
...five days before we're
supposed to go to court...
...we made him a rather generous offer,
which he refused.
Five days before trial.
What does that mean? I want to find out.
Acquaint yourselves again
with the depositions.
Don't rely on the fact that
we did it last year. Do it again.
We shall be reviewing it here.
You do it at home.
You each have a full file, so know the deps.
I want you all to be here when we work
with the defendants. When is that, Billy?
- Wednesday evening.
- Uh-huh.
I want an article as soon as possible
in The Globe:
"St Cat's, neighbourhood giant,
serving the community," et cetera.
They've got it in the files.
And I want something in the Herald Monday
morning: "Our gallant doctors." Huh?
Be inventive, hm?
And television. We've gotta have television.
Friedman, since you're still with us...
...why don't you have a word
with your friend at GBH, huh? Hm.
Now, to belabour the obvious
for a moment...
...our clients are the Archdiocese of Boston,
the St Catherine Labour Hospital...
...and Doctors Marx and Towler, two of the
most respected men in their profession.
The thrust of this defence will be to answer... the court, the press,
and the public mind... answer the accusation
of negligence this completely...
...that not only do we win the case,
but win the case so that it is seen...
...that this attack on these men and
this institution... was a rank obscenity.
OK, let's get the cobwebs off. Billy?
Please turn to your page four.
We're gonna review the depositions of
the nurse anaesthetist, the scrub nurse...
...and all those in attendance in the OR
at the time of the operation.
- So, what have we got?
- Well, we've got her sister.
Says Deborah Ann ate a full meal an hour
before she was admitted to the hospital.
And we got the admittance form
says she ate nine hours before.
The sister's testimony's no good.
The jury knows if we win, she gets the cash.
We got my Dr Gruber. He says
she was given the wrong anaesthetic.
And, anyway, she came in
complaining of nausea.
- Well, Gruber's not bad.
- He's Dr Kildare. The jury'll eat him up.
Yeah. But their guy is Towler.
He wrote the book: Methodology
and Practice in Anesthesiology.
Everybody in that operating room signed
a deposition, from the scrub nurse on up:
"All those guys are God.
I saw them walk on water."
They had an obstetric nurse.
Did we get a deposition from her?
Maureen Rooney, aged 49, lives in Arlington.
Still works at the hospital.
Think you could talk to her,
ask why she ain't speakin' up?
- OK. Cases.
- All right.
- Smith versus State of Michigan.
- All right.
Brindisi versus Electric Boat.
Hey, you've got a good memory, Frankie.
I had a good teacher.
- McClean versus, uh, Urban Transport.
- Right.
Jimmy. Couple of Bushmills.
- (coughs)
- Ah!
Do me a favour. I'll buy you a drink tomorrow.
What are you doing tonight?
I found this new bar, see,
and for half a buck you can...
I'm gonna get laid.
All right. I'll be at the office.
Just don't leave your best work in the sheets.
These are on me, Frankie.
Did you find an apartment?
Still looking.
(sighs) I changed my life today.
What did you do?
Changed my room at the hotel.
Why'd you do that?
TV didn't work.
What hotel are you staying at?
And what are you? A cop?
No. I'm a lawyer.
- My ex-husband was a lawyer.
- Nice. Wonderful for you.
Yes, it was, actually.
"It was, actually"?
Well, how come you called it off?
Who says I'm the one that called it off?
Well, a brick house says you divorced him.
I'll put you on your honour.
100 bucks against you have dinner
with me tonight. I'll take your word for it.
Come on. Tell me the truth.
You can't lie to me.
What's your name?
Mine's Frank.
Furthermore, you came back
to see me tonight.
What if it wasn't you
I came back here to see tonight?
Well, you got lucky.
Have you eaten yet? Come on.
My God, you are some beautiful woman.
The weak.
The weak have gotta have
somebody to fight for 'em.
Ain't that the truth?
- Want another drink?
- Yeah.
- Jimmy!
- Yeah?
That's why the court exists.
The court doesn't exist to give them justice.
The court exists to give them
a chance at justice.
Are they gonna get it?
They might.
They might.
See, the jury wants to believe.
I mean, the jury wants to believe.
It is something to see.
I gotta go down there tomorrow
and pick out 12 of 'em.
All of 'em, all their lives, think it's a sham,
it's rigged, you can't fight city hall.
But when they step into that jury box...
...I think you just barely see it in their eyes.
Maybe what?
"Maybe I can do something right."
And... is that what you're going to do?
Is... is that what you're going to do?
That's what I'm gonna try to do.
- Would you like a drink?
- Yeah.
(ice clinking)
- Water? Soda?
- No.
That's all right.
Beat you, you!
- Is that right?
- (Jimmy) Yeah.
Oh, my God.
- I met him at the club the other night.
- Poor guy.
- You're late, Mr Galvin.
- I know. I'm sorry.
- Why is that?
- I, uh... Well, I just got held up.
- Ed Concannon.
- Oh, hi.
Frank Galvin. We've met before.
Well... here. Let's do some business.
They tell me no bargain ever was
completed other than quickly...
...when both parties really care to make a deal.
Have you boys tried to resolve
your difficulties?
Because that certainly would save the
Commonwealth a lot of time and bother.
Well, it's a very complicated case,
Your Honour.
Oh, yeah, I'm sure it is, Frank.
But, uh, let me tell you something.
If we find it so complex, how the hell do
you think you'll make jury understand it?
You see my point?
Now, um... let's talk a minute.
