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1-01 - PILOT
Original Airdate (CBS): 21-SEP-2006





The following is not a novelization or an actual script but a dry transcript of the
aired episode that includes accurate word-to-word dialogues, settings
descriptions, action scenes and/or camera movements where the transcriber felt
they were necessary. This transcript is posted on "TWIZ TV.COM - FREE TV
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[Courtroom. A trial is underway. Sebastian "Shark" Stark, Defense Attorney to

"the rich and sleazy", confidence personified, delivers his closing statement in
front of the jury.]

SEBASTIAN STARK: Justice... what does that word mean?

[Shot of the jurors.]

SEBASTIAN STARK: Means a lot of things. Today, for example, it means that when
an individual is charged with attempted murder, that charge must be proven
beyond any reasonable doubt. And in order to prove attempted murder, only one
thing matters: intent.

[Shot of Jessica Devlin, District Attorney, sitting in the galley.]

SEBASTIAN STARK: Now, I'm not going to lie to ya. [pointing at his client, loudly]
Gordie Brock screwed up big time! He came home drunk.

[Shot of Gordie Brock, sitting at the Defense Table.]

SEBASTIAN STARK: He beat up his wife Deena and sent her to the hospital. But...
when Deena Brock was lying on that floor unconscious, it was Gordie Brock who
called for an ambulance. It was Gordie Brock who stopped his wife from bleeding
to death before help arrived. Does that make him a hero? [shakes his head with a
smirk] Obviously not, but it does clearly show one thing: While he abused his
wife, he never meant to kill her. [stressing heavily] He... never... meant... to kill

[Shot of Deena Brock in the galley.]

SEBASTIAN STARK: You can hate Gordie Brock if you want for beating his wife.
[quietly to the jury] I do. But when you go into that jury room, remember those
six words because they go to the heart of this case.
See, you have a job, and your job is to deliver justice.

[Jessica Devlin rolls her eyes.]

SEBASTIAN STARK: And thankfully, the prosecution has made your job easy.
[leans towards the jury, beat] Two words: [long beat] Not guilty.

[He stands upright, his statement done.]

[Courthouse hallway. Day. Gordie and Deena Brock cheerfully talk to Sebastian.]

DEENA BROCK: Do they always decide so fast?

SEBASTIAN STARK: Well, three hours isn't my record for an acquittal, but it'll do.

[Polite chuckles from the Brocks.]

GORDIE BROCK: You really saved my ass.

SEBASTIAN STARK: You just remember what we talked about.

GORDIE BROCK: Yeah, got a meeting tonight.


[He hugs Deena. She whispers in his ear.]

DEENA BROCK: [whispering] You didn't just save his life, you saved mine, too.

[Stark smiles at her and breaks the hug.]

[The Brocks leave the Courthouse, arm-in-arm, while dozens of reporters greet
them at the doorway.]

[As Stark watches them leave...]

JESSICA DEVLIN: [pointed voice] Shark strikes again.

[Jessica Devlin walks up to him, angrily watching Gordie Brock walking free.]

SEBASTIAN STARK: Ah, Madam District Attorney.

JESSICA DEVLIN: I should have tried this one myself.

SEBASTIAN STARK: You know, as much as I love going head-to-head with you,
Jess, it wouldn't have mattered this time. Attempted murder? Gordie Brock is
headlines. You went for the glory, you lost.

JESSICA DEVLIN: I tried to put away a wife beater. Gordie Brock belongs in

SEBASTIAN STARK: Well, the jury disagreed, didn't they? But if it's any
consolation, [low voice] you look really hot in that suit.



[He walks away, waving at someone off-screen.]

[At the door, he turns, smiling at Jessica. Outside, the same reporters excitedly
accost him. Not missing a beat, Stark obliges them, while putting on his

CUE MUSIC: "Mack the Knife" by Bobby Darin.

# Oh, the shark, babe, has such teeth, dear. #

# And he shows them... #



[Shot of Los Angeles. Night.]

# ... pearly-white. #


[Stark drives in his car, while singing along with the background music.]

SEBASTIAN STARK: [sings]# Just a jackknife has old MacHeath, dear, #

# And he keeps it, yeah, out of sight... #

[His cellphone rings. He answers it.]

SEBASTIAN STARK: [into phone] Margaret, why be a buzz kill?

[He listens, obviously not liking the news.]

# Ya know when that shark bites, with his teeth, babe...# [trails off]

[Outside the Brock Residence. Police cruisers are parked outside, lights flashing.
Stark strides towards the house.]


[Brock Residence, Living Room. Shot of a wall-mounted portrait of Gordie and

Deena, smiling at the camera. The camera pans towards Stark, who looks at
Deena Brock lying dead on the floor, in a pool of her own blood. Her left arm is in
a cast. A lamp lies near her head. A CSU criminalist clicks pictures of Deena. The
camera moves in slow-motion, as if to depict Stark's light-headedness. He bends
down next to her body and looks at her.]

CRIMINALIST: [pointing] Suspect's in the kitchen.


[Brock Residence, Kitchen. Gordie Brown sits, arms folded, on a stool, wearing a
blood-spattered vest, hardly looking worried. Stark enters slowly, looking upset.
Gordie is flanked by two detectives.]

GORDIE BROWN: It's my lawyer, boys. So why not save everybody some time
and money and let me go right now?

[Stark seethes quietly and watches his cocky client (still covered in his wife's
blood) sit arrogantly against the kitchen counter. With a scathing look at Gordie,
he leaves.]


[Shot of Stark Residence. Day.]

[Stark Residence, Living Room. Stark lies on his sofa, looking despondent.]

MARGARET: [voice-only] It's a shame I canceled the photo shoot.

SEBASTIAN STARK: [looking up] Margaret, why are you still here?

[Margaret sits at the dining table, working on her laptop, paperwork strewn.]

MARGARET: I've been asking myself that for nine long years.

[Stark gets up and walks towards her.]

SEBASTIAN STARK: Well, then surely you're familiar with the phrase "cancel

MARGARET: Your clients are. You got to get back on the horse.

SEBASTIAN STARK: Now look, here's a tip, okay? Why don't you take the
equestrian metaphors and shove 'em you know where?

MARGARET: Oh, that's nice.

[Julie Stark, 16, pretty, giggles at the joke, while preparing something in the

SEBASTIAN STARK: [seeing his daughter] Why aren't you in school?

JULIE STARK: It's four-thirty in the afternoon, Dad.

SEBASTIAN STARK: [checks his watch] Oh.

JULIE STARK :Do you want more green peppers in your eggs?

SEBASTIAN STARK: [opening the fridge] Not hungry.

JULIE STARK: It's 'cause you're depressed.

[Taking a plate of bacon and eggs, she kisses him on the neck as she passes him]



[Stark puts some ice cubes in a glass.]

JULIE STARK: Ooh, you smell. When was the last time you took a shower?

[She places the plate next to a mug of coffee and sits away from it.]

SEBASTIAN STARK: [smells himself, calculates] Tuesday.

JULIE BROCK: Look, Dad, after the whole Deena Brock thing, it makes perfect
sense for you to punish yourself out of guilt.

SEBASTIAN STARK: The white teen Oprah speaks.

JULIE STARK: [playing along] Yes, well, the scars of my broken home have made
me wise beyond my years. Come on, Dad, it's been a month. I'm really worried
about you.

[Stark sits in front of the plate, tasting the eggs.]

SEBASTIAN STARK: These are good. I'm okay.


SEBASTIAN STARK: Really. Yes, I am. Shouldn't you be getting home?

JULIE STARK: Oh, I just came by to remind you about the custody hearing.

SEBASTIAN STARK: I don't do custody, honey.

JULIE STARK: Custody of ME, Dad. I turned sixteen last month? [deadpan]
Thanks for the card.

SEBASTIAN STARK: [grimacing] Ouch. Sorry.

JULIE STARK: Now I have to decide who gets final custody, you or Mom.

SEBASTIAN STARK: That judge was a major putz.

MARGARET: [coming up behind] You got a phone call.

SEBASTIAN STARK: [irritable] I'm out.

MARGARET: It's the Mayor. Said something about a ten-year audit on your city
tax return.

[Stark stops, the mug of coffee still in his mouth.]


[Outside City Hall. Stark walks with Mayor Manuel Delgado, accompanied by the
customary security detail.]

MAYOR DELGADO: You read Lopez this morning?


