Judd, for the Defense

Judd, for the Defense was an American legal drama originally broadcast on the ABC network on Friday nights from September 8, 1967, to September 19, 1969.

Judd, for the Defense
Carl Betz as Judd with guest star Katharine Houghton, 1968.
GenreLegal drama
StarringCarl Betz
Stephen Young
Composer(s)Alexander Courage
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons2
No. of episodes50
Executive producer(s)Paul Monash
Running time4548 minutes
Production company(s)20th Century-Fox Television
Distributor20th Century-Fox Television
20th Television (current)
Original networkABC
Original releaseSeptember 8, 1967 (1967-09-08) 
September 19, 1969 (1969-09-19)


The show stars Carl Betz, who had previously spent eight years in the role of Dr. Alex Stone, husband of Donna Reed in ABC's The Donna Reed Show. In his new role, reportedly based on high-profile lawyers such as F. Lee Bailey and Percy Foreman,[1] Betz played Clinton Judd, a flamboyant attorney based in Houston, who often took on controversial cases across the country. Playing his top assistant, Ben Caldwell, was Stephen Young.

Even before the show premiered, Foreman threatened a lawsuit by saying that the program was "appropriating for commercial purposes my career as a lawyer." Throughout the course of the two-year run of the show, there were never enough viewers to establish Foreman's claim, although critics gave it positive reviews. Undoubtedly, the skittishness of viewers was a result of the program's dealing with then-taboo (though contemporary) subjects such as homosexuality, blacklisting, and draft evasion, with open-ended conclusions in many episodes.

The show's producer, Harold Gast, sought to break new ground with the program, using a number of new writers for scripts that veered away from previous television conventions. In addition, one personal experience involving credit card problems caused by computers became the basis for an episode titled "Epitaph on a Computer Card". In 1968, Gast and writer Leon Tokatyan won an Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America for the episode "Tempest in a Texas Town".

In an attempt to boost the low ratings of the hour-long program, the episode which aired on January 31, 1969, combined the Judd cast with that of another ABC series, Felony Squad, starring Dennis Cole. The idea did not salvage either program, as both were soon cancelled.

Betz's portrayal of a lawyer was enough to provide him paid opportunities to speak before groups of attorneys, and also helped him win both Golden Globe and Emmy Awards after the show's final season. Additionally, screenwriter Robert Lewin won a Writer's Guild award for the episode "To Kill a Madman".

Other actors appearing on episodes of the show included Ed Asner, Karen Black, Scott Brady, Len Birman, Russ Conway, Tyne Daly, Richard Dreyfuss, Robert Duvall, Lee Grant, Rodolfo Hoyos, Jr., Ron Howard, Vivi Janiss, Wright King, Ida Lupino, Barry Morse, Jessica Tandy, Lurene Tuttle, and William Windom.[2]

Episode guide

Season 1 (1967–68)

