This Netflix Original courtroom drama is all about lawyer Mickey Haller, who is well known working from the back of his Lincoln all around Los Angeles. In this adaptation, we get to see Mickey Haller being driven around in a Lincoln SUV, and the driver happens to be an ex-felon and an ex-addict. This first season is loosely based on the book The Lincoln Lawyer‘s sequel, The Brass Verdict, by Michael Connelly adapted for screen by David E. Kelley. As season two is days away from its release, let’s do a quick recap of what happened in the first season.
The show begins with Mickey Haller having trouble getting into the sea using his surfboard. A year ago, he suffered a major accident, and ever since, life has not been easy. A stint in rehab, followed by recovery from prescription drug addiction, led him to finally face the water. The fear is palpable, for Mickey has faced the loss of work and practice, and all he wants is to get back on his feet. Mickey comes across as a slightly nervous man at the moment, because he left the scene as a renowned criminal lawyer, but right now, he is not in a good place mentally or financially.
Simultaneously, the show also talks about the death of another famous LA-based criminal lawyer, Jerry Vincent, who was killed in a parking lot inside his car, and the killer also stole his laptop, which surely contains a lot of incriminating evidence against whoever he had gathered evidence against. All of this is clouded at this point because Mickey is just hours away learning from Judge Mary Holder that the deceased Jerry Vincent left all of his practices and currently open cases at court to him. Jerry seems to have considered Mickey to be his equal in the courtroom.
Jerry Leaves His Legal Practice To Mickey
It comes across as a shock to Mickey and his ex-wife Lorna, with whom he runs a small law firm, because only a few days ago, they were struggling to get their hands on a new case. Right now, with Jerry gone, there are just tons of cases coming their way, and all they would have to do is accept the deceased’s offer and move ahead. Jerry’s faith in Mickey comes as a surprise to the lead protagonist, for this is just the beginning for Mickey to prove that he has it in him to take up the cases. The highest-profile one amongst all of them is the murder trial of Lara Elliot and her boyfriend, and the accused happens to be her husband, the video game mogul Trevor Elliott.
Jerry’s murder investigation and Trevor Elliot’s trial are the centers of attention for the show. The rest of the runtime also covers other cases that Jerry has taken up that, because of his obvious unavailability, Mickey will have to tackle and make sure he wins. This is just another way to build Mickey up as an influential lawyer in the city and show how he is unwilling to give up on himself and his team, which includes Cisco, his highly efficient private investigator, who leaves no stone unturned when it comes to digging up dirt on anyone Mickey asks him to.
As a part of one of the cases assigned to Mickey, Izzy happens to be one of his clients, and he helps clear her name in the robbery case filed against her. From then on, he hires her to be his driver so that she does not resort to a life of crime and lives with dignity and respect. Since he is an experienced law professional, he ends up teaching her a lot about his field of work and how just knowing the law textbook never works. He explains that as a lawyer, he strategizes and formulates a game plan. He also emphasizes understanding the body language of the people in the case of a jury trial.
The Investigation And The Trial Begin
Mickey convinces Trevor to hire Mickey with Jerry out of the picture and thus begins their long ordeal to collect evidence that would prove that Trevor is not the murderer, for the police were hung on him being the culprit and completely ignored any other suspects. This also brings into question the competence of the infamous LAPD.
Trevor claims innocence, for he says he loved Lara and did not want to divorce her even though he was aware of her infidelity. He claims to have found and informed the police about the dead bodies of his wife and her boyfriend with gunshot wounds on the bed. The police and the assistant district attorney are adamant about nailing Trevor down; they have nothing but circumstantial evidence to prove his culpability, and Mickey plans to take advantage of that to turn the case in his favor.
The show also takes the viewers through how a criminal procedure works and the time taken to choose a jury for the trial. One episode is dedicated to understanding how both sides of a case want a jury member who will eventually serve their cause. The process seems exhausting, but it has a long-term benefit, and one will have to bear with the time spent on it.
