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Quotes for
Melina Paros (Character)
from "L.A. Law" (1986)

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"L.A. Law: Hello and Goodbye (#7.13)" (1993)
Gordon Reeve: About 7:00 that night, Bill Collins call the newsroom.
Ms. Wodjack: Did you know who he was?
Gordon Reeve: Sure. After the trademark closing, Collins all over the airwaves giving speeches. A lot of people knew who he was.
Ms. Wodjack: What did Mr. Collins say on the phone?
Gordon Reeve: He said he was going to set himself on fire in front of the trademark building, to protest American jobs going overseas. He said send a camera.
Ms. Wodjack: What did you do?
Gordon Reeve: First I called the police, then I told my Station Manager Eric Simms and he said cover it.
Ms. Wodjack: What happened when you got to the trademark building?
Ms. Wodjack: I didn't see anything at first. But, uh, soon as I sat down my equipment, Collins walk down the alley carrying can of gasoline stood on the sidewalk, he said he's going to kill himself. I ask him why. He said, "Turn on the camera. And I'll tell you."
Ms. Wodjack: What happened next?
Gordon Reeve: I did what he said. I was, um, expecting the cops to show.
Ms. Wodjack: What happened after you began rolling the camera?
Gordon Reeve: Collins made a speech, pour gasoline on himself, and then he lit a match.
Ms. Wodjack: You have no regrets about your actions that day?
Gordon Reeve: Do I to second guess myself? Sure. I feel for Bill Collins and his family, but who's to say that he died in vain, after what he did, trademark scratch plans to close that Anaheim plant.
Melina Paros: Objection, speculation.
Judge Richard Lobel: Sustained.
Ms. Wodjack: Mr. Reeve, do you feel responsible for Bill Collins' death?
Gordon Reeve: Over 19 years as cameraman, I've seen a lot of tragedy, I've seen, uh, soldiers blown up by grenades, I've seen, uh, children starving.
[sighs]
Gordon Reeve: I - I just photographed these things, I don't cause them.
Ms. Wodjack: Thank you. Nothing further, Your Honor.

[Back here in is the Los Angeles Courthouse in Los Angeles. The testimony continues crossing the examination is Eric Simms, Station Manager of KINX News]
Ms. Wodjack: Mr. Simms, as Station Manager, KINX News, have you set a policy governing the way that your reporters cover the news?
Eric Simms: Yes. We tell our people to get as close as possible to the event without breaking the law, of course.
Ms. Wodjack: Did Mr. Reeve conform to station policy when covering the self-immolation of Mr. Collins?
Eric Simms: Yes.
Ms. Wodjack: Assisting in suicide is against the law, isn't it?
Eric Simms: Gordon didn't assist a suicide. He didn't pour the gasoline, he didn't offer a match. He was there to record an event.
Ms. Wodjack: How do you respond to the plaintiff's charged that the very act of videotaping encouraged Mr. Collins to kill himself?
Eric Simms: We've been hit with these charges before. During the riots, we were accused of fermenting the looting simply because we showed pictures of people looting, but that doesn't change the fact that what was happening. It was news.
Ms. Wodjack: What you could be selective and what stories you pursue.
Eric Simms: Editorial decisions shouldn't be made by courts. Start telling us what we can and can't cover, and that's the slippery slope to tyranny.
Ms. Wodjack: Thank you. Your witness.
Melina Paros: Thank you. Mr. Simms, are you aware that Mr. Collins notified two other newsgroups of his plan suicide only the elected not to cover it citing ethical considerations?
Eric Simms: When we made that tape available, every station in this city aired it. Including the networks and the cable news programs.
Melina Paros: Last year, didn't you speak to a group of UCLA journalism students sorting them to strive for journalistic integrity?
Eric Simms: I did. And that's the same thing I try to impress upon my employees.
Melina Paros: Last November, did you air footage of, uh, the game warden being eaten by an alligator, a skydiver was parachute didn't open, a home video of a grandmother as she was being gunned down by a drive-by shooting?
Eric Simms: Yes.
Melina Paros: And as your October 31st staff meeting, did you exhort your employees to seek out such sensational stories?
Eric Simms: We're a small station, Ms. Paros, fighting for our share the audience. Yes, I went after those stories because that's what people want to watch. And that's why we beat our competition during that sweet spirit.
Melina Paros: Was Mr. Reeve at this October 31st meeting?
Eric Simms: Yes.
Melina Paros: On what date did Mr. Reeve photograph the immolation of Mr. Collins?
Eric Simms: I believe it was November 5th.
Melina Paros: Thank you. Nothing further.

