"In writing fiction, the more fantastic the tale, the plainer the prose should be. Don't ask your readers to admire your words when you want them to believe your story." - Ben Bova [ more quotes ]

"ERIN BROCKOVICH"

A True Story

by

Susannah Grant

PRODUCTION DRAFT

03/22/99



INT. DR. JAFFE'S OFFICE - DAY

A successful-looking doctor sits behind a desk in a well-
appointed office. He's looking at someone off-camera.

DR. JAFFE
Uh, but you have no actual medical
training?

ERIN
(off)
No. I have kids. Learned a lot right
there. I've seen nurses give my son
a throat culture. I mean what is it --
you stick a giant Q-tip down their
throat and wait. Or a urine analysis,
with that dipstick that tells you
whether or not the white count is
high...

DR. JAFFE
Yes, I understand.

ERIN
(off)
And, I mean, I'm great with people.
Of course, you'd have to observe me
to know for sure, but trust me on
that one. I'm extremely fast learner.
I mean, you show me what to do in a
lab once, and I've got it down.

He nods. Now we see who he is talking to: ERIN BROCKOVICH.

How to describe her? A beauty queen would come to mind --
which, in fact, she was. Tall in a mini skirt, legs crossed,
tight top, beautiful -- but clearly from a social class and
geographic orientation whose standards for displaying beauty
are not based on subtlety.

ERIN
...for instance, at one point I wanted
to be an engineer, so I was working
at Fleuer Engineers and Constructors
in Irvine. I fell madly in love with
geology.

DR. JAFFE
Geology?

ERIN
I learned how to read maps. I love
maps. Did you know our present system
for map-making dates back to the
ancient Greeks in like the third
century B.C.?

DR. JAFFE
No.

ERIN
Anyway, I was at the company and --
this is interesting, actually -- I
helped Ramish Ginatra design, as an
assistant, part of the Alaskan
pipeline...

DR. JAFFE
Uh-huh.

ERIN
...But I lost that job because my
son came down with the Chicken Pox
and 104 temperature and my ex-husband
was useless, so... ya know... But
what I want to tell you is I, uh...
I had always wanted to go to medical
school. That was my first interest
really... but then I, you know, got
married... had a kid too young and...
that kind of blew it for me...

Jaffe stares at her.

DR. JAFFE
Uh-huh.

ERIN
(beat, looks around)
This is a really nice office.

Jaffe looks down at her resume, trying to figure a polite
route.

DR. JAFFE
Thanks.
(looks up at her)
Look...

Beat. By Erin's expression, she knows what's coming.

EXT. DR. JAFFE'S OFFICE / SO. CALIFORNIA SUBURB - MAIN DRAG -
DAY

A side street. No pedestrians, just parked cars.

Erin is finishing a cigarette. Her face has fallen -- the
enthusiasm and spirit she showed in the interview are now
replaced by a desperate type of concern. She takes a final
puff, puts the cigarette out and walks to her car.

A PARKING TICKET flaps under the wiper of an old Hyundai.

ERIN
Fuck.

Even when she talks dirty, there's a heartland goodness to
her voice. Like Kansas corn fields swaying in the breeze.

As she grabs the ticket from the windshield, her sunglasses
accidentally CLATTER to the ground.

ERIN
Shit.

When she picks them up, a fingernail snags on the pavement.

ERIN
God damn it.

She tends to the nail as she opens her car door and gets in.

WIDER ON THE STREET

The Hyundai starts it up, signals. Then, just as it pulls
slowly out into the street, a JAGUAR barrels around the
corner, accelerating out of the turn, and SLAMS into the
side of Erin's car, sending it CAREENING into the median.
It SMASHES into a foot-thick lightpost. And stops.

EXT. MASRY & VITITOE - DAY

A respectable building in the valley.

ROSALIND (O.S.)
Morning, Mr. Masry. How you doing
today?

INT. MASRY & VITITOE - RECEPTION - DAY

A sign over the reception desk reads: MASRY & VITITOE,
ATTORNEYS AT LAW.

ED MASRY, senior partner in the firm, enters the office and
approaches his secretary's desk. His avuncular presence masks
a savvy legal mind, and his somewhat rumpled appearance
indicates a disinterest in pretense.

ED
Fine. You?

ROSALIND
Did you watch it last night?

ED
No, I was out. I taped it. Don't
tell me what happens.

ROSALIND
(overlapping him,
excitedly)
It's sooo great...
(as he walks to office)
Your nine o'clock's already in there.

Ed peers into his office. It's a mess -- papers everywhere,
unopened mail. Standing in the middle of the room is Erin,
in a teensy, leopard-print mini-dress. As she jiggles a spike-
heeled foot, everything about her shimmies gloriously.

Except her head, which is held in place by a neck brace.

ED
Remind me.

BRENDA
Erin Brockovich. Car accident. Not
her fault, she says.
(beat. They exchange
looks)
She was referred.

He nods.

INT. MASRY & VITITOE - ED'S OFFICE - DAY

Not an office that necessarily exudes authority, and ED's
blustery entrance only adds to the sense of chaos.

ED
Erin -- hi. Sorry you had to wait.
Here, sit down, sit down.

He clears a stack of papers off a chair, places down a mug
of coffee.

ERIN
Thanks a lot.
(as she sits)
I tell you, I never thought just
standing would take it out of me,
but ever since that shithead hit me,
it feels like my whole body's put
together wrong.

Ed gives her a look of pro-forma sympathy.

ED
(sits)
Jesus, you poor thing. Did anyone
ask if you want some coffee?

ERIN
Yeah. I'm fine.

ED
Great. Well, listen... whoever did
this to you made one hell of a
mistake, and you and me, we're gonna
make him pay for it.

He sips coffee like it's a healing potion, takes out a pad
and paper, gets ready to write.

ED
Why don't you tell me what happened?

CUT TO:

INT. SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA COURTROOM - DAY

Erin is on the stand, wearing the most conservative thing
she owns: a red, form-fitting mini dress, telling her story
to Ed, who's questioning her.

ERIN
I was pulling out real slow, and out
of nowhere, his Jaguar comes racing
around the corner like a bat outta
hell...

She glances at the defendant's table, where a DOCTOR sits
nobly. His WIFE and two beautiful KIDS are behind him. A
frigging Norman Rockwell painting.

LATER IN HER TESTIMONY

ERIN
They took some bone from my hip and
put it in my neck. I didn't have
insurance, so I'm about seventeen
thousand in debt right now.

STILL LATER

ERIN
...couldn't take painkillers 'cause
they made me too groggy to take care
of my kids.

STILL LATER

ERIN
...Matthew's six, Katie's four, and
Beth's just nine months.

STILL LATER

ERIN
...just wanna be a good mom, a nice
person, a decent citizen. Just wanna
take good care of my kids. You know?

ED
(oh so moved)
Yeah. I know.

INT. COURTROOM - LATER

Erin is still on the stand. But now the doctor's lawyer is
questioning her.

DEFENDING LAWYER
Seventeen thousand in debt. Whew. Is
your ex-husband helping out?

ERIN
Which one?

DEFENDING LAWYER
(feigning shock)
There's more than one?

ERIN
Yeah. There's two. Why?

Erin looks over at the jury. The personification of
conservative family values. Oh, shit.

LATER IN HER TESTIMONY

ERIN
(getting defensive)
...not like a career, 'cause I had
my babies. But I woulda worked, for
sure, if I didn't have this neck
thing.

Erin sees a juror staring in judgment at her short hem. Erin
gives it a tug, pulling it down a stitch.

DEFENDING LAWYER
(sarcastic)
Right. No doubt.

Erin sees a few jurors share dubious glances. Great.

STILL LATER

The defendant's lawyer is on the offensive. Erin's starting
to feel the case slipping away.

DEFENDING LAWYER
So. You must've been feeling pretty
desperate that afternoon.

ERIN
(pointed)
What's your point?

Ed shakes his head slightly to her -- don't get mad.

DEFENDING LAWYER
Broke, three kids, no job. A doctor
in a Jaguar must've looked like a
pretty good meal ticket.

Erin sees jurors nodding almost imperceptibly in agreement.

She's on a sinking ship.

ERIN
What? Hey -- he hit me.

DEFENDING LAWYER
So you say.

ERIN
He came tearing around the corner,
out of control --

DEFENDING LAWYER
An ER doctor who spends his days
saving lives was the one out of
control --

ERIN
(erupting)
That asshole smashed in my fucking
neck!

INT. COURTHOUSE HALLWAY - LATER THAT DAY

Erin barrels toward the elevator. Ed trails.

ERIN
...Open and shut? Open and fucking
shut?

ED
Which is exactly the kind of language
that lost the case.

ERIN
Oh, please, it was long over by then.
God damn, he made me look like some
cheap --

ED
I told you the questions might get a
little persona --

ERIN
Bullshit. You told me I'd get half a
million dollars. You told me I'd be
set.

ED notices her ranting is starting to draw attention.

ED
Okay -- let's try and settle down
here. You want something to eat?

ERIN
You want to feed my kids too!? Fuck
settle down! I got seventy-four
dollars to my name! I can't afford
to settle down!

Beat.

ED
I'm sorry, Erin.

ERIN
Do they actually teach lawyers how
to apologize -- because you all suck
at it.

Erin turns away from him and heads for the stairway.

EXT. ERIN'S HOUSE - DAY

A shitty little house in a shitty part of Northbridge. The
Hyundai with a bashed-in side pulls up to the curb.

Erin gets out, takes the mail from her mailbox, then heads
over to the equally grim house next door and rings the bell.

A Hispanic woman in her 60's opens the door, holding a white
baby. This is MRS. MORALES.

MRS. MORALES
Hi, Erin! You're back so soon.

She hands Erin the baby. It's BETH, Erin's 9-month old.

Erin avoids the question by focusing on her baby.

ERIN
Hi, sweetie. Were you a good girl?
Where are Matt and Katie?

MRS. MORALES
Outside with the sprinkler. So it's
good?

The truth is too depressing to share. They walk towards Erin's
house as they talk...

ERIN
It'll be fine, yeah.
(BETH COUGHS in her
arms)
Oh honey...

MRS. MORALES
She's got a little cough. I sat with
her in the steam to loosen it up.
But...

ERIN
I've got enough medicine, I think..

MRS. MORALES
Ai, bueno. Listen, I didn't want to
tell you before, with your worries --

ERIN
What?

MRS. MORALES
My daughter, she's bought a big house
with a room for me. I'm going to
move in with her.

ERIN
You're moving away? When?

MRS. MORALES
Next week.

ERIN
(stunned)
Next week?

MRS. MORALES
I know. But it's good for me. Now I
can help my daughter take care of my
grandkids. And it's good for you,
too. Now you have money, you can
find a good baby-sitter, huh? Not
the old lady next door.

Oh, God. Beth COUGHS.

EXT. ERIN'S HOUSE - DAY

Erin carries Beth up to her house. As she nears her door,
she steps on a GIANT WATER BUG. It crunches under her sole.

ERIN
Ugh.

Insult added to injury. She heads up to the house, dragging
her shoe, wiping off the bug guts.

INT. ERIN'S HOUSE - KITCHEN - DAY

Hand held camera follows Erin as she puts down her bag and
looks through cabinets to see what she can make for dinner,
all the while holding Beth who coughs on and off.

ERIN
Oh sweetie... that doesn't sound so
good, huh?... my baby... let me just
start dinner...

Erin finds nothing but boxes of macaroni and cheese and some
canned peaches and vegetables. She pulls out a box of macaroni
and cheese and a can of peas. She bends down and grabs a
pot, placing it under the faucet. She grabs another pot and
places it on the stove. She searches for a can opener to
open the peas. She moves back to the sink, shuts the faucet
and sees:

Another waterbug crawling up the side of the pot from the
drain.

ERIN
Ugh! Goddamn it!

She bangs the pot onto the bug spilling the water and
upsetting Beth.

ERIN
It's all right honey. Mommy's sorry.
It's all right.

As she rocks Beth, who coughs in between tears, Erin looks
around -- at her meager dinner and bug infested kitchen --
and is fed up with the whole day! She dumps her bag out,
gets her wallet, opens it up and sees what little money she
has.

Camera follows her out the kitchen, into the main room where
she heads for a window, opens it and shouts to Matthew and
Kate in the yard:

ERIN
Matthew! Katie! Dry off. Put your
shoes on -- we're going out to eat.

They shout their excitement as Erin (and camera) continue
through the house, through the bedroom and into a bathroom.

ERIN
Don't go getting sick on me, baby.
Okay?

But Beth's cough is getting worse. Erin opens the medicine
cabinet but finds nothing appropriate.

EXT. DRUGSTORE - DAY

Matt and Katie are messing around with a gumball machine.

INT. DRUGSTORE - AISLE - DAY

Erin is holding Beth, wandering the aisles. She stops at the
medicines, thinks for a long moment, then, hating herself,
glances to make sure no one's looking, and picks up a bottle.

INT. DRUGSTORE - AT THE REGISTER - DAY

As a CUSTOMER steps away from the register, Erin steps up
with the bottle in her hand and smiles at the CHECK-OUT LADY.

ERIN
Hi, remember me? I was in yesterday.
Bought a whole mess of stuff. Round
about five?

CHECK-OUT LADY
Honey, it's a zoo here at five. I'm
lucky if I even see a face, much
less remember it.

ERIN
Oh, shoot, yeah, I guess that'd be
tough. Well, listen, I meant to buy
my baby here some medicine, and by
the time I got home, I realized I'd
bought this adult stuff by mistake.
And now, wouldn't you know, I can't
find the receipt. I was wondering --
could I maybe exchange it anyway...

INT. CHEAP DINER - TWILIGHT

Beth is feeling better on Erin's lap. A drugstore bag sits
on the table with the cough medicine. The two other kids sit
opposite in the booth. Erin is helping the kids read the
menu as the Waitress arrives.

WAITRESS
Everybody ready?

KATIE
(proudly)
My mommy reads backwards.

ERIN
One of my many talents. Go ahead
kids.

MATTHEW
Cheeseburger deluxe and a coke.

KATIE
(whispers across table)
Mommy can I get the cheeseburger
deluxe with no cheese and no bread.

ERIN
(to Waitress)
You get that?
(Waitress nods and
smiles)
This one here'll have just a cup of
that chicken broth and some crackers.

WAITRESS
And for you?

ERIN
Cup of coffee.

Waitress takes away menus and exits as Matthew asks:

MATTHEW
You're not eating mom?

ERIN
No, honey -- my lawyer took me out
to a big fancy lunch to celebrate
and I'm stuffed!
(to Beth)
You feeling better baby.
(feels her head with
her cheek)
Cool as a cucumber.

INT. ERIN'S HOUSE - NIGHT

The kids are asleep. A starved Erin is sitting at the kitchen
table, eating canned fruit cocktail.

O.C. Beth coughs. Coughs again. Erin looks up. Hopes it
doesn't turn into a coughing fit...

Beat.

A waterbug crawls across the table. Erin stares at it. Calmly,
comically, she reaches off camera and grabs a can of bug
spray. She aims and sprays the bug with a consistent, focused
force until the damn thing slides off the table in a river
of bug repellent.

INT. MASRY & VITITOE - ED'S OFFICE - DAY

Midday. Ed enters with a cup of coffee in his hand. As he
heads to his desk, he trips on a box of files. Coffee sloshes
up out of his cup and on to his shirt.

ED
Damn it!
(calling out)
Brenda!

She pops her head in.

BRENDA
Yeah?

He grabs a tissue, swabs his shirt, then kicks at the box.

ED
What the hell is this doing here?

BRENDA
It's those files you asked for.

ED
I didn't mean for you to leave them
in the middle of the floor. Jesus.
Look at me.

As Ed checks his reflection in the glass wall of his office,
he notices, on the other side:

ERIN, standing in the middle of the secretaries' area, talking
to DONALD, the office boy. Donald heads away from her.

ED
What's she doing here?

BRENDA
Who?

Ed goes to his office door and waves Donald over.

ED
Hey, Donald, what's she doing here?

DONALD
She works here.

Ed looks back out at her -- what the hell?

INT. MASRY & VITITOE - MAIN ROOM - DAY

The support staff -- mostly middle-aged women -- are all
stealing glances at Erin. Ed approaches her, friendly.

ED
Erin! How's it going?

Up close, the wear and tear of worry show on her face.

ERIN
You never called me back. I left
messages.

ED
You did? Wow, sorry about that.
(beat)
Listen, Donald seems to think that
you said --

ERIN
There's two things that aggravate
me, Mr. Masry. Being ignored, and
being lied to. You did both.

Glances skitter between the secretaries -- get a load of
this. Ed lowers his voice.

ED
I never lied, Erin.

ERIN
You said things would be fine, and
they're not. I trusted you.

ED
I'm sorry about that. Really. But --

ERIN
I don't need pity. I need a paycheck.
And I've looked, but when you've
spent the last six years raising
babies, it's real hard to convince
someone to give you a job that pays
worth a damn.
(referring to Brenda's
staring)
You getting every word of this down,
honey, or am I talking too fast for
you!?

Brenda jumps. Ed sees everyone watching him, listening.

ED
I'd love to help, Erin, but I'm sorry,
I have a full staff right now, so --

He starts to escort her out, but she stays put.

ERIN
Bullshit. If you had a full staff,
this office would return a client's
damn phone calls.

She's backing him into a corner here. The secretaries exchange
knowing glances.

ERIN
Now, I'm smart, I'm hard-working,
and I'll do anything, and I'm not
leaving here without a job.

C.U. on Erin as she steps in close to Ed and speaks in a low
voice that combines fierceness with desperation:

ERIN
Don't make me beg. If it doesn't
work out, fire me... But don't make
me beg.

Ed looks at her for a long moment. Then:

ED
No benefits.

INT. MASRY & VITITOE - FILE ROOM - DAY

A tight office lined with file cabinets and shelves. ANNA,
the humorless file clerk, is showing Erin around.

ANNA
...what we do in here is keep track
of all the case files. That way, at
any time, we can find out a case's
status -- where it is in the office,
stuff like that. We file 'em all
here, alphabetically --

ERIN
Simple enough.

As Anna continues to show Erin around the office, they pass
JANE, the bitter office manager, and Brenda, at the coffee
area.

JANE
Just last week, he told my sister we
weren't hiring.

BRENDA
What's your sister look like?

INT. MASRY & VITITOE - ED'S OFFICE - NIGHT

Ed is packing up his office. Erin sticks her head in.

ERIN
Mr. Masry?

He turns, sees her.

ED
Yeah?

ERIN
I was wondering -- could you tell me
who I'd talk to about maybe getting
an advance on my paycheck? Just --
for the weekend.

ED
Jane's the office manager. She handles
payroll and petty cash. But she leaves
early on Fridays.

ERIN
Oh. Okay. That's okay.

Ed looks at her a moment, sees that it's far from okay.

ED
Oh, for Christ's sake...

He takes out his wallet, looks in.

ED
All I have is hundreds.

ERIN
I don't wanna take your money, Mr.
Masry.

ED
Where do think your paycheck comes
from?

He slaps a hundred in her hand and leaves. When he's gone,
she looks at the bill -- her life raft.

EXT. BABY-SITTER'S HOUSE - NIGHT

Erin is at the door, taking Beth from the BABY-SITTER, a
shabby, unkempt-looking woman in her 40's. Katie and Matt
pull on their backpacks and troop out of the sitter's house.

EXT. ERIN'S KITCHEN - NIGHT

Erin and her kids are putting away bags of groceries. Beth
watches from a baby seat. The kids are trying to tell her a
story. They fight over details. Erin loves listening.

INT. ERIN'S HOUSE - MATT AND KATIE'S ROOM - NIGHT

A small room with Salvation Army furniture. A BUNCH OF DAISIES
is propped in a Ragu jar on Katie's bedside table.