MAYOR DELGADO: "Aspen's still the playground for the rich and famous but L.A.'s
a new hot spot to get away with murder."

SEBASTIAN STARK: You should audit his taxes.

[They start climbing the steps to City Hall.]

MAYOR DELGADO: Truth is, I'm sick of the poor going to jail for jaywalking while
millionaires kill each other without missing a massage. We're starting a high
profile crime unit in the DA's office to nail rich folk with fancy lawyers like you.

[Stark stops walking. He laughs. Delgado stops as well. As they speak, the
camera circles them.]

MAYOR DELGADO: [smiling] What's so funny?

SEBASTIAN STARK: I tell you what, Mr. Mayor. You put ten prosecutors on a big-
time case, you give 'em all the money they can spend, and I'll bury 'em alive
every day of the week with a matinee on Wednesday and another on Sunday.

MAYOR DELGADO: So you think Devlin's incompetent?

SEBASTIAN STARK: Hey, she's got great legs, but she doesn't know diddly about
winning big jury trials.

MAYOR DELGADO: That's why I'm bringing somebody from the outside to head
the unit.

SEBASTIAN STARK: [smirks] Ha! What schmo would take that job? Come on.
[The mayor good-naturedly puts his arm around Stark's shoulders. Stark takes a
moment to understand.]

SEBASTIAN STARK: [stops] Me a prosecutor? [chuckles] No.

MAYOR DELGADO: Come on. Why not, huh?

SEBASTIAN STARK: I eat prosecutors for breakfast. They're my main source of

fiber. Come on.

MAYOR DELGADO: Who better to shake up the DA's unit? Huh? Winning is what
you do and it's what makes you the man. And I'd consider this a personal favor.

[As they are about to enter City Hall, Stark stops.]

SEBASTIAN STARK: Jessica would never go for it.

MAYOR DELGADO: I've got a sixty-seven percent approval rating. She's got
editorials screaming for her head. She'll do what I say.

SEBASTIAN STARK: [sighs] Manny, give me one good reason I should even
consider this.

MAYOR DELGADO: I'll give you three, hermano. You feel bad about Deena Brock,
you're sick of playing on the wrong side, and you don't wanna go out like this.

[He slaps Stark's arm and walks inside, followed by his security detail. Stark
stands outside, pensive. He sighs.]


[DA's Office, Parking Lot. Camera focuses on a sign saying "RESERVED

PARKING/District Attorney/Jessica Devlin". A fancy silver sedan pulls up parking
in her spot. Stark (the confidence is back) gets out, opens the rear door and pulls
out his briefcase. Closing the door, he walks towards the building.]


[DA's Office, Hallway/PA's office/Jessica's office. Stark strides flamboyantly down

the hallway, like he's been doing this for years. He stops at a door, with a sign
saying "DISTRICT ATTORNEY/JESSICA DEVLIN/1033". Stark knocks twice, more
out of courtesy, because he enters nonetheless. He marches past the PA and a

PA: [standing, politely protesting] Sir, she's on the phone.

SEBASTIAN STARK: Really? [nods to the reporter] Come on. [under his breath]
Let's get this over with.

[Stark, eagerly followed by the reporter, barges into Jessica's office, a smile
plastered on his face. Jessica's at her desk, on the phone.]

JESSICA DEVLIN: [into phone] I'm gonna call you back.

[She hangs up and stands.]

JESSICA DEVLIN: [with a smile that could kill a diabetic] Well, welcome to the
District Attorney's office, Mr. Stark.

SEBASTIAN STARK: [an equally fake smile] Ms. Devlin.

[She hands him his DDA badge. They hold it out for the reporter to click a few

SEBASTIAN STARK: Well, this baby should get me out of a few speeding tickets.

[The reporter stops clicking and nods.]

JESSICA DEVLIN: [to the reporter] Thank you.

SEBASTIAN STARK: [to the reporter] Thank you.

[The reporter leaves. Once the door is closed, Jessica drops the act and faces
Stark, who doesn't seem to have yet lost his smile.]

JESSICA DEVLIN: Do you mind telling me what the hell you're up to?

SEBASTIAN STARK: [checking out her office] Wow, look at these digs, huh? Pretty
good for a city employee.

JESSICA DEVLIN: Comes with a great parking spot, too. Unfortunately, some jerk
has parked in it.
SEBASTIAN STARK: Wow, some people have no respect, do they? [looks outside
the window at the parking lot] Hmm, look at that. Terrible.

JESSICA DEVLIN: So, what, you think you can just waltz in here and cleanse your
conscience by putting away a few felons?

SEBASTIAN STARK: Hey, the Mayor asked for me. You know what I want, Jess? I
want us just to all be able to get along.

JESSICA DEVLIN: And I want the Rams to come back to L.A., but you know what?
Not holding my breath.

[Stark sits on the couch, putting his feet up on the coffee table.]

SEBASTIAN STARK: You know, I made my bones humiliating this office on a daily
basis but I want you to know it was never personal.

JESSICA DEVLIN: That's because for you, the legal system's just a game to be
played for fun and profit. [shoving his feet off the table] Do you mind?

SEBASTIAN STARK: You know what? You make that sound like a bad thing.

[He stands up to face her.]

JESSICA DEVLIN: Maybe not for a defense lawyer, but a Deputy DA represents
this city.

SEBASTIAN STARK: And generally not very well. [points at her] You are a good
attorney, but the people in your office, they... I don't know. What's the word I'm
looking for? Oh, yeah, sssuck. Big trials require a big gun.

JESSICA DEVLIN: Oh, please, you screwed up. We both know that's why you're


JESSICA DEVLIN: No matter how many criminals you put away, Deena Brock's
blood's still going to be on your hands.

SEBASTIAN STARK: [gets mad] Yeah, what about your hands, Jess? If this office
had the faintest clue how to mount an effective prosecution, the guy'd still be in
jail and she'd still be alive!
JESSICA DEVLIN: [smiles] Well, this should be fun.

SEBASTIAN STARK: Yeah. Mardi Gras.


[DA's Office, Hallway. Stark and Jessica walk along the hallway. Jessica hands
Stark a folder.]

JESSICA DEVLIN: County of L.A. v. Jennifer Dennison.

SEBASTIAN STARK: Are you joking? That's a dog. Woof.

JESSICA DEVLIN: [ignoring him] Accused is a 20-year-old singer, charged with


SEBASTIAN STARK: [interrupting] Yeah, charged with second-degree murder in

the death of Terrence Rourke at the Chateau Hotel. Accused claims the victim
raped her and she stabbed him in self-defense.

JESSICA DEVLIN: Am I supposed to be impressed?

SEBASTIAN STARK: Guilty as sin, you're right, but unwinnable. Next.

JESSICA DEVLIN: All right, you listen to me.

[They stop walking.]

JESSICA DEVLIN: [stern] Delgado may have forced me to hire you, but this is my
office. You prosecute the cases I choose.

SEBASTIAN STARK: [ohh! I'm shaking...] Okay.


[DA's Office, Hallway/HPCU Office. As they reach the door to the HPCU office,
they pass by stacks of boxes with a big banner stuck on the wall, saying "OLD
BOXES RETURNING TO ARCHIVES". A paper stuck to a door (saying "High Profile
Crime Unit") pretty much sums up where Stark is going to work. Expectedly,
Stark looks none too pleased with his new digs, nevertheless he retains his

SEBASTIAN STARK: What, the morgue wasn't available? [sighs]

[Jessica opens the door.]

JESSICA DEVLIN: Break a leg, Counselor.

[Half-heartedly, Stark enters.]


[HPCU Office. The office is a dump. Boxes are stacked almost up to the ceiling. A
large table stands in the middle of the room. Richard "Casey" Woodland, Martin
Allende, Billie Willis and Raina Troy are seated around it.]

CASEY WOODLAND: I hear he bribes jurors.

[Unbeknownst to them, Stark has entered the room behind them, obviously in

BILLIE WILLIS: Zero conscience.

RAINA TROY: He's scum. He won the Frye case by getting Judge Kranepool's kid
into Berkeley.

MARTIN ALLENDE: That's completely unethical.

[Stark comes up to them.]

SEBASTIAN STARK: [startling them] And the conviction rate of this office is
completely pathetic. [leans towards Raina] And it was Harvard, by the way. Well,
it's clear you think you know me, [dumps his briefcase] let's see what I know
about you.

[He points at Casey.]

