Judd, for the Defense

Judd, for the Defense is an ABC network legal drama series which aired from September 8, 1967 to September 19, 1969, lasting for two seasons & 50 episodes.


The series centered on an attorney and his assistant as they travel across the nation defending clients.


  • Carl Betz as Clinton Judd
  • Stephen Young as Ben Caldwell
  • Walter Brooke as Dan Miles


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 (which was reportedly based on high-profile lawyers such as F. Lee Bailey and Percy Foreman), 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 dodgers, 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 entitled "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 "Judd, for the Defense", the episode (which aired on January 31, 1969) combined the "Judd" cast with that of another ABC series, "Felony Squad." However, the idea did not salvage either program and both of them were soon cancelled.


Carl 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." [[Category:ABC Shows]]

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