BOSTON LEGAL:

DOCTOR DOOM & GLOOM (PART ONE

OF A PROPOSED 5-STORY ARC)

Registered with the W.G.A

12/28/2007 12:03:59 AM

Pub: 9/01/2012

RIGHT HERE

PROFILE LINK: ARI SHORE

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BOSTON LEGAL: DR. GLOOM & DOOM

CAST LIST:

REGULAR CAST:

ALAN SHORE...JAMES SPADER

DENNY CRANE...WILLIAM SHATNER

SHIRLEY SCHMIDT...CANDACE BERGEN

CLARENCE BELL...GARY ANTHONY WILLIAMS

GUEST CAST:

BRAD CHASE...MARK VALLEY

PAUL LEWISTON...RENE AUBERJONOIS

GRACIE JANE...JILL BRENNAN

ARIANA SHORE...ME (the WRITER) as ALAN SHORE'S SISTER

KRATH

CAROLE

DOUGLAS

SANCHEZ

MACDOUGAL

YOUNG MAN

JUDGE

RECEPTIONIST

PHOTOGRAPHER

NOTE:

THE FIRST SCENE IN THIS SCRIPT TAKES PLACE DURING THE VERY,

VERY START OF THE 5th SEASON!

BOSTON LEGAL:

DOCTOR DOOM & GLOOM

(PART ONE OF A PROPOSED

5-STORY ARC)

BY ARI SHORE

FADE IN:

EXTERIOR-DENNY'S BALCONY-EVENING

DENNY and ALAN are sitting outside, smoking cigars and drinking scotch.

DENNY

You really are in a bad place, my friend.

ALAN

Indeed.

DENNY

So, what are you going to do about it?

ALAN

I don't know...

ALAN-CLOSE SHOT

The scene fades to black and white, with white fog around the edges as we -

FADE TO:

INTERIOR-DENNY'S OFFICE-MORNING

SUPER-12 MONTHS AGO (superimposed on the bottom of the screen)

Denny and PAUL are discussing a case at Denny's desk. The scene begins in black

and white, with white fog around the edges. As the scene progresses, it begins to

colorize and the fog slowly clears.

PAUL

This is a fairly large case, Denny, and for some reason, the clients want you.

DENNY

Of course! I'm Denny Crane, for God's Sake!

PAUL

And I, for once, agree. Class actions truly are your strong suit, Denny, I

cannot argue against that. So, you will take it, then?

DENNY

Of course!

(beat)

What's it about?

PAUL

(rolling his eyes)

Again, Denny, it's a medical case. Malpractice, fraud, it's all there.

Denny is examining thick files as he speaks.

DENNY

(holding up a file)

And here.

(holding up another)

And here.

PAUL

Um, yes...quite.

DENNY

What are you still doing here? You're in my way, Paul, I've got work to do. If

you're through standing there, that is.

Paul smiles and nods, then leaves. Denny continues to turn files over,

mouthing "wow". Paul, visible in Denny's window, stares at Denny, grabs

his forehead, shakes his head, then walks away. We-

FOLLOW PAUL TO -

INTERIOR-CP&S RECEPTION AREA-MORNING

SHIRLEY is having a low conversation with the RECEPTIONIST.

PAUL

Oh, Shirley - I just gave the Schweiber case to Denny.

SHIRLEY

(wheeling around as if shot)

You what? Are you out of your mind, Paul? What possessed you to do that?

PAUL

Easy, now! The other partners have already worked out all the details, done

client interviews, so Denny can be kept feeling useful for awhile, temporarily

neutralized, simply due to the sheer number of files. Hopefully, he'll be too

busy to cause any more trouble. Then when the time comes, all he has to do -

SHIRLEY

(interrupting)

- is be Denny Crane.

PAUL

Precisely!

SHIRLEY

Sounds like a plan. In fact, it's almost diabolical. I'm sorry I doubted you.

PAUL

Then we are in agreement.

Paul walks away. Shirley resumes her conversation with the receptionist as the elevator

doors open to reveal who we later find out is ARI. She is extremely casually dressed,

very street-waifish despite her over-40 age. She has bright red hair and a very determined

attitude about her as she bursts out of the elevator, moving towards Shirley, who doesn't

immediately see her due to the fact that she is leaning over the desk.

ARI

Alan Shore?

Shirley straightens up and points towards Alan's office.

SHIRLEY

That way. You have an appointment?

Ari ignores Shirley and immediately begins a fast march back towards the office, nearly

pushing Shirley out of her way in the process. Shirley starts after her.

SHIRLEY

Hey, wait a minute!

Ari continues down the hallway, with Shirley, and we -

FOLLOW ARI AND SHIRLEY

SHIRLEY

Whoa, there, missy - this is a place of business! You can't just come barging

in here like that! If you'll just make an appointment, I'm sure Alan will -

ARI

(cutting Shirley off)

Yeah, whatever.

As they have progressed down the hallway, BRAD comes into view. He is just emerging

from the kitchen area. Ari points at him.

ARI

You! Alan Shore's office?

Brad points, Shirley glares at him, and he shrugs back at her, causing her to roll her

eyes as she trots on after Ari. Ari marches on, and gets to -

ALAN'S RECEPTION AREA

Ari tries to march past CLARENCE, who starts to protest until Shirley waves him back.

INTERIOR-ALAN'S OFFICE-MORNING

ALAN is speaking on the telephone.

ALAN

You know that I am absolutely the one attorney positively guaranteed to get you

off every time. Count on it!

Ari bursts in, Shirley in tow. Alan looks up at them.

ALAN

(into phone, quickly)

Gotta go. Business.

Alan hangs up the phone, and addresses Ari.

ALAN

What are you doing here?

ARI

Fine way to greet your sister!

Shirley stares at Ari, totally in shock.

SHIRLEY

(squeaking)

Sister?

Alan gets up and leaves without a word. Ari shrugs at Shirley, who looks at Alan's

retreating back, then Ari, and smiles very weakly at Ari as we -

FADE TO:

OPENING CREDITS

FADE TO:

INTERIOR-ALAN'S OFFICE-AFTERNOON

Ari is sitting on Alan's sofa, with her feet up on his coffee table, as Alan enters. Alan

glares at her. He is not at all amused by her presence.

ARI

What? Don't tell me you've never put your feet up here. Maybe you should try

it - it might loosen you up enough for that stick to finally fall out.

