Scene 14 (1:19:02-1:28:21): Frank Abagnale, Assistant D.A.

Abagnale lawyered up at the wrong time: he pretended to be a lawyer, acting as an assistant district attorney in New Orleans. Abagnale shows a forged check with an E13B codeline to the judge in the court room.

Frank Abagnale as assistant District Attorney (D.A.) in court
Scene 14 — 1:26:09

As he tells Carl Hanratty (who’s been heckling him over this for a long time) in scene 21 of the movie, Abagnale did pass the bar exam by studying, without cheating, but it took him three tries and lots of help from a real attorney. Had he failed the third exam, he would have been rejected for good! (book “Catch Me If You Can”, page 81)

A real Harvard graduate was a colleague of his in New Orleans, and he got suspicious when Abagnale was unable to answer questions about the university. Abagnale quit the job after 8 months to avoid getting caught.

This bit is not true: he never discussed any cases before the judge, he just assisted a colleague that did. And he certainly didn’t take any fraud cases involving bad checks to the court.

Here’s a rare picture of Abagnale in court…

Frank Abagnale as assistant district attorney (D.A.) in court

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