GENRE PRIMARY: Drama -SECONDARY: Medical/Courtroom
A burnt out, depressed lawyer in the midst of a messy divorce gets some new perspective on life when he’s called upon by an old law school friend/former flame to defend her principled, East Indian oncologist after he’s busted by the DEA for smuggling cheap cancer pills into the country in order to treat needy patients for little to no money.
Story opens with DR. VIJAY VISHWAPRADHAN (“DR. V”), 40s, an East Indian immigrant who runs a LOS ANGELES oncology clinic, being raided by the DEA for illegally “smuggling” cheap chemo drugs from other countries into the US. US Attorney VICTOR CLAY, 30s, is convinced Dr. V did it out of greed and wants to throw him in Federal Prison for seven years. MARA, 40s, one of Dr. V’s patients, (she has stage 3 colon cancer), knows the truth: Dr. V was just trying to pass on savings to his often uninsured clients. Mara, a disbarred lawyer, gets old law school buddy/ex flame JACKSON GLICK, 50s, a burnt out, depressed big shot lawyer to take Dr. V’s case. Jackson’s happy to hear from Mara again, but her defeatist attitude about her cancer concerns him.
Jackson and LILY KIM, 35, a new associate helping with the case, meet with Dr. V. Dr. V knows his intentions were good and refuses to plea bargain. Lily and Jackson clash and Mara offers her services as a paralegal to help things along. With enough interaction with Dr. V and his staff, Jackson finally “gets” Dr. V, learning he is guileless, principled, and good intentioned, but also completely without self-protective instincts. Many times Jackson wants to abandon the case as hopeless but when Mara confides she’d stop chemo if Dr. V were put away, Jackson keeps at it. The case goes to trial under JUDGE PHELPS. Clay tries to establish Dr. V smuggled drugs out of greed, while Jackson intends to prove Dr. V didn’t know what he was doing was illegal. When a key piece of evidence is deemed inadmissible, the defense’s plan falls apart. Not long after, Mara falls ill and must be hospitalized. She’s okay, but the health scare makes Jackson realize how much he’s come to care for Mara again. Jackson’s relationship with Lily also improves as she proves herself a competent lawyer. Jackson learns Dr. V treated many patients for free, only Dr. V won’t let them testify on his behalf. Mara, one such patient, does anyway, but it isn’t enough to sway the jury: Dr. V is found guilty on all counts.
Now fully appreciative of all the good Dr. V does for others, Jackson makes it his mission to keep him out of prison. At Jackson’s suggestion, and in a move borrowed from Ghandi’s playbook, Dr. V stages a press conference flanked by his former cancer patients and pleads his case to the public. Phelps is overwhelmed with letters of support from Dr. V’s former patients, convincing Phelps of the doctor’s good intentions and inspiring her to give him only five years of probation. Story ends with Jackson, inspired by Dr. V, quitting his firm to find his own all consuming passion as well as embarking on a relationship with Mara.