Alan Rosenberg, Raphael Sbarge, Dabney Coleman, Wendy Moniz, Charles Malik Whitfield, Denise Dowse, Kathleen Chalfant
Nick Fallin is a hotshot lawyer working at his father's ultrasuccessful Pittsburgh law firm. Unfortunately, the high life has gotten the best of Nick. Arrested for drug use, he's sentenced to do 1,500 hours of community service, somehow to be squeezed into his 24/7 cutthroat world of mergers, acquisitions and board meetings. Reluctantly, he's now The Guardian - a part-time child advocate at Legal Aid Services, where one case after another is an eye-opening instance of kids caught up in difficult circumstances.
- Season 1: 1. Pilot (2001). Corporate lawyer Nick Fallin is doing community service as a child advocate to satisfy part of his criminal sentence. He figures he'll do his time and get back to his life until his first case hits too close to home. He encounters a family torn apart and then his human side when he can't bring himself to just play the game and move on. But the distraction may derail his promising corporate career.
- Season 1: 2. Reunion (2001). To hold Hunter's lawsuit together against a recalcitrant pharmaceutical company Nick has to placate a plethora of competing interests. But in the end it all comes down to whether Hunter will testify that his Father murdered his Mother. Child advocate James Mooney has his hands full managing a 12 year old who wants nothing more than to be with his brother, even if that means going to prison.
- Season 1: 3. Paternity (2001). Nick Fallin takes the case of Lawrence Neal, a young boy who is normal except for a spinal condition that landed him in a wheelchair. When his mother is condemned to jail for prostitution, Social Services advice locking him up in the Ryan institution, meanwhile filled with juvenile mental patients. Larry wants to stay with his stepfather, but he has a criminal record. Nicke's last trump card is pressing the unsuspecting biological father, but that backfires. Nick's friends, industrialist Bart Shell and his kids, Nick's ambitious ex-lover Rachel and her traditionalist ...
- Season 1: 4. Lolita? (2001). Nick wants to handle the case of a factory in trouble, which needs to reorganize or shut down. Father Burton Fallin refuses to accept the client, allegedly because there's no profit in it and risk of face loss, but Nick insists and finds the real reason is a family grudge. Nick is offered a way out of his 1500 hours community sentence, as his 'spoiled' MO hardly squares with the overworked public office. While he considers it, he handles the case of April Evans, who claims to be raped by her cop stepfather Al Sandro, who denies abusing her or her mother, who sides ...
- Season 1: 5. Men From The Boys, The (2001). Nick is not amused to be maneuvered into taking risks with gay judge Smirnovitch for his charge Ethan Ritter (16). The cocky gay prostitute isn't wanted by his own family but the competent gay couple that even wants to adopt him was refused by a bigot judge. Nick goes the extra miles in every direction, for once helped by the social services dragon.
- Season 1: 6. Indian Summer (2001). Nick is assigned the case of teenage girl Dina Jameson, whose vicious history means the couple wanting to adopt her kid sister Lisa (also Nick's client) won't take her in the bargain. Dina deliberately seduces Nick, whom she made believe to be adult, the previous night, to blackmail him, but some digging turns up her the girls' relevant family secrets. Meanwhile Alvin Masterson fails to renew county subsidies for the law firm's exclusive service for minors, so he must find alternative private funding and/or accept adult clients under state subsidy terms.
- Season 1: 7. Feeding Frenzy (2001). Nick successfully pleads the case of gentle, mentally challenged Malcolm Dempsy (25), whose bossy mother demands custody because he was tricked into trading an expensive HiFi for a cellphone by his dodgy neighbor and 'friend', drug pusher Freddie P. He insists to defend the boy when seen leaving the dealer's flat after the scum was murdered with Malcolm's knife. Nick risks his parole to get help from his own, slick former 'quality'-dealer Colin Bennett. Dad considers sacrificing Jake to avoid claims the firm couldn't survive after Jake's car fatally hits Furnari, ...
- Season 1: 8. Heart (2001). Burton Fallin asks in vain for Nick's help in the case of former CEO Harry Josephs with terminal cancer, whose business partners, the Hopeson brothers, ruthlessly invoke a contract clause allowing them to sell back his shares at a measly historical price. Nick gives priority to the case of incurably sick Lesley Walker, who needs a legal guardian to be eligible for a donor heart. Her former foster parents refuse to adopt her at their own children's expense, but Nick considers filing for custody himself. Burton's lover makes him promise to present her to Nick, who never...