Matt and Katie are asleep in bed. Erin looks down at them,
smiles, then kisses them good night.

INT. ERIN'S HOUSE - HALLWAY - NIGHT

Erin comes out of the bedroom and softly closes the door.

But just as the handle clicks into place, the house is filled
with the DEAFENING ROAR of a MOTORCYCLE, REVVING and REVVING.

It sounds as if it's gonna drive through the wall.

EXT. ERIN'S HOUSE - NIGHT

Erin steps out onto her front stoop and looks over at what
used to be Mrs. Morales's house. A few MOTORCYCLES are parked
on the lawn; A FEW BIKERS are drinking beer on the stoop;
and one asshole is on his bike, REVVING HIS ENGINE.

ERIN
Hey!

But of course he can't hear her. She walks over to him, stands
right in his line of vision.

ERIN
HEY!

He sees her and kills the engine. Everything about GEORGE
HALABY is tough -- his denim, his leather, his bike, his
long hair. Everything but his eyes, which twinkle like
Santa's.

GEORGE
Well, hello to you, darlin'.

ERIN
What the hell do you think you're
doing, making all that goddamn noise?

GEORGE
Just introducing myself to the
neighbors.

ERIN
Well, I'm the neighbors. There, now
we're introduced, so you can shut
the fuck up.

The guys on the porch chuckle. Erin turns and starts back to
her house. George hops off his bike and follows her.

GEORGE
Ooh, now, see, if I'da known there
was a beautiful woman next door,
I'da done this different. Let's start
over. My name's George. What's yours?

ERIN
Just think of me as the person next
door who likes it quiet.

GEORGE
Now, don't be like that. Tell you
what. How about if I take you out on
a date to apologize for my rudeness?

Erin shakes her head in disbelief and keeps walking.

GEORGE
Come on. Gimme your number, I'll
call you up proper and ask you out
and everything.

She stops at her porch, turns to him.

ERIN
You want my number?

GEORGE
I do.

ERIN
Which number do you want, George?

GEORGE
You got more than one?

ERIN
Shit, yeah. I got numbers coming out
of my ears. Like, for instance, ten.

GEORGE
Ten?

ERIN
Sure. That's one of my numbers. It's
how many months old my little girl
is.

GEORGE
You got a little girl?

ERIN
Yeah. Sexy, huh? And here's another:
five. That's how old my other daughter
is. Seven is my son's age. Two is
how many times I been married and
divorced. You getting all this? 16
is the number of dollars in my bank
account. 454-3943 is my phone number.
And with all the numbers I gave you,
I'm guessing zero is the number of
times you're gonna call it.

She turns and heads inside. He calls out after her:

GEORGE
How the hell do you know your bank
balance right off the top of your
head like that? See, that impresses
me.

INT. MASRY & VITITOE - RECEPTION AREA - DAY

Morning. Erin walks in, wearing her usual garb. She passes
the coffee area, where Jane, Brenda, and Anna are milling.

Brenda sees her, gives Anna a nudge. They both check out her
short hem. Anna nudges Jane, who looks as well. Erin glances
over just in time to see all three of them staring at her
judgementally. She stops in her tracks and stares back.

ERIN
Y'all got something you wanna discuss?

The women go back to stirring their coffees. Erin walks on.

INT. MASRY & VITITOE - ED'S OFFICE - DAY

Ed is walking into his office with a coffee cup in his hand
when he trips over the same box of files again.

ED
Damn it!
(calling out)
Brenda!
(no answer)
BRENDA!

INT. MASRY & VITITOE - FILE ROOM - DAY

Erin is alone, filing as she talks on the phone.

ERIN
How long's she been crying like
that?... Well, she's got that tooth
coming in --

Ed appears in the door, carrying the box of files.

ERIN
Give her a cold washcloth to suck on --
(sees Ed)
I gotta go -- there's a clean one in
that bag -- I'll check back in a
bit.
(hangs up)
Sorry. My kid --

ED
Where's Anna?

ERIN
Out to lunch with the girls.

ED
Oh. Huh.
(beat)
Well, look, I have to open a file.
Real estate thing. Pro-bono.

He plunks the box of papers & files on her desk. She stares
at it, with no idea of how to go about that.

ERIN
Oh. Okay.

He sees her staring at the box.

ED
You do know how to do that, don't
you?

ERIN
Yeah. I got it. No problem.

ED
Good.

Ed heads out, but pauses before leaving.

ED
You're a girl.

ERIN
Excuse me?

ED
How come you're not at lunch with
the girls? You're a girl.

ERIN
I guess I'm not the right kind.

Erin goes back to work. Ed starts out then stops.

ED
Look, you may want to -- I mean, now
that you're working here -- you may
want to rethink your... wardrobe a
little.

ERIN
Why is that?

ED
Well... I think maybe... some of the
girls are a little uncomfortable
because of what you wear.

ERIN
Is that so? Well, it just so happens,
I think I look nice. And as long as
I have one ass instead of two, like
most of the "girls" you have working
here, I'm gonna wear what I like if
that's alright with you?

Ed hides a smile. He nods. As he exits, Erin returns to work
and remarks, without looking up...

ERIN
You may want to re-think those ties
you wear..

Suddenly self-conscious, Ed looks down to his chest...

INT. MASRY & VITITOE - FILE ROOM - NIGHT

Erin is at her desk, staring bewildered at the files from
the box Ed gave her, which are now spread across her desktop.

She sees Anna packing up her things to leave.

ERIN
Anna? With this real-estate stuff --
could you remind me, cause I'm a
little confused about how exactly we
do that. Why are there medical records
and blood samples in real estate
files?

ANNA
(exasperated)
Erin, you've been here long enough.
If you don't know how to do your job
by now, I am not about to do it for
you.

EXT. BABY-SITTER'S HOUSE - EARLY EVENING

Erin arrives to pick up her children from the unkempt baby-
sitter. She knocks. No answer. She knocks and calls out. No
answer. She looks through window. It appears no one is there.

She panics.

INT. ERIN'S HOUSE - EARLY EVENING

Erin runs into her house calling her children's names. No
answer. She is almost near tears with panic, rushing through
each room. She grabs the phone to call the police when she
hears --

The sound of her children laughing, outside.

ERIN
Matthew! Katie!

EXT. ERIN'S HOUSE - EARLY EVENING

She runs outside, trying to locate the voices. She follows
the sounds of her children laughing and talking, towards the
back of her yard, which sits across from:

EXT. GEORGE'S BACKYARD - EARLY EVENING

Katie and Matthew are sitting at a picnic table, eating
hamburgers and hot dogs, barbecued by George, who sits
opposite them with little Beth on his lap. They all seem
right at home. Erin is confused.

ERIN
What the hell happened?

MATTHEW/KATIE
Hi mom...

GEORGE
Hey. You hungry?

ERIN
What are they doing here? I went to
pick them up --

GEORGE
She came by about an hour ago. Said
something came up and she had to
drop the kids off.

ERIN
Something came up! Why didn't she
call me at work?

GEORGE
(Erin is fearsome)
I don't know. She... I... she... I
don't know.

ERIN
THAT FUCKING BITCH!

MATTHEW
MOM!

ERIN
Sorry!! I can't believe she just
dumps my kids off when nobody's home!!

GEORGE
I was home.
(Erin realizes this)
They're fine.

The kids are being fed a full meal with clean plates and
napkins and glasses of milk. Beth acts like she's known George
all her life.

Erin doesn't know what to say. George just smiles.

INT. ERIN'S HOUSE - LIVING ROOM - NIGHT

George is on the floor with Matt and Katie, playing war.

Katie points to the Harley emblem on his leather jacket.
Both kids are dressed for bed. Erin watches them interact
with George. She notices how good he is with them. How
comfortable they are with him.

KATIE
What's that stand for?

GEORGE
That's for Harley Davidson. The best
damn motorcycle ever made.

ERIN
And if I catch either of you anywhere
near one, I'll knock you silly. Go
on to bed, now -- I'll come tuck you
in, in a minute.

They get up...

GEORGE
'Night.

KATIE AND MATT
'Night.

...and head into bed. George starts cleaning up the cards.

GEORGE
Great kids.

Erin bends down to help him.

ERIN
Yeah, well... I'm sure I'll fuck
them up eventually.

GEORGE
Why?

ERIN
I'm never here. I'm obviously not a
good judge of character or I would
have never left them with that idiot
who cost a fortune and smelled like
chicken fat. After I find her and
kill her, I don't know what I'm going
to do.

GEORGE
If you need help with them, I could
do that.

ERIN
I'm not gonna leave my kids with
you.

GEORGE
Why not?

ERIN
'Cause I don't even know you.

GEORGE
What do you want to know? Ask me.

ERIN
Look, thanks for today but --

GEORGE
You're welcome.

Erin doesn't know what to say.

GEORGE
What's the matter, you got so many
friends in this world, you can't use
one more? I'm serious. If you need
someone to keep an eye on them --
after school or something -- I don't
have a job now, so I'm around in the
afternoons.

ERIN
Oh, that's a great recommendation.
You're unemployed?

GEORGE
By choice. I work when I need to.

ERIN
Yeah? And what do you do the rest of
the time, live off your trust fund?

GEORGE
I do construction, which pays real
good. And I make it last by living
cheap.

ERIN
(with a little laugh)
I hope that's not supposed to impress
me.

GEORGE
Are you this hard on everyone who
tries to help you?

ERIN
It's been a while. I'm out of
practice.

GEORGE
Then lemme remind you, the polite
thing is to say, thank you, it's a
real nice offer, I don't mind taking
you up on it.

ERIN
Why in the hell would you want to
watch my kids?

GEORGE
Cause I like kids. I like hanging
out with them.

ERIN
Right.

She starts cleaning up the cards.

GEORGE
I do. I like how they keep it all
simple, you know? They don't get all
complicated, like grown-ups do. A
bicycle and an ice cream cone --
boom, done, they're happy.

Erin thinks about the offer.

ERIN
You're around every afternoon?

GEORGE
Yup. Usually working on my bike.

She's tempted.

GEORGE
No big deal. If it doesn't work out,
you can send 'em back to the chicken
lady.

Tempting. Erin looks him over, then, as she exits:

ERIN
This isn't gonna get you laid, you
know.

George laughs.

INT. ERIN'S HOUSE - ERIN'S BEDROOM - NIGHT

The wee hours. Erin's in a T-shirt, sitting on her mattress
on the floor. The paperwork from the box is now spread all
over the floor around her. She's reading a letter.

CLOSE ON THE LETTER

It's from PG&E, to Donna Peter Irving. We see the phrases,
"purchase your house...," "fair market value..."

CLOSE ON ANOTHER DOCUMENT

It's a list of comparable house sales in the area. Owner,
cost; owner, cost. Every house is in the $65,000 range.

From another room, she hears the sound of BETH CRYING. Still
reading the file, Erin gets up and goes into:

INT. ERIN'S HOUSE - BETH'S BEDROOM - NIGHT

Still reading, Erin gets Beth out of her crib. Beth quiets.

INT. ERIN'S HOUSE - ERIN'S BEDROOM - NIGHT

Erin lies down on the mattress and rests Beth on her chest.
She sets down the file she was reading and picks up another.

CLOSE ON THE FILE

It contains a letter from a Dr. Howard Reeves. The first
paragraph contains the phrase "...medical examination of
Donna and Peter Irving..."

Toward the end of the letter there are two columns. One is
headed: "IN RANGE". The other: "OUT OF RANGE". Under that
head appear the following: "lymphocytes, T-lymphocytes,
natural killer cells, T Helpers, T8 suppressor cells"...

Erin stares at it, confused.

INT. ED'S OFFICE - DAY

Ed sits at his desk, working. There's a knock.

ED
Yeah.

Erin enters, holding a file.

ERIN
Hi. Sorry. Would you mind if I
investigated this a little further?

ED
Investigated what?

ERIN
This real estate thing with the
Irvings. The pro bono case...

ED
(overlap)
Oh yeah, yeah, yeah..

ERIN
(overlap)
See, yeah... I just want to make
sure I'm understanding what I'm
reading. So you do mind?

ED
No, go ahead.

ERIN
Great. Thanks.

Erin exits. Ed returns to his work.

EXT. L.A. FREEWAY - DAY

The beat-up old Hyundai heads east out of L.A.

EXT. HINKLEY, CA - DAY

This is a dry, desolate part of California. No downtown, no
community. Just tract after tract of arid farmland, with
small, bland, unprotected ranch home cropping up out of
landscape like occasional tombstones.

A beat-up old sign on the road reads: "HINKLEY, CA. POP:"
but the corner where the number would be has broken off.

As a gust of wind lifts dust from the fields, Erin turns
onto Community Boulevard, the main road that cuts through
Hinkley.

In doing so, she passes a nearby UTILITY PLANT. Its criss-
crossing PIPES and large COOLING TOWERS stand out clearly
against the flat, dry fields. Erin doesn't notice.

INT. ERIN'S HYUNDAI - DAY

Erin cruises through the neighborhood, looking at a piece of
paper with the Irvings' address on it. This area has seen
better days -- many of the houses have been razed, leaving
heaps of lumber and wire behind.

EXT. DONNA IRVING'S HOUSE - DAY

A generic ranch home standing all alone in the middle of
nothing. There's a pool out back and a chain link fence
hugging the property. No landscaping. Dull, but clean. A few
BOTTLES OF SPRING WATER wait by the door.

The Hyundai pulls into the driveway and stops. Erin gets
out. As she heads up to the door, her spike heels sink into
the dirt. She rings the bell. It has a melody chime.

DONNA IRVING opens the door. She's 35, petite, with a scrappy,
high-strung manner. She's wearing tight jeans, and her dark
curls are piled on top of her head.

ERIN
Hi. Donna Irving?

DONNA
Yes?

ERIN
I'm Erin Brockovich, from Masry &
Vititoe?

DONNA
(a little surprised)
You're a lawyer?

ERIN
Hell, no. I hate lawyers. I just
work for them. You got a minute?

INT. THE IRVINGS' HOUSE - LIVING ROOM - DAY

The house is furnished with little money, but lots of care.

Erin's on a plaid couch, in a sea of needle point pillows.

Out back, two GIRLS, ages 9 and 11, are playing in a pool.

ERIN
This is a real nice place you got
here.

DONNA (O.S.)
Well it oughta be, with all the work
I put into it.

She comes out from the kitchen with a tray of iced tea.

DONNA
I added air conditioning, put in the
pool, made all those pillows by
hand...

ERIN
Yeah? I should learn to do stuff
like that. They make the place feel
real homey.

Donna corrects the positioning on a couple of pillows.

DONNA
Thank you. I think so too. That's
why I'm being such a stickler on
this house price thing. I don't mean
to be a pain in PG&E's backside,
especially after all they've done
for Hinkley, but I look around here
and I think, if they want this place,
they're gonna have to pay for it.
And I don't just mean pay for the
house; I'd like them to pay me for
the trouble of starting over.

ERIN
So you didn't have the house up for
sale -- they just came to you and
wanted buy it?

DONNA
Yeah. I don't want move. Uproot the
kids. And besides the moving, there's
decorating a new place, and if the
windows aren't the same size, you
know -- you're making all new
curtains. Honest to God, I don't
know if I have the energy. You know,
I've been sick. Me and Pete both
have.

ERIN
Yeah, I'm real glad you brought that
up. I was going through your file
here, and I ran into these medical
records. They kinda surprised me --

This would be the perfect opportunity for many to get self-
pitying. But not Donna. Life's handed her a shitload of
lemons, and darned if she hasn't made a shitload of lemonade.

DONNA
I know. They're more than a bit
unusual. See, two years ago, Pete
got Hodgkin's disease. That's a kind
of cancer --

ERIN
Yeah, I'm real sorry to hear that.

DONNA
Thank you. It's in remission now,
thank the Lord, but you never know.
And then while that's going on, I
end up having to have a hysterectomy.
Plus a whole mess of lumps removed
from my breasts. All benign so far,
but still, no matter how positive
you stay, an operation can still
take it out of you.
(Erin nods)
So the whole idea of selling the
house -- if they aren't gonna pay us
properly, I just don't see the point.

ERIN
Yeah, I can see that.
(beat)
I guess the only thing that confused
me is -- not that your medical
problems aren't important, but --
how come the files about them are in
with all the real estate stuff?

Donna tops off their iced teas.

DONNA
There's so much correspondence, I
just keep it all in one place.

ERIN
Right, but -- I'm sorry, I don't see
why you were corresponding with PG&E
about it in the first place.

DONNA
Well, they paid for the doctor's
visit.

ERIN
They did?

DONNA
You bet. Paid for a check-up for the
whole family. And not like with
insurance where you pay, then wait a
year to be reimbursed, either. They
just took care of it. Just like that.
We never even saw a bill.

ERIN
Wow. Why would they do that?

DONNA
'Cause of the chromium.

ERIN
The what?

DONNA
The chromium. Well, that's what kicked
this whole thing off.

INT. ERIN'S HYUNDAI - DAY

As Erin leaves Hinkley, she stops the car and takes a look
at the power plant she passed so obliviously on her way into
town.

Maybe it's the angle, or maybe it's what Donna's been telling
her, but somehow the plant seems more threatening now. Like
it's bearing down on the town.

EXT. UCLA MAIN LIBRARY - DAY

Large. Looming. Very establishment. Through the windows, we
see Erin at the desk, talking to a LIBRARIAN. She has the
file in her hands.

The librarian gives her directions to somewhere else.

INT. UCLA SCIENCE BUILDING - HALLWAY - DAY

A long, academic hallway lit by fluorescents. Erin gets off
an elevator and heads down the hall. She finds a door with a
nameplate that reads "Brian Frankel, Toxicology" and KNOCKS.

The door opens and DR. FRANKEL appears, looking as though
he's getting ready to leave. Nothing like Erin has ever shown
up at his door. He reels at the sight of her.

ERIN
Doctor Frankel?

FRANKEL
Yes?

ERIN
Hi, I'm Erin Brockovich. I was just
over in the library there, asking a
mess of questions about -- I guess
they call it toxicology? -- and the
fella there told me to find you,
'cause you know all about it.

FRANKEL
(suspicious)
Is this a joke? Did Baxter put you
up to this?

ERIN
Who's Baxter?

FRANKEL
He did, didn't he? Baxter!

BAXTER, another scientist, leans out of a door down the hall.

BAXTER
Yeah?

Baxter and Erin look at each other. No recognition, of course.
Frankel is immediately embarrassed.

FRANKEL
Oh. Oh.

ERIN
No one put me up to anything. I was
just hoping I could ask you a couple
questions.

FRANKEL
(mortified)
Of course! Oh, Gosh, of course --

INT. BUILDING CORRIDOR - DAY

Erin follows Frankel down the hall.

FRANKEL
What kind of chromium is it?

ERIN
There's more than one kind?

FRANKEL
Yes. There's straight-up chromium --
does all kinds of good things for
the body. There's chrom 3, which is
fairly benign, and then there's chrom
6, hexavalent chromium, which,
depending on the amounts, can be
very harmful.

EXT. UCLA CAMPUS - DAY

Erin and Dr. Frankel continue walking.

ERIN
Harmful, like -- how? What would you
get?

FRANKEL
With repeated exposure to toxic levels --
God, anything, really -- from chronic
headaches and nosebleeds to
respiratory disease, liver failure,
heart failure, reproductive failure,
bone or organ deterioration -- plus,
of course, any type of cancer.

He rattles it off coolly. Just facts. Erin's stunned.

ERIN
So that stuff -- it kills people.

FRANKEL
Oh, yeah. Definitely. Highly toxic,
highly carcinogenic. Bad, bad stuff.

