Law & Order (1990) s12e13 Episode Script

DR 1-102

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.
Don't bug my neighbors, dude.
It's after 1:00 a.
There's no girls left in there.
That's not my problem.
Dude, go get a drink.
All right, look, one of them's hot.
If you ruin my chances with her, I'm gonna kill you.
Dude, it's open.
No, don't go in there.
Mike, let's get out of here.
Oh, man.
DENNIS: Cynthia Hall, 24.
Got her head bashed in.
Looks like she was dressed for work.
Where's the other one? Back bedroom.
Unis found her when they got to the scene.
Susan Haley, also 24.
She get it the same way? Yeah.
Looks like death was instantaneous.
ED: Any sign of a sexual attack? Not from what I saw.
What about a time of death? From the body temp, I'm gonna guess within the last three-to-six hours.
I might be able to run some tests on the blood stain in the carpet, pinpoint the time she was attacked, if you think that might be helpful.
Knock yourself out.
Yeah, I also found this in the living room.
Matches a set in the closet.
The blood's all smeared.
Doesn't look like we're gonna get any usable prints.
Free weight.
More like dead weight.
DAMON: People started showing up around 9:00, but the party didn't really kick in until 11:00 or so.
Those girls could've been killed during that time.
And nobody heard anything? Well, the music was pretty loud.
I'm seeing about 20, Is this everybody that was at the party? Best we can remember.
Anybody on that list you think might be capable of this? Oh, man, that would freak me out.
What about that guy, Grandy? MIKE: Well, the dude's a complete ass, but, nah, I don't think he'd do something like this.
What you mean, complete ass? DAMON: You know, older guy, crashed the party.
Totally wasted, really obnoxious to all the girls.
When did this Grandy kid leave the party? He didn't stay very long.
He said the party was a total sausage fest, not enough girls.
Yeah, I was hitting on some of 'em, but so what? We heard it was more like groping.
These girls, man, they can't take a joke.
Maybe 'cause your act ain't funny.
So tell us when you left the party.
I don't know.
I was drunk.
You got anybody that can account for your whereabouts around 11:00? Why you guys giving me such a hard time? BRISCOE: You were drunk, you were groping girls in the bathroom, and you left early looking to get some, right? Then two girls end up killed across the hallway.
Whoa, whoa, whoa.
You think I did that? I didn't even think that girls lived next door to that apartment.
What makes you say that? 'Cause I saw some guy walk out of there.
What guy? What'd he look like? I don't know.
Well, was he white, black? Short, tall? What? He was a white guy.
He was, like, in his 30s.
You know, he had a gray shirt on and, uh, blue pants.
Do you remember seeing him at the party? No, he wasn't at the party.
Think you could ID him? I don't know.
The guy was walking down the stairs in front of me.
Lennie, it's that kid from CSU, he's got something on the time of death.
Keep working on your alibi.
And in the future, no means no.
According to the M.
, the victim was knocked unconscious and bled to death.
The autopsy showed she lost 1.
9 liters fast and steady.
ED: You say that like it's a good thing.
Oh, no.
Sorry, it's just that it let me replicate the crime scene conditions more easily.
See, I poured 1.
9 liters of animal's blood on several swatches of carpet from the victim's bedroom, measuring absorption levels at five-minute intervals.
What kind of animal? Pig.
Where'd you get pig's blood? Slaughterhouse.
It mimics the consistency of human blood.
You gotta get out more, bro.
BRISCOE: So, how'd you know how fast to pour it? I subpoenaed her medical records.
Uh, I got her BP from her last physical, and then I took into account the size of the laceration.
I calculated a range of about .
1 to .
2 liters per minute.
Good thing they didn't scotch guard the carpets, huh? Yeah.
Here's the absorption level at three-and-a-half hours, and here's the swatch I took from the crime scene at 2:17 a.
Looks like we got a winner.
So, at 2:17 a.
, this blood had been soaking in the carpet for three-and-a-half hours? Yeah, give or take Means she got her head knocked in around 10:45.
When did this Grandy leave the party? Cordova interviewed all the guests.
