321. Infected

United States, Original Airdate, April 25, 1999.

Written by: David E. Kelley
Directed by: Dylan McDermott

-------------------- Disclaimer --------------------

I do not own the characters in this story, nor do I own any rights to the television show 'The Practice'. They were created by David E. Kelley and belong to him and David E. Kelley Productions.

This is not a novelisation or a script. It is a straightforward and dry transcript of the episode 'Infected'. It also includes descriptions of the settings and camera movements where I felt they were needed. I am not making any money or any other benefit off this. It is purely for fun.

I made every effort to accurately transcribe the dialogue from this episode. If you notice anything that has been transcribed incorrectly, please email me, and I will post an update.

This transcript was written by Ryana.

-------------------- Prologue --------------------

A prison. Ellenor is talking to Gary Armbrust through the screen.

Ellenor: Basically felony murder. If in the commission of a felony murder happens, they can get you for murder even if it's accidental. Intent doesn't matter.

Gary: W-what was my felony?

Ellenor: Your attack on your father. The DA's calling it aggravated, which brings it up to felony. Which means she can push through with felony murder. It's completely bogus, Gary. She is punishing you for refusing to testify against your dad.

Gary: Well, can this stick?

Ellenor: I'm bringing a motion to have it kicked and I hope the judge -

Gary: (accusingly) Why didn't you tell me they could do this?

Ellenor: It's an outrageous charge. She is angry -

Gary: (still accusingly) You told me that I was facing perjury, Ellenor. That's what you said. And now I'm going up on murder. Why didn't you tell me?!

Ellenor: I'm gonna take care of it. She knows you didn't commit the crime; it is completely punitive. I am going to take care of it.

A car park.

Helen: Forget it.

Ellenor: Come on, Helen. You know -

Helen: Your kid made a choice, Ellenor.

Ellenor: My kid? I took him at your request to advise him against perjury. You never threw out the possibility of felony murder.

Helen: Because I hadn't thought of it then.

Ellenor: This is prosecutorial misconduct and you know it!

Helen: Ellenor, bring your motion. I'm not letting him go!

Ellenor: Listen to you. Listen to the sound of your voice. You've lost your way.

Helen: Somebody was murdered. Somebody's gonna pay for it. That's my way.

-------------------- Opening Credits --------------------

The office.

Ellenor: You know she's crazy.

Lindsay: She's not crazy. She's just a little (she hesitates for a second) motivated.

Jimmy: So, we're continuing on with the kid?

Ellenor: Well, I guess I'm still his lawyer. This is a nightmare!

Lucy: (punching a button on the phone) Anybody want an attempted murder? I got Sybil Boyle from the PD's office. They got a guy who'd fired six lawyers. Trial starts tomorrow. They're looking to lujack.

Ellenor: Tell them thanks but no thanks.

Rebecca: (rising) I'll do it. (they all look at her) Attempted murder beats paperwork.

Lindsay: (teasingly) You know, Rebecca, when you were office administrator you'd kick and scream at all the pro bono stuff. Now that you're a lawyer…

Rebecca: (pointedly) Like you all say, it's good experience.

Lucy: Well, I got her on hold here.

Rebecca: Tell her I'll do it.

Lucy: Yeah.

She punches the button on the phone again.

A courtroom

Mr. Minor: She was convinced she'd look better with higher cheekbones. I thought it ridiculous, but -

Bobby: But your wife wanted it.

Minor: Yes. So she went in to get implants, they told us it would be pretty routine.

Bobby: They being?

Minor: Dr Leach and the others at the hospital. She went in on a Monday, had the surgery on Tuesday and came home that day.

Bobby: And everything seemed okay?

Minor: Well, she was swollen and in some pain, but they gave her medication. Everything seemed okay until Wednesday night.

Bobby: What happened then, sir?

Minor: She complained about having a fever and then, suddenly, just blacks out. I called 911 and the paramedics came. They, uh, they said she had no pulse. They brought out those… shock paddle things and started jolting her. And then they stopped. She was gone.

Bobby: Did Dr Leach offer any explanation?

Minor: He said she got a little infection.

Bobby: From the operation?

Minor: He didn't know. He said she could've gotten it at the hospital or she could've gotten it at home… He said these things happen, sometimes.

Bobby: But you believe Dr Leach did something wrong.

Minor: Yes.

Bobby: Why, Mr. Minor?

Minor: The way he told me. The way he cut our conversations short ever since. The way he wouldn't talk anymore. (there's a pause) He did something wrong.

The prison. Rebecca enters.

Rebecca: Mr. Little? My name is Rebecca Washington; I'm your new lawyer. (he doesn't respond) I understand you've had some difficulty with your six previous lawyers. Anything in particular they got wrong? I'd like to get a head start.

Byron Little: I didn't like 'em.

