The legal world is manipulative and unkind. Indeed, Clarke Hayden had it right when he said, "This is a mess."
"The Seven Day Rule" proved what a twisted situation this was all around. The bankruptcy extension hearing was a web of manipulated facts, personal interests and painful realities.
Back at the office, the prenuptial negotiations were an even worse bigger mess, with the lawyers screwing with their own client. And why? For their own professional gain. Clarke was right to question whether he wanted to join this profession.
Wouldn't every judge in Chicago be familiar with Louis Canning's "disability antics" by now? Or do the judges really buy into it? It's difficult to believe that it wouldn't be a topic of conversation in the judges' social circle and even with other lawyers. I know I'm getting tired of seeing it. Get a new act, Canning!
When it was first revealed that Canning bought Lockhart & Gardner's debt, it was quite surprising that Will and Diane had no clue about it. We didn't get to witness their shock when they found out, but the big face-off in court over the bankruptcy was a doozy. Other than Canning's continual medical ploys, it was an entertaining back and forth between the sides. In the end, Canning's less-than-ethical methods got the better of him and he lost.
Lockhart & Gardner's impressive results in court scared a company enough that they were willing to front Canning the cash to buy the firm's debt. Take out the firm, shut down the lawsuits? That seems unlikely, but they must have seen it as a smart and lucrative business move. I hope we see the firm go more forcefully against that corporation in the future. They must have something fear or they wouldn't have played the game.
Diane and Will's decision to offer partnerships to five fourth-year associates made good financial sense given they are convinced they can save the firm. It's definitely a risk. Will the associates have enough confidence in the troubled firm to commit $600,000 to it? That's a tough professional decision. If they make the wrong one, it could haunt them for the rest of their career.
Alicia's irritation that she wasn't special in getting the offer was understandable, but Diane made a good point that it doesn't matter why the offer was made. The confidence they have in her work is evident every day, so whether others were offered a partnership too shouldn't matter. Yet ... it does. Even though Alicia put on a fake smile and thanked the partners, will she go through with it? Or will she consider Canning's offer?
As often as Lockhart & Gardner bend the law in its favor, it doesn't go to the same lengths as Canning has. I don't see Alicia being comfortable working for him given his style and ethics. Though, the prenuptial case pushed the boundaries beyond the limits.
David Lee will do whatever it takes to win a case and get the business. It's a miracle that his actions didn't force the wedding to be called off. How could either the bride or groom trust each other after being given manipulated information about their future spouse? Deena was naive by agreeing to the original prenup, but should her lawyers have lied to her even if for her own good?
It's a tough call, but I'd say they went too far by twisting the lifestyle issues' requests. That was messing with her future happiness and marriage. In the end, they basically blackmailed a good prenup out of Neil. If all else fails, that's a way to get what you want. However, it was clear he gave in because Neil cared more about Deena than he cared about his money.
Even though this hour made the law look despicable, good was accomplished. The firm got its five-month extension and Deena will be taken care of if/when her marriage falls apart. Still outstanding is whether or not Alicia and/or Cary will become equity partners.
Were Diane and Will wrong to offer the partnerships to help the firm? Should Alicia join the firm or call Canning? Did David Lee go too far in the prenup negotiations? Or was he doing what was best for his client?