The Bold Ones: The Lawyers

For the 1970 feature film, see The Lawyer (film).
The Bold Ones: The Lawyers

The Cast of The Bold Ones: The Lawyers
Also known as 'The Lawyers'
Created by Roy Huggins (credited as John Thomas James)
Directed by Douglas Heyes
Starring Burl Ives
Joseph Campanella
James Farentino
Opening theme Pete Rugolo
Composer(s) Stanley Wilson
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 3
No. of episodes 29 (Including two pilot movies) (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s) Roy Huggins
Producer(s) Jo Swerling, Jr.
Camera setup Single-camera
Running time 4548 minutes
Original network NBC
Audio format Monaural
Original release December 10, 1968 (1968-12-10) – February 13, 1972 (1972-02-13)

The Bold Ones: The Lawyers (or The Lawyers) is an American legal drama that aired for three seasons on NBC from September 1968 through February 1972.


The series starred Burl Ives as Walter Nichols, a respected attorney who hires two brothers (Joseph Campanella and James Farentino) who are lawyers to help him with his case load.

The Lawyers was part of The Bold Ones, a rotating series of dramas that also included The New Doctors (with E.G. Marshall), The Protectors (with Leslie Nielsen) and The Senator (with Hal Holbrook). It was nominated for three Emmy awards and won two of them.[1] Pat Hingle and Walter Brooke each made two guest appearances, and had previously appeared in The New Doctors. Kermit Murdock also made two guest appearances, and later appeared in cameo roles in The Senator.

During the production of the first series of 8 episodes, James Farentino complained vociferously to the producers about the scripts and was suspended for three weeks, missing two shows.[2] Later, near the end of the third series, he announced he was leaving of his own volition, but the series was not renewed for a fourth year.[3]


Main cast

Recurring Characters

Guest Stars


SeasonEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
Pilots2December 10, 1968 (1968-12-10)March 11, 1969 (1969-03-11)
18September 21, 1969 (1969-09-21)February 15, 1970 (1970-02-15)
28September 27, 1970 (1970-09-27)February 28, 1971 (1971-02-28)
311September 19, 1971 (1971-09-19)February 13, 1972 (1972-02-13)


No.TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
1"The Sound of Anger"Michael RitchieRoy Huggins and Dick NelsonDecember 10, 1968 (1968-12-10)
Two teenagers who have been engaged in pre-marital sex become the prime suspects when the girl's disapproving father is mysteriously murdered. NOTE: Guy Stockwell plays Brian Darrell in this first pilot film. He was replaced in the second film and subsequent series by Joseph Campanella.
2"The Whole World Is Watching"Richard A. CollaRichard Levinson and William LinkMarch 11, 1969 (1969-03-11)
After a university police officer is killed during a campus protest, student activist Gil Bennett is arrested for the murder. Milking this turn of events for his cause, Bennett refuses to testify about his innocence. Nichols and the Darrell brothers now must find the young man's one hope; the only witness to the crime who has his own motive for not coming forward.

Season 1 (1969–70)

