Law & Order (1990–2010)
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A crack-addicted, African American mother is accused of murder and kidnapping the baby Child Welfare took from her. Her defense attorney, former A.D.A. Paul Robinette, argues that the entire child welfare system is racist.


Constantine Makris


Dick Wolf (created by), Morgan Gendel (teleplay by) | 2 more credits »


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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Jerry Orbach ... Lennie Briscoe
Benjamin Bratt ... Rey Curtis
S. Epatha Merkerson ... Anita Van Buren
Sam Waterston ... Jack McCoy
Jill Hennessy ... Claire Kincaid
Steven Hill ... Adam Schiff
Amber Kain Amber Kain ... Jenny Mays
Scott Lawrence ... Michael Walters
Chuck Cooper ... Walters' Attorney
Lee Brock Lee Brock ... Donna Corbin
Richard Brooks ... Paul Robinette
Charlotte Colavin Charlotte Colavin ... Judge Lisa Pongracic
Mark Nelson ... Stein
Oni Faida Lampley Oni Faida Lampley ... Sharlene Patterson
Afemo Omilami ... Henry Patterson


Detectives Briscoe and Curtis investigate the murder of a social worker, Larry Mello, who is found dead on the street. The investigation reveals that Mello was less than honest creating fictitious children to be placed in foster homes and then pocketing the monthly payouts. As they begin to check out some of his clients they arrive at the home of Alan Corbin to learn that his adoptive son Alex has that morning been kidnapped. Curtis thinks the boy's biological family may be behind it all, both the kidnapping and Mello's murder. They arrest the boy's mother at the bus depot as she is trying to leave town with him. She is charged with murder and kidnapping and is represented by former ADA Paul Robinette who argues in court that she had every right to take her African-American son back as he was adopted by a white family. Written by garykmcd

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Release Date:

21 February 1996 (USA) See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Filmed a week after New York's historic blizzard of 1996. See more »


Kincaid mentions checking with the "county registrar" in Springfield, Massachusetts, regarding the defendant's family. Vital statistics and census information in Massachusetts are recorded by city and town clerks; there are no county clerks or county registrars. See more »


Jack McCoy: You're a long way from the District Attorney's office.
Paul Robinette: Ben Stone once said I'd have to decide if I was a lawyer who was black or a black man who was a lawyer. All those years I thought I was the former. All those years I was wrong.
See more »

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User Reviews

Comment on cast members
16 April 2006 | by demondrvf41See all my reviews

Law & Order Cast I have watched this program since day one. At one point in time, the show was on 4 times a day. I watched them all. Rating: (E)-Excellent;(VG)-Very Good;(G)-Good;(F)-Fair;(P)-Poor

G George Dzundza: He was good on the program, but if you can't

pronounce the name.....

F Chris Noth: Too damn pretty to be a NYPD Detective. He is better

on Criminal Intent.

F Michael Moriarty: Kind of whiny with a lot of power VG Paul Sarvino: He's Paul Sarvino, they don't get any better.

F Richard Brooks: Boring with only one facial expression

E Jerry Orbach: Loved this guy. Never know he was a song and dance


G Dann Florek: Liked him then, like him now on SVU

E Epatha Merkerson: Liked her since her first time on the show.

E Benjamin Bratt: Great actor, very convincing.

G Carey Lowell: She made a better Defense Lawyer

E Angie Harmon: Love this girl, sorry she left the show. VG Sam Waterston: Enjoy his delivery and acting ability.

P Elisabeth Rohm: Could not stand this girl.

P Dianne Wiest: See above, except more

G Steven Hill: Very good in this part, sorry he left.

E Fred Dalton Thompson: I have liked this guy in everything he has


E Dennis Farina: Same as Paul Sarvino, but better.

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