Three of them put him there until at least 11:30.
Only thing he killed was too many beers.
What about this guy he mentioned? The unis canvassed the rest of tenants.
Nobody saw a thing.
Well, how about a doorman or security cameras? Building's got a Sentrex Security System.
Anytime anybody's let in, it makes a record.
Record didn't show that the girls buzzed anybody up.
Well, and there was no sign of forced entry, which means that one of the vics must have known whoever did this.
Also, the tox screen shows some alcohol in the girl in the business suit.
Nothing in the other one.
Either of these girls have family in the area? Girl in the bedroom had a sister.
She's coming in to ID the body.
I can't think of anyone Susan knew who would do this.
Did your sister have a boyfriend? Susan didn't date much.
ED: And what about exes? Junior year in college.
But he lives somewhere in California, I think.
What about Cynthia? What about her? Well, she always had guys over.
Susan used to complain about it.
Why? Cynthia was into clubbing.
Susan said these guys were kind of sketchy, not the kind you wanna bump into on the way to the bathroom in the middle of the night.
Did Susan ever mention anybody in particular? No.
It sounded like there was a different one every weekend.
TAGERT: Cynthia was one of the best financial analysts in our group.
This is her cube.
Has anything been moved? Uh, it felt pretty weird, but the cops told us to leave everything the way it is, so We're trying to retrace Cynthia's steps, uh, after she left work.
Do you know where she went? Home, I thought.
What time was that? Around 8:30.
There's no appointments.
Is that the usual quitting time around here? Yeah, pretty much.
Hey, Matt, does the bank provide a car service? Yeah.
Yeah, after 8:00.
The dispatcher says your pick-up was at 8:20.
That's what he says.
I don't really remember.
Do you remember where you went? Says here I dropped her off at East 83rd Street at 9:05.
Took you 45 minutes to get uptown? She's the one who wrote down the address.
That's not what he asked you.
Look, I know I'm supposed to take them home.
ED: But? She gave me 20 bucks, asked me to take her to Williamsburg.
Where in Williamsburg? Between Bedford and Clinton.
Near 7th.
It's not my fault she got killed though, right? We'll get back to you on that.
So, you think she went to the bolt factory or the box warehouse? Hey, check that out.
Hey, yo! Hold up! Hey! Police! Come here.
What? You scared I'm gonna mug you or something? Oh, we didn't know who you were, you know.
Where were you coming from? There's an after-hours club down there.
After what hours? It's 10:00 in the morning.
All right, man, get out of here.
Yeah, it's too bad about Cynthia.
Used to come to the club a lot.
How about two nights ago? Ah, nights kind of bleed together, you know? Poor choice of words, pal.
Car service says they dropped her off here at 9:00.
We're pretty dead.
I mean, empty, at 9:00, you know.
So, what was she doing here? Helping you cut up limes? Look, man, I'm getting a contact high from all the fumes up in here.
You want us to take this place apart? Look, I don't sell, all right? Her friend was coming by and wanted me to hook him up with a number to call and score a few grams of heroin.
All right, bro, we need that number.
Who's this friend? Uh, red hair, maybe early 30s.
He have a name? I think she said she worked for him.
Matt, we need to talk to you.
Uh, we're just about to take her to day care.
BRISCOE: Why don't you let them go on ahead.
You can catch up.
Matt? No.
It's okay.
They just need to talk to me about Cynthia Hall.
You guys go ahead.
I'll be right there.
You told us the last time that you saw her, she was leaving work.
But you forgot to tell us that you met up with her later.
You also forgot to mention her hooking you up with some smack.
Now, your connection has an alibi for the whole night.
What about you? Do I need a lawyer here? Yeah, if your wife finds out.
Other than that, we're not sure.
Look, Cynthia was my friend.
If I knew anything about what happened to her, I would've told you about it.
You know, I kind of doubt that, seeing as how you lied to us once already.
Look, if anybody finds out about the drugs, that could be the end of my career.
Well, we can think of the one person who won't blab.
Look, Cynthia and I used to party together, but that's all.
