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Quotes for
Richard Mathers (Character)
from "L.A. Law" (1986)

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"L.A. Law: The Princess and the Pee (#3.5)" (1988)
Foreman: [Jury Foreperson reading the verdict] "On the charges of negligence, fraud, and breach of warranty, we find for the defendant."
[Kuzak's defendant Gil Tecowsky felt relief]
Judge Herbert Foster Reeves: At this time, I would like to thank the jury for its time and patience...
Richard Mathers: Your Honor, I move that the court set aside the verdict and declare a mistrial.
Judge Herbert Foster Reeves: On what grounds?
Richard Mathers: The plaintiffs were not represented by an attorney at law.
Judge Herbert Foster Reeves: They were represented by you?
Richard Mathers: I'm not an attorney, Your Honor. And even though these people didn't know anything about it, Counsel for the defense did, thereby placing me at a severe disadvantage in terms of a negotiating posture.
Judge Herbert Foster Reeves: Gentlemen, in my chambers. Jury is to be held.

Richard Mathers: Your Honor, the paramount issue here must be the interest of the parties, not the misconduct of an attorney or an individual serving in that capacity.
Judge Herbert Foster Reeves: Excuse me, I'll get to you later.
[to Kuzak]
Judge Herbert Foster Reeves: Mr. Kuzak, are you at all familiar with the Cannon of Ethics as it pertains to an attorney's obligation when he discovers the unauthorized practice of law?
Michael Kuzak: Your Honor...
Judge Herbert Foster Reeves: When he is made aware of the ongoing commission of a crime?
Michael Kuzak: Forgive me, Your Honor, but I didn't think that my client should be victimized by this man's fraud.
Richard Mathers: He didn't hesitate to try to victimize my clients with his own opportunism, though.
Judge Herbert Foster Reeves: Thank you, Mr. Mathers.
[Judge Reeves continues interrogating Mr. Kuzak]
Judge Herbert Foster Reeves: You weren't going to say anything unless you lost. Is that right, Mr. Kuzak?
Michael Kuzak: All I was doing was trying to mitigate the damage.
Judge Herbert Foster Reeves: That isn't your role! When you found out, you had an obligation to reveal what you knew, period!
Michael Kuzak: With all due respect, Your Honor, Mr. Mathers maybe lacking in character, but his clients receive legal representation at least as good as that provided by most of the licensed practitioners to be found in these courts.
Richard Mathers: That in no way vitiates the need for a mistrial. There is a presumptive conclusion that a party can receive adequate representation only from an attorney licensed to practice.
Michael Kuzak: The Tolands got a fair trial, justice isn't served by declaring it void.
Judge Herbert Foster Reeves: Thank you for your commentary, gentlemen. Mr. Kuzak, despite your rhetoric, you are party to defrauding this court. I'm declaring this a mistrial, and I'm referring you to the Disciplinary Committee of the Bar Association. You can tell them how you were trying to serve the interests of justice.

Judge Herbert Foster Reeves: Mr. Mathers...
[Mr. Mathers take a seat and sit down]
Judge Herbert Foster Reeves: Is this the first case you've lost?
Richard Mathers: [sighs] No.
Judge Herbert Foster Reeves: Then why the confession now?
Richard Mathers: Because these people were more innocent and more ruined than any clients I ever had before, that's why. They had terrific lives then... Wham! The bottom fell out. Placed their trust in me to try to obtain for them a little financial security. It seems like honoring that trust is a little more important than covering my ass.
[Judge Reeves press the intercom to call the bailiff Gene]
Judge Herbert Foster Reeves: Gene, will you come in here?
[Judge Reeves clears his throat]
Judge Herbert Foster Reeves: You're a smooth, mister. But I suspect that whatever you'll call yourself, whatever trade you'll appear to ply, first, last, and forever, you'll always be a conman.
[Judge Reeves orders the bailiff Gene to take Mr. Mathers into custody]
Judge Herbert Foster Reeves: Lock Mr. Mathers up.
[Gene the bailiff got the handcuffs to escort Mr. Mathers out. Mr. Mathers gets up and heads to the exit of the Chambers of Judge Herbert Foster Reeves. He opens, leaves and closed the door. Mr. Kuzak is sitting for a while to wait]