[Here at the witness room. Melina and her plaintiff Belinda Collins sitting quietly. Coming from outside, Ms. Wodjack and her two defendants Gordon Reeve and Eric Simms has arrived at the witness room, have a seat, talk, and make the offer]
Melina Paros: What's your offer?
Ms. Wodjack: Mr. Collins made 40,000 a year when he was let go. Assuming he remained healthy, he had another 10 years of earnings. Add lost of love and affection, we're rounded up to 500,000, present value at 385.
Melina Paros: Belinda?
Belinda Collins: Okay. On one condition, I want you to go on TV and take responsibility for what you did. I want you to say that what you did was immoral.
Eric Simms: Mrs. Collins, I can't allow Gordon to do that. Even if he wanted, will be inviting losses from every person who didn't like what we put on the air.
Belinda Collins: Then I reject your offer.
[Belinda declines the offer. Ms. Wodjack is taking Eric Simms outside and leave. While Melina is outside the witness room, waiting for Belinda, but Gordon Reeve want to owe Belinda an apology of how Gordon feel, ashamed and terrible about what happened to Belinda's late husband Bill Collins]
Gordon Reeve: Mrs. Collins, I want you to know that. I feel terrible about what happened to your husband, and... If I had to do over it, I wish I'd done something.
Belinda Collins: Why didn't you say that under oath?
[Belinda is leaving with Melina and Gordon will be alone]

Melina Paros: [Melina prepares the closing argument] Gordon Reeve says that taking pictures with the distraught man burning himself to death is all in a day's work. I'm a journalist, he says no blood on my hands. But Mr. Reeve crossed the line. Not only a responsible journalism but a human decency and the law. Why? Violence sells. Now Bill Collins may have thought that he was dying for a purpose, but the only purpose that Mr. Reeve and his station had in mind was winning higher ratings. If you think that their actions were substantial cause of Mr. Collins' self-immolation, then you must find Mr. Reeve and KINX responsible for contributing to a suicide. Thank you.
[Melina heads back to her seat. And the opposing counsel Ms. Wodjack's turn to prepare for closing]
Ms. Wodjack: That video is excruciating to watch. What happened? And it was news and every station in this town, every network ran that tape is estimated 20 million people saw the footage. No. Maybe you think that Gordon Reeve is an awful person because he didn't stop somebody from killing himself, but under the law, he had no duty to rescue Bill Collins from himself, his duty as a journalist was to photograph the event. And to say Bill Collins wouldn't have killed himself if my client had capped his lens is ranked speculation, and believe me. If Gordon Reeve had refused to run his camera, Bill Collins would have found another reporter who would have gladly cover the story.
[Ms. Wodjack turned to plaintiff Belinda Collins]
Ms. Wodjack: This is tragic news. Yes, I grant you that. But don't make the mistake of blaming the messenger.
[Ms. Wodjack is finished with the closing and head back to her seat]

[Here at the courthouse]
Melina Paros: And when did your late husband go into his late depression?
Belinda Collins: Last year, after trademark tools moved their manufacturing plant to Taiwan, after 23 years is a dime maker, he was on the street along with 50 other machinists.
Melina Paros: Please go on.
Belinda Collins: He felt tremendous guilt. As a worker's rap, he helped management to keep trademark non-union in return for the assurance that their jobs would be secure. And after the shutdown, he... he became obsessed with how he'd been lied to, he wrote letters constantly to congressman, magazines, 60 Minutes. You believe that what happened to trademark was symbolic up what's wrong in this country, with companies selling out their workers in shipping jobs overseas. He wanted his story to be heard. No one was interested.
Ms. Wodjack: Objection. We don't know the state of the decedent's mind. This is sheer's speculation.
Judge Richard Lobel: I'll allow it.
Belinda Collins: My staging, this, uh... spectacle. My late husband was crying out for help, but he never would have gone through with it, and it not been for the cooperation of Gordon Reeve.
Ms. Wodjack: Your Honor.
Judge Richard Lobel: Mrs. Collins, while you're on the witness stand, you'll limit your comments to questions posed by the attorneys, understood?
[Belinda nodded]
Judge Richard Lobel: The jury will disregard Mrs. Collins' outburst.
Melina Paros: Nothing further. Thank you.

[Judge Lobel handover the verdict to the bailiff and return it back to the members of the jury]
Judge Richard Lobel: Has the jury reached the verdict?
Jury Foreperson: We have, Your Honor.
Judge Richard Lobel: What say you?
Jury Foreperson: We find damages in the amount of $600,000. We apportion 90% of the responsibility to Mr. Collins and 10% of the defendant.
Judge Richard Lobel: The verdict is so entered. The defendant is ordered to pay Mrs. Collins the amount of $60,000. The jury is discharged with the thanks from the court. We're adjourned.
Belinda Collins: 60,000?
Melina Paros: The jury felt your husband was mostly responsible for his suicide. I'm sorry.

