Law & Order (1990) s03e12 Episode Script

Right to Counsel

(narrator) In the criminal justice system, the people are represented by two separate yet equally important groups: The police who investigate crime, and the district attorneys who prosecute the offenders.
These are their stories.
If she ever asks, we finished early last night.
We went for a beer at Tommaso's and watched the game till almost midnight.
I hate football.
You like it now.
You beat the spread, took a double sawski from me, and you bought a couple of rounds.
Who played? Bears, Vikings.
Sherri's a good woman.
What do you want to hurt her for? Okay, remember your lines, nobody gets hurt.
I don't know.
When I get hitched Hey, you gotta have a date first, bozo.
Uh, Spiegelman, 6-A.
[Vehicles honking.]
Who won, anyway? [Snorts.]
She must be out.
Follow me.
[Door opening.]
(Newman) Used to be, every apartment in New York was eggshell.
Now we're talkir peach, olive.
Rent control.
She pays less than I do in Corona.
Six rooms.
What do you say we start in the kitchen? I could use a cup of coffee.
A place like this, I could lose a couple of kids.
[Man on radio chattering.]
Sorry, I got on at 9:00.
Nobody except regulars, in or out.
What about the watch before yours? Uh, 6:00 p.
To 9 a.
Only security's a buzzer.
(Taft) Blood's still wet.
This one's hot off the presses.
Took it in the back.
Knees bruised.
Probably standing.
You got a weapon? Found it in the sink.
Well, at least he's neat.
Did you dust the drawers? Mmm, nothing.
But we did pick up some prints on other knives inside.
Long shot, but Yeah.
Barbara Spiegelman, 61.
No sign of forced entry.
Could have been my mother.
(Briscoe) Hand cut crystal.
[Glass clinks.]
My mother never had any of these.
[People chattering.]
"Barney Greengrass, The Sturgeon King.
" Time stamped, That's what? About five blocks from here? Mmm-hmm.
So, she's over 60, it's winter, she makes a couple of stops along the way.
Could be the delivery boy brings it in the kitchen.
Could be he didn't like the tip.
Could be nothing's that easy.
[Camera clicking.]
Used to be human beings lived in this city.
Sam, Barbara: Good people.
Regulars every Sunday.
Sam the husband? Yeah.
Heart attack.
Went like that two years ago.
Carole, uh, hired me to do the shivah.
Their daughter.
Nice girl, but too much like Sam.
A smile now and then would be nice, you know what I mean? Barbara.
Was she here this morning? Yeah.
Half a pound of Nova, couple of chubs, two poppies, two sesames, and a happy face button on her coat.
She didn't by any chance have the package delivered, did she? No.
Barbara wanted to eat her breakfast before lunch, but kids working for tips, not in much of a hurry.
(Briscoe) Thanks.
Crash and burn.
Now there's only eight million other suspects.
Yeah, maybe, maybe not.
That's a lot of lox for one person.
What are you thinkir, a heated game of mah-jong? Hey, my old lady's friends, I wouldn't play without a helmet.
What's the daughter's name? Carole? Not my favorite part of the job.
My sophomore year at Penn, my roommate got a call.
Her father died.
After that, every time the phone rang, I don't know, I was just prepared for Dad.
I never even thought My mother-in-law never carried cash.
There was really nothing of value in the apartment.
We're thinking maybe it wasrt a robbery.
Why would anybody (Briscoe) Carole.
Whoever did this, it looks like your mother had to let them in.
Was she expecting anyone this morning? Well, the last few months Barbara has been involved.
She had a boyfriend? Although Barbara denied it, it was kind of obvious.
Stephen Gregg, a designer.
Avenue Fashions, W-we were supposed to have dinner last night.
She couldn't fit me in.
Gregg? [Sighs.]
I yelled at her.
I told her she only thought about herself.
I didn't know.
[Phone ringing.]
I begged her to move in with me.
Yes, detectives, that's what people who love each other do.
You just caught us a little bit off-guard there.
We were together for three months before she'd go out in public with me.
She said that it was for my benefit.
I had a business.
People would talk.
Makes sense.
What are you? Uh, 35? When I met her, I had no idea how old she was.
By the time I found out, it didn't matter.
Barbara took such good care of herself.
When was the last time you saw her? (Gregg) I have an opening next week.
I worked till midnight.
I spoke to her about 10:00.
She was fine.
[Phone ringing.]
This guy's a designer.
Do we even know if he likes girls? He likes them enough to ask one to move in with him.
