A slick lawyer (Robert Downey Jr.) defends his father who is charged with a hit-and-run death.
Hank Palmer (Robert Downey Jr.), a brilliant but shady attorney, returns to his Indiana hometown after learning that his mother has passed away. His arrival triggers renewed tension between himself and his father, Judge Joseph Palmer (Robert Duvall), who makes no secret of his disapproval of Hank's morally ambiguous career. As the lawyer prepares to depart, his father is arrested for a hit-and-run death. Hank takes on his father's defense, despite the objections of the resentful old man.