So you two score some drugs, you go back to her place, is that it? Her place? No.
After that, we went to another bar.
BRISCOE: Until what time? A little after 11:00.
Think again, kid.
Cynthia was already dead by 11:00.
We were at that bar until at least 11:00.
More than 20 people saw us there.
According to Tagert's credit card record, he paid their bar bill at 11:17.
At least 10 people saw them leave together.
I thought CSU narrowed down the time of death to 10:45? No.
His calculations were based only on the girl in the bedroom.
Now, if you figure in the time it took Cynthia to get home, those girls died over an hour apart.
So, whoever did this was already there when Cynthia Hall came home.
And Susan Haley was already dead.
And that pretty much puts Tagert and the other kid, Grandy, in the clear.
And us out of suspects.
Well, what about this guy who was seen leaving the apartment? If he's for real, he got in that building somehow.
So, let's focus on access.
Maybe he piggy-backed off somebody else who got buzzed in.
Yeah, except Grandy's the only one that remembers seeing him.
Then we need to track down everybody who was buzzed into that building before 10:45.
Look, if you have a better idea, I'll be in my office.
Two uniform cops already asked us about that night.
They spoke to my wife.
We're re-interviewing everybody in the building.
We just have a few more questions.
You ask me, they ought to ban those kids from having parties.
The drugs, all that noise, and now this.
Rothchild, according to the security report, you buzzed somebody into the building at 10:08 p.
That was me.
I forgot my keys.
You buzzed yourself in? No, uh, my wife.
See, she's gotta have that lactose-free milk, and I gotta walk out in the middle of the night, five blocks to the deli.
Why she can't remember to get it herself in the daytime! But did you happen to let somebody in the building when you came in? I never let in nobody I don't recognize.
Did you ever notice anybody hanging around wearing a gray shirt and blue pants? Gray shirt and blue pants? You mean like a uniform? I saw one of those guys coming out of that apartment a few weeks ago.
In the daytime.
I thought they were spraying for roaches.
The old man's mixed up.
I use an outside service for pest control.
Well, when do they come? Third Thursday every month.
Tenants sign up if they want it.
But neither of those girls did.
Well, what if one of your crew needs to fix something, how do they get in? I let them in.
I'm the only one with keys.
Wait, there are no spares? Sometimes the tenants make extras, but they turn them in when they move out.
So, how do these guys lock up after they're through? I might give them a key, but just for the day.
Then, I get it back.
I'm real strict about this.
We're gonna need the names of anybody that's worked in that apartment in the past few months.
Okay? BRISCOE: Gee, Serge, you're even prettier in person than in your arrest photo.
I got nothing to do with those girls.
Yeah, well, your assault charge tells us that you're a little prone to violence.
A loudmouthed Islander fan.
Practically self-defense.
The super also says that you were in those girls' apartment a few months back.
They had a broken cabinet in the kitchen.
He says he gave you a key.
And I gave it back, same day.
Well, we have a witness that saw somebody dressed like you leaving the apartment the night those girls were killed.
I left work at 5:00.
I was home all night.
You got anybody that can vouch for that? I don't know.
Uh, a neighbor, somebody, maybe, saw me.
I live alone.
You better be telling the truth, Serge, or you're gonna be fixing sinks at Attica.
I love it when they don't have an alibi.
He could've made a copy of that key during his lunch break.
We can run his arrest photo with the local hardware stores.
Sorry, I don't recognize him.
He works around here.
We're just trying to figure out if he made a copy of a key.
Says, "Do not duplicate.
" Well, from the last four places we've been, we get the feeling that's just a suggestion.
Couldn't tell you if it's one of ours.
We don't keep records.
Gray shirt, blue pants.
Remember the super said sometimes the tenants make extra sets for themselves.
Are you the only one that makes copies of the keys? My nephew helps out part-time.
BRISCOE: Is he here now? Just weekends.
But he's not gonna remember either.
Like I said, we make a lot of keys.
Well, we still need to talk to him.
Now? Yeah, now.
HOBBS: He just left.
