Lawyer David Sloane is a desperate parent. His son Jake, still reeling from the loss of his mother in a brutal murder (Bodily Harm), has spiraled out of control. Sloane needs to reconnect with him - needs to keep him out of jail. So when an old friend suggests a guys-only camping trip, Sloane accepts. Maybe if he and Jake get away they will find needed quality time. Bond. Catch a few fish.
But the trip into the remote reaches of California’s Gold Country takes a turn for the worse when Jake and his buddy are caught vandalizing a general store. Brought to trial in a kangaroo court, the presiding judge tries, convicts and sentences the boys to six months in the county-owned wilderness detention center. For the teen-aged boys, a grueling psychological and physical ordeal begins.
As Sloane fights the conviction, he stumbles into ever-more menacing territory. A clannish town, a judge whose authority seems to extend far beyond the confines of his courtroom, and the emerging story of a juvenile detention center from hell, where the glories of nature cover dark secrets. All standards of lawyerly conduct fail Sloane in Judge Earl Boykin’s court. With his legal options exhausted, knowing the boys’ lives are on the line, Sloane hatches a daring rescue operation that just might get them all killed.
For the lawyer who never loses, this time the only way to win is outside the law.