Douglas Brackman, Jr.: Any word on Daniel's baby?
Leland McKenzie: No. Not yet. But we're all working on the problem.
Arnie Becker: Well, colleagues at Channel 3 have been...
Jonathan Rollins: I've got City Council members getting the word out on the district's.
Douglas Brackman, Jr.: Well, let's hoped his efforts pay off before time runs out for Lucy.
[Leland is looking at his appointment book]
Douglas Brackman, Jr.: Well, Collins vs. Reeve and KINX News. Wasn't this settled?
Melina Paros: KINX is offering nuisance value, but on my advice, Mrs. Collins has refused.
Leland McKenzie: What cause of action?
Melina Paros: Wrongful death. We're suing the cameraman and the newsgroup for 1,000,000 bucks.
Arnie Becker: Come on, this poor guys distraught over losing his job barbecues himself on TV. You blame the press.
Melina Paros: If the cameraman weren't there, my client's husband would be alive.
Jonathan Rollins: Except for the first amendment, you might have a case.
Melina Paros: I know I'm pushing the envelope, but the people attire the media's lack of responsibility, I think it'll fly.
Douglas Brackman, Jr.: Who knows? Maybe we'll said a President, we could use the publicity.

[the court bailiff set up the video and the television screen in the courtroom]
Melina Paros: Mr. Reeve, you've testified that your train to avoid becoming part of the story?
Gordon Reeve: That's right.
Melina Paros: But it never occurred to you that by agreeing to videotape Mr. Collins' suicide, you helped create the story?
Melina Paros: No. I don't see it that way.
Melina Paros: You had no sense that Mr. Collins was performing for the camera?
Gordon Reeve: Most of the people I shoot a performing for the camera.
Melina Paros: And you feel no responsibility for how others react to being taped?
Gordon Reeve: If I had to worry about that, I wouldn't be able to do my job.
Melina Paros: Let's see what kinda job you did.

Ms. Wodjack: Your Honor, I renew my objection, this tape is prejudicial...
Judge Richard Lobel: I've made my ruling, Ms. Wodjack. Proceed, Ms. Paros.
Bill Collins: [Bill Collins making messages, seen on the videotape footage] The four directors a trademark treat the American workers like slave labor, one of the CEO's in this country can alert that sending American jobs to a third world is creating a third world right here in the United States. Did you hear that?
Eric Simms: Cut it!
[But pause the videotape]
Melina Paros: Mr. Reeve, do you think that by affirming that Mr. Collins' message was heard, you encouraged to suicide?
Gordon Reeve: He asked me a question, I replied. I didn't encourage him.
[Continue playing a videotape footage. Bill pours a can of gas all over by himself. Belinda watched her late husband on the screen. Ms. Wodjack is watching]
Bill Collins: You're ready?
Gordon Reeve: I'm rolling!
[pause the videotape]
Melina Paros: Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't you just green light a suicide?
Gordon Reeve: No. I didn't tell him to do anything.
Melina Paros: A man drenched in gasoline, holding a match, ask you if you're ready, and you answer affirmatively, you don't call that encouragement?
Gordon Reeve: I just told him I was rolling. What he did was up to him.
[Continues playing a footage, Bill lights the match and throws it to the ground and Bill Collins was burned himself to death. Belinda was sobbing and lost her husband. Bill screaming. Members of the Jury find out. Bill continues screaming to his death of immolation on fire]


"L.A. Law: That's Why the Lady Is a Stamp (#7.17)" (1993)
Douglas Brackman, Jr.: All right, folks, busy day today. Let's get on with it. The Craig Estate.
Leland McKenzie: I'll handle that myself, Douglas.
Stuart Markowitz: I'm available if you need me.
Leland McKenzie: Well, thank you. Given the length of time that I have known the family. I think Vivian would be more comfortable. She had to deal only with me.
Douglas Brackman, Jr.: Moving on. McAlister vs. the United States Postal Service.
Melina Paros: Brian McAlister's wife was shot and killed by a deranged co-worker.
Ann Kelsey: What's the cause of action?
Melina Paros: Wrongful death.
Jonathan Rollins: If the corks deranged, how do you get liability on the part of the Post Office?
Melina Paros: Negligent, supervision, together with a particularly high-stress work environment.
Arnie Becker: Excuse me, the Post Office is high stress?
Melina Paros: The way it's run now, it is.
Arnie Becker: Hey, delivering the mail is not high stress. This is high stress. What we do is high-stress.
Jonathan Rollins: And I think that at least a few of us here are probably deranged as a result of.
Douglas Brackman, Jr.: Melina, wasn't this matter supposed to be settled?
Melina Paros: It's not for want of trying that isn't, Douglas.
Douglas Brackman, Jr.: Unfortunately, what that means for us is that you're going to be consumed with a trial.
Melina Paros: You worried about Southern Pacific statement.
Douglas Brackman, Jr.: You're right.
Leland McKenzie: What's the problem?
Douglas Brackman, Jr.: The problem is we've been called in by the General Counsel to perfect an appeal and the clock is ticking.

