Channeling “Galvin”

Paul Newman once played a lawyer whose last name was “Galvin.” The movie was “The Verdict.” I had occasion once to read Paul Newman’s closing argument to a jury. The jury promptly returned 3 verdicts of not guilty to 3 separate charges of negligent homicide.

My use of Attorney Galvin’s words was appropriate given the situation. Read what Attorney Galvin/Paul Newman said and enjoy the beauty of the message:

Galvin: Well…You know, so much of the time we’re just lost. We say, “Please, God, tell us what is right. Tell us what is true.”

I mean there is no justice. The rich win; the poor are powerless. We become tired of hearing people lie. And after a time we become dead, a little dead. We think of ourselves as victims — and we become victims. We become weak; we doubt ourselves; we doubt our beliefs; we doubt our institutions; and we doubt the law.

But today you are the law. You are the law, not some book, not the lawyers, not a marble statue, or the trappings of the court. See, those are just symbols of our desire to be just. They are, in fact, a prayer, I mean a fervent and a frightened prayer.

In my religion, they say, “Act as if you had faith; faith will be given to you.”

If we are to have faith in justice we need only to believe in ourselves and act with justice. See, I believe there is justice in our hearts.

R. Peter Decato, Decato Law Firm