Janice Norland turns to her law professor when she thinks she killed a man. When there is no body, they assume all is okay but she is soon the target of blackmail. When the man turns up dead, she is charged so the professor defends her.
Professor Edward Lindley is a highly respected law school professor who believes that jurists and academics deserve credit for the maturing of the law, not trial lawyers. That belief is soon tested when one of his students, Janice Norland, gets into trouble. She believes she's killed a dance instructor, Raul Perez, she was involved with. They'd had a fight and she hit him with a poker but, when they check out his apartment, there is no body and no sign of the struggle Janice had described. Lindley turns to Paul Drake to investigate and Paul thinks he sees an all too common blackmail racket. The next day, Janice receives a photo showing her standing over the body holding the fireplace poker and a phone call asking for $10,000. But when the dance instructor is found dead the next night in the same manner after Janice was seen there, she is charged with murder. With Perry Mason in the hospital, Lindley decides to defend her himself and learns a few lessons about being a trial lawyer. Written by
Prof. Edward Lindley:
[lecturing to class]
Unlike the ancient legal code of Hammurabi, our laws are not forever chiseled out on 2-ton stone tablets, as some lawyers seem to think. Law is like language... changing, growing, maturing. When you become lawyers, remember this.
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Law professor Michael Rennie is not a believer in that philosophy, in fact from his academic ivory tower he's of the belief he's somewhat superior to those grubby ambulance chaser types who make a living practicing the law. But when his student Patricia Manning needs help with a blackmailer whom she thinks she has killed and later turns up really dead he calls for help.
The help here is William Hopper who while Perry Mason is out with illness gets a shot at some independent case work which he seems only rarely to do with the Drake Detective Agency. The blackmailer is Carlos Romero, part time dance instructor, full time gigolo and all heel. He and partner in dance Ruta Lee are a pair of heels actually.
Manning and Rennie find that her father John Hoyt and stepmother Patrice Wymore have some connections to Romero as well. And there are a few other suspects as well. In fact Rennie himself has a connection that could torpedo Manning's chances in court.
In a previous guest lawyer episode Bette Davis beat William Talman, now law professor Rennie without trial experience takes out Hamilton Burger. How do they keep electing this guy in Los Angeles County?
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