Yeah, one who graduated from college the year he was born.
Hey, May-December.
It happens.
The guy seemed sincere enough.
Yeah, and Ted Bundy got a gold star for honesty.
This guy Gregg, did he have any priors? No.
But you gotta start somewhere.
Even if they were more than just friends, gigolos steal, they don't kill.
(Logan) Do they lie? Look at this.
Gregg's LUD's.
He didn't call anyone at 10:00.
What about the woman? She made one call.
Arlene Ross.
L I can't believe this.
I spoke to her this morning.
She was bubbling over.
Did that have anything to do with this Stephen Gregg? It had everything to do with him.
Love has a way of making you smile.
Didrt you think it was a little strange? You're married to somebody for 40 years, you start to see life through a single window.
It was always Sam and Barbara, the Spiegelmans.
A straightjacket for two, huh? Barbara loved Sam, but she was a lot more than Sam's wife.
With Stephen she went to museums, she went dancing.
Would you happen to know what window she was looking out of last night? Dinner at Chanterelle with Stephen and a client.
A buyer from Bloomingdale's.
Is there a law that says you can only fall in love once? (Karen) Stevie? Sure.
Been doing business with him the last five years or so.
Used to be with Dominick D'Alleva.
People would kill for a chance to design for the master.
He seems to be doing all right on his own.
Yeah, well, who would've guessed? I mean, he's a nice guy, he's got talent up to here.
But? Don't get me wrong, Stephers very good.
Ladies apparel's the toughest gig there is.
Maybe if the recession ends this century, he ends up one of the biggies.
Oh, like nobody can afford $200 for a sweater, right? Mmm-hmm.
Avenue Fashions, try multiplying that by five.
No wonder he can afford dinner at Chanterelle.
Hey, I'm the buyer, remember? Last month Lutèce, before that Perioli.
Stevie's tax deductions go straight to my hips.
But I like fine dining.
Especially when it's free.
And last night, uh, dinner for two? I wish.
You gotta admit, the guy's cute.
But he had that scarlet "T" tattooed on his forehead.
" Although, last night I thought maybe not.
Oh? Things werert, uh, so hot between them? Pure ice.
They were trying to be civil, but, uh, when they got in the cab, we're talking explosion.
I could hear it from the curb.
[Phone buzzing.]
Excuse me.
Yeah, he called her last night.
From the other side of the bed.
I panicked, okay? I knew what you would think.
I loved Barbara.
From what we heard, maybe the other night the feeling wasrt so mutual.
My sister Debra wanted me to visit her next week.
L I thought it best if I went alone.
Sounds like love to me.
My friends have been on my back and I didn't need my family, too.
I guess you won't have to worry about that anymore, will you, Steve? I owe everything to Barbara.
She talked me into going out on my own, she encouraged me to expand, be more aggressive.
She believed in me more than I did myself.
You think she still believed in you yesterday morning? [Sighs.]
We had breakfast.
I kissed her goodbye around 8:00 a.
I was here by 8:30 a.
Now, you ask anybody, anybody who's seen us together, and they will tell you there is no way that I could ever hurt her.
He works for other people his whole life.
Suddenly he's out on his own? Hey, you saw Spiegelmars apartment.
Didrt look like she had capital to invest.
What, you think everybody lives up to their means? Alright, play it out, Mike.
Say she gives him money.
Why's he gonna kill her? He wants more.
Maybe she wants a return on her investment.
Maybe we'll get lucky and find a motive at the apartment.
"Age of Civilization.
" Everybody's got one.
Nobody reads it.
Yeah, and Book of the Month makes a fortune.
"10th row, aisle.
Tom Jones.
" I didn't know he was still alive.
Barbara sure was.
Looks like she went everyplace with Gregg.
Looks like a honeymoon.
You've never been married.
Hey, look at this.
Letter from Burton Charles.
Vice President.
Private Banking.
Liquidation of bearer bonds.
I never got letters like that from my bank.
(Charles) Sam was in printing.
Struggled for years.
Direct mail becomes the rage, he's sitting on a cash cow.
And Barbara got to milk it? (Charles) She wasrt a business woman.
Took the first offer that came her way.
After taxes, $20 million.
We've managed the entire portfolio for her.
We've done very well.
I just hope we're allowed to continue.
Well, who's calling the shots now? You'll have to ask Kevin Doyle.
Trusts and estates lawyer.
He sent us the Spiegelman account.
He handles the family's legal affairs.
I was with Mr.
