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Nevada v. Cerrato - Recap

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The scene opens with Nick and Pete waiting for a new client coming in on a prison transport bus. Leonard, the inmate, owes six million dollars to the casino he played at. Apparently the casino gave Leonard casino markers (loans) while he was drunk and losing his last night in Vegas. Leonard being new to money (he won the lotto for $25 million) and in a drunken stupor, bet all his money and some gambling and now has found himself in jail. He claims he didn’t even know he was getting the markers. Pete believes the casino took advantage of Leonard.

Pete decides to show tapes of Leonard on the night in question to the Judge. He hopes the Judge will allow him to use these tapes in court to prove the casino coerced Leonard into signing the markers. The Judge looks them over and decides the tapes will not be used because Leonard drunk or not was still signing. Nick believes Pete is crazy for thinking he can win a case against the casino. Pete thinks he can win because the casino took advantage, coerced and manipulated a man that was overwhelmed by Vegas. Nick and Pete decide to bet on the outcome. At the same time Nick is going through he motions of being separated, and decides to diet to look better for the dating scene. It’s not going well and Nick is going through sugar withdraws. Nick demands that no one bring junk food in the office!

Next, Nick gets a call from Lisa at the office. A friend of Nicks, Vinnie, is in trouble. Over night Vinnie’s restaurant buried down and the police are questioning him for arson. Before Nick was even called, Vinnie gave the police permission to search his house. As Nick and Vinnie are walking out of questioning, the police find paint thinner and an arrest warrant is issued for Vinnie. Vinnie’s wife is a painter so Nick feels Vinnie is still in the clear. Nick makes Vinnie’s bail. Nick starts to investigate the case and finds Vinnie’s alibi. Nick in a threatening tone, warns Allen to be very clear when he talks to the police. Nick then investigates the fire. He finds that any 100 proof alcohol allow with Vinnies’ wife’s paintings, could have been the cause of the fire. He takes his discoveries to the D.A. in hopes that they would drop the case. Just as the D.A. is about to agree, a phone call comes in, there was a body found in fire remains. The police I.D. the body as Chuck, Vinnie’s meat vender. When Vinnie hears the news of the body, he is up set and in disbelief. He admits to Nick that the fire was his fault, but he never intended to kill anyone.

Vinnie asks Nick if he will still help him, Nick responses that he will try. Nick finds out that Chuck was dead before the fire from the police. The D.A. revokes Vinnie’s bail and changes the charges to capital murder. Vinnie, relieved that he wasn’t the cause of Chuck’s death, tells Nick that Allen is the murderer. Vinnie tells that he and Chuck owed money to Allen and demanded that they burn there businesses for the insurance money to pay him back. Chuck refused and that is why he ended up dead. Vinnie said he burned the restaurant to keep the same from happening to him or his wife. Leonard is now in court and the D.A. is questioning him about the markers. Leonard admits that he signed them but claims he was too drunk to know what he was doing. The D.A. points out that the signatures on the markers are his and because of this fact, he needs to pay for them and she closes on that note.

Pete does some research and finds that in the midst of Leonard’s gambling, he switched casinos. Pete learns that the Florentine Casino tossed Leonard out for his drunken losing streak. In fact, the owner Mr. Green personally put the order out that Leonard be removed. Pete decides that having Mr. Green on the stand is a must, so they serve him. Now Mr. Green is testifying on the stand and Pete is questioning him on why he decided to eject Leonard from the casino. Mr. Green explains that Leonard was “dumb money” and that he wanted his casino to have no part in his reckless gambling. He also adds that it was not only irresponsible of Leonard, but would have been irresponsible of his casino to let him continue his downward spiral. Pete is satisfied and closes with that. The D.A. then begins her questions. She asks if Leonard would have bankrupt in his casino with outstanding markers, how he would handle it. Mr. Green smiles and informs the court that he too would be in this court room today. The court now goes to recess and Lisa notices that Mr. Green is talking with a man she recognizes from the videos at the second casino.

Lisa tells Pete, and Pete is now sure that Leonard was a victim of a casino hand off and he finds a way to question the man on the tape. Tony is now trying to brush off Pete when Pete threatens to tell Mr. Green that he is moonlighting if he doesn’t cooperate. Tony claims he can’t help with case, but Pete interrupts telling Tony there is not a choice in the mater. Pete makes plans with Tony. They walk in the court together and act like Tony is going to testify. Pete goes into the Judges chambers with Lisa, the casino lawyer, and the D.A. and argues that Tony should be placed on the stand to inform the court that Leonard was targeted. The casino lawyer stops Pete and states that instead of moving forward, that the casino will take a settlement as long as the casino appears to win. Pete says he can arrange that and they arranges for the casino to write themselves a check and have Leonard hand it over in public. Now the casino is “paid” and Leonard is on his way home. Nick decides Pete lost the bet and tells him he can pay with an all you can eat crab dinner; because after all, crab is low fat. Nick decides to talk to Allen about the real issues. He explains that he knows the truth, and unless Allen gets on the stand on Vinnie’s behalf, Vinnie would be forced to tell the court that Allen killed Chuck. Allen states he will testify, but if Nick screws him, he will kill Nick and his whole family. Just as Allen finishes his sentence, Nick punches him and pulls a tape recorder from his pocket and hands it to the bailiff.