"Right to Counsel"
L&O, Episode 3.12
Production number: 68019
First aired: 13 January 1993
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Briscoe Right to Counsel
Written By
Barry M. Schkolnick & Michael S. Chernuchin

Directed By
James Frawley


After a woman is founder murdered in her apartment, her younger lover lies to the police about when he last saw her.


Main cast

Recurring cast

Guest cast



Sally Knight: What do you care? I represent the defendant.
Paul Robinette: And I represent the people. All of them.

In law school, I took 'Civil Rights'. Kevin took 'Tax Planning for the Wealthy'.


Justice is swift, not fair.

–Paul Robinette

Robinette: The defendant savagely murdered an elderly woman, your honor.
Judge Franks: Wait, wait, wait. It says here Mrs. Spiegelman was 61.
Robinette: That's correct, your honor.
Judge Franks: At my 61st birthday, you were cramming for a torts exam. I'd advise you to choose your adjectives a little more courteously, counselor.
Robinette: The People request bail of 500,000.
Knight: My client can hardly afford cab fare to Brooklyn, your honor. Why not make it a million?
Judge Franks: Why not? [laughs] And they say the elderly lose their sense of humor. [laughs again] Bail is set at 250, cash or bond.
Ben Stone: Adam, if you were a defense attorney, and a prosecutor came to you with evidence that tended to prove that your client was innocent, what would you do?
Adam Schiff: I'd celebrate up and down Center Street, and then move to set aside the plea.
Ben Stone: Until we withdrew the charges, there wasn't a peep out of Miss Knight.
Adam Schiff: If we took the license of every incompetent lawyer in the city, we wouldn't have to recycle the New York Times.

Lennie Briscoe: If Barbara Spiegelman was anything like my ex's mother...
Donald Cragen: Hey, Marge's mother and I aren't exactly hugs and kisses. I smile a lot at Christmas and do everything I can not to answer the phone on Sundays but I don't play Jack the Ripper with a steak knife.
Lennie Briscoe: Marge's mother isn't dangling $20 mil in front of your nose.
Donald Cragen: Okay. Talk to them.

Background information and notes

  • In this episode we learn that Captain Donald Cragen doesn't get along with his mother-in-law and avoids answering the phone on Sundays when she calls. He briefly mentions his wife Marge.

Episode scene cards

1 2

Office of Karen Unger
873 3rd Street
Friday, January 8

Chemical Bank
122 Hanover Square
Monday, January 11

3 4 5

Jewel's Boutique
1934 Carrolton Street
Westport, CT 06881
Thursday, January 14

Supreme Court
Allocution Hearing
Wednesday, January 27

Smythe & Bradley
100 Pine Street
Tuesday, February 9

6 7 8

Office of District
Attorney Adam Schiff
Monday, February 22

Supreme Court
Trial Part 57
Wednesday, March 31

Supreme Court
Trial Part 57
Friday, April 2

Previous episode:
"Extended Family"
"Right to Counsel"
Law & Order
Season 3
Next episode:
"Night and Fog"
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