- Season 1: 9. Funnies, The (2001). Nick reluctantly takes the case of penniless legal services secretary Barbara Ludzinski, whose teenage son Russ was arrested for possession of drugs found in his car. The knave stubbornly refuses a deal to protect his accomplices. Nick resorts to a trap after a neighborhood boy dies from some of the bad ecstasy batch. The Fallins represent a toy company which can't sell out to a Japanse firm without permission from its main character's creator, Fulton Trout, who can't handle children complaining to him about copyright-related restrictions, such as a school mural. As ...
- Season 1: 10. Loyalties (2001). Nick is appalled when Louisa 'Lulu' Archer, a lawyer Burton was prepared to hire, opts for the free legal services, where Alvin immediately makes her his 'senior'. In every stage of their first common client, immigrant restaurant owner Ahmad Hassan being victim of assaults on the business and his daughter Salaam by schoolmate Perry Hudson, Nick proves himself far more competent. Meanwhile Burton's partner Larry Hines has defected to a bigger law firm, and tries to lure most staff away with him, even Nick, as well as their accounts.
- Season 1: 11. Home (2001). Nick prepares to transfer to the other law firm next week, but first has an affair with Meghan Barstow, who will work under him there. Nick pleads the case of Hunter Reed, who wants to live with his doting, devoted father, schizophrenic Dr. Thomas Reed, who successfully sued the manufacturer of pills which made him go berserk, rather then his well-meaning grandparents. Alvin grudgingly accepts to plead for his mythomaniac ex Meryl Dimetrio, who claims she was fired for reporting a manufacturing error in the breaks produced by a firm represented by Burton himself.
- Season 1: 12. Causality (2002). Nick starts his new job, but instantly hates it, being forced to do mergers. In a case against Burton's firm, representing a son against his father in a firm' control transfer, his client-priority loses both firms their fat client. The stress gets Nick to accept a bit of drugs from his former dealer, and start a bar fight. The occasion is Alvin' birthday party, after a case in which he reluctantly represents the daughter of his first client, both unfit mothers, over the grand-child's custody. Burton witnessed the fight and quickly evacuates knocked-down Nick.
- Season 1: 13. Privilege (2002). Nick escapes parole problems, expresses his unease at Kik's and transfers back to Burton's firm. The Fallins plead in a bizarre last will contesting for father Frank Newburg and his sassy daughter, who claims, when discovered by Nick cutting herself, to be incestuously abused like her silent sister. A Burton employee who volunteers for pro-bono cases 'like Nick' finds no sympathy with Burton and resigns after wining over nepotism. Nick violates his the lawyer's code by passing on confidential information from Frank anonymously and repeats that publicly when the judge ...
- Season 1: 14. Family (2002). The Fallins get a visit from Liz, Burton's sister-in-law and former secret lover, who needs them to sell her advertising agency to pay off her debts and start a trust fund for Jeremy Hetherington, her rascal son, as she has serious cancer. Nick notices the hostile, thieving boy is even more frustrated then he once to be shipped off to boarding school nearly constantly and finds out the knave is in deep trouble, even expelled for bookie practices and in $6,000 debt. James defends ten year-old Thai drug mule Kalaya.
- Season 1: 15. In Loco Parentis (2002). Teenage father Todd contests his baby being adopted, without even hearing him, albeit by perfectly fit Dr. Spanner and his wife. Allegedly rehabilitated crack-addict Melinda Tralins demands help to contest social services taking her baby away. Nick succeeds but finds out afterward she's a terrible mother for her older boys and proves she's still an addicted prostitute, with unforeseen bad consequences before the court can reconsider the case. Only Nick learns about Burton's eye surgery.
- Season 1: 16. Solidarity (2002). Nick takes the case of mother Maria, opposing self-supporting model student Dan Braczyk's emancipation request. He hands over the case when he learns of a conflict of interest, as she works in Gary Davey's electronics firm where Burton tries to negotiate an end to a strike, which Dan is breaking, leading to him being beaten up. Nick discovers trade union rep Barry is inflexible on account of political ambitions. Nick's college ex from New York gets him in bed, but he dumps her in favor of colleague Lulu, who just got a proposal from another.
