A year or so passed. Then, while in the hospital, waking from anesthetics after undergoing an angioplasty, I received a breathless call from a colleague at the courthouse: Damon was in town and wanted to meet for a drink.
I called his assistant and suggested that maybe I could see him in a few days. That wouldn't work, she said.
But three days later, the assistant called and said Damon would call me that afternoon. At 3:30 p.m. my daughter, Nora, then 16, came home from school. I asked her to stay off the phone: "Matt Damon's calling." When she asked if she could answer the phone, in an abject grab for rare brownie points from a teenage daughter, I agreed. Nora snatched the phone after half a ring and said, "Hello," and, "Who may I say is calling?" in what can be described as a teenager's best impression of sultry.
Matt couldn't have been nicer. He invited Nora to stay on the call, and we spoke for more than an hour. He had read the book twice and asked thoughtful questions. He was smart, engaging and funny. At the end of the call, he said he wanted to meet when he next got to Chicago.
Before the film started, I ran into Soderbergh. I introduced myself. He grabbed my hand and said a lot of nice things about how I had represented Mark. He said we could talk more at the premiere party. I told him we didn't have tickets. Soderbergh handed me his and said he was sure he'd be able to get in.
At the party, I spoke to most of the cast members and Soderbergh. They were all gracious and warm and wanted to know how I felt watching the film. Damon expressed regret that part of a scene involving my character that he particularly liked was edited out. He quoted the argument that I had made to the prosecutors on Mark's behalf. That's a memory Kelly and I will treasure.
He said: "You see actors dying of boredom doing the same thing over and over again. And it's probably true that it's in the studios best interest to do that. If that one thing is working, exploit it and keep it going. Then you see these actors trying to reach out and stretch and do something totally different and people just won't let them. I would hate if that happened to me."