Lincoln Lawyer, The: Matthew McConaughey as Mick Haller

The drama The Lincoln Lawyer, directed by Brad Furman and starring Matthew McConaughey, Marisa Tomei and Ryan Phillippe, will be released by Lionsgate on March 18.

Lawyers and the vagaries of the justice system have long been a staple of the big screen, but audiences have never seen a lawyer quite like Michael “Mick” Haller in Lionsgate and Lakeshore Entertainment’s THE LINCOLN LAWYER. A streetwise defense attorney, Mick Haller has no office – instead, he works out of the backseat of a chauffeured Lincoln Continental, driving from one Los Angeles court house to another to defend various petty criminals who’ve run afoul of the justice system.

“Many people would likely consider Mick an ambulance chaser, a guy who’s a bottom feeder,” admits actor Matthew McConaughey, who stars as Mick Haller. “He’s a guy who’s financially living from month to month, trying to support his ex-wife and his daughter, and defending people like prostitutes or someone busted on a drug charge, and a lot of smaller crimes.”

“Mick’s a wheeler-dealer type,” says producer Gary Lucchesi. “Ninety percent of his cases plead out. He makes a deal and gets out.”

And he is always on the move, which is why the Lincoln Continental serves as the ideal mobile office. Explains producer Tom Rosenberg, “He has five or six cases going at once and they’re all spread out across the county, which is geographically pretty wide. The best way for him to get from courtroom to courtroom is to be driven.”

But despite his frequent back-room dealings, Mick also has his own code of ethics, and he believes in helping the downtrodden who have no one else on their side. Says McConaughey, “The truth is, Mick might have been a Beverly Hills entertainment lawyer and succeeded, but the guy’s got a lot of heart and humanity and that’s why I think he stayed with the bottom level criminals. It’s where he feels the most needed, where he feels the most humane and it’s where he’s comfortable. Mick’s been consistent with who he is from the beginning.”

Mick’s client base of poor criminals doesn’t earn him much, so when he agrees to defend Louis Roulet, a wealthy young man charged with attempted rape and murder, Haller does it only for the promise of a quick resolution and some easy money. But when the case unexpectedly goes to trial, Mick is forced into the most challenging – and dangerous – predicament of his career. “Mick finds out that Louis Roulet might actually not only be guilty of the crime he’s charged for, but he’s also guilty of the rape and murder of another woman four years ago,” explains McConaughey. “The caveat there is that Mick defended the guy who ended up getting wrongly convicted of that four-year-old crime.”

Mick is determined to correct his mistake and free his innocent former client from jail, but the client-attorney privilege prevents him from using any evidence against Roulet, even if he has absolute proof of his guilt. Mick finds himself caught between two clients – one who’s serving the sentence for a crime committed by the other – and one wrong move will cost him his license forever. “For the first time, the consequences of this dance that Mick does with the justice system are personal,” says McConaughey. “Everything – his integrity, his livelihood – is at stake.”