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

On Disc

at Amazon




Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Jerry Orbach ... Lennie Briscoe
Chris Noth ... Mike Logan
S. Epatha Merkerson ... Anita Van Buren
Michael Moriarty ... Ben Stone
Jill Hennessy ... Claire Kincaid
Steven Hill ... 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





Release Date:

2 February 1994 (USA) See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Based on the Sol Wachtler case. Wachtler was a New York Chief Judge when the news of his affair with associate Joy Silverman hit the news. Wachtler was arrested for threatening not only Silverman's life but also that of her daughter. Wachtler eventually pled guilty to harassment and was sentenced to jail time. During his career on the bench, Wachtler made numerous landmark decisions, including presiding on a case where he ruled that a married man could indeed be charged with rape if his wife wasn't willing. 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 »

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User Reviews

Power and ego
2 September 2017 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

This episode is based on the Sol Wachtler which stunned the legal and political world of New York State. Sol Wachtler was the Chief Judge of the Court Of Appeals and he threatened a woman who wanted to break off an affair he was having. You think that people who reach his kind of pinnacle are above such things. We learn time and again they are not.

A threatening message in a disguised voice demanding extortion and later a VHS tape of the child of Jane Kaczmarek threatening kidnap is sent to Kaczmarek. The apprehension of a lowlife who was hired to pick up a ransom left in a Central Park trash bin and a logo he recognized on the car of the man who hired him and the good work of the police lab technicians lead to the arrest of Apellate Court Judge David Groh.

To make matters more complicated Jill Hennessy before she joined the DA's office worked for Groh and had an affair with him which she broke off and left him and her job with him. As she said she hoped that she could keep that a secret, but who could ever figure this man would do what he did no matter how much of a satyr he was and how much of a satyr's ego he had.

Jill Hennessy resigns from the DA's office and as a private citizen is actually better able to help the case.

Groh is a frightening figure in both the power he wields and his monstrous ego.

Not a story we can forget either this episode or Sol Wachtler in real life.

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