[Andrew transcendentally describes his favorite opera,slowly walking around his apartment, closing his eyes, looking up]
Andrew Beckett: Do you like opera?
Joe Miller: I'm not that familiar with opera.
Andrew Beckett: This is my favorite aria. This is Maria Callas. This is "Andrea Chenier", Umberto Giordano. This is Madeleine. She's saying how during the French Revolution, a mob set fire to her house, and her mother died... saving her. "Look, the place that cradled me is burning." Can you hear the heartache in her voice? Can you feel it, Joe? In come the strings, and it changes everything. The music fills with a hope, and that'll change again. Listen... listen..."I bring sorrow to those who love me." Oh, that single cello! "It was during this sorrow that love came to me." A voice filled with harmony. It says, "Live still, I am life. Heaven is in your eyes. Is everything around you just the blood and mud? I am divine. I am oblivion. I am the god... that comes down from the heavens, and makes of the Earth a heaven. I am love!... I am love."
Joe Miller: [sitting on opposite sides of the table in the library, reading to each other from their text books] The Federal Vocational Rehabilitation Act of 1973 prohibits discrimination against otherwise qualified handicapped persons who are able to perform the duties required by their employment. Although the ruling did not address the specific issue of HIV and AIDS discrimination...
Andrew Beckett: Subsequent decisions have held that AIDS is protected as a handicap under law, not only because of the physical limitations it imposes, but because the prejudice surrounding AIDS exacts a social death which precede... which precedes the physical one.
Joe Miller: This is the essence of discrimination: formulating opinions about others not based on their individual merits, but rather on their membership in a group with assumed characteristics.
Joe Miller: Have you ever felt discriminated against at Wyatt Wheeler?
Anthea Burton: Well, yes.
Joe Miller: In what way?
Anthea Burton: Well, Mr. Wheeler's secretary, Lydia, said that Mr. Wheeler had a problem with my earrings.
Joe Miller: Really?
Anthea Burton: Apparently Mr. Wheeler felt that they were too..."Ethnic" is the word she used. And she told me that he said that he would like it if I wore something a little less garish, a little smaller, and more "American."
Joe Miller: What'd you say?
Anthea Burton: I said my earrings are American. They're African-American.
[his last lines, while lying on a hospital bed]
Andrew Beckett: Miguel, I'm ready.
Joe Miller: What do you love about the law, Andrew?
Andrew Beckett: [from the witness stand] I... many things... uh... uh... What I love the most about the law?
Joe Miller: Yeah.
Andrew Beckett: It's that every now and again - not often, but occasionally - you get to be a part of justice being done. That really is quite a thrill when that happens.
Sarah Beckett: [to Andrew, during a family gathering, celebrating the 50th wedding anniversary for his parents] Well, I didn't raise my kids to sit in the back of the bus. You get in there and you fight for your rights, okay?
Joe Miller: [in a bar, to Filko, after seeing Andy being interviewed by reporters] Some of these people make me sick. But a law's been broken here. You do remember the law, don't you?
Joe Miller: [while being interviewed by reporters] We're standing here in Philadelphia, the, uh, city of brotherly love, the birthplace of freedom, where the, uh, founding fathers authored the Declaration of Independence, and I don't recall that glorious document saying anything about all straight men are created equal. I believe it says all men are created equal.
Joe Miller: [part of his opening statement to the jury] Forget everything you've seen on television and in the movies.
Joe Miller: Now, explain it to me like I'm a four-year-old.
Dr. Armbruster: The HIV virus can only be transmitted through the exchange of bodily fluids, namely blood, semen, and vaginal secretions.
Belinda Conine: [to her colleagues, after having held a mirror in front of Andy to show the court his skin lesions] I hate this case.
Andrew Beckett: [to Joe in his office ] "I misplaced an important compliant" that's their story my side of the story is: the night before it was due I worked on the compliant in my office and I left a copy of it on my desk, the next day the compliant vanished no hard copy, all traces of it mysteriously gone from my computer, miraculously a copy was located at the last minute and we got it to court on time but the next day I was summoned to a meeting with the managing partners who were waiting for me in the conference room
Joe Miller: Explain this to me like I'm a six year old, didn't you have an obligation to tell your employers you had this deadly infectious disease?