Ann Kelsey: What's the lawsuit about?
Melina Paros: Discriminatory lending practices.
Daniel Morales: Hey, we're representing the bank?
Douglas Brackman, Jr.: Yes, we're representing the bank, and my hope is that we're representing the bank well enough that we get to represent other banks!
Leland McKenzie: All right, Douglas, calm down.
Douglas Brackman, Jr.: All I know is you better get some help.
Melina Paros: I will, Douglas. I will.
Gwen Taylor: I'm available.
Douglas Brackman, Jr.: Melina, this a complicated cases. Get some help.
[Gwen will be ready. So does Melina]

Melina Paros: [Here, the microwave is ringing, and Jonathan gets his meal ready. But Melina checked on Jonathan] Jonathan, I'm sorry I don't have it yet.
Jonathan Rollins: What?
Melina Paros: That law review article he asked me to bring in.
Jonathan Rollins: Oh, no.
Melina Paros: You see between the trial, and the appeal and all the rest us on my desk, I just didn't have time to look for it. I'm sorry.
Jonathan Rollins: Don't worry about it.
Melina Paros: I have to go digging to this whole bunch of boxes and I didn't have a spare moment in which to do.
Jonathan Rollins: Melina, that's OK.
Melina Paros: I feel badly, Jonathan, I promised I would help you with your brief and I haven't done it.
Jonathan Rollins: You're busy?
Melina Paros: Yes.
Jonathan Rollins: You need to lighten your load.
Melina Paros: How do I do that?
Jonathan Rollins: Just do it. Anywhere you can.
[Melina will try]


"L.A. Law: Parent Trap (#7.12)" (1993)
Douglas Brackman, Jr.: Anybody know the whereabouts of our Mr. Morales?
Gwen Taylor: He had a pro bono arraignment this morning.
Douglas Brackman, Jr.: Then let's begin. First, People vs. Emory Lewis and Gary Stubbs. I should hope those animals who beat you will finally get convicted.
Stuart Markowitz: Unfortunately, the eyewitness backed out, she's afraid of reprisals from neighborhood kids if she testify.
Ann Kelsey: That shouldn't affect our case. Stuart was really convincing at the prelim health do even better at trial tomorrow.
Douglas Brackman, Jr.: Next. Marciante vs. Bernheim Memorial Hospital.
Jonathan Rollins: That's mine. Anthony Marciante's girlfriend is brain dead after the automobile accident. She's also 18 weeks pregnant.
Gwen Taylor: And being used as an incubator to bring the baby to a term, I caught those stories in the news, that's grotesque.
Jonathan Rollins: We're seeking a court order to keep her body functioning long enough to deliver the baby. However, the girlfriend's mother wants to pull the plug and bury your daughter.
Arnie Becker: Well, I agree, the woman's dead, for God's sake.
Jonathan Rollins: Arnie, we're talking about a potential human life. Mr. Marciante wants to be a father.
Gwen Taylor: You should have thought about that before driving himself and his girlfriend off the road drunk.
Ann Kelsey: He killed her and now he wants to...
Jonathan Rollins: It was an accident.
Stuart Markowitz: He's still has rights.
Arnie Becker: So's the girl's mother.
Melina Paros: What about the baby?
Leland McKenzie: All right, folks, we're all in the same team.
[But Daniel Morales has arrived late in the meeting]
Douglas Brackman, Jr.: Mr. Morales? Honor that you can join us? How's the arraignment?
Daniel Morales: Um, People vs. Alejandro Cruz, he's charged with the shooting a news vender who refuse to pay protection money.
Leland McKenzie: Any extenuating circumstances, Daniel?
Daniel Morales: No, Leland, not really, I'm trying to have Cruz tried in the Juvenile, but right now that's looking doubtful.
Douglas Brackman, Jr.: Well, if there's no other business. We're adjourned.
[Douglas closed his gold hunter case from the pocket watch that the time is up]

Daniel Morales: Melina, I need your advise.
Melina Paros: What is it?
[Daniel sighs]
Daniel Morales: Well, we can't talk here and actually I should speak first with my client.
Melina Paros: Cruz?
Daniel Morales: Yeah, I might be in trouble on those one. I'll catch you later.
Melina Paros: All right.


