The Guardian - Season 1 Episodes
Nick Fallin, a high-powered, high-priced attorney living the good life is brought down to earth when he has to pay the price for his indulgent lifestyle. Busted for drugs, he must now perform 1,500 hours of community service and so Nick juggles his white-collar world of litigation with the not-for-profit world of child advocacy working with Children's Legal Services. Under the supervision of Alvin Masterson, Nick is thrust into the life of Hunter Reed, a young boy who has witnessed the murder of his mother by his father's hand. Back at Fallin & Associates, owned by Nick's father, Burton Fallin, he is dealing with company presidents who are looking to bring their business to Pittsburgh and spoiled dot com kids who want to get rich quick.
Nick brings a lawsuit again the pharmaceutical company, Bendaprine, on behalf of Hunter Reed and his mother's estate for 10 million dollars. But, when Alvin Masterson gets wind of it he insists that Nick drop the case, being that it is a conflict of interest. Nick is quick to point out that Alvin took him off of Hunter's case and therefore he is acting within his rights as a lawyer for Fallin & Assoc. Meanwhile, James gets handed a case involving a 12-year-old boy who has been living with his older brother after their mother has been arrested for drugs. Marcus, Andre's older brother, is arrested for selling crack and James tries desperately to find a relative for the boy to act as guardian so the youth won't end up in juvenile detention like his brother. But, Andre doesn't want to be separated from Marcus and even when James succeeds in finding a relative, Andre makes it very clear he will stay with Marcus at all cost � even if he needs to get himself arrested to make it happen.
Nick is given the case of a wheelchair-bound boy who is about to be placed in a group home while his mother does time for prostitution. The boy, Lawrence, wants to live with his stepfather, but the man has a criminal record. The state wants him to live at St. Riley's, but Lawrence doesn't want to live among the mentally disabled. Nick thinks the only chance for him is to track down the father, a former customer of the mother's, and sue for child support. But, when the father wants to have more of a relationship with the boy, everyone is caught off guard. Meanwhile, Burton and Nick help out an old friend when his daughter, Rebecca, tries to take over his business.
Nick is taken off of the Hunter Reed case and assigned a case about a fifteen-year-old girl, April Santos, who claims to have been raped by her stepfather, a cop. Nick arranges for her maternal aunt to have guardianship, but Nick soon finds out that all is not what it appears to be and he must go to CLS and admit that he may have placed April in an even more dangerous environment than her home. And at Fallin & Assoc., John Clayton seeks the firm to reorganize his assets at his steel plant. Burton refuses, claiming that there is no money to be made, but Simon discovers that his father has a personal reason for refusing the business � Clayton Steel is the same plant that he worked at as a teenager alongside his father.
“The Men from the Boys”
Nick encounters problems with his 16-year-old gay gay client, who had been arrested for solicitation, when trying to place the boy with a gay couple rather than in a shelter.
Nick is duped into representing a young woman who lied to him after they spent the night together.
After Nick picks up a young woman named Dina at The Incline, they go back to his place for the night. The woman then reveals herself to be an orphaned, underaged girl whose younger sister is about to be placed in a new home where Dina is not wanted. She gives Nick an ultimatum that he must help her get placed in the same family as her sister or risk her going to the police about his underage encounter. He must uncover her true motives or risk the consequences of their ill-fated night together.
Meanwhile, Alvin goes to extreme measures, including soliciting a donation from a wealthy socialite, in an effort to raise money after CLS loses its grant and the money runs out.
Now that CLS has expanded its circle of operation to include all people needing legal aid, not just minors, Nick is given a case surrounding a retarded man, Malcolm Dempsy, who wants to remain living on his own. Though his mother fears for his safety, his next door neighbor and friend is a drug dealer, she has no proof and therefore the court will not remove him from his apartment. When Eddie, the suspected drug dealer, is murdered, Malcolm is accused of the murder and Nick must work to find the real killer - a search that puts him back in the world of drugs. Far more crucial to Fallin & Assoc. is the fact that Jake has hit another lawyer with his car and faces felony charges if the man dies. Burton Fallin is concerned that Jake's reckless driving has put the firm in danger of being sued and Jake feels the lawyer Burton has hired to defend him is more concerned about what's good for Fallin & Assoc. than what's good for Jake Straka. So, he embarks on his own investigative work to try to clear his name.
Nick Fallin finds himself the advocate for a 12-year-old girl, Lesley, who needs to be adopted by foster parents immediately in order to receive a heart transplant. Laurie Solt, a social worker for Legal Services (LS), is having trouble placing her due to the many demands of caring for a child with congenital heart disease. Inspired by Lesley's strength after she learns her current foster parents are unable to adopt her, Nick takes the search on as a personal campaign to save Lesley's life. As hope of finding suitable foster care fades, Nick decides that the only way to save Lesley's life is to become her legal guardian. Nick's supervisor at LS, Alvin Masterson questions Nick's ability to care for Lesley. Eventually, the judge does grant Nick legal guardianship. Meanwhile, one of Burton Fallin's old friends, Harry Josephs is dying of cancer and tells Burton he is challenging the employment contract of Hopeson, Inc., which terminates employment if an
employee is unable to work for 90 consecutive days. Hopeson Inc. is a long time client of Fallin & Assoc. and Burton helped finalize the original employment contracts. Burton struggles with the responsibility of fighting for his clients and opportunity to stand by his friend.