ALAN

Cut it out! Why are you here?

ARI

For our 26-year reunion. Isn't that when you abandoned me to that snake pit we

were forced to call home?

ALAN

That is not fair.

ARI

Yeah, news flash, Alan – life isn't fair, in case you haven't noticed.

Alan goes to his desk, sits down. He takes a moment to compose himself,

as Ari has clearly rattled him.

ALAN

Ari, look – I was going away to college; what was I supposed to do? Take you with

me? How was I supposed to support you when I could barely support myself?

Especially after Mom and Dad cut me off.

ARI

I could have helped! You swore to me you'd always protect me.

ALAN

(scoffing)

Yeah, when I was 10!

ARI

Yeah – and years later, when those night terrors started, who protected who? Or

did you forget?

ALAN

No, I never forgot.

(sighs)

Ari, who knows how much worse things could have been if I'd have taken you

with me?

ARI

Worse for whom?

Alan gets a wounded look on his face.

ARI

Don't you think things were bad enough for me as it was? You don't know the

things I had to do to make it. You don't wanna know.

ALAN

And that's my fault?

ARI

You could've helped. We could have helped each other.

ALAN

But you got out, a year later, totally without my help, may I add.

ARI

Yeah, legally emancipated myself at 16. Do you know what I had to do during

that year to make it look like I had a means of support when I finally sued

Mom and Dad?

ALAN

Well, you won.

ARI

I won nothing! It was all a bunch of lies. I was out, yeah. Into the huge

cold world. Alone. Do you have any idea how much I had to pay that hack

attorney?

ALAN

But you did nearly all the legwork and wrote the opening and closing yourself.

ARI

The judge would never have taken me seriously, so I rented the mouthpiece

and hired people to get up there to lie and say that I actually had a job and

home waiting for me out there.

ALAN

What do you want me to say? Things weren't easy for me, either.

ARI

At least you were legit. Or didn't you hear?

ALAN

That you were in jail for bank robbery? I heard about it.

ARI

And didn't care.

ALAN

That is not true.

ARI

So that's why you never visited me, huh? Because it's so not true that

you didn't care?

ALAN

Stop it.

ARI

You never could stand the truth, could you? Just like Mom and Dad, bury your

head in the sand when it isn't what you want to hear. Alan, they scarred you

just like they scarred me. Just because those scars aren't on the outside doesn't

make them any less real.

ALAN

(bitterly)

Why did you come here?

ARI

Because I was diagnosed with cancer. And I thought maybe you just

might care. My mistake!

Ari gets up and leaves. We see -

ARI'S BACK, RETREATING -

ALAN'S DOOR, CLOSING -

ALAN'S FACE, REACTING

CUT TO:

ACT II

INTERIOR-DENNY'S OFFICE-AFTERNOON

Alan enters Denny's office, where Denny is still looking at the Schweiber files.

ALAN

What's all that?

DENNY

Class action suit Paul's begging me to take. Guess I will.

ALAN

Need a second chair?

DENNY

You bored again? I suppose I could use the company. Why don't you join me?

ALAN

How sweet of you to ask. What's it about, anyhow?

DENNY

It's about six thick – ass files. A medical something or other, your guess

is as good as mine.

ALAN

Here, let me see.

Alan picks up a file, goes over to Denny's sofa and begins to thumb through it.

DENNY

You've got that look again, my friend.

ALAN

And what look would that be?

DENNY

The look that means you're using work to get your mind off of something.

ALAN

Denny, your depth of perception never ceases to amaze me. Either that, or you

must know me very well.

DENNY

Of course I do, my fine feathered flamingo pal. Does that scare you?

ALAN

Oddly enough, not really.

DENNY

So, do you want to talk about it?

ALAN

Not particularly. Just your mere presence is comfort enough. Let's get to

work, shall we, my friend?

DENNY

Yeah, there's a lot of crap to cut through.

ALAN

More crap than you know...

INTERIOR-BRAD'S OFFICE-AFTERNOON

Brad is behind his desk, when his intercom buzzes. He sighs rather agitatedly,

hits the intercom button on the phone.

BRAD

(into intercom)

Yeah?

RECEPTIONIST

(O.S.)

A Mr. Krath to see you.

BRAD

(into intercom)

Krath? Send him in!

KRATH enters Brad's office, almost automatically begins a salute, then looks ruefully at his

right arm, which is wrapped in a bandage and in a sling. Brad salutes Krath, and motions for

him to take a seat on the sofa. He then comes over to sit in a stuffed chair himself.

BRAD

Well, if it isn't Lance Corporal Krath!

KRATH

Actually, it's Sergeant First Class Krath now. I transferred to the National Guard

after the Gulf War.

BRAD

I'm in the Marine Corps Reserve, and I went up a couple of ranks myself.

KRATH

Yeah, I heard.

BRAD

Glad to see you.

KRATH

I wish. I'm not exactly here for a reunion. Wish I was, though.

BRAD

What's the problem?

KRATH

Well, maybe I shouldn't be bothering you, Brad, it's just that I didn't know

where else to go.

BRAD

You did the right thing. Maybe I can help you. So, tell me about it.

KRATH

Well, as I said, I'm in the National Guard now. I have always considered it

an honor and a privilege to serve, but not everyone feels that way.

Krath fingers his sling, frowns.

BRAD

What do you mean?

KRATH

I had some...tough times. Which, until now, I thought I could handle myself.

I've recently moved into a low-income building – about 8 months ago - and

the management seems to take great offense over the fact that I'm actually

working for a living, among other things.

BRAD

Okay, what happened? Give it to me straight.

KRATH

Well, it started off rather innocuously but soon it became very apparent that

this building, just like the whole low-income system in general, is basically

set up for junkies, jailbirds, and mental cases, and I have never been any

of those things. That's three strikes. Strike four – I am not a minority. They

don't specifically say this, of course, but their housing program is really set

up for nonwhites. I've been very nearly assaulted dozens of times on the

front steps, within plain sight of their so-called security guards who, not so

coincidentally, are just as nonwhite as 99 percent of the tenants. And these

guards did nothing. In fact, they and the management staff blamed me when

all I did was go quietly in and out, on my way to and from my three jobs.

Which was the fifth strike – working.

BRAD

Wow – that how you got the busted wing?

