Arthur Branch
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Quotes for
Arthur Branch (Character)
from "Law & Order" (1990)

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"Law & Order: Special Victims Unit: Gone (#7.16)" (2006)
Casey Novak: [after being ordered by Donnelly to produce Jason] We're in trouble.
Arthur Branch: I heard. We can't bank on the police to find Jason.
Casey Novak: Any advice?
Arthur Branch: Well, when under attack, circle the wagons. Go back to your office, Casey. Relax. Breathe. Then meet me by my car at 6:00.
Casey Novak: We going somewhere?

Arthur Branch: [upon finding out that Jason is missing] Why the hell wasn't Jason King in protective custody?
Donald Cragen: His parents volunteered to take him out of town.
Arthur Branch: With Nick Pratt and Doug Waverly out on bail? It was just a matter of time before they found out where Jason was. Is SVU tight?
Donald Cragen: As a drum, sir. There's no way the leak came from my people.
Arthur Branch: And I doubt it came from Casey. That leaves Liz Donnelly's office.
Casey Novak: I'll notify her.
Arthur Branch: No you won't. Not yet.
Casey Novak: You're not suggesting that she's...
Arthur Branch: The leak? Of course not. It's just that her people are the only ones I can't vouch for. You know, if she stops the trial now, double jeopardy attaches. We can never try Pratt or Waverly on these charges again.
Donald Cragen: Well, can't you read Jason's grand jury testimony at trial?
Arthur Branch: Not unless we can prove he's been harmed. Fourteenth Amendment gives Nick and Doug the right to face their accuser.
Casey Novak: If we don't find Jason soon, I'm gonna run out of witnesses.
Casey Novak: Get some more. Keep our case alive. Stall as long as you can.

Judge Elizabeth Donnelly: Arthur? Casey?
Casey Novak: We need to talk to you.
Judge Elizabeth Donnelly: In the middle of a trial? I don't think so.
Arthur Branch: The defense had their ex parte moment.
Judge Elizabeth Donnelly: In chambers, not my living room
Arthur Branch: This is different. Can you step outside a moment.
Judge Elizabeth Donnelly: [Donnelly steps outside] Why the cloak-and-dagger routine?
Arthur Branch: We couldn't take the chance your house was bugged.
Judge Elizabeth Donnelly: Bugged? Why would anyone want to bug my...
Casey Novak: Jason King, our star witness disappeared last week. We have evidence he was kidnapped but we can't prove it.
Arthur Branch: The leak's not in our office Liz, or SVU. Whoever took Jason had to find out where he was from somebody that works for you.
Judge Elizabeth Donnelly: You think I have a mole in my office and you didn't tell me?
Judge Elizabeth Donnelly: My orders. If Jason's still alive, and the kidnappers find that we're on to them, they could kill him. We couldn't risk it.

"Law & Order: Special Victims Unit: Goliath (#6.23)" (2005)
Det. Elliot Stabler: What was that about?
ADA Casey Novak: Oh, that was probably about another subpoena I sent out.
Det. Elliot Stabler: For what?
ADA Casey Novak: Donald Rumsfeld.

D.A. Arthur Branch: Do I need to remind you that I've been know to *fire* people, Casey?

"Law & Order: American Jihad (#13.1)" (2002)
[last lines]
D.A. Arthur Branch: Well, at least at his allocution, Landen apologized to the entire Muslim community.
ADA Serena Southerlyn: Olivet was right. He wasn't a true believer. He was just a humiliated adolescent.
D.A. Arthur Branch: All in all, I'd say we're damn lucky this was just one screwball kid.
Jack McCoy: Angry kid, full of rage. He was just looking for a target.
ADA Serena Southerlyn: Isn't that what a terrorist is?
Jack McCoy: What's scary is how easy it is to create one.

D.A. Arthur Branch: [Landen has decided to represent himself] That kid is an idiot savant.
ADA Serena Southerlyn: Or just an idiot.
D.A. Arthur Branch: Don't fool yourself. He just outlawyered our office, his own counsel, and the judicial branch.

"Law & Order: Genius (#13.17)" (2003)
Jack McCoy: [the defendant has asked for the death penalty] I don't know who was more shocked, Simpkis or me.
D.A. Arthur Branch: Yup, what fun is it hitting someone who won't hit back?
Jack McCoy: I never really thought of this as an exercise in fun, Arthur.
A.D.A. Serena Southerlyn: [approaching] Brace yourself for professor Simpkins' motions.
Jack McCoy: A motion to quash the agreed-upon sentence.
A.D.A. Serena Southerlyn: On the grounds that Warner isn't competent to negotiate on his own behalf.
Jack McCoy: He wants to die, so he's got to be crazy.
A.D.A. Serena Southerlyn: I've arranged for Skoda to examine him.
D.A. Arthur Branch: [to Jack] And you say this isn't fun.