Frank, what would you and your client
take now, this very minute... walk out of here
and let this damn thing drop?
My client can't walk, Your Honour.
I know full well she can't, Frank.
You see the padre on your way out.
He'll punch your ticket. You follow me?
- I'm just trying to help you.
- Your Honour...
...Bishop Brophy and the archdiocese
have offered the plaintiff $210,000.
My doctors didn't want a settlement.
They wanted this cleared up in court.
They want their vindication.
I agree with them.
But for today the offer stands...
...before the... publicity of a trial begins.
For today only. But when I walk out
that door, the offer is withdrawn.
Just so long as
you understand that, Mr Galvin.
Got to be that way.
We're going to try the case.
That's it?
Oh, come on, guys.
Life is too short.
Now, you tell me if you're playing chicken
or you really mean it.
Frank, I don't think I'm talking out of school,
but I just heard someone offer you 200 grand.
Now that's a lot of money.
And if I may say...
you haven't got the best of records.
Things change.
That's true.
Sometimes they change,
and sometimes they don't.
- I remember when you were disbarred...
- I wasn't. They dropped the charges.
It seems to me, a fella's trying to come back,
he'd take this settlement.
Get a record for himself.
I myself would take it and run like a thief.
I'm sure you would.
Well, we have the date set.
Next Thursday.
Well... see you boys in court.
(bailiff) All rise.
Dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb.
- Mr Abraham?
- Abrams.
- Mr Abrams, how are you?
- I'm fine.
Have you ever been a patient
in St Catherine Labour Hospital?
Me?! I'm Jewish.
- Have you ever been a patient in a hospital?
- Yes.
Well, how did they treat you?
I don't know what you mean.
Been a long time, huh?
I'll get it back. Don't worry about me.
- Did you get the obstetric nurse?
- Maureen Rooney?
I went over to the hospital.
She didn't wanna talk to me.
When I get home tonight, I'll go back.
Here. Read this.
- So what?
- "So what"? The best is yet to come.
Check the TV guide. They got
our Dr Towler on GBH this Friday.
- The Healing Hand. The expert speaks.
- Still gotta take it to a jury.
- All I'm sayin' is, they're getting some help.
- What do you want me to do?
Concannon's gonna try the case his way,
I'm gonna try it my way.
You want me to go "wee wee wee" all the way
home just cos of stories in newspapers?
I'm gonna win this case.
John, give me a cigar, huh?
- What day is it?
- Tuesday.
I gotta go and meet Gruber.
- What's a box of your best cigars?
- Macanudos.
Then I gotta meet somebody at O'Rourke's.
Could you meet her for me? Laura Fischer.
- 33 bucks.
- Put it on the tab.
- The one from the other night?
- Yeah.
See you at the office tomorrow.
We're doin' fine.
Hey, Galvin!
You said that you were gonna call me up.
- You didn't call me up.
- Oh.
Well, who... who do you think you are?
Who do you think you are, huh?
They tell me I can have you disbarred.
Do you know what you did?
- I said, do you know what you did?!
- Take it easy!
It's OK. It's OK.
You ruined my life, mister. Me and my wife.
And now I'm gonna ruin yours.
You don't have to go out there
to see that girl.
We've been going for four years now.
See, four years... my wife
has been crying herself to sleep.
What they did to her sister.
Look, I swear to ya, I wouldn't turn down
the offer if I thought I couldn't win the case.
What do you mean, what you thought?
I am a working man,
trying to get my wife outta town.
Now, we hired you, and I am paying you.
And I gotta find out from the other side
that they offered $200,000?!
I'm gonna win this.
I'm going to the jury with a solid case,
I got a famous doctor for an expert witness.
You're gonna get, what,
five, six times what you...
You guys...
You guys, you're all the same.
The doctors at the hospital, you,
it's always "What I'm gonna do for ya."
And then you screw up and it's, uh...
..."We did the best that we could.
I'm dreadfully sorry."
And people like us live with your mistakes
the rest of our lives.
- They took back the offer.
- They?
- Uh, Dr Gruber.
- Dr Gruber isn't here today, sir.
- No, David... David Gruber.
- Well, he's not on the chart.
He hasn't been here all day.
- Phone book?
- Yup. Right here.
(presses intercom)
(rings doorbell)
- What is it?
- Dr Gruber.
Dr Gruber's not in.
I had an... an appointment at his office.
Uh, I... I must have got it wrong.
I mean, we had a meeting.
- He's not in, sir.
- Could you call him?
You can't reach him, sir. He's in the...
on some island in the Caribbean.
They don't have a phone.
He'll be back in a week.
If you'd like Dr Halfrin's number,
he's taking his calls.
Thank you for seeing me.
What is it?
I need an extension on my case.
You should have taken their offer.
Especially if you were unprepared.
- I had a witness disappear on me.
- That happens.
I could subpoena him if I had a week.
I don't have a week.
This case should never have come to trial.
But you know better. You're Mr Independent.
You wanna be independent?
Be independent now.
I have no sympathy for you.
Stearns, Harrington.
- You know who they are?
- Should I?
Huge law firm.
OK, they put him in the firm,
he... marries the daughter...
...buys himself a dog, and everything is rosy.
Then Stearns... tries to fix a case.
- Stearns did?
- Yeah, that Frankie was workin' on.
Figured he'd need a little help,
so he... bribed a juror.
When Frankie heard about that,
he came to me in tears.
He figured anyone who knew
what a spinnaker was had to be a saint.
I said "For Christ's sakes, Frankie, wake up.
These... these people are sharks."
