The Practice

Season 3 Episode 12

A Day in the Life

Aired Wednesday 10:00 PM Jan 10, 1999 on ABC

Episode Recap

The episode opens with Helen and Lindsay planning a relaxing day at a spa as soon as Helen's probable cause hearing is over. The case involves David Forbes, who was on a fishing boat with a friend when it explodes, leaving them both in the water with only one life jacket. According to the witness who pulled both men out of the water, David had hit the other man with a piece of wood to get the life jacket from him. Jimmy is about to rest when Lindsay steps in to ask the witness a few questions. She's able to establish that the testimony can't be entered as "dying declaration" from the victim since it's not clear the victim knew for sure he was dying. This forces Helen to find another witness quickly and both she and Lindsay are going to miss their manicure.

Bobby has received a frantic call from his friend Ted. He and Eugene go to his house to find a baby has been killed. Ted says his daughter Julie gave birth to the baby the night before by herself and claims he didn't even know she was pregnant. After giving birth Julie puts the baby in a box with some coats on top of it so her parents won't hear the baby and discover her secret. The baby suffocates. Ted, not wanting his daughter's life to be ruined, asks Bobby what their options are.

Meanwhile, Rebecca takes over the case Eugene was supposed to handle; a drug charge against Clarence Barnett. A cop randomly stopped the suspect, and Barnett claims that the cop performed an illegal search. The cop, Allen Gill, has a history of bending the rules to catch a criminal. Without Eugene's help, Rebecca starts to panic and Jimmy agrees to help.

Bobby tries to reason with Ted and get him to take the baby to the police. But Ted is more concerned with making the situation go away and starts asking suspicious questions about the possibility of the baby "disappearing" and the odds of anything being traced back to his family. Eugene warns Bobby that they could be considered accessories if the family tries to cover up what happened and is concerned that Bobby's relationship with Ted is clouding his judgment.

Back at Helen's trial she's found a witness who said the victim made a dying declaration. Jimmy pounces on this use of jargon to suggest that Helen told the witness what to say. He also comes up with the idea of having David testify. He tells how both men were scared for their lives and fought over the life jacket, with David eventually hitting his friend over the head with a piece of wood to get it shortly before being rescued by a boat. After his testimony Lindsay asks to be heard on duress, with an hour to prepare.

Ted tries to convince Bobby and Eugene that going to the police will not bring the baby back and they want to forget the whole thing. Bobby tries to get the truth from Julie and finds some holes in her story. It turns out Julie's mother knew of the dead baby. She asks to speak to Ted in private.

On the witness stand, Officer Gill says that Barnett walked up to him and turned himself in for selling drugs. The judge, thinking this story ludicrous, dismisses the charges. After the trial the officer approaches Rebecca and Clarence saying what he said on the stand was true, Clarence confirms this. Rebecca asks why he would do this. Clarence figured the cop was going to search him anyway, so he confessed thinking the story would sound so outlandish that no one would believe it, and it turns out he was right.

After some discussion, Ted tells Bobby and Eugene that his wife Mary smothered the baby because she feared it was the product of an incestuous affair between Ted and Julie. Eugene is fed up with the constantly changing stories, tells the family they all need separate lawyers and tells Bobby they should get the hell out of there. Tempers start to flare and Julie shouts that the fighting won't bring Tia back. This is the first time anyone has called the baby by name.

Lindsay makes her motion of duress justifying murder, that in a situation where it's one against one and a person's life is on the line. Since these facts aren't in dispute Lindsay contends that case can't be made and moves it be dismissed. The judge wants an hour to consider her motion. Later he calls Lindsay and Helen into his office and says he's dismissing the case without prejudice.

Bobby and Eugene are waiting to see what Ted's family has decided to do. Eugene asks what Bobby would do if it were him in the situation. Bobby doesn't, or can't, answer him. Ted tells Bobby that they would discuss as a family what to do, but that he and Eugene can leave. Bobby tries to reason with Ted but is asked to leave. Once out the door Bobby turns and knocks. He tells Ted to bring the baby to a church at 7pm and he will do the rest. If Ted refuses, Bobby says he'll go to the police, but the baby has a name and deserves a funeral. Eugene points out that Bobby has just counseled a client to conceal evidence in a murder case; Bobby doesn't respond.

At the church Bobby and Eugene wait for Ted. Bobby tells Eugene he'll take the blame if anyone finds out about what he did, but he has to make sure the baby gets a funeral. Ted drives up and leaves a laundry basket by the door of the church, presumably with the baby inside. Bobby enters the church goes in the confessional. With tears in his eyes, he tells the priest that there's a little girl named Tia; God has her now, and so does the priest.