KRATH

Not exactly. I'm getting to that. But first let me tell you the capper. I went

away to annual training. Two weeks, I was gone. I left with my duffel bag,

in complete uniform, and in full sight of the staff and alleged security guards.

They knew full well why I was leaving, yet while I was away they called the

Department of Social Services, which they had no business doing, told them I

had abandoned the place, and got my food stamps cut off! And DSS, even

knowing they've broken the law, won't back down! Can you beat that?

BRAD

Whew! We'll get 'em, don't worry.

KRATH

Yeah, well, uh – I actually have no money. At least, not yet. You see, I

usually go downstairs to their pay phone at 2pm, to check in with my job.

So the day after I came back from AT, I went down to make the call.

When I came back up, the cleaning guy was right outside the elevator,

blocking my exit, cleaning cart and all. He was acting strange, and would

not get out of my way. I had to squeeze between him and the wall to get

by, very close to the elevator, on the very spot where, as it turned out, he

had sprayed cleaning fluid. With no "cation wet floor" sign, may I add. I

went down, spraining my wrist.

(hold up the sling)

And since I was already in court against the landlord due to repairs they have

refused to make, and rent I withheld because of it, I actually got a personal

injury attorney on the wrist issue. Didn't want to spread myself too thin,

plus I figured they were deliberately trying to get me hurt so I couldn't

continue in landlord/tenant court. That's when I decided I could use some

help. I hope you don't mind, but the only person I could think of was you.

BRAD

Straw that broke the camel, eh? Of course I don't mind. Glad you came to

me; I got your back, buddy.

KRATH

(exhaling a sigh of relief)

Thank you! I was hoping for a referral; I didn't expect you to take the case.

BRAD

Don't be ridiculous! Give me the phone number of the manager, we'll start there.

Also, I'll talk to your personal injury attorney, see what's going on with that.

KRATH

I really appreciate it, Brad.

INTERIOR-PAUL'S OFFICE-AFTERNOON

Paul is doing paperwork at his desk, when a very striking, classically beautiful

woman enters. Paul looks up, removes his eyeglasses, smiles at her.

PAUL

Well, hello, Carole. How have things been in Hong Kong?

CAROLE

Hello again, Paul. You never were a good liar. You know I got transferred to

New York from there.

PAUL

Um, yes, I believe I may have heard that.

CAROLE

I assume you also know I am here on the Schweiber case?

PAUL

Yes. Well, it certainly is nice to see you again. We should...talk.

Carole begins to slowly pace around Paul's office, now and again pausing to look at

awards, etc, that are on Paul's shelves as she speaks.

CAROLE

Paul – it's okay. It was only one kiss, many years ago. You were beaten down,

caring for Olivia, worrying about Rachel.

Paul's eyes drift to the photograph he has of Olivia. Carole goes over and picks it up,

looks at it, puts it down again.

CAROLE

(turning to Paul)

It just happened in a weak moment.

PAUL

And then you left.

CAROLE

I told you – I didn't want to take advantage of you while we were both in

such a vulnerable state. We just...clicked. One of those things, just a

simpatico moment, you know?

Paul doesn't answer, and Carole doesn't notice the hurt look in his eyes, as she is

busy examining an award.

CAROLE

Naturally, I jumped at the chance to go help open CP&S's Hong Kong office. Who

wouldn't? I mean, face it – what did I really have left for me here anyway, since

Bob and I had split? So there's really nothing for us to...talk about, is there, Paul?

Paul attempts a brave smile for her.

CAROLE

Hey, where's that battle axe, anyhow?

PAUL

Oh, I suppose Shirley should be in her office. She's not due in court today.

Carole leaves. Denny is standing just outside Paul's office, and sees Paul's eyes following

Carole out. Denny makes eyes, enters.

DENNY

I've seen her before.

PAUL

Of course you have, Denny. She left here to open the Hong Kong office. I believe

she used to have Alan's office.

DENNY

I was going to ask you something...maybe I should come back when you aren't

so...mad cow.

PAUL

What? Oh - come in. What is it that you need to know?

DENNY

That's okay.

PAUL

What's the matter, Denny? Have you forgotten why you came here again?

DENNY

Uh...seeing that blond puts another blond bombshell in my mind. Think I'll go

probe Shirley. She really gets my pointer up.

Denny leaves. Paul shakes his head and resumes paperwork.

INTERIOR-SHIRLEY'S OFFICE-AFTERNOON

Shirley is seated at her desk. Brad enters.

BRAD

Uh, Shirley?

SHIRLEY

What is it, Brad?

BRAD

Well, I sorta promised a pal I'd help him out.

SHIRLEY

What kind of help are we talking here?

Brad shrugs and looks a bit uneasy.

SHIRLEY

This is one out of the goodness of your own pockets, I presume?

BRAD

I guess. If necessary.

SHIRLEY

When was the last pro bono you did?

BRAD

A few months ago. Well, no – much as it pains me to admit, I actually lost a bet

to Alan on that one, so I paid. So the last actual pro bono would be...uh...

SHIRLEY

What kind of case is it?

BRAD

A winnable one. A fellow soldier is getting a crappy deal from his apartment

manager and landlord. Some harassment due to his military service status,

some discrimination...Don't worry, it shouldn't take more than a couple of

calls, probably get them to settle so it never even makes it to court.

SHIRLEY

Too bad.

BRAD

How's that bad?

SHIRLEY

Uh, you need to make it worth our time, Brad. Any way it can last long enough

to generate some press?

BRAD

Maybe.

SHIRLEY

See that it does, and we'll eat the cost.

BRAD

Thank you, Shirley.

SHIRLEY

No problem. Anything for a pal. Of course, if it gets too complicated, by

any chance -

BRAD

(finishing the thought)

- then I'll split the cost 50/50 with the firm?

SHIRLEY

Good enough.

INTERIOR-CP&S HALLWAY-AFTERNOON

Ari is wandering the hallway, when she spots a YOUNG MAN coming out of the

conference room, looking a bit confused.

ARI

You a client?

YOUNG MAN

Yeah, I'm suing my parents.

ARI

Been there.

YOUNG MAN

I want to be Jewish, but they are trying to force me to be Christian.

ARI

Bummer!

YOUNG MAN

By Jewish law, I am an adult, and have been for nearly four years – well,

minus the bar mitzvah, of course. But they won't listen to me.

ARI

Really? Good enough for me. So, where you going now?

YOUNG MAN

Looking for a bathroom.