"How the hell do you think they wound up
with all that goddamn money? Doing good?"
But... he didn't wanna listen to me.
He goes back to the boys
at Stearns and Harrington, and...
...he tells them that he's very disappointed.
He's gonna go to the judge and rat them out.
Course, they're way ahead of him.
Before he can get there...
...he runs into this federal marshal
and is indicted for jury-tampering.
They throw him in jail, and...
he's gonna be disbarred.
His life is over.
- Cape Cod Casualty.
- Oh. Uh, Mr Alito, please.
- Business hours are over, sir.
- I have to reach him. This is an emergency.
- Please give me his home number.
- Sorry, we're not allowed.
What? Well, could you, uh... could you
call him, yes, and have him call me, then?
- I can't guarantee that he'll call you back.
- Yes. Oh, no, I understand, I understand.
Thank you. Thank you.
Uh, the name is Frank Galvin.
- Could you spell that, please?
- Yes. G-a-l-v-i-n.
And I will be at the following number
in about half an hour.
Jimmy, give me a beer, will ya?
- Want one?
- Yeah.
Two, huh?
OK, so now he's in jail and he...
finally gets to see the light.
He calls up Harrington and tells him
that he thinks he made a big mistake.
Like that, I mean, like... like magic.
All charges are dropped,
and he's released from jail.
But... he's fired from the firm...
...his wife divorces him...
...he starts hittin' the booze...
...and he mopes around
for about three and a half years.
You like that story, Laura?
What else do you wanna know
about Frankie?
(phone rings)
Oh, yeah. Thanks for calling.
Frank Galvin. Uh...
I'm representing Deborah Ann Kaye.
Well, uh, I'd like to discuss
your firm's offer of that 210...
Uh, well, in the sense that, uh...
...well, we'd like to accept it.
Yeah, well, it came as something of a shock
to me too, but it is my client's wishes and...
She changed her mind as of tonight
and, uh, of course, I tried to dissuade her.
Uh-huh. Well...
Uh-huh. On the eve of the trial, uh...
Well, you understand.
I think she just came down
with a terrible case of the jitters.
When was that arrived at?
Well, I know what Concannon said, but, uh...
I think you guys are making a big mistake.
I think you oughta reconsider, I think you
oughta get the principals back together.
No, no. I understand.
No, that's fine. I'm really sorry
to bother you at home.
What happened? You didn't talk to Gruber?
Oh... (sniffs)
Concannon got to him.
(breathes heavily)
I can't even breathe in here.
We're outta time. See if there's
somebody on this list to replace Gruber.
Well, there's Dr Thompson. He's the nearest.
Dr Thompson.
Yeah, Frank Galvin, representing Deborah
Ann Kaye. We had some correspondence.
Uh, well, I'm sorry I didn't get back to you,
but... the case got postponed.
I had to reorganise my staff.
I'm sorry to call you so late.
Well, uh... we've had a change of strategy.
Uh-huh. I was just wondering
if you could, um...
Well, it is kinda short notice, at any rate, uh...
Would you like me to go?
No, I...
I just, uh...
- Why don't you try and get some rest?
- I have work to do.
You can't work if you can't think.
Try and sleep.
I'll stay here with you.
Stay here?
I'll just see if I can get a little... a little sleep.
- What is your name, please?
- Dr Robert Towler.
- You were Deborah Ann Kaye's doctor?
- No, actually, she was referred to me.
- She was Dr Hagman's...
- Don't equivocate. Be positive. Tell the truth.
Whatever the truth is, just tell that.
You were her doctor.
- Yes.
- Say it.
I was her doctor.
You were her anaesthesiologist
at the delivery on May 12th, 1976?
- Well, I was one of a group of medical...
- No, answer affirmatively, simply, please.
And keep your answers down to
three words. You were not part of a group.
You were her anaesthesiologist. Isn't that so?
You were there to help Dr Marx
deliver the child.
Anything special about the case?
Well, when she had been...
- "When Debby..." Thank you.
- Uh, thank you.
- When Debby had been...
- Remember that, Dr Towler.
Who else was with you
in the operating room?
Miss Nevins, nurse anaesthetist. Dr Marx, of
course. Maureen Rooney, obstetric nurse...
And what did these people do
when her heart stopped?
- We went to Code Blue.
- Code Blue?
Do you mind explaining to the jury
what that means?
It's a common medical expression. It's
a crash programme to restore the heartbeat.
Dr Marx cut an airway in her trachea so
she could get oxygen - she and the baby.
- Miss Nevins...
- Why wasn't she getting oxygen?
- Many reasons, really.
- Tell me one.
- She'd aspirated vomitus into her mask.
- She threw up in her mask.
Cut the bullshit, please. Just say it.
"She threw up in her mask."
She threw up in her mask.
Therefore she wasn't getting oxygen
and her heart stopped?
- That's right.
- And what did your team do then?
You brought 30 years of medical experience
to bear. Isn't that what you did?
A patient riddled with complications, with
questionable information on her charts.
- We did everything we could.
- To save her, to save the child.
- You reached down into death.
- We tried to save her. You can't know.
You can't know!
Good. Good!
- Now tell us.
- (laughter)
Well... this patient...
Mr Galvin?
Dr Thompson.
Good of you to meet me.
- Well, I'm... I'm glad you could come.
- My pleasure.
Well... I, uh, I have some errands to run,
and then I thought we'd spend the evening...
- That's what I planned on doing.
- And then I want you to, uh... go out to the home and see the girl.
From what I've read, Mr Galvin,
you have a very good case.