ERIN
What's it used for?

FRANKEL
A rust inhibitor. See, the utility
plants run these piston engines to
compress the gas, the engines get
hot, you gotta run water through
them -- chromium's in the water to
prevent corrosion...

ERIN
Well, how do I find out what kind of
chromium they use in Hinkley?

FRANKEL
Have you been to their water board?

ERIN
Hunh-uh. What's that?

FRANKEL
Every county has one. They keep
records of anything water-related
within their jurisdiction. You should
be able to find something there.

ERIN
County water board. All righty,
thanks.

FRANKEL
Good luck.
(beat)
Oh -- I wouldn't advertise what you're
looking for if I were you...
incriminating records have a way of
disappearing when people smell
trouble.

EXT. LAHOTAN REGIONAL WATER BOARD - DAY

A small building on a small street baking under the desert
sun. Anybody with any sense is inside, out of the heat.

Erin's Hyundai pulls up and stops in a cloud of dust. Erin
hops out, checks her reflection in the side-view mirror,
then heads into the building.

INT. LAHOTAN REGIONAL WATER BOARD - DAY

Drab, government-issue. ROSS, the bored desk clerk is thumbing
his way through ROAD & TRACK. Just as he stops to stare at a
motor oil ad in which a buxom blonde is straddling the hood
of a car, the huge door opens and Erin enters.

ERIN
Whew! Goddamn, that's a heavy door.

Ross looks up. It's like the girl from the ad walked right
off the page. He jumps up, to help her with the door.

ROSS
Oh, hey -- lemme give you a hand
there.

ERIN
Thank you very much. Aren't you a
gentleman? Mr...

ROSS
Ross.

ERIN
Ross. Real pleased to meet you. I'm
Erin.

She smiles. He can't believe his luck.

ROSS
Erin. Cool. What can I do for you,
Erin?

ERIN
Well, believe it or not, I am on the
prowl for some water records.

ROSS
(with a laugh)
You come to the right place.

ERIN
(laughing along)
I guess I did.

ROSS
You just tell me what you want to
look at and I'll be glad to dig 'em
out for you.

ERIN
I wish I knew. It's for my boss.
He's fighting his water bill, and he
wants me to find all manner of bills
from all kinds of places. The easiest
thing would probably be if I just
squeezed back there with you and
poked around myself. Would that be
okay?

ROSS
Heck, yeah. Come on back. Just gonna
need you to sign in here --

He hands her a pen. He reads over her shoulder as she signs
her name -- Erin Pattee Brockovich.

ROSS
Pattee? That your middle name?

ERIN
Nope. Maiden.

ROSS
(disappointed)
You're married.

ERIN
Not anymore.

She smiles and winks at him, then goes around the counter
with him and looks at the stacks and stacks of files.

ERIN
Well. Here goes nothing.

She heads down an aisle, reading the spines of the files.

They're all town names -- Barstow, Victorville, Oro Grande,
Helendale -- in no particular order. Finally, Erin spots one
that says Hinkley. She pulls it down.

IN THE FILE

are pages and pages of Xeroxed memoranda, letters, charts,
graphs, handwritten notes. All shoved in willy-nilly.

INT. ERIN'S HOUSE - MAIN ROOM - DAY

George is watching a football game on TV. He's just put TV
dinners on the floor in front of the Matt and Katie.

MATT
Our mom gives us sandwiches on
Fridays.

GEORGE
That's a sandwich.

KATIE
No, it's not!

GEORGE
Sure it is. Here, I'll show you.

He picks up Matt's chicken, tears it in two...

GEORGE
Most people think a sandwich's gotta
have bread on the outside. Not true.
Chicken is a perfectly good outside
for a sandwich.

...then places the broccoli neatly between the halves.

GEORGE
See?

Katie and Matthew look at it, then up at George, and smile.

They eat quietly -- not watching the TV. George gets the
feeling they're not into the game. He grabs the remote and
turns on a Nickelodeon-type show. They perk up, recognizing
it. He likes pleasing them. He looks over to Beth --

George likes how this feels.

EXT. WATER BOARD - NIGHT

It's gotten dark. Erin's Hyundai's still there.

INT. WATER BOARD - NIGHT

Erin is on the floor, her legs stretched out in front of
her. She has a bunch of files open and spread across the
floor. The one in her hand has caught her attention.

INSERT ON THE PAPER

It's a memo titled: "CLEAN-UP AND ABATEMENT ORDER" from the
water board to PG&E. Erin is concentrating hard on it, reading
laboriously to herself.

ERIN (O.S.)
"...On December 7, 1987, the
discharger notified the regional
board and the San Bernardino County
Environmental Health Services of the
discovery of 0.58 ppm of hex-a-...
hex-a-valent chromium in an on-site
ground water monitoring well..."
(beat)
...hexavalent...

INT. MASRY & VITITOE - RECEPTION - DAY

CLOSE ON A XEROX OF THE ABATEMENT ORDER. WIDEN to see it is
on top of a stack of papers that Erin is carrying as she
enters the office. She has an efficient air about her -- a
sense of purpose.

INT. MASRY & VITITOE - FILE ROOM - DAY

Erin swoops in, ready to work, only to find her desk cleared
off. She turns to Anna, who's already hard at work.

ERIN
Where's my stuff?

Anna looks up.

ANNA
Where've you been?

ERIN
What the fuck did you do with my
stuff?

ANNA
Don't use language with me --

But Erin's out the door before Anna can finish her sentence.

INT. MASRY & VITITOE - JANE'S OFFICE - DAY

JANE is at her desk. Erin barrels in.

ERIN
Someone stole my stuff.

JANE
Nice to see you, Erin. We've missed
you.

ERIN
I had photos of my kids, plus a mug --

Jane reaches under her desk for a box, looks through it.

JANE
-- toothbrush, toothpaste, and a
pair of hose. Here.

ERIN
What's going on?

JANE
There may be jobs where you can
disappear for days at a time, but
this isn't one of them. Here, if you
don't do the work, you don't get to
stay.

She hands her the box. Erin doesn't take it.

ERIN
I've been working. Shit, that's all
I've been doing. Ask Mr. Masry. He
knows.

INT. MASRY & VITITOE - ED'S OFFICE - DAY

Ed's at his desk, dialing the phone when Erin barrels in.

ERIN
You said to fire me?

He sets down the receiver.

ED
Erin, you've been gone for a week.

ERIN
I left a message. I've been dealing
with that real estate thing. I was
gonna write up a whole damn report
and --

ED
That's not how we work here. You
don't just leave a message and take
off.

Jane follows her in, still carrying the box of stuff.

ERIN
What am I supposed to do, check in
every two seconds?

JANE
Yes. It's called accountability.

ERIN
I am not talking to you, bitch.

JANE
Excuse me?

ED
Okay, enough --
(beat)
Now, look Erin -- this incident aside,
I don't think this is the right place
for you. So what I'm gonna do is
make a few calls on your behalf.
Find you something else, okay?

ERIN
Don't bother.

She turns to Jane, takes her box, and heads out.

ED
Come on, I'm trying to help here.

ERIN
Bullshit. You're trying to feel less
guilty about firing someone with
three kids to feed. Fuck if I'll
help you do that.

And she leaves.

INT. MASRY & VITITOE - OUTSIDE ED'S OFFICE - DAY

As Erin heads for the door, pleased glances fly from secretary
to secretary. Erin reaches the door, but can't open it with
the box in her arms. She turns to the room.

ERIN
I don't suppose any one of you cunts
could open the door for me.

INT. ERIN'S HOUSE - MAIN ROOM - DAY

Erin enters, puts down the box and stares at the mail.

Bills, bills, and more bills. As she throws them on the table,
she sees George coming out of the kitchen.

ERIN
What are you doing here?

GEORGE
Fixing a leak under your sink.

She heads into the kitchen, weary and irritated.

ERIN
I didn't ask you to do that. Damn
it, George, I don't ask you to do
things like that.

INT. ERIN'S HOUSE - KITCHEN - DAY

Erin enters, sees all the cleaning stuff from under the sink
is spread around the kitchen floor. A tool box lies open.

ERIN
Great.

GEORGE
I'm gonna clean it up.

Erin gets down on her knees and starts putting things away.

GEORGE
Relax, Erin, I'll do it -- I'm not --

Before he can finish, a huge WATER BUG runs onto Erin's hand.

ERIN
Ugh -- Jesus --

She jumps and brushes it off.

GEORGE
Yeah -- you had a whole family of
those things hanging out back there.

She takes off her shoe and smacks at the bug, missing it.

ERIN
Damn it --

The bug skitters away from her, along the floorboard. Erin
chases it, smacking at it repeatedly, missing it every time.

GEORGE
Don't worry about it, I'll get it
later.

But Erin keeps after it, corralling all her frustrations
into killing that one bug.

ERIN
Come here, you little motherfucker --

The bug crawls up onto the table, zipping behind the salt,
the paper, the napkin holder. Erin keeps after it, BANGING
the table harder and harder with each SMACK of her shoe.

GEORGE
Hey, whoa -- relax --

The salt and pepper skid off the table. The napkins fly from
their holder. Just as Erin's about to nail the bug, it slips
into a crack in the wall and disappears. Erin hurls her shoe
at the crack. It SMASHES into the wall.

ERIN
GOD DAMN IT!

As Erin stands there staring at the wall, her breath starts
to come heavily -- those deep breaths that precede tears.
She slowly slides down into a chair, defeat overcoming her.

ERIN
(almost a whisper)
...God damn it.

She looks around at her for-shit kitchen and starts to cry.

ERIN
What kind of person lives like this?
Huh? What kind of person lets her
kids run around in a house crawling
with bugs the size of housecats?

GEORGE
It's a simple thing. Everybody gets
them. All we gotta do is call an
exterminator.

ERIN
I can't call an exterminator. I can't
afford one. God, I can't even afford
my phone.
(beat)
I got fired.

GEORGE
What? But you been working so hard --

ERIN
Doesn't matter. Doesn't make one
fucking bit of difference.

She exits. After a beat, George follows.

INT. ERIN'S HOUSE - ERIN'S BEDROOM - DAY

Erin sits on the bed, drying her eyes. George enters. Erin
looks up at herself in the mirror above her bureau.

ERIN
I don't know what happened to me...

George listens by the door.

ERIN
I mean I was Miss Wichita, for Christ
sakes. Did I tell you that? Did ya
know you were living next door to a
real live beauty queen.
(wipes her nose)
I still got the tiara. I thought it
meant I was gonna do something
important with my life, that I was
gonna be someone.

GEORGE
You are someone.

ERIN
No I'm not. Look at me.

GEORGE
You're someone to me.

He takes a step toward her and kneels in front of her, very
close. He takes her shoe from her hand and puts it back on
her foot. Then he takes her hands in his and kisses them.

ERIN
Are you going to be something else I
have to survive? Cause I'll tell you
the truth, I'm not up to it.

But he kisses her anyway. And for the first time in so long,
she feels like something other than a failure. He pulls her
into him, and she lets herself be pulled.

INT. ERIN'S HOUSE - ERIN'S BEDROOM - DAY

Erin and George are in bed, naked, curled around each other.

As Erin recites her beauty queen speech, they are both
laughing at the naive, impossible goals of her youth.

ERIN
"....and I will devote my entire
reign as Miss Wichita to bringing an
end to world hunger... and to the
creation of a peaceful earth for
every man, woman and child..."

GEORGE
How long were you going to be Miss
Wichita?

ERIN
One year!
(George laughs)
Of course by the time I got through
opening new supermarkets. I had just
a few weeks left for hunger and world
peace, so... Ha, ha, ha... damn... I
don't know what the hell I was
thinking.

GEORGE
I wanted to run my own antique shop.

Erin looks at him. Beat. She bursts into laughter.

GEORGE
(laughing)
Oh that's nice... that's very nice!

He starts tickling her. She screams then covers her mouth so
as not to wake the kids... They roll over each other.

ERIN
I'm sorry... I'm sorry...

GEORGE
My parents rented antiques on the
side. I'm not just some grease monkey,
you know.

ERIN
Oh, I know. You're one of those Zen
gods of motorcycle maintenance, aren't
you?

GEORGE
(smiles)
Maybe. Maybe there's a reason I found
that place next door. A reason I
revved my bike that night and you
came out tearing my head off.

ERIN
Yeah, we just did the reason.

She says this as she is about to get up but George holds her
back, suddenly dead serious...

GEORGE
Don't do that to yourself. If that's
all I wanted, I don't need to go
next door to a woman with three
kids...

Erin suddenly grows uncomfortable at the implied intimacy.

GEORGE
(laughs)
All I'm saying is, I can't believe
whatever kind of God there is, put
you here -- looking the way you look,
with the brains and balls you got --
just to trip you up and watch you
fall. Can't be.

He kisses one of her earlobes. Erin likes the sound of this
but it also makes her apprehensive. She leans in to kiss
him, but before she does:

ERIN
Don't be too nice to me, okay? It
makes me nervous.

George looks almost hurt, but empathetic. Erin kisses him
long and hard as they begin to make love again.

INT. MASRY & VITITOE - ED'S OFFICE - DAY

Ed is at his desk. The PHONE RINGS. And RINGS. And RINGS.

ED
Brenda!
(no answer)
BRENDA!

Nothing. Ed growls in frustration, then gets the phone.

ED
Yeah, Ed Masry here... She doesn't
work here anymore. Who's this?

INT. ERIN'S HOUSE - KITCHEN - DAY

CLOSE ON THE TABLE, where Beth is bobbling in her baby chair.
On one side of her is a heap of bills with "PAST DUE" and
"PLEASE REMIT" stamped on them. On the other, the well-
thumbed CLASSIFIED SECTION, with circles and X's all over
it.

The DOORBELL rings. Erin swoops in and picks up Beth.

ERIN
Come on, baby. Maybe that's Ed
McMahon.

INT. ERIN'S HOUSE - FRONT DOOR - DAY

Erin carries Beth over to the front door, spies through the
peephole, and sees Ed standing there. She opens the door.

ERIN
Wrong Ed.
(Ed looks confused)
What are you doing here?

ED
I got an interesting call this
afternoon. It was from a Doctor
Frankel from UCLA.

ERIN
Oh, yeah?

ED
He wanted you to know the legal limit
for hexavalent chromium, is .05 parts
per million. And that at the rate
you mentioned, .58, it could be
responsible for the cancers in that
family you asked about. The Irvings.

ERIN
Well, that was nice of him. Isn't it
funny how some people go out of their
way to help people and others just
fire 'em.

ED
Look, I'm sorry. You were gone. I
just assumed you were off having
fun.

ERIN
Now, why in the hell would you assume
that?

ED
I don't know. Maybe 'cause you look
like someone who has a lot of fun.

ERIN
OH! So by that standard I should
assume you never get laid.

Ed takes a beat, copping to the charge. He admits:

ED
I'm married.
(Erin suppresses a
smile)
So what's the story on this thing?
This cancer stuff?

ERIN
You wanna know, you gotta hire me
back. I got a lot of bills to pay.

He glares at her. Realizes he has no choice.

ED
Fine.

INT. ERIN'S HOUSE - LIVING ROOM - LATER

Erin has let Ed in. They're sitting.

ERIN
...so Donna had just put in these
new cabinets -- real nice, stained
the wood and all -- when she gets
this call from somebody at PG&E saying
that a freeway's gonna be built and
they want to buy her house so they
can make an off ramp for the plant...
Meanwhile, the husband's sick with
Hodgkins and she's in and out of the
hospital with tumors -- believing
one thing has anything to do with
the other.

ED
Because PG&E told her about the
chromium.

ERIN
Get this -- they held a seminar.
They invited about two hundred
residents from the area. They had it
at the plant in this warehouse. They
set up legal booths to tell them
what their legal rights were. They
had medical booths to tell them what
their medical rights were....

Ed is listening with more and more interest.

ERIN
...telling them all about Chromium 3
and how it was good for you, when
all the time they were using Chromium
6.

ED
(impressed)
You got all this from her?

ERIN
(beat. shrugs)
She made coffee. Cupcakes. She's
real nice.

Beat.

ED
That document you found at the Water
Board, the one that says it was the
bad chromium -- you didn't happen to
make a copy did you?

ERIN
'Course I did.

ED
Lemme see it, will you?

Before getting it for him, she looks at him.

ERIN
I want a raise. And benefits.
Including dental.

ED
Look, Erin, this is not the way I do
business.

ERIN
What way is that?

ED
Extortion.

Erin doesn't budge.

ED
Okay. A five percent raise, and --

ERIN
Ten.
(off his look)
There's a lot other places I could
work. I could even take everything I
know to another law firm.

ED
A ten percent raise and benefits.
But that's it. I'm drawing the line.

She goes to her box of stuff from the office and digs out
the document for him. He scans it.

ED
This is the only thing you found?

ERIN
So far. But that place is a pig sty.
I wouldn't be surprised if there's
more.

ED
I know how those places are run.
They're a mess. What makes you think
you can just walk in there and find
what we need?

ERIN
They're called boobs, Ed.

Shaking his head, Ed rises to leave as he says;

ED
I can't believe you just said that...

EXT. 10 FREEWAY - DAY

Erin's Hyundai zips along the freeway.

Erin's driving. Matthew's in the front seat. Katie and Beth
(in a car seat) are in the back;

INT. HYUNDAI - DAY

Improvisational... I.e. Matthew keeps trying to tell a joke
he heard. Katie keeps trying to guess, like it's a riddle,
frustrating Matthew and cracking up Erin...

EXT. PG&E COMPRESSOR STATION - DAY

The Hyundai is parked at the entrance to the station, by a
row of dead trees. Erin is standing beside a sign that says
"Private Property. No Trespassing," taking pictures of the
massive structure in the distance. Matthew, Katie, and Beth
are drawing in the dirt with sticks.

ERIN
Stay out of the road. I'll be right
back.

She wanders up the drive, onto PG&E property, moving around
the plant, taking pictures of it from every possible angle.

As she wanders over a big, flat, dry field to the side of
the plant, she glances over her shoulder to check on her
kids and notices the trail she made in the dirt has a greenish
hue.

She looks at the dirt right her feet. Kicks the ground.

Below the surface, the dirt turns from brown to green. Erin
notes this, then looks back at her kids playing in the dirt.

Worry comes over her face. She heads back to them.

EXT. HINKLEY MART - DAY

The kids are waiting at the car. Erin comes out of the store
with a bottle of water and uses it to rinse off their hands.

EXT. WATER BOARD - DAY

The sound of a BABY CRYING. The Hyundai's parked in front.

MATTHEW (O.S.)
I'm hungry.

INT. WATER BOARD - DAY

Erin is at the Xerox machine, copying a file while she tries
to calm Beth. There's a stack of files on the nearby table.

Matthew and Katie are flopping around on the floor.

ERIN
We'll go eat in a minute. Settle
down.

Ross is on the phone with someone -- we don't know who --
but the look on his face is one of anxiety. His eyes keep
shifting between the call and Erin. He nods as if he
understands and hangs up... He crosses to her.

ROSS
(real friendly)
So, how we doin'?

ERIN
We're doing great?

ROSS
(off the cuff)
Good... Well, you've got quite a lot
done already... so uhh... I'm sorry
but uh... we... we have to have those
records back now. OK?

Erin stops... looks at him... and quickly knows how to
respond;

ERIN
No.

ROSS
What?

ERIN
These papers are a matter of public
record. I'm not leaving til they're
copied.

Erin returns to copying. Ross is stymied.

INT. MASRY & VITITOE - BRENDA'S DESK - DAY

Ed comes in in the morning, and without pausing, hands Brenda
a copy of the STACK OF DOCUMENTS, with a Post-It on the top.

ED
Fax these to this number, okay?

