Burden of Truth

A big city lawyer returns to her small town to win a legal case only to discover a mysterious illness affecting local teenage girls.

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Episodes Season 1

  • Trailer

    A big city lawyer returns to her small town to win a legal case only to discover a mysterious illness affecting local teenage girls.

  • 1. Pilot

    When it’s suspected that her big-pharma client’s vaccine has caused a mysterious illness affecting a handful of teenage girls, high-powered attorney Joanna Hanley returns to her hometown of Millwood to quickly and quietly settle the case. But when she’s forced to go up against an old friend from high school, she begins to second guess the choices she’s made along the path to partnership in her father’s prestigious big city law firm. A turn in the case reveals that her client is not at fault, but rather than return home with another easy win, Joanna decides to stay and dig into a case she believes could turn into a profitable class action law suit.

  • 2. The Ties That Bind

    A fish out of water in a town that’s as foreign as it is familiar, Joanna must reckon with questions over her family’s hasty departure when she was a teenager, while attempting to convince the locals that she has in fact switched sides. After footing the bill for medical testing of the sick girls, and running commonalities tests, Joanna suspects that the cause of the illness is an environmental toxin on the High School Athletic Field. When she fails to convince the partners in her law firm that she and her “new partner” Billy Crawford have a suit worth pursuing, Joanna elects to remain in Millwood and see the case through without her firm’s deep-pocketed support.

  • 3. Still Waters

    Relying on her esteemed reputation as a partner at CTS, Joanna convinces a hydrologist to come to Millwood to test the soil. With reluctant permission from the local Mayor, Joanna and Billy narrow down their list of suspects to a handful of industrial sites in the community. After testing the soil and groundwater around town, they make the startling discovery that the field is the source of the toxin when they uncover barrels of sludge buried there. But someone would rather they stop digging and the pair get run off the road.

  • 4. Family Ties

    Convinced that the local steel mill and its owner Ben Matheson are responsible for the barrels, Joanna and Billy go after him but don’t have enough to make the allegation stick. When her father shows up and persuades her that Ben’s offer to clean the field is the best deal she’s going to get, Joanna decides to pack up to return home. However a shocking revelation in her personal life leads her to question everything her father has ever told her. Joanna resigns from her father’s firm, and in a knee-jerk reaction files a statement of claim against the mill.

  • 5. Witch Hunt

    Anger over the claim against the mill pits the sick girls and their families against employees of the mill who worry that their jobs are on the line. When the local Pastor’s daughter becomes afflicted with the illness, he blames the girls themselves. Parents begin keeping their healthy kids home from school, so to quell the mounting hysteria the High School Principal cracks down on the affected girls and prevents them from attending their prom. Joanna fires back at the school, but victory eludes her. When the kids decide to throw a prom of their own, Billy and Joanna are made honorary prom king and queen. However the moment is over-shadowed by the mill’s answer to her claim – they’ve hired her father’s law firm to represent them, and they plan to annihilate her.

  • 6. Devil in the Desert

    As threats against Joanna and Billy escalate, Joanna digs her heels in on the case. Relying on the expert testimony of a respected neuropsychologist, Joanna expects he’ll prove once and for all that the girls have been poisoned. Instead after assessing them, he pronounces the ailment “all in their heads,” that they have what’s called a Conversion Disorder. With the opposition breathing down their neck, Joanna and Billy scramble to salvage their suit. Unfortunately their expert witness switches sides, and the case gets dismissed. The good news is, they might have a cure.

  • 7. Ducks on the Pond

    Stuck in Millwood without a case and no longer having a firm to return home to, Joanna is at loose ends on what to do next. While she toys with the idea of taking an offer at another firm, Billy works to get their case reinstated without much success. However when the doctor who claimed that the girls were suffering with conversion disorder is exposed for using them as research for his new book, they get his testimony thrown out. Better still a whistleblower comes forward and reveals an additional source of toxic waste, and a new patient zero. Joanna is back on the case with more fervor than ever.

  • 8. Hang Together

    Following some new leads, Joanna and Billy make the horrific discovery of a massive dumpsite on farmland near the school. They finally have enough evidence to certify as a class but it won’t be an easy fight. Someone has obviously gotten to their whistleblower as he’s no longer willing to cooperate. To make matters worse, Joanna’s father takes over as lead counsel and has Joanna disqualified due to a conflict of interest. When one of the girls gets diagnosed with cancer, it becomes clear that they’re running out of time.

  • 9. Home to Roost

    With Joanna disqualified and the clock running out on Billy who’ll have to face Joanna’s father alone, Joanna must think outside the box if they want to win this. She must face the one person who may be able to help her defeat her father, her mom. Not only does she learn the truth about her father, she gains the critical piece of evidence that ties the mill and their parent company to the dumping. Regrettably, Joanna returns too late and finds the case in shambles, her named plaintiff removed and the class de-certified.

  • 10. Cause in Fact

    Using the law to her advantage, Joanna gets herself reinstated on a technicality and plays her trump card. When it isn’t enough to elicit a settlement offer, Joanna makes things personal. She blackmails her father with incriminating evidence and threatens to expose him if he refuses to negotiate. Once she strong-arms him into a settlement, she must choose whether to expose his dirty little secret or not, but doing so may cost her more than she’s prepared to pay.

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