Yes, I think so. I think so.
Uh, well...
You will be very comfortable.
- I've put you up at my apartment.
- Oh, I made a reservation.
You don't know who you're dealing with.
They'll bring a lot of pressure to bear.
- There's nothing they can do to me.
- Please! Please, sir.
Humour me.
Here is the address. The key is right inside.
341 Worth, please.
Treat the place as your very own and, uh...
But please, please, don't call anybody.
And thank you...
thank you very much for coming.
- (Mickey) How's our new witness?
- Did you find the obstetric nurse?
She's working the night shift at the hospital.
She's home now. I'll take a run over there.
Give me the address. I'm goin'.
We're gonna need her.
Hi. Frank Galvin.
I, uh... I represent Deborah Ann Kaye
in the case against St Catherine Labour.
- I told the guy I didn't wanna talk to anybody.
- It'll just take a second.
Deborah Ann Kaye.
You know what I'm talkin' about.
- Do you know who our chief witness is?
- No.
David Gruber. He's the assistant chief
anaesthesiologist at Mass Commonwealth.
He says that your doctors, Towler and Marx,
put my client in a hospital for life.
We can prove that.
See, what we don't know is why.
What went on in there,
in the operating room?
I mean, something happened.
You know what it was.
They gave her the wrong anaesthetic.
Now, something happened!
There was a distraction.
What? The telephone? What?
You have your doctor.
What do you need me for?
We need someone
who was in the operating room.
We're gonna win the case.
There's no question of that.
It's simply a matter of how big.
- Well, I don't have anything to say to you.
- You know what happened.
- Nothing happened.
- Then why don't you testify for their side?
I can subpoena you, you know.
I can put you up there on the stand.
And ask me what?
Who turned my client
into a goddamn vegetable?
- I didn't do it.
- Who are you protecting?
- Who says I'm protecting anyone?
- Doctors? What do you owe them?
- I don't owe them a goddamn thing!
- Then why don't you testify for them?
- You're very pushy, fella.
- You think I'm pushy now.
- Wait till I get you up there on the stand!
- Well, maybe you just better do that, then!
You know, you guys are all the same.
You don't care who you hurt.
All you care about is a dollar.
You're a bunch of whores!
You've got no loyalty... no nothing.
You're a bunch of whores!
Thank you.
His name is Dr Lionel Thompson.
City College of New York,
class of '28. Bachelor of Science.
New York College of Medicine,
16th in a class of 22.
1976, got a courtesy appointment,
staff of anaesthesiology...
...Easthampton Hospital for Women.
Never married. Has no honours
or degrees of any weight.
Since 1975 he's testified in 28 court cases.
12 malpractice.
And... he's black.
I'll tell you how you handle the fact
that he's black. Don't touch it.
Don't mention it. Treat him just like
anybody else, neither better nor worse.
And, um... let's have
a black lawyer sit at our table.
- OK?
- Yes, sir.
- And what else do you do?
- Uh...
Get the record of his testimony
in the 12 malpractice cases.
Do that. We'll be at Locke-Ober's.
They gave her the wrong anaesthetic -
under the circumstances.
(Mickey) Why is that?
Her sister said she ate
one hour prior to admittance.
That's what her sister says. The admittance
form says she ate nine hours prior.
She went in complaining of nausea.
A good doctor would have doubted
the information on the chart.
Is that what a good doctor would do?
- How old are you, Doctor?
- I'm 74 years old.
And what makes you
an expert in anaesthesiology?
I'm on the staff of anaesthesiology,
Easthampton Hospital for Women.
The Easthampton Hospital for Women?
What is that, a joke?
Let me tell you something, Doctor.
Those men at Catherine Labour, known
not only in this city but in the world...
...were trying to save a woman's life.
They were there.
And here you are, four years later...
I made a detailed physical examination
of the patient, sir.
Is she, uh... is she getting
good treatment over there?
Well, actually, it's...
Yes. Well, it's by no means bad, but...
What's the point of ruining
the reputation of two men... try to help a girl whose life's
not gonna be changed in the least?
You know what Code Blue is?
Code Blue...
It's a common medical term.
We're gonna lose.
You think it's my fault?
Well... there must be something you can do.
That's not the point.
It's over.
Do you think it's my fault?
That I could have, uh...
No. But...
Oh, God. I never should have taken it.
There was no way I could win.
And it's over?
Yeah, it's over.
But I thought it wasn't over
until the jury comes in.
- Who'd you hear that from?
- From you.
You want me to tell you it's your fault.
OK, it probably is.
But what are you gonna do about it?
- I wanted to talk to you. I thought maybe...
- You maybe could get some sympathy?
You came to the wrong place.
What makes you so tough?
- Maybe I'll tell you later.
- Is there gonna be a later?
Not if you don't grow up. You're like a kid,
coming in here like it's Sunday night.
You want me to say you have a fever
so you don't have to go back to school.
- Why won't you understand?
- I do understand, Frank. Believe me, I do!
You say... you say
you're gonna lose, "Is it my fault?"
The damn case starts tomorrow,
and already it's over for you.
- It is over.
- You wanna be a failure?
Then do it someplace else! I can't
invest in failure, Frank, any more.
I can't.
Excuse me.
Please don't... please...
...please don't pressure me.
Please don't.
I, uh... I'm gonna do the best
that I can for you and your sister.
I know how much it means to you,
and it means that much to me, too.
- How ya holding up?
- Good.
All we have is the witch doctor, huh?
- Yeah.
