The Burden of Proof, published in 1990, is Scott Turow's second novel, somewhat of a sequel to Presumed Innocent. The Burden of Proof follows the story of defense attorney Sandy Stern in the aftermath of his wife's death, and the growing realization that there is much about his marriage that he has never understood. Stern's bereavement coincides with his latest case, defending commodities broker Dixon Hartnell. Hartnell is a complex figure, one that Sandy both admires but also distrusts. Stern soon realizes that defending "Dix" will force him to tread a narrow path between zealous advocacy for a client and his ethical responsibilities to the courts.
The Burden of Proof is set in the fictional Midwestern Kindle County, the setting of Turow's other novels, and features or refers to characters that appear in those other stories.