Justus came to Port Charles from Philadelphia for his father Bradley Ward's memorial service along with his cousin Keesha. Justus fell for Dr. Simone Hardy, who had ended her marriage to Dr. Hardy's son Tom. Her mother-in-law Audrey Hardy disapproved of Simone and Justus as a couple, but it was Simone's son Tommy who succeeded in breaking them up.
Edward offered Justus the position as Council for ELQ and gave him shares of the company, which enraged A. J. and made Ned jealous. Ned and Justus got along well but Ned later blackmailed Justus and got the shares of ELQ back.
Laura Spencer became the owner and administrator of Ward House when Mary Mae died. Damian Smith wanted Ward House to build a shopping mall. Laura refused to sell the house to him because she loved Mary Mae and wanted to honor her by continuing her work. Damian broke into Ward House doused gasoline on everything and was about to set the house on fire when Justus walked in and caught him. He knocked Damian unconscious with a baseball bat that was by the front door. He tried to get him out but the house went up like straw so he went to the corner to call the fire department. Unbeknown to everyone except Luke, Laura was on the top floor of the house with several children when the fire broke out. Laura rescued herself and the children. Ward House was destroyed and Damian Smith was dead. Laura was arrested and charged with Damian's murder. Edward Quartermaine figured out that Justus had killed Damian and convinced him not to turn himself in to the police. Justus agreed to keep quiet and Edward hired the best lawyer money could buy to defend Laura but Justus riddled with guilt, became her lawyer. He was successful in getting Laura acquitted but Luke found out that Justus killed Damian and let Laura go through the entire ordeal so he ended his friendship with Justus. Justus confessed his guilt to Laura who forgave him, but the friendship was never the same after that.
Justus resigned from ELQ and shared an office with Alexis Davis for a while. He then went to work for Jason Morgan who was running Sonny Corinthos' territory in Sonny's absence. Justus got Jason off for smashing Tony Jones hand for kidnapping Michael and harming Robin Scorpio. He also got Carly off for shooting Tony in a packed courtroom. When Sonny returned, Justus went to work for Sonny and he persuaded Justus to move into the empty Penthouse across the hall and set up his office. As the Assistant DA, Dara Jensen was very uncomfortable with this turn of events.
Detective Taggert hated Justus because he worked for Sonny Corinthos and he was standing between him and Dara Jensen. Taggert figured out that Alan Quartermaine had a drug addiction and set him up to be busted for drug possession. He then confronted Monica Quartermaine and blackmailed her into getting information on Justus and Jason in exchange for saving Alan. Monica refused to turn on her son, but gave Taggert damaging information-connecting Justus to the death of Damian Smith. Taggert arrested Justus and Alexis Davis got him out of jail because the evidence was obtained illegally. Edward Quartermaine used his power and money to cover the entire affair up for his grandson.
Justus decided to go straight, ran for District Attorney and won with the help of Edward Quartermaine and Sonny Corinthos. Justus told Sonny that he killed Damian Smith when he went to work for him. They made a deal, Sonny would leave him alone and he could not use anything he knew about Sonny to prosecute him. After Justus became the Port Charles District Attorney -- and Dara's boss -- what was left of their relationship fizzled. He later held a press conference and resigned as District Attorney.
In late 2003, Justus was finally seen again. Justus had just taken a vow of silence at a monastery when Jason arrived and asked Justus to return to Port Charles to defend Sonny Corinthos, who had just tried to kill Lorenzo Alcazar. Justus broke his vows of silence and told Jason that he refused to return to Port Charles. However, Justus abruptly returned to Port Charles ready to take on Sonny's case. During the trial, Justus argued that Sonny was just trying to protect his family from Lorenzo Alcazar. Due to jury tampering, