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William C. Altreuter
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Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Phil Spector has retained Bruce Cutler. I've always thought that the Cutler story would make a great novel-- or maybe even better, a movie. He is famous for representing John Gotti, of course, and all by itself the consiglieri thing is interesting-- Tom Hagen was always my favorite character-- but there is more to it than that.

When A. joined the Brooklyn DA's office out of law school she found herself in one of the most talented groups of lawyers I have ever seen. She was one of the first classes Liz Holtzman recruited, and they came from all the top schools in the country. One of them was Bruce Cutler's brother, Rich, who was pretty much regarded as one of the best of the group. The Cutler's father had been a cop. He'd gone to law school, and had a little neighborhood practice in Brooklyn. Bruce came out of law school and joined the DA's office back when Gene Gold was running it. He was a star, and after he came out and went into private practice he pretty quickly acquired a reputation as the defense lawyer to get. And then he went on retainer for Gotti. There was a time when that was a full time gig, and he had a real winning streak going. In his first trial defending the Dapper Don Cutler slam-dunked the indictment into the trash can, called a prosecutor a slut and ignored repeated warnings from Judge Eugene Nickerson to stop badgering witnesses. Meanwhile his brother became a career prosecutor-- he's in the US Attorney's office in California these days. The whole thing is so cinematic, and now it will have a Phil Spector score. I mean, can't you see it? It would open in Scorcese black and white, the mean streets of Brooklyn, then blaze into California color, "Da Doo Ron Ron" playing in the background....

I imagine the Cutler boys would argue about who Duvall would play.

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