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"Severance"
L&O, Episode 2.13
Production number: 67418
First aired: 14 January 1992
  th of 456 produced in L&O  
th of 456 released in L&O
  th of 1185 released in all  
Logan Larry Teasdale Cerreta Severance
Teleplay By
Michael S. Chernuchin & William N. Fordes

Story By
Michael Duggan & William N. Fordes

Directed By
James Frawley

Three men are killed before they have the chance to testify against a defense contractor.

Plot

Plot

Cast

Main cast

Recurring cast

Guest cast

References

Quotes

"At the arraignment, Martine was represented by Arthur Gold. His M.O.'s legendary. He’ll bury us in paper."
"Arthur Gold. He's all fizz and no gin."
"Sometimes fizz works."

- Paul Robinette and Benjamin Stone


"I’m happy for you. Okay if I smoke?"
"Mr. Kemp, what do you say we call your lawyer?"
"No reason to call a lawyer. I didn’t do anything."
"You had a semi-automatic with a fully loaded clip."
"So I had a piece. So I was a naughty boy. I’ll pay the $2."
"You know, I’m thinking it wasn’t just a piece, Frank. I’m thinking it was a murder weapon."

- Frank Kemp, Phil Cerreta, and Mike Logan


"These guys sound like Boy Scouts."
"Or shadow lives. Somebody paid good money to have them killed- you peer long enough, something emerges from the shadows. "

- Phil Cerreta and Mike Logan


"Law Degree. A license to lie."

- Mike Logan


"Mr. Gold, I suggest you read the opinions of the Supreme Court on consensual searches, beginning with the latest sermon from the mount, ‘Florida v. Bostwick.’ If the police can randomly search passengers on a bus, then no possible stretch of logic can mandate the inadmissibility of a consensual search of a train."
"Your Honor, the case law in this circuit..."
"Highlights the frivolity of your motion. And, uh, Mr. Stone unless the Hammad case and its progeny have been overruled while I was napping, the tape is as dirty as last week’s laundry."

- Judge Jenklaw and Arthur Gold


"Mike, labs you ordered."
"And?"
"Negative. The gun in his bag didn’t kill our guys."
"Oh, the bastard knew it all along."
" A different story on the knife, though. Minute traces of human blood of recent origin."
"Wait a minute, I thought these guys were shot."
"They were."
"Oh great, that's great. So we got two stiffs with no murder weapon and a bloody knife with no victim. That's great."

- Tony Profaci reports the labs findings to Mike Logan and Donald Cragen


"What are you putting in your coffee, Stone? 'Cuz you're high if you think..."
"I think this offer is good for another thirty seconds."

- Frank Kemp and Benjamin Stone


"My client would have surrendered, Mr. Stone. The humiliation of a public arrest was hardly called for."
"I’m sorry I missed the Emily Post chapter on the etiquette of arrest."

- Sharon Styger and Benjamin Stone


"No excuses, you screwed up!"
"I thought..."
"Brains didn't enter into it!"

- Adam Schiff and Benjamin Stone


"I hope she brought a change of underwear."

- Donald Cragen


"Call me for lunch sometime."
"You'd actually eat lunch with him?"
"Only if he orders crow."

- Arthur Gold, Paul Robinette and Benjamin Stone

Background information and notes

  • This episode is based on the CBS Murders case. In 1982, Irwin Margolies hired Donald Nash to kill Margaret Barbera and Jenny Soo Chin, who were cooperating with a federal investigation into Margolies's $5.7 million fraud scheme. On January 5, 1982, Nash succeeded in killing Chin, whose body was never found. On April 12, Nash would go on to kill Barbera but was later forced to kill Leo Kuranuki, Robert Schulze, and Edward Benford, three CBS technicians who the police believe were coming to Barbera's aid. Barbera's body was found in Manhattan the next morning. Nash was convicted of four counts of second-degree murder and a single count of conspiracy, and was sentenced to 100 years in prison. Margolies was also sentenced to 50 years for ordering the murders.
  • Unlike most episodes, this episode doesn't end with the trial, but shows a dialogue between Arthur Gold, Benjamin Stone, and Paul Robinette on the courthouse's steps.
  • Stone's old rival Arthur Gold (played by George Grizzard) appears for the first time in an episode from Law & Order. He would return for five more episodes in other seasons.
  • This episode is also actor David Rosenbaum's first appearance as Judge Alan Berman.

Episode scene cards

1 2 3

Peter Coyle's Apartment
265 Varick Street
Thursday, December 12

Wollman Ice Rink
Thursday, December 17

Riker's Island
Correctional Facility
Wednesday, February 5


Previous episode:
"Star Struck"
"Severance"
Law & Order
Season 2
Next episode:
"Blood Is Thicker..."
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