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12 attorneys have come before super attorney Roy Black to prove that they have the salt to be a legal eagle and take home a cool quarter million dollars. The verdict is in. Are you?

Recaps by Eric Pierce, GSNN

FACT FILE:
Host:
Roy Black
Creator: David E. Kelley
EP:
David E. Kelley, David Garfinkle, Jay Renfroe, Jonathan Pontell, Robert Breech
Packager: Renegade 83, David E. Kelley Productions, 20th Century Fox TV
Airs: Tuesdays at 9pm ET on Bravo


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"Between a Bush and a Hard Place" - October 1

This time the lawyers enter to find cards at reception that contain combinations to briefcases. After finding their respective briefcases, Deep and Aileen are teamed against Michael and Olivier

The Case:

A 911 call recording is played in which a woman, Lisa Pelland, calls to tell 911 that she just shot a man, Jay Medina, in her house. On the tape she claims that the man was outside and was trying to get in her bedroom window. She also says that the man said he was drunk. Further when asked by the 911 operator for a description of the man, she could not provide one as she said he was hiding behind a bush.

The case comes in that Jay’s Widow, Dena, is suing Lisa Pelland, the shooter, for wrongful death.

After drawing briefs, Deep and Aileen find that they are the plaintiff working on behalf of Jay’s Widow, Dena Medina. Aileen feels that it will be important for them to keep this case simple stressing the fact that the first actions that should have been taken by the shooter, Lisa Pellard, should have been to call the police rather than to run into the backyard “Charlie’s Angels” style and fire two shots. Deep is in agreement and at least for now it seems that the plaintiff is on the same side.

Olivier and Michael on defense are worried about managing a decent defense for Lisa Pellard. They are concerned with whether or not Jay Medina was on Lisa Pellard’s property when she shot him and with the fact that the two bullet holes are in Jay Medina’s back. Olivier does not like that fact that he is dealing in a case where someone is dead. He claims that there is a reason that he became a civil litigator and that he doesn’t have a stomach for this.

In boarding a private jet to the crime scene in Santa Fe, Michael is concerned with proving that their client Lisa Pellard was reasonable in her actions considering that she never saw him. Olivier quips that she at least shot low and Michael finds mild solace in that.

Back at the plaintiff’s side, Aileen is meeting with their client, Dena Medina. Mrs. Medina is very depressed as she recounts finding out about her husband’s death from a police messenger. The first time she saw her husband after the incident was when he was prepared for his funeral already wrapped in an Indian blanket with an eagle feather in his hair. Aileen feels confident that Mrs. Medina did nothing to deserve such emotion and further confident that Mrs. Medina would be safe to put on the stand.

In Santa Fe, Michael and Olivier have discovered that Jay Medina was more than likely on the property of Lisa Pellard when she fired at him and that she came out of a door next to her bedroom when she tracked him down behind the bush. Miss Pellard claims that she thought it was an animal and that she told it to “freeze” and only after that did she feel the imminent danger to shoot. When asked why she didn’t call the police first, Lisa Pellard responded that she is used to carrying a gun and pretty much never leaves home without it. Olivier realizes that this case has changed now knowing that Miss Pellard totes a gun regularly. Michael and Olivier felt that Lisa Pellard comes off as a little bit radical and paranoid and are worried that she will be a tough sell in the courtroom.

In order to help bolster their case, Olivier and Michael meet with Detective Trujillo, the lead investigator on this case who was able to give them some information about Jay Medina’s past. In his interviews with Dena Medina, Mrs. Medina said that Jay had a drinking problem and would often become violent while intoxicated. Further, late in the evening, Mrs. Medina said that Jay would frequently leave the house with binoculars and she believed that he was a bit of a peeping tom. Needless to say, Michael and Olivier feel much better about their case after this meeting.

In preparing their client, Lisa Pellard, Olivier and Michael try their best to make Miss Pellard realize that it will not be to her advantage to come across as combative to the jury. Miss Pellard is somewhat resistant to their coaching citing that she finds it outrageous that she has to defend herself in such a manner and as a result the defense is once again worried.

Deep and Aileen are not worried about the actions of their client, Dena Medina, on the stand but rather they are hoping that Jay Medina’s past will be kept out of court. They alert Mrs. Medina that such topics might be raised and she handles the news in stride.

Court Time:

Deep opens examination on Lisa Pelland and manages to expose the fact that Lisa Pelland always carries her gun with her in everyday life. Aileen caught this, but Deep seems to have missed it and did not follow up in trial.

