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Arthur Beauchamp, a heralded criminal lawyer, has moved to a quiet island off the British Columbia coast. While trying to recover from a marriage gone sour, his retirement is interrupted by his former law partners-they want Arthur to take charge of the defense trial of Jonathan O’Donnell, the acting dean of a law school. O’Donnell has been accused of rape by one of the students, Kimberley Martin, a smart but arrogant woman who is engaged to a rich businessman. After much pleading, Beauchamp agrees to handle the case. He is drawn into complex legal situations dealing with gender and sex, while his personal life takes a provocative turn as well. A courtroom drama ensues, with unpredictable twists and bizarre events.