419. Till Death Do Us Part

United States, Original Airdate April 30, 2000.

Written By: Alfonso H. Moreno, Adam Armus, Kay Foster and David E. Kelley.
Directed By: Duane Clark


We do not own the characters or storylines from The Practice. They belong to David E. Kelley and Twentieth Century Fox Productions. This is a cut and dry transcipt, not a novelisation, and is for entertainment purposes only.

This transcript was done by CELESTE.


Everyone, including Lucy, is sitting around the conference table. Ellenor is standing, talking.

Ellenor: (Throws file on table) Okay. Pennsylvania Supreme Court turned us down last night, which means we have to go to Federal Circuit Court under what's called a Successor Petition.

Bobby: Just to get the DNA test?

Ellenor: (sits down) It gets worse. Since his last lawyer previously filed a Habeas Petition, under federal law we don't get another chance unless we can pretty much prove that he's innocent, and that his constitutional rights were violated.

Bobby: Wait, wait, wait. We're trying to get the DNA test in order to prove that he's innocent, but we can't get that test unless we prove he's innocent first?

Ellenor: Right.

Bobby: How the hell can that be?!

Ellenor: I don't know, but Stuart Donovan is set to be put to death in 17 days, so that means between now and then we have to somehow prove that he's innocent.

Everyone rolls their eyes at the absurdity of it all.

Jimmy: This sounds worse then California.

Opening credits/commercial

An older gentleman (Arthur Turner) comes through the firm door wheeling in an older woman (Gertrude).

Arthur: Are you Mr. Donnell?

Bobby: Yes

Arthur: My name's Arthur Turner and this is my wife Gertrude.

Gertrude: Hello.

Arthur: I'm afraid we're in a bit of trouble.

Bobby: What kind of trouble?

Gertrude: It's my daughter.

Arthur: We were recently married and my stepdaughter's trying to get the marriage annulled. There's a hearing scheduled for today...

Bobby: (as Lindsay walks by) Mr. Turner, this is Lindsay Dole. She heads up our domestic relations department. Lindsay, this is Arthur Turner and his wife Gertrude.

Lindsay: (to the Turners) Hello. (to Bobby) Bobby, on that lujack matter...

Bobby: I'll handle the lujack deposition. Help the Turners. (he leaves)

Arthur: If they are able to get this annulled, which they are trying to do...

Lindsay: (upon seeing Rebecca enter the firm) Rebecca. (to Arthur) Actually sir, we have an annulment specialist. (to Rebecca) Could you help the Turners? Their marriage is being threatened with annulment. The hearing is today.

Rebecca: I have that lujack conflict...

Lindsay: I'm actually helping Bobby on the lujack matter. Thank you. (to the Turners) Ms. Washington will help you. (she leaves)

Gertrude: This lujack sounds like a really big client.

On to PA. Shot of a plane landing. Next they show Mary Donovan showing Ellenor, Eugene, Jimmy, and Lucy into what I assume is her house.

Mary: I can't possibly thank you enough for coming. Come on, I'll show you the room. We can get started.

They all enter the room and are shocked to see the walls covered with photos of the victims' dead bodies. Everyone has a mildly disgusted look on their face.

Lucy: Oh my god.

Mary: Oh, sorry. I don't even notice those anymore. After 12 years...

Ellenor: I have a meeting with the informant at one. Eugene's gonna see the eyewitness.

Mary: Good luck tying to get the time of day with him. What about the father?

Ellenor: Jimmy is gonna try.

Mary: I can't tell you how grateful I am.

Ellenor: We can't get our hopes up Mary. I keep trying to tell you this.

Eugene: Let's just get to work.

Back in Boston Rebecca is talking to Gertrude's daughter, and her lawyer in the hall of the courthouse.

Rebecca: An annulment is kind of a drastic measure. I, I just thought...

Claire: Where's my mother now?

Rebecca: She's with her husband.

Claire: Her husband? He's nothing but a...

Lawyer: Claire...

Claire: No I'll say my say. (to Rebecca) You're no better then he is, taking advantage of a...

Rebecca: I am not taking advantage of anyone ma'am. And I will thank you not to draw conclusions about who and what I am.

Claire: You're a lawyer. That's all I need to know.

Lawyer: Claire, that's enough.

Rebecca: According to Mr. Turner, he loves your mother very much.

Claire: Oh right.

Lawyer: She lacked the capacity to enter into a contract, marital or...

Rebecca: How do you figure? Duress? What are the grounds?

Lawyer: She has Alzheimer's Ms. Washington. (Rebecca looks shocked). You didn't know this?

Claire: Your client married a woman with Alzheimer's.

In that little break-room at the courthouse (what are these rooms called anyway?) Rebecca is talking to the Turners.

Arthur: So? It's illegal for somebody with Alzheimer's to get married?

Rebecca: Well it does raise some capacity issues.

Arthur: So what's gonna happen?

Rebecca: Well there's going to be a hearing. Mr. Turner you'll have to take the stand. I think they plan on calling a doctor, and then Mrs. Turner, you'll have to testify.

Arthur: No, I won't let her be put through that.

Rebecca: She has to demonstrate to the court that she was competent to get married.

Arthur: If Claire were concerned about her mother's well fair, she wouldn't have stuck her in that home. Now she's not gonna be put through testimony.

