History Film / TheVerdict

21st Mar '16 11:40:45 PM CaptEquinox
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Frank Galvin is a washed-up alcoholic attorney who hasn't won a case in years and who spends his time lying his ways into funerals. His friend, Mickey Morrissey, gets him a medical malpractice suit about a woman rendered comatose during surgery with a guaranteed large settlement.

However, a visit to the girl deeply affects him, and at the meeting with Archdiocese of Boston to hammer out the settlement, he rejects the money, deciding that this is his last chance to save himself and resolves to fight it out. This, of course, displeases everyone, from the family to the judge. His opponent in the trial is Ed Concannon, backed by a large and professional legal team.

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Frank Galvin is a washed-up alcoholic attorney who hasn't won a case in years and who spends his time lying his ways into funerals. His friend, Mickey Morrissey, Morrissey (Jack Warden), gets him a medical malpractice suit about a woman rendered comatose during surgery with a guaranteed large settlement.

settlement that will let her family put her in a much better nursing home.

However, a visit to the girl deeply affects him, and at the meeting with the Archdiocese of Boston to hammer out the settlement, he rejects the money, deciding that this is his last chance to save himself and resolves to fight it out. This, of course, displeases everyone, from the family to the judge. His opponent in the trial is celebrity attorney Ed Concannon, backed by a large and professional legal team.



* HollywoodLaw: The defense should have been able to win at the close of Galvin's case by making a motion for "judgment as a matter of law" (i.e. the judge ruling in their favor as no rational jury could find against them). However that doesn't happen, and then Galvin puts on his surprise witness Nurse Kaitlin Price, who shows Dr. Towler was indeed negligent. Judge Hoyle then incorrectly rules that her testimony is inadmissible hearsay, though it fulls under the "admissions" exception. Topping it off, the "best evidence" rule (that when witnesses testify to the content of a document, it must be produced) gets utterly bungled, as the document (a photocopy that Price brings in showing that she altered an admissions form at Towler's order to cover up his negligence). To explain, the form is a photocopy of the original, and the best evidence rule requires that the original document be entered into evidence. The real problem was that the best evidence rule allows the exclusion of a copy of a writing; it does not bar a witness from testifying about what she wrote in the original document. Galvin does not even attempt to offer the document into evidence. Rather, he just asks the witness what she wrote in the document. Furthermore, there is an exception to the best evidence rule: when the original is unavailable owing to a bad act by the party against whom the copy would be offered. Here, the witness is claiming that she altered the original document under the threat of the defendant, but made a photocopy of the original before she did so. So in real life, the copy would almost certainly be admissible. As for the hearsay issue, while the admissions exception would apply to Towler's out-of-court statement to Price, the statement was not hearsay to begin with, because it was not being offered to prove the content of the statement; whether Dr. Towler would have actually had Nurse Price fired for refusing to alter the admissions form is completely irrelevant to Galvin's case. It is only hearsay when the out-of-court statement is offered as evidence for the truth of the statement.

to:

* HollywoodLaw: The defense should have been able to win at the close of Galvin's case by making a motion for "judgment as a matter of law" (i.e. the judge ruling in their favor as no rational jury could find against them). However that doesn't happen, and then Galvin puts on his surprise witness Nurse Kaitlin Price, who shows Dr. Towler was indeed negligent. Judge Hoyle then incorrectly rules that her testimony is inadmissible hearsay, though it fulls under the "admissions" exception. Topping it off, the "best evidence" rule (that when witnesses testify to the content of a document, it must be produced) gets utterly bungled, as the bungled. The document (a is a photocopy that Nurse Price brings in showing that she altered an admissions form at Towler's order to cover up his negligence). negligence. To explain, the form is a photocopy ''photocopy'' of the original, and the best evidence rule requires that the original document be entered into evidence. The real problem was that the best evidence rule allows the exclusion of a copy of a writing; it does not bar a witness from testifying about what she wrote in the original document. Galvin does not even attempt to offer the document into evidence. Rather, he just asks the witness what she wrote in the document. Furthermore, there is an exception to the best evidence rule: when the original is unavailable owing to a bad act by the party against whom the copy would be offered. Here, the witness is claiming that she altered the original document under the threat of the defendant, but made a photocopy of the original before she did so. So in real life, the copy would almost certainly be admissible. As for the hearsay issue, while the admissions exception would apply to Towler's out-of-court statement to Price, the statement was not hearsay to begin with, because it was not being offered to prove the content of the statement; whether Dr. Towler would have actually had Nurse Price fired for refusing to alter the admissions form is completely irrelevant to Galvin's case. It is only hearsay when the out-of-court statement is offered as evidence for the truth of the statement.