SEBASTIAN STARK: Richard "Casey" Woodland, backup QB, USC. Dad's a state
senator, charming, good with a jury, weak on the facts, not a rocket scientist.
[addresses Billie] Billie Willis, smart, passionate, lets emotion cloud her
[Billie doesn't react. He circles around the table, addressing Martin.]

SEBASTIAN STARK: Martin Alende...

MARTIN ALLENDE: Allende. [pronounces the "ll" like a "y"]

SEBASTIAN STARK: Loyola Law Review. Great on paper, weak on his feet.
Couldn't close a window. [looking at Raina] And of course...

RAINA TROY: [amused] Take your best shot.

SEBASTIAN STARK: Raina Troy, tough, brilliant. I used to dre-eam of getting you
on a case. Major authority problem. A contempt citation waiting to happen.

RAINA TROY: Whatever.

SEBASTIAN STARK: [chuckles] I rest my case. I have a dossier on every single

prosecutor in this building. Know thy enemy.

CASEY WOODLAND: Aren't we on the same side now?

SEBASTIAN STARK: Yeah, the jury's out, isn't it? But of course, if the dragon lady
assigned you to me, I guess you're on her hit list. That means you're damaged
goods and that means that we have something in common.

[The door opens and a young lady enters briskly and eagerly.]

MADELINE POE: [holds out her hand] Madeleine Poe.

SEBASTIAN STARK: [shakes her hand] You're not on the list.

MADELEINE POE: I volunteered for the unit.

SEBASTIAN STARK: Well, I appreciate that, but you're not on the list.

MADELEINE POE: I graduated cum laude from Stanford Law, clerked for the Ninth
Circuit, and I've led this office in convictions for the last two years.

[Raina smirks.]

MADELEINE POE: I intend to become a defense attorney, and I'm here to learn
from the best.
SEBASTIAN STARK: Well, there you go, sucking up - an effective tactic. [points to
a chair] Sit.


[She goes to sit.]

SEBASTIAN STARK: You know, people say that [air-quotes] "high-priced defense
attorneys" beat prosecutors because it's easier to prove reasonable doubt than
certain guilt. But there's a simple explanation for why I always win and you
always lose - my vastly superior abilities as a lawyer notwithstanding. A
prosecutor must conform his case to the demands of the legal system. A defense
attorney conforms the legal system to the demands of his case. You wanna win?
Grab a pencil.

[They do so, though Billie looks less than enthused.]

SEBASTIAN STARK: I live by three simple rules - my Cutthroat Manifesto. These

rules guide every single decision I make on every single case. Rule number one:
Trial is war, second place is death. Rule number two: Truth is relative. Pick one
that works. Rule number three: In a jury trial, there are only 12 opinions that
matter, and, Ms. Troy, yours most decidedly is not one of them.

[Casey sniggers as he writes.]

SEBASTIAN STARK: Now from this day forward, every case will be David versus
Goliath and guess who's holding the slingshot? Now, I have some bad news,
[picks up the folder] and I have some truly horrible news. The bad news is from
one of your lamer colleagues we have inherited the Dennison case.

[He slaps the folder on the table.]

SEBASTIAN STARK: The jury is lousy, the opposition has unlimited resources. The
truly horrible news - we go to trial in forty-eight hours. For this to work, you must
accept that winning is the only thing that matters.

BILLIE WILLIS: What about justice?

SEBASTIAN STARK: Hey, your job is to win. Justice is God's problem. So, guys,
you're either on the bus or you're off the bus.

[No one says anything.]

SEBASTIAN STARK: Let's get to work.


[HPCU, Stark's Office. Stark speaks to Terrence's grieving mother, Elizabeth


ELIZABETH ROURKE: I've seen you on television.

SEBASTIAN STARK: Occupational hazard.

ELIZABETH ROURKE: You represent criminals. Terry wasn't a criminal.

SEBASTIAN STARK: Mrs. Rourke, I'm here to help you, so please tell me about
your son.

ELIZABETH ROURKE: [smiling at the memory] Terry was a great kid. He always
loved music and photography. Shooting videos, he could do both.

SEBASTIAN STARK: Did Terry have an active social life?

ELIZABETH ROURKE: [nods] He dated a lot. Girls liked him.

SEBASTIAN STARK: I have to ask. Was he in the habit of having one-night


ELIZABETH RORUKE: Do you have children, Mr. Stark?

SEBASTIAN STARK: Sixteen-year-old daughter.

ELIZABETH ROURKE: Then you know once they start to grow up, they don't
always tell you everything. Maybe you don't want to know. Just pray they're safe.

SEBASTIAN STARK: Look, I believe this girl murdered your son. But I have to tell
you, it's gonna be tough to convince a jury of that.

ELIZABETH ROURKE: [tears welling up in her eyes] I understand. But the thing is,
Terry could never have done what she said he did. And if I'm going to find a way
to go on living, I need the world to know that.

SEBASTIAN STARK: Well, then I'll have to restore your son's reputation, won't I?
[serious] And I give you my word I will.


[HPCU Office. Stark confers with his team.]

SEBASTIAN STARK: Okay, Town Car picks up Jenny Dennison at 6 AM, drops her
at a Burbank soundstage. She spends the next fifteen hours shooting a music

MADELEINE POE: Terrence Rourke was a cameraman on the shoot. They got
chummy, went out for drinks and landed back at the Chateau at 2:15 AM.

CASEY WOODLAND: Alcohol impugns her credibility.

[Stark agrees with his line of thinking.]

MARTIN ALLENDE: She asked him to leave, he refused. He got sexually

aggressive, pushed her down on the bed and raped her.

BILLIE WILLIS: Her medical exam shows no evidence of forced intercourse.

MADELEINE POE: Or any defensive wounds indicating a violent struggle.

CASEY ROURKE: Well, if Rourke didn't rape her, why'd she kill him?

SEBASTIAN STARK: You're just like a guided missile, aren't you? [aiming his
hand] Straight to the heart of the case. [shakes his head] Okay... strategy. First,
we've got to implode Jenny Dennison's case. We want the jury to say to
themselves, "How does a guy with no history of violence whatsoever become
some mad rapist?" We got to create our own truth. So, here's Terrence Rourke,
shows up on the set, meets a cute girl, asks her out for a date, they have a few
too many drinks, they get into a drunken argument, Jenny settles it with a knife.
The existing prep work on this case is atrocious. Start over. Assignments.
Madeleine, all the dirt on Jenny. Uh, boyfriends, friends, relatives. Billie, same
thing on Terrence Rourke. Raina, forensics.

RAINA TROY: The CSU and the M.E.'s reports...

SEBASTIAN STARK: [interrupting] ... are just the beginning. Be creative, dig
deeper. Martin, you're gonna go to the Chateau, ask for Reid. R-E-I-D. He's the
assistant manager. Tell him I sent you and you give him this, okay? [crumples a
$100 bill and tosses it to Martin] Now, check out Jenny's story, the whole crime
scene. Follow in her footsteps, find the holes in the case. Let's get going.

CASEY WOODLAND: [eagerly] What about me?

SEBASTIAN STARK: Oh, yeah. I want you to go down to Jensen's and get a
double order of cheese fries.

CASEY WOODLAND: [laughs] You're joking, right?

SEBASTIAN STARK: Did I chuckle? You're gonna bring the fries to Jurors' Bailiff
Ray Sabado. Ray's in charge of the jurors on this case. Two things he loves more
than life itself: He loves yakking with the jurors and he loves to eat. That bag of
fries is gonna buy us more insight than ten jury consultants, okay?

BILLIE WILLIS: Uh, that's prosecutorial misconduct.

SEBASTIAN STARK: [acting scared] Well, we'll just have to be brave on this one.
[normal voice] We have to prove that Terrence Rourke was a victim of murder. We
need to make that jury hear his voice.


[Outside Stark Residence. Day.]

CLAIRE STARK: [vo] So how's the new job goin'?


[Stark Residence, Study. Stark sits at a desk, while his ex-wife sits at the other
side of the room.]

SEBASTIAN STARK: I've had better days.

CLAIRE STARK: [sighs] Larry just got himself a new gig.

SEBASTIAN STARK: [uninterested, inaudibly] Hmm.

CLAIRE STARK: Head of anesthesiology.

SEBASTIAN STARK: Can he put me out of my misery?

CLAIRE STARK: He's about to. You just wrote your last alimony check.