BRENDA
All of 'em?

ED
All of them.

He continues into his office and closes the door.

CLOSE ON THE FAX MACHINE LED

Brenda types in the number. The recipient's ID comes up on
the LED: PG&E CLAIMS DEPT.

INT. IRVING HOUSE - LIVING ROOM - DAY

Donna has made lunch for Erin. The remnants are on the coffee
table. A copy of those DOCUMENTS are in Donna's hands. She's
on her couch with Erin, reading them. Outside, Donna's two
daughters are playing in the pool. She reads the last page
and looks up at Erin, bewildered.

DONNA
An on-site monitoring well? That
means --

ERIN
It was right up on the PG&E property
over there.

DONNA
And you say this stuff, this
hexavalent chromium -- it's poisonous?

ERIN
Yeah.

DONNA
Well -- then it's gotta be different
than what's in our water, 'cause
ours is okay. The guys from PG&E
told me. They sat right in the kitchen
and said it was fine.

ERIN
I know. But the toxicologist I been
talking to? He gave me a list of
problems that can come from hexavalent
chromium exposure. And everything
you all have is on that list.

Donna resists this idea hard.

DONNA
No. Hunh-uh, see, that's not what
the doctor said. He said one's got
absolutely nothing to do with the
other.

ERIN
Right, but -- didn't you say the
doctor was paid by PG&E?

Donna sits quietly, trying to make sense of this. The only
sound is the LAUGHING and SPLASHING from the pool out back.

Then, gradually, Donna realizes what it is she's hearing --
her kids playing in toxic water. She jumps up...

DONNA
ASHLEY! SHANNA!

...and runs out to the pool. Erin follows her.

EXT. DONNA'S HOUSE - DAY

From the door, Erin watches Donna run to the edge of the
pool in a frantic response to this news.

DONNA
OUT OF THE POOL! BOTH OF YOU, OUT OF
THE POOL, RIGHT NOW!

SHANNA
How come?

DONNA
'CAUSE I SAID SO, THAT'S WHY, NOW
GET OUT! OUT! NOW!!!

Erin watches compassionately as Donna flails to get her kids
out of the contaminated water.

INT. ED'S OFFICE - DAY

Ed is attempting to tie his tie in a mirror, as Erin looks
on. He's very excited as he fumbles the knot...

ED
I'm telling you, the minute Brenda
sent the fax -- I'm talking the second
she pressed that send button -- PG&E
claims department is on the phone to
me, scheduling a meeting.

ERIN
So you think we... let me do this,
you're driving me nuts...

She makes him face her as she ties his tie....

ED
It's the material.

ERIN
(looks at label)
Armani?
(Ed shrugs)
You think we scared'em, don't you?

ED
Well, they're taking the time to
send someone. It sure as hell sounds
like they're sitting up and taking
notice. Now do me a favor, and let
me handle this. Lawyers have a way
of talking to each other.

ERIN
(humoring him)
Oh, I know.

Brenda pops her head in, ignores Erin -- though clearly takes
notice of her tying Ed's tie.

BRENDA
David Baum from PG&E is at reception.

Erin feels the chill Brenda's sending her way. Erin decides
to tease her by speaking to Ed in a sultry voice:

ERIN
Oh Mr. Masry, we better learn how to
dress faster. People can come in so
suddenly...
(giggles)


Brenda leaves without acknowledging Erin. Ed grimaces;

ED
Is that... necessary? Brenda's gonna
open her mouth all over the offi --

ERIN
Oh come on. I'm teasing. Who gives a
shit...

INT. MASRY & VITITOE - BRENDA'S DESK - CONTINUOUS

Jane is delivering paychecks, spots Brenda exiting Ed's office
and whispers:

JANE
What's she doing here?

BRENDA
He hired her back. With a raise.

JANE
What?? Why?

BRENDA
He's a man... She's a woman.

JANE
What are we -- office supplies?

INT. MASRY & VITITOE - MAIN ROOM - DAY

Ed and Erin come out and see DAVID BAUM waiting at reception.

Forget law school, this kid looks like he's just out of
twelfth grade. Not a hair on his chin. His suit and shoes
look brand new.

Ed stops suddenly, before being seen. Erin stops too.

ERIN
What?

Ed's expression upon seeing the "young" representative tells
us he's none too happy.

INT. MASRY & VITITOE - CONFERENCE ROOM - DAY

Ed and Erin are seated across the table from Baum. To say
this kid lacks authority is a gross understatement. He doesn't
talk; he squeaks.

BAUM
...in the interest of putting this
whole thing to rest, PG&E is willing
to offer the Irvings 250,000 dollars
for their home.

Ed laughs a little in disbelief.

ED
250,000?

BAUM
In terms of land value out in Hinkley,
Mr. Masry, we feel it's more than
fair price.

ED
What about in terms of medical
expenses? 250,000 doesn't come close
to what this family's gonna have to
spend on doctors.

BAUM
I understand they've had a bad run
of luck, health-wise, and they have
my sympathies. But that's not PG&E's
fault.

ED
You're kidding, right?

Baum doesn't answer.

ED
Look at these readings for Christ's
sake. Pg&E's own technicians
documented toxic levels of hexavalent
chromium in those test wells on
numerous occasions.

Ed shoves them across the table. Baum doesn't look at them.

ED
Everything the Irvings have had is
proven reaction to exposure to
hexavalent chromium. They've had...

He stalls a moment. Erin jumps in.

ERIN
-- breast cysts, uterine cancer,
Hodgkin's disease, immune
deficiencies, asthma, chronic
nosebleeds.

Despite their persuasiveness, Baum parrots what is obviously
the party line:

BAUM
A million things could have caused
those problems. Poor diet, bad genes,
irresponsible lifestyle. Our offer
is final and more than fair.

ED
Wait a minute -- I thought we were
negotiating here.

BAUM
250,000 is all I'm authorized to
offer.

Ed looks across at this pissant little kid. Then stands.

ED
I will present your offer to my
clients. I doubt they'll accept it.

As Ed starts out, Baum tries to take a stand;

BAUM
Mr. Masry, before you go off on some
crusade, you might want to remember
who it is you're dealing with here.
PG&E is a twenty-eight-billion-dollar
corporation.

ED
(smiles, acting
excited/greedy)
Twenty-eight billion dollars! I didn't
know it was THAT much! WOW!

Baum suddenly realizes he's made a mistake admitting the
company's wealth. Ed leaves the conference room. Erin follows
him out.

INT. MASRY & VITITOE - MAIN ROOM - DAY

Erin follows Ed as he stomps back to his office.

ERIN
At least they made an offer.

ED
(undoing his tie)
That wasn't an offer. A million
would've been an offer. When they
send the god damn mail clerk down to
jerk me off, waste my time, it's a
fuck you.

Ed throws the tie off.

ERIN
I don't get why they'd do that.

ED
Because they can. You heard that kid --
they have twenty-eight billion dollars
at their disposal. They can afford
to waste all the time in the world!

ERIN
And you can't?

ED
What, you think I'm made of money?!

ERIN
What are you yelling at me for?

ED
Because I'm fucking pissed off!

ERIN
(yells back)
Good!

ED
FUCK YOU!

Erin starts to smile. Ed cracks a smile then starts to laugh.

ED
I really hate you sometimes, ya know
that.

ERIN
You love me.

INT. MASRY & VITITOE - LADIES ROOM - NIGHT

At the end of her day, Rosalind enters to fix herself up
before going home. She walks in on:

Erin, splashing cold water on her face... and dabbing her
eyes with cool, wet paper towels... They do not speak as
Rosalind steps beside her to face the mirrors above the sink.
After a beat or two, Erin exits.

Alone, Rosalind has her lipstick and is about to apply when
she looks at herself in the mirror... She tries lowering her
neckline... then, loosening up her hair... as if secretly
showing herself what an Erin-makeover would do for her.

INT. MASRY & VITITOE - OUTSIDE ED'S OFFICE - NIGHT

End of the day. Most everyone has left. Erin is at her new
work space near Ed's office. She's poring over a fat file of
documents. Rosalind wanders by with her coat on.

ROSALIND
You've been reading for hours.

ERIN
I'm a slow reader.

Whatever she thinks of her, Rosalind can't help but see Erin's
hard at work. She turns on Erin's desk lamp and heads out --
it's the first helpful hand Erin has received from one of
the women.

Erin turns back to her work when her attention is then drawn
to the big glass office doors; on the other side, Rosalind
is talking to a lost-looking COUPLE IN THEIR MID-30's. These
are MANDY and TOM BROWN. He's in a security guard uniform,
with an envelope under his arm. Rosalind points to Erin.

The Browns enter the office and approach her.

MANDY
Excuse me, are you Erin Brockovich?

ERIN
Yeah. Who are you?

TOM
I'm Tom Brown. This is my wife Mandy.
We used to live across the street
from the Irvings. Pg&E bought our
house last year.

INT. ERIN'S DESK - LATER

CLOSE ON PHOTOS OF CHICKENS, each with a twisted, limp neck.

TOM
It's called wry neck. It's when
they're born without any muscles in
the neck.

WIDEN to see Erin looking at them with Tom and Mandy.

ERIN
Wow. How many were born like this?

TOM
Twelve, maybe thirteen.

MANDY
When Donna told us about you, and
what you told her about the chromium,
we figured that might have something
to do with this, too.

ERIN
It sure could, yeah. Thanks a lot.

She tucks them into a file, as if that's it.

MANDY
There's something else, too.

ERIN
What?

TOM
Well. Mandy here's had nine
miscarriages.

ERIN
Are you kidding? My God --

MANDY
I know. It's an awful lot.

ERIN
I'm surprised Donna didn't say
anything.

TOM
She doesn't know. No one does. It's
not something you want to talk about,
you know?

MANDY
I figured it musta been something I
did, like when I smoked marijuana,
maybe. Or took birth control pills.
But then Donna told me you thought
this chromium might be to blame for
her problems, so I figured...

INT. ERIN'S HOUSE - NIGHT

Erin enters, exhausted. She collapses on a chair.

George is on his hands and knees, apparently searching for a
lost toy. Erin talks to him with her eyes closed.

ERIN
I got to take a bath.

GEORGE
You should go in.

ERIN
They're not asleep?

GEORGE
Katie and Beth are.

They exchange a look. Erin knows Matt's upset.

INT. ERIN'S HOUSE - MATT AND KATIE'S ROOM - NIGHT

Matt and Katie are in bed, with the light off. Erin comes
in, quietly, in clothes from work.

ERIN
Hey.

CLOSE ON MATT. He's awake and pissed. She sits on his bed.

She knows he's mad at her -- she speaks softly, caringly;

ERIN
How was school?

MATTHEW
Fine.

ERIN
Did you do your homework?

MATTHEW
Yeah.

ERIN
Any problems?

He doesn't answer. She comes in and sits on the bed.

ERIN
Look, I know you're upset. But the
way this job is, things come up at
the last minute, real important
things, and I gotta deal with --

Matt turns around in his bed and pulls up the covers, cutting
her off --

MATTHEW
Fine.

ERIN
Please don't be mad at me. I'm...
I'm doing this for us... I know it's
hard for you to understand but... I
mean, don't you want mommy to be
good at her job?
(no answer)
And it's not like I miss dinner all
the time. We all ate together last
night.

MATTHEW
(from under the covers)
You were reading the whole time.

He's got a point there. Erin feels like shit.

ERIN
O.K... O.K. I'm sorry. I'll try a
whole lot harder to be around, okay?
I promise.

She lays her hand on his body. Without turning towards her,
his little hand rises out from the covers and touches hers.

EXT. ROUTE 10, INLAND EMPIRE - DAY

Ed's big old Mercedes is toodling down the freeway at a rate
well below the speed limit.

INT. ED'S MERCEDES - DAY

Frank Sinatra on the stereo, the "Songs for Swingin' Lovers"
album. Ed looks over at Erin and smiles. Erin just stares at
him, then looks over at the speedometer. 50 mph. Ugh.

Ed's car phone rings. He picks it up.

ED
Ed Masry.
(his voice softens)
Hi, baby. Yes, I did. I did, really.

He laughs, and the car starts drifting across the lane
markers.

THWACK THWACK THWACK. Ed doesn't notice. Erin's getting
nervous.

ED
Of course I do. Of course I do. Okay.

He makes a kissing noise into the phone. He's practically
driving off the road.

ED
Bye-bye... bye-bye... no, you. Okay,
together: Bye-bye.

He hangs up, smiling to himself. Erin clears her throat.

ERIN
Um, you mind pulling over? Just for
a second?

EXT. FREEWAY - DAY

The Mercedes pulls to a stop on the shoulder. Erin gets out,
walks around to the driver's side, and opens the door.

ERIN
First of all, don't talk baby talk
to your wife in front of me. It really
undermines your authority. Second, I
know you're my boss and all, but you
are the worst fucking driver I've
ever seen. Move over or I quit.

He moves over. She gets in, turns off the Sinatra, and they
pull back out onto the freeway in silence.

EXT. IRVING'S HOUSE - NIGHT

The Mercedes and a truck are parked out front.

PETE (O.S.)
There's something about this whole
thing I don't quite understand, Mr.
Masry.

INT. DONNA IRVING'S HOUSE - LIVING ROOM - NIGHT

Donna and Pete Irving, and Mandy and Roy Brown are all seated,
sipping iced tea. While they talk, Erin hands them all
information packets on chromium. Ed is standing in front of
them, a little stiff.

PETE
If PG&E messed with our water, why
would they bother saying anything
about it to us? Why not just keep
quiet about it?

ED
To establish a statute of limitations.
See, in a case like this, you only
have a year from the time you first
learn about the problem to file suit.
So PG&E figures, we'll let the cat
out of the bag -- tell the people
the water's not perfect; if we can
ride out the year with no one suing,
we'll be in the clear forever.

PETE
But they're not like that. I mean,
remember Donna, they sent us bottled
water. We didn't ask for it. They
just did it.

ED
But then they stopped.

Ed looks to Donna. She nods.

ED
As soon as the statute of limitations
ended, they stopped.

DONNA
But it was more than a year ago that
they told us --

ED
It's okay. We're not suing.

ERIN
Not yet.

ED
(annoyed at that remark)
All we're doing is using this
information to get you a real nice
purchase price on your house, and
get you two --
(to the Browns)
-- a comparable retroactive bonus
added to your sale price. This way,
and PG&E can still look good to their
shareholders, 'cause they're not
involved in an ugly lawsuit; all
they're doing is buying a little
property.

Roy looks up from his retainer agreement.

ROY
It doesn't say here how much this
whole thing's gonna cost us.

ED
My fee's forty percent of whatever
you get awarded.

Erin watches them look around at each other, stunned by the
figure.

ERIN
Boy, do I know how you feel. First
time I heard that number, I said you
got to be kidding me. Forty goddamn
percent?

ED
Erin --

ERIN
I'm the one who's injured, and this
joker who sits at a desk all day is
gonna walk away with almost half my
reward?

ED
Erin --

Erin's enjoying Ed's discomfort almost too much to stop. But
just almost. She shifts gears.

ERIN
Then I asked him how much he makes
if I didn't get anything.

They look at Ed. Well?

ED
Then I don't get anything either.

ERIN
And I realized, he's taking a chance
too.

When they hear this, and realize he's in it with them, they
all reach for their pens and sign. They hand the agreements
over to Erin, who takes them across the room to Ed. He stuffs
them in his briefcase and closes it up. That's that.

ED
All right, then.

DONNA
I made a bundt cake. I'll put on
some coffee. Who wants coffee and
cake?

ED
Thank you, but we have to be getting
back.

Boy. Cold as ice. Erin stares at him, stunned by his brusque
manner, then leans into him, close.

ERIN
(whispering)
Have a fucking cup of coffee, Ed.

She gives him a stern look, then turns toward the women.

ERIN
Donna, let me help you clean all
this up.

She picks up a tray of iced tea and cookies and heads to the
kitchen. Donna and Mandy follow, leaving Ed alone with Pete
and Roy. He stands there, awkwardly.

INT. DONNA'S KITCHEN - DAY

Erin and Donna are putting away the cleaned glasses. Mandy
is scanning the chromium pamphlet Erin gave her.

MANDY
You know that thing it says in here
about rashes?

ERIN
Uh-huh?

MANDY
Well, this old neighbor of mine, Bob
Linwood -- he ran the dairy on
Community -- seemed like someone in
his family always had a rash somewhere
or other. I just figured it was
something in the genes. And you know
how it is -- you don't like to ask
about things like that...

Erin listens, interested.

EXT. LINWOOD DAIRY - BARN - DAY

Another day. BOB LINWOOD, 40's and gruff, is in the barn,
tossing hay around.

ERIN (O.S.)
Excuse me. Are you Mr. Linwood?

He sees Erin picking her way toward him in her high-heels.

LINWOOD
Yeah?

ERIN
I'm Erin Brockovich. I work at the
law firm that represents your former
neighbors the Browns. They suggested
I give you a call.

She steps in a cow patty. Laughs at herself good-naturedly.

ERIN
Boy howdy, did I ever wear the wrong
shoes.

EXT. THE DESOTOS' HOUSE - DAY

CLOSE ON A SIGN that reads: THE DESOTOS, hanging on the side
of a small, paint-chipped house. Erin is at the door talking
to MARY DESOTO, 65, who's wearing a big cross at her breast.

ERIN
...and Mr. Linwood seemed to think
that your husband had been sick as
well.

MARY
Yes, Mr. DeSoto has lung cancer.
Never smoked a day in his life,
neither.

INT. LAURA AND MIKE AMBROSINO'S HOUSE - NIGHT

Erin is talking to MIKE and LAURA AMBROSINO -- 30's. Solid,
family folks. But Laura's left brow and cheekbone look swollen
and misshapen, and she's trying to hide the fact that she's
in a lot of pain.

ERIN
Mrs. DeSoto said she wasn't sure
exactly what it was that you had --

MIKE AMBROSINO
She's not alone on that one.

LAURA
Well, they know what it is -- it's
called fibrous dysplasia --

MIKE
The bones start growing again. Gives
her headaches like you wouldn't
believe.

LAURA
-- they just don't know what caused
it.

EXT. PAMELA DUNCAN'S HOUSE - DAY

Erin stands at the front door and rings the bell. After a
moment; PAMELA DUNCAN opens the door, a cup of coffee in her
hand. By her distant, cautious attitude, we immediately sense
a difference between her and the other Hinkley residents.

ERIN
Hi. My name is Erin Brocko --

PAMELA
I know who you are. Donna called me.

ERIN
Oh... May I come in?

PAMELA
I told Donna we're not interested in
getting involved.

Beat.

ERIN
Can I ask you why?

PAMELA
What's the point?

ERIN
Donna told me you've been sick. Your
kids were sick...

Pamela gets angry at the mention of her kids.

PAMELA
You people don't give a shit, do
you? Anything to get what you want!

Slams the door in her face.

INT. RITA AND TED DANIELS' HOUSE - DAY

Erin is talking to TED AND RITA DANIELS. Their daughter
ANNABELLE, 10, is sitting on the couch, wrapped in a blanket.

ERIN
...then Mike Ambrosino remembered
seeing you folks at the hospital
from time to time too, so I thought
I'd just stop by.
(to Annabelle)
You must be Annabelle.

ANNABELLE
Uh-huh.

ERIN
Whew, are you ever a beauty. I mean,
you must drive those boys crazy.

Annabelle smiles a little.

INT. ERIN'S HOUSE - ERIN'S BEDROOM - NIGHT

Late night. George rolls over -- Erin's side of the bed is
empty. He checks the clock, then gets up and heads into:

INT. ERIN'S APARTMENT - HALLWAY - NIGHT

He peers around and spots her, sitting in the little kid's
chair in Matthew and Katie's room.