* JuryAndWitnessTampering: Galvin took the fall for this in the backstory, when the prestigious law firm he belonged to was playing shenanigans. He avoided criminal prosecution but it was the decisive turning point in his life, as he lost his position with a prestigious law firm and divorced his wife.

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* JuryAndWitnessTampering: Galvin took the fall for this in the backstory, when the prestigious law firm he belonged to was playing shenanigans. He avoided criminal prosecution but it was the decisive turning point in his life, as he lost his position with a the prestigious law firm and divorced his wife.


Added DiffLines:

* PrecisionFStrike: When Frank says Concannon is a good man, Morrissey snaps "He's the Prince of Fucking Darkness!"
4th Jan '16 8:14:35 PM Fireblood
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* HollywoodLaw:
** The defense should have been able to win at the close of Galvin's case by making a motion for "judgment as a matter of law" (i.e. the judge ruling in their favor as no rational jury could find against them). However that doesn't happen, and then Galvin puts on his surprise witness Nurse Kaitlin Price, who shows Dr. Towler was indeed negligent. Judge Hoyle then incorrectly rules that her testimony is inadmissible hearsay, though it fulls under the "admissions" exception. Topping it off, the "best evidence" rule (that when witnesses testify to the content of a document, it must be produced) gets utterly bungled, as the document (a photocopy that Price brings in showing that she altered an admissions form at Towler's order to cover up his negligence) is ''right there in her hand''. Obviously it can easily be produced.

to:

* HollywoodLaw:
**
HollywoodLaw: The defense should have been able to win at the close of Galvin's case by making a motion for "judgment as a matter of law" (i.e. the judge ruling in their favor as no rational jury could find against them). However that doesn't happen, and then Galvin puts on his surprise witness Nurse Kaitlin Price, who shows Dr. Towler was indeed negligent. Judge Hoyle then incorrectly rules that her testimony is inadmissible hearsay, though it fulls under the "admissions" exception. Topping it off, the "best evidence" rule (that when witnesses testify to the content of a document, it must be produced) gets utterly bungled, as the document (a photocopy that Price brings in showing that she altered an admissions form at Towler's order to cover up his negligence) negligence). To explain, the form is ''right a photocopy of the original, and the best evidence rule requires that the original document be entered into evidence. The real problem was that the best evidence rule allows the exclusion of a copy of a writing; it does not bar a witness from testifying about what she wrote in the original document. Galvin does not even attempt to offer the document into evidence. Rather, he just asks the witness what she wrote in the document. Furthermore, there is an exception to the best evidence rule: when the original is unavailable owing to a bad act by the party against whom the copy would be offered. Here, the witness is claiming that she altered the original document under the threat of the defendant, but made a photocopy of the original before she did so. So in her hand''. Obviously real life, the copy would almost certainly be admissible. As for the hearsay issue, while the admissions exception would apply to Towler's out-of-court statement to Price, the statement was not hearsay to begin with, because it can easily be produced.was not being offered to prove the content of the statement; whether Dr. Towler would have actually had Nurse Price fired for refusing to alter the admissions form is completely irrelevant to Galvin's case. It is only hearsay when the out-of-court statement is offered as evidence for the truth of the statement.
20th May '15 5:26:40 PM nombretomado
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The film was nominated for five {{Academy Award}}s, including Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor, Best Director, and Best Screenplay, though in the end it lost in all categories.

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The film was nominated for five {{Academy UsefulNotes/{{Academy Award}}s, including Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor, Best Director, and Best Screenplay, though in the end it lost in all categories.
16th May '15 6:26:32 AM erforce
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-->''"Your Honor, if you're going to insist on presenting my case for me, I respectfully request that you don't try to lose it."''
-->'''Frank Galvin''' (Creator/PaulNewman) to Judge Hoyle (Milo O'Shea).

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-->''"Your ->''"Your Honor, if you're going to insist on presenting my case for me, I respectfully request that you don't try to lose it."''
-->'''Frank -->-- '''Frank Galvin''' (Creator/PaulNewman) to Judge Hoyle (Milo O'Shea).



Both Tobin Bell (later of the ''Film/{{Saw}}'' franchise) and Creator/BruceWillis can be seen as courtroom spectators in the climactic court scenes.

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Both Tobin Bell (later of the ''Film/{{Saw}}'' ''Franchise/{{Saw}}'' franchise) and Creator/BruceWillis can be seen as courtroom spectators in the climactic court scenes.
15th Mar '15 9:53:32 AM gallium
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Added DiffLines:

* TheOner: A nearly four-minute scene without a cut or camera movement in which Galvin, panicked after his expert Dr. Gruber disappears, first calls Concannon's firm to try and get that settlement, and then starts desperately calling around for experts.
15th Mar '15 6:43:32 AM gallium
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* LastDisrepects: At the beginning, Frank gets most of his cases by trolling strangers' funerals with his business card. He gets away with it once, but the second time, the dead man's son calls him out and has him removed.

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* LastDisrepects: LastDisrespects: At the beginning, Frank gets most of his cases by trolling strangers' funerals with his business card. He gets away with it once, but the second time, the dead man's son calls him out and has him removed.


Added DiffLines:

* QuitYourWhining: Laura angrily shames Frank when he's panicking about the trial and regretting not taking a deal the hospital made his client.
15th Mar '15 6:41:47 AM gallium
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Added DiffLines:

* LastDisrepects: At the beginning, Frank gets most of his cases by trolling strangers' funerals with his business card. He gets away with it once, but the second time, the dead man's son calls him out and has him removed.
15th Mar '15 6:32:13 AM gallium
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* TheAlcoholic: Galvin. In one early scene his hands shake so badly that he can't pick up his drink, so he leans down to sip from the cup like a dog.

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* TheAlcoholic: Galvin. In one early scene his hands shake so badly that he can't pick up his drink, so he leans down to sip from the cup like a dog. The last scene hints that he's quit drinking--he is seen with a cup of coffee.



* AntiHero: Frank Galvin is a pretty scummy attorney, and even after he rediscovers his thirst for justice he's not above using tactics of questionable morality.

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* AntiHero: Frank Galvin is a pretty scummy attorney, and even after he rediscovers his thirst for justice he's not above using tactics of questionable morality.morality, like breaking into mailboxes to track down people who don't want to be found.



* HollywoodLaw: The defense should have been able to win at the close of Galvin's case by making a motion for "judgment as a matter of law" (i.e. the judge ruling in their favor as no rational jury could find against them). However that doesn't happen, and then Galvin puts on his surprise witness Nurse Kaitlin Price, who shows Dr. Towler was indeed negligent. Judge Hoyle then incorrectly rules that her testimony is inadmissible hearsay, though it fulls under the "admissions" exception. Topping it off, the "best evidence" rule (that when witnesses testify to the content of a document, it must be produced) gets utterly bungled, as the document (a photocopy that Price brings in showing that she altered an admissions form at Towler's order to cover up his negligence) is ''right there in her hand''. Obviously it can easily be produced.

to:

* HollywoodLaw: HollywoodLaw:
**
The defense should have been able to win at the close of Galvin's case by making a motion for "judgment as a matter of law" (i.e. the judge ruling in their favor as no rational jury could find against them). However that doesn't happen, and then Galvin puts on his surprise witness Nurse Kaitlin Price, who shows Dr. Towler was indeed negligent. Judge Hoyle then incorrectly rules that her testimony is inadmissible hearsay, though it fulls under the "admissions" exception. Topping it off, the "best evidence" rule (that when witnesses testify to the content of a document, it must be produced) gets utterly bungled, as the document (a photocopy that Price brings in showing that she altered an admissions form at Towler's order to cover up his negligence) is ''right there in her hand''. Obviously it can easily be produced.produced.
** Judge Hoyle, who was obviously in the defense's pocket, could have issued a [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judgment_notwithstanding_verdict judgment notwithstanding verdict]] nullifying the jury's decision, if only Concannon had asked for it.
** And of course Galvin could have appealed and gotten a new trial based on the defense's misconduct in placing a mole in his office.



* TheMole: Laura
* RedemptionQuest

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* TheMole: Laura
Laura, sent by Concannon to spy on Galvin.
* RedemptionQuestRedemptionQuest: Galvin, rediscovering his idealism after letting his life go to hell.



* SurpriseWitness

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* SurpriseWitnessSurpriseWitness: Kaitlin Price, the surprise witness called by Galvin who reveals that Dr. Towler didn't look at the admittance form and then had her falsify it after everything went wrong.
15th Mar '15 6:03:53 AM gallium
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Added DiffLines:

Both Tobin Bell (later of the ''Film/{{Saw}}'' franchise) and Creator/BruceWillis can be seen as courtroom spectators in the climactic court scenes.
15th Mar '15 5:59:57 AM gallium
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* JuryAndWitnessTampering: Galvin apparently did this in the backstory. He avoided criminal prosecution but it was the decisive turning point in his life, as he lost his position with a prestigious law firm and divorced his wife.

to:

* JuryAndWitnessTampering: Galvin apparently did took the fall for this in the backstory.backstory, when the prestigious law firm he belonged to was playing shenanigans. He avoided criminal prosecution but it was the decisive turning point in his life, as he lost his position with a prestigious law firm and divorced his wife.
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http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=Film.TheVerdict