The Lincoln Lawyer
The Lincoln Lawyer is a 2011 movie directed by Brad Furman. The main Character in this movie, Mick Haller is played by Matthew McConaughey who plays a defense attorney. The part of Louis Roulet is played by Ryan Phillippe.
Louis Roulet is a young wealthy realtor who murders prostitutes for his own sick pleasure. The role of Frank Levins, Mick Hallers best friend who is also a detective is played by William H. Macy. The role of Mick Hallers ex wife , Maggie McPherson is played by Marisa Tomei.
The Lincoln Lawyer is about Mick Haller a semi successful defense attorney who works out of his Lincoln town car drove by a former client of his who owes him money for his services. Haller has a wealthily client who has a fool proof plan to beat the system. When Louis Roulet, a wealthy realtor is a accused of raping a prostitute, Haller is asked to defend him. Roulet claims that he is being set up by this women for money. Haller and his detective Frank Levins take a further look at the evidence and realize that Roulet might just be linked to a similar case from a few years back.
Roulet starts to realize that Haller and Levins are connecting the dots that he might be involved in the former murder case. Roulet pays a unfriendly visit to Hallers home and threats him and his family. The next day Frank Levins is found dead in his home. He was shot by an antique gun, that so happen belonged to Haller. Haller had a voice message on his machine from Levins right before he died which was the ticket to putting Roulet behind bars for life. The former case that Haller had worked on put a non-guilty man in prison for life.
When he discovered that Roulet was to blame for the girls murder he wanted to make things right but because of legal issues and him being Roulets lawyer he could not bring this out in that point in time. In court the case gets dismissed because the district attorney put a documented lier on stand to testify against Roulet. Little did Roulet know that Haller had a plan. He had the witness say something about his former case while on the stand, which pointed to Roulet being the one that killed the girl.
As soon as Roulet was released for one crime he was charged for another. They still did not have enough to keep Roulet behind bars though. This is where the message from Frank Levins comes in. Roulet had got a ticket right outside of the girls house who was murdered which was just what they needed to charge Roulet. There are a few legal issues in this film that can be discussed but the main one I would like to point out is a lawyer must not represent a client if doing so creates a concurrent conflict of interest.
That could include the significant risk posed to the attorney representing one client and finding himself materially limited by the lawyer’s own interest or to those a former client. Haller clearly cannot serve as Roulet’s lawyer, especially as details come out about his involvement in the murder for which another of the attorney’s clients was charged and convicted. His client Roulet, of course, is smart to choose Haller as his attorney.
That’s because, even if his lawyer gets forced off his case, everything Roulet had already told Haller from the initial meeting onward was subject to the confidence of attorney-client privilege. That privilege prohibits a court or other government tribunal from compelling the revelation of confidential communications between an attorney and a client if the subject of the communication concerns the professional relationship between the attorney and the client. The client is the one that can claim or waive the privilege.
The privilege does not apply if the client seeks the attorney’s services to engage in or assist in a future crime or fraud. So it seems as though Haller cannot break the privilege since he represents Roulet who has told him confidential, incriminating information. In both reality and in the tension-filled movie, it becomes clear that, perhaps, Haller’s best escape from his moral and ethical issues may be by coming to grips that Roulet is guilty and is a horrible human being and that he actually may have at one time represented a innocent man who he had plead guilty for a crime he did not commit.