- Well, look at it this way, Frankie.
It's refreshing every time a doctor
takes the stand he's not a Jew.
All rise!
Hear ye, hear ye. All persons having
anything to do before the Superior Court... sitting at Boston, draw near,
give your attendance and you shall be heard.
God save the Commonwealth
of Massachusetts. Be seated.
Deborah Ann Kaye versus
St Catherine Labour Hospital...
... and Robert S Towler MD
and Sheldon F Marx MD.
Is the plaintiff ready?
- We are, Your Honour.
- Defence?
- Ready for the defence, Your Honour.
- Let's begin.
Your Honour...
...uh, ladies and gentlemen of the jury...'s a terrible thing to sit in judgment.
So much rides on it.
Uh... I know that you have thought
"How can I be pure?"
"How can, uh... can I be... impartial
without being cold?"
"How can I be, um...
...merciful, and still be just?"
I know that some of you
have said prayers today... be helped... to judge correctly.
We have the reputation
of two men, two, um...
...well-respected doctors before us...
...and a renowned hospital.
And with them we have... client, Deborah Ann Kaye...
...who was deprived of sight...
...of speech, of hearing...
...of locomotion, of...
Well, in short, everything
that constitutes her life.
We will prove that she was deprived
through negligence...
...through the negligence
of these... respected men.
Uh, we will show, one...
Why did he go to see Maureen Rooney?
She's the only nurse who isn't testifying.
- And what did he find?
- Nothing.
How good's your intelligence?
Very good.
So what is the rest of his case,
aside from this Dr Thompson?
As far as we know, nothing.
Thank Mr Concannon for me.
Please tell him I'll see him in his office.
Good morning, Doctor. Dr Thompson...
...just so the jury knows,
you never treated Deborah Ann Kaye.
- Is that correct?
- That is correct.
I was engaged to render an opinion.
"Engaged to render an opinion"
for a price. That is correct?
- You are being paid to be here?
- Just as you are, sir.
Are you board-certified
in anaesthesiology?
No, I'm not. It's quite common
in New York State to practise...
Yes, I'm quite sure it is,
but, um... this is, uh, Massachusetts.
Are you board-certified in internal medicine?
- Neurology?
- No.
- I'm just an MD.
- Ah...
Do you, uh, know Dr Robert Towler?
- I know of him.
- And how is that?
- Through his book.
- What book is that?
Methodology and Practice...
... in... in Anesthesiology. Hm.
Methodology and Practice in Anesthesiology.
- How old are you, Doctor?
- I'm 74 years old.
Do you still practise quite a lot of medicine?
I'm, um, on the staff of anaesthesiology...
Yes. Yes, I've heard that.
But you do... testify quite a bit
against other physicians.
Isn't that correct? You are available for that,
so long as you're paid to be there.
Sir, yes.
When a thing is wrong,
as in this case, I am available.
I'm 74 years old.
I'm not board-certified.
I've been practising medicine for 46 years,
and I know when an injustice has been done.
Do you, indeed?
I bet you do. That's fine.
Let's save the court time.
We'll admit Dr Thompson
as an "expert witness".
Mr Galvin, do you want to continue now?
Or we could resume this afternoon.
I'll continue, Your Honour.
Uh, Dr Thompson...
...did you examine Deborah Ann Kaye at the
Northern Chronic Care Facility last night?
- I did.
- Objection.
Sustained. The witness will confine his
testimony to review of the hospital records.
Dr Thompson, in your review of
the hospital records of May 12th 1976... your opinion,
what happened to Deborah Ann Kaye?
Cardiac arrest.
During delivery her heart stopped.
When the heart stops,
the brain is deprived of oxygen.
You get brain damage.
That's why she's in the state she's in today.
Dr Towler has testified that he restored
the heartbeat in three to four minutes.
In your opinion, is that an accurate estimate?
In my opinion, it took much longer - nine,
ten minutes. There's too much brain damage.
Are you saying failure to restore
heartbeat within nine minutes... itself constitutes bad medical practice?
- Your Honour!
- Yes, Mr Galvin?
If I may be permitted to question
my own witness in my own way...
- I'd like to get to the point.
- I am getting to...
I believe I have the right
to ask the witness a direct question!
Now let's not waste these people's time.
Answer the question, Mr Witness, please.
Would a nine-minute lapse in restoring
the heartbeat in and of itself be negligence?
In that small context, I would have to say no.
Then you're saying there's no negligence,
based on my question?
- Given the limits of your question, yes.
- The doctors were not negligent.
Thank you.
I'm not through questioning...
Your Honour, with all due respect...
...if you're gonna try my case for me,
I wish you wouldn't lose it.
Thank you. I think
that's enough for this morning.
I'll see counsel in my chambers.
- Now, please!
- All rise.
Court is adjourned until one o'clock.
I'm gonna write to the Board
of Bar Overseers about you today, fella.
You're on your way out. They should have
kicked you out in that Lillibridge case.
Now, this is it, today.
I'm an attorney...
...on trial before the Bar,
representing my client.
My client. When you open your mouth,
you're losin' my case for me.
- Listen to me, fella...
- No, you listen to me!
All I wanted out of this trial was a fair shake.
You push me into court five days early,
I lose my star witness...
...and I can't get a continuance.
And I don't care.
I'm goin' up there, I'm gonna try it, and
let the jury decide. They told me about you.
Said you're a hard-ass,
you're a defendant's judge.
Well, I don't care.
I said to hell with it. To hell with it!
Look, Galvin, many years ago I...
