Law & Order (1990–2010)
5 user
While Stone prosecutes a judge in an attempted larceny case, Kincaid faces censure charges for not disclosing that she had an affair with the accused.


Edwin Sherin (as Ed Sherin)


Dick Wolf (created by), William N. Fordes




Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Jerry Orbach ... Detective Lennie Briscoe
Chris Noth ... Detective Mike Logan
S. Epatha Merkerson ... Lieutenant Anita Van Buren
Michael Moriarty ... E.A.D.A. Ben Stone
Jill Hennessy ... A.D.A. Claire Kincaid
Steven Hill ... D.A. Adam Schiff
Carolyn McCormick ... Dr. Elizabeth Olivet (credit only)
David Groh ... Judge Joel Thayer
George Grizzard ... Arthur Gold
Roberta Wallach ... Michele Selig
Kip Niven ... Dan Rudman
John Ramsey John Ramsey ... Judge Walter Schreiber
Baxter Harris Baxter Harris ... Art Diamond
Jane Kaczmarek ... Janet Rudman
Lee Bryant ... Melissa Thayer


Detectives Briscoe and Logan investigate a series of threatening calls received by Dan and Janet Rudman on their home phone. The caller's voice is masked but the caller threatens to harm their young daughter unless he's paid $20,000. The police set a trap when the payoff is made and the pick-up man says he has no idea as to the identity of the man who hired him. He does have a make of car and recalls a unique decal on the windshield. With that the detectives believe the culprit is an Appellate Court judge, Joel Thayer. ADA Claire Kincaid begs Ben Stone to take her off the case but he sees no reason to. When the charges against Thayer are dropped, he files a complaint against Claire and she is formally censured. She admits they had once had an affair and resigns. Stone is convinced of Thayer's guilt and redoubles his efforts to find evidence against him. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Did You Know?


Leslie Denniston has appeared as five different characters over the course of the series: See more »


Claire Kincaid is misidentified on-screen as "Jill Kincaid" during one segue screen slightly more than halfway through this episode. Also, the segue screen "Chambers of Judge Walter Shreiber" should instead have "Schreiber". See more »


Ben Stone: [a former judge has pleaded guilty to criminal harassment and is elocuting his guilt. Stone's lost his patience] Your honor, this is insufficient. The defendant is behaving as if someone else committed this crime...
Arthur Gold: You want him on his knees, Ben?
Judge Joel Thayer: Walter...
Judge Walter Schreiber: *Judge Schreiber*, to you. Now, I've heard all the dodging and weaving I can take on this one. You wore the same robes I do- you know the drill. Now, if you want to dance, you can come back and dance at a trial, so let's hear it. *All* of it.
Judge Joel Thayer: [...]
See more »

User Reviews

Claire Kincaid Takes the Spotlight
30 April 2018 | by Better_TVSee all my reviews

Jill Hennessy as ADA Claire Kincaid is the central figure here, where her past affair with a corrupt, blackmail-happy judge (David Groh, who played the execrable Dr. Jacob Lowenstein in season 1's memorable "Indifference") is brought into play. She is, as the title implies, censured by the court after the judge files a complaint - which means she's no longer allowed to practice law. Her resignation letter proves to be useful for EADA Ben Stone, however, who is able to use Kincaid's status as a private citizen when he renews charges against the judge.

It's a redemption arc for Claire, with the excellent Groh as a supporting player alongside the always versatile Jane Kaczmarek (perhaps most famous for her role as Lois on "Malcolm in the Middle") as one of his victims and George Grizzard as the lively defense attorney he's played twice before on L&O.

While it did strike me as a bit odd that a character as strong and smart as Claire would've been involved with this guy (and if my math is right, there was about a 30-year difference between the actors at the time of this episode), the whole thing is well-written enough that I was able to let it slide. I docked a point for the uninspired ending, though, which feels especially abrupt given the elegant closures we're used to from this show.

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Release Date:

2 February 1994 (USA) See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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