The Perry Mason TV Show Book
William Hopper as Paul Drake

Who Needs Lawyers?

Probably Paul's most challenging case was the one in which he found himself the accused. In "The Case of Paul Drake's Dilemma," the detective was framed for committing a homicide. Good thing he knew a good lawyer. The scenario is familiar--one of a number of "amnesia murders" that our heroes were always running into. Paul found out that one Frank Thatcher was guilty of a hit-and-run accident that hurt innocent people. The detective confronted him and pressured Thatcher for a confession. The creep resisted, so Paul had no choice but to slug it out with him. It was a great fight--that is, until Paul hit his head and was knocked out cold. Once he came to, he found he was at the scene of a killing and had no idea what had happened. Although Hamilton Burger didn't want to prosecute someone he knew so well, Tragg put the pressure on. The evidence against Paul looked bad. But Perry went to work and, in the end, the detective was cleared. The lawyer maintained that he never had any doubts about Paul's innocence-but then jokingly added: "Wait till you see my bill."

Maybe the toughest part Paul had to play was that of a friend to Perry Mason, a man who, by definition, had no close friends.

There was a revealing moment in "The Case of the Sausalito Sunrise." Perry and Paul were waiting to make a late-night rendezvous with a mysterious client. Perry was somewhat frustrated, as this client was not cooperating. In an unguarded moment, he unloaded his problems on his friend. "I sometimes wonder about this profession," Perry said. "Clients pay you for your advice, then stubbornly refuse to take it."

Paul replied: "Shouldn't you be grateful? After all, if everyone acted logically and sensibly, who would need lawyers?"

Or detectives for that matter ...


The Perry Mason TV Show Book Copyright 1987 by Brian Kelleher and Diana Merrill. All rights reserved. Presented here by permission of the copyright holder. Commercial use prohibited. Web page Copyright 1998 D. M. Brockman. Last edited 04 Nov 2004.