Come on! Don't give me that shit
about you bein' a lawyer too.
I know about you.
You couldn't hack it as a lawyer.
You were a bagman for the boys downtown,
and you still are.
- Are you done?
- You're damn right I'm done.
I'm gonna ask for a mistrial. I'll request
that you disqualify yourself from this case.
I'll take a transcript of the trial
to the Judicial Conduct Board...
...and ask them to impeach your ass!
- You aren't gonna get a mistrial, boy.
We're going back,
and we're gonna try this case to the end!
Get out of here before I call the bailiff
and have you thrown in jail!
What does it mean?
I mean, you, uh... have other tactics?
Oh, yeah. They present their case, then
I get a chance, and we just cross-examine.
Are we gonna win? I mean... I mean,
you have other tactics, though?
Thank you, Dr Towler.
No further questions, Your Honour.
- Dr Towler?
- Yes.
- Let's work backwards.
- Yes.
You have a record of what happened
in the operating room.
You made notations every 30 seconds
of the procedures.
These notations stop four and a half minutes
after Deborah Ann Kaye's heart stopped.
Four and a half minutes after her heart
stopped. They resumed three minutes later.
We had more on our minds than taking notes.
We were trying to restore her heartbeat.
- What happened in those three minutes?
- We were trying...
- What happened?
- Objection, Your Honour.
Why did it take so long
to restore her heartbeat?
Almost nine minutes
to restore her heartbeat...
...which caused massive
irreversible brain damage.
You're not allowing the witness to answer.
Thank you, Your Honour.
I would like to answer.
Brain damage could have...
It didn't necessarily take
nine or eight minutes.
It could have been caused in two.
Wait a minute.
You're saying that her brain damage
could have been caused... being deprived of oxygen
for two minutes?
Why is that?
It's right there on her medical chart.
She was anaemic. Less blood, less oxygen.
The brain was getting less oxygen anyway.
I didn't do too well for you.
You did fine.
No, I'm afraid that's not true.
Will you want me to stay on till Monday?
No, uh, thank you. You can go on home.
You know, Mr Galvin,
sometimes people can surprise you.
Sometimes they have
a great capacity to hear the truth.
Yeah. Yes.
- Sure you don't want me to stay on?
- No. Thank you.
You can go on home.
I'll see you back at the office, huh?
- What happened?
- It's bad.
What are you going to do now?
I don't have a goddamn idea.
- What do you do if you don't have a witness?
- You use their witness.
- That's right.
- Well, I think we've tried that, Francis.
The case is over.
You know, you broke the first rule
I taught you in law school:
You never ask a question
unless you have the answer to it.
Even your own expert witness
said there was no negligence.
It's over, period.
- There'll be other cases.
- There are no other cases. This is the case.
There are no other cases. This is the case.
There are no other cases. This is the case.
No other cases, this is the case.
I know how you feel.
You don't believe me, but I... do know.
I'm gonna tell you something
that I learned when I was your age.
I had prepared a case, and old man White
said to me "How did you do?"
And I said "I did my best."
And he said...
..."You're not paid to do your best.
You're paid to win."
And that's what pays for this office...
...pays for the pro bono work
that we do for the poor...
... pays for the... type of law
that you want to practise.
It pays for my whiskey.
It pays for... your clothes.
It pays for the leisure we have to sit back...
...and discuss... philosophy,
as we're doing tonight.
We're paid to win the case.
You've finished your marriage. You...
wanted to come back and practise the law.
You wanted to come back to the world.
Welcome back.
Why isn't Maureen Rooney testifying?
Hey! You with me? You awake?
- Yeah, I'm awake.
- She's protecting somebody.
Who is she protecting?
If she's protecting the doctors,
she'd be on the witness stand.
Read me what she said.
"You guys are a bunch of whores.
Loyalty. Don't care who you hurt."
- "You guys got no loyalty."
- One of the nurses?
Who? Everybody who was in
the operating room is testifying.
All right. Who wasn't in the operating room?
The admitting nurse?
- What does she do?
- She took down the history.
And she signed it here. "KC." Kaitlin Costello.
- The history?
- Yeah.
"How old are you?
How many children do you have?"
"How old are you? How many children
do you have? When did you last eat?"
Oh, Miss Rooney. Uh...
I understand what you're doing,
and I just wanted you to know that it's OK.
- What are you talking about?
- Well, about Kaitlin Costello.
I mean, I don't blame you for shielding her.
- I spoke to her today.
- What are you talking about?
- I talked to her this morning, and...
- I know. She told me.
- She told you?!
- I just saw her.
In New York? You saw Kat in New York?
Or is she in town? Is she in town?
(Frank) Thank you. I'm sorry.
(hangs up phone)
(Mickey) All right. Thank you. (hangs up)
Don't we have anything
from the New York Nurse Association?
- That broad has disappeared.
- From the hospital?
Well, there's no records since she quit in '76.
She quit two weeks after the incident.
- Thank you.
- I have to talk to you.
I can't talk now.
Call the AMA. Tell 'em you're Dr Somebody
and you need to find a nurse...
...get some forms, somebody's dying.
Mrs Costello? I'm sorry to bother you this
late, but this is Mr Goldberg in Accounting.
We have some money here for you.
Is this the Mrs Costello, the registered nurse?
I see. Well, I'm sorry.
Our records must be mixed up.
Are you related to Kaitlin Costello?
- You aren't. All right, thank you.
- This is Dr Dorchester in Boston.
Listen, a nurse left my employment
about four years ago.