- Season 1: 17. Divide, The (2002). Nick takes the case of genius schoolboy Matthew Damira, who opposes being adopted by former social worker Suzanne Diamond because she backed down on the promise to adopt his big, handicapped but inseparable brother Justin. After loosing the first ruling, he challenges the parental waiver signed by their cognitively-challenged mother. Jake learns from his mother that father Ed Straka, whom she suspects of gambling on the tracks again, is in major debt, likely to get their house sold. Having failed to bluff loan-shark Mike Fritas or get a pay advance form Burton, Jake ...
- Season 1: 18. Mothers Of The Disappeared (2002). Friendly gay judge Stanton, who once let Nick off with community service, is promoted to federal judge, but a cardiac attack soon kills him. Nick minds Stanton's dog, Burton remembers his advice there's more to a lawyer's life then lucrative clients, considering to opt for the bench. Alvin defends adolescent Ted Popper, whose delusions since parental abuse make him unsuited for youth shelters, due to violent episodes. Fondly remembering his political campaigning past, Alvin starts a movement for suitable psychiatric care. Nick takes the case of Janine McGregor, who ...
- Season 1: 19. Lawyers, Guns And Money (2002). Nick's parole officer Dale Petrocki blackmails him to make him help negotiate the acquisition of a nightmare from a dodgy owner with Petrocki's even dodgier girlfriend, a stripper. Nick's warnings it smells like fraud are ignored. Burton enters the selection process to become a federal judge, but makes preciously little concessions to the unwritten political criteria. Nick also represents ex-con Lenny Getkin, who wants the right to visit his daughter, whom her mother raised fearful of him.
- Season 1: 20. Shelter (2002). Nick and Lulu defend orphan Denny Collins (16) and his true love Jeanette Munday, homeless teenagers who just got a baby and want to keep it, even after they squat in the stylish old house, to Nick's taste, which Lulu's fiancé bought but scares her. Hoping to be nominated federal judge, Burton starts passing on major clients to Nick. The CEO they start with makes merger negotiations excruciating because of his selfish hidden agenda concerning a company jet. Jake proves his social skills can be valuable.
- Season 1: 21. Chinese Wall, The (2002). Former Pennsylvania state senator Nathan Caldwell is made senior partner by Burton, with his former chief of staff Mitchell Lichtman as associate. Nick is soon fed up having to deal with them over deals which cost him clients anyhow, but Burton won't reconsider. Only when Nick denounces Mitchell's willingness to abuse information obtained in legislative service, his position is terminated. Nick helps Lulu deal with the suspicion, only confirmed by another Alzheimer patient, that her grandmother is abused by the night orderly, obtaining custody instead of Lulu's ...
- Season 1: 22. Beginning, The (2002). Nick accepts to become Hunter's legal guardian after father Dr. Thomas Reed's dead and enjoys bonding with the bright, shy boy over baseball, but the doc's suicide allows the grandfather to reclaim custody. Burton is nominated federal judge and appoints ex-senator Nathan Caldwell managing partner. Yhe politician immediately rehires his former chief of staff Mitchell Lichtman. Nick walks out and starts a new firm with his best colleagues, who ring their clients. Police detective Darger bugs Nick to help him find violent addict Mandy Gressler, who manipulates him with ...
- Season 2: 1. Testimony (2002). Nick is arrested and refused bail for parole breaking after Mandy Gressler's ultimately fatal OD in his home. Unless the court is convinced the cocaine came with her, Nick's case looks hopeless. Burton hires reputed criminal attorney David Belden, but personally leads the case discretely, helped by ADA Finneran. When Mandy's mother Mary refuses to let daughter Shanannon (11) testify, Burton even takes the stand. Only Jake remains prepared to start a partnership with Nick.
- Season 2: 2. Monster (2002). Nick defends, without actual sympathy, confused Ronnie Wagner (13), who killed and later raped his adoptive mother and risks being tried as an adult, which may mean execution. Laurie Solt admits she ignored psychiatric therapy recommendations to speed up the adoption. A car crash with Kim, who convinces him to let her brother Charlie McPherson repair the damage rather then inform the insurance, leads to Nick becoming her lover before discovering she's a uniformed cop. Jake and James recruit private clients for the new firm, but Nick has doubts whether those aren't ...
