Law & Order: Trial by Jury

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Law & Order: Trial by Jury
Law and Order TBJ title card.jpg
Also known asLaw & Order: TBJ
Trial by Jury
GenreLegal drama
Created byDick Wolf
Narrated bySteven Zirnkilton (opening only)
Opening themeTheme of Law & Order: Trial by Jury
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes13
Executive producers
Production locationNew York City
Camera setupArriflex 16 SR3
Zeiss Super Speed
Angenieux HR and Canon Lenses
Running time42 minutes
Production companies
Original network
Picture formatHDTV 1080i
Audio formatStereo
Original releaseMarch 3, 2005 (2005-03-03) –
January 21, 2006 (2006-01-21)
Related showsLaw & Order franchise

Law & Order: Trial by Jury is an American legal drama television series about criminal trials set in New York City. It was the fourth series in Dick Wolf's Law & Order franchise. The show's almost exclusive focus was on the criminal trial of the accused, showing both the prosecution's and defense's preparation for trial, as well as the trial itself. The series was first announced on September 28, 2004. The series premiered on Thursday, March 3, 2005, and ended on January 21, 2006. Its regular time slot was Fridays 10/9 p.m. ET on NBC. The last episode aired on Court TV months after the series' cancellation.


In the criminal justice system, all defendants are innocent until proven guilty, either by confession, plea bargain, or trial by jury. This is one of those trials.

—Opening narration spoken by Steven Zirnkilton

Trial by Jury focuses on criminal legal procedures and preparation that are rarely depicted on other Law & Order series, such as jury selection, deliberations in the jury room, as well as jury research and mock trials prepared by the defense to use psychological studies and socioeconomic status profiling to their advantage. The episodes usually start with a witness or victim's personal account of a crime. This is a departure from the other Law & Order series, which usually begin by depicting either the actual crime or its discovery/reporting by civilians. The show progresses on from that point, showing how both sides develop their strategies for winning the case. In addition, a few episodes show jury deliberations. The show develops the judges as characters, showing scenes of them conferring with each other and reusing the same judges in multiple episodes.


The series follows Bureau Chief Tracey Kibre (Bebe Neuwirth), an Executive Assistant District Attorney assigned to Manhattan's homicide division. Kibre's team, including District Attorney Investigator Lennie Briscoe (Jerry Orbach) and Assistant District Attorney Kelly Gaffney (Amy Carlson), follows up on leads and interview witnesses, as well as participating in trials, during which both sides examine witnesses and give arguments. Similarly, the defense's preparation varies from episode to episode, running the gamut from testing arguments in front of jury focus groups to deal-making between co-defendants. Several pretrial meetings are held where some procedural issue is argued and ruled on.

Cast and characters[edit]

The original cast of Law & Order: Trial by Jury (2005); from left, Amy Carlson, Bebe Neuwirth, Fred Thompson, Jerry Orbach, and Kirk Acevedo.

Main cast[edit]

  • Bebe Neuwirth as Tracey Kibre, the Homicide Bureau Chief in the Manhattan District Attorney's office. Tracey has a black-and-white view of the law. She is tough, tenacious, focused, and professional. Kibre has a strong working relationship with her staff. As chief of the Homicide Bureau, she is a senior prosecutor, subordinate only to the District Attorney and the Executive ADA.
  • Amy Carlson as Kelly Gaffney, an ADA. Gaffney is Kibre's Deputy, who often challenges her senior colleague. She sees the law in shades of gray, and as a result is often more by-the-book.
  • Kirk Acevedo as Hector Salazar, a DA investigator. Salazar retired from the police force following an on-the-job injury which would have forced him behind a desk.
  • Scott Cohen as Chris Ravell, an NYPD detective assigned to the ADA Kibre's team and Hector Salazar's second partner, succeeding Lennie Briscoe. Cohen was credited as a guest appearance for episode 3 before being added to the main credits in episode 5. He did not appear in episode 4.
  • Fred Dalton Thompson as Arthur Branch, the County of New York's District Attorney. Branch is a tough Republican, who practices both legal and political conservatism. Thompson was simultaneously a series regular in the same role on this show and on the original Law & Order.
  • Jerry Orbach as Lennie Briscoe, a DA investigator. Briscoe was the longest-serving police detective of the original Law & Order. Orbach succumbed to cancer over two months before the show's premiere, and he only appeared in the first two episodes of the series. From episode 3 onward, he is never seen or mentioned again for the remainder of the series.