Woodward all morning.
He's another client.
Lives three blocks from Barbara.
I almost stopped by with papers.
Maybe if I had When I got the message, I was devastated.
I imagine in your business, uh, you get a lot of messages like that.
My clients die, but not like this.
This city.
I don't envy you your jobs.
And Barbara was more than a client.
I saw her almost weekly.
Hey, I needed to rewrite my will, a PBA lawyer wouldn't even answer my call.
Six years ago, Barbara dragged Sam to the Philharmonic.
Dvorák's Slavic Dances.
I met them at intermission.
Until a year or so ago, I was the beneficiary of Sam's season ticket.
Barbara stopped enjoying your company? When she met Stephen, she didn't have time for anybody else.
I guess she was entitled.
What about Stephen Gregg? What was he entitled to? I'll admit, it was odd.
Barbara and Stephen.
But as far as I could tell, it was genuine.
You're not thinking Hey, our job, we have to ask.
Why not? Lt'll be a matter of public record in a couple of weeks.
Carole, the daughter, gets the residuary estate.
English, Counselor.
Everything left, after specific bequests.
And the specific bequests? "To my friend, Stephen Gregg, $2 million.
" I had no idea that she had this kind of money.
So, uh, the ski trip and the cruise, uh, you thought she won those things from Ed McMahon? She told me that she had a good income.
She never told me that I was in her will.
And what, tomorrow you're gonna tell us you panicked and had to lie? For the first time in my life I was happy.
Why would I kill her? (Briscoe) Hey, I'm happy, too, Steve, but $2 million would make my smile a lot bigger.
I'm not like that.
I wanted Barbara, not her money.
(Logan) Well, today's your lucky day because the law says if you kill somebody, you can't collect under their will.
So Carole and her husband will be spending that $2 million.
Her husband? Mmm-hmm.
What are you talking about? Carole hasn't seen Douglas in over a year.
They're not married? They've been divorced for as long as I've known her.
Listen, Gregg's told enough lies to run for office.
So there's a problem? Hey, you don't think it's strange the daughter hasn't seen her ex in over a year, and he just suddenly shows up the day his mother-in-law takes one in the back? We accuse a guy of murder, and I think he's a liar.
Excuse me for being cynical.
What if Gregg's telling the truth? Carole and her ex kiss and make up, they never have to work a day the rest of their lives.
If Barbara Spiegelman was anything like my ex's mother Hey, Marge's mother and I aren't exactly hugs and kisses.
I smile a lot at Christmas and do everything I can not to answer the phone on Sundays but I don't play Jack the Ripper with a steak knife.
Marge's mother isn't dangling $20 million in front of your nose.
Talk to them.
And tell Romeo not to go too far from home, huh? Carole and I were divorced on paper only.
Separating was not our idea.
Whose idea was it? The lovely mother of the bride.
Barbara never cared too much for me.
My profession.
(Logan) Which is? Well, it's changing.
Right now, I'm in liquor distribution.
Someday I'll have my own place.
Barbara never believed much in me.
Ah, it's part of being a mother-in-law.
Nose gets into places where it doesn't belong.
Did you ever think about getting an unlisted number? I would have moved to the West Coast.
they were supposed to clip the umbilical cord.
You have enough money, you get to retie it.
So Barbara used her money as leverage.
Sam left a couple of million in trust and all distributions to Carole were at the discretion of the trustee.
And that was Barbara.
She gave Carole a choice.
Lose me, or lose $10,000 a month.
So Carole chose the money.
Well, what would you do? The problem was, Carole still loved me.
All that sneaking around.
It was like having an affair with my own wife.
[Phone ringing.]
Yeah, I promise to love, honor and obey, as long as it doesn't affect my ineritance.
Remind me never to marry for money.
Say the old lady finds out that Carole's divorce is all smoke and mirrors.
What does she do? She'd call her lawyer, tell him to run her will through word processing and delete Carole's name.
You think that would upset Carole? $20 million? Lt'd ruin my day.
People like Barbara, like most of my clients, for that matter, they're able to control their families with money.
My father called it the primary advantage of wealth.
Sounds an awful lot like bribery to me.
Barbara was not fond of Douglas Pomerantz.
She wanted him out of Carole's life.
She got what she wanted.
And she had no idea that he was back for a return visit? I would have been the first to know.
L I know where you're going, and you're wrong.
Barbara and Carole had problems, but certainly not enough to kill for.
These problems, did they concern Stephen Gregg? Carole wanted her mother to be happy.
