The Lincoln Lawyer resumes practice in a shocking turn of events.
The Lincoln Lawyer: Case File for season 1 Episode 1
‘He Rides Again’
Written by David E. Kelley
Directed by Liz Friedlander
The Lincoln Lawyer episode one sets the stage for the Netflix original series starring Manuel Garcia-Rulfo as defense attorney Mickey Haller. Viewers learn Mickey’s story via a colorful cast of characters, some that support him and others that antagonize.
Let us investigate further the case file for The Lincoln Lawyer S1E1 ‘He Rides Again’.
Mickey Haller has not been practicing law since a serious surfing accident sidelined him with serious injuries and a subsequent addiction to oxy. Haller is clean from the pills but still fears getting out on the water. We see Mickey sitting on the beach with his surfboard revisiting the accident in his mind.
Mickey receives a windfall of cases when Judge Mary Holder notifies him that a fellow attorney named Jerry Vincent has been murdered and left his practice to Haller. Detective Raymond Griggs is the lead detective investigating Jerry Vincent’s murder. He warns Mickey that he, too, may be a target.
Mickey’s practice manager and second ex-wife, Lorna Crane, cheers Mickey on while attending to all the pertinent details of case management.
The other ladies in Mickey’s life are his first wife, Maggie, and their daughter, Hayley. There is obvious affection among all three, despite Maggie’s obvious fears about Mickey slipping up in one way or another.
A burly investigator named Cisco is trusted by Mickey and loved by Lorna. Cisco and Lorna are dating, but Lorna has been waiting to tell Mickey that she and Cisco are getting married.
Finally, Trevor Elliott and Izzy Letts are two of Mickey’s potential new clients as they have standing cases with Jerry.
Judge Mary Holder
While sitting on the beach, Mickey receives the call from Lorna telling him that Judge Holder has summoned Mickey to her chambers.
Judge Holder is all business with just enough politeness to pass for cordial. She asks Mickey to explain his absence from legal practice. He speaks of his recovery and assures her that he is now “right”.
The judge inquires about Mickey’s history with Jerry Vincent, wondering why he selected Mickey to receive his practice. Mickey does not know why Vincent chose him. They were friendly colleagues but nothing more.
Judge Holder agrees to sign the order passing Jerry’s cases to Mickey. She reminds him that the clients have the right to choose new counsel, but that he could convince them to keep him on board as Jerry’s replacement.
Holder will be in regular communication with Mickey on the status of the transfer of cases.
Things move fast. Within hours of meeting with Judge Holder, Mickey is due in court for a bench trial for alleged grand theft. Izzy Letts is the defendant. The judge grants Mickey a day to review the case before proceeding with trial.
Outside the court office, Mickey visits with his client. Izzy shares that she was not in her right mind when she pulled the necklace from the victim. Izzy was a heroin addict at the time. She explains that she is now in recovery. Mickey explains that he can relate to her ordeal having been an addict himself.
Having spied the stolen necklace at the courthouse, Mickey decides to call upon a jeweler to appraise the necklace in court the next day. As suspected, the jeweler informs Mickey that the necklace is a knock-off, probably worth no more than $400.
Mickey uses this information as leverage against the plaintiff, the husband of the woman who was wearing the necklace. At a sidebar, Mickey convinces the plaintiff to drop the case to avoid embarrassment of his wife learning the true value of the necklace.
Izzy is thrilled to learn the news and Mickey is ready for her to pay him. She reminds him that Jerry was not charging her up front. The clever defense attorney reveals that he is asking Izzy to be his new driver to pay her debt. He is The Lincoln Lawyer after all, the attorney known for using the backseat of his Lincoln as his office while someone drives him to and from appointments. Izzy agrees.
Lorna appears to be the backbone of Mickey’s law practice. She is detail-oriented, quick-witted and a little flashy in the fashion department. She helps Mickey think about his image, prompting him to get one of his infamous Lincolns out of storage to visit Judge Holder. Lorna knows the Lincoln will give him confidence.
She meets him at the courthouse to make sure he arrives for his appointment with Judge Holder. It is endearing to see the ex-couple working so well together. They clearly care about and respect one another. I guess they were just not meant to be spouses.
After gaining full access to the physical files and office of Jerry Vincent, Lorna moves fast reassembling what she can of Jerry’s files and his calendar.
Trevor Elliott is the very wealthy owner of a tech company where he has his own rooftop basketball court. That is where Mickey meets him for the first time. Trevor is accused of murdering his wife and her yoga teacher/boyfriend at their Malibu home. This is certainly the most high-profile of all Jerry’s cases.