[In surprise, Stark jerks his head behind to look at her.]

CLAIRE STARK: [showing off a huge diamond ring] We're engaged.

[Stark gets up and hugs her affectionately.]

CLAIRE STARK: Is that for my happiness or the alimony?

SEBASTIAN STARK: [pretends to think] Yes.

[He goes back to his desk to work.]

CLAIRE STARK: There's more. Larry's new job is in New York.

[Stark stops writing and looks up. He sits upright.]

SEBASTIAN STARK: [turning to her] Oh.

CLAIRE STARK: There's a great private school for Julie there. The custody hearing
will be over by then. Timing seems good. What do you think?

SEBASTIAN STARK: [unsure, torn] I... I mean, you... obviously thought this all
out and... you always seem to know what's best for Julie...

CLAIRE STARK: [excited] No, it'll be great for her. And, hey, we always talked
about moving to New York one day. Remember?

SEBASTIAN STARK: Yeah, right. But this is a slightly different version.

[Julie appears at the door.]

JULIE STARK: Did you tell him?

CLAIRE STARK: I told him.

JULIE STARK: [coming over] Pretty freaky, huh?

SEBASTIAN STARK: Yeah. [looking at Claire] Yeah, pretty freaky.

JULIE STARK: But you're still gonna come visit us, right? I mean, I know you're
always swamped...

SEBASTIAN STARK: [keeping a brave front] Oh, you kidding? No, I mean, hey,
we'll, you know, hit the Broadway shows, we'll watch the Knicks lose. Yeah, no, it-
it... It'll be great.

[He stands up and hugs her.]

SEBASTIAN STARK: Great. [breaks the hug] Yeah.

[Stark sits back at his desk, facing away from them, looking unhappy.]

CLAIRE STARK: Good. Okay. So... we'll let you get some work done.

[Claire moves away. Julie hangs around. She goes over to her dad and rests her
head on his shoulder for a while and then gets back up.]


[She looks at him expectantly.]

SEBASTIAN STARK: [nothing else to say] Good night.

[She leans in and kisses him on his forehead. She and Claire leave. Stark fights
back tears.]


[Stock footage of Los Angeles. Day. Fast forward.]

SEBASTIAN STARK: [vo] Maybe I failed to make myself clear.


[HPCU, Stark's Office. Stark sits at his desk, leaning back in his chair, while his
team stands in front of his desk.]

SEBASTIAN STARK: We're fighting the clock, guys.

BILLIE WILLIS: It's only been twenty-four hours.

SEBASTIAN STARK: AKA half the allotted time. Your stuff on the victim is thin. [to
Raina] And your forensics overview is like every high school class I ever failed,
Raina. [to Martin] You, Martin, you interviewed the room service guy but none of
the maids on Jenny's floor? [to Casey] And what about Bailiff Sabado?

CASEY WOODLAND: He was sick yesterday.

SEBASTIAN STARK: And when you went to his house? Just tell me you went to his

CASEY WOODLAND: He said he's contagious.

SEBASTIAN STARK: Well, you better hope he dies. [quickly] I take that back. [to
Madeleine] But anyway, look, the only good thing here is your stuff on Jennifer
Dennison. That is good.

[Billie rolls her eyes.]

SEBASTIAN STARK: We need more stuff like that if we're gonna clear Terrence
Rourke's name. That's what it's gonna take to win. That is why we're here. Okay!

[He taps his watch, signaling to the others to get to work. They file out of the


[Outside Julie's school. Stark pulls up in his car. He gets out and sees Julie,
accompanied by her friends.]

SEBASTIAN STARK: [calling] Hey! Hey, Julie.

JULIE STARK: [to her friends] That's my dad. I'll call you guys later. [runs to
Stark] Hey. Is Mom okay?

SEBASTIAN STARK: Why wouldn't she be?

JULIE STARK: Well, why else would you be here?

SEBASTIAN STARK: I was in the neighborhood. Why, is it so bizarre for me to

stop by?

JULIE STARK: You haven't visited me at school since the third grade. So, yeah,
this falls under the bizarre category.

SEBASTIAN STARK: Fine, you want to grab a bite to eat? [starts moving towards
his car]

JULIE STARK: What about your case?

SEBASTIAN STARK: Oh, the evidentiary hearing got bumped till four. I got a
couple hours, so...

JULIE STARK: Are you sure Mom's okay?

SEBASTIAN STARK: Hey, look. You know, I thought with you leaving soon we
might hang out a little bit, but if you don't want, I can eat a Power Bar...

JULIE STARK: That's not what I said. Look, the thing is, I was just headed down
to Melrose.

SEBASTIAN STARK: Oh, that's good, because I need a new pair of leather chaps.

JULIE STARK: [laughs quietly] Well, actually... [she looks to her left, looking at
the guy walking up to them]

JARED: You ready to go?

JULIE STARK: Dad, this is Jared.

SEBASTIAN STARK: [shaking Jared's hand genially] Hi.

JARED: Pleasure to meet you, Mr. Stark.


JARED: Caught the Brock trial on Court TV. It was a killer cross on the neighbor


SEBASTIAN STARK: Yeah, thanks. That didn't work out so well, as it turned out,


JULIE STARK: Jared, you know, my dad and I... uh...

SEBASTIAN STARK: [interrupts] No, sweetie, it's okay. You two go. Okay, I'll see
you later. [kisses her on the cheek]

JULIE STARK: Are you sure?

SEBASTIAN STARK: I'll catch you later.

JARED: Good meeting you, sir.


[Julie walks off with Jared, leaving a brooding Stark.]


[Outside City Hall. Day. Police sirens can be heard.]


[City Hall, Mayor's Office. Stark enters Mayor Delgado's office, in his usual
flamboyant style. The Mayor is eating Chinese food with a well-built guy.]

SEBASTIAN STARK: Okay, how about she's got me stuck in the damn storage

MAYOR DELGADO: I'm surprised she let you out for lunch.

[The mayor's guest gets up and hugs Stark pleasantly.]

SEBASTIAN STARK: Foxy, what are you doing here?

FOXY: He's head of my Council on Physical Fitness.

SEBASTIAN STARK: Oh, couldn't get Magic? [gives Foxy a playful look as he sits

FOXY: [sitting down] Oh... [chortles] you're funny. I hear I might need to find a
new lawyer.

SEBASTIAN STARK: I'll get you some names.

MAYOR DELGADO: How about Anita Astin?

SEBASTIAN STARK: Ah, outstanding.

MAYOR DELGADO: Apparently, Defiance Records agrees. I hear they're about to

bring her in to represent Jenny Dennison.

SEBASTIAN STARK: That's not good.

MAYOR DELGADO: She as tough as they say?


FOXY: [teasing] Didn't you two have a little thing?

SEBASTIAN STARK: Once. Well, twice, actually.

[The three laugh.]

MAYOR DELGADO: How'd it end?




[Twin Towers Correctional Facility. Outside, day.]

SEBASTIAN STARK: [vo] Involuntary manslaughter.


[Correctional Facility, Interrogation Cell. Stark sits at a table, across Jenny

Dennison and her attorney, Anita Astin.]

SEBASTIAN STARK: Five years. She's out in two.

ANITA ASTIN: You run this past the DA?

SEBASTIAN STARK: [ignoring her] It's a great deal, Jenny. Take it.

JENNY DENNISON: Are we talking about jail-jail or Martha Stewart jail?

SEBASTIAN STARK: Uh, we could work something out.

ANITA ASTIN: [calmly] The offer's declined.

SEBASTIAN STARK: You sure, Jenny? Because if you get convicted, you could die
in prison.

ANITA ASTIN: [pointedly] The offer is declined. [turns to the officer] I need to
speak to Mr. Stark.

[The lady officer comes over and places her hand on Jenny's shoulder.]

OFFICER: Come on.

[She and Jenny leave.]

SEBASTIAN STARK: Man, you like to roll the dice, don'tcha? You think, what, I'm
some state school prosecutor with 30 cases in the fire? You're taking a hell of a

ANITA ASTIN: [sneering] I know, but it'll be so much more fun kicking "The
Shark's" ass.

SEBASTIAN STARK: [seriously] Don't call me that, I hate that.

ANITA ASTIN: [teasing] Oh, it's not like I haven't seen your fin.

SEBASTIAN STARK: Oh, you'd reject a primo deal, what, to settle an old score
between us?

