Law & Order (1990–2010)
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Open Season 

A defense attorney is murdered hours after his client accused of shooting a cop is acquitted. Detectives suspect that a right-wing militia group is involved, and that the lives of other attorneys may be in jeopardy.


Matthew Penn


Dick Wolf (created by), Richard Sweren


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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Jerry Orbach ... Lennie Briscoe
Jesse L. Martin ... Ed Green
S. Epatha Merkerson ... Anita Van Buren
Sam Waterston ... Jack McCoy
Elisabeth Röhm ... Serena Southerlyn
Fred Dalton Thompson ... Arthur Branch
Tovah Feldshuh ... Danielle Melnick
Graham Winton Graham Winton ... Kevin Wilson
Michael Mulheren Michael Mulheren ... Judge Harrison Taylor
Garret Dillahunt ... Julian Preuss
Chris Diamantopoulos ... Chris Wilson
Michael Louis Wells ... Matthew Clemens
John Cariani ... CSU Julian Beck
David Rosenbaum David Rosenbaum ... Judge Alan Berman
Iris Little Thomas ... Judge Barbara Lusky


A defense attorney is murdered hours after his client accused of shooting a cop is acquitted. Detectives suspect that a right-wing militia group is involved, and that the lives of other attorneys may be in jeopardy.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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Release Date:

20 November 2002 (USA) See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


John Hillner has played three different roles over the course of the series: See more »


The flag in Julian's apartment is hanging backwards on the wall. The stars are on the top left instead of top right (hanging lengthwise). See more »


Judge Harrison Taylor: How does your client plead, Mr. Clemens?
Judge Harrison Taylor: I don't have all day.
Matthew Clemens: My client instructs me to stand mute.
Judge Harrison Taylor: Mute?
Matthew Clemens: He claims any response will be an admission of jurisdiction.
Judge Harrison Taylor: Is he 730 material, Mr. Clemens?
Matthew Clemens: Are you crazy? - Clemens asks Julian
Matthew Clemens: No, Your Honor.
Judge Harrison Taylor: Swell. I'm entering a plea of not guilty on the defendant's behalf. People on bail?
Serena Southerlyn: Your Honor, not only did the defendant ambush and murder an officer of this court, but he's also a member of a terrorist group.
See more »


References The Silence of the Lambs (1991) See more »


Mine For The Takin
Written by Todd Jones
Performed by Scott Nickoley & Jamie Dunlap
Courtesy of Marc Ferrari / MasterSource
See more »

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User Reviews

"They Ought To Name An Award For Her"
21 October 2011 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

If all the prosecutors in the world were like Jack McCoy and the defense attorneys like Danielle Melnick the world and the legal system would be a thing of wonder. Open Season pits the two of them again as respected adversaries as Tovah Feldshuh defends a white supremacist client played by Garrett Dillahunt with an intensity that will chill you.

When a noted defense attorney who just got off a cop shooter is shot down after the trial, suspicion falls on the cop's family and associates. But later on Jerry Ohrbach and Jesse Martin zero in on a white supremacist group that has made a point of killing liberal judges and defense attorneys.

This man is a terrorist make no mistake about it and the authorities don't treat him like any other prisoner. But that offends Feldshuh's ACLU trained soul. She breaks restrictions in her communications with him and in turn Dillahunt uses her to innocently communicate information that enables another hit on a judge in another state.

This is a very special prisoner says Sam Waterston and Feldshuh has innocently been drawn into his world just doing her job as a passionate advocate. What's great about this episode is that it takes absolutely no sides. Both Waterston and Feldshuh have well established characters from Law and Order and both perform within the parameters of those characters.

As Waterston says about Feldshuh, the Bar Association ought to name an award for her.

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