The Case Of Angelo Soto
As Micky’s high-profile case is unfolding, his first ex-wife Maggie, who is a criminal prosecutor, is building a case against Angelo Soto, who is suspected of being involved in slave labor under the façade of a business empire he runs. There are very few people who are willing to come forward and speak against him, fearing retaliation. The man ends up killing any witness who has spoken up against him, and there is no way to connect him to the crime. This also throws light on the amount of work the prosecution has to put in to bring down a syndicate and expose the corruption in the system, for there are many who are trying to shelter criminals such as Angelo. After a constant back and forth in seeking Angelo, Maggie and her team utilized Soto’s pregnant girlfriend to gather as much information as possible and arrest him. His arrest is short-lived because he goes scot free in no time, which helps the viewers understand the contacts they must have used to make sure he cannot be touched.
Maggie, on the other hand, is shifted to Van Nuys for derailing the case, which makes her contact the FBI to arrest Soto on human trafficking charges. By the looks of it, this is just the beginning of a long ordeal and trial Soto would be facing, and his subplot would be carried forward to the second season of The Lincoln Lawyer. It would be interesting to see if he would be prosecuted or not.
As the jury trial begins, there is nothing that the prosecution could present as evidence for the murder weapon, which is nowhere to be found, and since Trevor claims to have found their dead bodies, there is no evidence in the form of fingerprints or DNA matching. The prosecution tries their level best to build a case on the fact that Trevor is rich and he shouldn’t get away with committing a crime, something based on the OJ Simpson trial. There were statements made against Trevor by Sonia, the other girlfriend of the man who was killed with Lara, Jan Rilz. Mickey is sure Trevor is innocent, and he goes all the way to make sure he is not found guilty as he sticks to facts. To Trevor’s relief, the jury acquits him.
Soon, Mickey and Cisco unearth some disturbing information about Trevor and his actual role in killing his wife and her boyfriend, Jan. Realizing Trevor has double jeopardy now, Mickey is now aware that he disposed of the murder weapon in the sea using his drone. This comes across as a weak way to present Trevor as the culprit, as this portion of the subplot is not executed well. Mickey’s realization of who Trevor is comes a bit too late and is presented hastily. Trevor is soon killed at a public event by Sonia. She immediately surrenders, for she is heartbroken over what she thinks is a wrongful acquittal. It is jarring to see such events implemented in such a shoddy manner that they leave no lasting impact on the viewers. Hopefully, the second season will have more to offer when it comes to good drama.
Who Killed Jerry?
During Trevor’s trial, there was a large SUV that was constantly following Mickey’s car, and at one point, his car seemed to have been bugged. Mickey smartly changes his vehicle, and the new one is checked thoroughly by Cisco every day. After wondering if Trevor was the one who killed Jerry after the latter found evidence to incriminate the former, he soon learns that Jerry had learned of Judge Mary Holder’s corrupt practices, and she was the one who ordered Jerry to be murdered. She also bribed the juror for Trevor, and the same juror turned out to be the one who attempted to kill Mickey. Joining the dots was not that hard for Mickey, and he confronts the woman regarding the same. She admits to all of it on a wire, which leads to her arrest. The subplot again talks about the extent to which Trevor would go to save himself from being arrested. With his death, Judge Mary will be unable to take anyone else down with her. Things are closing in on her, and it would be interesting to see how the second season treats her character.
The Jésus Menendez Case
The name Jésus Menendez keeps coming up throughout the show as Mickey’s old case, where he could not solve the murder of many prostitutes. Jésus, who was innocent, had no choice but to plead guilty. Soon, Mickey asks Gloria, a prostitute and the other witness who barely saved herself from getting killed, to come forward on Mickey and Lorna’s insistence to claim Jésus was innocent. Gloria states in court that she was persuaded by a vice detective, Linda, to leave the town and not speak up in favor of Jésus, which led to a chain reaction. Linda names Detective Banks, who was working with Maggie to form Soto’s case. Such events are proof of the rampant departmental corruption and favoritism that takes place, and no one is ready to solve the case at hand and let off an innocent person. Banks’ name emerging, in this case, leads to Soto’s case being deemed illegitimate, causing Maggie to lose everything she had gathered so far as inconsequential.
The last episode of the show was convoluted as there is so much emphasis on Jésus Menendez, who is finally proven innocent and freed from prison, yet the sudden change of narrative only proves that this was a set-up for the second season as the episode ends with the man showing up at the beach where Mickey heads for surfing. The tattoo on his hand exactly matches the description Gloria gave of her attacker, which proves there is more to be discovered and investigated about this case. Only if the first season had ended intriguingly would the viewers be eagerly waiting for what awaits Mickey, Lorna, Maggie, and Cisco.