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An altar boy is accused of murdering a priest, and the truth is buried several layers deep.
[last lines] Roy: Mr. Vail? Marty: Yeah? Roy: [stammering as usual] Will you t-tell Miss Venable I'm sorry? Tell her I hope her neck is OK. Marty: Yeah... I will. Wait... What did you just say? What? You told me just a few minutes ago that you didn't remember. You blacked out. So how do you know about her neck? Roy: [breaking character] Well... good for you, Marty. I was going to let it go. You was looking so happy just now. I was thinking, Mmm, God. But to tell you the truth, I'm glad you figured it, because I have been dying to tell you. I just didn't know who you'd wanna hear it from, you know? Aaron or Roy, or Roy or Aaron. Well, I'll let you in on a little secret. A sort of a client-attorney-privilege type of a secret, you know what I mean? It don't matter who you hear it from. It's the same story. [stammering as Aaron] Roy: I j-j-just... had to kill Linda, Mr. Vail. [normal voice as Roy] Roy: That, that cunt just got what she deserved. But... cutting up that son of a bitch Rushman? That was just a fucking work of art. Marty: You're good. You are really good. Roy: Yeah. I did get caught, though, didn't I? Marty: So there never... there never was a Roy? Roy: Jesus Christ, Marty. If that's what you think, I am disappointed in you, I don't mind telling you. There never was an Aaron... counselor! Come on, Marty, I thought you had it figured, there at the end. The way you put me on the stand like that? That was fucking brilliant, Marty! And that whole thing like "act-like-a-man"? Jesus, I knew exactly what you wanted from me. It was like we were dancing, Marty! Marty: Guard! Roy: Oh come on, don't be like that, Marty. We did it, man. We fucking did it! We're a great team, you and me. You think I could've done this without you? You're just feeling a little angry here, because you started to care about old Aaron, I can understand that, but... you know, love hurts, Marty. What can I say? Hey, I'm just kidding, bud! I didn't mean to hurt your feelings! What else was I supposed to do? Hey, you're gonna thank me down the road, because this is gonna toughen you right up, Martin Vail! You hear me? That's a promise!
Marty: Why gamble with money when you can gamble with people's lives? That was a joke. All right, I'll tell you. I believe in the notion that people are innocent until proven guilty. I believe in that notion because I choose to believe in the basic goodness of people. I choose to believe that not all crimes are committed by bad people. And I try to understand that some very, very good people do some very bad things.
[first lines] Marty: On my first day of law school, my professor says two things. First was; "From this day forward, when your mother tells you she loves you - get a second opinion." Jack Connerman: [chuckles] And? Marty: "If you want justice, go to a whorehouse. If you wanna get fucked, go to court."
Marty: I chose to believe in the basic goodness of people. Some basically good people do some very bad things.
Janet: No further questions your honor. Roy: ['Roy' emerges] Where the hell do you think you're going? Janet: Excuse me? Roy: Hey you look at me when I'm talkin' to you, bitch! Judge Miriam Shoat: Mr. Stampler! Roy: Fuck you, lady! Come here! [Roy jumps over the witness stand and grabs Janet and punches Marty Vail] Judge Miriam Shoat: Bailiff! Roy: You wanna play rough, let's play rough. Come on, lets play rough! [Bailiff and secruity slowly walk toward Roy] Roy: Yeah, keep comin' closer asshole, don't think I won't break her fuckin' neck! Marty: Roy, come on. I got... Roy: Fuck you, Marty! I'm walkin' outta slowly. Really slow.
Marty: I speak. You do not speak. Your job is to just sit there and look innocent.
Janet: Do you know what I would do if someone did that to me? I would kill him, I wouldn't hesitate. I would stab him 78 times. I would chop off his fingers, slash his throat open, carve numbers in his chest, gouge out his eyes, I swear to God!... But that's me.
Marty: First thing that I ask a new client is "Have you been saving up for a rainy day? Guess what? It's raining."
Rushman: [stepping to podium] Well I must say, I haven't seen so many lawyers and politicians gathered together in one place since confession this morning. [audience laughter]
Marty: You want justice, go to a whorehouse. You wanna get fucked, go to court.
Marty: Yeah, I'm Martin Vail, from the public defender's office. I'm handling the Aaron Stampler case. Cop: Hmm, The Butcher Boy. Marty: Yes, thank you, I forgot his real name.
Joey Pinero: How are they going to kill a man who never sleeps?
Joey Pinero: See this lot here? This lot used to be houses. In fact, there was a house over there on the corner where I kissed my first girl friend. Got her pregnant, too. Marty: Hell of a kiss, Joey.
Marty: Mr. Pinero has never been convicted of anything. Cops jumped him, he was left bleeding in the snow. It's a miracle he survived. Having said that, I am not opposed to a settlement. John Shaughnessy: A million-five and Pinero leaves the state. Marty: You can't limit a citizen's right to live wherever he wants to. Legally, that's unenforceable. John Shaughnessy: Whether or not it's enforceable or just a gentleman's agreement, Mr. Pinero will know what we want.
Marty: You either run for office or you wind up a judge. Why become an umpire when you can play ball?
Marty: I don't have to believe you. I don't care if you are innocent. I'm your mother, your father, your priest.
[Marty is trying to woo Janet again, kissing the back of her neck and humming as she smokes a cigarette at the bar in the party for the Archbishop] Marty: Come on... all you have to do is turn around. Janet: I thought you liked it better like this. That way you don't have to look at the person. Marty: You're mean. [ingratiatingly] Marty: Look at me. [She turns to face him. He is grinning seductively] Marty: Come on. Let's go find a bar you can still smoke in. Janet: Thanks for the invite, but I don't like one-night stands all that much. Marty: We saw each other for months. Janet: It was a one-night stand, Marty. It just lasted six months.