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Series 1: 1. War is Waged on Many Fronts



Following the exploits of Howard Greenberg, a man who practices criminal law like you have never seen it before. From his office in Brooklyn, Howard wages 'war' against the government. He believes that the state is out to screw over its citizens and that the power of advocacy can, in his expert hands, save his clients from this tyranny.\n\nThis episode discovers that Howard will go to any lengths to preserve the liberty of the people he represents. From helping convince a client to take a plea deal, dreaming up a fictitious courtroom diary clash to keep a defendant out of prison, or changing his trousers in the street outside the Supreme Court, it is all part of the style and strategy that goes with Howard's mantra - 'winning isn't everything, it's the only thing'. The two cases in this episode demonstrate that, for Howard, winning can take many forms.\n\nThe first client who walks into Howard's office is Wanda, an ex-cop who is staring down the barrel of a five-year sentence after a romantic night out went dramatically awry. Next up is Tony, an award-winning barber, who is accused of inflicting an embarrassing and painful injury on a love rival in a fit of jealousy (or, as the prosecutor sees it, attempted murder). Both are charged with firing a gun. Both face several years in jail. And both need Howard's help. The programme shows his battle to keep them at liberty.\n\nAs Wanda's sentencing date approaches, Howard and his junior attorney Jonathan strain every legal sinew to uncover a loophole that will keep her out of prison. They think they have found something, but will it convince the judge? In Tony's case, Howard successfully negotiates a generously discounted prison sentence with prosecutors. But there is one major hurdle - persuading Tony to take the 'deal of the century'. But the Greenberg method of getting a client onside is unlikely to be seen in any other criminal law practice in New York City.\n\nAway from the legal drama, this episode introduces Howard's wife, Marie, a ballsy, no-nonsense woman who is both Howard's greatest supporter and occasionally his feistiest opponent. Marie casts a sceptical eye over his cases and trial strategy, where her unflinching honesty and shrewd opinion keeps Howard on his toes. If Howard firmly believes that all his clients are innocent, then Marie sees that some of them might just be guilty. As the episode continues, it is apparent that there is one thing that is likely to set Marie off more than her husband's blinkered view of the people he represents - and it is Howard's ever-expanding children's toy collection of trains, planes, robots and automobiles - a thousand models all kept in their original boxes, most never touched.

Source: BBC 2

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