Atlanta lawyer Ben Matlock takes on the high profile case of a television reporter accused of murdering his former wife. The case is complicated when his daughter Charlene develops feelings for the accused killer.
Matlock accepts the pro bono case of Kevin Meredith, a young man accused of murdering his lover, whom Matlock soon realises had a much more powerful lover. In order to capture the real killer, Matlock must throw away a many-years-long friendship with a prominent judge.
When Nicholas Baron, a well known mobster, is accused of murdering one of his rivals, he asks Matlock to represent him. Matlock initially refuses, but agrees to represent Baron despite threats on his own life. He soon meets the entire family, and realises that despite what Baron has always done for a living, at heart he's a worried father who wants to clear his name.moreless
Even though they've lost a key witness, Matlock keeps defending Nicholas Baron. Daniel tries to convince Matlock that his father just can't handle any stress due to his heart condition, but Nicholas continues to beg Matlock to clear his name. While Matlock investigates a suspect closer to home than Baron would want, Charlene blows her chance at a relationship with Paul when she can't separate the man from the legend.moreless
Matlock is hired by a friend to defend his son, who is in the army, who's been charged with killing the sadistic lieutenant, whose mistreatment of his men led to the death of his friend.
As the case progresses, Matlock discovers that the lieutenant and four other officers may have been involved in some kind of illegal activities. Charlene who has been working undercover and gets close to one of those officers, examines him on the stand and he reveals that they have been smuggling drugs. Matlock then examines one of the officers and has him reveal to the court the scar that the lieutenant left on him after he killed him. He then reveals that he and the other two officers drew straws on who would kill him cause, an investigation might reveal their activities.moreless
When Laurie Palmer is arrested for killing her husband, the reporter covering the case is convinced of her innocence, and goes to Matlock looking for help.