Recurring cast[edit]

Crossover guest cast[edit]


No. Title Directed by Written by Original air date Production
U.S. Viewers
1"The Abominable Showman"Jean de SegonzacDick WolfMarch 3, 2005 (2005-03-03)E570117.29[2]
Tough New York Assistant District Attorney Tracey Kibre tackles the murder of an aspiring Broadway actress, but has little evidence to prosecute the suspect; an acclaimed but arrogant theatre producer (Tony Bill) smugly knows that the police have found no blood or even a body. Kibre is joined by her unflappable deputy Assistant District Attorney, Kelly Gaffney, as they work with DA Investigators Briscoe and Salazar to pursue physical evidence while the producer's attorney (Annabella Sciorra) manoeuvres to publicly portray the missing woman as promiscuous.
2"41 Shots"Caleb DeschanelWalon GreenMarch 4, 2005 (2005-03-04)E570714.52[2]

When a police officer is executed by a career criminal (Aliya Campbell), Kibre and Gaffney must overcome the fact that the accused was shot 41 times by police, not to mention the charges of police corruption leveled by the charismatic and cunning defense attorney (Peter Coyote). Kibre's plea for justice veers suddenly when evidence indicates the killer might be a federal agent's snitch, while she also fears the jury will sympathize when they see the bandaged man wheeled into court for his trial.

This is the final episode in the Law & Order franchise for Jerry Orbach (Lennie Briscoe), who died after filming this episode.

Carey Lowell guest-stars as Judge Jamie Ross.
3"Vigilante"Dwight H. LittleDavid WilcoxMarch 11, 2005 (2005-03-11)E571210.69[3]

Kibre and Gaffney face the unpopular job of prosecuting a father (Aidan Gillen) accused of murdering a paroled child molester who had approached his daughter. The case takes on an added twist when they investigate why his self-appointed lawyer (Lorraine Bracco) is so passionate about representing him. Later, new evidence about the pedophile's intentions is uncovered and District Attorney Branch knows the unwelcome publicity fallout for his department could hurt his chance at reelection.

Scott Cohen joins the cast as Detective Chris Ravell.
4"Truth or Consequences"Constantine MakrisStory by : David Wilcox
& Walon Green
Teleplay by : David Wilcox
March 18, 2005 (2005-03-18)E570311.54[4]
After a young woman is raped and murdered, ADAs Kibre and Gaffney are stymied by a triangle of suspects, three friends who include a rich boy (Warren Blosjo), a bad boy (Adam LaVorgna), and the victim's ex-boyfriend Danny (Ebon Moss-Bachrach). As the prosecutors try to turn one against the other, they wonder who is playing whom. When Danny seems the least likely to lie, though, Kibre wants to make a deal with him, but she worries he might be manipulating the facts to gain the jury's sympathy.
5"Baby Boom"Michael PressmanStory by : Pamela J. Wechsler
Teleplay by : Joan Rater
& Tony Phelan
March 25, 2005 (2005-03-25)E570411.07[5]
Kibre and Gaffney prosecute a young nanny (Elisabeth Moss) accused of murder for shaking an infant and bashing in her head, but they run into a stone wall when the presiding judge (Aasif Mandvi) intentionally blocks every move they make. After Kibre rejects Gaffney's desperate offer to resign to blunt the judge's irrational ire, they discover the tough defense attorney has coached his client well and intends to point the finger of murder elsewhere.
6"Pattern of Conduct"Constantine MakrisStory by : Pamela J. Wechsler
Teleplay by : Pamela J. Wechsler
& Walon Green
April 1, 2005 (2005-04-01)E571010.58[6]
Kibre faces an obstacle course when she prosecutes a famous pro basketball player (Damaine Radcliff) for killing his girlfriend, but first she must get past the starstruck grand jury, a legion of fans, a savvy defense lawyer, and the player's beautiful trophy wife (Sherri Saum), who is determined to hang on to what she has. Although other women have been assaulted by the defendant, Kibre and Gaffney have a difficult time getting them to testify, and new evidence that the victim had previously attempted suicide adds to the complexities of this case.
7"Bang & Blame"Caleb DeschanelChris LevinsonApril 8, 2005 (2005-04-08)E571111.38[7]

When a bank worker (Jeff Perry) casually shoots a customer to death and wounds others, the seemingly mentally unstable man runs rings around an exasperated Kibre in court when he asks to defend himself and exploits his claim of extreme emotional distress due to the tragic death of his son. Kibre and Gaffney must regain their footing before the jury through old-fashioned detective work, which reveals critical holes in the murderer's persistent claim that he has been victimized by everyone.