ANITA ASTIN: Oh, don't flatter yourself. I know your M.O. You've got squat or you
wouldn't be dealing.

SEBASTIAN STARK: Maybe your client deserves a break.

ANITA ASTIN: Oh, so now you're the prosecutor with a heart? Please, you're a

SEBASTIAN STARK: I'm sensing some hostility.

ANITA ASTIN: [angry] Yeah, you hopped the fence. Like being a defense attorney
is something you need to rehab from.


ANITA ASTIN: Your client went bad, you melted down. You sold out your partners,
you sold out your profession, and now, Stark, I'm gonna beat you like an African

[She gets up and starts to walk out. Stark remains seated.]

SEBASTIAN STARK: You got something big, right?

[She stops.]

ANITA ASTIN: I'll see you in court.

[She leaves. Stark has his best poker face on.]


[HPCU Office. Stark confers with his team, while eating Chinese takeout.]

BILLIE WILLIS: Well, maybe they found an eyewitness.

SEBASTIAN STARK: They'd have to be on the list.

MADELEINE POE: New forensics?

RAINA TROY: The defense hasn't hired an expert.

[Martin enters.]

SEBASTIAN STARK: Oh, hey, thanks for joining us.

MARTIN ALLENDE: I hired a Web monitoring service to keep us posted on all

things Jenny.

SEBASTIAN STARK: Well, there you go. Score one for Mr. Law Review. And the
winner is?


[HPCU Office. Camera focuses on Martin's laptop. A website "" is

displayed on the screen.]


[A video screen shows Jenny Dennison having sex with Terrence Rourke, both
moaning like pornstars.]

[The kids are huddled around the laptop. The girls seem more interested than the

BILLIE WILLIS: Oh, God, is that...?

MADELEINE POE: Jenny Dennison and Terrence Rourke minutes before she killed

MARTIN ALLENDE: So much for Jenny being the innocent victim.

[Stark gets up, thoughtful.]

BILLIE WILLIS: Now that sex is definitely consensual.

RAINA TROY: Kind of hot, too.

[Martin turns the laptop monitor towards Stark.]

CASEY WOODLAND: This thing's a slam-dunk.

SEBASTIAN STARK: This thing's a train wreck. Five minutes ago, we had a rape
defense based on weak physical evidence. Now we've got Paris Hilton 2. Some
sleazy Romeo with a hidden camcorder trying to get rich off a sex tape. That's

BILLIE WILLIS: Since when is secretly taping sex punishable by murder?

SEBASTIAN STARK: Since rule number three. Jury trials are not about the law,
they're about what twelve people think is right. Anita will turn that tape into...
rape by humiliation. Do you think winning this thing was tough before? [shaking
his head] The fun has just begun, kids.


[Stark Residence, Backyard. Day. Stark practises his golf swing in the backyard,
against a net. Julie stands behind.]

JULIE STARK: Y'know that sex tape? It's all over school. I mean, everyone is
talking about it.

SEBASTIAN STARK: [incredulous] You watched it?

JULIE STARK: Yeah. I mean, it was really creepy. One second they're going at it,
and the next...

SEBASTIAN STARK: No, you're too young for that stuff, okay?

JULIE STARK: Oh, come on, Dad, that's like PG-13 compared to some of the porn
floating around on the Web.

SEBASTIAN STARK: Oh, so what, now you know all about sex, is that it?

JULIE STARK: [playfully] I know enough.

SEBASTIAN STARK: [readying to play his next shot] Yeah? Enough for what?

JULIE STARK: Are you asking if I'm a virgin?

[That's the last thing Stark wants to hear mid-swing. Distracted, he hits the ball
awkwardly into the net.]

JULIE STARK: 'Cause all my friends' dads are really sphinctered out about it.

SEBASTIAN STARK: You got your mom, you got your shrink.

JULIE STARK: Knowing would totally wig you out.

SEBASTIAN STARK: Exactly. Look, I want you to promise me you will never be in
a hotel room with a man unless a) you're married b) I'm dead or c)... both.

JULIE STARK: Well, you know, there's this one really hot guy I'm dying to go out

SEBASTIAN STARK: Yeah, but I don't really have a need to know that, okay?

JULIE STARK: [interrupts] Dad, will you have dinner with me tonight? A make-up
date for the other day.

SEBASTIAN STARK: [Oh...] Okay, but I got to warn you, I'm not cheap and I'm
not easy.

[He swings, his form perfect.]


[Courtroom. Day. The trial is underway. The Honorable Judge Leeland Hayward
presides. Stark (aided by Madeleine) examines Elizabeth Rourke.]

SEBASTIAN STARK: Mrs. Rourke, was your son Terrence prone to violence?

ELIZABETH ROURKE: [sad smile] Wasn't in his nature.

SEBASTIAN STARK: But he did enjoy a reputation as something of a ladies' man,


ELIZABETH ROURKE: You can ask any girl he ever went out with. Terry was a

SEBASTIAN STARK: Thank you. [to the judge] No further questions, Your Honor.
[He withdraws to the Prosecution Table. Anita Astin stands at the Defence Table
and walks to cross-examine Mrs. Rourke.]

ANITA ASTIN: [smiling sympathetically] First, let me extend my deepest

sympathy for the loss of your son.

ELIZABETH ROURKE: [touched] Thank you.

ANITA ASTIN: Would you describe Terrence to be a stable young man?

ELIZABETH ROURKE: [smiling] Absolutely.

ANITA ASTIN: Yet he spent three weeks in New Days treatment center in 2001.

[This is news to Stark. He turns around to look at Billie.]

ELIZABETH ROURKE: Terry, uh... had a problem with alcohol and painkillers.

ANITA ASTIN: Your son's records show that he was physically abusive to a nurse.

SEBASTIAN STARK: [protesting] Your Honor...

ANITA ASTIN: [sharply] May I finish my question? Did your son have an
altercation with Nurse Gina Hathaway on August 7, 2001?

ELIZABETH ROURKE: [choking] That was a misunderstanding.

SEBASTIAN STARK: [stands] Objection. Hearsay.

JUDGE LEELAND HAYWARD: Overruled. [to Mrs. Rourke] Please answer.

ELIZABETH ROURKE: She took away his journal.

ANITA ASTIN: And Terrence was subsequently moved to a ward with exclusively
male nurses?


[Stark closes his eyes.]

[Courthouse, outside Courtroom. While the others look on uncomfortably, Stark
lays into Billie.]

SEBASTIAN STARK: [restrained] You missed rehab?

BILLIE WILLIS: [defensive] It was a voluntary commitment. If I'd had more


SEBASTIAN STARK: [gesturing angrily] Anita had one day on this case and she
came up with it. What were you thinking?

BILLIE WILLIS: I'm sorry. I did the best I could.

SEBASTIAN STARK: You know what, it's not your fault, it's my fault. In between
writing three briefs, putting together my witness list, formulating my direct, I
should have found time to do your job, too.

CASEY WOODLAND: [knight in shining armour] Look, she apologized...

SEBASTIAN STARK: [mad] Do you mind?

BILLIE WILLIS: I don't need you to defend me.

SEBASTIAN STARK: There is no defense for mediocrity.

BILLIE WILLIS: [pissed] I've been up for thirty-two hours. I interviewed his
friends, his family, his teachers.

SEBASTIAN STARK: You want a merit badge? In jury trials, you don't get a
second chance. Your incompetence has put us in a major hole.

BILLIE WILLIS: [quietly, on the verge of tears] If I'm such a major screw-up...


BILLIE WILLIS: ...why don't you fire me?

SEBASTIAN STARK: That's the first helpful suggestion you've had. Good luck with
the rest of your career.

BILLIE WILLIS: [barely audible] Fine.

[She leaves. Stark watches her go and then turns to Casey.]

SEBASTIAN STARK: [warning] And you are on deck.

[He walks away in a huff.]


[DA's Office, Outside. Day.]

JESSICA DEVLIN: [vo] You fired her? You don't have the authority...


[Jessica's Office, Balcony. Jessica and Stark stand outside, leaning against the


SEBASTIAN STARK: [passing his hand under his throat] Gone.

JESSICA DEVLIN: See, this is a problem. You don't play well with others.

SEBASTIAN STARK: So there's no "team" in "I." What do you want from me? You
know what, she torpedoed my case, she got what she deserved.

JESSICA DEVLIN: Alright, listen, let me put you out of your misery. Your team can
finish this up. You can go back to your million dollar retainers, your cherry-picked
cases and just forget this ever happened.

