Three siblings - Ed, Darina and Wilfred Hay - are charged with hiring someone to murder their abusive father. Appearing before Judge Deed, Ed Hay, a solicitor, acts for himself and his brother and sister in spite of the Judge's recommendation that they seek counsel. In his personal life, Deed renews his relationship with Francesca Rochester, who has now left her husband. She seeks Deed's assistance in having an elderly aunt declared mentally unfit which would allow Francesca to save the publishing business. At the news that Deed is again seeing his wife, Sir Ian Rochester re-doubles his efforts to discredit him and remove him from the bench. Deed's daughter Charlie informs him that she is pregnant and wants a termination, something Deed is dead set against.