Transcript - The Rainmaker - Court T.V. Primetime Justice - December 12, 1997
Court T.V. - Prime Time Justice
December 12, 1997
Gregg Jarrett: The movie "The Rainmaker" is a big Hollywood hit. It's about a young lawyer who wins the case of a lifetime. We'll show you a real Rainmaker, that's coming up in our Reel Law story.
Scene from "The Rainmaker": Stone: There's a lot of lawyers out there; it's a market place; it's a competition. What they don't teach you in law school could get you hurt.
G. Jarrett: In the new movie "The Rainmaker" a young attorney quickly learns he's ill prepared for the real practice of law, but in no time he becomes a rainmaker. That is to say, a lawyer who wins big verdicts or brings a lot of clients to a law firm to help it make money. Sound to good to be true? Helen Lucatis takes a look at the real thing in this segment of Reel Law.
Movie scene: Judge: Are you a lawyer?
Rudy: Well, I just I just passed the bar and these are my clients. Mr. Stone filed this on my behalf until I pass the bar.
Judge: Well you got a hell of a lot of nerve walking into my courtroom without a license. Now get the hell out of here, get your license and then you come back.
Helen Lucatis: In "The Rainmaker" Rudy Baylor a young lawyer played by Matt Damon finds out fast what he didn't learn in law school. In one of his first cases, Baylor represents the family of a teenager who dies of leukemia after an insurance company refuses to pay for a potentially life- saving bone marrow transplant.
Matt Damon: Basically he is totally out gunned. The only thing that he has going for him is that he feels he's right.
Movie scene: Rudy: I hope you are astonished at the lengths to which a wealthy insurance company will go to take money from a low income family and then keep it.
H. Lucatis: Baylor prevails, winning a $50 million verdict.
Francis Ford Copola: This is a story of chivalry. Rudy is a knight; he's Percival; he is the young man who wants to prove himself.
H. Lucatis: The story of Rudy Baylor is fiction, but the story of this rainmaker, Chicago lawyer Kenneth Moll, is real.
Kenneth B. Moll: Good, we could actually get this done. [Clip of Moll at firm]
H. Lucatis: A year out of law school, he represented 5-year-old Anthony Nuzzo who suffered severe seizures after being given a vaccine.
K. Moll: What we did was we brought the child into the court room, we were aware that the judge in that matter had not seen a child's reaction to DPT vaccine.
H. Lucatis: Moll won a $4.5 million award, a nation high for that type of claim.
K. Moll: When it came back and the verdict was announced there was great surprise and shock throughout the firm.
H. Lucatis: In the movie the young lawyer becomes disillusioned after his first big court case and he takes time off from practicing law. Well that's when Hollywood's version of a young rainmaker and Kenneth Moll part paths. Moll's legal victory led to media interviews then the rain began to fall. News of Moll's verdict helped bring in 150 more vaccine cases into the firm where he worked. Then Moll got another type of case; a type untested in courts; a type many lawyers had rejected: silicone breast implants.
K. Moll: Actually, when the first client called me I spent a weekend out at the medical library and looking through medical articles and found out that this has occurred before in Japan.
H. Lucatis: By the time the FDA halted sales of silicone implants in 1992, Moll was considered an expert. More media attention came so did more cases, Moll is now representing about 750 women.
Melinda Cloud (client): He gave me hope where there was none.
Movie scene: Stone: In law school Rudy they don't teach what you need to know. It's all theories, lofty notions and big fat ethics books.
Rudy: What's wrong with ethics?
Stone: Nothing, I guess.
H. Lucatis: In the movie, Rudy Bayler loses his law school innocence and learns the ropes.
Movie scene: Stone: Good afternoon Mr. Van Landel, do you have a lawyer?
Van Landel: No.
H. Lucatis: A hard lesson comes when he learns the head of his law firm is a criminal.
Movie scene: Stone: Jury tampering, tax evasion, money laundering, you name it.
Man #1: You better watch your back.
H. Lucatis: In 1993, a partner in Ken Moll's firm, Anthony Colantoni was indicted for defrauding clients and Moll himself was sued by partners in his former firm who claimed he secretly kept referral money involving one client that should have gone to the firm. It's a claim Moll denies.
K. Moll: Sometimes you're gonna have an ugly divorce where one of the partners doesn't like the split up so they will go after money.
H. Lucatis: The case was settled for $40,000 and as for Ken Moll now . . .
Scene from the "Jenny Jones Show": Jenny Jones: Ken Moll is with us, you were here in another show . . .
H. Lucatis: Just this week he appeared on the Jenny Jones Show to talk about the diet drug Fen-phen, Moll is representing about 500 clients who used the drug. Among his other clients more than a thousand smokers suing the Tobacco industry and one more thing, the 36-year-old lawyer now has a law firm of his own. Helen Lucatis Prime Time Justice.
G. Jarrett: Now that's what I call a real rainmaker.