ARI

Come on.

Ari leads him to the men's room.

ARI

Got a girlfriend?

YOUNG MAN

Well, sort of.

ARI

Yeah? Bet she can't do this!

Ari grabs the young man by his tie, and drags him into the bathroom.

CUT TO:

ACT III

INTERIOR-CP&S HALLWAY-AFTERNOON

Denny is in the hallway outside his office, passing by, when he notes Alan out on the

balcony, alone, with a drink. Denny goes after him.

EXTERIOR-DENNY'S BALCONY-AFTERNOON

Alan is absorbed in thought and doesn't notice Denny coming outside with a cigar and scotch

until he speaks.

DENNY

What's up with you?

ALAN

Huh? Oh, hi. Does it show?

DENNY

(sitting down)

Want to talk yet?

ALAN

Not particularly.

Denny lights a cigar, passes one to Alan, then lights one of his own. They sit and

quietly smoke for a moment.

ALAN

(exhaling)

She's dying.

DENNY

You mean...

ALAN

(interrupting)

Not Shirley. My sister. She has cancer, maybe she's dying.

DENNY

Maybe? You mean you don't know?

ALAN

My family was never much into...sharing. At one time, we were close, my sister

and I. Like two fellow combatants in a trench, I suppose. She's the one who got

me interested in law.

DENNY

She's an attorney?

ALAN

(laughing)

Hardly. She got me into the law when I started college, not knowing what I

wanted to be, but just knowing I had to...get out. She basically wrote her

own case for emancipation from our parents then, when she was only 16, and

gave it to some hack attorney to read for her. She showed me that the law was

a way out, that it could actually be used to help people.

DENNY

So, she helped herself, and you turned out all bleeding heart.

ALAN

I suppose so. My parents were all for my being a lawyer, initially, until they

found out I wasn't just in it for the money.

DENNY

(covering his ears)

Alan, please! Blasphemy!

ALAN

Well, anyway, she was alone. And soon, so was I. I should have tried to reach

out, maybe I could have done something. Maybe I...oh, I don't know…

DENNY

She's not dead yet, and neither are you.

ALAN

Did I ever mention how much I hate it when you're right?

DENNY

(putting his cigar in his ear)

Right? About what?

ALAN

You don't fool me, Denny Crane.

DENNY

So, why didn't she become a lawyer, since she was apparently quite gifted?

ALAN

That is the twenty thousand dollar question.

DENNY

So, ask her. While you still can.

Alan stares at Denny for a moment, then gets up and leaves.

Denny follows after him, calling encouragement. We -

FOLLOW DENNY AND ALAN -

as they leave the balcony, exit, Denny's office, and walk down the hallway.

DENNY

Attaboy, Alan! You can do it! You'll be glad, later. Do it before the mad cow

gets ya!

INTERIOR-CP&S HALLWAY-AFTERNOON

Denny is too busy talking to Alan to notice what Alan sees, which is a young man leaving

the men's room, followed by Ari a few seconds later. Both look rather disheveled. Ari

hastily tries to rearrange her clothes as she notices Alan looking at her.

CLOSE ON ALAN

ALAN

Tell me I didn't just see what I think I saw.

BACK TO HALLWAY

Denny gives Alan a wacky look.

DENNY

You sure I'm the only one with mad cow around here? This more of that word

lettuce crap?

ALAN

Salad. Excuse me a moment, Denny.

Alan walks over and takes Ari's arm. She throws him off.

ARI

What the hell are you doing?

ALAN

What the hell are you doing?

ARI

I don't know what you're talking about, and frankly, I bet you don't, either.

ALAN

I saw you! I don't care if you are dying.

ARI

Wait – who said I was dying?

ALAN

What?

ARI

Told you you don't know what you're talking about! I knew I shoulda bet you

some money.

Alan manages to grab her arm and propel her towards his office.

ALAN

Come on.

Ari allows herself to be dragged down the hall and into Alan's office.

INTERIOR-ALAN'S OFFICE-AFTERNOON

ALAN

Sit down.

Ari plops herself down on Alan's sofa, arms tightly crossed. Alan sits down in a stuffed

chair. He hesitates a moment, gathering his thoughts.

ALAN

Tell me again – exactly why are you here?I seem to have missed something.

ARI

Yeah – you missed 26 years. Oh, do you mean what's going on here besides the

cancer?

ALAN

So there is something else, I knew it. Talk, and try to make sense this time.

ARI

I always make sense.

ALAN

Just spill it! Are you dying or not?

ARI

Not. That's the beauty of it.

ALAN

That's the beauty of what?

ARI

Doctor Schweiber.

ALAN

That hack?

ARI

That "hack" has been treating me.

ALAN

You can't be serious!

ARI

Deathly serious. I had cancer that was totally inoperable. I went to Doctor

Schweiber. Now the cancer is totally gone, in three months.

ALAN

Just three months? Wow. Are you sure it's gone?

ARI

Absolutely. Totally. I was dying, now I'm not. You have to get this firm not

to take that case against him.

ALAN

And there is the catch.

ARI

What catch?

ALAN

I didn't think you came here out of any family closeness.

ARI

Oh, once a con woman, always a con woman?

ALAN

Something like that.

ARI

You have to get it dropped. For me.

ALAN

I can't even if I wanted to. It's not really my case.

ARI

I know. But you can try to make it go away, you know how. I checked. Just do

it, because you may be right.

ALAN

Right about what?

ARI

What if it is just a remission of some kind? What if I stop getting my monthly

treatments from him, and I die? Do you want that on your conscience? Besides,

I will do anything to make sure the Doctor wins. And I do mean anything, Al.

Trust me when I say this.

ALAN

So...why is it you never became a lawyer? You were off to an excellent start.

ARI

Much easier robbing banks and stuff. Except for that last time I got busted.

I would-a got off then, too, but the stupid attorney refused to do what I told

him to do.

Ari shrugs at Alan, who is amazed by her nonchalance.

ARI

It was inadequate representation and I appealed on that basis, too, but they

refused to hear my appeal because they were determined to hang me on it

since I made sure the other attorneys got me off the first two times I got popped.

Judge with a grudge, you know?

ALAN

I...kind of met a few judges like that, myself. Major grudges, too. But there

really is no justification for stealing.

ARI

Yo, the banks are insured against that, so the insurance companies make money,

the customers get their bread back, I get a few bucks – everyone's happy. I

refuse to steal from an individual. That's where we differ.