Then the 911 tapes were played. Deep did a good job after the tapes of pointing out the inconsistencies in her testimony such as that fact that in the tapes she says he was climbing in her bedroom window yet in court she says that she never even saw the man. These flaws make Michael believe that Lisa Pelland has come across as somewhat indifferent over the fact that she has killed a man. For that reason, Michael is relying on Olivier to make Miss Pelland come across as a more sympathetic person.

Now the trial goes boom. Olivier asks Miss Pelland as to her state of mind when she placed that 911 call and Miss Pelland states that she was having difficulty assimilating that facts. Strike 1. Next, he points out that she could not recall her statement on the 911 tape. She confirms this and he asks for her explanation. She replies, “They weren’t really statements.”  Strike 2. Then he asks why she picked up her gun, and Miss Pelland changes the question to, “The question would be more of a question if I didn’t pick up my firearm.” Strike 3. In a desperation move, Olivier asks if she was scared and Deep Quickly objects: leading the witness. The objection stands but Lisa Pelland blurts out an answer anyway. “No, I was not scared.” Strike 4. We’re well beyond out here and Olivier thanks Miss Pelland for her testimony before she can say anything more.

Back to the plaintiff. Aileen calls Dr. Levin, an expert witness, who analyzed the autopsy report and will be able to tell the jury just how Jay Medina died. Pain, sweating, nausea, stupor; all of these paint a vivid picture of a graphic death. He basically claims that Mr. Medina bled to death from a gunshot wound to the thigh.

Olivier crosses and points out that Dr. Levin did not perform the autopsy himself and in fact has never seen the body. While this throws some doubt in the picture, it is hard to discount what ahs already been said.

Aileen calls their final witness, Mrs. Medina to the stand. Mrs. Medina cries heavily for the jury. This is nothing however compared to the cross by Michael which stops her in her tracks. He raises the character of Mr. Medina into question to which Aileen object and is overruled. This happens 4 times before the judge grants sidebar.

At sidebar, Aileen stresses that she only requested compensatory damages (funeral costs) and not punitive damages (damages based upon the loss of the value of Mr. Medina’s life). Therefore, because punitive damages were not raised, punitive issues such as Mr. Medina’s character should be disallowed.

Michael counter argues that by introducing a smiling picture of Mr. Medina that the plaintiff was trying to create a positive character for Mr. Medina and as a result opened the case up to questions of character. The judge agrees, and Michael is allowed to continue with his questioning.

In his questioning he brings out the facts that Dena Medina filed for a restraining order on Mr. Medina and that she had been abused by him and that he had threatened to kill her. She admitted to all of these things creating the image that Lisa Pellard did possibly have a real reason to be concerned when Mr. Medina was on her property. Aileen redirects with a single question: “Why if all of this is true did you stay with Mr. Medina?” The answer: “Because I love him and he is not that way.”

With that we move to close.

Aileen who feels their case was heavily damaged stresses to the jury that his character doesn’t matter because whether he was an altar boy or Charles Manson, Lisa Pellard didn’t see him by her own admission. She further warns the jury that they must make sure that through their decision they send the right message that it is not okay to shoot anyone at will.

Olivier closes by pointing out that Lisa Pellard is not to blame here. He remarks that Miss Pellard was scared and that Mr. Medina was on her property. Further, knowing Mr. Medina’s past, everyone should feel fortunate that she took action as she did for if she didn’t we would be witnessing a different case here today and as a result, someone else would be dead.

With that said, the case is handed to the jury.

The Verdict:

The jury finds in favor of: The plaintiff to the amount of $15,000. Further, Mrs. Medina is also awarded $35,000 in punitive damages. Maybe Michael and Olivier didn’t want to raise character issues after all…

The joy and pain is written all over Mrs. Medina’s face while Lisa Pollard seems to have finally been stricken by reality. Speaking of reality, Let’s hear from Roy Black.

Dismissal:

This dismissal comes down to a simple argument of which was the bigger mistake: Olivier’s lack of control over his client’s testimony or Deep’s missed golden opportunities. Olivier defended himself pointing out that clients are human and he can’t make them into what they are not. Lisa Pellard to him was simply a cold individual who was aloof to the gravity of the situation. Deep opted not to defend himself admitting to his missed opportunities. As a result, Roy Black told him that missing opportunities because you are too absorbed in your pre-trial preparation is unacceptable and as a result, the verdict is in and Deep you are out.

The Final 3 is here. Aileen, Michael and Olivier will duke it out in the next episode to see who gets one step closer. I will not attempt to tell you what time the next episode will air because the last time I did that they moved the show. My apologies to those of you who set your VCRs. To catch the next episode get a DVR and set it to record all Law Firm episodes. DVR will be your new best friend. Trust me. Good Night.

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