Judge Joe Rifkind, a liberal judge whose nickname is ""Let-Em-Go-Joe,"" releases a petty offender who jumped a subway turnstile. The decision starts a chain of events that end a rookie cop's life, and possibly the judge's career. Standing by Rifkind are his wife, Sarah, and his friend and colleague, Judge Attallah Sims. Sims has a firmer view of justice than Rifkind; her nickname is ""Attallah-the-Hun."" Meanwhile, Assistant District Attorneys Bobby Esposito and Cynthia Bennington are getting to know each other. Cynthia is uptown money. Bobby's Brooklyn, working class roots could demolish his success when his father asks him to erase one of his brother's drug convictions to save him from life in prison.