Alvin asks Nick to help Barbara after her teenage son is arrested for drug possession.
After Barbara's son, Russell, is arrested for drug possession, the charge changes to manslaughter when the teen who was with Russell is found dead from an overdose of the badly manufactured drugs. Now, as Russell maintains his innocence, but refuses to give up his source, Nick must find out whom Russell is protecting before the boy's future is ruined.
Meanwhile, Burton asks Nick to help get the copyright for the toy "Bunny - Buddy," which is holding up a multimillion-dollar buyout. However, the eccentric old man who invented it is creating problems for Nick, fearing that the integrity of his creation will now be compromised.
Nick defends an Arab American man who appears to be the victim of a hate crime.
Wendy Moniz ("Nash Bridges") and James B. Sikking ("Brooklyn South") guest star.
Nick gets a new boss at Legal Aid, Louisa "LuLu" Archer (Moniz), and their first case together involves the vandalism of a restaurant owned by the Arab-American and his young daughter. However, things are complicated further when the vandal, who was viciously beaten in self-defense by the restauranteur, turns out to be a teenage boy.
Nick, now working at another law firm, is reinstated as the guardian of young Hunter Reed, his first case.
Polly Draper ("thirtysomething") guest stars
Both Nick and his child advocacy boss, Alvin, face Nick's father, Burton, in court. Nick, who is now working for Burton's competitors, Kirk and McGee, faces him when he is reassigned to Hunter -- the young boy who witnessed his father kill his mother -- after Hunter's father's controversial verdict comes in.
Meanwhile, Alvin agrees to defend his ex-wife (Draper), for whom he still has some unresolved feelings, in a wrongful termination case, only to realize that the company they are suing is represented by Burton.
After a rough turn of events at Kirk & McGee, Nick is back at Fallin & Assoc. just as Burton is looking into the case of Susan Newberg, deceased daughter of longtime client and family friend Frank Newberg. What begins as an investigation into Susan's widower Ray Harper, and the $11 million estate left to him, ends in a shocking case of suicide linked to sexual assault. Nick and Burton put their legal licenses and freedom at stake by violating their attorney/client privileges to protect Frank's youngest daughter and victim, 16 year-old. Meanwhile, first-year associate Amanda Bowles walks out of Fallin & Assoc. when Burton disapproves of her volunteer work at CLS.
Nick's Aunt Liz visits Burton & Nick and tells them she is dying.
“In Loco Parentis”
Nick thinks a woman he helped get her kids, may still use drugs.
A case that Nick took at Legal Services creates a conflict of interest, James tries to help his nephew.
Nick tries to help 2 brothers get adopted, the foster parents want the "gifted" brother. Jake tries to save his dad from losing his house to a loan shark.
“Mothers of the Disappeared”
When a mother of a missing child shows up in Nick Fallin's office at Legal Services, he finds himself in the middle of an emotional struggle for closure and justice. Prior to the disappearance of her daughter Grace, Janine McGregor was in a car accident with her for which they were awarded a large settlement. However, since Grace has been missing for 10 years, the insurance company will not release the money.
After years of searching for her daughter, Janine believes her only chance to get the money she so desperately needs is to have Grace declared deceased. However, just as a judge is about to sign off on the declaration, Grace unexpectedly reappears saying she had been kidnapped and taken to Europe. Nick encourages Janine to take the necessary steps to verify Grace's identity. However, with nothing but her gut feeling, Janine is convinced that the girl who has returned claiming to be her daughter is really her "Gracie."
Meanwhile, Nick and Burton Fallin are faced with the death of a close friend and colleague, Judge Stanton. He was a long-time friend of Burton's and was the judge who presided over Nick's probation. His passing causes Burton to re-evaluate his life and his accomplishments as a lawyer.
“Lawyers, Guns and Money”
Trouble gets very deep for Dale (Nick's Parole officer asks for help from Nick. Later LuLu's husband to be is arested. Nick can't tell LuLu. Burton wonders if his son will be on the federal bench.
Nick and LuLu find teenagers in her house, after they hear a girl screaming giving birth. They want to keep the baby and soon end up in foster care.
Burtton turns his law firm over to Sen. Nathan Calldwell, he gets ready to be a federal Judge.
In The Season Finale Burton and Lulu tells Nick damaging information but that deals with a wanted killer. Dr. Reed asks to be his son's (Hunter)Trustee but their future could be in trouble.