Rebecca: Okay. Well, uh, since your trial starts tomorrow I need to get up to speed. So, according to the officers you fired a revolver at them. (she waits for a second. He doesn't answer) Did that happen?

Little: No.

Rebecca: Okay, two officers are testifying it did. Do we have anybody on your side to say that it didn't?

Little: No.

Rebecca: Okay.

Another courtroom.

Ellenor: This charge is clearly punitive. The district attorney has no good faith belief that defendant is guilty of felony murder.

Helen: Defense counsel has no foundation to evaluate my good faith -

Ellenor: She was prosecuting the father for murder.

Helen: The defendant admitted to attacking his father causing the gun to go off.

Ellenor: But you don't believe that, Helen and you know the jury won't either.

Helen: (at the same time) Again, you're a mind reader!

Ellenor: No. I have ears. You stood in front of the jury and you said that Gary Armbrust was making this whole thing up to spare his father a life sentence.

Judge Hollings: Counsel, these are questions of fact. The boy stated under oath that he assaulted his father, that's enough for me to hold him.

Ellenor: Even assuming that to be true, felony murder still doesn't apply. That law was designed for robberies or kidnappings, rapes… Felonies for which it is foreseeable that a murder could result.

Helen: You charge a man with a gun it's foreseeable it could go off.

Ellenor: I would also remind the court of the Merger Doctrine. The felony act has to be independent of the killing for a felony murder to apply. Here it was the alleged felony itself that caused the death -

Helen: Massachusetts has never recognized the Merger Doctrine.

Ellenor: Can I finish?

Hollings: Actually, you have. I'm denying the motion to dismiss. The charges stand. The defendant will be held without bail, we can conference (quick pause as he checks his calendar) Wednesday to set a trial date.

Ellenor: This is a railroad!

Hollings: Excuse me?

Ellenor: This boy is being charged with a crime we all know he didn't commit.

Hollings: Well, next time he should think better of confessing. Next case.

-------------------- Commercial --------------------

A courtroom.

Doctor Reynolds: She had gone into septic shock. That led to full cardiac arrest which was ultimately the cause of death.

Eugene: And, doctor, do you have an opinion as to what caused Mrs. Minor to go into septic shock?

Reynolds: The blood tests show a massive infection caused by streptococcus bacteria. This would explain why her fever spiked.

Eugene: And, doctor, do you have an opinion as to how Mrs. Minor became exposed to this bacteria?

Reynolds: It had to happen during her cheekbone implant operation. The likelihood is there was some contamination in the operating room.

Mr Walton (Opposing Counsel): You can establish that for a fact?

Reynolds: Well, we can't say it to a medical certainty, but since all other explanations have been eliminated…

Walton: No autopsy was done on the patient, was there, doctor?

Reynolds: No, and there should have been -

Walton: Well, without an autopsy we can never really know for sure what killed Mrs. Minor, can we?

Reynolds: When a postoperative patient goes into septic shock within 48 hours of the operation we know -

Walton: Move to strike, non-responsive. Move to strike!

Judge: Overruled.

Reynolds: People should not die from cosmetic surgery.

Walton: Did you ever examine Mrs. Minor, Dr. Reynolds?

Reynolds: No.

Walton: Did you ever meet her?

Reynolds: No

Walton: Ever see her body after the death?

Reynolds: No, but that has -

Walton: You answered the question, sir. Are you being paid for today's testimony?

Bobby: Objection.

Judge: Overruled.

Walton: Are you being paid, sir?

Reynolds: Yes.

Walton: How much?

Reynolds: Seventy-five hundred dollars

Walton: How many court cases do you testify in per year?

Bobby: Objection, this is completely irrelevant.

Judge: I'll allow it.

Walton: How many, sir?

Reynolds: I have no idea.

Walton: More than 50?

Reynolds: Probably.

Walton: In fact, that's what you do, isn't it? You're a hired gun who goes from courthouse to courthouse. You're on every plaintiff attorney's list, aren't you?

Bobby and Eugene: Objection!

Judge: Sustained.

Walton: You have no evidence that my client did anything negligent, do you, sir?

Reynolds: When one of his patients dies -

Walton: Please answer the question. I'm not asking for any assumptions. You cannot point to any specific incidence of negligence in respect to Dr. Leach, can you?

Reynolds: No, I wasn't in the room.

Walton: Thank you, doctor.

A prison conference room

Little: I was going to visit a friend.

Rebecca: At 3 o'clock in the morning?

Little: Yeah.

Rebecca: And then?

Little: I heard shots, I ran, they grabbed me. What, that's not in there? Those other 6 lawyers didn't take notes?

Rebecca: The police said -

Little: I know what they said! It didn't happen.

Rebecca: Okay. The friend you went to see. You never saw him?

Little: I had the wrong address.

Rebecca: Okay. Can you tell me anything else?

Little: Nope.

