Important, well acted
Roman: "Ah, well, first notwithstanding, I don’t know if I could do this much longer, progressive lawyering, [...] If I was freed from the criminal work, I can get back to my roots; the bigger battles, mass actions, supported by sweeping legal challenges.
With my skill…and experience, I am quite certain I can get this organization right back in line with its core beliefs.
M: (nervous laugh) This organization?
M: I wasn’t aware that we, um, had strayed…
R: I’m not talking about nickel-and-dime reformism. I’m talking about igniting a sustained mass movement supported by rule change and injunctive relief. and ah, I can get results using class action tactics. I’m talking about a return to using activist litigation, creatively, defensively, counter offensively.
R: I think you brought me in to put your feet to the fire, ‘cuz you’re tired of treating low income clients like dollar signs, and because maybe you remember what it feels like to actually care, that’s what I think, George.
G: Well, no I hired you to make a buck, which is why I thought you took the job.
R: I need money. (laughs) badly, of course, but what I really need George is an ally. I’ve been waiting to meet someone of your high caliber, and yes, I am selective. So what I am offering to you…right out here, now, is the chance to partner with me on a piece of ground breaking litigation that I’ve been working on for over seven years now. (slides briefcase forward)…Inside this case is arguably the most important legal brief in modern legal history. A sweeping Federal challenge that could yield nothing less than a grand new era of social reform…and i say that with all due competence.
The Constitution guarantees us a right to a fair trial, but there can’t be any fairness if 95 percent of all cases never get heard…criminal cases never get heard by a jury or a judge. I am bringing a wholly original class action lawsuit with over 3500 names—all former clients—aimed at the heart of plea bargain reform. I’m talking about reforming a system where prosecutors are trying to pull sentences out of their hat while actual guilt or innocence is being replaced by fear of having your day in court. Where people are being forced, George, to plead guilty under the threat of overly harsh and coercive sentences. It’s a job for a legend..or someone who wants to be one…
Let me tell you about it George.
G: No, no, no…Jesus, just stop..Roman, enough!
R: Not speaking out…is ordinary. We’re agents of change, George, each one of us. I don’t have the resources to finish this on my own, but with your assistance, I’m more than certain that we can finish this and file it together; partners on a landmark class-action suit that’s on precedence and procedure and actual proof…weight of proof. I’m sure of it, George.
It was a joy to see a story about a principled person motivated to make a difference with their career...working to resolve conscience against backdrop of financial need. Recommended. Denzel Washington inspires.