INT. ERIN'S APARTMENT - MATTHEW AND KATIE'S ROOM - NIGHT

Erin is holding Beth, watching Matt and Katie sleep. The
experience of seeing Annabelle has left her shaky -- as if
she was afraid to take her eyes off them for fear something
might happen... She hears the floor creak as George steps
into the doorway.

GEORGE
What are you doing, hon?

Erin looks at him -- on the edge of tears.

ERIN
I just wanted to make sure they were
all right.

Sympathetic, George kneels beside her.

GEORGE
They're fine... Come back to bed.

ERIN
I don't know what I think I'm going
to do for these people. No matter
what I do, it won't be enough.

GEORGE
You're doing everything you can. But
if it's gonna eat you up like this,
maybe you better stop.

Erin looks up at him and George knows immediately he has
said the wrong thing. Erin rises and passes by him, to put
Beth to bed. George is tired... and doesn't know how to help
her.

EXT. VALLEY SIDEWALK - DAY

Ed and Erin are walking down the street, take-out coffee
cups in their hands. Ed is sipping his, but Erin is in too
much of a lather to drink hers.

ED
Hunh-uh. Absolutely not.

ERIN
That's crazy -- why not?

ED
Because I said no. Look -- the only
reason PG&E's even talking to us is
'cause this is a quiet little real
estate dispute. We add plaintiffs,
and suddenly we're in the middle of
a toxic tort -- with a statute problem --
against a massive utility. No, thank
you.

They go into their office building.

INT. ELEVATOR - DAY

Erin and Ed are riding up.

ERIN
Okay, so here's what I'll do. I'll
go on up to Ted and Rita Daniels --
two of the nicest people you'd ever
hope to meet, who spend every single
day watching their little girl fight
like a dog against this cancer --
I'll tell them we can't help them
cause you don't feel like working
that hard.

ED
(turns on her)
Working hard!!? Why you little...
Let me tell you something -- I've
worked all my life. I built a firm
and kept it alive through lawsuits,
injunctions, and evictions. I have
survived a quadruple bypass, cancer,
being born with one kidney and having
diabetes...

Erin's genuinely impressed as Erin continues;

ED
...I have personally managed to save
a few million dollars over more than
thirty years of getting some clients
ten times that. Don't tell me I
haven't worked hard enough! Don't
tell me I don't have the right to
stop... to take a fucking breath and
enjoy my life.

Erin is smart enough to know when to listen. So she does.
And she waits...

ED
-- And what the hell do you know
about any of this anyway!? Something
like this, Erin -- it could take
forever. They're a huge corporation.
They could bury us in paperwork for
the next fifteen years. I'm just one
guy with a private firm.

She makes her move --

ERIN
-- who happens to know they poisoned
people and lied about it.

The doors open. Ed gets off. Erin follows.

INT. MASRY LAW OFFICE BUILDING - HALLWAY - DAY

Erin's dodging Ed down the hall, to the office.

ERIN
And this shit is bad news. Look, my
dad could build one of these plants
blindfolded. I talked him through
the files. I said how much Chrom 6
in the groundwater are we talking
about over the years and he said,
"Oh, by now, probably about three
football fields long... four miles
deep! Think about it...

ED
(overlap)
Erin --

ERIN
(overlap)
..And not only does this shit attack
every organ of the body, it fucks
with your DNA, too. I mean these
people's genes, and the genes of
their kids, and the genes of their
grandkids --

ED
I know how DNA works, Erin --

He gets to the Masry & Vititoe doors. Opens them.

INT. MASRY & VITITOE - DAY

Erin tails Ed back to his office.

ERIN
We can get these people. With a little
effort, I really think we can nail
their asses to the wall.

ED
Oh, you do? With all your legal
expertise, you believe that?

ERIN
Don't you ever just know?

Erin speaks with such calm sincerity, it stops Ed for a
moment. She thinks she's getting to him.

ED
Do you also "just know" where the
money's going to come from? I've
already spent most of my own savings
this case.

ERIN
We'll figure it out. Look, I admit I
don't know shit about shit. But I
know the difference --

He moves away and shuts his office door on her.

ERIN
-- BETWEEN RIGHT AND WRONG!

INT. ED'S OFFICE - DAY

Ed goes over to his desk, sits down. He sees a stack of
messages there, starts flipping through them. Then he stops.

ED
Damn it.

He shoves the messages aside and puts his head in his hands.

He sits like that for a moment.

INT. MASRY & VITITOE - DAY

Erin remains outside of Ed's office door, as Brenda passes
by without stopping or saying hello:

ERIN
Looking good Brenda. Have another
bag of Doritos!

Ed opens the door, surprised to find her still there.

ED
How many families we talking about
here?

ERIN
Four more. Eleven people. So far.

ED
You think there's more?

ERIN
Well -- I found one document at the
water board that had a toxic test
well reading from 1967. A hell of a
lot of people have lived on that
land since then.

Ed pauses, groans again, realizing what decision he's making.

ED
This is a whole different ball game,
Erin. A much bigger deal.

ERIN
Kinda like David and what's-his-name?

ED
Kinda like David and what's-his-name's
whole fucking family.
(heavy sigh)
Okay, here's the deal -- if, and
only if, you find me the evidence to
back all this up -- I'll do it.
I'll take it on.

She smiles victoriously.

ERIN
You're doing the right thing, Mr.
Masry.

ED
Yeah, yeah. Remind me of that when
I'm filing for bankruptcy.

ERIN
'Course, gathering evidence -- now,
that's a big job. A hell of a lot
bigger than just filing. I'm gonna
be working a lot harder now, taking
on a lot more responsibility...

He gives her a look. Knows what's coming.

ED
(overlaps, to himself)
I don't fucking believe this --

ERIN
(overlapping)
Another raise wouldn't hurt. And
with all the time I'm gonna be
spending on the road, I'll probably
be needing my own cell phone, won't
I?

Ed closes the door on her. Erin smiles. As she crosses back
to her desk.

INT. TOYS 'R' US - DAY

Erin enters Toys 'R' Us with George, Matthew, Katie and Beth.

ERIN
You each can pick out four things.
But nothing huge. Look at the price.
Nothing crazy.

Matthew and Katie fan out into the store.

GEORGE
You can buy 'em all the toys you
want, but come Monday, when you split
again, they're still gonna be pissed.

Erin looks over at him, weary.

ERIN
George, I am just trying to do
something nice for my kids on my one
day off. Could you please not give
me a hard time about it?

GEORGE
One toy per kid is doing something
nice. Four is... something else.

ERIN
Well, hell, I guess that's it, then,
huh? They're scarred for life. They're
gonna start holding up 7-Elevens any
day now.

GEORGE
I'm just saying --

ERIN
(with intensity)
I know what you're saying, and I
don't wanna hear it. I am doing the
best I can.

And she walks away from him.

EXT. HINKLEY - ROADSIDE DITCH - DAY

Erin is straddling a ditch, scooping clumps of gunky moss
from the ditch into plastic containers.

As Erin labels the containers, she slides down the side of
the ditch, and she lands smack in it, knee-deep in gunk.

EXT. HINKLEY - COMMUNITY BOULEVARD - NIGHT

Erin, now completely dirty, is climbing over a fence marked
"No Trespassing". Her arms are full of more containers.

She adds them to a growing collection of containers in the
trunk of her car.

EXT. HINKLEY - THE POOL BEHIND AN ABANDONED HOUSE - DAY

Another day. This time it's RAINING. Erin minces her way
down to the deep end of the pool.

She gets to the deep end and scoops up a Ziploc full of rancid
pool water and seals it.

Erin spots a few dead frogs in the water. She picks one up
by the leg, and seals it in a plastic bag as well.

EXT. WELL - DAY

With a sample cup held in her teeth, Erin hauls herself up
over the well's concrete wall, then, with her back against
one side of the well and her feet against the other, starts
shimmying down the well.

INSIDE THE WELL

She winces at the algae and gook that's clinging to her as
she descends to the water level. When she's low enough, she
takes the sample cup from her teeth and scoops up the water.

EXT. WELL - DAY

ERIN RAISES HERSELF UP TO SEE:

TWO GUARDS heading straight for her.

She scampers to her feet and runs. The Guards pursue --
chasing her off the property...

INT. MASRY & VITITOE - ERIN'S DESK - DAY

Erin's at her desk, bending over her notebook in a miniskirt,
adding reports to the TOXICOLOGY binder.

ON THE REPORTS: We catch a few words: "water sample A...",
"soil sample D...", "frog sample A...", "...traces of
hexavalent..."

Brenda looks at Erin and sees her hem rising in the back.

BRENDA
For God's sake, Erin, I can see your
panties.

Erin turns to Brenda, relishing the chance to irritate her.

ERIN
Liar. I'm not wearing any.

Ed, in his office, laughs. He's starting to like this gal.

INT. ERIN'S HOUSE - NIGHT

It's a hot night. George is playing on the floor with the
kids. Erin is behind them on the couch, laboriously reading
a book labeled, simply, CHROMIUM. The phone RINGS. Erin picks
it up.

ERIN
Hello?

MALE VOICE (O.S.)
Is this the Erin Pattee Brockovich
that's been snooping around the water
board?

His voice is flat, creepy. Not friendly.

ERIN
Yes. Who's this?

MALE VOICE
You should watch your step. A young
lady like yourself with three young
children.

ERIN
(overlapping)
Who is this?

MALE VOICE
Do you understand what I'm saying?

CLICK. Erin stares at the phone, freaked.

INT. ERIN'S HOUSE - FRONT DOOR - NIGHT

George watches Erin double-checking the locks on the door.

ERIN
I'm not gonna quit 'cause of one
creepy phone call, George.

GEORGE
Come on, Erin. A job's supposed to
pay your bills, not put you in danger.

ERIN
I'm not in danger. I mean, the phones
might be tapped --

GEORGE
(overlaps)
What?

ERIN
(overlaps)
...but that's usual. And we have a
dead bolt. It's not a big deal.

She goes to the living room, double-checks the window locks
in there. George follows.

GEORGE
Look, don't you think you might be
out of your league here?

ERIN
No, see -- that's exactly what those
arrogant PG&E fucks want me to think --
But you know what? They're wrong.

She heads into the bedrooms.

GEORGE
It doesn't have to be this
complicated, Erin. There's a lot of
jobs out there.

ERIN
(off-hand)
How would you know?

George reacts, a little stung. He follows her into:

INT. MATT AND KATIE'S BEDROOM - NIGHT

Matt and Katie are asleep. Erin is checking their windows.

George comes in. They whisper.

GEORGE
You mind telling me what that's
supposed to mean?

ERIN
Nothing. I'm sorry.

GEORGE
If you got a problem with me taking
care of your kids instead of getting
some job, just say so.

ERIN
I didn't say that.

GEORGE
'Cause I can get a job. I will. And
you can start leaving the kids with
the chicken fat lady again. Would
that make you happy?

ERIN
Keep your voice down. I said I'm
sorry.

GEORGE
I know what they can sleep through,
Erin. I probably know it better than
you.

She gives him a glare, then leaves the room.

INT. WATER BOARD - DAY

Erin is reaching up to a high shelf for a dusty old box of
files. Out of the corner of her eye, she sees Ross passing.

ERIN
Hey, Ross. Tell me something. Does
PG&E pay you to cover their ass, or
do you just do it out of the kindness
of your heart?

ROSS
I don't know what you're talking
about.

ERIN
The fuck you don't. No one calls me
Pattee. That heavy-breathing sicko
that called the other night could've
only found out about me from you.
(beat)
People are dying, Ross. You've got
document after document here, right
under your nose, that says why, and
you haven't said word one about it.
I wanna know how the hell you sleep
at night.

Ross is speechless. He just stands there. Erin drags the box
to the floor and goes to work.

INT. ERIN'S HYUNDAI - NIGHT

A pile of documents is strapped into the passenger seat. An
empty coffee cup rolls around the floor. Erin's driving,
exhausted. She yawns as she dials her phone.

GEORGE (O.S.)
Hello?

INTERCUT between Erin in her car, and George in bed.

ERIN
I'm so tired I'm about to drive off
the road. Keep me awake, willya?

GEORGE
What do you want, a joke?

ERIN
No... Just tell me about your day.
What went on back there?

GEORGE
Well, come to think of it, we did
have a big event around here. Beth
started talking.

ERIN
What?
(beat)
Beth? My Beth?

GEORGE
Yeah. We were sitting around at lunch
and she pointed at a ball and said,
"ball."

Erin says nothing, just stares out at the empty highway,
feeling all hollowed-out.

GEORGE
I'd never seen that before --
someone's first word. Pretty intense.

Erin just nods. Keeps staring straight ahead as a tear rolls
down her cheek.

INT. MASRY & VITITOE - ERIN AND BRENDA'S AREA - DAY

CLOSE ON SOME FILES as Erin hands them to Ed. As he takes
them from her, he notices a crematory urn on Erin's desk.

ED
Is that what I think it is?

ERIN
She lived on the plume. You never
know.

Ed laughs and hands the documents to Brenda without looking
at her. She grumpily takes them over to the fax machine.

CLOSE ON THE FAX LED as Brenda types in the number. The
recipient's name comes up again: Pg&E CLAIMS DEPT.

EXT. HINKLEY BARBECUE - DAY

Open pits, pony rides, watermelon. George is watching Katie
and Matt being led around on ponies, an activity that stopped
being fun hours ago. Now they're just hot and tired.

BY THE BARBECUE, Ed is talking to an OLDER COUPLE as they
sign retainer agreements.

ELSEWHERE, Erin, holding Beth, is looking at pictures of a
swimming pool with FIVE OTHER WOMEN. The water is green.

ERIN
This was the community pool?

WOMAN 1
Yeah, that PG&E built. The whole
time, we thought it was algae that
made it so green.

LATER...

Erin's trunk is open. She and Ed are clipping new clusters
of retainer agreements into the "PLAINTIFFS" binder.

Erin looks over to see Pamela Duncan and her husband, standing
by their car, separated from the rest... not getting involved.
Erin watches them get in their car and leave.

LATER STILL...

Erin and Ed are passing out informational pamphlets.

A MAN (we later come to know as CHARLES EMBRY) takes a
pamphlet and flirtatiously says;

CHARLES
This got your phone number on it?

Erin blows him off with a laugh, barely registering his face.

She sticks one in another hand before noticing that it's
George's.

GEORGE
I'm bored, and so are the kids.

ERIN
Just a few more minutes, then we can
go.
(as he heads off)
Take her, will you?

George drops the pamphlet and takes Beth from Erin. He heads
over to Matt and Katie, sitting glumly on a log.

LATER STILL...

Erin is heading over to George and the kids, ready to leave,
when Donna comes up to her, with A MIDDLE-AGED MAN in tow.

DONNA
Erin, this here's Frank Melendez.
He works over at the compressor
station --

Erin stops in her tracks, very interested. But she can see,
out of the corner of her eye, that George and the kids are
getting impatient with her. She excuses herself for a moment
and runs over to them.

ERIN
Look, take the kids home and I'll
catch a ride with Ed.

MATTHEW
No ma!

ERIN
No, no, no... mommy has to stay. Be
good.

She gives each child a quick peck on the cheek, including
George. She runs back to Donna and the Middle Aged Man.

George is fuming. The kids are clearly disappointed.

GEORGE
Come on kids... let's go get some
ice-cream.

In the stroller, Beth starts to whine. George reaches in his
pocket, finds her As he's leaning down to give it to her,
he hears a RUMBLE coming down the street beyond the barbecue
area. The roar grows. He stands, looks.

A GROUP OF ABOUT TEN BIKERS ride by like thunder. He looks
at them, then at the stroller. George suddenly feels
ridiculous... and then guilty for feeling that way about the
kids...

Especially when Matthew reaches for his hand, squeezes it
and says, as if worried George will leave too:

MATTHEW
Come on, George.

The bikers REV LOUDLY as they ride by... then, fade away.

George just stands there and watches them go.

LATER STILL...

Erin and Frank are on a bench, talking. Out of the corner of
her eye, she sees her car drive off. George's hand sticks
out the driver's side and flips her the bird. She watches
him disappear, then, hiding her rage, turns back to Frank.

ERIN
I'm sorry. What were you saying?

INT. ED'S CAR - DAY

Ed is driving. He glances over at Erin, fuming in the
passenger seat. After a beat:

ED
You wanna talk about --

ERIN
No.

Another beat. Then Erin's cell phone rings. She digs into
her bag, pulling it out as fast as she can. Answers.

ERIN
Yeah?

There's a pause. Then Mike Ambrosino's voice comes over the
line, very strained:

MIKE AMBROSINO (O.S.)
Um, Erin? This is Mike. Ambrosino.

EXT. AMBROSINOS' HOUSE - FOYER - DAY

The curtains are drawn; everything is dark. Ed and Erin are
at the door, talking to Mike, who looks drawn and tired.

MIKE
She was about to take a handful of
these --

He shows them a bottle of prescription pills.

MIKE
It's a morphine thing -- for pain --

Erin nods, then leaves Ed with Mike and heads toward:

INT. AMBROSINOS' HOUSE - BEDROOM - DAY

Erin opens the door. Very dark, very quiet. Laura is lying
in bed. Erin goes over to her. They speak in whispers.

LAURA
I'm embarrassed.

ERIN
That's okay. I understand.

LAURA
It's just -- the pain. It's only
getting worse. I can't be a good
wife. I can't be a good mother.

ERIN
I'm real sorry, Laura.

Erin sits down on the chair next to the bed. Takes a beat.

LAURA
Know what I always thought I wanted
outta life, Erin? A Jaguar.

ERIN
Jaguar's a darn pretty car.

LAURA
I thought if I could spend that kinda
money on a car, it'd mean everything
else was fine.
(beat)
I don't even know how much they cost.

ERIN
A lot. But you hang in there, maybe
you'll get one.

Laura shakes her head.

LAURA
Wouldn't mean the same thing.

Erin watches her sadly.

INT. ED'S CAR - NIGHT

Ed is driving. Erin is asleep in the front seat. Ed casually
glances over to her and notices her nose is bleeding.

ED
Erin... Erin!

She wakes up.

ED
You have a nosebleed.

Erin checks the mirror. Not making the connection, she reacts
very casually.

ERIN
Shit. You have a tissue.

He motions to the glove compartment. She gets one.

INT. PG&E COMPRESSOR STATION - DAY

A LOUD, industrial plant. Erin and Frank Melendez walk
through, him in coveralls, her in a teensy sun dress. Both
in hard-hats. He's giving her a tour.

INT. MASRY & VITITOE - NIGHT

His office is all about Hinkley. A map of the plume area and
a diagram of the plant cover one wall; photos of the plant
cover the credenza; piles of documents litter every surface.

Erin is up at the map, eating Chinese food.

ERIN
They used the hex chrom here, in
these cooling tanks, as an anti-
corrosive. Then they dumped the excess
water here, in these six ponds.

ED
I don't remember seeing any ponds up
there.

She bites into a forkful of food, keeps talking.

ERIN
They covered 'em over. And not too
carefully either, 'cause you dig one
inch under the surface, and the dirt
is green as a fucking shamrock.

ED
And that's what caused the
contamination?

ERIN
It didn't help, but no. The real
problem's on the bottom.

She reaches for a document, reads from it.

ERIN
See, according to this, they were
supposed to line the ponds so this
shit couldn't seep into the ground.
But guess what --

ED
They skipped that step.

ERIN
So for fourteen years, this stuff
flowed into the groundwater.

ED
Jesus... And this guy just offered
all this information?

ERIN
Frank cares what was in those ponds
'cause he used to spend half his day
wading around them. That was his
job.

ED
No shit.
(then)
You've done great work, Erin.

