Eli Levinson and Sydney Guilford are top divorce attorneys in NYC. The dynamic changes when Charlie Howell is hired and Eli takes a lower profile. Sydney and Charlie develop a flirtatious ... See full summary »




2   1  
1993   1992   1991  
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 7 nominations. See more awards »


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Complete series cast summary:
Mariel Hemingway ...  Sydney Guilford 36 episodes, 1991-1993
Peter Onorati ...  Charlie Howell 36 episodes, 1991-1993
Debi Mazar ...  Denise Iannello 36 episodes, 1991-1993
Alan Rosenberg ...  Eli Levinson 36 episodes, 1991-1993
David Marciano ...  Jeffrey Lassick 36 episodes, 1991-1993


Eli Levinson and Sydney Guilford are top divorce attorneys in NYC. The dynamic changes when Charlie Howell is hired and Eli takes a lower profile. Sydney and Charlie develop a flirtatious arrangement while concentrating on their client's problems. Written by rharlan58

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis









Release Date:

20 November 1991 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Batalhas Conjugais See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


(36 episodes)

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


When the show was canceled, Executive Producer William M. Finkelstein transferred two characters, "Eli Levinson" and "Denise Iannello" (played by Alan Rosenberg and Debi Mazar) to L.A. Law (1986). See more »


Judge: People come to court looking for justice, but sometimes all they get is money.
See more »


Referenced in Parker Lewis Can't Lose: Civil Wars (1992) See more »

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User Reviews

A splendid show that covered legal matters relevant to EVERYONE.
2 March 2015 | by brown_steveSee all my reviews

Most legal dramatic shows leave everyday family law issues to "reality" stars Jerry Springer and the like, and, along with other civil law matters, to another pocket of "reality," Judge Judy and her parade of imitators.

The popular legal dramatic shows go for high drama: big dollars, big murders, big felonies, unique (bizarre if possible) but uncostumed sub-Batman bad guys (and girls).

On the other hand, "Civil Wars" used the taut, compelling structure of L.A. Law to address issues that could arise in anyone's life and one or more elements in everyone's life. Well, one episode, as I remember it, featured a circus couple that included a midget.

The most gripping episode of many gripping episodes, for me, was the battle for custody of their young mixed-race (black/white) child by two loving parents each feeling he/she was acting in the child's best interest. I have no personal investment in the issue; my children are white.

For me the show was sparked by Mariel Hemingway, with her unusual contrast of dominating height and squeaky little-girl voice that she re-engineered enough to achieve a quite convincing courtroom presence aided by her strong "Papa-esque" facial structure (Jack Palance, anyone?).

The second attractive feature of the program was Hemingway's byplay with legal associates Rosenberg (especially) and Onorati.

The other kind of legal shows don't even tempt me to watch them. Another way to characterize them is as embellished headlines. Civil Wars was simply life described.

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