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
11"A Game of Chance"Douglas HeyesRoy HugginsSeptember 21, 1969 (1969-09-21)
A rogue cop who makes a habit of dwelling in the gray area of the law is the target of junior partner Neil Darrell, who's out to expose the officer's abuse.
22"The People Against Ortega"Richard T. HeffronDick Nelson,
William Pearson
October 12, 1969 (1969-10-12)
Brian's client, who was wrongfully convicted of a capital murder many years ago, accidentally kills the wife of the district attorney during a failed escape attempt shortly before he is cleared of the original crime. Brian chooses to continue to represent his client during the trial for the accidental killing, even though the DA and his wife were good friends of Brian's. Neither Burl Ives or James Farentino appear.
33"The Crowd Pleaser"Vincent ShermanFrank Fenton,
David Giler,
Roy Huggins
November 2, 1969 (1969-11-02)
The lawyers are shocked when their client, a cocky real estate agent accused of murdering a prostitute, gleefully admits to the crime during a private party celebrating his acquittal. When another man is subsequently convicted of the crime and faces the death penalty, Neil makes an agonizing decision that could sacrifice his career.
44"The Rockford Riddle"Richard T. HeffronF.D. Averno,
Matthew Howard
November 16, 1969 (1969-11-16)
Walter volunteers to represent a mentally ill homeless man who has just admitted to murdering a peer, on the condition that the man divulge the facts of a previous murder for which Walter represented him several years earlier; in that case, the man admitted to murdering his wife's rival when his wife was on trial for the murder, only to recant his guilt immediately after she was acquitted. The character who had actually committed the earlier murder in a jealous rage is played by Claudine Longet, who, in real life, would shoot and kill her boyfriend, skier Spider Sabich, in 1976. James Farentino does not appear.
55"Shriek of Silence"Fernando LamasRobert Foster,
Roy Huggins
November 30, 1969 (1969-11-30)
The lawyers represent a front-running gubernatorial candidate who is being framed for the murder of a female campaign worker by his former campaign chairman, a man forced to resign because the candidate found out he was a homosexual. His defense becomes a lot more complicated when he is witnessed moving the body out of his apartment and into a park as part of an ill-conceived plan to avoid being linked to the crime.
66"Trial of a Mafioso"Richard BenedictRobert HamnerJanuary 4, 1970 (1970-01-04)
The lawyers represent an incarcerated former mobster who has provided key testimony against other mob bosses while in prison and is ultimately exonerated after an eventful retrial. Although their client has arranged for a helicopter to take him out of the country upon release, the lawyers are given the dangerous task of transporting him from the courthouse to the remote location where the pickup will take place.
77"Point of Honor"January 25, 1970 (1970-01-25)
Brian gets himself involved in a murder case, and now privileged communication between a lawyer and his client has become a key issue. James Farentino does not appear.
88"The Shattered Image"February 15, 1970 (1970-02-15)
Ted Hollister is charged with the murder of the ward of a rich guardian, and Walt Nichols agrees to defend him. Joseph Campanella does not appear.

Season 2 (1970–71)

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
91"The Verdict"Alexander SingerRoy HugginsSeptember 27, 1970 (1970-09-27)
Despite their differing beliefs on the subject, the lawyers agree to represent an obstetrician who is charged with murder after performing an illegal abortion. Strongly disagreeing with the judge's jury instructions and citing Oliver Wendell Holmes, Neil decides to use a nonstandard tactic which results in a large fine and contempt of court charge.
102"Panther in a Cage"Nicholas ColasantoStephen KandelOctober 18, 1970 (1970-10-18)
A member of the Black Panthers is accused of pushing a police detective off a second story balcony to his death during the execution of a search warrant at their local headquarters. His father, a successful business executive who has been trying to get his son to abandon his extremist lifestyle, hires The Lawyers to represent him, but their task is complicated by his unwillingness to cooperate or control his emotions in the presence of the jury.
113"Trial of a PFC"November 8, 1970 (1970-11-08)
A Vietnam vet is accused of murdering his best friend. James Farentino does not appear.
124"The People Against Doctor Chapman"Jeannot SzwarcJerry BredouwDecember 6, 1970 (1970-12-06)
A doctor claims there is a witness that can clear him of the murder of which he is accused, but no one can find this witness. James Farentino does not appear.
135"The Loneliness Racket"December 20, 1970 (1970-12-20)
A woman is held for murder when her computer-dating service date turns up dead.
146"The Search for Leslie Grey"January 10, 1971 (1971-01-10)
A business tycoon, Leslie Grey, starts to panic when he finds out that his past is now under investigation.
157"The Hyland Confession"Daniel PetrieFrank Fenton,
Roy Huggins
January 31, 1971 (1971-01-31)
A young woman, who has her own live-in Swami and a history of psychiatric problems, quickly signs a confession after awakening from a meditation session and finding her successful recording-artist husband dead in front of her and the murder weapon in her hand. Her defense hinges on the believability of an interrogation conducted by her psychiatrist, in which she was under the influence of sodium pentothal. James Farentino does not appear.
168"The Price of Justice"February 28, 1971 (1971-02-28)
A man accused of murder refuses to talk and defend himself against the charges. His heritage holds the key as to why.