Erin is taken by surprise by the compliment.

ED
Great work. I don't think three
researchers could have done what
you've done.

Erin is at a loss. She responds with a joke.

ERIN
Well... stick with me... I'll have
you swimming in Armani.

Ed smiles but not enough. Erin notices.

ERIN
What's the matter?

Ed looks at her with an uncharacteristic vulnerability.

ED
I don't know if we can pull this
off.

Erin knows how difficult that was for him to say... and she's
touched he felt he could say it to her.

ED
This is a monster case. I have devoted
all our time and manpower to it and
money going's out and nothing's coming
in. I'm going to have take a second
mortgage on the house.

ERIN
Will that be so bad?

ED
No. If you explain to my wife while
I leave the country.
(beat)
Look, I have to tell you, I've been
making inquiries with other firms.
Bigger firms to share some of the
cost. They all said no. They say we
don't have it.

ERIN
Bullshit! We've got those PG&E fuckers
by the balls here.

ED
We've got the PG&E fuckers in Hinkley
by the balls. But nobody's getting
rich unless we can pin this on the
corporate PG&E fuckers in San
Francisco.

ERIN
What do you mean?

ED
PG&E corporate is claiming they had
no way of knowing what was going on
in Hinkley.

ERIN
Oh, they knew. They had to know.

ED
Show me the document that proves it.

She doesn't have one.

ED
Then they didn't know. And if they
didn't know, we can't hit 'em for
punitive damages. And with punitive
damages, we're talking about the
kind of money that could actually
have an effect on these people's
lives...

ERIN
(frustrated)
Jesus Christ...

She shoves her food away, knocking it over. Beat.

ERIN
So what do we do?

ED
We could smoke 'em out. If they offer
a settlement. If they just throw
more paper at us.

He sits and faces her, outlining what is to come;

ED
We file a complaint. We take our
four hundred or so plaintiffs and
everything you dug up and we file a
cause of action and present it to a
judge.

ERIN
Then what?

ED
Then PG&E will submit a demur -- a
list of reasons attacking each
complaint, claiming there is no cause
of action for a lawsuit. And then it
goes before a judge.

ERIN
So then it's all up to what this one
judge decides?

ED
Basically, yeah.

They look at each other: Let's hope we get lucky.

EXT. PG&E STATION - NIGHT

Late, late at night. The plant is silent. The property seems
empty, until we notice Pete Irving standing alone inside the
gates, staring up at the station.

After a beat, he picks up a rock and hurls it at the plant.

It misses. Not that it would do anything if it hit. He reaches
for another, throws it. Then another, and another.

He hurls rock after rock at the gigantic plant. Then,
overwhelmed by his impotence, he lets out a TERRIFYING YELL.

INT. IRVINGS' HOUSE - DONNA'S BEDROOM - DAY

Donna's sitting quietly in bed. Erin is sitting on the edge
of the bed.

DONNA
I'd got so used to having 'em come
up benign, I guess I just didn't
expect it.

She looks down her shirt front.

DONNA
Sure wish I had longer to get used
to the idea.
(beat)
You think if you got no uterus, and
no breasts, you're still technically
a woman?

ERIN
Sure you are. You're just a happier
woman, 'cause you don't have to deal
with maxi-pads and underwire.

Donna smiles a little. Then her face crumbles.

DONNA
We're gonna get them, aren't we,
Erin? You gotta promise me we're
gonna get them.

INT. BARSTOW COURTROOM - DAY

Erin is sitting beside Ed on one side of the courtroom.

The PG&E representatives are sitting on the other side. These
are the best lawyers money can buy, and their demeanor says
that winning isn't a goal, it's a forgone conclusion. You'd
much rather have them working for you than against you.

JUDGE SIMMONS is at the bench, reviewing one last time, his
decision and the documents. Finally, he looks up;

JUDGE SIMMONS
All right.

Everyone pays attention.

JUDGE SIMMONS
I have before me a cause of action
on behalf of the residents of Hinkley
California who wish to file a lawsuit
against Pacific Gas and Electric for
damages, medical expenses, personal
trauma due to the contamination of
the groundwater in their area by
said defendant. And I have here, a
list of 84 demurs, submitted by the
representatives of Pacific Gas and
Electric, each one attacking and
thereby rejecting the validity of
these complaints. I have reviewed
all the information carefully. I am
ready to give my decision. Before I
do, is there anything anyone wants
to say?

Ed grabs Erin's hand under the table, preventing her from
making a move. Erin submits.

ED
No, your honor.

PG&E LAWYER
No, your honor.

JUDGE SIMMONS
Very well... In the case of the
claimants of Hinkley California vs.
Pacific Gas and Electric, it is the
judgement of this court that each of
the 84 demurs submitted by Pacific
Gas and Electric be dismissed and
the cause of action against Pacific
Gas and Electric be upheld...

Erin can hardly maintain her excitement. Ed squeezes her
hand harder. The PG&E people look sick.

JUDGE SIMMONS
...On a more personal note, as a
resident here in Barstow, which is
not far from Hinkley, I am... appalled
that, not only was Hexavalent Chromium
used, but your clients actually sent
these residents pamphlets telling
them it was good for them.

PG&E remain silent. The Judge stares at them, ending simply;

JUDGE SIMMONS
Tell your clients they're going to
trial.

Erin whispers to Ed;

ERIN
Think we'll hear from them now?

ED
Oh, I believe so...

The PG&E reps slam the briefcases shut and exit.

INT. MASRY & VITITOE - RECEPTION AREA - DAY

Talk about moving up the food chain. MS. SANCHEZ, MR. WEBSTER,
MR. BUDA, and MR. COOPER mill slowly about the reception
area like sharks. They all ooze importance.

INT. MASRY & VITITOE - OUTSIDE OF ED'S OFFICE - DAY

Erin, Ed and Brenda are staring out at them.

ERIN
Jesus. They look like the Secret
Service.

ED
Intimidation. Let the games begin.
(then, to Brenda)
Tell them to wait in the conference
room.

INT. MASRY & VITITOE - CONFERENCE ROOM - DAY

Sanchez, Webster, Buda, and Cooper are seated.

The door opens and Ed enters, legal pad under his arm.
Followed by Erin, legal pad under her arm. Followed by Anna
(looking professional in Brenda's suit coat), legal pad under
her arm. Followed by Donald (in a suit produced from who
knows where), legal pad under his arm. If you didn't know
better, you'd assume it was a team of lawyers as well.

ED
Counselors --

MS. SANCHEZ
Counselors.

Ed and Erin sit down and get to work. Mario and Anna, clearly
told to just follow along, sit down a moment later.

INT. MASRY & VITITOE - CONFERENCE ROOM - LATER

Mario and Anna are sitting mutely in their seats beside Ed
and Erin, firing blank looks across the table.

SANCHEZ
...Let's be honest here. Twenty
million dollars is more money than
these people have ever dreamed of.

Erin has no patience for this today.

ERIN
Oh, see, now that pisses me off.
First of all -- since the demur, we
now have more than four hundred
plaintiffs... and
(mocking her)
"let's be honest", we all know there's
more out there. Now, they may not be
the most sophisticated people, but
they do know how to divide, and twenty
million dollars isn't shit when it's
split between them.

Donald and Anna exchange a look. This is getting interesting.

ED
Erin --

But there's no stopping her.

ERIN
And second of all -- these people
don't dream about being rich. They
dream about being able to watch their
kids swim in a pool without worrying
they'll have to have a hysterectomy
at age 20, like Rosa Diaz -- a client
of ours -- or have their spine
deteriorate like Stan Bloom. Another
client of ours.

Ed sits now with a light smile, content to let Erin continue.

ERIN
So before you come back here with
another lame-ass offer, I want you
to think real hard about what your
spine is worth, Mr. Buda -- or what
you'd expect someone to pay you for
your uterus, Miss Sanchez -- then
you take out your calculator and
multiply that number by a hundred.
Anything less than that is a waste
of our time.

Sanchez, throughout her speech, has been reacting in a
patronizing manner -- as if Erin's words were of no import.
By the end of Erin's speech, Sanchez has picked up a glass
of water in front of her and is about to drink, when Erin
says:

ERIN
Oh, and by the way, we had that water
brought in especially for you.

Sanchez pauses with the glass to her lips... and sets it
back down on the table.

SANCHEZ
I think this meeting is over.

ERIN
Damn right it is.

Erin gets up and storms out first. We see on Anna's face,
the first signs of respect for Erin.

EXT. ERIN'S HOUSE - FRONT STOOP - NIGHT

George is sitting alone on the stoop, drinking a beer. Music
is coming from his house next door. He stares out into the
street with a lot on his mind.

He sees Erin's car driving down the street, on her way home.

He rises and enters the house.

INT. ERIN'S HOUSE - ERIN'S BEDROOM - NIGHT

George is sitting on the bed when Erin enters.

ERIN
Jesus, George, the kitchen's a
hellhole. What, did you let the kids
make dinner themselves?

He doesn't answer. Doesn't move. She notices this.

ERIN
What's going on? What are you doing?

GEORGE
Thinking.

ERIN
About what?

He's very calm. He holds out a small jewelry box.

GEORGE
About this.

ERIN
What's that?

GEORGE
It's a pair of earrings. I saw 'em
in the mall one day, and I thought
damn, those would look good on those
beautiful ears. So I bought 'em. And
I said to myself, next time Erin
says something nice, does something
nice, I'll surprise her with 'em.
(beat)
Know how long ago that was? Six
months.

ERIN
I'm sorry. I'm just working so hard --

GEORGE
(stands)
And what I'm thinking is, you oughta
either find a different job or a
different boyfriend. 'Cause there
may be men who don't mind being the
maid and getting nothing in return,
but I'm sure as shit ain't one of
'em.

ERIN
I can't leave my job, George.

GEORGE
Yeah, you can. You could just quit.
People do it all the time.

ERIN
How can you ask me to do that? This
job -- For the first time in my life,
I got people respecting me. Up in
Hinkley, I walk into a room and
everyone shuts up just to hear what
I got to say. I never had that. Ever.
Don't ask me to give it up.

GEORGE
And what about what your kids are
giving up?

ERIN
Look, I'm doing a lot better for
those kids than I did living with my
parents. One day they'll understand
that

GEORGE
And what about me?

ERIN
What about you? You think either one
of the men who gave me those children
asked what I wanted before they walked
away?! All I've ever done is bend my
life around what men decide they
need! Well not now. I'm sorry. I
won't do it.

GEORGE
I'm not them. What more do I have to
do to prove that?

For a moment, Erin is stymied... then, softly;

ERIN
Stay.

He lowers his head, then stands, to leave. He too speaks
gently;

GEORGE
What for? You got a raise. You can
afford day care... You don't need
me.

Erin feels caught between two truths -- what she feels for
George... and what she feels for her new life.

George walks to her, kisses her on the cheek and holds her
hands... Then exits...

Erin looks in her hands -- where George has placed the velvet
jewelry box of earrings...

INT. ERIN'S BEDROOM - NIGHT

Erin is at her window, looking out at the street below.

George is carrying a duffel bag of his things to his house
next door. She watches as he opens his front door, enters
and closes it behind him.

INT. HYUNDAI - DAY

Erin is driving, looking weary. Her kids are in the car, no
one is speaking. An angry Matthew sits sullenly looking out
the window. Beth is asleep. Matthew suddenly shuts off the
radio.

Erin drives, bothered by his actions but consumed with her
own thoughts... The family feels divided... each own their
own world.

EXT. PAMELA DUNCAN'S HOUSE - DAY

Pamela, smoking a cigarette, opens the front door to find
Erin there, with her kids, holding a box of cake. Pamela
raises her eyebrow.

INT. PAMELA DUNCAN'S HOUSE - DAY

The kids are seen through the window, playing outside --
Matthew, reluctantly.

Pamela and Erin are finishing coffee, cake, stories...

ERIN
...oh, he was a piece of work...

PAMELA
Him too?

ERIN
I don't know, there's something about
losers with great asses... I don't
know --
(Pamela laughs)
I had to have him thrown in jail six
times for no child support. When he
had the kids, he used to tell them
to call me Erin Brockoshit...

PAMELA
(Pamela laughs)
You sure can pick'em. I've been lucky
in that area, at least. Ken is...
he's good man.

ERIN
(smiles, sips coffee)
Well, that's half the battle, right
there.

PAMELA
Yeah. Yeah, it is...
(beat)
I... I know what you want and I
appreciate your --

ERIN
We can get them, Pamela. We can.

PAMELA
I wish I believed that. But this has
been going on for so long. Maybe in
the beginning, when I was angry.
When I first found out. But then, ya
know, ya have find a way to live
everyday, to get up, to take care of
what you have to take care of so
you... you find a way to push it
down, make it go away, ya know. I
don't want to feel it all over again
and then... not have it come out
right. I don't know if I could handle
that. Put my kids through that.

ERIN
You're still angry, Pamela.
(Pamela listens)
And you don't think your kids know
that. They know more than you think,
believe me. See, the thing is... it
doesn't matter if you win lose or
draw here. You were lied to. You're
sick, your kids are sick because of
those lies. If for no other reason,
you all have to come together to
stand up in a courtroom and say that --
to be heard -- and you will. To stand
up and say, this wasn't right. There's
no way anybody can twist this into
something right. And it can't happen
again.

Pamela listens but Erin doesn't know whether she's getting
through to her. Pamela exits, saying;

PAMELA
I'll get some more coffee.

Erin sinks. She thinks she's not getting through. When Pamela
re-enters, she's carrying a coffee pot and A TAPE. Erin is
confused. Pamela puts the pot down and crosses to the
television. She pops in the tape and turns it on.

ON THE MONITOR, is a home video of a house being burned.

PAMELA
That was the Torriyo's house. It was
across the street.

ERIN
It burned?

PAMELA
They burned it.

ERIN
Who?

PAMELA
The Fire Department. They said it
was a practise run. They said the
Torriyo's had sold to PG&E and since
it vacant they were told they could
burn it.

ERIN
Who had told them that?

PAMELA
They never said.

Erin watches the tape, then looks to Pamela, watching the
tape as she must have a hundred times before.

PAMELA
I'd bring the kids into the hospital
with towels soaked from their
nosebleeds. Ya know the hospital
did? They called county services
because they assumed the kids were
being abused.

Erin has her.

EXT. MASRY & VITITOE PARKING LOT - DAY

The Hyundai pulls into the lot. We hear voices from within
the car, arguing;

INT. HYUNDAI - DAY

Erin is with her kids. She and Matthew are fighting;

MATTHEW ERIN

...why everything has to be ...all I'm saying is, we'll
such a big deal. All I want see. I can't talk about this
to do is play roller hockey. now. I don't care what other
Other moms give permission. moms do --

MATTHEW
(annoyed)
...So when!? When can I get a friggin
answer!?

ERIN
Don't talk to me like that!

MATTHEW
Randy's mom said yes right away!!

ERIN
(snapping)
Well, goddamn it, Matthew -- Randy's
mom doesn't work and Randy's dad
didn't leave her, so figuring out
who's gonna drive who to roller hockey
every other week is a little easier
over at Randy's house. Now get out
of the car!

She exits, then gets the baby.

INT. MASRY & VITITOE - WAITING ROOM - DAY

Erin carries Beth, followed by Matthew and Katie. She sits
the two older children down.

ERIN
Wait here. Watch your sisters.

Matthew ignores her...

ERIN
Matthew...

MATTHEW
(snaps at her)
ALRIGHT! FINE!

The receptionist looks up. Erin decides not to respond. She
enters the main room.

INT. MASRY & VITITOE - MAIN ROOM - DAY

Business as usual. Erin comes in, goes straight to her desk.

INT. MASRY & VITITOE - ERIN'S DESK - DAY

Erin flips through her "in" box, looking for something in
particular. Doesn't find it. Grrr. She heads off to:

INT. MASRY & VITITOE - JANE'S OFFICE - DAY

Jane is at her desk when Erin comes in.

ERIN
Where's my paycheck?

JANE
Have you been logging on?

ERIN
What?

JANE
I moved payroll onto the computer.
It only knows to process paychecks
for employees who log on in the
morning and off at night.

ERIN
(seething)
Now how'm I supposed to do that when
I'm not in here most mornings and
nights? I still haven't found a new
baby-sitter --

JANE
You're clever. I'm sure you'll think
of something.

Erin glares at her... She leans in, but speaks so other can
hear.

ERIN
Ya know... Jane... My grandmother
used to have a saying about people
who were beautiful and people who
were ugly. And it had nothing to do
with how they looked. She used to
say "People get the faces they
deserve!"

She then turns and storms out of Jane's office.

As she passes by the CONFERENCE ROOM, she sees; Ed shaking
hands and taking a check from a snazzy lawyer type.
Suspicious, she enters;

INT. CONFERENCE ROOM - DAY

Ed sees Erin and makes introductions;

ED
Erin! I was just talking about you.
I want you to meet our new partner.
Kurt Potter. He'll be handling Hinkley
now.

ERIN
What?

POTTER
(to Ed)
Now I know what you meant by a secret
weapon.
(to Erin)
Nice to meet you. Great work.
(to Ed)
See you tomorrow.

He blows out of the room. Erin glares at Ed.

ED
What?

ERIN
Our new partner? You fuck! When was
I gonna find out -- in the monthly
newsletter?

ED
Hey... just listen. Did I ever tell
you about the airline case I had?

ERIN
Airline case!? What the fuck are you
talking about?

ED
(patient)
A few years back I was trying this
airline case and I got my ass kicked
by this guy -- he just smothered me
in paper. Brutal. This guy was the
toughest motherfucker I'd ever been
up against. And it was Kurt Potter.
When we got the PG&E decision from
the judge, I called him and asked
him to partner. He didn't hesitate.

ERIN
Well of course NOW he wouldn't
hesitate. We did all the fucking
work. Where was he before?

ED
Doesn't matter... Erin, listen to me --
it doesn't matter. You want to win
this?
(hands her the check.)
He just gave me that. It covers all
our expenses to date. The whole thing.
He's got more toxic tort experience
than anyone in the state. This is
good news.

Erin rises, still not happy about it -- feeling like she's
being pushed out. She drops the check on the table and exits,
stopping by the door to say, as if without any importance;

ERIN
By the way... I got Pamela Duncan.

She exits before Ed can say "Great -- good work!"...

INT. ERIN'S HOUSE - KITCHEN - NIGHT

Erin is standing at the sink, visibly exhausted, trying to
do the dinner dishes with one arm and comfort Beth, who's
CRYING, with the other. Matthew comes in and runs into his
room, slamming the door.

Erin hears a motorcycle revving up. She walks to the front
door and looks out to see:

GEORGE riding away. At the same time, A MESSENGER is walking
up her front walk. Erin opens the door as he approaches;

MESSENGER
Erin Brockovich?

ERIN
Yeah?

MESSENGER
Package from Masry & Vititoe.

He hands her a manila envelope. She signs for the package,
then tears into it as the Messenger heads away.

A CHECK and a SET OF KEYS fall out. She looks at the check.

It's made out for $5,000. A note attached reads "HIRE A NANNY.
LOOK OUTSIDE. AND CHEER THE FUCK UP! -- ED."

Erin looks up and sees A BRAND NEW CHEVY BLAZER parked on
the curb. She looks at the keys in her hand. Chevy keys.

INT. ERIN'S NEW CAR - DAY

It's raining. They're driving through the tall buildings of
Century City. Ed is full of nervous excitement.

ED
(points to a building)
That's it. The big one. They've got
the top three floors.

INT. POTTER, HUGHES & ROSEWOOD - RECEPTION - DAY

It feels more like the lobby of a five-star hotel than an
office. Erin and Ed step off the elevator. Erin gawks.

