Law & Order: Trial by Jury (or "Law & Order: TBJ) is an NBC television crime drama and the third spin-off of Dick Wolf's "Law & Order" franchise.
The show aired from March 3, 2005 to January 21, 2006, lasting only one season and 13 episodes. The last episode of the series aired on Court TV months after it was cancelled.
"Law & Order: 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. It 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 A.D.A. assigned to Manhattan's homicide division. Kibre's team [including Detective Lennie Briscoe (Jerry Orbach) and A.D.A. 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.
- Bebe Neuwirth as Tracey Kibre, the Homicide Bureau Chief and a Manhattan Executive ADA. 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.
- 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.
- Fred Thompson as Arthur Branch, New York's District Attorney. Branch is a tough Republican, who practices both legal and political conservatism.
- Jerry Orbach as Lennie Briscoe, a DA investigator. Briscoe was the longest-serving police detective of the original Law & Order. Orbach appeared in the first two episodes of the series, before his death of cancer.
- Scott Cohen as Chris Ravell, an NYPD Detective assigned to the ADA Kibre's team. 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.