Family Law (American TV series)

Last updated
Family Law
Genre Legal drama
Created by
Opening theme"War" by Edwin Starr and the Brink
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons3
No. of episodes68
Executive producers
  • Chuck Binder
  • Dana Maksimovich
Production companies
Original network CBS
Picture format NTSC
Original releaseSeptember 20, 1999 (1999-09-20) 
May 27, 2002 (2002-05-27)

Family Law is an American legal drama television series, created by Paul Haggis, that aired on CBS from September 20, 1999, to May 27, 2002. This series starring Kathleen Quinlan as divorced lawyer Lynn Holt, who attempted to start her own law firm after her husband left both her and their law practice, taking all of their clients with him. [1] [2]


The show also starred Christopher McDonald as opportunistic, ambulance-chasing attorney Rex Weller, Julie Warner as Lynn's friend Danni (and the one member of her former firm's staff who did not defect with Lynn's ex-husband), and Dixie Carter as "pit bull" divorce attorney Randi King. Later cast additions included Tony Danza, Cristián de la Fuente, Salli Richardson, and Meredith Eaton as Emily Resnick, an ambitious attorney hoping to make partner.

Edwin Starr's 1970 hit song, "War" was used as the series' opening title theme, in seasons one and three. [3] A cover version of the song was performed by The Brink and used in season two.


  1. Portrayed by Rosemarie Martin in the pilot.
  2. Portrayed by Elliott & Jordan Dolling in the pilot. Portrayed by Blake Rossi during season 1.


SeasonEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
1 23September 20, 1999 (1999-09-20)May 8, 2000 (2000-05-08)
2 24October 2, 2000 (2000-10-02)May 21, 2001 (2001-05-21)
3 21September 24, 2001 (2001-09-24)May 27, 2002 (2002-05-27)

Season 1 (1999–2000)

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateProd.
code[ citation needed ]
11"Pilot" Paul Haggis Paul Haggis & Anne Kenney September 20, 1999 (1999-09-20)101
22"Damages"Paul HaggisPaul Haggis & David Shore September 27, 1999 (1999-09-27)102
33"All God's Creatures"Paul HaggisStephen Nathan & Paul HaggisOctober 4, 1999 (1999-10-04)103
44"Prisoners"Fred GerberAnne KenneyOctober 11, 1999 (1999-10-11)104
55"The List"Richard J. LewisJudith Feldman & Sarah Woodside GallagherOctober 18, 1999 (1999-10-18)105
66"The Nanny"Fred GerberStephen NathanOctober 25, 1999 (1999-10-25)106
77"Games"Perry LangDavid ShoreNovember 8, 1999 (1999-11-08)107
88"The Fourth Trimester" John Patterson Thomas L. MoranNovember 15, 1999 (1999-11-15)108
99"Holt vs. Holt"Fred GerberAnne KenneyNovember 22, 1999 (1999-11-22)109
1010"Four Drops of Blood"Michael SchultzJudith Feldman & Sarah Woodside GallagherNovember 29, 1999 (1999-11-29)110
1111"Decisions"Adam NimoyDavid Shore & Stephen NathanDecember 13, 1999 (1999-12-13)111
1212"Media Relations"Elodie KeeneGay WalchJanuary 10, 2000 (2000-01-10)112
1313"Human Error"Fred GerberThomas L. MoranJanuary 17, 2000 (2000-01-17)113
1414"Stealing Home"Stephen NathanVivienne RadkoffJanuary 24, 2000 (2000-01-24)114
1515"A Mother's Son"Richard J. LewisAnne Kenney & Judith Feldman & Sarah Woodside GallagherFebruary 7, 2000 (2000-02-07)115
1616"Are You My Father?"Anita AddisonSusan Hamilton BrinFebruary 21, 2000 (2000-02-21)116
1717"Metamorphosis"Fred GerberEdmond StevensFebruary 28, 2000 (2000-02-28)117
1818"Necessity"Ericson CoreStephen Nathan & David ShoreMarch 6, 2000 (2000-03-06)118
1919"Playing God"Fred GerberTricia Brock & Marc Flanagan March 20, 2000 (2000-03-20)119
2020"The Witness"Kari SkoglandJeff KingApril 17, 2000 (2000-04-17)120
2121"Second Chance"Fred GerberBill Chais & David ShoreApril 24, 2000 (2000-04-24)121
2222"Love and Money"Elodie KeeneTeleplay by: Stephen Nathan & David Shore
Story by: Judith Feldman & Sarah Woodside Gallagher
May 1, 2000 (2000-05-01)122
2323"Possession Is Nine Tenths of the Law"Ericson CoreDavid Shore & Stephen NathanMay 8, 2000 (2000-05-08)123