But the idea of Barbara supporting Stephen She was giving him money? A couple of weeks ago Carole called me.
She was hysterical.
She discovered that Barbara was writing checks for Stephen.
She wanted me to talk to her about it.
And? Part of my expertise is knowing when not to get involved.
Of course I was mad.
My father breaks his back, and she throws it away on this person half her age.
What, you thought there'd be none left for you? $50,000, $75,000.
The money didn't matter to me.
I couldn't stand to see her taken advantage of.
Did you know what the money was gonna be used for? I found these cancelled checks in her apartment.
Metropolitan Financial Corp.
Yeah, I never heard of it either.
So I called.
It's a factor.
She was paying off loans made to Avenue Fashions.
Avenue Fashions, sure.
In the hole for roughly $1 million.
So you gave them $1 million just like that? I'm a factor.
I'm banking on his receivables.
He's paid back a good chunk so far, but, uh, sales slow down, I tend to get a little nervous.
Nervous enough to call in the entire loan? As of last week, Gregg's in for about $600,000.
This economy If he were anyone else, I'd let him slide.
But a past like his, it's a little too shady for me.
We checked.
There's nothing illegal.
(Regan) Did you check Connecticut? One of my clients tells me that back in Westport, Gregg got caught with his hand in the till.
He gets a check on my desk by next week or my truck's hauling out whatever's left in his warehouse.
(Baker) He was 25.
First job in fashion.
I hired him as a stock boy but physical labor wasrt exactly his forte.
What was? Sales.
Especially if the customers happened to be women.
Oh, he wasrt Paul Newman or anything like that, but there was definitely something there.
Best numbers, two years in a row.
A shame to lose a guy like that, huh? In more ways than you'll ever know.
Wait a minute, you mean, you and him, uh Robbing the cradle is not gender-specific, detectives.
Thank you, Gloria Steinem.
So what? He took advantage of your friendship? In the front door with flowers, out the back door with the inventory to the tune of $30,000.
And you didn't press charges? You bet your buns I did.
He spent a year in Danbury.
Hey, the guy's down for the count.
He needs major amounts of cash by the end of the week or it's goodbye haute couture.
And just like that, he's solvent, plus $1 million to spare.
Could be he's lucky.
Could be next week I'll be doing shampoo commercials.
Paul, this guy tried to get lucky before.
He's got priors? Yeah, imported from the Toll Booth State.
He flashes his pearlies while his fingers do the walking through his girlfriend's pocketbooks.
The older, the better.
[Phone rings.]
What? It's still all circumstantial.
I'm looking for something that directly connects him to the murder.
You mean, like, uh, fingerprints? Connecticut just faxed us Gregg's file.
I thought the murder weapon was wiped clean.
It was.
Others in the drawer werert.
(Logan) Right.
He reaches in, he grabs Exhibit One, but he's not careful, so he touches Exhibit Two, Three and Four.
It's as close as we're gonna get, Paul.
My guess is, he starts singing as soon as we slap the cuffs on him.
Pick him up.
[Car honking.]
[Phone ringing.]
Stephen Gregg.
What is it now? You're closed for business.
Wait a minute.
This is ridiculous.
Stephen Gregg, you're under arrest for the murder of Barbara Spiegelman.
You've the right to remain silent.
Anything you do say will be used against you in a court of law.
Do you understand that? Yes.
You have the right to an attorney.
If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided if you so desire, prior to any questioning.
(court clerk) "Docket no.
"People v.
Stephen Gregg.
Charge is murder in the second degree.
" Do we have a plea? Not guilty, Your Honor.
Paul? The defendant savagely murdered an elderly woman, Your Honor.
(Franks) Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait.
It says here, now, Mrs.
Spiegelman was 61.
That's correct, Your Honor.
(Franks) On my 61st birthday you were cramming for a torts exam.
I'd advise you to choose your adjectives a little more courteously, Counselor.
The People request bail of $500,000.
My client can hardly afford cab fare to Brooklyn, Your Honor.
Why not make it $1 million? Why not? [Chuckles.]
And they say the elderly lose their sense of humor.
[Franks laughing.]
Bail is set at $250, cash or bond.
There's a pattern here, Adam.
He's a predicate felon, he lied to the police.
Motive, fingerprints.
When you add it all up You add it all up, you get a basket of goose eggs.
Not one piece of direct evidence.
A first year law student could punch more holes in your case than Con Ed has in Third Avenue.
It was intentional, That is, murder two.