Andrew Beckett: That's not the point from the day they hired me to the day they fired me, I served my clients consistency thoroughly with absolute excellency if they hadn't fired me that's what I've be doing today.
Joe Miller: And they don't want to fire you for having AIDS so in spite of your brilliance they make you look incompetent thus the mysterious is that what you're trying to tell me?
Andrew Beckett: Correct, I was sabotaged.
Young Man in Pharmacy: How's the trial going?
Joe Miller: Excuse me?
Young Man in Pharmacy: It's a great case I saw you on TV I'm a law student at Penn State
Joe Miller: It's a good school Penn what year are you in?
Young Man in Pharmacy: Second, I just wanted to tell you this case is tremendously important I just wanted to let you know you're doing a fantastic job
Joe Miller: [gives him his business card and they shake hands] When you graduate you give me a call.
Young Man in Pharmacy: Thank you very much, would you like to have a drink with me? I just finished a game and could really use a beer
Joe Miller: No I can't my wife's waiting for me
Young Man in Pharmacy: [Signals him to lean closer, whispers in his ear] I don't usually pick up people in drug stores everyday
Joe Miller: You think I'm gay?
Young Man in Pharmacy: Aren't you?
Joe Miller: What's the matter with you? Do I look gay to you?
Young Man in Pharmacy: [Shows him his football jersey] do I look gay to you?Take it as a compliment
Joe Miller: [Feeling insulted grabs his jersey] that's exactly the kind of bullshit that makes people hate you fagots
Belinda Conine: [Defense opening statement] fact: Andrew Beckett's performance on the job varied from competent to good, to often times mediocre, to sometimes flagrantly incompetent fact: he claims he's the victim of lies and deceit, fact: it was Andrew Beckett who lied, going through lengths to conceal his disease from his employers, fact: Andrew Beckett was successful in his duplicity, the partners at Wyatt Wheeler did not fire Andrew Beckett because he had AIDS fact: Andrew Beckett is dying fact: Andrew Beckett is angry because his lifestyle, his reckless behavior has cut short his life and in his anger, in his rage he is lashing out and he wants someone to pay
Charles Wheeler: Regarding Andy I want to know everything about his personal life does he frequent those pathetic bars? What other homosexual facilities does he go to? What deviant groups does he secretly belong to?
Walter Kenton: Let's make a fair settlement offer and just put this whole tragic business behind us
Charles Wheeler: Andy brought AIDS into our offices, into our bathroom, brought AIDS to our annual God damn family picnic
Walter Kenton: We ought to be suing him
Bob Seidman: Where is your compassion gentlemen?
Charles Wheeler: [to Bob] we gave him the highline case, did Andrew Beckett say I might be able to serve our clients to the best of my ability? He said nothing and now Andrew Beckett proposes to hall me into court, to sling accusations at me, to call me a bigot in full view of the entire Philadelphia judicial establishment
Walter Kenton: Beckett doesn't want to go to court he's looking for a quick tasty settlement
Bob Seidman: [to everyone] A jury might decide he has a case
Charles Wheeler: [to bob] wait a minute, he was fired for incompetence not because he has AIDS you didn't know he was sick, did you?
Walter Kenton: [to Bob] Holy shit did you?
Bob Seidman: [Nervously] No, not really
Joe Miller: [Plaintiff opening statement] ladies and gentlemen of the jury: forget everything you've seen on television and in the movies. There's not going to be any last minute surprise witnesses, nobody's going to break down on the stand with a tearful confession, you're going to be presented with simple facts. Andrew Beckett was fired and you'll two explanations on why he was fired, ours and theirs it's up to you to sit through layer upon layer of truth until you determine for yourself which version sounds the most true. There's certain points I must prove to you: point number one: Andrew Beckett was... is a brilliant lawyer, a great lawyer, point number two: my client afflicted with a disabling disease made the understandable, the personal, and the legal choice to keep the fact of his illness to himself point number three: his employers discovered his illness and ladies and gentlemen the illness I'm referring to is AIDS point number four: they panicked and in their panic they did what most would do which is just get "it" and everybody who has "it" as far as away as possible, the behavior of my client's employers seem reasonable to you, it does to me, after all AIDS is a deadly incurable disease but no matter how you come to judge Charles Wheeler and his partners in ethical and moral and inhuman terms, the fact of the matter is when they fired Andrew Beckett because he has AIDS they broke the law.