ALAN

I don't steal.

ARI

Oh, really? What do you get, 200, 300 bucks an hour just to go look in a bunch

of law books? How in the hell do you justify that?

ALAN

Actually, it's $500 an hour. And I do some pro bono, too.

ARI

Yeah, one or two a year, to clear your conscience? Well, I never could see

letting Harvard or some other school rob me of 100 grand just to teach me to read

a bunch of books. I can read already. And I couldn't see robbing people who are

already victimized by charging them hundreds of bucks an hour for me to read

law books for them when I can just tell them where the law library is so they can

go and check the laws themselves, and for free.

ALAN

So you gave up on law?

ARI

On the contrary, I got my degree while I was in jail, online.

ALAN

But you can't pass the bar because you are an ex-con.

ARI

That's not exactly true.

ALAN

What do you mean?

ARI

It's actually Arina Shroe who has the record. Funny how her name is so

similar to mine, ain't it? Invert two numbers in my social security number and

bingo! You got hers. Imagine that.

ALAN

(sarcastically)

I'd rather not, if you don't mind. You always were little miss innocence.

ARI

Okay, I did study computers in jail, from a couple of inmates. Bless white collar

crime! I, uh, sorta erased my whole prison and police records, among other

things. I'm quite handy, you know. Just do yourself a favor and don't try me.

Give up on the Schweiber case gracefully.

ALAN

I'll...see what I can do.

INTERIOR-PAUL'S OFFICE-AFTERNOON

Alan is standing in front of Paul's desk. Paul is sitting at his desk, shock on his face.

PAUL

You would like me to do what!

ALAN

Drop the Schweiber case.

PAUL

I cannot do that! We have people in three offices working on this! We've

even got a senior partner here from New York specifically on this matter!

ALAN

Oh – what, are we doing special guest stars now? Our ratings must be sagging.

PAUL

Do be serious! This is -

ALAN

(interrupting)

- a rainmaker case. I know.

Paul looks over his reading glasses at Alan.

PAUL

Precisely! Do not mess this up, I am warning you. You will regret it!

Paul gives Alan a particularly hard glare - Alan has mouthed the words "you will regret it"

precisely as Paul is uttering them, and Paul is clearly not amused by it.

INTERIOR-DENNY'S OFFICE-AFTERNOON

Denny is seated behind the desk, Alan is standing in front of it.

ALAN

You have to get them to drop the case, Denny.

DENNY

I can't, Alan. Not even for you.

ALAN

What happened to "first on the door"?

DENNY

I haven't had a well-publicized case in awhile. I need to be...out there.

ALAN

Denny, you are always "out there".

DENNY

This is different. I have to win this. I have to beat that woman!

ALAN

Shirley's not on this case.

DENNY

I don't mean Shirley! Her!

Denny punches a remote control for his tv set, and we see -

ONSCREEN -

a blond woman, with the caption GRACIE JANE under her.

GRACE JANE

So his methods aren't the quote normal unquote methods. That's no reason to

persecute the man! So he doesn't cut in the drug companies, with their

thousand-percent profit margins, or the hospitals, with their "bottom line"

price-cutting, pass-the-buck-to-the-consumer frauds they run! If it works

for you, then so what, I say! Up next, we have a report from Boston where it

appears there has been another in a string of bank robberies over the past

two weeks.

RESUME SHOT

Denny cuts the tv off.

ALAN

Did she say bank robberies?

DENNY

I think so.

ALAN

Oh, my...

CUT TO:

ACT IV

INTERIOR-ALAN'S OFFICE-LATE AFTERNOON

Alan is on the sofa, looking ill-at-ease. Ari is leaning on a stuffed chair, refusing to sit down.

ALAN

How long have you been out of jail?

ARI

About two weeks, why?

ALAN

I see...

ARI

See what?

ALAN

Nothing. I can't stop this case, Ari.

ARI

You'd better find a way!

Ari leaves.

INTERIOR-BRAD'S OFFICE-LATE AFTERNOON

Brad is behind the desk, on the phone. Krath is sitting on the sofa.

KRATH

I don't expect much.

Brad hangs the phone up.

BRAD

They're here.

KRATH

Yeah, the on site manager and that stooge who takes the rent – I think he's an

attorney, no offense.

BRAD

Who are the real landlords?

KRATH

I think some group of attorneys...Sanchez works out of an attorney's

office, and we take the rent there.

BRAD

Give me the landlord's name, it may come in handy later.

KRATH

Livonia and Associates, LLP.

BRAD

Okay, let's go.

Brad takes his briefcase, and he and Krath leave.

INTERIOR-CP&S CONFERENCE ROOM-LATE AFTERNOON

Two men are seated at the conference table, one Black and one Hispanic. They stand as Brad

and Krath enter, and Krath introduces the Black man to Brad.

KRATH

This is Mr. Douglas, he's the on site manager. My attorney, Brad Chase.

Brad shakes MR DOUGLAS's hand.

KRATH

And this is Mr. Sanchez.

Brad shakes MR. SANCHEZ's hand, then they all sit down.

SANCHEZ

What is it that you want?

KRATH

Those repairs you stipulated would be done, weren't.

BRAD

So my client wants those repairs done by next week, and a reduction in rent to

cover the time when the kitchen wasn't fully functional, plus further rent

reduction for the added hassles of his having to bring me in to enforce the

stip, plus the stip date's not being met.

SANCHEZ

How much of a reduction?

BRAD

30 percent rent reduction for 8 months, for the kitchen, plus 4 months of free

rent due to the broken stip.

SANCHEZ

(getting up)

See you in court.

Sanchez walks towards the door. Douglas starts to follow.

BRAD

Apparently so. And, in spades, sport. Because once the housing court is done.

we go to civil court, that's a promise.

Sanchez stops at the door, turns around.

SANCHEZ

Civil court? For what?

BRAD

I think you know. Oh – and I am quite sure you're gonna be out for medical

treatment plus pain and suffering for my client's wrist before that civil court

date rolls around.

SANCHEZ

We'll see about that.

Douglas has risen by now.

DOUGLAS

Let's hope no one regrets this, shall we?

Sanchez and Douglas exit. Brad looks at Krath and raises his eyebrows. Krath shrugs.

BRAD

Who else can you get to help us out in this? Who can testify?