Anything less is a gift.
All right, now unless he prances in here with a confession you're gonna play Santa and you're gonna deal him down to man one.
Please, Mr.
Stone, I read the bill.
David Copperfield couldn't make a case appear.
Miss Knight, your client lied to the police about spending the night with Mrs.
A couple of your detectives knocked on his door.
What did you expect? He was afraid they werert free thinkers like you and me.
His fingerprints were on the other knives in the drawer.
You've come a long way, baby.
She washed, he dried.
He spent seven nights a week there.
If you didn't find prints, we'd have something to talk about.
The jury won't overlook a $2 million motive.
I told you, I had no idea.
Gregg, please, if you want to spin the wheel, go ahead.
But I'm sure your attorney'll tell you that for two-time felons, it usually stops on What? Miss Knight.
If you didn't ask him about his past record, you ought to be ashamed of yourself.
And if you did, what does it say about his credibility? Your client served time in Connecticut.
Grand larceny.
A couple of thugs shook me down.
I was a kid.
What was I supposed to do? Give me 10 to talk to my client.
About what? I didn't do anything.
I loved her.
[Door opens.]
[People chattering.]
Half hour.
I don't know.
Gregg didn't look like the word "plea" was in his vocabulary.
Well, you spend one year in prison, I doubt if you want to go back for 25 more.
[Door opens.]
[Door shuts.]
Man two.
He serves the minimum.
It was intentional homicide.
Man one is as low as I go.
Whatever happened happened in the heat of passion.
He says he loved the woman.
Then let him think about her for the next 15 years.
you've got a deal.
All right.
Why are you doing this to me? (Gelfant) As I read it, you were in front of Judge Franks only yesterday.
To what do I owe the pleasure? If I may, Your Honor, the defendant wishes to withdraw his plea of not guilty and enter the plea of guilty to manslaughter in the first degree.
The People concur, Mr.
Robinette? Yes, we do, Your Honor.
And we've agreed with defense counsel upon a sentence of 7 to 21 years in the state correctional facility.
Please stand, Mr.
(Gelfant) Do you understand the charges to which you are pleading guilty, sir? I do.
Please describe in your own words what occurred on the morning of the eighth of this month.
I was at Barbara's apartment.
That's Mrs.
Spiegelman? Yes.
Go on.
She was sitting with her back to me.
Your Honor [whispering.]
I took a knife out of the kitchen drawer.
And what did you do with it, Mr.
Gregg? I stabbed her in the back.
And you killed her for money? Yes.
Has your attorney explained that this plea has the same effect as a guilty verdict by a jury? Yes.
The court accepts the defendant's plea.
The defendant is remanded to the custody of the state pending sentencing.
[Gavel bangs.]
I just went over the forensics report on the Spiegelman case.
The case is closed, Paul.
Well, maybe it shouldn't be.
The report said Barbara Spiegelman had bruises on both of her knees.
So she was standing when he stabbed her.
That's what the ME concluded.
Only in court today, at his allocution, Gregg said Barbara was seated with her back to him.
You said he was nervous.
Maybe he made a mistake.
You don't forget how you killed someone.
Maybe he didn't like his options.
He's 38.
Maybe seven years looks a lot better than 25.
An attorney is going to let an innocent man deal? Justice is swift, it's not always fair.
Sally Knight, four years Brooklyn legal aid before she hung out her own shingle.
Last year, And her trials? O for three.
All right, talk to her.
(Knight) It doesn't matter how fast you are, Mr.
Robinette, you can't return your own serve.
I'm counsel for the defense, remember? And I'm counsel for the People.
All of them.
I know you plead over 50 cases last year.
And I figure I saved my clients collectively over Don't let the grandeur fool you, Mr.
My clients don't drink martinis at the Oak Room.
You guys set up the plea bargaining system.
Don't blame me for using it.
Did you ever consider that Stephen Gregg took the deal for the wrong reason? He always maintained he was innocent.
His mother died when he was eight years old.
His dad beat the hell out of him between six packs.
I've heard it all before.
If I didn't buy the story, how could I take a chance with the jury? If Stephen did kill Barbara Spiegelman, why would he lie in court about how he killed her? I've got 30 court appearances in the next two weeks.
I can't afford to think too much.
We're talking about a mars life.
Look, you guys pile a stack of evidence in front of me.
Kevin tells me the guy is guilty and should rot in hell.
I gave Gregg his options, he made his choice.
I did my job.
Kevin? Doyle.
The old lady's attorney.
