Benedict is a high-powered attorney in San Francisco, juggling several cases at once. A longtime client dies suddenly, leaving an incomplete will. the complication lies in that the man's no-account scheming brother threatens to tell his niece she was adopted so he can secure more of the estate.
When nightclub insult comedian Joey Kent is arrested on a narcotics charge at the airport, Sam's partner Hank Tabor takes the case. Kent is obnoxious and often drunk, hindering his case. A sleazy "Confidential"-type magazine publisher will try anything to get Sam to represent him, and a Judge's young daughter is apparently guilty of a hit-and-run accident.
Once brilliant lawyer Thonis Jundelin has become a drunk, and has taken advantage of a client. Benedict wants to help him, but he resists his efforts, instead wishing to kill himself instead. Too many clients causes Sam to take on a junior partner, young, untested Hank Tabor. He deals with a demanding woman who wants a divorce.
Veteran Police officer Delgado is accused of murdering a young man after a late night run-in. He seems likely for the crime, tired and often taunted by the local college boys, who have caused destruction and altercations before. A lot depends on the testimony of his partner.
An important state political figure, businessman and longtime client of Benedict's dies and leaves his self-centered, neurotic daughter in control of the estate. Unfortunately, the man was secretly taking money that wasn't his, and his daughter may lose everything when it comes out. Meanwhile, Tabor has problems with a case of an architect versus the city over rejected building plans.
A young, married, and pregnant Orthodox Jewish woman asks Sam's help to get an Orthodox wedding. She has already had a civil marriage, but because her husband is an agnostic she is unable to get married in a religious ceremony which would please her and her family more. Meanwhile, Hank gets into trouble in his effort to locate the one witness who can help his client, as a debt owed by his client to the witness is mistaken for a bribe.
An aging lady doctor has been taken advantage of financially by a young con man who makes romantic overtures part of his modus operandi. Knowing full well of just how phony he has been, she still hesitates to prosecute him, much to Benedict's consternation. Meanwhile, Tabor's client is an uncooperative writer of rubber cheques.
Hank takes the case of an old flame who is charged with drunken driving. Sam warns him about mixing the personal with the professional, but Hank thinks her case is not as clear-cut as it may seem. Meanwhile, Sam reluctantly represents two old friends who want to divorce each other after twenty years of marriage.
Sam defends a brilliant but highly arrogant attorney who has been charged with killing his wife. Hank defends a reporter who is being sued for libel by city officials whom he has accused of being corrupt.
A long time, ultra rich client of Benedict's has seemingly lost his mind, dressing in a toga, and determined to set fire to his money, all in millions of bills. He also insists his very much alive daughter has died in a crash. Tabor's case involves a jazz musician caught with an underage girl.
Sam defends a woman charged with perjury in a capital case. She refused under oath to confirm the alibi of a man who was thus convicted and executed for murder. Now that man has been proved innocent, and under an old California law, if she is found guilty, she could be executed as well.
Sam defends a man accused of the murder of his wife, and becomes very involved in the question of what will happen to the man's children if he is convicted. Hank represents two elderly ladies whose late friend named them as beneficiaries of her money and possessions, but are challenged by the woman's relative who contends she was not of sound mind.
A fellow attorney, formerly a prosecutor, calls requesting Sam's assistance, but he is seriously injured in a car accident before Sam can find out what he wanted. When they learn the man was working on trying for a last-minute stay of execution for one of his clients, Sam and Hank are determined to learn what his grounds were for an appeal, and they try to work with the attorney's loyal but distraught assistant to get to the answer. But she seems to be holding something back.
Sam defends a man accused of swindling an insurance company out of hundreds of thousands of dollars, while the daughter of the man Sam's client accuses of being the real thief asks Hank to help her father.
Sam defends an old client whom he had helped to find a job. The man has participated in a robbery in which a man was killed, but he refuses to say whether he or his accomplice actually pulled the trigger, as he believes the accomplice is his friend whom he does not want to betray. But the accomplice's lawyer is determined to spare his client the death penalty at any cost.
Sam defends a high school teacher who is charged with contributing to the delinquency of his students by reading to them from books which a local ordinance has banned. Both he and one of his students admit to deliberately flaunting the law to draw attention to its unconstitutionality.
A man retains Sam when he feels his right to free speech is being threatened when he is prevented from espousing his bigotry and racial intolerance. In the mean time, Hank defends a woman who admits to being a Communist.
A woman readily admits to trying to kill a well-respected local philanthropist with her car, and claims she intended to kill him and wants no defense. Sam takes her case anyway, and discovers that both the woman and the man she hit were inmates in a Nazi concentration camp.