Season 3 (1971–72)

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
171"The Invasion of Kevin Ireland"Alexander SingerJack B. SowardsSeptember 19, 1971 (1971-09-19)
Mistakes on a credit report lead to a ruined life for one man, who chooses to fight back in court against the credit reporting agency that admits to no wrongdoing.
182"The Strange Secret of Yermo Hill"Jeffrey HaydenWilliam D. Gordon,
Roy Huggins
October 17, 1971 (1971-10-17)
The boyfriend of a dead girl holds a bizarre secret that may reveal who actually killed the young lady.
193"Hall of Justice"Richard T. HeffronRobert HamnerOctober 31, 1971 (1971-10-31)
Cases before the court include an assault against a minor, an alleged "mercy" killing, and a narcotics charge.
204"In Defense of Ellen McKay"November 14, 1971 (1971-11-14)
One of the firm's clients, Ellen McKay, is about to stand trial for killing her husband. In the middle of all this, Brian finds himself falling for her romantically.
215"By Reason of Insanity"Alexander SingerGloryette ClarkNovember 28, 1971 (1971-11-28)
The lawyers successfully argue an insanity defense for a young man who is apprehended while collecting the large ransom he demanded after kidnapping a middle-aged man whom he had been obsessed with since the age of thirteen. However, Walter has good reason to fear that the verdict isn't the last chapter of this bizarre saga.
226"Justice Is a Sometime Thing"Jeffrey HaydenRobert HamnerDecember 21, 1971 (1971-12-21)
A Hispanic man is mistaken for an assault suspect when he instinctively comes to the aid of the victim, but then panics and runs off upon discovering that the girl he was with has fled because she feared being deported. The lawyers are finally able to locate the girl, but not before the man escapes from jail because he feared his dangerous cellmate and was facing a probable 20-year sentence without the girl's witness testimony.
237"The Letter of the Law"Douglas HeyesDouglas HeyesDecember 26, 1971 (1971-12-26)
There's one last thing an attorney who is about to die must do, and that is to see the mistake he made many years before reversed. He must see brought to justice the killer he helped to get away with murder. James Farentino does not appear.
248"The Long Morning After: Part 1"Douglas HeyesDouglas HeyesJanuary 9, 1972 (1972-01-09)
Officially, the deaths of two women have been termed an accident and a suicide. Neil turns sleuth to prove the deaths were a double murder. To be continued...
259"The Long Morning After: Part 2"Douglas HeyesDouglas HeyesJanuary 16, 1972 (1972-01-16)
Neil suspects a powerful industrialist of a double homicide.
2610"In Sudden Darkness"David MoessingerGloryette Clark,
Charles E. Israel,
David Moessinger
January 30, 1972 (1972-01-30)
Lauren Hazelwood killed her father. That much is known. And unless she tells her lawyers and the court why, she has a date set with the California gas chamber. James Farentino does not appear.
2711"Lisa, I Hardly Knew You"Alexander SingerRoy Huggins,
Elick Moll
February 13, 1972 (1972-02-13)
Neil keeps flashing back to the tragedy of a romance.

DVD release

On December 1, 2015, Timeless Media Group released The Bold Ones: The Lawyers- The Complete Series on DVD in Region 1 for the very first time.[4]

Awards and nominations

Year Award Result Category Recipient
1972 Emmy Award Nominated Outstanding Achievement in Film Editing for Entertainment Programming - For a Series or a Single Program of a Series Richard Bracken, Gloryette Clark, and Terry Williams
Won Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Drama - A Single Program of a Series with Continuing Characters and/or Theme Alexander Singer (For episode "The Invasion of Kevin Ireland")
Outstanding Achievement in Music Composition - For a Series or a Single Program of a Series Pete Rugolo (For episode "In Defense of Ellen McKay")
Writers Guild of America Award Nominated Best Written Dramatic Episodic Script (Any Length) Brett Huggins (Story) and Jack B. Sowards (Teleplay) (For episode "The Invasion of Kevin Ireland")


  1. Advanced Primetime Awards Search from the Emmy Awards website
  2. Sterling, Peace. "James Farentino Wants to Make Good Pictures". Google News Archives. The Day, New London, CT. Retrieved 7 September 2016.
  3. "Three's a Crowd-Two Unhappy". Google News Archive. The Victoria Advocate. Retrieved 7 September 2016.
  4. The Lawyers - 'The Complete Series,' Starring Burl Ives
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