(TV Series)



[first lines]

Arnie Becker: So, my client, Mrs. Troutman, decides that she needs to get away for a few days. She packs her things into her car, drives down to her condo in Palm Springs, and puts the key in the door. She opens the door, kicks off her high-heeled shoes, walks down the hallway to the bedroom to collapse in the bed, opens the bedroom door only to find the surprise of her life: her loving husband, in the bed... in the arms of another woman.

Douglas Brackman, Jr.: Excuse me, Arnold. But why are we squandering valuable staff meeting time to hear this boring ressatation of a mondane little domestic drama?

Arnie Becker: You have interrupted me right at the punchline, Douglas!

Douglas Brackman, Jr.: Well?

Arnie Becker: You see, that was no "woman." That... was his wife.

[everyone looks at Arnie with puzzlement]

Douglas Brackman, Jr.: I'm afraid I'm not tracking.

Arnie Becker: Bigamy. Bigamy! Do you know how rare it is? This is the divorce lawyer equilivant of a hole-in-one!

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Angela Sipriano: You're going to find this interesting. Your original client was Mrs. Foster F. Troutman. He told her his middle name was Farrell. The one in Palm Springs is Mrs. Foster J. Troutman. He told her his middle named was James. The new ones I found are Mrs. Foster C for Charles, E for Errol, and K for Kenneth.

Arnie Becker: Alphabetical order?

Angela Sipriano: Exactly. Which means that there's most likely 11 of them. A, B, D, G, H, and I still unaccounted for.

Stuart Markowitz: And what about L through Z?

Arnie Becker: How the hell does he do it? Bee pollen?

Angela Sipriano: While we're on that subject, what Mr. Foster does is that he takes their stuff. Jewelry, furs, cars, etc., report them stolen, live on the settlement from the insurance company, and he gives the stolen item to another wife as a gift.

Stuart Markowitz: You know, I'm not a violent man by nature... but boy, what I would really enjoy is five minutes alone in an elevator with this guy!

[Markowitz slams his right fist into his left hand simulating a punch]

Angela Sipriano: Me too. But not for the same reason. I'd like to find out what the big attraction is.

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[during a break in jury selection]

Mark Gilliam: Must have hurt to lose Walters, huh?

Grace Van Owen: I don't want a prejudice juror any more than you do.

Mark Gilliam: Yeah, right. You mean your office didn't tell you to stack it with "fag bashers"?

Grace Van Owen: I am not unsympathetic to your client, and I'm ready to make any moves to his well being.

Mark Gilliam: Good. Then you'll dismiss the case.

Grace Van Owen: I can't do that, Mark. Your client took the life of another human being.

Mark Gilliam: My client performed a merciful act. His only motivation was love.

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[Becker, Markowitz, and Kelsey are loudly arguing over which one of them will get the late Norman Chaney's office]

Arnie Becker: I had dibs on this office the day he croaked!

Stuart Markowitz: Forget it, Arnie! It doesn't work that way!

Ann Kelsey: You move in here Arnie, and I will scratch the paint off your Porsche!

[McKenzie enters]

Leland McKenzie: SHUT UP!

[Becker, Markowitz and Kelsey are now silent]

Leland McKenzie: Do you realize that your bickering can be heard throughout the complex? Keep this in mind: if you three cannot find some mature and intelligent matter in which to settle this within the next three minutes, this office will be turned into a conference room!

[McKenzie exits and closes the office door shut]

Arnie Becker: All right. Under the circumstances and given the absence of time, there is only one way to settle this.

Ann Kelsey: What?

[Becker removes his suit jacket and holds out his clenched fists]

Stuart Markowitz: Arnie!

Arnie Becker: Come on, we haven't got a lot of time. Get 'em out there. Get them out!

[Markowitz and Kelsey hold out their fists and it is shown that they are playing 'potatos']

Arnie Becker: One potato/two potato/three potato/four. Five potato/six potato/seven potato/more.

[to Kelsey]

Arnie Becker: Out. One potato/two potato/three potato/more. Five potato/six potato/seven potato... more.

Stuart Markowitz: [to Becker; smirks] Out.

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Mark Gilliam: Mr. Appleton, how long did you know Glen Gates?

Christopher Appleton: We met at a party four years ago on the fourth of July 1982.

Mark Gilliam: And what was the nature of your relationship?

Christopher Appleton: We were lovers.

Mark Gilliam: Would you care to catagorize your relationship a casual one?

Christopher Appleton: No. We loved each other very much. We were very committed to one another.

Mark Gilliam: You two lived together?

Christopher Appleton: Yes, almost from the start when we first met.

Mark Gilliam: When did you first find out that Glen had AIDS?

Christopher Appleton: He was diagnosed last year in August 1985.

Mark Gilliam: Would describe to the court if you will the course of Mr. Gates disease?

Christopher Appleton: Well... he started becoming sick last July. In the beginning we thought it was just a bad cold. Weeks went by and Glen just kept getting sicker. He got so weak that he could hardly stand up. Well... if you were me, you live in a gay community that lives in terror. Like AIDS is a plague. You become used to seeing all your friends die. Somehow you think it won't happen to you. When Glen got sick, I think we both knew.

Mark Gilliam: Once he was diagnosed with having AIDS, what happened then?

Christopher Appleton: Basically he just deteriorated. He was in and out of the hospital. Toward the end he was going blind. He had periods when he wasn't lucid. He... he was in horrible pain.

Mark Gilliam: Mr. Appleton, would you describe to the court if you would what your life was like as Glen got sicker?

Christopher Appleton: We couldn't go out in public anymore, because people everywhere were physically repulsed at the sight of him. He lost so much weight. His face, his arms... his whole body were covered with dark sores. We became like... lepers, even in our own gay neighborhood where we lived.

Mark Gilliam: When did you decide to take his life?

Christopher Appleton: Oh, we had talked about it almost from the start. We had so many friends who died from AIDS in our community. We heard so many horror stories. Glen was not afraid of death. He couldn't stand the thought of the inevitable suffering. The loss of his dignity. He talked a lot about suicide. He hoarded pills for months. Towards the end he tried to kill himself while he was in the hospital. But... he was so weak that he couldn't get all the pills down his throat. That's when he begged me to do it. To take his life for him.

Mark Gilliam: And you agreed?

Christopher Appleton: No. Not at first. But towards the end he couldn't bear it. He was in horrible pain.

Mark Gilliam: Mr. Appleton, would you describe for the court if you would Glen Gates last few hours of life?

Christopher Appleton: It was early morning in March... exactly eight months ago. I'd fallen asleep in the chair beside his bed. Suddenly I woke up and I felt that Glen was really there. Not just physically, but his mind was there. And it woke me and I looked at him. His head was turned and he was looking at me with such sweet sadness in his eyes. It was as if all the fight was out of him. By this time, he was too weak to talk. He kept falling asleep and it was as if he was forcing himself to wake up. I felt like he was begging me to end it. I picked him off the bed and carried him to the bathroom. God... he was so light. It was like holding... a dying small bird. I bathed him, changed his bed clothes, tucked him back into bed and then I got into the bed with him. I held him in my arms and rocked him. I sang to him. And then when he finally fell asleep, he was like a baby in my arms. I knew for a certainty that it was time for death to happen. To let him wake up to one more day of pain and sadness and dispair. It wouldn't be a greater crime then I am up here accused of committing?

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