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)

He worked in the Civil Division of the State Court under Louisiana’s long-time Democratic Attorney General Jack P. F. Gremillion; he got the job because he dated his daughter Doris, a flight attendant.

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.

But when you read Alan Logan’s book, Attorney General Gremillion has never heard of Frank Abagnale, calling him “a total fraud”. (And how do you like this twist: Gremillion himself ended his career in jail.)

Here’s a rare picture of Abagnale in court…

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

Fast rewind

Submit feedback

Pin it          Tweet                    

Previous sceneNext scene

Opening titlesAbagnaleChecksStationeryPay checksPilotMICRTypewriterHotelArrestPrisonG-manSitemapSearch

Main menuIntroPlayScenesCredits