Gregg asked him for a lawyer, Kevin sent me the case.
I guess he thought I could use a client who could actually pay.
Doyle and Knight? He's Paul Stewart, she's K-Mart.
Not the kind of referral you'd expect.
Gregg is hardly solvent, Doyle knew that.
He's not gonna give him Melvin Belli's telephone number.
He's gonna call the bar association and get someone within his price range.
He's just trying to help out.
Or maybe not.
Doyle told Briscoe and Logan there was no way Gregg could be a murderer.
But he told Knight there was no question he was guilty.
What are you saying, Paul? If he was involved, what better way to have the case disappear than refer it to a lawyer who's afraid to go to court? But Doyle is Barbara Spiegelmars attorney.
What motive could he possibly have? Kevin and I started here the same day, same department, but, uh, he was miles ahead of me.
Law school, I took civil rights, he took tax planning for the wealthy.
Sounds like he knew what he wanted.
He wanted to live among his own.
Played touch football in Hyannis Port.
I learned the hard way that people like that aren't made, they're evolved.
Doyle hasn't learnt that yet.
Oh, he didn't have to.
The guy is Exeter, Princeton, Harvard Law.
He's that kind of guy.
Kids like me from Regal Park, we don't get on the letterhead of Smythe & Bradley.
What about Doyle? I'll tell you what.
We all thought Kevin was a slam dunk.
He got passed over as a partner? Goes to show.
Recession hits, nobody cares how blue your blood is.
[Glass clinking.]
The trick to becoming a successful estates attorney, join the right clubs and outlive your clients.
And Kevin Doyle never learned the trick? Oh, he learned very well.
That boy's as good as it gets.
No, I sponsored him for Winged Foot myself.
He's good enough for your club, but not good enough for partner? No, on the contrary, Mr.
Perhaps we werert good enough for him.
He turned you down? First time in the history of the firm.
He said he didn't want the headaches.
Translation: Avoid partnership liabilities during a recession.
But he doesn't get a piece of the profits, either.
But what goes around That Spiegelman estate should buy him five bedrooms at Sag Harbor.
I thought he doesn't share in the profits.
Oh, he doesn't share in the legal fees, but read the will.
He's got one hell of an executor's commission coming his way.
Barbara loved the boy.
How much will he get? $20 million estate, roughly 2.
You do the math.
He gets it all? Mmm-hmm.
Now, if he were a partner, he'd have 75 mouths biting into that apple.
Firm rules: Associates get to keep their commissions all to themselves.
(Stone) He had motive, Adam.
$500,000? [Snorts.]
After the Feds, state and city get through with him, you can cut that down to half.
A Wall Street attorney's gotta be making six figures.
If he needed money (Schiff) If he needed money he would've accepted partnership, or gone to his family.
Maybe his family's not so generous.
What do we know about Doyle, anyway? Harvard Law, '78.
We got over 300 lawyers working in this office.
Somebody must have gone to school with him.
(Alter) Kevin Doyle loves to wave the crimson banner, never shows up at alumni cocktail parties.
He doesn't have fond memories? He wasrt at Harvard long enough to have them.
Transferred in his third year from Brooklyn Law took extra credits just so his diploma would have the proper pedigree.
Well, it served him well.
He's working at Smythe & Bradley.
Where else? We're all in ripped jeans he shows up to class in a tweed jacket custom-made at Tripplers.
Some people, that's a way of life.
Well, if your name was Rockefeller, maybe.
Kevin struts around campus with his Mark Cross briefcase, everyone thinks he's Forbes 400.
And he's not? Only if they're listing the country's top frauds.
After graduation, we had this going away party.
You know, family, friends.
Kevirs there for about 20 minutes, tells us he has to run to the airport to see his folks off to Europe.
You don't believe him.
I did.
Till a few of us hit some all-night greasy spoon, Guess who's there with two pitchers of beer and a bucket of fried chicken? Kevin Doyle.
Mama, Papa and baby Doyle.
It wasrt Kevirs blood that was blue, Paul, it was his collar.
He took one look at us and herded his parents into their beat up Chevy.
I haven't seen him since.
In the early '80s Doyle put all his money in tax shelters.
Everything from shopping centers to cable TV.
All seven-to-one write-offs.
Never paid a nickel in taxes.
And in the '90s, Uncle Sam disallowed those deductions.
Penalties, interest.
Adds up to almost $400,000.
What about his bank accounts? Empty.
IRS has liens on his apartment, his car, his place in Seaview.