ED: He knew we were coming.
He said he had to go out.
You mind if we take a look around? Oh, okay.
Is Raymond okay? My son didn't do anything wrong.
ED: Lennie, in here.
Lennie, check this out.
BRISCOE: The Yorkville break-in.
And another break-in.
Looks like our boy's been busy.
What is it? I think you better come with us, Mrs.
For your own safety.
Safety? Who should I be afraid of? He's Raymond Hobbs.
His uncle that owns the hardware store says that he's quiet and he keeps to himself.
And he lives with his mother.
Don't they all.
What about these other break-ins? We're running 'em down.
According to the 61s, he'd watch 'em sleep, go through their underwear drawer.
"I heard loud breathing.
"I woke up and he was in the room.
" Charming.
Did any of the girls ID him? No, it always happened at night.
They'd wake up, he'd bolt.
Well, not this time.
What are we doing to find this wacko? We've got unis canvassing all the places his mother says he hangs out.
She's co-operating? Yeah, she wants her son safe.
Lieutenant, two uniforms spotted Hobbs, and he took off.
He's got a female hostage in a drugstore.
I chased him a couple of blocks, but I lost him around the corner.
Next thing, all the customers started pouring out of the store, saying this guy's got a knife to some woman's throat.
Is he still in there? Crouched in the third aisle.
Tough to get a clear line.
We get anyone in to talk with him yet? Yeah, Captain Bolland, HNT.
He's been in there Is there anybody in the store besides Hobbs and the one hostage? Well, not as far as we know.
Hostage negotiator coming out.
OFFICER 1 ON SPEAKER: Hold your fire.
Hostage negotiator coming out Hold your fire.
OFFICER 2: Hold your fire! I'm alone.
Lieutenant Van Buren, Detectives Briscoe and Green from the 27.
How's the hostage? Okay for now, but I can't get through to this guy.
Either of you have any prior contact with him? By the time we got to his house, he'd already split.
What about bringing his mother down here? She could make things worse.
BRISCOE: How worse can they get? He's asking for a lawyer.
And if he doesn't get one? He's gonna kill the hostage.
This is A.
SERENA: What's the situation? Subject has one female hostage.
He's holding her at knifepoint.
ESU wants to take him out if they can line up a shot.
They wanted a D.
down here to observe.
I was told he asked for a lawyer.
Did he get one? Can't risk another civilian.
Besides, who knows what some legal aid lawyer might cook up.
Why not send in one of your officers undercover? Look, if he was smart enough to ask for a lawyer, he might be too smart for that.
The subject just moved We've got a clear line of fire.
Can we take the shot? Wait.
What if I go? Go where? He asked for a lawyer Let me talk to him.
I can't let you do that, Serena.
It's better than him killing the hostage or you killing him, isn't it? Keep him calm.
Never say no.
Speak in terms of possibilities.
What if I get him to surrender? Have him lie on the floor, put his hands behind his head.
That's best for everybody.
What about the knife? Never take it from his hand.
Tell him to put it on the floor and kick it to you.
But if he charges you, put your hands up, protect your face and your neck.
Kevlar should protect the rest.
RAYMOND: (SCREAMING) Don't come in here! Who are you? You asked for a lawyer.
Yeah? I want you to prove it.
Prove it! This is my driver's license and my bar association card.
Are you okay? Don't talk to her! Talk to me! Okay? Okay.
I'm talking to you.
How many How many cops are out there? I'm not sure.
They wanna kill me.
They don't want anybody getting hurt.
Including you.
They“ They think that I killed those girls.
I don't know what they think.
If they didn't, why else would they come looking for me? Sometimes police make mistakes.
It's always a possibility.
Look, I didn't want to hurt them.
I didn't want to hurt them, okay? It just happened.
It just happened.
And everyone's gonna understand that.
You're gonna explain that to them, right? You're gonna explain that to them right? Yes, I will.
What if they don't believe you? Well, we're getting ahead of ourselves because first you're gonna have to let this woman go, and then I can help you.
I promise I won't let them hurt you.
Now, just put the knife on the floor.
