Part 1 of 2. The DAs face mounting pressure when a congressman's daughter is found murdered, and they must race against the clock to indict the prime suspect: the bouncer at the bar where she was last seen.
Desmond and Steele work on a tense case involving a teen who accidentally choked to death while playing a game; Peluso encounters a wall of silence while prosecuting a cop shooter; Cabot sends Potter and Finn to acting class to improve their courtroom presentation; and Rossi tries to cope with her difficult family.
Potter plunges into a case that appears to be an easy win on the surface---until a priest demands that the charges be dropped. Meanwhile, Rossi works on a rape case; Desmond networks with a group of high-powered black men; and Finn gets mixed up in a lawsuit involving a landlord.
Potter is mugged when he tries to talk to a witness; Peluso discovers that his girlfriend cheated on him just as he's about to move in with her; Rossi deals with a dubious case in which a model says she was raped by an executive; Steele's case involves the suspicious suicide of a gay man who had recently broken up with his partner.
Finn's light caseload leads her to work temporarily for a demanding prosecutor; Rossi gets caught up in a family fight while on a trial involving the stabbing of a deaf girl's father by her boyfriend; Potter takes over for Desmond on a bail-reduction case; Cabot is pressured to hire an image consultant.
Finn becomes horribly conflicted over a case involving young parents accused of shaking their infant to death; Desmond pulls out all the stops to convict a rapist in a case that dates back to 1974; Potter goes against his boss's wishes in an assault trial; and Cabot and Steele cannot hide the sexual tension between them.
When Potter goes on a ride-along with two cops, he gets a taste of just how tough it is out on the streets. Meanwhile, Desmond seems personally determined to put a rough rap producer behind bars for attempting to murder a magazine writer.
The suicide of a 12-year-old girl who was supposedly dying of cancer raises the suspicions of Finn (Julianne Nicholson). In other events, Potter's friend is arrested on a drug charge; Cabot (Stephanie March) wages an anti-drug campaign; and Peluso (Eric Balfour) deals with a difficult case when he has to prosecute a grandmother for heroin possession.
Steele (Anson Mount) must try a teen accused of murder as an adult, and the boy's aggressive father makes the situation even worse. Meanwhile, Peluso (Eric Balfour) investigates a hate crime; and Rossi (Milena Govich) attempts to get a prostitute to testify in a rape trial.
Nick Potter (Jordan Bridges) leaves a comfortable job at a law firm to join the district attorney's office, where he immediately jumps into a brutal, drug-related murder case that everyone is frantically working on. But an act of violence soon shakes everything up. Alexandra Cabot: Stephanie March. Christina Finn: Julianne Nicholson.