Trevor staunchly claims his innocence and insists that the trial begin next week as planned despite Jerry’s death. He is not sure if he wants Mickey to take over the case, but he is certain that he does not want to delay the proceedings.
On their second meeting at Trevor’s office, the tech genius describes himself as an outsider before meeting his wife, Lara. With Lara as his muse, he says he was able to cross what he describes as the “uncanny valley”. He explains that video games struggled for years to achieve believable representation of a character’s eyes. Trevor developed the code that made characters lifelike, even in the eyes. He designed his first character, Nocturna, to look like Lara.
Elliott declares his undying love for his wife. He says he understands how she could have become resentful of his work taking time away from her. He says he was going to surprise Lara at the house when he found her dead. Despite her cheating, he insists he would not have left her.
Mickey is moved by Trevor’s words and says he “can win with that”. Trevor offers Mickey his case.
Maggie and Hayley
Maggie “McFierce” McPherson is Mickey’s first wife with whom he shares beloved daughter Hayley. She is also an attorney but works on the opposite side of the table as a prosecutor.
Mickey is trying to regain joint custody of Hayley after rehab for the oxy addiction. We gather that Maggie wants this for Mickey as well. But she stays on top of him, reminding him to be on time for his visits. She is always prepared for the worst, though, as she assumes he must be in trouble with Judge Holder.
Sure enough, Mickey does indeed arrive a little late to pick up Hayley that same evening. Mickey flirts with Maggie hoping to ease her frustration. She dismisses him and leaves for what we presume is a date.
Hayley clearly adores her father. She asks him about his work as they dine al fresco on Mickey’s deck with a gorgeous view of the city. Hayley seems smart, perhaps even a little precocious. I guess that is to be expected with two gifted attorneys for parents.
Their dinner is interrupted when Detective Raymond Griggs arrives to share a message with Mickey.
Detective Raymond Griggs and his team are found searching Jerry Vincent’s office after his murder. When Mickey and Lorna arrive to protect the case files, Griggs insists that the office is a crime scene. Mickey corrects the detective pointing out the parking garage is the scene of the crime and that all the files fall under ongoing confidentiality agreements.
When Detective Griggs arrives at Mickey’s home that evening, it is not to antagonize him, but to give a warning. Griggs shows Mickey a photo of the murder scene and talks about how the circumstances of the murder indicate that the killer targeted Jerry. Griggs fears that Mickey may be a target as well.
What do we know about murder victim Jerry Vincent? We know that he used to be a prosecutor and then switched sides joining the defense table. While Jerry and Mickey talked shop on occasion, they were not particularly close, and Mickey was completely surprised that Jerry chose him to inherit the practice.
Someone murdered Jerry Vincent in his car in the parking garage of his office. As he walked to his car, he repeatedly looked around sensing someone was nearby. After settling into the driver’s seat, he checks his backseat. As he turns around, someone fires two shots directly through the driver’s window. The murderer walks away with Jerry’s laptop bag.
We also learn that only ten days prior Jerry assigned Mickey to inherit his cases should something happen to him.
Mickey has used Cisco’s investigative services in the past and asks Lorna to call upon him again to help with the Trevor Elliott case.
Cisco meets Mickey at the Malibu home of Trevor Elliott to look at the scene of the crime. They visit the oceanfront bedroom, the murder site of Trevor’s wife and lover. Cisco tells Mickey that the evidence is piled up against Elliott, who walked in on the couple but swears they were already dead. Additionally, Trevor had gun powder residue on his hands.
Before leaving, Cisco tells Mickey that he and Lorna are engaged. To Cisco’s surprise, Mickey does not protest the decision. If Cisco loves and cares for her, that is all he needs to know. Mickey does describe Lorna as being one the four most important people in his life. Cisco is puzzled when he can only come up with three people – Maggie, Hayley, Lorna – who is the fourth? Mickey does not say.
The men part ways as Mickey gets a call to meet at Trevor Elliott’s office. After Trevor agrees to Mickey’s representation, Izzy and Mickey begin driving to their next stop. As they are talking, she announces that someone is following them.
Mickey uses two different Lincolns in this episode. The convertible has license plate “NTGUILTY”. The SUV boasts the license plate “DISMISSD”.
Mickey is confident but not cocky. He is charming but not attention-seeking. He is clever, not merely book smart. What are your conclusions about The Lincoln Lawyer?
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