End of the month, they take it all.
So Doyle needs $400,000.
He collects $500,000 as Barbara Spiegelmars executor.
No, it was a lot more than money for Doyle.
He's from Brighton Beach.
He wants the world to think he's from Palm Beach.
Yeah, but without more than a motive, we're left in the starting blocks.
Doyle told Briscoe and Logan he was with a client the morning of the murder.
Why did they even ask him? They didn't.
He just offered.
Could be he was feeling guilty.
Call Briscoe.
Paul, werert there unidentified prints in the apartment? Four sets.
When I took the bar exam, they took my fingerprints for identification purposes.
Doyle said he was with a Don Woodward.
And he wasrt? Fortunately, his clients don't tell him everything.
And Mrs.
Woodward were celebrating their A month in Aruba.
(Briscoe) Ben.
The prints on the kitchen counter.
Four point match with Doyle.
Oh, God.
I don't believe this guy.
Paul, file a motion to withdraw the charges against Mr.
Gregg and let's get him home as fast as we can.
And read Mr.
Doyle his rights.
An attorney? My pleasure.
Paul, William Patton has never done a day of pro bono in his life.
I thought that Doyle was broke.
Well, his firm posted bail.
They're probably picking up the tab.
Yeah, well, at $450 an hour, I don't think we're gonna see any deals on this one.
(court clerk) Oyez, oyez, all rise.
The Supreme Court of the State of New York Criminal Part 57 is now in session.
The Honorable Mark Burns presiding.
(Milgrim) The CSU officers found seven fingerprints in Mrs.
Spiegelmars kitchen that were readable.
One of them belonged to Kevin Doyle.
Where exactly was that print located? On the kitchen counter, directly above the drawer which contained the carving knives.
Thank you.
Tell me, sir, is there any way you can say beyond a reasonable doubt that these prints were left on the day of the murder? No.
So they might have been a week old? That's right.
How about a month? Or a year? Objection.
We get your point, Counselor.
Well, you have to understand, um, Mom and Dad never really had very much.
All of a sudden, there were banks and brokers.
They all promised the world.
Mom didn't didn't trust any of them.
But she trusted Kevin Doyle? Yeah.
(Carole) She said, um, a young man like that doesn't need our money.
Was Kevin Doyle in the habit of showing up at your mother's apartment uninvited? Sure.
Yeah, um, Mom wouldn't have hesitated about buzzing him right in.
There were always papers to sign.
She trusted him.
Thank you.
Did your mother ever complain that Mr.
Doyle overbilled his hours? No.
Did she ever say that his legal advice was unsound? No.
So it's fair to say, then, that he was a good attorney? Objection.
To your knowledge, was your mother aware that as executor, Mr.
Doyle was entitled to a commission of approximately 500,000? Yes.
Did she ever say that amount was excessive? No.
Why do you suppose that is, Miss Spiegelman? I said, she trusted him.
She liked him.
You suppose she liked him enough to lend him $500,000 if he desperately needed it? Objection.
[Phone ringing.]
Patton raised reasonable doubt with every witness.
That's why he drives a Ferrari.
And they've written textbooks on his closing arguments.
Yeah, It's too bad that Doyle didn't hire his old friend Sally Knight.
Paul, you said that Doyle was from Brighton Beach, right? And you said that Knight worked for Brooklyn Legal Aid.
Do you think she ever visited the beach? What are you saying, they're in cahoots? (Stone) Adam, if you were a defense attorney and a prosecutor came to you with evidence that tended to prove that your client was innocent, what would you do? I'd celebrate up and down Center Street, and then move to set aside the plea.
Until we withdrew the charges, there wasrt a peep out of Miss Knight.
(Schiff) If we took the license of every incompetent lawyer in the city, we wouldn't have to recycle the New York Times.
"Sally Knight, Brighton Beach, Brooklyn.
" She may be incompetent, but I think I can make a hell of a case that she's also unethical.
Let's give her a visit.
When you work here, someone sends you a case, you take it, you don't ask questions.
I do, Miss Knight.
And what I want to know is, would Stephen Gregg still be in prison if we hadrt withdrawn the charges? What the hell are you implying? I'm saying that you grew up with Kevin Doyle he referred the case to you, and Stephen Gregg cut a deal.
This is crock.
No, it's a case of accessory to murder in the second degree.
How much of the $500,000 did he promise you? First of all, I don't know if Kevin did it.
Second, if he did, you have no proof that I was involved.
You can't possibly believe that l What I believe is irrelevant, Miss Knight.