Put the knife on the floor.
(KNIFE CLATTERING) SERENA: Ma'am, why don't you just walk toward me.
And just keep on going, just keep going.
Please help Please help me.
Down! Down! Down on the floor! Don't let them hurt me! Help me! Please, don't let them hurt me! Hands behind your head! (SOBBING) Don't let them hurt me! Please Don't move! (SPEAKING INCOHERENTLY) Nice job, Counselor.
JACK: Are you sure you're okay? Just a little shaky still.
She was great.
Where's Hobbs now? Briscoe's walking him through central booking.
Is he gonna plead insanity at arraignment? He seemed to understand the nature and consequences of his actions.
He kept a scrapbook of similar break-ins, and just about every clipping that was written on the double slayings.
Apparently, Hobbs would duplicate keys for young women who came into the neighborhood hardware store, and then enter their apartments when they weren't at home.
What about here? Susan Haley must have caught him and he reacted.
Why stick around over an hour, kill the roommate? Well, there was a party that was going on across the hall that spilled out into the corridor.
There were kids coming and going, he was trapped.
And we figured once he murdered the second girl, he had to chance it.
Anyone place Hobbs at the murder scene? We have a witness we think saw him leave the apartment.
I've already set up the line-up.
Keep me posted.
FERNANDS: Has anyone spoken with him? No one's said anything to influence the witness.
Just checking.
You've already thrown some sharp elbows on this one.
"Sharp elbows"? For some reason my client seems to think that you were his lawyer.
At first, I couldn't understand why a defendant would think he was being represented by a district attorney.
Hobbs asked for a lawyer.
If he made certain assumptions, that's not my concern.
Grandy, this is a one-way mirror.
You'll see five men, but they won't see you.
Do any of these men look familiar? GRANDY: Uh, yeah.
The guy that I saw coming out of the apartment, he could be number four.
"Could be"? Yeah.
I told the cops, I pretty much saw the guy from behind, so VAN BUREN: Thank you for your time.
Strike one.
Here's two and three.
Motions to suppress Hobbs' statements and the evidence found in his apartment.
I thought Briscoe and Green had the mother's consent.
Well, Fernande is arguing relevance instead.
And the statements? She contends that I talked to Hobbs without giving him Miranda first.
The armed ESU team outside the store makes this a custodial situation.
But I doubt Miranda applies to hostage takings.
That's just what the defense will argue.
SERENA: It wasn't an interrogation.
Nothing I said was designed to get Hobbs to incriminate himself.
I was very careful.
That may be the problem.
That you were concerned whether Hobbs' statements would be admissible suggests you wanted him to make them.
I'll go research custodial situations.
You have to withdraw from the case, Serena.
I can't even second chair? You can't prosecute him if you're testifying against him.
Up first, the evidence found in the defendant's apartment.
Newspaper clippings.
Apparently Mr.
Hobbs has a propensity for entering young women's apartments without their permission.
Or a morbid fascination with people who do.
Argue what you want in front of a jury, but under Molineux, I can establish intent and pattern using evidence of uncharged crimes.
Clipping newspaper articles isn't a crime.
But stalking is.
We believe those clippings relate to break-ins Mr.
Hobbs committed.
Key word being "believe," Your Honor.
I agree.
I can't allow evidence of other crimes when I'm not satisfied that the defendant did, in fact, commit them.
What's next? Mr.
Hobbs' statement, Your Honor.
What about it? It was taken in violation of his Sixth Amendment right.
He requested an attorney.
That request was made at knifepoint.
There's no knifepoint exception to Miranda.
Once a person asks for an attorney, all interrogation must cease.
Hobbs was not subject to interrogation.
He asks for a lawyer, and the police send in a prosecutor.
What would you call it? Heroic.
Well, that may be, Mr.
McCoy, but the defendant did request counsel prior to making the statement.
Now, I'm not going to allow someone pretending to be his lawyer to tell the jury what he said.
Then, let the hostage testify.
She was there, too.
So, even assuming a right to counsel did attach, the presence of this other woman destroyed whatever privilege may have existed.