Carey Lowell guest-stars as Judge Jamie Ross.
8"Skeleton"David PlattDavid WilcoxApril 15, 2005 (2005-04-15)E571613.19[8]

Kibre prosecutes an elusive career criminal Shane Lucas (Ritchie Coster) for the murder of a sleazy ex-cop and the shooting of Detective Ed Green. As Kibre's office works with Detective Joe Fontana (Dennis Farina), they discover their prime suspect might also be a producer of "snuff" pornography. When a sting goes bad and a shocking courtroom development cuts the legs from under her case, Kibre's career teeters on finding why the shootings were committed in the first place.

This episode concludes a story that begins on Law & Order in "Tombstone".

Dennis Farina (Detective Fontana), Jesse L. Martin (Detective Ed Green), S. Epatha Merkerson (Lt. Anita Van Buren), Sam Waterston (EADA Jack McCoy) and Richard Belzer (Detective John Munch) guest star.
9"The Line"Richard PearceTony Phelan & Joan RaterApril 22, 2005 (2005-04-22)E571410.08[9]
Against good advice, Kibre goes full out to retry a convicted multiple murderer (Gabriel Casseus), who is released due to falsified evidence, but she is hardly helped by frightened and hinky witnesses while the manipulative suspect seems to counter her every move with his pricey lawyers. As her fragile case continues to dissolve, Kibre hopes for a break from a witness or forensic evidence, and alienates Gaffney when she ponders contorting ethical rules, if necessary.
10"Blue Wall"Joe Ann FogleRick EidApril 29, 2005 (2005-04-29)E57139.59[10]
Kibre is handed a political bombshell when she is asked to prosecute two police officers (Domenick Lombardozzi and Mike Colter) for their murky roles in the murder of a gay prisoner who was fatally sodomized with a police nightstick; she clashes with Detective Chris Ravell (Scott Cohen), who confronts the "blue wall" in his search for truth. Under federal pressure for a conviction, the conscience-stricken detective causes more problems when he tries to protect one of the cops and his young family by withholding vital evidence.
11"Day"Caleb DeschanelStory by : Chris Levinson
and Amanda Green
Teleplay by : Chris Levinson
May 3, 2005 (2005-05-03)E571518.70[11]

ADA Kibre works to prosecute a serial rapist (Alfred Molina), whose trail of victims through the years has been whitewashed by his wealthy and protective mother (Angela Lansbury). Kibre must also overcome witness intimidation, and even sees her crucial DNA evidence tossed out, but the slippery suspect's lawyer has yet another surprise up his sleeve.

This episode concludes a crossover with Law & Order: Special Victims Unit that begins on "Night".

Mariska Hargitay (Olivia Benson), Christopher Meloni (Elliot Stabler), Diane Neal (Casey Novak), and Tamara Tunie (Melinda Warner) guest star.
12"Boys Will Be Boys"Aaron LipstadtRick EidMay 6, 2005 (2005-05-06)E57069.82[12]
Kibre and Gaffney are stymied when a young man (Victor Rasuk) confesses to killing a transvestite upon discovering that the "she" was a "he", just before the suspect's controlling father (Giancarlo Esposito) also admits that he pummeled the victim to death in self-defense. Besides being whipsawed between two divergent confessions, the suspicious assistant DAs cannot seem to turn one against the other, prompting a determined Kibre to reach into her legal bag of tricks to force the issue in court.
13"Eros in the Upper Eighties"Joe Ann FogleChris LevinsonJanuary 21, 2006 (2006-01-21)E57057.58[13]
A doorman at a high-end Upper Eastside building saves a tenant's life when he pulls a homeless man off her, but kills him in the process, and what appears to be an act of a good Samaritan is actually much more complicated.