SEBASTIAN STARK: I never walk out in the middle of a movie.

JESSICA DEVLIN: Yeah, I've seen this one. You die in the end.

SEBASTIAN STARK: The hero never dies.

JESSICA DEVLIN: [chuckles] You're not exactly hero material.

SEBASTIAN STARK: Jess, I promised Elizabeth Rourke I would clear her son's
JESSICA DEVLIN: [shrugs] Well, you're off to a flying start.

[They stand quietly.]


[HPCU Office. Billie is packing up her stuff, while the others try to talk her out of
it, except Madeleine, who sits at her laptop.]

CASEY WOODLAND: Billie, come on. He didn't mean it.

BILLIE WILLIS: [in tears] Sure he did.

RAINA TROY: The guy is a major-league head case.

MARTIN ALLENDE: Technically, Devlin's the only one who can fire you.

BILLIE WILLIS: She's not exactly one of my biggest fans.

MADELEINE POE: For God's sake, just let her go.

[The others look at her.]

MADELEINE POE: I'm sorry if I don't join the pity party, but Stark was right - she
blew it. Rourke's friends knew he had a drug problem and she didn't ask the right

RAINA TROY: [mad] Would you repeat that? With your head so far up Stark's ass,
your voice is kind of muffled.

MADELEINE POE: I'm doing my job. You should give it a try.

BILLIE WILLIS: [facing Madeleine] God, Madeleine. We all know that you're God's
gift to litigation.

[She dumps her bag on the table. Madeleine stands up.]

MADELEINE POE: You guys really don't get it. Despite your glaring deficiencies, or
rather because of them, you're being given an incredible opportunity to prosecute
every high-profile case in this city. If you'd stop whining for two minutes, you'd
realize there's not a lawyer in this building who wouldn't trade places with you in
a heartbeat.

[She walks away. Casey's cellphone rings. He answers it.]

CASEY WOODLAND: [into phone] Hello. [beat] Yeah, okay, got it. [hangs up] That
was Stark. He wants us at his place - now.

[Raina looks sympathetically at Billie, who's crying in earnest now.]

RAINA TROY: Madeleine is an obnoxious, ass-kissing twit. But she's right. This is
the chance of a lifetime.

BILLIE WILLIS: [shakes her head] Not for me.


[Stark Residence, Foyer/Living Room. Stark opens his front door. His team (minus
Billie) enter.]

SEBASTIAN STARK: So did you guys take the bus here, or what? I'm just curious.

MADELEINE POE: Nice place.


RAINA TROY: You've got to be kidding me.

[Casey lets out a whistle of amazement, looking around at Stark's place.]

CASEY WOODLAND: This place is beautiful.

MARTIN ALLENDE: Looks like it's got everything.

RAINA TROY: Except a conscience.


[Stark Residence, Basement/Indoor Court. They walk downstairs to the

CASEY WOODLAND: Let me guess. Regulation indoor court?


[They enter the Indoor Court, which is shaped exactly like any regular courtroom,
complete with galley, jury box, bench and Prosecution and Defense Tables.
Margaret sits in the jury box.]

SEBASTIAN STARK: Ladies and gentlemen, this... is where the magic happens.

MADELEINE POE: [impressed] Sweet home.

SEBASTIAN STARK: The panels you're walking on covered the floor of the United
States Supreme Court for sixty-eight years.

[Casey moves to place his briefcase on a chair at the Defense Table.]

CASEY WOODLAND: [re: the chair] This thing's seen better days.

[Stark hurriedly grabs his briefcase and gently places it on the table as he

SEBASTIAN STARK: Oh, it looked a lot better when Clarence Darrow sat in it
during the Scopes Monkey Trial. [pointing at the lamp on the judge's bench] That
lamp was on Ito's desk during OJ. [motions to the jury box] This jury box is from
the set of "To Kill a Mockingbird".

RAINA TROY: You don't get enough of the courtroom during trial?

SEBASTIAN STARK: Not surprisingly, you miss the point entirely. Trials are won
before you ever set foot in the courtroom.

[He picks up a remote control and hits a button. A whirring sound is heard.]

SEBASTIAN STARK: There are eight cameras...

[He presses another button. Behind the jury box, a plasma screen showing them
in real-time comes up.]

SEBASTIAN STARK: ... real-time polling technology for mock jurors, [presses
another button] the same voice analysis system used by the FBI at Quantico.

[A plasma screen is uncovered behind the judge's bench.]

SEBASTIAN STARK: I never make an argument in open court before it has been
PERFECTED in this room. Now, guys, we got one shot at this case. Destroy Jenny
Dennison on the stand. [moving to the jury box] We must convince the jury that
she was this predatory little slut who lured Terrence Rourke into her hotel room,
got into a lovers' quarrel and killed him in cold blood.

CASEY WOODLAND: How can we be sure the defense will put Jenny on the stand?

MADELEINE POE: 'Cause Anita still has to prove self-defense. Jenny's needs the
only living witness.

RAINA TROY: Slamming the victim in a sex trial can backfire, especially if the
prosecutor is a guy.

SEBASTIAN STARK: That's why I'm not going to question Jenny. You are. We're
going to put some of that patented hostility to work.

RAINA TROY: I won't attack a defendant without foundation in order to prejudice

the jury.

CASEY WOODLAND: She's right, it's an ugly tactic. And it looks desperate.

SEBASTIAN STARK: [chuckles humourlessly] I don't know if you've noticed this

yet, guys, we are desperate. Rule number one, trial is war. And war tends to get

MADELEINE POE: [eager and confident] I'll do it. I have no problem tearing
Barbie's head off.

SEBASTIAN STARK: Why does that not surprise me?

RAINA TROY: A smart defendant like Jenny is not going to lose it on the stand.

SEBASTIAN STARK: Oh, really? I'll tell you what. Just for kicks and giggles, why
don't you - [taking her coat] May I, please? - step into the witness box. And,
guys, you get in the jury box. Come on.

[Raina complies smilingly. The others go to the jury box.]

SEBASTIAN STARK: Judge Margaret. [to Raina, smiling, facing away from her]
You're sworn, charged with killing a man you just had sex with.

[Then, with the most predatory game face imaginable, he turns to Raina in the
witness box.]

[CUE MUSIC: Fast-paced music.]

SEBASTIAN STARK: Ms. Troy, how old are you?

RAINA TROY: Twenty-nine.

SEBASTIAN STARK: How many men have you had sex with?

RAINA TROY: [surprised] What?


"JUDGE" MARGARET: The witness will answer.

RAINA TROY: I have no idea.

SEBASTIAN STARK: More than fifty?

RAINA TROY: I don't... Of course not...

[The others in the jury box watch with growing interest.]

SEBASTIAN STARK: Thirty? Am I getting closer?

RAINA TROY: [uncomfortable] You may keep a running count, but I don't.

SEBASTIAN STARK: Have you ever contracted a venereal disease?

[She looks away in shock.]

SEBASTIAN STARK: [repeats immediately] Have you ever contracted a venereal


RAINA TROY: Once! In college.

SEBASTIAN STARK: So you enjoy unprotected sex?

RAINA TROY: I was twenty years old!

SEBASTIAN STARK: [doesn't pause] Ever engage in S&M? Bondage? Sex with
another woman? Multiple partners?
RAINA TROY: Know what? I'm done

SEBASTIAN STARK: [cutting her off] Is that a crucifix around your neck?

RAINA TROY: Don't go there.

SEBASTIAN STARK: [menacing] Are you a practicing Christian?


SEBASTIAN STARK: Would you say that you understand the teachings of your

RAINA TROY: What do you think I am?

SEBASTIAN STARK: [loudly] How do you reconcile those teachings with your
wanton promiscuity?

[That's it for Raina. She forces herself to her feet to face down Stark.]

RAINA TROY: [enraged] You don't know the first thing about me! You may live in
a fancy mansion, but you are still a low-rent ambulance-chasing son of a bitch!

[While she yells, Stark moves away, facing away from her. He turns to her and
watches her a beat. Raina suddenly seems self-conscious.]

SEBASTIAN STARK: No more questions, Your Honor. [to Raina] You may step
down. [to the others] Okay, guys, I'll be back in two hours. And when I return, I
want to see [teeth clenched] Jennifer Dennison's entrails hanging from that
chandelier... right next to Ms. Troy's.