Judge, if you allow that, you'd be permitting an end-run around Miranda.
Miranda doesn't apply to civilians like Mrs.
Besides, the state didn't place her in that store, Mr.
Hobbs did.
He's right, Ms.
If the hostage's testimony provides your client's undoing, he has only himself to blame.
But I want to hear her version before I make my ruling.
She doesn't sleep.
She closes her eyes and she sees him.
That's all she remembers, the look on that man's face.
I can understand how frightening this must have been.
But your wife's the only option we have left.
What if she testifies and he still goes free? I don't think that's likely to happen.
All you have to do is tell this judge what he said, Mrs.
The lawyer who came in to help you told me how strong you were in that store.
How you kept calm, even with a knife at your throat.
She can't.
He's right.
This woman risked her life for me.
I've got to try.
WILLIAMS: The man said that the police think he killed those two girls.
Then, the woman lawyer told him that maybe the police made a mistake.
JACK: What did he say then? He said he didn't mean to hurt them.
That it just happened.
And what did you understand him to be referring to? Objection.
You can answer that.
Killing those two girls.
Why did you think that? Because the man asked this lawyer to explain what happened for him.
What happened with him and those girls.
Thank you.
Nothing further.
Did my client actually say he killed those two women? He didn't use those words, no.
So, he didn't admit to killing anyone, did he? No, he didn't admit it, but By the way, when my client asked Ms.
Southerlyn if she would explain his side, what did she say? She said she would.
In other words, she lied.
Never mind.
Plea bargain? Why should I? That testimony was far from ironclad.
The judge found it convincing.
Well, we'll see what a jury thinks.
A jury will seize any opportunity to protect their daughters from Mr.
You don't want to chance losing this.
Hobbs faces two counts of murder one.
The question is, how much is he willing to chance? (KNOCKING ON DOOR) Hmm.
How'd it go? Took a plea.
Murder two, 15-to-life.
Less than eight years for each woman.
No forensics, our line-up tanked, and there were problems with his statement.
So, in other words, it's the best you can do, given your misrepresentation.
I never told him I was a defense attorney, Nora.
A lie of omission is still a lie.
I forgot you were an ethics professor.
I'm afraid the issue isn't academic, Serena.
I just received these from the first department's disciplinary committee.
They're initiating disbarment proceedings against you.
I cannot believe this is happening.
What grounds are they giving for disbarment? Violation of disciplinary rule 1102.
"Engaging in dishonesty, deceit, or misrepresentation.
" I never told Hobbs I was a defense lawyer.
They claim you let him believe you were.
If I hadn't, he would have killed the hostage.
Which is what you'll explain to the disciplinary committee.
Who are all lawyers in private practice.
It's pretty unlikely there'll be a prosecutor on it, and they're not about to do me any favors.
Nora's also taken me off the trial schedule.
You're not being punished.
She just can't have you risk a trial right now.
In case I get disbarred in the middle of it.
Have you found an attorney yet? No.
Apparently lawyers hate appearing before the disciplinary committee, even as advocates.
I'm not sure it's such a good idea, Jack.
JACK: She needs all the help she can get.
Aaron Solomon is leading the charge against her.
Well, I imagine a former defense attorney will jump at the chance to nail a D.
for ethical misconduct.
She made a tough choice in a difficult situation.
We've all been there before.
And we've had to face the music when we have.
You know, her motives might've been pure, but it was a questionable decision.
She saved lives, Nora.
So did the prosecutor in Denver in the same situation.
That didn't stop the Colorado Bar from coming down on him.
It's when the stakes are high, the rules are most difficult to follow.
And if no one ever pushed the limits, the rest of us wouldn't know what they are.
It's that kind of thinking that's gotten you hauled before the disciplinary committee.
All the more reason I should represent her.
I know the territory.
I was scared of the police.
I was afraid of what they were gonna do to me.
So, you asked for a lawyer? Yeah.
I wanted somebody that That I thought would protect me.
SOLOMON: And did you believe Ms.
Southerlyn to be that person? RAYMOND: Yeah.