KRATH

People are scared. Well, the few who dare to complain are.

Krath leans forward in the chair.

KRATH

I know this sounds sorta crazy, but there are way too many stories circulating

about the staff calling the psych ward on anyone who complains about conditions

there or disagrees with the staff in general. And whatever the staff says is

always believed by the authorities. So the tenants gather in small groups of no

more than two or three, whispering among themselves, in terror of the staff. No

actual organized protests or tenant advocacy groups though.

BRAD

Sounds like human rights are totally out the window there.

KRATH

Exactly.

BRAD

Let me see what I can dig up. We'll make them change their tune. Let's start with

a pal of mine that works at the Boston Globe.

KRATH

Are you sure?

BRAD

Positive. We'll get this thing cracked.

INTERIOR-DENNY'S OFFICE-LATE AFTERNOON

Denny is at his desk, looking at the Schweiber files, when Paul enters,

looking very ill-at-ease, and tries some banter with Denny.

PAUL

Quite a case, eh, Denny? Right up your alley. A real publicity-grabber -

DENNY

(cutting him off)

Cut the crap, Paul, I don't have time to dig your face out of my butt. What do

you want?

Paul begins to pace.

PAUL

Well, I...

DENNY

You should just go for it.

PAUL

(stopping short)

What?

DENNY

You know – Carole.

Paul resumes pacing.

PAUL

Oh, I never -

DENNY

(interrupting)

- oh, bull!

PAUL

I have absolutely no -

DENNY

(interrupting)

- sure you do!

PAUL

(sputtering)

Partners are not supposed to date each other! And I would never -

DENNY

(interrupting)

oh, phooey! I saw how she was looking at you, Paul. She really digs you.

Paul abruptly stops his pacing and sits down.

PAUL

Do you really think so?

DENNY

I do. And believe me, I know that look! All half dozen or so of my wives had it.

Just do it.

PAUL

Thanks, Denny, I...whatever happened to us, anyway?

DENNY

I don't know.

PAUL

We were such good friends, and then one day -

DENNY

(interrupting)

one day, you just...went from an innovative attorney and co-conspirator

who took chances into a think-in-a-box and think-quarterly-profits, cut and

dried businessman.

PAUL

Well, this is a business, Denny, in case you haven't noticed.

DENNY

Yeah, but it used to be fun!

PAUL

I...maybe I did change, Denny.

DENNY

And I didn't.

PAUL

No, you didn't. Much. I guess I let Olivia's cancer and Rachel's drug

addiction get the best of me. It was hard, Denny. I didn't want to change,

but in the end it seemed that all I had left was the firm. Maybe I did start

holding on just a bit too hard. But someone had to take care of the business

end of things. Believe it or not, Denny, I do care. And not just about the firm.

DENNY

I may not say it often, but I can see that, Paul.

PAUL

And Denny, I may not say this often, either, but – I truly admire you. You

are taking your...mad cow...much better than I would.

Paul gives Denny a wry smile.

PAUL

In fact, it tears me up to watch it happening to you because I do care –

about you, and about this firm we built.

DENNY

(sternly)

Don't think this means we're going to start any sleepovers, Paul.

PAUL

No, Denny.

DENNY

And we're sure as hell not going to share Shirley or Shirley Schmidt-ho!

PAUL

Of course not. I would -

Paul stops abruptly as Alan enters, clears his throat.

PAUL

You know the other partners are counting on you for the Schweiber case. I know

you'll do your best, as always. I appreciate it, Denny.

Paul leaves, and Alan watches him.

ALAN

What's with him?

DENNY

Nothing. What's with you?

ALAN

Nothing. Why does anything have to be wrong?

DENNY

You look like someone pissed in your Cheerios.

ALAN

Thanks. Just count me out of that class action party of yours.

DENNY

Why? We can win this! And believe me, Alan, a winner is the one with

all the marbles.

ALAN

As long as you don't get so driven that you go after anyone who has even

half a marble, just because you can.

DENNY

And I thought I was losing my marbles?

ALAN

Just count me out, is all. This thing with my sister is...I don't know. My

sister just...this is a horror.

Brad just happens to be walking past as Alan says this, and he cannot resist

poking his head in the door and commenting.

BRAD

Whats a matter, champ, your sister steal all your marbles?

ALAN

Butt out, Brad.

BRAD

Gee, touchy there, sport! Must suck to be you.

Brad exits the doorway.

ALAN

Smug bastard.

BRAD

(from up the hallway)

I heard that!

ALAN

Anyhow, Denny, I cannot be a part of this class action, and I wish to God

you'd just drop it, too.

DENNY

I can't. I told you, I have to do this.

ALAN

Then, I have to do this – count me out of any sleepovers. Count me out of your

balcony time.

DENNY

Are you breaking up with me?

ALAN

Count on it.

DENNY

But you've taken cases I asked you not to.

ALAN

And how many cases have I asked you not to take?

DENNY

Well...I...mad cow?

ALAN

This one, Denny. That's it. Not for my sister, but for me. And you can't?

Then, I can't.

Alan leaves. Denny puts his head down on his desk in misery.

CUT TO:

ACT V

INTERIOR-ALAN'S OFFICE-EVENING

Alan is on his sofa, reading a newspaper. Denny enters.

DENNY

I swear, he doesn't mean a thing to me!

ALAN

What?

DENNY

Paul! Doesn't mean a thing. Isn't that what this is really about?

ALAN

That is ridiculous.

DENNY

No, I was jealous over Hands, I admit that, and I wouldn't want you

to be jealous of Paul. We never went out on the balcony – I swear!

ALAN

Denny, get out.

DENNY

Al? Come on.

Alan merely points to the door, and Denny leaves, his head hanging down. Alan

resumes reading, and Ari enters.

ARI

Did he finally lose his last marble, or what?

ALAN

(sighing sarcastically)

I hope the hell you're happy.

ARI

The class action is dropped?

ALAN

No. I dropped my part in it. You'll have to convince Denny yourself,

because I can't.

ARI

Then, I'll have to do...what I have to do.

Ari leaves.

ALAN

(sighing deeply)

That's what I was afraid of.

Alan picks up the phone. Puts it down. Stares at it. Picks it up again, and dials.

ALAN

(into phone)

Police? Oh, sorry. Wrong number.

Alan hangs up, stares at the phone, and sighs again.

