Law & Order (1990–2010)
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Conduct Unbecoming 

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A female Naval officer is killed during a drunken party. The Navy claims jurisdiction in the case, but detectives soon suspect that the guilty party is being protected and the wrong man is being railroaded.


Arthur W. Forney


Dick Wolf (created by), Michael S. Chernuchin (teleplay by) | 3 more credits »


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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Jerry Orbach ... Lennie Briscoe
Chris Noth ... Mike Logan
Dann Florek ... Donald Cragen
Michael Moriarty ... Ben Stone
Richard Brooks ... Paul Robinette
Steven Hill ... Adam Schiff
Carolyn McCormick ... Dr. Elizabeth Olivet (credit only)
Len Cariou ... Capt. Allard Bunker
Boyd Gaines ... Lt. St. Claire
George Coe ... Lee Hastings
Michael Dolan Michael Dolan ... Ensign Evan Walters
Julianna Margulies ... Lt. Ruth Mendoza
Dick Latessa ... Admiral Miles Coty
Richard Hamilton ... CPO James Hagen
Joe Chrest ... Lt. Charles Bates


Detectives Briscoe and Logan investigate the death of Navy Lt. Tracy Hagen, who was found dead in her hotel room where a ship's crew was having a wild party following 6 weeks at sea. Using video one of the sailors took at the party, they question two officers one of whom, Ensign Evan Walters, admits being the last person with her before she died but has no memory of what might have happened. The Navy insists on taking jurisdiction in the case and Walters is quickly found guilty. ADAs Stone and Robinette find a number of holes in the Navy prosecution's case and continue their own investigation. When the medical examiner confirms that Hagen died of a slow brain hemorrhage and could have been injured 30 minutes before she died, the evidence points to another officer who had a previous incident with her. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis





Release Date:

10 March 1993 (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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Did You Know?


An article 32 hearing is a proceeding under the United States Military Uniform Code of Justice, it's similar to a civilian court of law preliminary hearing. During an article 32 hearing a prosecutor from the JAG (Judge Advocate General) office goes before a military judge and requests permission to bring formal charges against an officer and convene a general court-martial. In order for the request to be granted the prosecutor has to show the judge he has sufficient evidence against the officer in question to warrant a court-martial. This proceeding is the military equivalent to a probable cause hearing in a civilian court where a District Attorney, or US Attorney depending on the venue, has to present evidence before a judge to show that there is probable cause to bind a defendant over for trial. See more »


Vice Admiral Coty's hair appears to be regulation, the hair on the top of his head might be right at the length limit, but it certainly isn't a glaring violation, and the hair on the back and sides of his head are for sure regulation. Navy male grooming regulations state: "Keep hair neat, clean and well-groomed. Hair above the ears and around the neck shall be tapered from the lower natural hairline upwards at least 3/4 inch and outward not greater than 3/4 inch to blend with the hairstyle. ... The bulk of the hair shall not exceed approximately two inches." See more »


A.D.A. Paul Robinette: Bunker spent 30 years defending the Constitution. I wonder if he ever read it.
D.A. Adam Schiff: I doubt if he ever got past the Declaration of Independence: "All *men* are created equal."
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References America's Funniest Home Videos (1989) See more »

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User Reviews

The Navy takes care of its own
19 January 2018 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

The ironic thing about this Law And Order episode is if this had happened on the high seas there would be no question of jurisdiction and the Navy could have gotten away with what it tried to do here.

The police are called in when some sailors who rented a whole floor of a hotel got too lively bringing in a whole escort service. When the cops come in there's one woman dead and she's no hooker. In fact she's a Navy Lieutenant and Annapolis graduate.

She and her Captain Len Cariou have history and it ain't good history. So while the NYPD and the Manhattan DA build their case Cariou uses his position to thwart the investigation.

The military and civilian authorities have differing ideas on justice and the Navy has an image to uphold which takes priority.

Cariou gives a wonderful performance of a man who knows what levers to pull and how to abuse authority.

Civilian justice is where it's at after you see this story.

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