"L.A. Law: Where There's a Will (#7.14)" (1993)
Douglas Brackman, Jr.: Oh, for heaven's sakes. What's wrong with Benny? No bagels. No bear claws.
Arnie Becker: No, blame L.A.'s finest who have us surrounded.
Gwen Taylor: It's been under surveillance is no picnic, Arnie, but I'm trying to go about my daily routines, so... let's get on with business.
Douglas Brackman, Jr.: Couldn't put it better myself. First up, everyone's favorite. Innocent convict. People vs. Osgood.
Leland McKenzie: Well, the bad news is Phillip Tice who confessed to the Halliday murder, uh, recently died. On the upside, I have secured an address on the missing witness. Daniel and I plan on paying him a visit.
Daniel Morales: Assuming the address is current.
Douglas Brackman, Jr.: Let's hope so because this could be for Frank Osgood's last chance. Next. People vs. Darcy.
Melina Paros: Anton Darcy is a longtime family friend. The grand jury indicted him for arranging his father's murder. I believe he's being framed.
Douglas Brackman, Jr.: What do you know the grand jury doesn't?
Melina Paros: Come on, Douglas, the grand jury with an indictable bologna sandwich has the D.A. wanted.
Leland McKenzie: Doesn't the D.A. have a confession?
Melina Paros: Not from our client, the police have another suspect in custody who's been offered a deal, now he's pointing the finger at Anton to save himself.
Jonathan Rollins: Because the trial's been expedited, I've been helping Melina, and I'll step in as needed.
[Leland gives cheers to Jonathan while drinking his glass of orange juice]
Douglas Brackman, Jr.: Keep us posted.

Douglas Brackman, Jr.: Bancroft vs. Bennett.
Ann Kelsey: Camille Bancroft, a Shakespeare Professor at Stanford is suing her colleague Simon Bennett for unfair competition.
Douglas Brackman, Jr.: Over Shakespeare?
Ann Kelsey: Simon Bennett and Camille Bancroft have taught together for years, not long ago he published his own book, based on their teaching method.
Stuart Markowitz: That's a great book. Shakespeare in Love. Won the Pulitzer Prize.
Ann Kelsey: Right. Deposition start today, and I was hoping to reach a settlement, but Simon and Camille are like stubborn children. They always have been.
Leland McKenzie: Do you know them?
Ann Kelsey: My first year at Stanford, I majored in drama. Overtime, I kept in touch with Camille.
Arnie Becker: Shakespeare's so depressing, I mean the lovers are always doomed.
Gwen Taylor: They're dead.
Melina Paros: That's why they call 'em tragedy.
Douglas Brackman, Jr.: All's well that ends well.
[Douglas closed his pocket watch that the time is up. The law meeting is adjourned]


"L.A. Law: Cold Shower (#7.16)" (1993)
Douglas Brackman, Jr.: Uh, can we get started?
Leland McKenzie: Just start, Douglas.
Douglas Brackman, Jr.: I'm started. People vs. Matz.
[That's for Jonathan Rollins' while pouring to get a cup of coffee]
Jonathan Rollins: Yes. Yes. That's mine. Matz' has accused of selling stolen artwork to undercover cop. I'm pleading entrapment.
Melina Paros: That's a tough cell.
Daniel Morales: I know it is. You yet to stolen art in his position?
Jonathan Rollins: He did.
Daniel Morales: Any sold it to the cop?
Jonathan Rollins: Yep.
Melina Paros: So where's the entrapment?
Jonathan Rollins: Well, my client's gay. He claims to a fallen for the cop. He also claims that it was mutual, I'd say for the purposes of his trial at least that, uh, the cop seduce him.
Arnie Becker: In other words, it's your only shot.
Jonathan Rollins: Yes, right.
Ann Kelsey: Then it must me true.
Douglas Brackman, Jr.: In the matter of Celeste Bauman.
Stuart Markowitz: Yes, that's me. Uh, Ms. Bauman has accompanied that markets' vitamins and dietary supplements, the IRS claims that she has under paid her taxes by some $800,000, and for some reason to being nasty about it.
Melina Paros: The IRS's nasty?
Stuart Markowitz: Celeste is gonna need little managing, but I think we can resolve it.
Douglas Brackman, Jr.: Gwen, you're observing on to this one, correct?
Gwen Taylor: Yep.