Rebecca: I'm afraid that she...

Arthur: Ah...I said no.

Rebecca: Mr. Turner, you hired me to help you. If you plan to keep this marriage from being annulled, your wife will have to testify.

Gertrude: I can do it sweetheart. All I have to do is show them that I'm continent.

Arthur pats her hand then looks at Rebecca. Rebecca gives Gertrude a polite smile.

Rebecca: That's competent.

Gertrude: (chuckles) Yes.

Rebecca: We should get in.

Back in PA, Eugene enters a large mechanics garage and goes to the office in the back where a man, the eyewitness the night of the murder, Mr. Bresler, is. He knocks on the door then enters.

Eugene: Mr. Bresler, I appreciate you taking the time.

Bresler: Yeah, um, like I said, I only got a couple minutes.

They both sit. Eugene pulls out a tape recorder and Bresler nods his permission. Eugene sets the recorder on the desk.

Eugene: You're house is right across from the Kearns?

Bresler: Was. I, uh, got divorced and moved about six years ago.

Eugene: Well, in any case, going to that night, you can be sure it was Stuart Donovan you saw go into that house?

Bresler: Positive.

Eugene: Can you tell me how you happened to see him?

Bresler: I was watching Johnny Carson when I saw his camero pull up. It was, uh, red with big tires and mag wheels. It always makes a lot of noise, day and night.

Eugene: So you actually saw Stuart get out of the car?

Bresler: Yes.

Eugene: Well he said he left around nine o'clock.

Bresler: Impossible. It was between eleven-thirty and twelve. I told you, I was watching Carson.

Eugene: Well, did you hear any screams come from the house?

Bresler: No.

Eugene: You know he's gonna be executed in two weeks.

Bresler: Yes. It's been on the news.

Eugene: Well, given that, is there any chance it wasn't Stuart Donovan you saw that night?

Bresler: Mr. Young, I met the kid a few times back then. He seemed like a real nice boy. I'm not saying he did what they say he did, but he did go in there that night. There's no question about that.

Back in Boston. Arthur is on the stand.

Rebecca: Mr. Turner, how long have you known your wife?

Arthur: Over thirty-five years. I knew her late husband and they knew my first wife.

Rebecca: I guess the question people are asking...she has Alzheimer's.

Arthur: I fell in love with her long before she was stricken with that. Certainly doesn't make me stop loving her.

Rebecca: Okay, but it might stop you from being able to care for her.

Arthur: If that day comes I may have to consider putting her in a home. But that day is not now Claire. I'll tell you THAT!

Claire: (standing up) You don't know what you're talking about Arthur. I would never...

Judge: Ms. Stevens, sit. Mr. Turner, please do not address her.

Arthur: She's upset because I took her out of the home.

Judge: Yes she is. She thinks you married her to gain guardianship so you could remove her from the home.

Arthur: I married her because I love her, and as a person who loves her, I wanted her out of that place. Damn right.

Claire's lawyer (does he even have a name?) stands up.

Lawyer: You snuck a minister into the nursing home where he performed the wedding service?

Arthur: Yes I did.

Lawyer: And you have control of your wife's estate, don't you Mr. Turner?

Arthur: If Claire wanted her mother to be happy, she'd want her to be with me.

Lawyer: She wants her mother properly cared for.

Arthur: And I'm doing that!

Lawyer: She has Alzheimer's, you're a seventy-six year old man with no training...

Arthur: I can do better then they can.

Lawyer: That isn't true. You're ill equipped to provide care...

Arthur: (shouting) I can take care of her!

Gertrude: You, stop it!

Everyone looks over at her.

Lawyer: Mrs. Turner, who is he? What's his name?

Gertrude looks confused and struggles to think. Rebecca stands up.

Rebecca: She is not a witness here.

Judge: No she isn't, but the court certainly would like to know if she can answer the question. Mrs. Turner, who is this man? Do you know him?

Gertrude: (after a lengthy pause) Of course I do.

Judge: Who is he?

Gertrude: (After another long pause) His name...is Arthur Turner. He is my lawfully wedded husband. And I would appreciate it if all of you would leave the two of us alone.


Back in PA. Ellenor is at the prison talking with Stuart.

Stuart: I've been having these dreams lately.

Ellenor: What sort of dreams?

Stuart: That I'm asleep and I can't wake up. Then I start thinking, they've already done it. I'm dead and this is what it feels like.

Ellenor: Yeah. (pause) I have a meeting with the informant in forty-five minutes. I really don't expect him to help me, unless he figures there's something we can give him.

Stuart: Okay. Can you make 'em stop with the priest?

Ellenor: I'm sorry?

Stuart: This priest keeps coming to see me. He says it's important that I confess to god before I go.

Ellenor: I'll deal with that.

Stuart: He says it's my only chance for absolution.

Ellenor: I will take care of the priest. Stuart, don't talk to anybody. Not even clergy.

Back in Boston. A doctor is on the stand.

Doctor: Most of the time she's lucid, but she does suffer bouts of both confusion and delusion.

Lawyer: And Doctor, does her condition stand to improve?

Doctor: No. It's a progressive disease. Her cognitive abilities will eventually erode. Probably completely.

Lawyer: What about care?