- (Frank dials)
- A Kaitlin Costello.
That's correct.
This is Mr Dorchester in Records.
I'm trying to track down a Kaitlin Costello.
- Laura? Laura, you got a cigarette?
- Kaitlin Costello.
Yeah. That's right.
Well, she left about four years ago,
and we're looking for her chart.
Kaitlin. Kaitlin Costello.
Laura, don't forget the cigarettes, huh?
(Galvin) Hello. This is Ross Williams calling.
Yes. I'm calling from California.
I'm sorry. I know it's very late back East,
but this is an emergency.
- I'd like to speak to Kaitlin Costello, please.
- There's nobody here by that name.
I see.
Well, our records must have
been mixed up, I guess.
- Is this the family of Kaitlin Costello?
- You know what time it is? (hangs up)
- Hello?
- Hello. Uh...
I'm calling from, uh... from
The Professional Nurse Quarterly.
- From the magazine?
- Yes. This is Mr Wallace in Subscriptions.
Uh... Is this, uh... Miss Costello?
- Yes... Price.
- Pardon?
Kaitlin Price.
Yes. We find that
your subscription has lapsed.
- It lapsed three years ago!
- That's why we're calling, Miss Price.
Uh, we have
a "renew your subscription" offer.
We get the magazine at work.
Yes, I know. It's in our files. Let me see,
that's the Manhattan Health Center.
No. At Chelsea Childcare, OK?
Look, call me Monday, hey? I'm late for work.
(hangs up)
(PA) Eastern Airlines 9am
air-shuttle for La Guardia...
... now ready for boarding at gate 10.
(phone rings)
Hello? Frank? Frank, where are you?
You're going to New York?
Listen, I have to be in New York
about some business.
I have some papers to sign about my divorce.
- Could we meet there?
- Laura, you got a cigarette?
Could we meet in New York, Frank?
Yeah. The Russell Hotel.
On 38th Street, isn't it? Yeah.
OK. At around four?
I feel the same way, Frank.
Yeah, I know.
OK. I'll see you this afternoon.
Uh, Laura, I'm, uh...
I'm gonna go out and get some cigarettes.
OK, OK, OK. One basketball.
One football, one more basketball...
...and Duanie gets a little ball!
What did you do with your hand? Come here.
What did you do to your hand?
What did you do?
Hi. Let's see this.
I've been meaning to stop in here
for a long time.
- You live in the neighbourhood?
- My nephew's comin' to visit.
- How old is he?
- He's four.
Let's see what we've got here.
- Let's see this.
- (child) No! Don't take it off.
You're great with these kids.
Thank you.
No, I mean, you really are.
Oh, you're the... you're the one
they said was a nurse.
- Who told you that?
- Uh, I don't know. Mrs...
- Mrs Simmons?
- Yeah.
I used to be a nurse.
Well, it's a wonderful profession.
My daughter-in-law's a...
What'd you do? Did you stop?
Why'd you do that?
Will you help me?
What's the matter?
Are you lost or something?
Frankie, we gotta talk.
Come on. There's a bar around the corner.
We'll get a cup of coffee.
(customer) Did you see that?
You all right, Miss?
- Are you OK?
- Yeah.
I'm all right.
- Leave him alone.
- Are you OK?
I'm all right. Thank you.
I talked to... Johnny White
at the Bar Association.
She used to work for one of
Concannon's partners in New York.
She wanted to come to Boston.
How bad did she hurt us?
I don't know.
We got a mistrial, you know.
Did you hear what I said, Frank?
I don't want a mistrial.
(phone rings)
- Hello?
- (Laura) Is Frank there?
- No. He's not here now.
- When are you expecting him?
- I don't know when.
- (hangs up)
Doctor Towler.
Page 406. "Contraindications
of General Anesthetic."
"A patient should refrain from
taking nourishment up to nine hours...
...prior to induction of general anesthetic."
Sound familiar?
Yes. I wrote it.
Methodology and Practice in Anesthesiology.
A general textbook on the subject,
is that correct?
Yes, it is.
- And you wrote it?
- Yes.
Page... 414.
"If the patient has taken nourishment
within one hour prior to inducement...
...general anesthetic should be avoided
because of the grave risk...
...the patient will aspirate
food particles into his mask."
Is that what happened to Deborah Ann Kaye?
She aspirated food particles into her mask?
She threw up in her mask, yes.
But she hadn't eaten
one hour before admission.
If she had eaten an hour before
being admitted to the hospital...
...then the inducement of a general
anaesthetic would have been... negligent?
Negligent? Yes, it would have been criminal.
But such was not the case.
Thank you.
- Mr Concannon?
- No further questions, Your Honour.
Thank you, Dr Towler.
Mr Galvin, rebuttal?
Kaitlin Costello Price.
(bailiff) Kaitlin Costello Price.
State your name, please.
Kaitlin Costello Price.
Do you swear the evidence you give
will be the whole truth, so help you God?
- I do.
- Be seated.
- Kaitlin Price.
- Yes.
You were the admitting nurse at, uh,
St Catherine Labour on May 12th, 1976...
...the night that they admitted
Deborah Ann Kaye?
Did you sign this... admission form?
- Yes.
- Those are your initials, "KC"?
Kaitlin Costello.
That's my maiden name.
Did you ask the patient, uh,
when did she last eat?
What did she say?
She said she'd had a full meal... hour before coming to the hospital.
- One hour?
- Yes.
And did you put the numeral "one"
on this admission sheet?
I mean, standing for "one hour"?
I did.
A single hour?
Thank you.
