|←||L&O, Episode 12.13||→|
|Production number: E2216|
First aired: 30 January 2002
| Written By|
Aaron Zelman & Marc Guggenheim
The bludgeoning of two women in their apartment leads the detectives to a suspect who has taken a hostage while demanding legal representation ... and Southerlyn's actions, while heroic, result in disbarment proceedings against her for violation of Disciplinary Rule 1-102.
Briscoe and Green arrive at the scene finding two young women brutally murdered in their apartment. A party across the hall gives them the opportunity to question several people as possible suspects, but none of them are the killer. Following a red herring, they spend time tracking down one of the victim's drug (heroin) connections but to no avail. Going back to square one, they decide the killer had access to the building because they couldn't find anyone who buzzed him or her in before the murders.
During the re-canvassing they discover a tenant saw a workman leaving the building. Adding this question to their canvassing, they come up with another red herring but zone in on the workman's clothing. This leads them to a locksmith business with access to the building and to the locks. Upon future questioning Briscoe and Green decide to look deeper into the locksmith's nephew.
Going to the suspect's apartment, they discover he lives with his mother. After talking their way into his room, they find newspaper clippings of recent crimes, which gravely concerns them. Tracking the nephew down at a nearby pharmacy proves today is not our hero's day. A routine pick-up turns into a hostage situation and the basis for the courtroom side of the show.
The nephew requests a lawyer (as in one will be appointed for you). Assistant District Attorney Southerlyn, who was called to the scene to observe, volunteers to enter the store as the negotiator does not want to risk a civilian lawyer. She tells the suspect she is a lawyer and shows her bar membership card. She specifically avoids showing her D.A. badge. Thinking he is talking to his lawyer instead of the city's lawyer, he confesses. She talks him into freeing the hostage and giving up by implying she will get him a good deal.
The nephew's real lawyer discovers from his client that Ms. Southerlyn is his legal representative. The new lawyer attempts to have the confession thrown out because it should be a privileged communication between a lawyer and a client, even if the lawyer is a DA. The Judge finds the confession admissible because the hostage was a third party, which negated the client-lawyer privilege. The nephew's lawyer failed to make a case that Ms. Southerlyn's representation was ineffective as she failed to inform him a third party would negate the client-lawyer privilege and hence the confession was still inadmissible.
McCoy negotiates the crimes to murder two, instead of murder one because of this plot twist.
The New York Disciplinary Committee receives a complaint from the nephew and his lawyer about Ms. Southerlyn's behavior and says she violated section DR 1-102 of the New York Bar Associations Rules and Ethics. McCoy offers to represent her, as no private attorney would take the case, at the hearing. In the meantime their boss suspends her pending the results of the hearing. Facing disbarment Ms. Southerlyn must face the day and her decision over again. McCoy's argues the ends justify the means and the court should allow district attorneys the same rights to lie as the police got from the courts. The panel rules against Ms. Southerlyn and Mr. McCoy saying the ends can never ever justify the means. Society must have the ethics of lawyers and the court to protect them from anarchy and nothing justifies the breaking the code of ethics. Clearly, Ms. Southerlyn actions saved the hostage but her obtaining the confession went too far. The panel finds her guilty of violating section D 1-102 but does not disbar her. They recommend to the appeals court she receives a private letter of reprimand. Her boss reinstates her to the court calendar, as the show ends.
- Jerry Orbach as Detective Lennie Briscoe
- Jesse L. Martin as Detective Ed Green
- S. Epatha Merkerson as Lieutenant Anita Van Buren
- Sam Waterston as Executive A.D.A. Jack McCoy
- Elisabeth Röhm as A.D.A. Serena Southerlyn
- Dianne Wiest as Interim D.A. Nora Lewin
- Shawn Elliott as Judge Joseph Rivera
- John Benjamin Hickey as Chief Counsel Aaron Solomon
- John Cariani as CSU Julian Beck
- Robert Raines Martin as Assistant M.E. Gil Dennis
- Gene Silvers as Raymond Hobbs
- Susan Blackwell as Defense Attorney Lydia Fernands
- David De Beck as Captain Bolland
- E. Katherine Kerr as Chairwoman
- Brent Crawford as Matt Tagert
- Sarah Graham Hayes as Gail
- Debrah Ellen Waller as Alicia Williams
- Arthur Anderson as Mr. Rothchild
- Craig Gass as Mark Grandy
- Craig Walker as Bartender
- Fran McGee as Eileen Hobbs
- Frank Ciornei as Super
- Eric Dean Scott as Serge
- John Dewar as Hardware Store Owner
- Brian Maillard as Damon
- Zach Shaffer as Mike
- Eric Seltzer as Driver
- Todd Davis as Louis Williams
- Greg Northrop as Officer Hines
- Michael Cannis as ESU Captain
- David Perlman as Clubber #1
- Leyna Weber as Wife
- Kevin Sibley as Detective
"And I appreciate what you did, but if you wanted to save people, you should’ve become a doctor."
--Nora Lewin thanks Serena Southerlyn for her work in resolving a hostage situation.
Background information and notes
Background information and notes
Episode scene cards
J&D Used Cars
The Payson Building
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