Bill Herndon is another fascinating character from Patty’s past. She solicited his help while working on the High Star case in the forth season, and he’s been by her side ever since. In Season 5, he’ll be helping Patty prepare her case against McClaren, which means we get to see more of Judd Hirsch’s brilliant acting!
When Bill Herndon was a junior partner in a law firm, he took Patty Hewes under his wing after she graduated law school, showing her the ropes of law firm life. Ten years ago, long after Patty had moved on, he tried to bring a lawsuit against the CIA. Herndon made some illegal moves and got disbarred. Now, he spends most of his time drinking. When Ellen hits a wall in her case against High Star Security Corporation, a private military company, Patty gets back in touch with Herndon. Knowing he was once a power player in Washington, Patty advises Ellen to seek his counsel on the High Star case, throwing Herndon a lifeline back into the legal world in the process. By the end of the season, Herndon is the closest thing Patty has to a confidant.
As was often the case on Damages, this role was initially imagined to span just a few episodes. But once we saw Judd Hirsch in scenes with Glenn Close and Rose Byrne, we wanted more of him in the show. His role was beefed up and continued into Season 5.