She said she was a lawyer.
She showed me her driver's license, her lawyer's card.
Did she ever tell you that she was a D.
? No.
What did she tell you? She told me that she was gonna help me.
She said that she was gonna explain to everyone that what had happened to those two girls was an accident.
Did she do that? No.
She did not.
She tried to put me in prison instead.
Strange way for one's own lawyer to act.
Two women bludgeoned to death, and you're the victim? I'm sitting in prison because she lied.
You're sitting in prison because you murdered two people.
She violated my rights.
JACK: At the time you requested a lawyer, you were threatening the life of another woman.
I wasn't gonna hurt her.
JACK: According to your testimony, you didn't intend to harm those other two people either, did you? She still shouldn't have lied to me! JACK: You crushed the skulls of two women, held a knife to the throat of another, why should this woman have felt safe enough to be truthful with you? She violated my rights! I never told him I was a defense attorney or that I was his lawyer.
But you didn't disabuse him of the notion that you were? He was holding a woman hostage.
If you hadn't gone in, do you think Mr.
Hobbs would've killed her? Yes.
And I also believe it would've been wrong to take the chance he would.
If your goal was simply to save Alicia Williams' life, why didn't you just ask Mr.
Hobbs to release her as soon as you entered the store? I wanted to establish some degree of Some degree of trust? Yeah.
And if he believed you were his lawyer, that might go a long way? What he believed didn't concern me.
Oh, of course it did.
If he'd found out you were a D.
, he might've killed the hostage, isn't that the point of your testimony? He might have killed me, too.
There also came a time when he asked for legal advice.
Did you tell him then that you weren't his lawyer? No.
Did you bother to tell him that even if you were his lawyer, any conversation you had with him wouldn't be privileged with the hostage in the room? So, either you're a bad lawyer JACK: Objection.
Which I don't believe, or you didn't because you needed the hostage in the room.
Otherwise, Mr.
Hobbs' statements would've been privileged, and you couldn't use them at trial.
Is Mr.
Solomon asking a question? Ms.
Southerlyn, were you trying to save a life, or protect your evidence? I'm not accused of trying to have my cake and eat it, too.
I'm accused of trying to deceive Mr.
Hobbs when I didn't do anything deceptive.
Really? Uh, how did you prove to him you were a lawyer? I showed him my bar association card.
Weren't you also carrying your district attorney's badge? I didn't say anything to deceive Mr.
So, a moment ago when you said you didn't do anything, uh, that was a lie? I misspoke.
Uh, is there any other testimony you might want to clear up? Because I don't want to give the panel the impression that you're a liar.
I'm not a liar, Mr.
That's right, I forgot.
You only omit the truth.
(SIGHS) That could've gone better.
I think the panel saw he was trying to trap you.
Well, instead of my actions being justified by the situation, he made it look like I was trying to take advantage of it.
Thank you.
We may have another problem.
Solomon just subpoenaed an expert witness.
Who? A former ethics professor.
SOLOMON: Nora Lewin is uniquely qualified.
She's held the same job as Ms.
Southerlyn, and she's an authority on legal ethics.
She's also a sitting district attorney.
It's a stunt.
Who better than her boss to evaluate her conduct? She's also my boss.
Having me cross-examine her creates a conflict of interest.
You might have considered that before involving yourself in this, Mr.
Lewin will respond to the subpoena.
SOLOMON: Prior to coming to the D.
's office, you were a professor of law? Yes.
And one of the courses you taught was legal ethics? That's right.
Could you tell us, Ms.
Lewin, if one of your former students came to you with this hypothetical, how would you have advised him? I honestly don't know.
Don't you? I mean, you've prosecuted defendants you didn't believe deserved prison, sought the death penalty when you thought it wrong.
You've always put the law above your personal feelings.
How would this situation be any different? I wasn't there.
Well, what would you have told your student about the content of that rule? I would have told my student to read the rule for himself.
Fair enough.
Let's do that.
Um, DR-1102 states in relevant part that, "A lawyer shall not engage in conduct involving dishonesty, "fraud, deception, or misrepresentation.