Rebecca: Okay. (slight pause as she writes something) I want you to think about something. That building was dark. The police were shooting. Self-defence is a possible option.

Little: I said I didn't do it. Are you deaf? (shouting) ARE YOU DEAF?

Rebecca: (calmly and quietly) No, I'm not deaf. (there's a pause) Please don't scream at me. Given your, ah, felony record my plan is not to have you testify. If you take the stand all your priors can come into evidence, so for now I don't plan to put you in the witness chair.

-------------------- Commercial --------------------

Helen's office.

Mr Hunter (Mr Armbrust's attorney): Thank you for seeing me. I thought if we all got in a room… We can all agree that there has been a certain level of frustration at work here. (He, Gordon and Ellenor sit)

Helen: Why are you frustrated, Mr. Hunter? You got an acquittal for your client. (Helen sits)

Hunter: Yes. But if you proceed to try Gary for felony murder, that would obviously be pretty disturbing for Gordon. And who knows? He might even get up there and testify that he shot his wife of his own accord, no provocation from Gary.

Helen: In which case I go after him for perjury.

Hunter: This really is not about threats. I came in here to make an offer. Certainly if Gordon did give that testimony, implicating himself in a crime for which he has already been acquitted, then double jeopardy would mean…

Helen: (leaning forward) Get out

Hunter: Here is the offer. Gordon will accept a year on a perjury charge, I'm sure Miss. Frutt can convince Gary to accept a one year sentence also on perjury, and that means no one walks off free and the public and you can feel some sense of vindication.

Helen: (rising) How dare you come in and even suggest that?!

Ellenor: (appealingly) Helen…

Helen: (turning on her) And you…

Ellenor: (defensively) Look, I didn't know what he was going to say. Look he's the guy you want a year is better than nothing.

Helen: Your guy's getting life, Ellenor. Life! (turning to Gordon) As for you, I'll figure something out.

Gordon: You're not going to figure anything

Helen: Get out Mr. Hunter!

Mr. Hunter: I am making an offer -

Helen: I said get out! (she walks to the door and holds it open)

Gordon and Mr. Hunter get up and leave

Ellenor: Can I talk to you outside this case for a second?

Helen: No

Ellenor: You could destroy yourself with this. Don't let that happen.

Helen: Ellenor, please leave.

Ellenor leaves.

A courtroom.

Mrs. Henderson: There was some kind of panic.

Eugene: By panic you mean?

Henderson: Dr. Leach came rushing in, it was about 20 minutes after the call that Mrs. Minor was dead. He huddled up with Dr. Morganson, chief of staff.

Eugene: Did you hear what was being said?

Walton: Objection, hearsay.

Eugene: Excited utterance.

Judge: I'll allow it.

Eugene: What did you hear, Mrs. Henderson?

Henderson: Well, Dr. Morganson was already upset over another patient who died. It's not like him to become animated but he was here. He was demanding lists of surgical teams and he wanted an M & M conference that very night.

Eugene: What's an M & M conference?

Henderson: It's a mortality and morbidity conference. Doctors convene secretly to discuss the cause of death of patients. Often for unexplained deaths.

Eugene: Do you know the results of this meeting?

Henderson: No, the contents are secret. Nobody but the doctors ever finds out what goes on in there.

Eugene: Thank you.

Eugene sits.

Walton: Gee, You make it sound like big conspiracy. M & M conferences are routinely held in hospitals, aren't they, Mrs Henderson?

Henderson: Yes, But this was -

Walton: Thank you. And one of the reasons that they have these meeting is, among others, so that doctors can freely swap information to learn. Isn't that correct?

Henderson: Yes.

Walton: They have these meetings whether things go wrong or not.

Henderson: They seemed to have this one in a hurry.

Walton: Well, is it possible Dr. Leach was upset about the death and he wanted to find out quickly if something went wrong? Is that possible?

Henderson: Yes.

Walton: And here you are presenting a doctor's concern about his patient as something incriminating

Henderson: Doctors have two kinds of expressions. One is concern for the patients, the other is concern over liability. This seemed to be the latter.

Walton: So you based today's testimony on your ability to read an expression?

Henderson: I was there, Mr Walton. Something was wrong.

Walton: But you weren't in that operating room, were you, Mrs Henderson?

Mrs. Henderson: No, I wasn't.

Another courtroom.

Officer Gibson: We had driven into the middle of a gang shoot-out. We pursued several suspects on foot into an apartment complex. We entered into a lobby area and we became immediately under fire.

Mr Thompson (Opposing Counsel): Did you see who was firing at you?

Gibson: That man (points to Little)

Little begins hitting the table with his hand

Judge Phillip Swackheim: (warningly) Mr. Little. (banging his gavel)

Little: (standing and pointing at the police officer) Judge, this man is lying.

Swackheim: Your attorney will have opportunity to cross-examine. You will remain quiet. (Rebecca pulls Little down)