D.A. Arthur Branch: It would've been easier if Warner had taken a chainsaw to a family of four.
Jack McCoy: Why?
D.A. Arthur Branch: Because you're a human. And humans can't help but judge other humans.
Jack McCoy: That would be just as wrong as treating Warner differently because he can string together sentences better than the rest of us. The quality of the victim should not matter any more than the quality of his killer.
D.A. Arthur Branch: I said it'd be easier, not more just.
Jack McCoy: It's good, Arthur. He can write.
D.A. Arthur Branch: You want the easy answer? Just words on a page.
Jack McCoy: And the more difficult one?
D.A. Arthur Branch: [holding up a copy of the penal code] So are these.
Jack McCoy: The death penalty is the most severe punishment the law allows. I got to admit, it's disconcerting that Warner thinks it's less severe than going to prison.

"Law & Order: Special Victims Unit: Serendipity (#5.5)" (2003)
A.D.A. Casey Novak: Have a minute?
D.A. Arthur Branch: Save a little girl, you get two. Come in, sit down.
A.D.A. Casey Novak: I can't do this.
D.A. Arthur Branch: Sure you can, just bend your knees and let gravity take over.

D.A. Arthur Branch: [to Casey] I was watching you for this job when you were in White Collar. Knew you were tough, but wasn't sure you were the right person.
A.D.A. Casey Novak: I'm not.
D.A. Arthur Branch: The fact that it effects you like this tells me my first instincts were right.
A.D.A. Casey Novak: What are you talking about?
D.A. Arthur Branch: This case was the ultimate test and you passed with flying colors.
A.D.A. Casey Novak: But I don't want it.
D.A. Arthur Branch: You will.

"Law & Order: B*tch (#13.15)" (2003)
Jackie Scott: [half to herself] Pick a lane.
D.A. Arthur Branch: [turns around] Hmm?
Jackie Scott: The old man used to say to me, " is like a street. Like a dangerous New York City street. You pick a lane. And don't you let *anybody* cut you off." You can't cut me off, Arthur. I won't let you.
D.A. Arthur Branch: I don't have to.

Jackie Scott: Arthur.
D.A. Arthur Branch: What? No straight jacket?
Jackie Scott: That's not funny
D.A. Arthur Branch: Yeah, Lillian tells me my last funny line was "I do."

"Law & Order: Fixed (#15.11)" (2004)
D.A. Arthur Branch: You know, this case reminds me of something a wise old country lawyer once said. He said "You know, the first question that you ask in any murder case, did the deceased deserve to die?".

D.A. Arthur Branch: You're still here.
Jack McCoy: I'm writing my closing statement.
D.A. Arthur Branch: You're gonna take it all the way to the jury.
Jack McCoy: No reason not to. That tape was pretty damning.
D.A. Arthur Branch: That's your call, but a part of me wouldn't mind seeing this whole thing go away.
Jack McCoy: Me, too.
D.A. Arthur Branch: You know, this office has cut a deal with the likes of Jacob Lowenstein. We could do the same thing with Joyce Draper.
Jack McCoy: I'd be happy to if she'd allocute to what she did.
D.A. Arthur Branch: She won't?
Jack McCoy: I spoke to her lawyer, dangled the possibility. She won't accept any sort of guilty plea.
D.A. Arthur Branch: I guess she's determined to see this thing through, too.
Jack McCoy: Apparently so. He's putting her on the stand.
D.A. Arthur Branch: [sardonic chuckle] Tread lightly.

"Law & Order: Smoke (#13.24)" (2003)
D.A. Arthur Branch: So Mrs. McGillicuddy had two boys, one who sat out on the porch all day, the other who went out and hunted for food. Then one day, war between the states breaks out and the Sarge says 'Ma'am, I'm sorry, but I'm going to have to take one of your boys into battle, it's your choice'. So what does she do?
A.D.A. Serena Southerlyn: It's hardly the same thing.
D.A. Arthur Branch: She looks the old sarge dead in the eyes and says 'My husband's down by the creek, take him'.

D.A. Arthur Branch: These parents traded one boy for another.
A.D.A. Serena Southerlyn: But they're both still alive.
Jack McCoy: We're prosecutors, Serena, not social workers.

"Law & Order: Sheltered (#13.22)" (2003)
[last lines]
Jack McCoy: There's always a chance Justin could be rehabilitated, Arthur.
D.A. Arthur Branch: Four dead? I don't think he's earned that chance. And I also think my senior prosecutor should agree with it.
Jack McCoy: I do.
A.D.A. Serena Southerlyn: But...?
Jack McCoy: I'm a father.

