The Paper Chase (1978–1986)
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The Advocates 

Hart and Harriman are locking horns (again), this time as opponents in the Moot Court finals. Others are cashing in on their rivalry. Bell is taking bets on the winner, and Golden is happy ... See full summary »


Jack Bender


John Jay Osborn Jr. (based on the novel by), James Bridges (developed for television by) | 1 more credit »


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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
John Houseman ... Professor Charles W. Kingsfield Jr.
James Stephens ... James T. Hart
Tom Fitzsimmons ... Franklin Ford III
James Keane ... Willis Bell
Michael Tucci ... Gerald Golden
Andra Millian ... Laura Kiernan
Penny Johnson Jerald ... Vivian Conway (as Penny Johnson)
Clare Kirkconnell ... Rita Harriman
Tony Lo Bianco ... Professor Reese
Mark Schubb Mark Schubb ... Simms
Duncan Ross Duncan Ross ... Judge Wainwright
Steven Peterman ... Soloway
Sandy Simpson Sandy Simpson ... Kramer
Nina Wilcox Nina Wilcox
Timothy Busfield ... Barrett


Hart and Harriman are locking horns (again), this time as opponents in the Moot Court finals. Others are cashing in on their rivalry. Bell is taking bets on the winner, and Golden is happy because Hart and Harriman are eager to correct each others' papers, hoping to find errors. Professor Reese teaches a non-traditional class (much to Kingsfield's dismay, naturally), but when Hart and Harriman both benefit from the class, Kingsfield has a change of heart. Written by JEFJR

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Release Date:

7 August 1984 (USA) See more »

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Technical Specs


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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

Very well done, though the rivalry here is getting a bit tedious.
9 October 2014 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

This episode once again finds Hart pitting himself against Harriman. Both are super-high performers and it's therefore not very surprising that the school's Moot Court finals find them facing each other. And, because both are such high performers, they both seek every edge they can get--such as signing up with a professor's class on how to best present themselves and their cases in court. At the same time, Professor Kingsfield seems uncharacteristically intransigent-- fighting against funding this sort of experimental program as he feels training students about the law is the school's purpose and how to present their cases was to be learned when they obtain jobs. The job the two Moot Court finalists do as well as the improvement that a timid but talented student presents all work to strengthen the case in favor of such a class.

Tony LoBianco stars as this professor--and he has a nice guest starring role. As usual, Hart and Harriman trade jabs and one again it's easy to feel annoyed by Hart in particular, as he's boorish and seems VERY threatened by a smart and perhaps more talented female. Fortunately, the way the episode ends you see some hope that this rivalry would mature into something better.

Like the previous episode, this one is a great one-- uncharacteristically well written compared to many mediocre season two episodes. In many ways, the quality of this is what those of season one were--compelling, intelligent and worth your time.

By the way, look for tiny appearances by two future TV stars-- Timothy Busfield and Brent Spiner among the student body.

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