A city councilman and a water inspector are victims of a shooting in City Hall. Prosecution of the guilty party is difficult because the murder weapon was obtained through a secretive FISA warrant.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Alvin Epstein ...
Stuart Rubin
Paul Austin ...
Ron Tabachnik
FBI Special Agent Jamal Atkinson
Peter Rubin
US Federal Judge Vance
Ladder Company 66 Chief
Assistant US Attorney Michael Cagnetta


When there's a shooting at city hall that leaves a councilman dead, the detectives try to find out who would want to kill him. But later they believe that a water inspector who was wounded was the target. Eventually they discover that the shooter is a man who claims that the inspector was helping someone put them out of business by making their water bill extremely high. When he is arrested, and when they try to find the gun he used, his lawyer claims that someone broke into his home, possibly the police, and took the gun. Eventually they learn it was the Feds who broke in and they were using a secret warrant because the man's business is being investigated for selling items to countries that they're prohibited to sell certain things to. And when he is tried, his lawyer cries outrage over the secretive nature they operated under. Written by rcs0411@yahoo.com

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Release Date:

11 February 2004 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Serena Southerlyn: This case must be high-profile if you're bird-dogging the arraignment.
Jack McCoy: I wasn't there to second-guess. The mayor's office is all over Arthur, so Arthur is all over me.
Serena Southerlyn: Well, tell him not to worry. Did you see Rubin's lawyer?
Jack McCoy: I saw him hand you a blueback.
Serena Southerlyn: It's a suppression motion, but it doesn't make any sense.
Jack McCoy: [she hands him the motion] Civil lawyer who's out of his element?
Serena Southerlyn: He's under the impression that the police found a .38 Special during the search.
Jack McCoy: So they think we have the murder weapon...
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References I Love Lucy (1951) See more »

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User Reviews

Secret warrants from a secret court
9 December 2012 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

This episode of Law And Order was inspired by the shooting of New York City Councilman Jerome Davis in City Hall during the last decade. However the plot of this story has a collateral victim only wounded by the assassin who is the real target and the poor councilman just was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Paul Austin plays a city water inspector who was the unfortunate victim and New York sends bills to all business and property owners and asks them to cough up money for their water like any other municipality. But with eight million customers and only four inspectors they get backlogged.

When an overestimated water bill sends some poor electronics store owner over the edge I could almost sympathize. I have my gas meter in my place inside and I live in an area where heaven forfend it be on the outside where the gas inspectors can read it. And it would cost my landlord to have the company reinstall it on the outside. As a result I get royally inflated gas bills every now and then when inspectors can't get in to read. It burns me up, but nothing like what is going on in this episode.

A key piece of evidence was also seized by the Feds because they're conducting their own investigation. Because this store shipped video games to Algeria with technology that could be used for missile guidance systems they got on the Federal radar. And with a warrant from a secret court they were on the perpetrator's property and taking evidence for their case two days before Jerry Orbach and Jesse Martin got there.

There is such a court it's called a FISA Court the Federal Information Securities Act court and secret warrants are obtained in this secret court. That impassioned defender of the Bill Of Rights, Danielle Melnick played by Tovah Feldshuh is rightly upset. But is it relevant to the business at end of her client shooting a City Councilman even by accident?

Nicely done episode of Law And Order, both entertaining and covering a wide range of issues.

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