" Now, would you consider Ms.
Southerlyn's actions to be in breach of that rule? Objection.
The answer goes directly to the issue to be decided by the committee.
She's an expert witness offering an opinion.
I'll let her answer.
Southerlyn was faced with a unique and difficult situation.
Um, here's a copy of the code.
Which provision allows for exceptions to difficult and unique situations? None.
And why is that? Because if lawyers could substitute their judgment for the ethical rules, those rules would be meaningless.
SOLOMON: And they would also be meaningless if in violating them, there wasn't some form of punishment, correct? Correct.
Thank you very much.
You were a law professor for 21 years, but you've practiced for less than nine.
Interesting statistic, but it's not a question.
How much of your expert opinion is based on practical experience prosecuting cases? My opinion is based on the disciplinary rules.
You can't believe that the code of professional responsibility is more important than a human life? No, of course not.
So, in certain situations where a human life is at stake, you might consider the breach of an ethical rule to be justified? I might follow my conscience instead of the law.
However Have you terminated Ms.
Southerlyn's employment? No.
Placed a reprimand in her file? No.
Because you're unwilling to punish her for a difficult decision made in the heat of the moment.
That's right.
A moment ago you said that you weren't there.
But if you could save a victim's life by violating an ethical rule, would you? Yes, I think I would.
Just one question, Ms.
If you did violate that rule, would you expect there to be consequences? Yes.
Well, I'm glad I make my living on the other side of the witness box.
I thought you handled yourself pretty well.
Well, I only hope I get to return the compliment someday.
How is she? Her career is on the line, and her boss is a key witness against her.
You won't screw this up will you, Jack? Just so long as they don't call anymore experts.
Southerlyn did a very brave and selfless thing.
Why should we punish her? Isn't this a situation where we should just look the other way? Well, the problem with looking the other way is that it involves us turning our backs on the ethical rules that define our profession, that guide our judgment, that hold us to a standard worthy of the public's trust.
If we reject those rules, we are all lost.
That being said, I agree that it would be wrong to disbar Ms.
Southerlyn for doing the moral thing.
But doing the moral thing wasn't her only goal.
With Alicia Williams' life on the line, she decided to manipulate the situation to her own ends.
She tried not only to save a life, but save a case as well.
That she did so is a conflict of interest that makes her conduct unethical.
That she did so through fraud and deception makes her conduct inexcusable.
And worthy of disbarment.
There's no question that what Serena Southerlyn did saved a life.
She probably also saved the life of the man whose rights she's accused of violating.
How could you think of disbarring her with that result? A D.
is an officer of the court, like all lawyers, but when he or she goes to work, it's also with an obligation to protect the public against people who break the law.
Because in addition to a bar association card, Ms.
Southerlyn also carries a badge.
Police officers use deception to apprehend criminals every day.
The law lets them.
Because the law understands that they are on the front line, that their lives are at risk.
This was a unique situation where an Assistant District Attorney put her life on the line to protect us.
And when it was over, everyone walked out alive.
This lawyer had a moment to choose between being a lawyer and being a person.
What would we have all thought if she'd made a different choice? We are sympathetic to Ms.
Southerlyn's argument that her ends justified her means.
However, we believe our system of law is rooted in the maxim that the ends never justify the means.
That is why judges free accused murderers whom we all assume to be guilty when the evidence has been obtained illegally.
That is why juries acquit defendants when the People haven't proven their case beyond all reasonable doubt.
Southerlyn, we find you in violation of DR1-102A, sub 4.
Our recommendation to the appellate division is that you receive a private reprimand.
Given the difficulty of your dilemma and the fact your conduct is unlikely to be repeated, we feel disbarment would be inappropriate at this time.
Thank you, Jack.
Happy to do it.
Celebrating? Please join us.
Is that scotch? We're lawyers, what else? No, I'm driving.
I'd better not.
I just came by to tell you I put you back on the trial schedule.
I appreciate that.
And I can appreciate what you did.
But, you know, if you wanted to save people, you should've become a doctor.