Season 2 (2000–2001)

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateProd.
241"The Choice"Paul HaggisPaul Haggis & Edmond StevensOctober 2, 2000 (2000-10-02)201
252"One Mistake"Fred GerberPaul Haggis & David ShoreOctober 9, 2000 (2000-10-09)202
263"Affairs of State"Fred GerberPaul Haggis & Stephen NathanOctober 16, 2000 (2000-10-16)203
274"Going Home"Fred GerberLinda McGibney & David ShoreOctober 23, 2000 (2000-10-23)204
285"Telling Lies: Part 1"Fred GerberPaul Haggis & Anne KenneyOctober 30, 2000 (2000-10-30)205
296"Telling Lies: Part 2"Jerry LevineStephen Nathan & David ShoreNovember 6, 2000 (2000-11-06)206
307"For Love"Stephen NathanBill Chais & Marjorie DavidNovember 13, 2000 (2000-11-13)207
318"Family Values"Oz ScottAshley Gable & Thomas L. MoranNovember 20, 2000 (2000-11-20)208
329"Echoes"Martha MitchellJonathan EstrinNovember 27, 2000 (2000-11-27)209
3310"Generations"Fred GerberE.J. SafirsteinDecember 11, 2000 (2000-12-11)210
3411"Intentions"Richard J. LewisLinda McGibney & Edmond StevensJanuary 8, 2001 (2001-01-08)211
3510"Film at Eleven"Ericson CoreChristopher Ambrose & Lawrence KaplowJanuary 15, 2001 (2001-01-15)212
3613"Separation"Fred GerberStephen Nathan & David ShoreJanuary 29, 2001 (2001-01-29)213
3714"The Quality of Mercy"Miles WatkinsMajorie David, Stephen Nathan & David ShoreFebruary 5, 2001 (2001-02-05)214
3815"Liar's Club: Part 1"Jeremy KaganAshley Gable & Thomas L. MoranFebruary 19, 2001 (2001-02-19)215
3916"Liar's Club: Part 2"Fred GerberStephen Nathan & David ShoreFebruary 26, 2001 (2001-02-26)216
4017"Soul Custody"Oz ScottBill Chais & Stephen NathanMarch 12, 2001 (2001-03-12)217
4118"Safe at Home"Paul HaggisThomas L. Moran & Paul HaggisMarch 19, 2001 (2001-03-19)218
4219"The Gay Divorcee"Jerry LevineStephen Nathan & David ShoreApril 9, 2001 (2001-04-09)219
4320"Bringing Up Babies"Richard J. LewisLinda McGibney & David ShoreApril 16, 2001 (2001-04-16)220
4421"Americans"Elodie KeeneStephen Nathan, David Shore & Scott CameronApril 30, 2001 (2001-04-30)221
4522"Recovery"Fred GerberStephen Nathan, David Shore & Jason PrestonMay 7, 2001 (2001-05-07)222
4623"Clemency"Paul HaggisBill Chais, Paul Haggis & Thomas L. MoranMay 14, 2001 (2001-05-14)223
4724"Planting Seeds"Elodie KeeneAshley Gable, Stephen Nathan & David ShoreMay 21, 2001 (2001-05-21)224

Season 3 (2001–2002)