ERIN
Holy shit. Who do they represent,
God?

ED
It's probably their only pro-bono
client. Look, do me a favor Erin...
behave yourself. All right?

Erin shrugs "sure". Ed crosses to the receptionist.

ERIN
Ed Masry to see Kurt Potter.

Erin's miffed Ed didn't announce her as well... so, as Ed
turns to check his reflection, a YOUNG LAWYER comes through
the reception area. Erin watches him pass, then, calls out
to him.

ERIN
'Scuse me, sir, you got a real nice
ass, you know that?

The lawyer double-takes on her, then retreats into the office.
Erin turns to Ed, smiles.

ERIN
Oh, I'm sorry. Was that not what you
meant by behaving myself?

INT. POTTER, HUGHES & ROSEWOOD - RECEPTION - DAY

THERESA DELLAVALLE, 38, junior partner, comes out to greet
them. She's everything Erin isn't: conservative, restrained,
unemotional. And about as sexy as a station wagon.

THERESA
Ed. Good to see you again.

ED
Theresa, hey -- this is Erin
Brockovich.

INT. POTTER, HUGHES & ROSEWOOD - HALLWAY - DAY

Theresa leads Ed and Erin down a long hall of teak desks.

The sound of their footfalls is swallowed up by the plush
carpeting. Occasional ATTORNEYS and PARALEGALS glance at
Erin. She feels their stares.

INT. POTTER, HUGHES & ROSEWOOD - CONFERENCE ROOM - DAY

Potter, Ed, Erin, Theresa and a few PARALEGALS are sitting
around the table. As the conversation ping-pongs between Ed
and Potter, Potter completely ignores Erin.

POTTER
...PG&E have requested we go to
binding arbitration...

ERIN
What's that?

Everyone is surprised by her honest lack of knowledge. She
doesn't give a shit.

POTTER
PG&E have proposed that they are
liable from anywhere between fifty
million and four hundred million...
Now, to determine exactly what amount
they will give, we go before a
judge... not a jury. They call it a
test trial. You have... how many
plaintiffs now?

ED
634.

POTTER
Well, they won't try that many at
once so we get them in groups of
twenty to thirty, the worst cases --
the ones who are clearly the sickest,
most life threatened -- in the first
group and so on... and each gets go
before the judge to determine damages.
If we went to trial, PG&E could
stretch this over ten years, with
appeal aft-...

ERIN
So it's not like a real trial?

ED
Yes, it is... It's --

ERIN
But these people are expecting a
trial. That's what we told them.
They won't understand this.

POTTER
I promise you, we'll be very sensitive
in proposing this. We'll make sure
they understand it's the only way to
go forward now. But we have a lot of
work to do before we even broach the
subject.

Theresa sees impatience brewing, tries to intercede.

THERESA
You know what? Why don't I take Erin
down the hall, so we can start on
this stuff and I'll fill her in on
the rest...

ERIN
Hey -- those are my files --

THERESA
Yeah, we had them couriered over.
And listen, good work. They're a
great start. We're just going to
have to spend a little time filling
in the holes in your research.

Okay, these people are starting to piss her off.

ERIN
Excuse me -- Theresa, was it? There
are no holes in my research.

THERESA
No offense. There are just some things
we need that you probably didn't
know to ask.

ERIN
Don't talk to me like I'm an idiot,
okay? I may not have a law degree,
but I've spent 18 months on this
case, and I know more about those
plaintiffs than you ever will.

THERESA
Erin. You don't even have phone
numbers for some of them.

ERIN
Whose number do you need?

THERESA
Everyone's. This is a lawsuit. We
need to be able to contact the
plaintiffs.

ERIN
I said, whose number do you need?

THERESA
You don't know six hundreds
plaintiffs' numbers by heart.

Erin just stares at her. Theresa sighs, reluctantly glances
down at a file.

THERESA
Annabelle Daniels.

ERIN
Annabelle Daniels. 714-454-9346.

As Theresa starts to write it down?

ERIN
10 years old, 11 in May. Lived on
the plume since birth. Wanted to be
a synchronized swimmer, so she spent
every minute she could in the PG&E
pool. She had a tumor in her brain
stem detected last November, had an
operation on Thanksgiving, shrunk it
with radiation after that. Her parents
are Rita and Ted. Ted's got Chron's
disease, and Rita has chronic
headaches and nausea and underwent a
hysterectomy last fall. Ted grew up
in Hinkley. His brother Robbie and
his wife May and their five kids,
Robbie, Jr., Martha, Ed, Rose, and
Peter lived on the plume too. Their
number's 454-9445. You want their
diseases?

Beat. Erin glares at Theresa, indignant.

THERESA
Okay, look -- I think we got off on
the wrong foot here --

ERIN
That's all you got, lady. Two wrong
feet. In fucking ugly shoes.

INT. PARKING LOT - NIGHT

It's still raining. Erin is following Ed to the car. He's
furious.

ERIN
She insulted me!

ED
Bullshit. It was a misunderstanding.
But instead of handling it politely,
instead of treating her with respect --

ERIN
Why the fuck should I respect her?

Ed stops in his tracks, furious. He glares at her.

ED
Look! Just because she's not
supporting three kids with no husband
and no education, doesn't make her
an idiot! Just because she dresses
like a lawyer, doesn't mean she didn't
work her ass off in law school and
shit positions to earn her way.

ERIN
Well excuse me for not going to law
school.

ED
Law school! At this point, I'd settle
for fucking charm school!

On that, he gets in his car, slams the door, and drives off,
leaving her standing alone in the pouring rain.

ERIN
HEY! You're my ride!!

EXT. LINWOOD'S DAIRY - DAY

Bob Linwood is in his barn, mucking it out. Theresa is at
the edge of the property, trying unsuccessfully to get his
attention by yelling and waving her arms. In her expensive
shoes, she's stopped short of the cow patty minefield.

INT. POTTER, HUGHES & ROSEWOOD - CONFERENCE ROOM - DAY

CLOSE ON A CLIENT FILE as a hand fills in a phone number.

WIDEN TO SEE Erin seated with a PARALEGAL, rattling off facts
and numbers from memory. She's seized by a COUGHING FIT.

EXT. LINWOOD DAIRY - DAY

Theresa still hasn't gotten Linwood's attention. Finally,
rather than ruin her shoes, she picks up a stone and tosses
it at the barn. It hits the window and BREAKS IT.

INT. MASRY & VITITOE - ERIN AND BRENDA'S DESKS - DAY

Erin's desk is empty: no Erin, no files, nothing. Ed comes
out of his office and hands Brenda a STACK OF DOCUMENTS.

CLOSE ON THE FAX LED

Brenda types in the number. The recipient's I.D. comes up
again, only this time it says: POTTER, HUGHES, ROSEWOOD.

INT. POTTER, HUGHES, ROSEWOOD, HALLWAY - ANOTHER DAY

A SECRETARY carries the documents to Potter's office. On the
way, she passes THE CONFERENCE ROOM. Inside, Erin is still
dictating to the PARALEGAL. She's shivery with fever now.
The floor around her is littered with tissues.

INT. DANIELS' HOUSE - DAY

Theresa is talking to Rita and Ted Daniels. Annabelle is
curled up on the sofa, wrapped up in a blanket. Rita and Ted
notice that Theresa doesn't even look at Annabelle.

INT. ERIN'S APARTMENT - KITCHEN - DAY

Erin is lying in bed, home sick, talking on the phone. She's
talking over the noise of TANIA, her 20-something Eastern
European nanny, vacuuming the hall.

ERIN
I know she isn't real warm, but they
say she's a real good lawyer...

INTERCUT WITH:

INT. DANIELS' HOUSE - DAY

Ted Daniels is on the phone. Rita is next to him.

TED
She asking the same questions you
asked. We already told you everything.
I don't want her coming to the house
again. She's kinda stuck-up, and she
upsets Annabelle.

ERIN
If you don't like Theresa, you don't
have to work with her. Me and Ed are
still here for you.

TED
I called Ed two days ago, Erin, and
he still hasn't called me back. Now,
I hate to say this, but everyone's
pretty upset about that arbitration
thing...

ERIN
(stunned)
WHAT?

TED
I mean, Pamela's written a letter in
the Hinkley news telling everybody
to get new lawyers... that we've
been lied to.

Erin is breathless with rage.

INT. MASRY & VITITOE - BRENDA'S DESK - DAY

The phone rings. Brenda picks up.

BRENDA
Ed Masry's office... Sorry, he can't
be interrupted.

INTERCUT WITH Erin at home, still in bed, so irritated.

ERIN
Don't be a pain in my ass today Brenda
or I'll put my fucking fist through
the phone! Just put him on.

BRENDA
(with finality)
I said, he can't be interrupted.

Erin hangs up. Then, with a groan, she pulls her weary body
out of bed.

INT. MASRY & VITITOE - RECEPTION - DAY

Erin drags herself into the office.

ROSALIND
Hey, Erin, I thought you were taking
a sick day.

ERIN
So did I.

She heads toward Ed's office, but stops when she sees a
meeting in progress in the conference room. Ed is on the
side of the table facing her, flanked by Potter and Theresa.

ERIN
What's going on in there?

ROSALIND
Meeting about the PG&E thing.

ERIN
PG& -- Are you sure?

ROSALIND
Yup. You look awful. You want some
tea?

Erin feels this like a sock in the gut. She stares at the
meeting, stunned.

INT. MASRY & VITITOE - CONFERENCE ROOM - DAY

Ed and Theresa are listening to Potter;

CORBIN
...I'm not saying it's not a strong
case. Certainly having every demur
dismissed is a good sign. What I am
saying is that, if we could get hold
of any PG&E documentation prior to
1987, officially acknowledging that
they know "something" might be wrong
with the water, I'd feel a lot better
about this statute of limi-

Ed looks beyond Potter to see...

Erin staring at him from the other side of the glass wall,
her face cold with hurt and anger.

ED
Could I -- just take a brief break
here for a moment? I'll be right
back.

HE GETS UP AND GOES OUT INTO:

INT. MASRY & VITITOE - MAIN ROOM - DAY

Ed comes out. Erin's so angry she can barely breathe.

ERIN
If you tell me to relax, I'm gonna
choke you with that fucking tie...

ED
Erin, it's just a meeting. Look, you
said you weren't feeling great. I
thought you should rest.

ERIN
Bullshit. You'd drag me off my
deathbed if it suited you.
(weakened)
How dare you take this away from me.

ED
No one's taking anything, will you
let me --

ERIN
Bullshit. You stuck me in Siberia
dictating to some goddamn steno clerk
so you could finish this thing without
me.

ED
Erin, they fucked up!
(Erin shuts-up)
Do I have your attention now? They
fucked up and they admit it.

Beat.

ERIN
The arbitration lette-...

ED
They sent a fucking letter to these
people explaining something they
wouldn't be able to explain in person
with diagrams and a floor show.

ERIN
I know. I spoke to Ted. Pamela
wouldn't even come to the phone.

ED
Pamela's got them all seeing red
with that letter she wrote to the
press. She called us thieves. This
is about to all fall apart Erin.

ERIN
Why?

ED
Because in order to even go to
arbitration -- we have to get the
plaintiffs to agree...

ERIN
How many?

ED
Usually you can only manage to get
about 70 percent. PG&E are demanding
we get ninety. In other words,
everybody. This is serious now Erin.
Do you understand?

ERIN
And, what Ed, I'm not serious?

ED
You're emotional. You're erratic.
You say any goddamn thing that comes
into your head. You make this
personal, and it isn't --

ERIN
Not personal? That's my work in
there. My sweat, my time... If that's
not personal, I don't know what is.

She starts to COUGH and CRUMBLE, but fights it.

ED
Now go home. Get well. Because you're
no good to me sick.
(then, admits)
I need you. All right? This case
needs you.

Beat. Then Erin asks him, referring to Potter and Theresa:

ERIN
Did you tell them that?

Clearly, Ed has not. Erin smiles, shakes her head as she
reaches into her bag.

ERIN
Ya know Ed... after busting my ass,
if you think that this
(pulls out cell phone)
and that car is all I'm looking for,
is all the respect somebody like me
needs to be shown, like a bone you
throw somebody who doesn't know the
difference --
(she can't even finish)
How can people with every degree on
every wall be so fucking stupid.

She puts the cell phone down, then stares through the glass
wall of the conference room at Potter and Theresa, who are
witnessing the scene from inside the room. She doesn't bother
to admonish them -- she's feeling too shitty. She goes home.

ED
Erin... Erin... I'll-...

Erin ignores him as she exits. Ed looks angry as well. He
doesn't like the scenes she creates. He returns to the
conference room.

EXT. MASRY & VITITOE - PARKING LOT - DAY

Erin gets to her car. As she opens the door, the ALARM SOUNDS.
She fumbles with her keychain, trying to turn it off, but
she's too sick and upset to figure it out. With the siren
still blaring, she kicks at the car in rage.

A wave of dizziness comes over her. She holds her head. Her
breathing grows heavy. She grabs hold of the car for
balance... as she slowly loses consciousness and passes out.

INT. HOSPITAL EMERGENCY ROOM - NIGHT

A busy Southland ER. George bursts through the doors with
Katie, Matthew and Beth in tow. He goes up to the desk.

GEORGE
I'm looking for Erin Brockovich.

INT. ER WAITING AREA - DAY

The kids are waiting. George is talking to a DOCTOR.

GEORGE
Meningitis? What the hell is
meningitis?

DOCTOR
It's an inflammation of the spinal
cord and part of the brain.

GEORGE
Jesus.

DOCTOR
It's a pretty advanced case. I'd say
she's been walking around with it
for a few weeks now.

GEORGE
How does someone get meningitis?

DOCTOR
Usually, in adults, it's from exposure
to bacteria or a virus or...

During Doctor's lines, George knows how she got it.

INT. HALLWAY OUTSIDE ERIN'S HOSPITAL ROOM - DAY

Matt and Katie sit on the cheap plastic chairs outside the
room. Katie is holding Beth, who's sleeping.

INT. ERIN'S HOSPITAL ROOM - DAY

Erin's in bed, hooked up to an IV, looking exhausted. All
untouched food tray is beside her bed. George is standing
across the room from her, arms crossed tight across his chest,
keeping his distance.

ERIN
...I swear, if I wasn't feeling so
shitty, I would driven that fucking
car right into their offices.

GEORGE
That would have helped their opinion
of you.

ERIN
Who gives shit about their opinion?
They would have sold out every
plaintiff for the first offer if I
wasn't there. They don't care about
them.

GEORGE
Do you?

ERIN
What? Do I care?! What the hell have
I been--

GEORGE
You think acting that way, with these
lawyers -- you think that's going
help any of these families? I mean,
when you get so pissed off with Ed
or these other suits -- what are you
really upset about? The families? Or
what everybody thinks of you?

Erin has no reply. George's anger with her personally, makes
him the most honest person in the room right now...

ERIN
They said I can leave tomorrow. They
just wanna keep an eye on me another
night.

GEORGE
Fine. The kids can stay at my place
till you go home. I'll drop 'em off
tomorrow afternoon.

A moment of thick silence.

ERIN
Thank you.

GEORGE
(giving nothing)
Mm-hm.

As she watches him reach for his motorcycle helmet, to leave,
she's hit with a wave of regret.

ERIN
George...

He pauses but she is interrupted by a KNOCK at the door as
Ed enters. George looks at him. The moment's lost.

GEORGE
I'll drop 'em by tomorrow.

And Erin watches George leave the room, then turns to Ed.

ERIN
If you're here to fire me, your
timing's lousy.

ED
I'm not gonna fire you.
(beat)
I wanted to. But then you got sick,
and that woulda made me look like a
shit.
(serious)
You have to stop embarrassing me in
front of Potter and everyone else
who aggravates you, Erin.

ERIN
I know. I'm sorry.
(beat)
Do I get to hear what happened anyway?

INT. ERIN'S HOSPITAL ROOM - LATER

Ed has taken off his coat and pulled a chair up next to Erin's
bed. He's eating the pudding off her tray.

ED
...Kurt thinks that with nothing
linking it to the corporate offices
yet, we'll probably end up on the
lower end of that fifty-to-400 million
dollar offer. It's still a lot of
money.

ERIN
It's not enough. Not for over six
hundred people... What I don't
understand is, if we can't connect
the corporate offices to it, why
would PG&E offer even that much?

ED
Because, they know the evidence we
do have. They know they're gonna
lose a jury trial. Maybe they wouldn't
lose 400 million bucks, but once you
factor in --

ERIN
Wait a minute -- Are you saying, you
want to settle for the low end?

ED
(admits)
Kurt suggested it. He doesn't think
we're going to be able to get more
than thirty percent of these people
to agree to arbitration...

ERIN
And of course, Kurt knows "these
people" so well...

ED
(continues)
...Which means the low end is the
best they're going to get, Erin.

Erin is deeply disturbed by this.

ED
We're going try and get as many of
them together -- sort of a town
meeting, to explai-...

ERIN
I'm coming.

ED
Erin, please --

ERIN
I'm coming -- and you better tell
Kurtie and St. Theresa to stay the
fuck away or we're going to be
defending some of "these people" for
murder.

Ed considers her insight as closer to the truth than he'd
like to admit.

EXT. HINKLEY FIREHOUSE - NIGHT

The lot is filling with more cars and trucks; headlights
criss-cross each other as people pull in from all directions.

It is stifling hot evening.

INT. HINKLEY FIREHOUSE - NIGHT

CLOSE ON HANDS. As people stream in, they are each handed a
release form with a space for a signature on the bottom.

EXT. FIREHOUSE - NIGHT

Erin's Chevy pulls up to the firehouse. The kids are in the
car asleep. She gets out, leaving the door open.

She only goes as far as the firehouse front door. She steps
in. Ed is waiting by the door, before he goes up to make his
speech. He acknowledges Erin.

ED
How do you feel?

ERIN
Fine. It's hot as hell in here.

ED
That'll make this a lot easier.

ERIN
Nervous?

ED
It's anyone's guess.

Erin looks around at room, as the Hinkley residents take
their seats. Everyone's waving papers at themselves to cool
off... then looking around as if for something in particular.

ERIN
Be friendly. Cause they don't want
to be here.

ED
Why do you say that?

ERIN
They didn't bring any food.

She motions to long fold out tables against the wall -- empty.

DONNA
(passing by)
Erin?

ERIN
Donna, hi... how are you?

DONNA
I heard you were in the hospital.

ERIN
I'm fine.

DONNA
This is crazy, huh. What's going to
happen?

ERIN
Let Ed explain it. It's gonna be OK.
Is Pamela coming?

Donna shakes her head NO. Erin and Ed know that's not a good
sign.

INT. HINKLEY FIREHOUSE - LATER

It's sweltering. The room, packed with plaintiffs, hums with
horse flies and tension. People are fanning themselves with
the release forms. Ed's addressing them from a raised
platform.

ED
...Binding arbitration isn't all
that different from a trial. It's
overseen by a judge. Evidence is
presented in much the same way....

PLAINTIFF
And then a jury decides?

ED
No, sorry, I should have mentioned
that. There's no jury in binding
arbitration. No jury, and no appeal.

BOB LINWOOD
No appeal? So what are our options
if we don't like the result?

ED
Well -- you have none. The judge's
decision is final. But we really
don't anticipate that being a problem.

Unhappy murmuring in the crowd. Now, in addition to the
stifling heat, the large room is thick with mistrust. People
are shifting in their seats, whispering to each other.

ED
...As I said before, it will
definitely be somewhere between 50
and 400 million dollars...

MANDY BROWN
Which? There's a big difference there.

ED
I wouldn't want to speculate at this
point.

MANDY BROWN
So then, what, that mystery number's
divided up at the whim of some judge --

More whispering, more movement.