Richard Mathers: The defendant profits by providing driving enthusiasts with cars designed for maximum thrills and minimum safety. Now I don't think I'm being unreasonable in asking that he take a few basic precautions so that these lethal instruments not be lurching out of control on our streets. When he sold that car to Barry Toland, he set in motion an accident waiting to happen. And for that, he was horrendously negligent... To the plaintiffs and to each and every one of us who drive, who walk, or who guide our children across the street. My client had a professorial love of popular culture. He liked the sound of saying he had a '64 goat. But he didn't have a clue what it would be like to drive one. He never considered that if he shifted wrong, the rear end would seize up, the wheels would lock, and he would be sent speeding into a concrete wall. Now, I think Gil Tecowsky had an obligation to ascertain the degree of Barry Toland's expertise. All it would've taken was a ride around the block, but if he had warned him, it might have cost him the sale. Justice demands that his negligence cost him more. Much more.
Michael Kuzak: [Mr. Kuzak the opposing counsel is next to make the closing] Wouldn't it be great if we could all be protected from ourselves? Steep ski slopes could be made gentle, so the clumsy wouldn't fall. Raging rivers could be dammed, so the inexperienced wouldn't drown. Spirited horses could be broken so the neophyte wouldn't be thrown. Our lives would all be made a little safer and a little duller until one day, we'd look up and wonder what had become of us? If you find for the plaintiff in any degree, if you impose on an honest tradesman like Gil Tecowsky, the obligation to be a surrogate parent for every person who walks into his shop, then you will wipe him out! Richard Mathers might say that's a small price to pay. After all, who wants these gas guzzling speedsters racing down our streets anyway? Well, I'm here to tell you that if we lose the Gil Tecowsky of this world, we lose something about ourselves as well. If we straight jacket the genius, if we punish the audacity found in the back allies and industrial flat of this country, if we judge a product solely on its safety in the hands of the incompetent, then we will find ourselves living under the tyranny up a mediocre in a land where the lowest common denominator rules. Now, we can feel bad for what happened to Barry Toland without relieving him of the responsibility for bringing it about. But... if we blame Gil Tecowsky, we punish the dreamer for his dreams and we reduce every one of us in the process.

Michael Kuzak: [Outside the courtroom, Mr. Kuzak will have to find out about Richard Mathers an unlicensed attorney] Tell me this. Am I the first to find out about you?
Richard Mathers: Find out what?
Michael Kuzak: You must have known that some day someone will check you out.
Richard Mathers: I don't know what you're talking about.
Michael Kuzak: Oh, you think you know exactly what I'm talking about, Counselor. Come on.

Richard Mathers: [Here at the witness room, Mr. Kuzak is going to have to talk to Richard Mathers about him that he never passed the bar, and never been to law school as an unlicensed attorney] Looks like I have a problem.
Michael Kuzak: [sighs] We both got a problem. If I got to the court right now with what I know about you, there'll be an automatic mistrial. Since my client has spent more than $50,000 in legal fees and waited more than 3 1/2 years to get this little matter resolved. He doesn't wanna mistrial.
Richard Mathers: Get to the punchline.
Michael Kuzak: Recommend that your client accept this settlement offer.
Richard Mathers: Would you sell out your client to protect yourself?
Michael Kuzak: I don't consider a sell out... There was a reasonable offer before we went to trial, it's an even more reasonable offer now.
Richard Mathers: You think I got you beat, Mike?
Michael Kuzak: If I thought you had me beat, I'd go in there and have a mistrial declared right now.
Richard Mathers: You wanna turn me in, turn me in. But don't threaten to expose me as a way to jack up my client.
Michael Kuzak: No settlement?
Richard Mathers: On the terms you're offering. No chance.
Michael Kuzak: Okay!
Richard Mathers: What are you gonna do?
[Mr. Kuzak is going to return to the courtroom. Mr. Mathers an unlicensed attorney will be alone in the witness room. Mr. Mathers will find out that he never passed the bar]


"L.A. Law: Dummy Dearest (#3.6)" (1988)
Richard Mathers: [Kuzak has arrived at the courtroom, take a seat and listen to who Richard Mathers is, while addressing a speech when representing himself as an unlicensed lawyer] I always felt that the beauty of the jury system was that ordinary people make the ultimate decisions, guided by their hearts, their minds, and their own humanity. Right now I don't want to talk about the elements of fraud, burdens of proof, or reasonable doubt or any of that. I just want to tell you who I am. My whole life, I never wanted to be anything but a lawyer. By the time I was a teenage. I could recite the courtroom speeches from every loyal movie I had ever seen. Inherit The Wind, To Kill a Mockingbird, Town Without Pity - I knew all of them. I went to law school for a year at night. When I lost my scholarship, I dropped out. I drove a cab, I taught high school, I sold office furniture. But the whole time, I read and I work at teaching myself how to be a lawyer. At first, I practice just for friends. Little by little, though, I realized I could really do this. I didn't need a diploma. I was going up against graduates from top-10 schools and beating them cold. I might not have been legitimate, but I served my clients with unstinting loyalty. Not a single one of them came to testify against me because not a single one of them felt defrauded. Competent representation was what they ask for, and competent representation was what they got. Yes, I practiced law without a license. And regardless of your verdict, I will never practice law again. That, for me, is the greatest punishment of all.
[Members of the Jury listen to Mr. Mathers' speech]
Richard Mathers: When I walk through those doors, when I see that reporter seating at her machine, and I plead my case knowing that someone is depending on me to get them through what are most likely the most desperate moments of their life, I feel more alive here than I do anywhere else on earth. I love doing this. God, I love doing this. It's hard to imagine this is the last time I ever will.
[Richard Mathers ending his speech in court]

