During an episode of The Practice, the context can be understood from the actor's whole line.

Ellenor: Now, I suppose it is politically incorrect to call cancer victims a bunch of whiners, but let's fess up. No other lawyer would touch this case because it is a case that stinks. Did those power lines give you cancer? My bet is yes. Can we prove it in a court of law? My bet there is a resounding, "No." He took this case not because he was greedy, but because he felt sorry for you. And against all odds, he got you an offer like this, it's a miracle. Close to a million dollars, I am sorry, but that is as good as it's gonna get. And while you have the right to reject, if you do, I am gonna recommend Bobby to drop you as clients. We are sympathetic, but we are certainly not gonna bankroll your rage.

Bankroll means providing the money that someone needs for a plan, business. How can you make a figurative meaning out of this?

  • 1
    What is the context of the episode?
    – Archa
    Commented Jun 24, 2016 at 23:16
  • Which season and episode is it? Do you have a link to the script? Commented Jun 25, 2016 at 0:43
  • Season 2, Episode 16. No. Commented Jun 25, 2016 at 1:03

2 Answers 2


Plaintiff law firms sue on behalf of injured parties and typically earn their money by taking a percentage (usually a third or more) of any awards or settlements. Though there are rare exceptions, they assume all costs and the plaintiff pays nothing. So this kind of firm is "bankrolling" (advancing money to pay the costs of) the law suit. Here, the speaker is saying "bankroll your rage" to indicate that they would be paying to allow the harmed person to express their indignation and anger only, as the case is not likely to result in an award, given the difficulty of proving that the power lines caused the harm the would-be plaintiff has suffered. It would be a money-loser as far as the law firm is concerned.


In this example I would say the intent is similar to "justify":

We are sympathetic, but we are certainly not gonna justify your rage.

Or perhaps "not gonna support".

I would say it is kind of a figurative use of "not paying for" not necessarily meaning paying money.

  • 1
    Definitely "support", not "justify". It's "We're not going to use our resources to help you voice your anger about the power line company."
    – RLH
    Commented Aug 30, 2023 at 22:06

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