"Law & Order: Star Crossed (#13.14)" (2003)
A.D.A. Serena Southerlyn: He wouldn't be the first person with an 80 IQ to confess to a felony.
Jack McCoy: Or to have a room on death row.
D.A. Arthur Branch: What I don't get is why his attorney didn't have him tested before he invited our shrinks to sit down with him.
Jack McCoy: Two words: Dean Connors.
D.A. Arthur Branch: Is that supposed to ring a bell?
Jack McCoy: Dean's not a bad sort, he's just morally opposed to hard work. I don't think he's tried a case in ten years.
D.A. Arthur Branch: You gotta love a fighter who won't throw a punch.

"Law & Order: Special Victims Unit: Fallacy (#4.21)" (2003)
Arthur Branch: [to Cabot] What's this I hear about you wanting off the Avery case?
ADA Alexandra Cabot: I just don't think I'm the right person to try it.
Arthur Branch: That's not what I heard. You've made several impassioned arguments on her behalf. Perhaps you'd like to defend her instead.
ADA Alexandra Cabot: Well, she could use better representation than that self-serving snake Berger.
Arthur Branch: Reptile though he may be, Morty Berger's a damn good attorney. He deserves a worthy adversary.
ADA Alexandra Cabot: I think I'm more sympathetic to Cheryl than a prosecutor should be.
Arthur Branch: A good A.D.A. has to think on both sides of the fence. Your empathy is a strength, not a weakness.
ADA Alexandra Cabot: You know, if Cheryl had been born a woman, a jury would have no problem acquitting her.
Arthur Branch: She killed a man. What do you care what sex she is?
ADA Alexandra Cabot: Because that, and not the evidence is what's going to convict her.
Arthur Branch: No, what's going to convict her is a jury of her peers, not angels or divine ethical beings.
ADA Alexandra Cabot: I suppose it bothers me more than it should.
Arthur Branch: Well, I'll reassign the case if you like, but you might want to consider: who's gonna give Cheryl Avery the fairest treatment? You or some other prosecutor who'll put her gender on trial?

"Law & Order: Kid Pro Quo (#13.20)" (2003)
Jack McCoy: Scofield has been standing over the oven for twenty-five years. He thought it was about time he got a taste of the pie.
A.D.A. Serena Southerlyn: Now Scofield's out and Anchin's in: that's going to be a hard pill for the parents of the Knowles School to swallow.
D.A. Arthur Branch: Oh, they'll get over it, once they forget about where his money came from.
Jack McCoy: It's the American way: yesterday's robber baron is tomorrow's philanthropist.
A.D.A. Serena Southerlyn: What you're really trying to say is cash trumps merit every time...
D.A. Arthur Branch: ...and twice on Sundays!

"Law & Order: Special Victims Unit: Shaken (#5.10)" (2003)
Detective Elliot Stabler: I think the D.A.'s office should fight to turn off life support.
Arthur Branch: And what makes you think Judge Preston would grant such a motion?
Detective Elliot Stabler: I read the papers. A similar request was made in California successfully when a father shook his son.
Arthur Branch: And it was unsuccessful in Florida. Parents are winning the fight to keep their comatose daughter alive despite legal precedent.
Detective Elliot Stabler: Lucy's doctor says she'll never recover.
Arthur Branch: What's this really about, Detective? You fighting for Lucy or bringing Evelyn Prichard to justice?
Detective Elliot Stabler: I don't know if she's a grieving mother who can't let go, or if she's she's just trying to beat a murder rap. What I do know is a little girl is in constant pain and there is no hope of her ever getting better.

"Law & Order: Tombstone (#15.20)" (2005)
D.A. Arthur Branch: If you've got any faith in the Man Upstairs... now might be a good time to cash in a chip.
Executive A.D.A. Jack McCoy: [quietly] Already did.

"Law & Order: Ain't No Love (#15.13)" (2005)
D.A. Arthur Branch: [to Serena] You're fired.
ADA Serena Southerlyn: [pauses, shocked] Is this because I'm a lesbian?
D.A. Arthur Branch: No, no... of course not.
ADA Serena Southerlyn: Good... that's good...

"Law & Order: True Crime (#13.3)" (2002)
[last lines]
D.A. Arthur Branch: Well, you won the kewpie doll. Toss one pitch, knock over two bottles.
A.D.A. Serena Southerlyn: Don't you mean tossed one illegal pitch?
D.A. Arthur Branch: Well, Bob Gibson made the Hall of Fame throwing a spitball. "Rules or no rules," he said, "pitchers are gonna throw spitters. It's a matter of survival."
Jack McCoy: Why doesn't that comfort me?