INTERIOR-BRAD'S OFFICE-MORNING

Brad and Krath are sitting at Brad's coffee table.

BRAD

As I told you over the phone, I could not find anything out about Livonia

and Associates LLP at the courthouse. They don't seem to be registered,

which is kinda odd. They should be.

KRATH

I found this – it's from just before I moved in, it had been shoved under my

door.

Krath hands Brad a paper. Brad reads it.

BRAD

Capital improvements, eh? And just look at all those names on the letterhead.

KRATH

Yeah, Sanchez, for one.

BRAD

Okay, we'll assume these are all partners in the company. So, I've got an idea.

KRATH

What is it?

BRAD

We shake the tree. But first things first, let's head to the courthouse.

INTERIOR-COURTROOM-DAY

Brad and Krath are seated in the spectators chairs, waiting to be called to the stand.

Sanchez and Douglas enter, and Brad scowls at them, prompting them to scowl back.

Just then, a PHOTOGRAPHER takes a picture of them all, and Brad is smiling while

Sanchez and Douglas are still scowling.

BRAD

(to photographer)

Thanks, Bernie. I owe you one!

Up at the bench, the JUDGE bangs his gavel.

JUDGE

Michael Krath versus Livonia and Associates.

Brad, Krath, Sanchez, and Douglas all enter the floor, with the plaintiff going left, and the

defendant going right.

JUDGE

What do we have here?

BRAD

Your Honor, Brad Chase, of Crane, Poole, and Schmidt, representing Mr. Krath. Livonia and

Associates violated a stipulation to make repairs. Motion to Restore to the Calendar.

JUDGE

Granted. Next Tuesday. 1pm.

SANCHEZ

Your Honor -

JUDGE

Mr. Sanchez, it says here you have adjourned this case six times already.

Enough is enough! The case will go on. Next Tuesday, 1pm, that's five business

days from today, and may I highly suggest that you be ready this time!

The judge raps his gavel, and they all leave. As Brad and Krath are going out, a man approaches them,

and introduces himself.

MACDOUGAL

Mr. Chase, Mr. Krath, I'm Command Sergeant Major MacDougal. I saw the

article yesterday in the Boston I speak to you for a moment?

KRATH

Certainly.

BRAD

Sure, let's go out into the hallway.

They exit the courtroom, going out into -

INTERIOR-COURTHOUSE HALLWAY-DAY

Sanchez and Douglas are in the hallway, and Sanchez goes over to Brad when he sees them come out.

SANCHEZ

Mr. Chase -

BRAD

(cutting him off)

I'm busy now, so step off, pal. You can call me at my office later. I'm sure you

have my number. Because I've sure got yours, Pal!

Brad guides them all away from Sanchez and Douglas.

MACDOUGAL

My, uh...office is concerned about what's going on with you, Sergeant Krath.

KRATH

With all due respect, Command Sergeant Major, no one was concerned when I

became homeless 18 months ago, no one was concerned over those 6 months I

lived in the street, or the 4 months I stayed in the shelter. Why the sudden concern

over my health and safety now?

BRAD

Bad press?

MACDOUGAL

Exactly. Press is already all over us about how you boys get treated when you

get back from Iraq. They don't need to hear any more bad news about the

struggles you're having to go through without ever leaving our soil.

KRATH

(sarcastically)

How kind of the Army.

Brad gives Krath a hard look.

BRAD

What are you prepared to do, Sergeant Major?

MACDOUGAL

I checked up on you, Krath. I think you're an excellent candidate

to fill a position we have open. It's a teaching post at an active Army

base. You'd be part of the National Guard training team there, retraining

soldiers switching their MOS's. You'd be AGR, sothere would be housing

available on post for you.

KRATH

Full time active Guard? Hmm, that actually sounds good. What's the catch?

MACDOUGAL

You are not to pursue this case, to ensure that there is no more potentially

negative press for the Army.

BRAD

(to Krath)

I think I have a way to beat them without going to court again, if you're game.

KRATH

(to Brad)

Are you sure? I can really have it both ways?

BRAD

I'm reasonably sure.

MACDOUGAL

Sergeant Krath, do we have a deal?

KRATH

Yes, Sergeant Major.

MACDOUGAL

I have certain papers that need to be signed, forms to be filled out...

Brad hands him a business card.

BRAD

Come by in with the papers in three days and I should have the landlord

thing fixed by then.

MACDOUGAL

Remember – no more press, or the deal is off.

BRAD

There won't be any more press. That'll be the last thing these jokers will want

by the time I'm through with them.

MACDOUGAL

See that there isn't.

MacDougal walks away.

BRAD

Hey, Mike, see you in two days, okay, buddy?

KRATH

Thanks a lot, Brad.

BRAD

No sweat.

INTERIOR-CP&S HALLWAY-AFTERNOON

Alan is walking down the hallway. Denny is stalking him, not too covertly, but Alan is

just ignoring him. Alan finally goes into the men's room.

INTERIOR-MEN'S ROOM-AFTERNOON

Alan starts to go to a urinal, spots Denny coming in, and goes into a stall instead.

DENNY

Oh, come on, Alan! You've been hiding from me and neglecting me for two days

already! When is it going to end?

ALAN

Denny, go away! I've said all I've got to say to you.

DENNY

But Alan!

Alan begins to repeatedly flush the toilet every time Denny tries to talk to him. Paul comes in,

sees Denny hovering by the stalls, and raises an eyebrow at Denny. Offended, Denny leaves.

PAUL

You can come out now, Alan.

ALAN

Thank you – I owe you one.

PAUL

Then get this thing with Denny fixed, whatever it is, and quickly.

ALAN

Can't do that right now, Paul.

Alan peeks out of the door, sees no Denny waiting for him, and he leaves Paul shaking his head.

CUT TO:

ACT VI

INTERIOR-BRAD'S OFFICE-AFTERNOON

Brad and Krath are seated around Brad's coffee table.

BRAD

Good news, buddy! I told you I could get this wrapped up in two days!

Brad hands a check to Krath.

KRATH

What is this?

BRAD

Moving money.

KRATH

Where did it – Livonia and Associates?

BRAD

Yeah, Merry Christmas.

KRATH

How did you get them to give it to me?

BRAD

By promising them you'd sign this.

Brad hands him a couple of papers, stapled together.

KRATH

What is it?

BRAD

Standard non-disclosure form, plus an agreement that you will drop all current

and future lawsuits against them.