- Season 2: 3. Dead, The (2002). Ex-senator Caldwell commits suicide in his firm office. Nick continues his hot affair with Kim in secret. Burton keeps advising people what to file, albeit through other lawyer. Nick's new firm defends the manager of a firm developing a city project requiring a cemetery plot to be expropriated, Alvin the cause of families opposing exhumations. The FBI suspects Caldwell's motive was exposure in in case of abuse of information from his legislative days. It implicates his right hand Mitchell Lichtman, who tries unsuccessfully to blackmail Burton, who ultimately decides ...
- Season 2: 4. Next Life, The (2002). Nick pleads the case of over-eager, unattractive pre-teen Josh Bennett, from Gill Mueller's orphanage, who wants to continue partaking in events to present kids to potential adopting couples. Nick gets permission but is ordered to chaperon Josh in person. The boy's usual tantrum after an event follows even though a couple finally shows interest, which is withdrawn as a result. Burton renamed the firm Fallin & Fallin and expects Nick to get involved in all aspects of management, even letting staff go when they don't bring enough business.
- Season 2: 5. Assuming The Position (2002). Nick accepts to plead a damage claim for tenant Wilcox's small son Bryant's serious lead-poisoning, but soon realizes multiple foul play involving specialized lawyer Mark Hanson. Jake tries to help Barbara get an embarrassing photograph and ridiculing comment from a dating site, but painfully runs into law student Ignatius J. Reilly's legal argument as well as his mates' fists.
- Season 2: 6. Living, The (2002). Nick must resume his dormant guardianship of Dale and Penny Fante, whose father is in jail and mother neglects them, because cancer-suffering Dale needs a bone marrow transplant. Penny is missing, but brave Dale helps Nick find her through their rogue former social worker. Penny is found with an adult lover and baby, which inspires the court to place her in a shelter. She refuses to save Dale, so Nick brings the parents in, unearthing dark family secrets. Meanwhile Nick is most uncomfortable negotiating with Burton's regular client, excessively weird, even suicidal ...
- Season 2: 7. Innocent, The (2002).
- Season 2: 8. Neighborhood, The (2002). Nick reluctantly defends his former childhood neighborhood nemesis Hugh, now orphaned, who is obsessed by his dog Bessy but compromises his own home place by violent episode in defense of the dog. Nick does can't make the partners dinner, in fact Burton's first attempt to throw a birthday surprise party for Nick. Lulu meanwhile defends her friends Robert and Sarah Twain, who become prime suspects in the case of an adopted daughter's disappearance, homicide and possible sexual abuse, which wrecks their marriage after bringing out their SM fetish. Hugh's dog turns out ...
- Season 2: 9. Dark, The (2002). Burton has his next laser eye operation, so Nick takes him in for recovery, but he proves a nightmare patient and keeps nagging about a merger deal complicated by environmental issues. James's cousin-charge Levi is expelled for refusing to identify the gang kids who beat him up, yet is murdered by the gang afterward. Alvin feels guilty and starts drinking again. Filling in for both, Nick drowns in court cases on three fronts.
- Season 2: 10. Sacrifice (2002). Nick defends the interests of the hospital which employs surgeon Brian Olson, whose patient died in a routine operation. He's married to Lulu, who helps nobody and wrecks the marriage completely. Nick discover Brian failed to disclose his mild epileptic condition. Nick is also to represent the interests of Betsy Fortunato, whose father confesses the bloody killing of her mother, who has the incurable mental disease of Huntingdon. Nick arranges for Steve and Cheryl Manley to adopt Betsy's baby Chris without saying it must be tested as Huntingdon is inherited in half ...
- Season 2: 11. No Good Deed (2002). A custody case goes out of control. To prevent violence, Lulu breaks the attorney's honor code flagrantly. Nick defends her brilliantly, avoiding even a suspension. Realizing her marriage is completely wrecked, Lulu asks Nick if his glowing plea also reflects his personal feelings, but he dodges that question.
- Season 2: 12. You Belong To Me (2003). Gentile gay gentleman Gavin Putinski, who feared from the start to be discriminated, ends up loosing unfairly, due to a hostile judge and Nick being overburdened. Burton has accepted the city as bulk client and thus lost a corporate client Nick and Jake had been working over for months. Nick tries to make clear to young Kyle Plunkett he's entitled to meet his father Bill, but the boy's mother wickedly keeps poisoning his mind with terrible lies. Burton sympathizes with a widower whose hobby, an aviary, is contested by the neighbors as burdensome, but still wins for ...
- Season 2: 13. Ambition (2003). A deal Nick and Jake worked on for months to land a major client is badly compromised when Burton blatantly fails to attend one crucial meeting. A teenage relative of James is offered a rap record contract. His guardian refuses, but the boy is reluctant to have his manager appointed instead. An adolescent refuses to be adopted by the WASP Martin couple out of inverse racism.
- Season 2: 14. Understand Your Man (2003). Nick takes the case of young Timothy Silber, who must choose whether he wants his father's cross-dressing partner Sam Farrell to remain his trusted, loving 'stepmother' or go live with his virtually unknown, regular uncle Henry 'Hank' Silver. At Alvin's social justice awards, Burton got one and picked up receptionist Mary Gessler as lover, but she soon shifts her attention to tycoon client Frank DeScala. Brian Olson wants to love and accept a good job in Columbus after cashing in a settlement from the Pittsburg hospital that fired him and is represented by the Fallins...
- Season 2: 15. Where You Are (2003). Nick cautions the firm his former schoolmate Rob isn't reliable, but Burton decides to take him on as a client. Nick and Jake must help Rob and his partners finance ahead a potentially extremely lucrative business idea. Now Brian moved on, Lulu wants to sell her 'marital' home.
- Season 2: 16. Weight, The (2003).
- Season 2: 17. Intersection, The (2003).
- Season 2: 18. My Aim Is True (2003).
- Season 2: 19. Back In The Ring (2003). The Fallins are delighted with client Tim 'The mechanic' Dohanic, a brave boxer. Nick helps him keep custody of doting preteen son Oscar, claimed by his late mother's parents. Burton offers to sort out Tim's business arrangements. Alas, an overconfident fight before a really lucrative results in an eye - and career injury, plus worse. To make up for Alvin's insufficient subsidy, Lulu gets Jake to split some 'juicy' cases. Yet she's unappreciative of his clever methods and results in a case against a bus company which failed to provide contractual adult supervision for...
- Season 2: 20. What It Means To You (2003).
- Season 2: 21. Burton & Ernie (2003).
- Season 2: 22. Sensitive Jackals (2003).
- Season 2: 23. All The Rage (2003).
- Season 3: 1. Carnival (2003).
- Season 3: 2. Big Coal (2003).
- Season 3: 3. Line, The (2003).
- Season 3: 4. Father-Daughter Dance, The (2003).
- Season 3: 5. Shame (2003).
- Season 3: 6. Let's Spend The Night Together (2003).
- Season 3: 7. Hazel Park (2003).
- Season 3: 8. Believe (2003).
- Season 3: 9. Let God Sort 'Em Out (2003).
- Season 3: 10. Swimming (2003).
- Season 3: 11. Legacy (2004). Ted's dad goes on a shooting spree, killing himself and co-workers, leaving Nick and Suzanne to tell Ted that his dad has committed murder.
- Season 3: 12. Beautiful Blue Mystic (2004).
- Season 3: 13. Amends (2004).
- Season 3: 14. All Is Mended (2004).
- Season 3: 15. Without Consent (2004).
- Season 3: 16. Sparkle (2004).
- Season 3: 17. Watchers, The (2004).
- Season 3: 18. Bachelor Party, The (2004). Nick and Alvin go to Los Angeles for a secret reason Alvin kept from Nick causing Nick to miss an important meeting with his Father at their firm.
- Season 3: 19. Remember (2004).
- Season 3: 20. Vote, The (2004).
- Season 3: 21. Blood In, Blood Out (2004).
- Season 3: 22. Antarctica (2004). After Burton's firm failure, Nick starts a new corporate lawyer career at McNeil's, but an absurd client adds to his general discomfort. Terminal cancer patient Alvin's last case is Taliek Allen, a killer on death row, who is diagnosed with brain damage but rages at Nick for urging he should prepare a pardon plea. Nick senses after he birth of their Down-affected baby Lulu won't marry him. The legal services foundation needs a new boss.
140 minutes (at 23.97 frames per second)
DivX 5 - resolution: 532x280