[He leaves. Raina sits back weakly in her seat.]

[END MUSIC: With a fancy drumroll, the music ends.]


[Chinese Restaurant. Stark and Julie, dressed elegantly, sit at a table. Stark holds
a picture of Julie.]

SEBASTIAN STARK: Thanks for the picture, huh?

JULIE STARK: Sure. So what do you think?

[Stark's cellphone starts ringing.]

SEBASTIAN STARK: I think, uh... [answers the phone, covers the receiver] About

JULIE STARK: About Honors French?

SEBASTIAN STARK: [distracted] Oh, uh, look, it seems to me that you want to
learn French, that we should get you an apartment in Paris...

JULIE STARK: But, Dad, I'm talking about looking good on college applications.

SEBASTIAN STARK: [into phone] Yeah, sorry. Yeah. Good, that's much better. Use
the stuff with the boyfriend. It's great. [beat] Yes, great. [beat, checks his watch]
I'll be...I'll be back soon. Bye.

[Julie looks downcast.]

SEBASTIAN STARK: [laughing it off] Electronic handcuff. So we were.... Where

were we?



JULIE STARK: We should probably just go. You're really busy.

SEBASTIAN STARK: No, Julie, I'm...

JULIE STARK ;It's fine. I'm not mad. In fact, I couldn't think of a more
appropriate way to say good-bye.

SEBASTIAN STARK: Don't say that...

JULIE STARK: Dad, I never fit into your life. Now I can finally stop trying. [she
stands up] You know, when that lady died and you lost it, I really thought you'd

[He looks at her.]

JULIE STARK: Turns out you just changed sides.

[She picks up her sweater and purse and leaves. Stark tries to say something,
but just can't find the words. He can only watch her walk off.]


[LA Courthouse, Outside. Day.]

ANITA ASTIN: [vo] Now what happened after you two had sexual relations?


[Courtroom. The trial is underway. Anita examines Jenny.]

JENNY DENNISON: [cracking up] He said, "I just made you a star." I had no idea
what he meant. Then he showed me his camera.

ANITA ASTIN: He filmed your lovemaking? [looks at the jury]

JENNY DENNISON: He must have brought the camera with him. Set it up when I
wasn't looking.

ANITA ASTIN: And what happened next?

JENNY DENNISON: I told Terry to give me the tape. He laughed in my face.

Pinned me down on the bed. I kept thinking about my parents - how much this
would hurt them. That's when I spotted the knife.

ANITA ASTIN: And what did you do?

JENNY DENNISON: [crying] I grabbed the knife. [sobs] And I swung it.

ANITA ASTIN: Did you call 911 right away?


ANITA ASTIN: Ms. Dennison, why didn't the police find the tape?

JENNY DENNISON: Before they came, I went to my manager's room, gave her
the tape. I didn't want anyone to see it. Now it's everywhere.
ANITA ASTIN: No further questions.

[Stark sits at the Prosecution Table, oblivious to everything, except Julie's picture,
which is wedged inside a notebook.]

MADELEINE POE: [whispers to Stark] I'm gonna start with the high school stuff
and build from there.

[Stark nods, absently.]

JUDGE: Does the prosecution wish to cross-examine the witness?

[Stark looks at Jenny at the stand, sobbing gently. Madeleine stands up, but Stark
grabs her arm. She looks at him in surprise as he pulls her arm downward,
causing her to sit.]

JUDGE: Mr. Stark, do you wish to question this witness?

SEBASTIAN STARK: [stands, politely] We have no questions, Your Honor.

[The people in the galley start to murmur amongst themselves. Stark sits down.
He turns around to look at an incredulous Mrs. Rourke.]


[Stark Residence, Study. Stark sits on his table, speaking to Margaret. A music
video of Jenny Dennison plays mutely on a plasma screen.]

SEBASTIAN STARK: I saw Jenny Dennison - I didn't see a guilty defendant. I saw
a troubled young girl. I saw...

MARGARET: Julie. [pointing to Jenny's image of the screen] But she killed

SEBASTIAN STARK: Stone cold guilty. Murderer. Shoulda torn her to shreds.

[The kids arrive.]

MADELEINE POE: The maid let us in.

SEBASTIAN STARK: [to Margaret ] Start looking for a new maid.

SEBASTIAN STARK: [announcing] Okay, guys, how do you want to do this? Take
turns calling me a hypocrite? What? Saying, oh, yeah, trial is war, and I'm a
deserter. I got it al l. Come on. Take your best shot.

[The kids stay quiet.]

SEBASTIAN STARK: Come on, let's go.

[Raina steps forward.]

RAINA TROY: State of Ohio versus Pavey. The same equipment used by Anita's
serology expert yielded faulty results. Grounds for a successful appeal. Casts
doubt on Anita's theory.

MADELEINE POE: Jenny attended a program for gifted students her senior year of
high school. Guy who runs it says she's a narcissist and a liar. He's happy to
testify to it in court.

MARTIN ALLENDE: Broke down the timeline. There's a discrepancy between

Jenny's account and the room service log.

CASEY WOODLAND: [placing a box of cupcakes on the table] Sabado's off the
cheese fries, but he's on a mean cupcake bender. Juror number six is born again.
Thinks rock 'n' roll is the devil's music. And the promiscuity angle should help us
with three and ten.

SEBASTIAN STARK: [actually moved] You worked your tails off, and I let you

MARTIN ALLENDE: So what's the next move?

SEBASTIAN STARK: Honestly? I don't have one.

MADELEINE POE: Make one up. Truth is relative. Yada, yada. Let's go.

CASEY WOODLAND: You blew it, but you're still the only shot we have to win this
case. And that is why we're here. Remember?

SEBASTIAN STARK: [pointing at the TV] See that? She made that when she was
fifteen. Imagine how her friends laughed at her when she said, [gesturing] "Oh,
I'm going to be a big star." But, hey, look at her now.

RAINA TROY: Yeah. She's on trial for murder.

SEBASTIAN STARK: The point is, she knew what she wanted! She was driven by
pure ambition! Nothing else mattered. You know, all my life, all I ever wanted to
be was the best lawyer in the world. But when you lose that drive - that
consuming ambition - you're done. [folds his arms sadly] Mine died with Deena

MADELEINE POE: You're still the best.

SEBASTIAN STARK: If that were true, I would have let you rip Jenny's heart out.
To be the best, you got to be like her. Be in complete control. Never leave
anything to chance! Never let yourself be vulnerable.

[He pauses the video, showing a cheerfully smiling image of Jenny. He stops and
thinks. Something hits him.]

SEBASTIAN STARK: Obsessive control. Never let yourself [understanding, recites]

be-the-victim. [looking at Jenny's image] Oh, man. Oh, man. [overjoyed] Yes.
Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! YES! [to Margaret] I want the original of that tape brought to
the LAPD Crime Lab. I want it back in two hours! [to the kids] In the bullpen,
thirty minutes! Yes!

[He grins widely.]

SEBASTIAN STARK: [exulting] I am great, and yet... I am humble.


[Courtroom. The trial continues. Jenny is at the stand, while Judge Leeland
Hayward speaks.]

JUDGE LEELAND HAYWARD: The Prosecution now wishes to cross-examine the


MADELEINE POE: [stands up] Yes, Your Honor.

[Again, Stark puts his hand on her arm, pulling her down.]

MADELEINE POE: [whispering] What now?

[This time it's different. Stark wants to do it himself.]

SEBASTIAN STARK: Watch and learn. [stands, to the judge] Thank you.
[addressing Jenny] Ms. Dennison, when did you first decide you wanted to be a
pop star?

JENNY DENNISON: I guess it was the first time I saw a Madonna video. [thinking]
I was seven.

SEBASTIAN STARK: Besides Madonna, what other performers do you emulate?

Uh, J.Lo? Britney Spears? Christina Aguilera?


SEBASTIAN STARK: Now, those singers incorporate an explicit sexuality into their
performances, but according to publicity material from Defiance Records, your,
uh, your label, you are the next Norah Jones - wholesome, spiritual and family-
friendly. Doesn't that bother you?

JENNY DENNISON: Defiance signed me. They decide the best way to sell my

SEBASTIAN STARK: But you've been planning your career since you were in grade
school, and you know that sex sells. You're smart enough to know that.So why do
you think they didn't listen to you?

[Anita Astin stands up.]

ANITA ASTIN: Objection. What is the relevance of this line of inquiry?