Richard Mathers: Kuzak.
Michael Kuzak: What are you doing here?
Richard Mathers: I thought I'd lend you my support.
Michael Kuzak: In exchange for what?
Richard Mathers: You doing the same. I testify for you, you testify for me. Very symmetrical, no?
Michael Kuzak: No.
[Mr. Mathers talking with Mr. Sifuentes]
Richard Mathers: He'd be helping me out.
Victor Sifuentes: Hey, don't look at me.
Richard Mathers: Mike.
Michael Kuzak: I'm sorry, but I don't want you to be my witness, and I certainly don't want to be yours.
Richard Mathers: The first part of that is up to you. The second part's up to me.
[Mr. Mathers handing over the subpoena to Mr. Kuzak]
Richard Mathers: Here's your subpoena. If you can get there by 10:00, that would be great.
[Mr. Kuzak will take care of that]

Richard Mathers: Mr. Kuzak, in the period of time that we were adversaries, you serve me conducting some 11 depositions. You heard me argue 11 pretrial motions. You watch me pick a jury. You sat across from me during 15 days at trial. What kind of lawyer am I?
Michael Kuzak: Competent.
Richard Mathers: Competent? Tell us. How many attorneys did Barry and Ina Toland have prior to hiring me?
Michael Kuzak: I believe they had 3.
Richard Mathers: 3 different bona fide attorneys? Licensed to practice law in the State of California? What settlement offer if any was on that table during that time?
Michael Kuzak: None.
Richard Mathers: And 2 months after I come into the case, how would that change?
Michael Kuzak: Mr. Tecowsky's insurance carrier authorize throwing in their proceeds of the policy.
Richard Mathers: To amount to how much?
Michael Kuzak: Half of million dollars.
Richard Mathers: I guess they thought I was competent, too, huh?
D.D.A. Gylkowski: Objection.
Judge George Syler: Sustained.
[Mr. Mathers will withdraw the question. And moves another question]
Richard Mathers: Mr. Kuzak, around December 1st of this year, you were approached me with this same half million dollar offer. And one additional piece of information. Namely, that you knew I was not license to practice law. What was my reaction to that?
Michael Kuzak: You turn it down.
Richard Mathers: And what reason did I give for doing so?
Michael Kuzak: Your said you wouldn't sell your client out to save yourself.
Richard Mathers: Thank you. I have no further question.

D.D.A. Gylkowski: What did you do when you found out that Mr. Mathers wasn't a lawyer?
Richard Mathers: Objection. The relevant.
D.D.A. Gylkowski: Goes to credibility, Your Honor. This witness perpetrated a fraud up on court for which he is now under investigation by the State Bar.
Richard Mathers: I moved to strike that! It's prejudicial and...
Judge George Syler: Both of you settle down. The witness can answer the question.
[Kuzak will go ahead and answer]
Michael Kuzak: I confronted Mr. Mathers directly.
D.D.A. Gylkowski: So you converted to... to advantage?
Richard Mathers: Argumentative.
Judge George Syler: Sustained.
D.D.A. Gylkowski: Tell me, sir, what is this status of Toland vs. Tecowsky now?
Michael Kuzak: Its been settled.
D.D.A. Gylkowski: Is that right? Did the plaintiffs engage new counsels so soon?
Michael Kuzak: The parties reached an agreement between themselves.
D.D.A. Gylkowski: Did you have any conversations with Mr. Mathers subsequent to his arrest as to what that agreement might be?
Michael Kuzak: We set certain parameters. I advice Tecowsky, I assume he did the same with the Tolands.
D.D.A. Gylkowski: And how did you two boys make out?
Richard Mathers: I object, Your Honor. District Attorney is slinging mud against the wall and hoping something sticks.
D.D.A. Gylkowski: Well, that's funny, Mr. Mathers, because for the two of you, it seems its something always does.
Judge George Syler: That's quite sufficient. Thank you.
D.D.A. Gylkowski: Uh, tell me, Mr. Kuzak, is your testifying on behalf of Mr. Mathers, part of the settlement arrangement?
Michael Kuzak: I'm here under subpoena.
D.D.A. Gylkowski: Naturally. I'm sure the two of you were well verses avoiding the appearance of collision.