Judge Milton "Hardcase" Hardcastle - retired. After years of working for a judicial system that put guilty criminals back on the streets due to technicalities, he takes the law into his own hands by searching them out. Aiding him is a one time car theif now professional driver Mark "Skid" McCormick. McCormick, brought before the judge's final case, is arrested for an "honest steal." Hardcastle gives him the choice of prison or helping him with the 200 plus cold cases. Relunctanly choosing to aid the judge, Hardcastle and McCormick start a loose friendship of justice and con in order to finally those who deserved it in prison.
Hardcastle and McCormick must help protect a famous race car driver who is in danger of losing his claim to fame as well as his life.
After breaking into the official records, Mark identifies his long-lost biological father as a lounge singer in Atlantic City and goes to see him. But the man turns out to be sought by a mobster who kidnaps Mark to force him to steal some incriminating tapes from a government safe.
After telling his poker buddies to clean up the house before he gets back from the airport with the judge, McCormick returns with Hardcastle to discover that everything valuable on the estate has been stolen, including all of the judge's files on past cases.
After finding his sister-in-law missing and her apartment ransacked, Hardcastle discovers that she had been secretly following her professor in hopes of earning extra credit in a police procedures course.
Mark attends the funeral of an old friend, only to be surprised later to receive a message from her on his answering machine. After searching for evidence to her supposed "death," Mark and the judge find political reasons may be to blame for her disappearance.
When star of a television court show has to go into the hospital for surgery, he asks Hardcastle to fill in as the show's star. But, his enthusiasm for the show comes to a halt when the station's public relations person is murdered.
Finally tired of how Hardcastle is treating him, Mark seeks another job with a water filter manufacturer. But after the director misleads a group of potential buyers during a presentation, Mark quits only to find out his boss is not yet willing to part ways, and kidnaps Hardcastle to keep Mark at the company.
While attending business downtown, Mark rushes to the aid of a woman being attacked by men in a mail truck. While he thinks he can find safety from the police officer reponding to their call, the woman informs him the officer is actually a member of an unofficial "underground" police and they are far from being safe.
The proposed destruction of a popular college bar brings Hardcastle's niece in the spotlight. With her protests making him upset, he must put aside their differences when she narrowly avoids a kidnapping.
Hardcastle is arrested after a woman whom he had prevously had a chance encounter earlier is found dead in his home. Thinking the judge was framed due to his ruling on his latest case, McCormick tries to help his friend get out of jail.
Jesse Wingo, the former famous singer, is spotted by McCormick at a talent contest. But when approached about his past, the contestant reveals his name to be Sam Jones. Puzzled at the similarities, Mark investigates the man only to find that other people are looking for the man named Sam Jones, but want him dead.
Hardcastle's neighbors begin a Neighborhood Watch program after a series of local burglaries have them worried. After being overlooked by the organization for the selection of their Captain, the judge forgets about his displeasure when the thieves are caught only to be found dead later from a mysterious virus.
After investigating the suicide of a comic, Hardcastle relizes that it wasn't really suicide after he and McCormick prevent the attempted kidnapping of the comic's wife.
Perplexed by the apparent suicide of ex-con Denny Frye, an up-and-coming comic, Hardcastle decides to investigate. Thanks to Mark, Hardcastle discovers that Denny was romantically involved with a woman named Pamela Bayer. The judge's earlier suspicions gain some validity when Hardcastle and McCormick see a group of men try to kidnap Pamela. After rescuing Pamela, Hardcastle and McCormick learn that the prospective kidnappers work for reputed mobster Sonny Austin, her ex-boyfriend. Realizing that Sonny, in an irrational attempt to win back his ex-girlfriend, has been assaulting all Pamela's dates, Hardcastle and McCormick try to find out who has been providing the mobster with her dating schedule. It turns out that Pamela has been primarily dating comedians employed at Boots Dikeman's club. Figuring that Leo Dikeman, Boots' main competitor, is probably encouraging Sonny, Hardcastle and McCormick decide to pay him a visit. Before they arrive, Sonny, realizing that he has been used, kills Leo. Facing a dead end in the case, the judge asks Mark to pose as one of Pamela's comedian boyfriends. Taking the bait, Sonny falls into the judge's trap.
Hardcase's two aunts help out during a nursing home jewelry heist.
Hardcastle cuts his fishing trip short when he receives word of the death of his old girlfriend's current husband. After deciding to check up on her, he is shot as he interrupts a burglar at her house, who looks like the deceased husband.
Mark is thrilled when he wins $20,000 racing in the Arizona Modified. His joy quickly dissipates when thieves hold him up and steal his winnings as well as the Coyote. Based on Hardcastle and McCormick's description of the thieves, Deputy Sheriff Dan Johnson realizes that they were robbed by locals Arvin Lee and Melissa Kantwell. Complicating matters is the fact that Melissa is the wife of Billy Blackstone, the city's sheriff. After recovering the Coyote from a used car salesman, Hardcastle and McCormick begin to track the crooks. To their surprise, they catch up with Arvin Lee only to discover that he has been murdered. Putting the pieces together, they realize that Blackstone probably killed Arvin Lee. Taking their theory one step further, Hardcastle and McCormick speculate that Melissa only pretended to fall in love with Arvin Lee in order to trick him into stealing for her. With Johnson's help, the judge and Mark locate Blackstone and Melissa. With Blackstone unwilling to surrender, the deputies are forced to shoot and kill him. To Mark's regret, the shoot-out starts a fire that destroys his racing winnings.
With the judge's birthday coming up, Mark decides to unofficially help him close a cold case related to a soon-to-be-paroled crimial that Hardcastle put in jail for another crime. Unfortunately, the new trial winds up with Hardcastle being shot and the criminal escaping.
After finding strange German bullets on the beach, Hardcastle gets involved in an underground treasure hunt for World War II gold at the beach. Meanwhile, McCormick also gets involved with the hunt by being kidnapped by WWII Germans attempting to recover the gold.
Seeking Hardcastle's help on a case of corrupt cops, a young patrolman is killed before he or Hardcastle can seek higher help in the department. With the case dealing with bad cops who could recognize the investigators, McCormick is asked to go undercover to flush out the corrupt cops and find the patrolman's killer.
A critically-wounded criminal admits to being paid to frame a former baseball player, Duke McGuire, for murder. Feeling responsible for his false incarceration since he was the presiding judge, Hardcastle tries to help McGuire become a baseball player once again. But his attempt at a comeback is threatened when drugs are found in his locker.
After seeing reputed mobster Stevie Ray kill a man named Tommy Chen, former prostitute Angie Bloom goes into hiding. Before disappearing, she decides to leave Nicky and Lindsey, her young children, with Hardcastle for safekeeping. While the kids initially refuse to tell the judge their name, the judge eventually realizes that they are Angie's children. Meanwhile, Hardcastle and McCormick discover something is amiss when some men unsuccessfully try to kidnap the kids. Following a hunch, Hardcastle pays a visit on a former madam named Dolores. The hunch pays off and the judge locates Angie. Convinced that Hardcastle has her best interests in mind, Angie tells the judge the whole story. Recognizing that the best way to protect Angie is to put Stevie in prison, Hardcastle arranges for her to testify. To his regret, the officers that pick up Angie are actually Stevie's men. Upon learning the truth, Hardcastle and McCormick "convince" one of Stevie's men to tell them where to find Angie. Following up on their lead, the two men capture Stevie and rescue Angie.