SEBASTIAN STARK: [walking over to the evidence table] Ms. Dennison... [picking
up a tape, sealed in plastic] this is a video you made four years ago on an SD200
camcorder. It is Defense Exhibit D, previously entered. A forensic analysis
confirms that this tape bears the precise electromagnetic artifacts as the
videotape of you and Terrence Rourke at the Chateau Hotel.

[He picks up the sex tape (also sealed in plastic) and holds the two tapes side-by-

SEBASTIAN STARK: In other words, these two tapes were made by the exact
same camera, Jenny. YOUR camera.

[CUE MUSIC: Suspenseful, fast-paced music.]

Would you please explain to this jury why you lied about whose camera was used
to make the tape?

JENNY DENNISON: [staying calm] I didn't lie. I... I guess Terry used my camera.

SEBASTIAN STARK: That's not what you said. You said, "He showed me his
camera. He must have brought it with him." [pointing to the stenographer's
notes] Your testimony is on record. Shall I have it read back?

ANITA ASTIN: [standing] A brief recess, Your Honor?


SEBASTIAN STARK: Ms. Dennison, would you please tell this jury why you
videotaped yourself and Terrence Rourke having sex at the Chateau Hotel?

JENNY DENNISON: [caught] It was... all a big misunderstanding.

SEBASTIAN STARK: Did you tell Terrence you were videotaping your sexual


SEBASTIAN STARK: [menacing] Why not?

JENNY DENNISON: I didn't think he'd care.

SEBASTIAN STARK: But he did care, did he not? In fact, he was horrified by what
you did! What happened when Terrence Rourke realized what you were up to?

JENNY DENNISON: When Terry spotted the camera, he got really mad. He was
scared his mom would see the tape.

[Shot of Elizabeth Rourke. Julie sits behind her.]

SEBASTIAN STARK: Because you intended to make the tape public.

JENNY DENNISON: [protesting] I didn't say that!

SEBASTIAN STARK: [scathing] Is it humanly possible that you could have

released this tape to cause a scandal that would launch your career?


SEBASTIAN STARK: You didn't give the tape to the police. You took your bloody
little fingers, walked down the hall, and slipped it to your manager! And now! It
somehow magically - miracle of miracles - finds its way onto the Internet. Now
everybody's talking about it - talking about you - the week your first album is
about to be released. Can you look this jury in the eye and tell any single one of
them that this is a cosmic accident?

[END MUSIC: With a final beat of the drum, the music stops abruptly.]

[Jenny's eyes well up in tears. She looks at the jury.]

SEBASTIAN STARK: [calmly] Now, would you kindly tell this jury what happened
in that hotel room between you and Terrence Rourke?

JENNY DENNISON: [crying] Terry... [sniff] tried to grab the tape. He wrestled me
onto the bed, his knee was on my chest. I should have just given it to him.

SEBASTIAN STARK: Why... didn't you?

JENNY DENNISON: [weeping] I don't know. I couldn't breathe. I got scared. I was
still kind of drunk. When I grabbed the knife, I just wanted to scare him, to make
him stop. I don't know how this all happened.

SEBASTIAN STARK: Jenny, you do, because the moment you met Terrence
Rourke, you decided to videotape your sexual encounter. That part was
premeditated, was it not?

JENNY DENNISON: [drawling as she cries] Yes, but I swear to God, I never meant
to hurt him. Please believe me.

SEBASTIAN STARK: [understanding] I do. But your plan cost a young man's life.
It cost Elizabeth Rourke [pointing] her only child. There is no greater loss.

[The camera focuses on Julie's face behind Mrs. Rourke. Julie sits in the box,
weeping weakly.]

SEBASTIAN STARK: No further questions, Your Honor.

[Julie watches the effect this has had on her father as Julie sobs.]

[Courthouse, outside courtroom. Stark walks expressionlessly. Mayor Delgado
accosts him, throwing his arm around Stark's shoulder. Stark smiles, hardly

MAYOR DELGADO: Let me get a photo with the man of the hour. [beckons


MAYOR DELGADO: [beckoning Jessica] Madam District Attorney, por favor.

[Jessica walks up, clearing her throat. Stark puts his arm around her waist. She
puts on her best fake smile. The Mayor signals the reporter, who clicks the

JESSICA DEVLIN: [looking at the camera, to Stark] Beginner's luck.

SEBASTIAN STARK: [looking at the camera] It's called winning. Don't worry. You'll
get used to it.

MAYOR DELGADO: [to the reporter] That's good.

REPORTER: Thank you, Your Honor.

[The reporter leaves. The Mayor gives Stark a slap on his back as he leaves.]


[Stark and Jessica walk, Jessica shoving Stark's arm off her waist.]

JESSICA DEVLIN: I'm gonna give you exactly thirty seconds to gloat.

[He just walks, saying nothing. She looks at him and stops, pulling his arm.]

JESSICA DEVLIN: Hey, you-you do know you just won a huge case, right?

SEBASTIAN STARK: [gloomy] Yeah.

JESSICA DEVLIN: You look like you just lost your best friend.

SEBASTIAN STARK: [sad smile] I'm about to lose a hell of a lot more than that.

[He walks off.]


[Courtroom. Day. Julie sits in the witness box, while a judge speaks to her. Claire
sits with her lawyer, while a glum Stark sits by himself as his table.]

JUDGE: As stipulated in your parents' divorce decree, having reached the age of
sixteen, you must now designate which parent will act as custodian until your
eighteenth birthday. Have you reached a decision?

JULIE STARK: [long beat] Yes. My mother's been everything to me. My protector,
my best friend. When my parents got a divorce, I thought the world was coming
to an end. But she made sure it didn't. I mean, she was a mess, but she
pretended like everything was okay so that I wouldn't be scared. And it wasn't
always easy. I can be a real pain. But... my mom taught me that it's not enough
to love someone when it's easy. You got to love them when it's hard.

[Stark looks downcast.]

JULIE STARK: When they don't deserve it, when they're in trouble. That's what
family does. [long beat] Which is why I choose to live with my dad.

[Stark looks up surprised. Claire reacts in shock.]


[Courthouse, Staircase/Hallway. Day. The Starks descend the stairs, into the

CLAIRE STARK: [upset] Did you know about this?

SEBASTIAN STARK: [restraining his joy] I'm as surprised as you are, probably

[They stop at the end of the stairs. Julie turns to face her mother.]

JULIE STARK: I didn't mean to hurt you.

CLAIRE STARK: Oh, I'm not hurt. [looks at Stark] Well, okay, I'm a little hurt, but
mostly I'm scared. I mean, no offense, Sebastian, but you are... incredibly self-

SEBASTIAN STARK: No offense taken.

CLAIRE STARK: [raised voice] Well, seriously, do you have any idea what it takes
to raise a teenage girl alone in Los Angeles?

SEBASTIAN STARK: No, but if this is what Julie wants, I...

CLAIRE STARK: [frustrated] What she wants! She's 16! She wants a Porsche, a
date with Prince William, and world peace! She's a child!

JULIE STARK: [arguing] Mom, my whole life is here.

CLAIRE STARK: [calming down, sighs] Oh, Jules. [beat] If this is really what you
want... I can't stop you. I just hope to God you know what you're doing. [to
Stark, sternly] This is the biggest case you'll ever get. Don't blow it.

[She leaves, unhappily.]


[Courthouse Steps. Outside, evening. Stark and Julie sit idly on the steps.]


JULEI STARK: You're the only father I'm ever gonna have, and, if there is a God,
I'm the only kid you're ever gonna have. Mom's really mad right now, but she'll
get over it. If I go to New York, you and I will exchange birthday cards and
Christmas presents, but we'll wind up perfect strangers. You may pr
efer that, but I don't.

SEBASTIAN STARK: The last thing I would ever want...

JULIE STARK: [interrupting] For once, don't say anything. I've gone to the shrink
long enough to know that I'll be screwed up for life if I don't get some closure on
you and me. And there's another reason why I chose you. Something you
probably don't understand, and maybe you never will. [beat] You need me.

[Stark looks at Julie.]

[CUE MUSIC: John Hiatt's "Have a Little Faith in Me"]

# When the road gets dark #
# And you can no longer see #
# Just let my love throw a spark #
# And have a little faith in me #

[Stark and Julie sit quietly on the steps, as we...]

# And have a little faith in me #


[Closing Credits.]

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