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateProd.
code[ citation needed ]
481"Irreparable Harm"Fred GerberTeleplay by: Lawrence Kaplow and Stephan Nathan & David Shore
Story by: Paul Haggis & Jan Nash and Lawrence Kaplow
September 24, 2001 (2001-09-24)301
492"Moving On"Fred GerberChristopher Ambrose & Lawrence KaplowOctober 1, 2001 (2001-10-01)302
503"Obligations"Oz ScottAshley GableOctober 8, 2001 (2001-10-08)303
514"My Brother's Keeper"Ericson CoreTeleplay by: Thomas L. Moran
Story by: Thomas L. Moran & Vivienne Radkoff
October 15, 2001 (2001-10-15)304
525"Against All Odds"Fred GerberChristopher AmbroseOctober 22, 2001 (2001-10-22)305
536"Sacrifices"Oz ScottGregg Gettas & Scott CameronOctober 29, 2001 (2001-10-29)306
547"All in the Family"Jerry LevineAyanna FloydNovember 5, 2001 (2001-11-05)307
558"Security"Fred GerberI.C. RapoportNovember 12, 2001 (2001-11-12)308
569"No Options"Jerry LevineLindsay SturmanNovember 19, 2001 (2001-11-19)309
5710"Sex, Lies and the Internet"Oz ScottBill Chais & Thomas L. MoranDecember 10, 2001 (2001-12-10)310
5811"Angel's Flight"Max MayerPaul Haggis & Jan NashDecember 17, 2001 (2001-12-17)311
5912"Blood and Water"Max MayerJan NashJanuary 7, 2002 (2002-01-07)312
6013"To Protect and Serve"Fred GerberAyanna Floyd & Ashley GableJanuary 14, 2002 (2002-01-14)313
6114"Arlene's Choice"Stephan NathanLawrence KaplowFebruary 4, 2002 (2002-02-04)314
6215"Children of a Lesser Dad"Oz ScottChristopher AmbroseFebruary 25, 2002 (2002-02-25)315
6316"Celano v. Foster"Fred GerberBill Chais & Thomas L. MoranMarch 4, 2002 (2002-03-04)316
6417"Big Brother"Julie WarnerTeleplay by: David Shore & Stephen Nathan
Story by: Stuart Wolpert
March 18, 2002 (2002-03-18)317
6518"Once Removed"Oz ScottPamela DavisMarch 25, 2002 (2002-03-25)318
6619"Admissions"Fred GerberLindsay SturmanApril 8, 2002 (2002-04-08)319
6720"Ties That Bind"Max MayerAshley Gable & Jan NashApril 15, 2002 (2002-04-15)320
6821"Alienation of Affection"Fred GerberStephan Nathan & David ShoreMay 27, 2002 (2002-05-27)321

Release and syndication

Since fall 2018, the show has been syndicated on the channel Start TV.[ citation needed ]


Ron Wertheimer of the New York Times wrote: "Ms. Quinlan is most appealing, but this series can't survive on her determination alone." [5] Tom Shales of The Washington Post gave it a positive review, "Quinlan is admirable and believable as a woman who won't let setbacks set her back; she's easy to root for." [6]

On Rotten Tomatoes, season one has an approval rating of 10% based on reviews from 10 critics. The site's consensus is "Although Kathleen Quinlan gives a commendable performance, Family Law fizzles out with its bizarre tonal shifts, two-dimensional characterizations, and unbelievable storylines." [7]

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  1. Bogdanovich, Peter (February 8, 1999). "Betty White on lousy sitcoms … Paul Haggis is back". New York Observer. Retrieved August 4, 2015.
  2. Hontz, Jenny (February 10, 1999). "Haggis inks three-year, first-look deal with Col". Variety. Retrieved August 4, 2015.
  3. "Motown's Edwin Starr Dead At 61".
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Terrace, Vincent (2011). Encyclopedia of Television Shows, 1925 through 2010 (2nd ed.). Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers. pp. 326–327. ISBN   978-0-7864-6477-7.
  5. Wertheimer, Ron (20 September 1999). "NEW TV SEASON IN REVIEW; Suddenly Single, but Sure To Succeed on Her Own (Published 1999)". The New York Times .
  6. Tom Shales (September 19, 1999). "Primal-Time Programming". The Washington Post .
  7. "Family Law: Season 1". Rotten Tomatoes . Retrieved 2021-01-01.