In the film Sleepers (1996), why is Michael so adamant about Danny being the defense lawyer? He says it's because Danny's something of a hack and a drunk, and that they need the situation to seem hopeless for Tommy and John. But wouldn't a really good lawyer be the better way to go? A better defense attorney would make the "not guilty" verdict seem much more plausible than a lousy alcoholic lawyer winning the case.

1 Answer 1


The point of the whole trial was not (just) the "not guilty" verdict, but the exposure of what was happening all those years ago.

I see at least two problems with a good lawyer:

  1. He would go for the "not guilty" verdict and only for that, with no interest to risk it for the truth, and with no desire to make enemies of the cops.

  2. He would lead the show, which would leave Michael out of control.

You don't get that kind of trouble with a bad lawyer.

Also, getting a really good lawyer would look very suspicious. Tommy and John were two small-time crooks. How do they afford one?

Getting someone good within their pay range would leave them with a lawyer who may not be good enough on his own, but wouldn't be controlled by Michael.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .