|Family|| Unnamed wife (deceased)|
Elaine Anderton-Lawlor (daughter)
Terrance Lawlor (grandson)
Roy Lawlor (ex-son-in-law)
Carl Anderton is a CEO known for taking big risks and his aggressive business practices. Though he has been enormously successful, Anderton has struggled with bipolar disorder for most of his life.
Anderton was born into a prestigious family but had diagnosed with bipolar disorder and it was kept under wraps. In 1951, he was taken out of Andover in the middle of the school year and transferred to Austen Riggs. He spent the next two years at home with tutors. He later became the CEO of a fortune 500 company and his bipolar affected his business practices. He had unexplained absences or checked himself into a hospital for his disorder, disguising it as suffering from exhaustion. He eventually married and had a daughter named Elaine. She was briefly married to a man named Roy Lawlor, who produced a son named Terry. When he suspected his grandson had bipolar disorder as well, he had himself appointed his guardian to further control his secret. He eventually used his wealth to get senators elected, take down govornors, sits on the Mayor of New York's re-election committee and even helped John Lindsay get elected where he met Adam Schiff and the two became friends. Anderton eventually helped Schiff get elected to the DA's office by sponsoring his campaign. When Terry accidentally killed his half-sister Didi in a fire, Anderton told him not to talk about it and he will get him help. Two years later in April, he made a surprise take-over bid for Commonwealth Airlines but withdrew the bid and accused the FAA and the stockholders of conspiring against him.
When Detectives Briscoe and Curtis came to talk to Elaine about the Didi's death he comes in asking what they are doing there. When they mention the phone records he dismisses it as someone tampering with it and he gives them the number of his attorney and they leave. When Terry is arrested and forced to wear an electronic bracelet while out on bail, Anderton protests to E.A.D.A. McCoy about this. They try to discuss a plea but Anderton immediately shuts them down and his attorney later files a motion to suppress the recorded confession which is successful. He invites DA Adam Schiff to his house to try and convince him to drop the charges and defends his grandson but Schiff politely suggests a plea. Anderton threatens to sponsor another candidate for D.A. if he does not, but Schiff refuses and leaves. When they discover Terry is bipolar, McCoy and A.D.A. Jamie Ross meet with Anderton and Terry's attorney to try and help Terry but they refuse. He witnessed Didi's mother and Terry's counselor testify and repeatedly attempts to get his attorney to silence the counselor, but all his attempts fail. Anderton eventually tells him to ask for a recess and offer a deal of second-degree manslaughter. He then threatens McCoy into taking the deal and calls him vindictive. At a meeting with Schiff, McCoy, Ross, his attorney, and Elaine, he is forced to accept the insanity plea, if he does not want Schiff going through everyone in his life. Terry later pleads insanity and is sentenced to a psychiatric hospital. (L&O: "Burned")
When Anderton hears that Judge Gary Feldman is running for the DA's office, he offers to sponsor him as revenge for Schiff outing his secret. Anderton organizes a press conference where he announces his support for Feldman in the election for DA, claiming there is a need for new blood. He then lets Feldman use the murder of a police officer to bolster himself while making Schiff appear to be a political animal. After the killer, Monica Johnson, is convicted, Anderton shares a drink with Schiff celebrating his victory. Schiff then implies that Anderton is blackballing Schiff for getting funding for his campaign and calls his candidate a fool. Anderton simply says anyone not him is good enough and quotes Schiff on loyalty. They have a back and forth concerning his grandson's case and Anderton threatens to destroy Schiff's career if Monica is not sentenced to death. (L&O: "Bad Girl")