Lawrence Preston (E.G. Marshall) and his son, Kenneth (Robert Reed), took the cases nobody else seemed to want. They usually involved some of the most divisive issues of the time (abortion, un-American activities, censorship, race). The show was based on a two-part drama called The Defender, which had featured veteran actor Ralph Bellamy and a young William Shatner. It offered some of the most sophisticated discussions about the nuances of the legal system that television had yet seen.
TRIVIA: Shatner later appeared in The Defenders as an assistant district attorney.