Recount (2008) – starring Kevin Spacey, Ed Begley Jr., Laura Dern, and Denis Leary – captured what was at the time perhaps the most exhilarating and suspenseful presidential election in American history, as it came down to one state and its Electoral College votes. The film is set in the immediate aftermath of the 2000 presidential election, with all the legal and political maneuverings that was Bush v. Gore and the recount that never was.
Here we are today, twenty years later, in the aftermath of an even more contentious and nail-biting presidential election. Yet there are some parallels to Bush v. Gore: the role of courts in deciding federal elections while upholding our Democracy, the integrity of mail-in ballots, the scarcity of constitutional guidance, and the continued ambivalence around the Electoral College itself. The Trump campaign legal team is hoping to take its case to the Supreme Court. How close are we to facing a repeat of Bush v. Gore – this time, however, involving not so much a recount as a disqualification of votes.
On Sunday, December 6, FOLCS was joined by actor, Ed Begley Jr., who portrays David Boies, the lawyer who represented Al Gore, and David Boies himself, for a Conversation about the unexpected timeliness of Recount in relation to present day events.
Ed Begley Jr.
Inspired by the works of his Academy Award-winning father, Ed Begley, Jr. became an actor. He first came to audiences’ attention for his portrayal of Dr. Victor Ehrlich on the long-running hit television series, “St. Elsewhere,” for which he received six Emmy nominations.
Since then, Begley has moved easily between feature, television and theatre projects.
Ed can be seen in “Book Club” with Diane Keaton, Candice Bergen, Mary Steenburgen & Jane Fonda, “Ghostbusters” with Kristen Wiig and Melissa McCarthy and a number of Christopher Guest films, such as “Mascots”, “A Mighty Wind”, “Best In Show,” and “For Your Consideration”. He has also appeared in the Seth Rogan/Judd Apatow film, “Pineapple Express”.
On television, Begley can be seen on “Modern Family” and “The Cool Kids”, “Future Man” for Seth Rogen, “Better Call Saul” with Bob Odenkirk, “Curb Your Enthusiasm” with Larry David, and the new ABC comedy “Bless This Mess” with Lake Bell and Dax Shepard.
He has starred in two HBO movies: “Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight” with Christopher Plummer, Danny Glover and Frank Langella, as well as “Recount” with Tom Wilkinson and Laura Dern. He has also had recurring roles on “Six Feet Under”, “Arrested Development”, and “Portlandia”.
He starred in David Mamet’s “November” at the Mark Taper Forum, and has appeared in several other works by this amazing playwright:
“The Cryptogram,” in Boston, New York and Los Angeles, as well as “Romance”, also at the Mark Taper Forum.
Ed has directed several episodes of the hit show “NYPD Blue” as well as a play that he wrote called “Cesar and Ruben” that won a Nos Otros Award and four Valley Theater League Awards.
He lives in a solar powered home and drives an electric car.
Chairman, Boies Schiller Flexner LLP
Mr. Boies, is the Chairman of Boies Schiller Flexner LLP. He received his B.S. from Northwestern University (1964), an LL.B., magna cum laude from Yale University (1966), and an LL.M. from New York University (1967).
Mr. Boies served as Chief Counsel of the United States Senate Antitrust Subcommittee in 1978 and Chief Counsel of the United States Senate Judiciary Committee in 1979.
In 1998, Mr. Boies served as special trial counsel for the Department of Justice in U.S. v. Microsoft. In 2000, Mr. Boies served as the lead counsel for former Vice-President Al Gore in connection with litigation relating to the presidential election. In 2009-2013, as co-lead counsel for the plaintiffs in Perry v. Brown, he won a judgment establishing for the first time the federal constitutional right for gay and lesbian citizens to marry.
Clients he has successfully defended in major court battles include Barclays, CBS, HSBC, Lloyds, NASCAR, the National Football League, Starr International, Westinghouse, and the New York Yankees. Clients for whom as plaintiffs he has recovered more than $1 billion include American Express (twice), Barclays (twice), the FDIC, Oracle (with the largest copyright verdict in history), and Starr International.
Mr. Boies has been selected as one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World by Time Magazine. He has been named Global International Litigator of the Year by Who’s Who Legal an unprecedented seven times, as well as Litigator of the Year by The American Lawyer; Lawyer of the Year by The National Law Journal.
Mr. Boies is the recipient of Honorary Doctor of Laws degrees from New York University, the University of Redlands, New York Law School, and the University of New Hampshire School of Law, and an Honorary Doctor of Letters from the Chicago Theological Seminary.