Based on a play by Samuel Shipman and John B. Hyman, a woman lawyer defends a dancer on a justifiable homicide and makes a surprising discovery.
In 1911 the child of Mary Bancroft is left in an orphanage. In 1930 Mary Bancroft (Elsie Ferguson) is an attorney. District Attorney John Remington (John Halliday) asks why she won't marry him and donates money for children. John and Mary go out and see women dance. Dancer Nora Mason (Marian Nixon) wants Bob Lawrence (Grant Withers) to marry her, and he agrees. While she performs, he leaves her a note; but it is taken by Gregory Jackson (William B. Davidson), who tells her father Henry Mason that he will back her show if she does not marry Bob.
Nora is wanted for the murder of her father. Bob tells Mary that Nora was justified. Nora and her mother (Charlotte Walker) come in. Nora admits she killed her father but won't say why. Bob retains Mary as her lawyer. Mary calls in the District Attorney, who warns her this case could hurt her. Mary tells John that Nora may be protecting her mother.
In the trial Mrs. Mason says that her husband abused her, but she did not kill him. Dancer Carlotta (Jean Bary) testifies Henry Mason was with Jackson, and she heard Nora quarreling with her father about who she will marry. Bob says that Henry Mason abused Nora. The bouncer testifies that Nora threatened to kill Mason. Capitalist Jackson testifies that Nora refused to sign a contract. Nora admits she killed her father but denies the motive in her confession. Prosecuting John asks why Nora killed her father; but a matron from the orphanage says that Henry Mason was not Nora's father because Nora was adopted. Nora says that Jackson lied, that he and Mason stole Bob's note. She went to Jackson's apartment with Mason, who was drunk and tried to force her to consent to Jackson. John learns who Nora's mother is and withdraws his motion; but Mary asks to see the orphanage document, which says that she is Nora's mother. Nora blames Mary for leaving her, and Mary emotionally appeals to the jury and collapses.
Nora is freed. Mary refuses to see John and says she is closing her law practice. John climbs over the wall. Mary says her life is over, but John says he needs her. Nora comes in, and Mary asks for love. Nora blames her for her hard life, and Mary embraces Nora, who calls her mother. Nora goes off to marry Bob, and John offers to take Mary to the wedding.
This courtroom drama portrays a capable woman attorney. Her past sin is discovered as she defends a young dancer, who suffered under an abusive father.