After a shocking outcome in one of his cases and a personal epiphany, Sebastian Stark decides to leave his job as a defense attorney. Now looking for a new job, he has been offered the position of director of the Los Angeles DA's high-profile crime unit, but with a twist - he will have to train a new team of inexperienced lawyers.
Stark has a new case, the murder of an undercover narcotics detective by a drug dealer. He will have to deal with the murdered cop's partners, who are hesitant to trust or help him because he often used questionable means to win acquittals for his often-guilty clients when he was a defense attorney.
A heart surgeon is accused of murdering his missing wife. The fact that Stark doesn't have any proof, or even a body, doesn't stop him. He asks his team to find creative means to secure evidence from Dr. Mitchell Sterling's home and obtain testimony from his eight-year-old son, Ethan.
A couple is shot to death in a Malibu beach house, which they rented from a private investigator who knows dirty secrets about almost everyone in Hollywood - including Stark. The PI is under investigation by a grand jury and Stark uses that threat to squeeze information from him. Back at home, Julie helps a guy on whom she has a crush research a term paper while she lets her own studies fall behind.
Stark prosecutes three college football players accused of raping a female student at a campus athletic house. One of the players is the team's starting quarterback and is considered a first-round pick in the upcoming NFL draft. The case takes a hit when Stark learns the victim was in a relationship with the quarterback. Back at home, Julie tells her dad she is being suspended from school because she's been accused of plagiarism.
Four Latino women are killed in a garment-factory fire and the police rule it an accident, but Martin leaks false information to the press to force the DA's office to investigate. Sebastian isn't happy about it and says the case can't be won, but he gets pumped up when he learns a rival is defending the fashion company his office is going after. The probe reveals the company supports sweatshops and may be liable for the fire. Also, Julie gets readmitted to school.
After an 8-year-old girl is kidnapped from a park and murdered, Stark believes this new case could be linked to a similar crime committed 15 years ago. In the former case, the main suspect had been defended by Stark himself and prosecuted by Jessica Devlin, and the man had been convicted of the murder. Meanwhile, a young man tells Julie he believes his late father and her mother had an affair while she was still married to Stark.
A 16-year-old black girl is run down by a car and killed just after she left a party. The school the victim went to is mostly attended by rich, white kids, including Stark's daughter, Julie. Stark fears a racial war could break out over the crime but when the investigation is completed, it reveals a totally different story.
An assistant district attorney is gunned down along with a high-priced hooker in the prostitute's car. The investigation reports the victim had wanted to prosecute narcotics cases and not domestic disputes, and she may have been working the call girl on targeting a drug dealer with whom she had a relationship. Meanwhile, Julie considers going to the next step with Eddie.
A married socialite, who is one of Jessica's best friends, fatally shoots her ex-con lover but claims it was in self-defense. Also, Sebastian gives Julie the silent treatment after she stays overnight with her boyfriend.
Stark goes after a millionaire arms broker who is supplying explosives to L.A. gangs that have caused three car bombings and nine fatalities over the past five months. Making things more difficult is the FBI, which wants to take over the case, but Sebastian won't allow it because Casey has been kidnapped and may be killed if the broker escapes the country.
Sebastian's new case seems to be the easiest one he could get. He's prosecuting a suspected serial killer accused of murdering five women and seriously injuring a sixth who was lucky enough to escape from his house. But the victim is reluctant to testify when she learns that the killer will be interrogating her.
Sebastian prosecutes the murder billionaire real estate developer who was making tabloid-headlines because of problems with his young second wife, Sonja. Both she and resentful 16-year-old son, Dylan, are the prime suspect of the case.Meanwhile, fearing for Julie's safety in the wake of his last case, Sebastian hires a bodyguard to shadow her whenever she leaves their home.
When a popular 21-year-old actress is killed when her car is run off the road and crashes into a canyon below Mulholland Drive, an investigation reveals she and another Hollywood socialite had fought at a club before the crash. She also had ended a long-term and secret relationship with a man the same night. Meanwhile, Julie doesn't tell Sebastian about her attending a Hollywood party with Neal.
The wife of an ultraconservative judge known for giving harsh sentences, who had also tried to have Sebastian disbarred twice, is murdered in an apparent robbery attempt at LAX. The judge becomes Sebastian's prime suspect when he learns the judge's marriage had been in trouble and he had been anticipating confirmation to the Federal Court of Appeals. Meanwhile, Julie plans a fancy dinner to say goodbye to Neal when she discovers he will no longer be her bodyguard.
Sebastian discovers the body of a 25-year-old woman when he is called to a penthouse suite by a close friend. Sebastian hestitantly agrees when his friend asks him for help. He subsequently regrets assisting his friend when the woman's body is discovered in a ravine the next day. In the meantime, Julie tries to muster the courage to tell her father she has been arrested for drunk driving.
After two cops are implicated in a controversial shooting that kills an upstanding black teen and also hurts his drug-dealing cousin, Sebastian is put in charge of the case. To find the answers to his questions, he must use an accusatory approach toward the two officers, but it doesn't take long for Isaac to disapprove of Stark's way of doing things.
Sebastian must prosecute the murder of a predatory porn producer. The case is complicated by the fact that the killer is head of a women's shelter, who is being regarded as a hero by the media and the population of the city.
With the discovery of an 11-year-old boy who went missing four years ago comes one of the most confusing case for Stark. During those four years, the young boy was living with his kidnapper and was identifying himself as his son. Sebastian must disprove the kidnapper's claim that he was in fact protecting the boy from abusive parents.
An old friend of Stark is back. But this time, Stark gets a second chance at justice when he puts Wayne Callison on trial for another murder. Because of the exact same wounds as the previous victim, Callison is accused of murdering another young woman.