Season Episodes Timeslot (EST) Season premiere Season finale TV season Ranking Viewers
(in millions)
1 13 Fridays 10:00 p.m. March 3, 2005 January 21, 2006 2004–2005 #37 10.73[14]


NBC announced on May 16, 2005, that Trial by Jury would not be returning for the 2005–2006 fall television season. The rival CBS procedural Numbers debuted in the midseason in late January 2005 and consistently beat NBC's Medical Investigation in the ratings, sending the latter show into hiatus and eventual cancellation, freeing up the time slot for Law & Order: Trial by Jury. Despite Trial by Jury's pedigree, Numbers' ratings remained strong, often beating Trial by Jury in both overall and key demographic ratings.[15]

Trial by Jury was the first series of the Law & Order franchise to be canceled, although TV Guide reported at one point that NBC had reconsidered its decision[citation needed] and would pick up the series once again, or hand it off to Turner Network Television (TNT), which also airs reruns of the original series. The sets were reused by a series Wolf produced for NBC entitled Conviction which premiered Friday, March 3, 2006, lasting only one season before cancellation. In an October 2005 interview with the Associated Press, Wolf stated that NBC had assured him Trial by Jury would return for the fall of 2005, but had "blindsided" him by canceling it, instead.

Court TV (now TruTV) re-aired the entire series, including the episode "Eros in the Upper Eighties", which never aired on NBC before the series was canceled. TNT has aired the episode "Skeleton" on occasion, as the conclusion to the original series episode "Tombstone".

Home media[edit]

On April 25, 2006, Universal Studios Home Entertainment released Law & Order: Trial by Jury – The Complete Series on DVD in Region 1.[16]

DVD name Ep # Release date Additional information
Law & Order: Trial by Jury – The Complete Series 13 April 25, 2006
  • Cross-over episode "Night" from Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
  • Deleted Scenes
  • "A Different Look at Law & Order"


  1. ^ "New York Legal History / The Rule of Law : New York Supreme Court". Retrieved 2018-08-25.
  2. ^ a b "Weekly Program Rankings From 02/28/05 Through 03/06/05" (Press release). ABC Medianet. March 8, 2005. Archived from the original on September 29, 2011. Retrieved April 13, 2011.
  3. ^ "Weekly Program Rankings From 03/07/05 Through 03/13/05" (Press release). ABC Medianet. March 15, 2005. Archived from the original on February 24, 2015. Retrieved April 13, 2011.
  4. ^ "Weekly Program Rankings From 03/14/05 Through 03/20/05" (Press release). ABC Medianet. March 22, 2005. Archived from the original on February 25, 2015. Retrieved April 13, 2011.
  5. ^ "Weekly Program Rankings From 03/21/05 Through 03/27/05" (Press release). ABC Medianet. March 29, 2005. Archived from the original on February 24, 2015. Retrieved April 13, 2011.
  6. ^ "Weekly Program Rankings From 03/28/05 Through 04/03/05" (Press release). ABC Medianet. April 5, 2005. Archived from the original on September 29, 2011. Retrieved April 13, 2011.
  7. ^ "Weekly Program Rankings From 04/04/05 Through 04/10/05" (Press release). ABC Medianet. April 12, 2005. Archived from the original on September 29, 2011. Retrieved April 13, 2011.
  8. ^ "Weekly Program Rankings From 04/11/05 Through 04/17/05" (Press release). ABC Medianet. April 19, 2005. Archived from the original on February 29, 2012. Retrieved April 13, 2011.
  9. ^ "Weekly Program Rankings From 04/18/05 Through 04/24/05" (Press release). ABC Medianet. April 26, 2005. Archived from the original on January 25, 2012. Retrieved April 13, 2011.
  10. ^ "Weekly Program Rankings From 04/25/05 Through 05/01/05" (Press release). ABC Medianet. May 3, 2005. Archived from the original on February 29, 2012. Retrieved April 13, 2011.
  11. ^ Kissell, Rick (May 4, 2005). "'Idol,' 'House' rock for Fox". Variety. Retrieved April 13, 2011.
  12. ^ "Weekly Program Rankings From 05/02/05 Through 05/08/05" (Press release). ABC Medianet. May 10, 2005. Archived from the original on September 29, 2011. Retrieved April 13, 2011.
  13. ^ "Weekly Program Rankings From 05/02/05 Through 05/08/05" (Press release). ABC Medianet. January 24, 2006. Archived from the original on July 28, 2014. Retrieved June 23, 2014.
  15. ^ "Rumor: Harsh verdict for NBC's 'Trial by Jury' ". Archived from the original on 2013-01-28. Retrieved 2005-05-13.
  16. ^ Lambert, David (2006-01-17). "Law & Order: Trial by Jury – Jerry Orbach's Final Series Comes To DVD This Spring". Archived from the original on 2012-07-28. Retrieved 2007-08-18.

External links[edit]