Worf commands the Defiant on an escort mission to guard Cardassian vessels. While under attack from Klingon raiders, a vessel de-cloaks in front of the Defiant. Expecting the vessel to be a Klingon war ship, Worf orders it fired upon immediately without visual confirmation. However, the destroyed ship turns out to be a Klingon civilian transport, and the Klingon Empire wants Worf tried in their court.
Admiral T'Lara presides over Worf's extradition hearing aboard the station where one by one, Worf's friends are forced to testify, either bolstering Worf's defense or damaging it. For example, the combat experienced Chief O'Brien confesses he would have not done what Worf did. The Klingon Advocate, Ch'Pok, even provokes Worf into attacking him, which bolsters his case since the Advocate was unarmed at the time.
In the end, Constable Odo's investigation uncovers evidence suggesting that the entire incident was staged by the Empire to frame Worf for the purpose of smearing the Federation. Captain Sisko still has criticisms of mistakes Worf had made but he tells the Klingon that he will make a fine captain some day.