MANDY BROWN
How does it get divided?

PLAINTIFF
Yeah, who gets what? My medical bills
started two years before some other
people here.

MANDY BROWN
But my kid's been in and out of the
hospital a lot more than his. It
shouldn't matter when it started.

ED
Wait a minute, that's not --

The crowd erupts. The GRUMBLE of discontent has overtaken
the room. Erin watches the meeting fall apart. It's driving
her crazy. She notices CHARLES EMBRY, the flirty guy from
the picnic, watching her from the rear of the room. His smile
is hard to interpret...

ED
...People listen, please... the point
we want to address tonight is getting
everyone to agree that going binding
arbitration is preferable to a trial
that could go on for ten years before
you see any money.

PLAINTIFF
Well, maybe some of us want to go
ten years.

OTHER PLAINTIFFS
(overlaps)
I don't... YEAH!... Speak for
yourself!... This is bullshit!...
Let him talk, for Christ sake...!!

ED
(overlaps)
We have to agree or no one has a
chance...

Some people are getting up to leave.

ED
(emphatic)
...For those of you about to leave,
I'd like you to keep this date in
mind: 1976. That's the year of the
Three Mile Island disaster, and the
people of Love Canal are still waiting
for their money. Think about where
you'll be when the year 2018 rolls
around.

The people that were leaving stop.

ED
Look. Everyone. is this a big
decision? Absolutely. But I do not
believe -- and I wouldn't say this
otherwise -- I do not believe this
is a sell-out. With over six hundred
clients, the most you can try is
twenty a year, so it's like a roulette
wheel. You have somebody that's real
sick and he's the six-hundredth guy,
he's not gonna make it. And that is
exactly what the PG&E lawyers want --
they keep making their fees, dragging
out the case, waiting for people to
drop by the wayside.
(beat)
This is the best shot at getting
everyone some money now. You and I
both know that some people in this
room can't afford to wait, to take
that chance. Are you going to make
them wait?

The crowd is listening now.

DISSOLVE TO:

INT. FIREHOUSE - LATER THAT NIGHT

The last car drives away. The clock reads 12:35 PM. Erin and
Ed are counting the agreements signed by those who wish to
continue with the arbitration -- talking, counting;

ED
...So how many all together...

ERIN
We got about half of them.

ED
Shit.

ERIN
We're gonna have to go door-to-door
Ed. It's the only way.

He nods. Erin looks at him.

ERIN
You did good, Ed.

ED
We'll see.

EXT. HINKLEY MOTEL - NIGHT

Erin's Chevy pulls into the parking lot.

MATTHEW (O.S.)
I don't want to stay here. It smells.

INT. HINKLEY MOTEL ROOM - NIGHT

Erin is entering the crappy motel room with her kids.

ERIN
We got no choice. I'm not gonna make
it home tonight. Now go wash up and
climb into bed.

As the kids wander toward the bathroom, Erin picks up the
phone and dials. RING, RING.

GEORGE (O.S.)
Hello?

ERIN
Hi. It's me.
(silence)
I've got one more favor to ask you...
It'll be the last one... I promise.

EXT. HINKLEY MOTEL - DAY

Very early. Erin is visible in the motel office, talking to
the clerk, when George's motorcycle pulls into the lot.

EXT. ERIN'S MOTEL ROOM - DAY

Erin comes up to him, hands him a key.

ERIN
I got you your own room.

He takes it, glances toward the motel room.

ERIN
(awkward beat)
Look, don't take any of 'em on your
bike, okay? Call a cab if you wanna
go somewhere.

She hands him a wad of cash. he hands it back.

GEORGE
I have money... How long's this whole
thing gonna take?

ERIN
I don't know. Few days.
(beat)
Thanks for helping me. I appreciate
it.

He nods. It's an awkward moment. George starts moving his
bike to a parking space... as Erin speaks;

ERIN
Seems like all I do lately is
apologize to everybody...

George is engaged in an action throughout Erin's speech --
locking up his bike, getting his stuff -- never looking at
her.

ERIN
But, I am really sorry, George... I
feel like a shit about how I treated
you and I'm... I'm sorry.
(beat. no reaction)
I'm also scared to death... Scared
I'm gonna lose my kids. Scared I'm
gonna wind up nowhere... with no
one... And I'm in that hospital bed
George, I swear, thinking --
(nervously laughs)
'Fuck... it can't get much worse
than this'... And the only person I
can think of to make it better is
you... I've never been with a man
who made anything better. Don't give
up on me yet.

George doesn't act like he has listened, but we & Erin know
he has. He gives a look that doesn't give her much.

GEORGE
Have the kids eaten?

Erin nods. Beat. George turns and walks into the motel. Erin
gets into the truck and pulls out.

EXT. HINKLEY - COMMUNITY BOULEVARD - DAY

Erin's Chevy is bombing down the road.

EXT. PAMELA DUNCAN'S HOUSE - DAY

Erin is on her doorstep once more. Pamela opens the door,
cautiously.

INT. PAMELA DUNCAN'S HOUSE - DAY

Pamela and Erin sit at the kitchen table.

PAMELA
...and then this... this letter with
these names of people I never heard
of... people with no faces... I tell
you, it was just like all the crap
we used to get in the mail from PG&E --
like there was no one real, no...
real person behind any of this...
suddenly telling us something entirely
different from what you said...

ERIN
I know. I'm sorry. I'm sorry for
what I didn't know. For what I didn't
even understand... and I'm sorry you
found out about it like that. It was
a shitty way to explain it to you
but... you got to separate that from
what they're proposing. You're gonna
have enough money to take real care
of your kids and yourself... Isn't
that the most important thing?

Beat.

PAMELA
And who's going to be accountable
for what happened? Who can I point
to?

ERIN
(honestly)
No one... They won't even show up at
the arbitration.

This stings Pamela. But she looks at her kids in the yard.

PAMELA
Why are you all doing this?

Erin thinks for a moment.

ERIN
Because it would be easier not to.

INT. ERIN'S CAR - BACK SEAT - DAY

There are two boxes there -- one full of unsigned release
forms, the other empty.

INT. THE DANIELS HOUSE - LIVING ROOM - DAY

Erin, Ed and Pamela are sitting with Ted and Rita.

INT. MANDY'S HOUSE - LIVING ROOM - DAY

Erin, Ed, Mandy, and Tom are seated on the sofas. Mandy
signs an agreement. Hands the pen to Tom, who also signs.

INT. LINWOODS' HOUSE - DAY

From outside, we see Erin at the kitchen table with Ed and
Bob and Ruth Linwood, who are laughing at Ed's story.

ED
...so she drops the entire bag of
Doritos in my lap and while I'm
driving, she's feeling me up because
she has to eat all the time, this
one... constantly...

ERIN
(overlapping)
Oh shut-up! I was not! He's such a
liar.

RUTH
Oh Lord!

INT. ERIN'S MOTEL ROOM - NIGHT

In the wee hours. While her kids sleep, Erin sits at the
cheap motel room table, going through her forms, organizing,
alphabetizing.

INT. ERIN'S MOTEL ROOM - DAY

CLOSE ON ERIN, fast asleep at the table, her face pressed
against the linoleum. There's some NOISE in the room,
WHISPERING. Erin stirs and looks around to see George behind
her, diapering Beth, while Matt and Katie put their shoes
on.

ERIN
What time is it?

GEORGE
Real early. We're just gonna take
your car to get some breakfast.

Erin forces herself awake.

ERIN
No, I need my car --

GEORGE
We'll just be a minute. Get a little
more sleep.

He picks up Beth, takes Katie's hand, and calls across the
room to Matthew.

GEORGE
C'mon, pal. Leave that alone, we
gotta go.

Erin turns to see Matthew holding one of her release forms.

ERIN
Oh, baby, please don't play with
that, okay? I got 'em all organized.
Just put it back.

But he's reading it. And something has caught his attention.

He looks up at Erin.

MATTHEW
This girl's the same age as me.

Erin gently takes the form away from Matthew, wanting to
shield him from the harsh realities of this case.

ERIN
That's right, sweetheart.

She replaces the form on top of the stack.

MATTHEW
She's one of the sick people?

ERIN
Yeah. She is.
(beat)
But you know what? That's why I'm
helping her. So she can get some
medicine to make her feel better.

Matthew mulls this over a bit more.

MATTHEW
How come her own mom isn't helping
her?

ERIN
'Cause her own mom's real sick, too.

Matthew thinks real hard about this, then heads over to the
door, where George, Beth, and Katie are waiting for him.

Before he leaves, though, he turns back to Erin.

MATTHEW
Maybe we'll bring you back some
breakfast. You want eggs?

She looks at Matthew and her eyes fill with tears. She's so
proud of her son in this moment. As if his understanding is
what she needed all along.

ERIN
Eggs'd be great, baby. Eggs'd be
perfect.

INT. DESOTOS' HOUSE - DAY

Erin is leaving, saying good-bye to Mary DeSoto. Erin has a
signed release form in her hand.

INT. THE BACK OF ERIN'S TRUCK - NIGHT

The signed stack has grown; the unsigned stack has shrunk.

Erin drops five more agreements into the "signed" box.

EXT. LOST CAUSE SALOON - NIGHT

Erin's truck drives into the parking lot.

INT. LOST CAUSE SALOON - NIGHT

An exhausted Erin has come in for a drink, a private moment
for herself... having a beer and a cigarette.

A MAN (CHARLES EMBRY) comes over and sits opposite.

CHARLES
Hey. Don't I know you?

Erin winces...

ERIN
(to herself)
Oh no...
(to him)
Uh... no... I... I don't think so --

CHARLES
Sure. Sure... I saw you at that
barbecue in Hinkley. And the
firehouse.

ERIN
Oh.
(disinterested)
Were you there?

CHARLES
Sure. Sure... I watched you. I had
my eye on you... ha, ha...

ERIN
Oh... how nice...
(swigs beer)

CHARLES
I saw ya... saw ya talking to
everybody... writing stuff down...
ha, ha... I said to myself...
something about her... I really like
that girl... Can I buy you a drink?

ERIN
I'm actually on my way out..

CHARLES
I feel like I can talk to you too.
Like you're a person I can say
anything to..

ERIN
You know, I'm really not.

CHARLES
Listen...

He leans in. Erin leans back. She thinks he's going to make
an indecent proposal...

CHARLES
Would it be important to you if I
told you that when I worked at the
Hinkley plant, I destroyed records?

Erin stares blankly. She forgets to breathe. Her mind races.

ERIN
Uh... I don't know uh...
(doesn't know his
name)

CHARLES
Charles.

ERIN
Charles... Maybe. Would you..would
you excuse me a moment -- I just
have to go to the bathroom.

CHARLES
Sure babe.

ERIN
Don't go away...

She calmly exits OS.

CUT TO:

EXT. LOST CAUSE SALOON - NIGHT

Erin runs her ass off to her truck... opens the door, searches
for her cell phone...

INT. ED'S OFFICE - NIGHT

Ed's working. The phone rings.

ED
Yeah?... What? Kid, slow down...
Who?

INTERCUT ERIN:

ERIN
This guy! Charles! He tells me he
destroyed records. He worked at
Hinkley..

Ed rises out of his chair as he listens...

ERIN
I thought he was picking me up. I
mean maybe he is. But why would he
say that?

ED
Calm down, calm down... Shit... Look,
go back and see if he'll make a
declaration.

ERIN
A declaration...

ED
But be careful. Don't care him off.

ERIN
Right...

ED
And if you have to sleep with him,
that's all right too..

ERIN
OK OK... I'll call you back...

CUT BACK TO:

INT. LOST CAUSE SALOON - NIGHT

A deliberately calm Erin talks to Charles;

ERIN
So... Chuck... can I call you Chuck?

CHARLES
Sure. Sure.

ERIN
Would you like another drink?

CHARLES
I'm good.

ERIN
So what happened here -- you were
telling me about records...?

CHARLES
Yeah. Those fuckers...
(sips beer)
I was with that plant for thirty
five years. They made me sick and
when I retired I get a fucking
watch...

DISSOLVE TO:

INT. LOST CAUSE SALOON - LATER THAT NIGHT

Erin and Charles are the only patrons. Erin's eating a burger.
Charles has a beer.

CHARLES
I was working in the compressor, and
out of nowhere the supervisor calls
me up to the office and says, we're
gonna give you a shredder machine,
and send you on down to the warehouse.
We want you to get rid of all the
documents stored out there.

ERIN
Did he say why?

CHARLES
Nope. And I didn't ask.

ERIN
Did you get a look at the stuff you
destroyed?

CHARLES
There was a lot of dull stuff --
vacation schedules, the like.
(beat)
But then there were a few memos about
the holding ponds. The water in them.
They had readings from test wells,
stuff like that.

ERIN
And you were told to destroy those?

CHARLES
That's right.

Erin plays it down, takes a sip of beer.

CHARLES
Course as it turns out, I'm not a
very good employee.

ERIN
What do you mean?

CHARLES
Well. There were a few documents
that I somehow didn't get around to
shredding.
(beat)
That I kept instead.

Erin stops, mid-bite of burger. She looks at him.

CHARLES
At the time, I thought, I got six
kids, some of 'em want to go to
college. I can't afford to lose my
job. I told myself I was being
honorable.
(beat)
But there's nothing honorable in
what I did.
(beat)
Maybe that's why they picked me for
the job. Maybe they knew what kind
of man I was.

Pause.

ERIN
Charles. Will make a declaration
stating all the things you've told
me?

He looks at her.

INT. POTTER, HUGHES & ROSEWOOD - RECEPTION - DAY

Erin and Ed enter, with boxes in their arms and a whole lot
of attitude.

INT. POTTER, HUGHES & ROSEWOOD - CONFERENCE ROOM - DAY

The table is covered with boxes of documents: the anticipated
slew of paper that PG&E is sending them. Kurt, Theresa, Andrew
and ABOUT FIVE PARALEGALS are sifting through them.

Erin and Ed breeze in like sunshine.

ERIN
Morning!

POTTER
Erin? Ed... what are you --

ERIN
(to Ed)
May I?

ED
Oh yes. Please do.

ERIN
You know what, Mr. Potter? We
completely forgot your birthday this
year. And seeing as how you've been
so good to me, I thought it was a
terrible oversight. So what Ed and I
been doing over the last few days is
putting together a present for you.

She plunks the box down on the table. Potter opens the top
of the box. Looks in.

ERIN
634. They all signed. Every single
one.

Potter, Theresa, et al... are stunned.

THERESA
Ho -- ly -- shit.

ERIN
Oh, now don't get all jealous,
Theresa. We got a little something
for you, too.

Erin hands Theresa a manila envelope. She opens it.

ERIN
Internal PG&E documents, all about
the contamination. The one I like
best says, and I'm paraphrasing here,
but it says yes, the water's
poisonous, but it'd be better for
all involved if this matter wasn't
discussed with the neighbors. It's
to the Hinkley station, from PG&E
Headquarters. Stamped received, March,
1966.

Potter and Theresa reel. Potter shakes his head in disbelief.

POTTER
Where did -- how did you do this?

ERIN
Well, what with me not having any
brains or legal expertise, and Ed
starting to lose his faith in the
system and all... am I right?...

ED
(overlaps)
Oh yes... completely... No faith...

ERIN
(overlaps)
I just went on up there and performed
sexual favors. 634 blow jobs in five
days. Boy, am I ever tired.

Ed's head falls to his chest -- he didn't know that was
coming. But Erin just smiles... digesting her canary.

DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. PACIFIC COAST HIGHWAY - DAY

One of those days when the bay sparkles like a glitter ball.

Erin's Chevy moves up the PCH. George's at the wheel. Erin
by his side. The kids in the back. Time has passed -- Erin's
hair's a little different.

EXT. BEACH PARKING LOT - DAY

Erin gets out of her new truck, looks, sees the Irvings in a
little cluster.

Donna's under an umbrella. Pete is slathering on sunscreen.

The two girls zip out toward the water. Erin waves. Pete and
Donna spot her, wave back. The kids run out toward the beach
to play with the Irving's kids... Erin holds Beth calling
out to them;

ERIN
Find a spot near the shore!

George is hauling out a cooler.

ERIN
Let me give you a hand.

GEORGE
No I got it. I'll take Beth and set
up while you take care of your
business.

ERIN
No... I want you to come with me...
(smiles)
I want you to see what you've helped
to do.

EXT. BEACH - LATER

Donna is sitting on a blanket beneath an umbrella watching
her kids in the water -- joined by Erin's kids... Erin comes
up behind her. George carries Beth.

ERIN
Hi... This is George... George this
is Donna.

GEORGE
Nice to meet you.

DONNA
Hi! And who's this little precious.

ERIN
This is Beth... Say hi... Hi... How
you you feeling today?

George and Erin sit before her.

DONNA
It's a good day. I feel good.

ERIN
Well, then -- if you're feeling up
to it, maybe we should talk shop.
The judge came up with a number.

DONNA
A number for the whole group, or for
us?

ERIN
Both.

Donna sits down next to her.

ERIN
He's making them pay the maximum.

Tears of vindication spring to Donna's eyes.

DONNA
Oh, my God.

ERIN
And he's making them give five million
of it to you all.

DONNA
Five million dollars?

ERIN
Five million dollars.

She reels. After a breathless beat:

DONNA
I don't even know how much money
that is.

ERIN
It's enough -- for whatever you need,
for whatever your girls need, for
whatever your girls' girls need.
It'll be enough.

Donna wipes the tears off her face, then watches the light
flickering off her girls playing in the surf.

DONNA
I can put them in a good school.

ERIN
Any school you want.

DONNA
And get someone to help around the
house.

ERIN
Yup.

DONNA
Oh my God. Oh my God.

Donna is overwhelmed. Erin pulls her close.

DONNA
Oh, my God.

George holds Beth close. He looks at Erin with love and pride,
and finally, complete understanding of what she's been moving
towards from the beginning. Erin looks at him over Donna's
shoulder, and smiles with tears in her eyes.

EXT. MASRY & VITITOE'S NEW OFFICE BUILDING - DAY

Now this is where the hot lawyers work. A gleaming testament
to power.

INT. MASRY & VITITOE'S NEW OFFICE - DAY

Boxes everywhere. They just moved in. Everyone is unpacking
at his or her desk. Rosalind is manning the new phones.

ROSALIND
Masry & Vititoe, can I -- shoot!
(she lost them)
Masry & Vititoe, can I -- damn it.
(calling out)
Does anyone know anything about these
phones?

INT. ED'S NEW OFFICE - DAY

Ed is in his new office when a LEGAL ASSISTANT enters carrying
an ENVELOPE and hands it to Ed.

ED
Thanks.

She exits as Ed opens the envelope to reveal: A BONUS CHECK
MADE OUT TO ERIN FOR TWO MILLION DOLLARS. Ed smiles.

INT. ERIN'S NEW OFFICE - DAY

Ed enters Erin's beautiful, private office to give her the
bonus -- only to find that she is not there. He walks over
to her desk and lays the envelope down next to some framed
photos of Erin's children. He exits, closing the door behind
him as we:

CUT TO:

EXT. SUBURBAN HOME IN ANOTHER BARREN CA. AREA - DAY

Doorbell rings. A HOUSEWIFE opens the door.

HOUSEWIFE
Can I help you?

ERIN
Hi. My name is Erin Brockovich. I'm
been talking to some of the families
in the neighborhood about a problem
you've been having with the water
supply... Jane Whittman told me to
contact you...

HOUSEWIFE
Oh yeah, Jane, sure...

BLACKOUT.

END CRAWL:

The settlement awarded to the plaintiffs in Hinkley v. PG&E
was the largest in a direct-action lawsuit in United States
history.

Erin and Ed have three other cases pending, including one
against PG&E.

THE END

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