Your witness.
You're aware of the penalties for perjury?
- It's a crime.
- It is a crime. A serious crime.
- I wouldn't do it.
- You would not?
You've taken an oath
that you would not commit perjury.
- You've just sworn to that, isn't that right?
- Yes.
- Just now.
- Yes.
You have sworn before God
that you would tell the truth.
Now... I want to ask you something.
Four years ago, when you
were working as a nurse...
...are you aware that
these doctors, Marx and Towler...
...based their treatment of
Deborah Ann Kaye on this admitting form...
...which you signed?
Wasn't that an oath?
These are your initials, "KC."
When you signed this form,
you took an oath... less important than that
which you've taken today.
Isn't that right?
- Isn't that right?
- Yes.
Then which is correct?
You've sworn today that the patient
ate one hour before admittance.
Four years ago you swore that
she ate nine hours before admittance.
All right, which is the lie?
- I...
- These men could have settled out of court.
They wanted a trial to clear their names.
And you would come here, and on a slip of
memory four years ago, you'd ruin their lives.
- They lied.
- They lied?! They lied!
When did they lie?
- Do you know what a lie is?
- I do, yes.
You swore on this form
that the patient ate nine hours...
- That's not what I wrote.
- You just told me that you signed it.
I... Yes, I... yes, I... I signed it, yes.
But I didn't write a nine.
I wrote a one.
You didn't write a nine, you... wrote a one.
And how is it that you remember
so clearly after four years?
Because I kept a copy.
- I have it right here.
- Objection!
We can't accept a copy
when the court already has the original.
I'll rule on that presently.
Please, proceed.
What in the world induced you to make
a photocopy of an obscure record...
...and hold it for four years?
Your Honour, this...
Uh, why... why would you do that?
- I thought I might need it.
- And why would you think that?
...after the operation...
...when that poor girl, she went into a coma,
Dr Towler called me in.
He told me...
...that he'd had
five difficult deliveries in a row...
...and he was tired.
And he never looked at the admittance form.
And he told me to change the form.
He told me to change the one... a nine.
Or else... or else, he said... He said
he'd fire me. He said I'd never work again.
Who were these men?!
Who were these men?!
I wanted to be a nurse!
No further questions, Your Honour.
You may step down.
Mr Galvin?
Nothing further, Your Honour.
Mr Concannon?
Mr Concannon.
Thank you, Your Honour. We object
to the copy of the admitting form...
...and we cite McGee versus
the State of Indiana, United States 131.2.
"The admission of a duplicate document
in preference to an existing original...
...must presuppose the possibility of
alteration and so must be disallowed."
And, Your Honour, having
given the plaintiff the leeway...
...we would like your ruling on this issue now.
We object to the admission
of a Xerox photocopy.
Uh, one moment, Mr Concannon.
Yes. The document is disallowed.
- Objection!
- Overruled.
- Exception!
- Noted. Thank you.
Legally, he's right.
The jury will not consider the testimony
of Miss Costello regarding the Xerox form.
It is unsubstantiated.
We cannot accept a copy
in preference to the original.
Thank you, Your Honour. Furthermore,
Miss Costello is a rebuttal witness.
As the court knows, no prior notice
was given of Miss Costello's appearance.
And as a surprise witness, she may
serve only to rebut direct testimony.
As her only evidentiary rebuttal is the
admitting form which has been disallowed...
...I request that
her entire testimony be disallowed...
...and that the jury be advised to totally
disregard her entire appearance here.
- Yes, I'm going to uphold that.
- Objection.
- Overruled.
- Exception.
Noted. Thank you.
The jury will be advised not to consider
the testimony of Miss Costello.
Miss Costello was a rebuttal witness.
The sole rebuttal was the document,
which has been disallowed.
Her entire testimony
must be stricken from the record.
You shouldn't have heard it.
That was my mistake.
You must strike it from your minds.
Give it no weight!
Legally, it's over.
Concannon was brilliant.
Tell me about Kaitlin Costello.
There's nothing to tell.
It's been stricken from the record.
I know. But did you believe her?
Mr Galvin?
Mr Galvin? Summation?
You know, so much of the time,
we're just lost.
We say "Please, God...
...tell us what is right, tell us what is true."
I mean, there is no justice.
The rich win, the poor are powerless.
We become... tired of hearing people lie.
And after a time we become dead.
A little dead. We think of ourselves... victims.
And we become victims.
We become...
...we become weak.
We doubt ourselves, we doubt our beliefs.
We doubt our institutions.
And we doubt the law.
But today you are the law.
You are the law.
Not some book, not the lawyers.
Not a marble statue...
...or the trappings of the court.
See, those are just symbols...
...of our desire... be just.
They are...
...they are, in fact, a prayer.
I mean, a fervent and a frightened prayer.
In my religion...
...they say "Act as if ye had faith...
...and faith will be given to you."
...if we are to have faith in justice...
...we need only to believe in ourselves...
...and act with justice.
See, I believe there is justice in our hearts.
Have you reached a verdict?
We have, Your Honour.
Your Honour, we've agreed to hold
for the plaintiff, Deborah Ann Kaye...
...and against St Catherine Labour,
and Doctors Towler and Marx.
But, Your Honour, are we limited
on the size of the award?
What I mean, sir...
Are we permitted to award an amount greater
than the amount the plaintiff asked for?
You are.
You're not bound by anything other than
your good judgment, based on the evidence.
Please retire, and when you've agreed
on the amount of the award...
You did it, Frank.
Way to go, Frank.