"Law & Order: Criminal Intent: In the Wee Small Hours: Part 2 (#5.7)" (2005)
District Attorney Arthur Branch: An arrest warrant for Judge Harold Garrett... Hot-tub Harry.
ADA Ron Carver: The circumstantial evidence and the statement from his son.
District Attorney Arthur Branch: Ah, This won't do...
[Tears the arrest warrant]
District Attorney Arthur Branch: At all.
ADA Ron Carver: Arthur?
District Attorney Arthur Branch: Arresting a judge for murder on an election year... is not peanuts. If the District Attorney is going to arrest a sitting judge of the Supreme Court of New York.
[Signs the new arrest warrant]
District Attorney Arthur Branch: The signature of the District Attorney damn well better be on that warrant. Arthur Branch, Esquire.
[Handles the arrest warrant to ADA Carver]
District Attorney Arthur Branch: That would be worth two points on Election Day. It's not enough to do good... You gotta be seeing doing good.

"Law & Order: Coming Down Hard (#15.4)" (2004)
A.D.A. Serena Southerlyn: I was doing catch-up on discovery.
D.A. Arthur Branch: Discovery? You're halfway through trial.
Jack McCoy: The defense disclosed dozens of boxes of paperwork. They're trying to drown us.
A.D.A. Serena Southerlyn: They have nine paralegals, and we just have me. But I don't think they meant to disclose this.
Jack McCoy: [Serena hands him a sheet of paper] Miss Southerlyn, you've outdone yourself.
D.A. Arthur Branch: Do I get to see it?
[Jack hands the paper over]
D.A. Arthur Branch: Well, let's see if Dr. Cedars can wiggle his way out of this one.

"Law & Order: Cut (#15.6)" (2004)
D.A. Arthur Branch: Cosmetic surgery. It's an epidemic in this country. Whatever happened to aging gracefully?
A.D.A. Serena Southerlyn: Only a man would say that without a trace of irony. Men age gracefully, Arthur. Women just age.

"Law & Order: Avatar (#17.2)" (2006)
Arthur Branch: We don't convict people for their thoughts.
Jack McCoy: Thoughts are private. Posting them online is more public than putting them on a billboard in Times Square.

"Law & Order: Bodies (#14.1)" (2003)
[discussing a serial killer's defense attorney]
D.A. Arthur Branch: Yeah, who is that stupid S.O.B. anyway?
ADA Serena Southerlyn: Tim Schwimmer, legal aid, and he isn't exactly stupid.
D.A. Arthur Branch: He listened to his client when he told him about fifteen other bodies?
ADA Serena Southerlyn: Yes.
D.A. Arthur Branch: He then confirmed his client was telling the truth by taking a peek at those bodies?
ADA Serena Southerlyn: ...Yes.
D.A. Arthur Branch: Fine. What's dumber than stupid?

"Law & Order: Tragedy on Rye (#13.4)" (2002)
D.A. Arthur Branch: [after defendants convicted of first-degree murder have been exonerated] You know this whole affair makes you think twice.
Jack McCoy: About the death penalty?
D.A. Arthur Branch: About where to buy you a steak.

"Law & Order: Paradigm (#15.1)" (2004)
D.A. Arthur Branch: We can't have Iraqi assassins roaming the streets of New York executing Americans.
A.D.A. Serena Southerlyn: I still think we should have handed her over to the military. We could have just ducked the whole issue instead of trying to set policy.
D.A. Arthur Branch: And I can't believe I have pusillanimous pussyfooters on my own staff!
Jack McCoy: I don't think Spiro Agnew is the person to be quoting here, Arthur.
D.A. Arthur Branch: If the shoe fits.

"Law & Order: Special Victims Unit: Starved (#7.8)" (2005)
D.A. Arthur Branch: You gave her the baloney, she made the sandwich, it says so on page 3, you told her to shout from the rooftops.

"Law & Order: Hands Free (#14.17)" (2004)
D.A. Arthur Branch: A murder conviction without a body, it's a prosecutor's quadruple jump.
Jack McCoy: I'm not gloating.
D.A. Arthur Branch: Go ahead, you're entitled. I guess justice isn't for sale after all.
Jack McCoy: Not today anyway.
[cut to closing credits]

"Law & Order: Chosen (#13.11)" (2003)
Arthur Branch: What is a 'Randy Dworkin'?

"Law & Order: Bible Story (#16.11)" (2005)
D.A. Arthur Branch: Religious fervor.
Jack McCoy: The nitroglycerin of the 21st century.

"Law & Order: Red Ball (#16.1)" (2005)
Jack McCoy: If you want to fire me, Arthur, go ahead. I'm not going to apologize for what I did.
Arthur Branch: Well, then, you just don't get it, Jack. You know, you're a great prosecutor, but you'll never be a district attorney.