And if you took the time to go to court now and then, you'd know that the mere appearance of guilt is enough to get you convicted.
Now if you tell us all you know about Kevin Doyle we may spare you the burden of defending yourself against felony charges.
Retaliatory prosecution.
I could get you disbarred.
We're about to play chicken, Miss Knight.
And given our respective reputations, I think I know who's likely to win.
I'll tell you what I know.
But you can't charge me with anything.
That depends on what you tell me.
(Knight) Kevin came to me.
He said the case was a gimme.
He said Gregg was guilty, cut a deal make a couple of grand without much effort.
Did Mr.
Doyle tell you why he chose to refer the case to you? Kevin and I grew up together.
Now he was this big muckety-muck, and I was still begging for cases outside of the courthouse.
I thought he was trying to help me.
But he wasrt? Hardly.
Once again, Kevin Doyle was thinking only of Kevin Doyle.
No opinions, Miss Knight.
What did the defendant tell you? After Mr.
Robinette presented what might have been exculpatory evidence, I went to Kevirs office.
He told me not to be stupid, to collect my money and keep my mouth shut.
I told him I could be ruining a mars life.
And what did Mr.
Doyle say? He actually started to panic.
He said I'd ruin everything.
The great Kevin Doyle.
He didn't actually come out and say it but I suspected.
Suspected what? That he was somehow involved.
(Burns) Sustained.
The jury will disregard the witness's last statement.
Uh, Miss Knight, there's one thing I don't understand.
Despite your suspicions, you did nothing.
People like me ride the F train.
We buy new clothes maybe once a year.
I thought maybe if I helped him, someday maybe he'd help me.
Thank you.
Do you believe that Stephen Gregg and Kevin Doyle acted in concert? No.
So, if Mr.
Doyle is guilty then your client Stephen Gregg has to be innocent, isn't that true? Yes.
Did you do anything whatsoever to secure his release from prison? [Sighs.]
(Patton) So you admit that you have violated Disciplinary Code 7-101 of the ABA's Codes for Professional Responsibility? Yes.
Tell me, Miss Knight, how do you expect this court to believe an attorney who, under oath, admits to committing a disbarrable offence? Objection.
Of course, my fingerprints were in Barbara's apartment.
I visited her several times a month.
What was the purpose of those visits? Barbara was the trustee of a trust created under Sam's will.
I frequently had papers for her to sign.
Tax returns, distributions, transfers, things like that.
(Patton) So these visits were strictly professional.
A good estates attorney is a family advisor.
Like a rabbi, if you will.
(Doyle) Barbara asked my advice on everything from investments to what kind of car to buy.
She trusted me.
She respected me.
I respected her.
It was almost like family.
It's preposterous to think that I could kill her.
Thank you.
Doyle, it's true, isn't it, that you represent some of the wealthiest families in New York City? (Doyle) I suppose so.
And do they all invite you into their households like, uh, Barbara Spiegelman did? For the most part, yes.
Why do you suppose that is, sir? I happen to be a very good attorney, Mr.
Oh, there are a lot of good attorneys in New York City.
I mean, couldn't they hire Miss Knight, for example? No.
(Stone) No? Well, if she's not a good attorney, why did you refer Stephen Gregg to her? (Doyle) She's competent.
She's just not Oh, she's not, uh She's not what, sir? She's not their kind of people? That's right.
And you are? Yes.
Which means Miss Knight doesn't have the education, or the upbringing or the family history, is that right? That's correct.
And if she were in financial need, she could not go to her family for help like your clients could, right? No.
Now, Mr.
Doyle, people have testified in this courtroom that you are in dire financial need.
Did you ever go to your family for help? No.
(Stone) Why not, sir? Is it because a garage mechanic is not likely to have $400,000 sitting in his bank account? I went to Harvard.
I work on Wall Street.
But the truth is, sir, you are not really "their kind of people," are you? So the question is, how far would you go to conceal that fact? Objection.
No more questions.
[Traffic rumbling.]
We may have a problem, Ben.
After Knight's testimony, I don't think so.
I can't find Doyle.
He didn't pick up his phone last night.
This morning? Nothing.
Call Briscoe and Logan.
If he left town, he didn't take much luggage.
(Logan) Paul.
Oh, my God.
Lawyers killing their clients for money.
They left that one out of the Canons of Ethics.
Well, for Doyle, money was only the means to an end.
(Stone) He climbed as high as he could, and couldn't bear the fall.
Who could?