KRATH

What did you do?

BRAD

I took that letterhead that you gave me and, working on the assumption that their

company is made up of mostly attorneys, I looked in the business white pages of all

cities within 100 miles of Boston.

KRATH

That was clever thinking!

BRAD

Then, I matched the names on the letterhead to the names of attorneys

listed, and then sent them all petitions to appear in small claims court to face

your charge that they defaulted on the stipulation. I reached out, and touched

a few of the right people. So they, in turn, called Sanchez, to see if he could

make you go away, and Sanchez then called me. You basically got $10,000

nuisance pay. We could have held out for more, but the Sergeant Major wanted

a quick lid put on this thing.

KRATH

So, I grab the money and run.

BRAD

You got it. Sign here, and here, if you want to take the deal.

KRATH

You bet I do! The personal injury attorney told me I'd be lucky to get

$3,000. Boy, was he wrong! Dropping that will make him pretty mad...

BRAD

I'll handle it.

KRATH

So, how much do I owe you?

BRAD

A few emails a year, plus a Christmas card.

KRATH

I'm serious.

BRAD

So am I. I didn't do much here, just made a couple of calls, filed a few

papers. You just work on getting yourself settled into your new job and

living situation, okay, Mike?

KRATH

Will do. Thank you again, Brad.

BRAD

Be here tomorrow to sign off on the Sergeant Major's paperwork.

KRATH

Wouldn't miss it for the world.

INTERIOR-ALAN'S OFFICE-EVENING

Alan is getting ready to leave for the evening, standing behind his desk, putting his day

planner into his briefcase, when Denny enters.

ALAN

Get out of my office, Denny.

DENNY

Actually, it's my office. They're all my offices when you think about it, since I

built this firm up from nothing. First on the door, you know.

ALAN

I've got nothing to say to you.

DENNY

That's tough, because I've got something to say to you.

ALAN

I don't have to listen.

DENNY

Actually, you do. As I said, first on the door. Don't make me pull rank.

ALAN

I thought it was pretty well established by now that authority and I do not mix.

DENNY

Alan, come on.

Denny goes to the door. Alan remains standing behind his desk.

DENNY

I said come on. Please.

Alan, finally worn down, shrugs and follows Denny out.

INTERIOR-DENNY'S OFFICE-EVENING

Denny enters, with Alan tagging lazily behind him.

DENNY

Your sister came to me, you know. She's kinda cute.

ALAN

Yeah, she's as pretty as a venomous snake, now will you just get to the

damned point already so I can finally go home?

DENNY

I still got it, you know. She couldn't stay away from me.

ALAN

Ari was just trying to use you and confuse you, to help Schweiber. Surely

you don't actually believe she was talking to you because she thinks you're

sexy.

DENNY

Alan, my boy, power is always sexy. You haven't seen Ari in two days, have you?

ALAN

Now that you mention it, no. What the hell did you do?

Denny ignores the question, pours two drinks and hands Alan one. Alan stubbornly puts it

down on the desk, ignoring it. Denny notices Alan ignoring his drink, shrugs, lights up a cigar,

and moseys out to the balcony.

ALAN

(yelling out to Denny)

I've told you – I do not want to go out on the balcony with you, or anyplace else

with you, for that matter. Now, just tell me - what did you do to my sister?

Alan can see Denny's back in the window, and sees Denny put his cigar in his ear.

DENNY

(yelling back)

Can't hear you, Alan.

Alan scowls then picks up his drink, out of habit, and starts out towards the balcony, not looking too pleased.

EXTERIOR-EVENING-DENNY'S BALCONY

Alan comes out, looks at the drink in his hand, and deliberately puts it down. Denny shrugs.

DENNY

I know a lot of people, you know. I've been working this town since before you were born.

ALAN

Is there a point to this?

Denny gives Alan a stern look, puts his finger on his lips, and shushes him. Alan rolls his eyes.

DENNY

(sternly)

Sit!

Alan reluctantly sits down in his usual chair.

DENNY

As I was saying, I know people, and I pulled in a marker. Doctor Schweiber

referred your sister to another doctor, one in Costa Rica. I gave her airfare

myself.

Denny takes a drink and a puff of his cigar.

DENNY

You know Costa Rica has no extradition policy with the US.

ALAN

You knew about my sister?

DENNY

You know I never make a third date with a woman without having a thorough background

check on her first, so why would I share my balcony without doing one? I also never personally

hire anyone without doing a check, either. And you – one look at you, and I just knew you'd be

trouble. Fun trouble, my friend. Just what this place needed. So I looked you over.

ALAN

And you liked what you saw enough to have me hired, just to annoy Paul.

DENNY

You got it!

Alan chuckles.

ALAN

Denny, I never should have doubted you and I'm truly and deeply sorry.

DENNY

Apology accepted.

Denny lights a cigar for Alan, passes it to him. Alan takes a puff, then puts it in his ear, too.

ALAN

Any chance this Schweiber is for real?

DENNY

No, he's a worthless quack. It's mind over matter in your sister's case. You

know – where there's a will, there's a way and all that corny stuff.

ALAN

And she is strong-willed; always was.

Alan and Denny quietly smoke for a moment.

DENNY

You know, if she truly believes she's cured, well, then...who knows? If she

believes in this other quack I had her sent to, she may outlive us both.

ALAN

The mind truly is an incredible thing.

DENNY

You said it, Alan.

ALAN

Sleepover?

DENNY

Oh, are we an item again?

ALAN

Appears so.

DENNY

My place?

ALAN

You're on.

As they smoke, the scene fades to black and white, with fog around the edges.

FADE TO:

EXTERIOR-DENNY'S BALCONY-EVENING

CLOSE ON ALAN -

SUPER-PRESENT DAY

The scene begins in black and white, with white fog around the edges, slowly colorizing as the scene progresses,

and the fog slowly clears. We go to -

DENNY AND ALAN -

as they sit on the balcony, with scotch and cigars.

DENNY

Alan? You okay?

ALAN

Why?

DENNY

You've been quiet for awhile.

ALAN

I'm just thinking.

DENNY

You know you scare me when you think too much, Alan. Bad habit, that's what it is.

ALAN

Sorry.

DENNY

So, where to tonight?

ALAN

Wherever the night takes us – later. I'll let you know when I've decided.

DENNY

Fair enough.

ALAN

Indeed...

FADE OUT