No. in
Title Directed by Written by Air date
11"Tempest in a Texas Town"Harvey HartStory by: Paul Monash
Teleplay by: Harold Gast & Leon Tokatyan
September 8, 1967 (1967-09-08)
22"The Deep End"Seymour RobbieSaul LevittSeptember 15, 1967 (1967-09-15)
33"The Other Face of the Law"Robert ButlerEllis Kadison & Joel KaneSeptember 22, 1967 (1967-09-22)
44"A Civil Case of Murder"Boris SagalHalstead WellesSeptember 29, 1967 (1967-09-29)
55"Shadow of a Killer"Leo PennSheldon StarkOctober 6, 1967 (1967-10-06)
66"Conspiracy"John ErmanLeo Lieberman & Meyer DolinskyOctober 13, 1967 (1967-10-13)
77"Confessional"TBATBAOctober 20, 1967 (1967-10-20)
88"Death from a Flower Girl"TBATBANovember 3, 1967 (1967-11-03)
99"Citizen Ritter"TBATBANovember 10, 1967 (1967-11-10)
1010"The Money Farm"TBATBANovember 17, 1967 (1967-11-17)
1111"To Kill a Madman"Larry PeerceRobert LewinNovember 24, 1967 (1967-11-24)
An old classmate of Ben's is accused of murdering three young women.
1212"Commitment"TBATBADecember 1, 1967 (1967-12-01)
1313"To Love and Stand Mute"TBATBADecember 8, 1967 (1967-12-08)
1414"The Living Victim"William HaleHarold GastDecember 15, 1967 (1967-12-15)
1515"Firebrand"TBATBADecember 22, 1967 (1967-12-22)
1616"Everybody Loved Harlan Except His Wife"TBATBADecember 29, 1967 (1967-12-29)
1717"Fall of a Skylark: Part 1 — The Trial"TBATBAJanuary 5, 1968 (1968-01-05)
1818"Fall of a Skylark: Part 2 — The Appeal"TBATBAJanuary 12, 1968 (1968-01-12)
1919"No Law Against Murder"TBATBAJanuary 19, 1968 (1968-01-19)
2020"The Grand Old Man"TBATBAJanuary 26, 1968 (1968-01-26)
2121"What You Can Do with Money"TBATBAFebruary 2, 1968 (1968-02-02)
2222"Kingdom of the Blind"TBATBAFebruary 9, 1968 (1968-02-09)
2323"The Devil's Surrogate"TBATBAFebruary 23, 1968 (1968-02-23)
2424"Square House"TBATBAMarch 1, 1968 (1968-03-01)
2525"The Worst of Both Worlds"TBATBAMarch 15, 1968 (1968-03-15)
2626"You Remember Joe Maddox"TBATBAMarch 22, 1968 (1968-03-22)

Season 2 (1968–69)

No. in
Title Directed by Written by Original air date
271"In a Puff of Smoke"TBATBASeptember 27, 1968 (1968-09-27)
282"Transplant"TBATBAOctober 4, 1968 (1968-10-04)
293"The Ends of Justice"John MoxeyCharles McDanielOctober 11, 1968 (1968-10-11)
304"The Name of This Game Is Acquittal"TBATBAOctober 18, 1968 (1968-10-18)
315"The Sound of the Plastic Axe"TBATBAOctober 25, 1968 (1968-10-25)
326"The Death Farm"TBATBANovember 1, 1968 (1968-11-01)
337"Weep the Hunter Home"TBATBANovember 8, 1968 (1968-11-08)
348"The Gates of Cerberus"TBATBANovember 15, 1968 (1968-11-15)
359"My Client, the Fool"TBATBANovember 22, 1968 (1968-11-22)
3610"Punishment, Cruel and Unusual"TBATBADecember 6, 1968 (1968-12-06)
3711"Thou Shalt Not Suffer a Witch to Live"TBATBADecember 13, 1968 (1968-12-13)
3812"A Swim with Sharks"TBATBADecember 20, 1968 (1968-12-20)
3913"The Crystal Maze"TBATBAJanuary 3, 1969 (1969-01-03)
4014"Borderline Girl"TBATBAJanuary 10, 1969 (1969-01-10)
4115"Epitaph on a Computer Card"TBATBAJanuary 17, 1969 (1969-01-17)
4216"The Poisoned Tree"TBATBAJanuary 24, 1969 (1969-01-24)
4317"The Law and Order Blues"TBATBAJanuary 31, 1969 (1969-01-31)
This episode was a crossover with Felony Squad.
4418"Between the Dark and the Daylight"TBATBAFebruary 7, 1969 (1969-02-07)
4519"The Holy Ground: Part 1 — The Killing"TBATBAFebruary 14, 1969 (1969-02-14)
4620"The Holy Ground: Part 2 — The Killers"TBATBAFebruary 21, 1969 (1969-02-21)
4721"An Elephant in a Cigar Box"Charles S. DubinRobert LewinFebruary 28, 1969 (1969-02-28)
Judd defends a smug anti-government man suspected of smuggling.
4822"The View from the Ivory Tower"TBATBAMarch 7, 1969 (1969-03-07)
4923"Runaway"TBATBAMarch 14, 1969 (1969-03-14)
5024"Visitation"TBATBAMarch 21, 1969 (1969-03-21)


  1. Jamail Center for Legal Research, Tarlton Law Library, University of Texas at Austin Law School."Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-08-16. Retrieved 2007-08-20.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. Id.
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