"Your job is to win. ... Justice is God's problem."
— Sebastian Stark
Shark is an American legal drama created by Ian Biederman that originally aired on CBS from September 21, 2006, to May 20, 2008. The show revolved around Sebastian Stark, played by James Woods. Stark is a notorious Los Angeles Amoral Attorney who becomes disillusioned with his career, and becomes a prosecutor at the mayor's suggestion. Stark's relationship with the Los Angeles District Attorney's office, his staff, and his daughter forms the central plot for the series.
Abusive Parents: A defendant charged with kidnapping claimed the kid's parents were that. It didn't help the parents the boy ran away before the trial and the defendant's lawyer brought up evidence they had previously hid an injury the kid suffered to avoid rumors.
A Fool for a Client: Wayne Callison represents himself and does quite well the first time, winning an acquittal. The second time around, he's convicted, though that's only because Stark framed him. He also represents himself at his appeal, but loses. It turns he knows this, and it's just a ploy to get into the courthouse, where he can escape.
Jessica: You know, I remember my first jury trial. I was up against a pretty decent attorney. Kind of pompous and arrogant, but he knew how nervous I was. So he called me while the jury was out.
Stark: Probably wanted to hit on you.
Jessica: Actually, I think that's the one time you didn't hit on me. You told me that at the end of the day, you put your best cards on the table, then you put it in the jury's hands and you let it go.
The Bad Guy Wins: Wayne Callison got away with murdering five women and driving a witness into suicide. For a while.
Batman Gambit: Stark runs a doozy to get Wayne Callison, making sure no one else in the prosecutor's office knows about it and there is no evidence to prove it.
Bittersweet Ending: In "In the Grasp", the main perpetrators are convicted, but the guy who stood watch for them not only gets off scot free, but comes out looking like the hero.
Bratty Teenage Daughter: Julie, who gets brattier as the show goes on (getting arrested for a DUI, cheating on a test and nearly being thrown out of school, hanging out with the wrong crowd and dating a boy with a substance abuse problem), although this is Truth in Television-teenagers don't exactly make the smartest choices. What makes her truly bratty is how she seems to lash out at and blame her father for all her problems.
Stark: I'm not a big one for loose ends, Wayne. There's not a single scrap of paper, not one e-mail to confirm what I just told you. Hanna Morton's remains have been cremated. None of my lawyers knows a thing. And the people who do aren't saying a word. All that's left... are the raving of a convicted psychopath.
Contrived Coincidence: Stark's plan to get Wayne Callison hits a snag when his team finds another viable suspect, a troubled man who was in love with the victim. It hinders things, but not completely.
Stark: The victim's own private stalker? What are the odds?
Good Lawyers, Good Clients: Whenever Stark finds out that he's prosecuting an innocent person, he stops until the police can find a more likely candidate.
Hello, Attorney!: Pretty much everyone at the DA's office. Except Issac, who is an investigator.
Heroic BSOD: Shark has one in the series opener after a wife beater he got off murdered said wife a few days later. The worst part is that the wife had whispered "You've probably saved my life" into Shark's ear just after the trial... It's what turns him into The Atoner.
Wayne Callison: Sebastian, we're not so different... you and I.
Stark: Let's just say I learned to channel my obsession in a more positive direction.
Off on a Technicality: A member of the staff team influenced the jury and it saved the sympathetic defendant.
In a darker case, Wayne Callison got away with killing five women because the key witness' testimony against him had to be disregarded on the grounds that he wasn't able to cross-examine her. The reason he couldn't was the fact she was Driven to Suicide by him. And that was something he got away with on another technicality.
Old Cop, Young Cop: In one of Sebastian Stark's cases as a prosecutor, the defendant was a cop charged with killing a criminal's cousin. The cop had a problem with the criminal and accidentally killed the cousin. The cop was the old cop of the trope and the young one was testifying against him. The ex-cop working as a liaison between Stark's office and the LAPD commented on how odd it was that the young cop was testifying against the old one since cops usually take the heat for one another. Then it clicked on Stark that the old cop was Taking the Heat for the young one. The young one had heard stories about the criminal and decided to take justice into his own hands. Stark made a deal where he'd allow the old cop to take the heat if the young one agreed to leave the force forever.