During the U.S. 1968-69 television season, Judd for the Defense, which aired on ABC Friday nights at 10:00pm Eastern/Pacific, was scheduled against Star Trek (1966) on NBC. The theme songs for both shows were composed by Alexander Courage. In addition, both shows were canceled after that season. See more »
Judd For The Defense starring the late Carl Betz is an overlooked series, both today and in the two seasons it was televised (1967-69). It was reminiscent of The Defenders in that it focused on controversial issues in a courtroom setting. The episodes ranged from good to excellent and sometimes preceded their time. In one episode, "Transplant," Judd defended a pioneering surgeon in a murder trial that was the result of a heart transplant operation. At the time it was shown in 1968, the trial was landmark since there was only one surviving heart transplant patient worldwide as the medical procedure was so new.
Another episode, "Epitaph on a Computer Card," dealt with a man's job and sanity, which were destroyed by a computer programming error. This prompted Judd to file a lawsuit for invasion of privacy in the man's behalf and by chance, the episode was viewed by the late Senator William Proxmire of Wisconsin. From what I read at the time, Senator Proxmire was so moved by the episode's realistic contents that he introduced it into the congressional record as a timely expose on the invasive methods used by credit card and investigative companies. This was years before the computer age.
I remember that when the series premiered, the title character, Clinton Judd was described as a composite of several named famous trial lawyers who handled difficult cases. Out of interest as a lawyer myself, I have followed the careers of the names mentioned, and I personally think the closest correlation to Judd was the late Percy Foreman of Houston, Texas. Judd was also based in Houston and both had fathers who were county sheriffs. In two episodes, "Tempest In A Texas Town" and "Firebrand," reference was made to Judd's sheriff father in fictitious Amos County, Texas and Foreman's father actually was sheriff of Polk County, Texas, according to his biography by Michael Dorman in 1969.
It is unfortunate Judd For The Defense never received the following it deserved by much of the viewing public.
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