Neil met and married Jamie Ross with whom he had one daughter named Katie and Neil built a law firm based on the infallibility of DNA. One day, a rich sex murderer named James Carper hires Neil to defend him and Neil argues that DNA is unreliable. During the trial, Carper gets an erection when the DA describes his crime to the jury and Jamie throws her coat over it so the jury doesn't see it. Neil eventually gets acquitted and three months later, Carper kills another woman. This made Jamie disgusted at what they did and she left Neil and the firm soon after, with Jamie being granted sole custody of Katie. (L&O: "Causa Mortis")
Neil is later hired by Mattawin Studios to represent Eddie Newman when the police interview him about the murder of his ex-wife, Heidi Ellison. He meets with Jamie, now a prosecutor, and asks if Eddie is a suspect. She tells him that they only have one suspect at the moment, Evan Grant. While taking his daughter to the zoo, Neil hears the police are looking into Eddie's phone records and confronts Jamie at her office thinking she lied to him. Jamie tries to explain they were still investigating, but Neil goes onto threaten her boss, Executive ADA Jack McCoy, that if they mess with him they will regret it. (L&O: "D-Girl")
When Newman hears an arrest warrant has been issued for Eddie, He flies out to LA to help defend Newman. He has Allen Scherick represent as local counsel for his reputation in LA and both are present when the police arrest Newman. He represents Newman at arraignment in LA and argues that the warrant for extradition is defective and the judge sends a date for the hearing. At a meeting between him Scherick, Ross and McCoy, Gorton argues that the police had no probable cause while Ross protests and lets Scherick argue past cases. Gorton later goes on television and claims that the NYPD planted evidence implicating Newman and will reveal who at the hearing.
At the hearing, Gorton questions a fiber expert, NYPD Detective Stu Miller, and Newman. Gorton implies that Miller planted blood and fiber evidence in Newman's car from a prior assault as revenge for helping Newman out of an assault charge but not giving him a job and to turn his story into movie like he promised. Newman later takes the stand and Gorton has him reveal that Miller did promise to make the charges disappear, but he was exaggerating his job offer and he threatened to report him to his commanding officer if he didn't back off. Gorton gives his closing statement to the judge alongside McCoy and the judge ultimately rules the warrant is defective.
Gorton then goes to all potential witnesses on the plane Newman took from New York to LA and tries avoid them saying anything to McCoy or Ross that would implicate his client. Despite his best efforts, a fellow passenger named Frank Cooper comes forward and they find more blood evidence and Ellison's ring, implicating Newman. The judge is forced to grant the warrant for extradition and Newman is taken into custody. During a meeting with Ross he tells her that he gave Newman a polygraph and he passed and they reminisce about when they worked together. Gorton brings up Katie and mentions he how it is lucky she gets along with Ross' nanny. Gorton then takes Katie with him without Ross' permission and tells the nanny he will see Ross in court. (L&O: "Turnaround")
Gorton starts contesting the custody agreement with him and Ross in order to distract her from the Newman case. After McCoy crosses the cab drive who drove Newman from Islip (where the murder weapon was found) to the airport, Gordon makes it look as if McCoy coached the witness where he thought he was. Gorton later assists his associate, Joyner, argue against Dr. Elizabeth Olivet testifying at trial about Newman's drug use, arguing there is no proof he abused drugs, but judge ultimately allows Olivet to testify. Gorton later meets Ross at a bar gloating that despite everything he is still going to win. They discuss a potential plea where Gorton states he would accept a plea of manslaughter one where he would only serve three to six years, which Ross refutes. When Ross leaks the discussion to the press, Gorton sued for custody on the grounds that Ross was too busy with her work as an ADA to be a good mother to distract her from Newman's case.
When McCoy questions Duvall on the stand, Gorton tries to prevent his conversations with Heidi Ellison from coming into evidence but the judge lets them in after Ellison's parents sign a waiver. He later finds out Ellison was being handled by Newman's therapist, Dr. Dan Duvall and CEO Ben Hollings in relation to a sexual harassment lawsuit, giving them motive to kill her and demands the DA's office turn over the evidence. After the judge reviews the new evidence Gorton argues that Duvall could've killed Ellison after she found out he broke confidentiality and ruin his career. The judge ultimately grants Gorton's motion to have the evidence introduced and allows the argument that Duvall killed Ellison at trial.
In Family Court, Gorton argues that his schedule is more flexible than Ross' and smears her name. Gorton questions Ellison's assistant, Greta Heiss, to paint the picture that she would have hated what Duvall was doing. He later reveals that Heiss revealed Ellison's relationship with an actor in one her movies to the press for money and got her to say Ellison would have ruined her career if she found out. Gorton puts Newman on the stand and lets him lie about Ellison knowing about the scam and Duvall killed her for it and he forced him to cut up her body. After Newman shows his anger toward to the jury, Gorton tires to pin the blame on Duvall to get reasonable doubt. After the trial and Newman is found guilty, he gives Ross a note withdrawing his custody motion. He says he will only sign it if McCoy doesn't seek the death penalty but Ross rebukes him. Gorton later reveals he was joking and signs it and give it to Ross. (L&O: "Showtime")
Gorton later files another motion challenging Ross' custody after he hears Ross is getting married again. Gorton asserts that if Ross gets married, Katie will start to spend more time with David than Ross and is better off with him instead of a stranger. (L&O: "Tabloid")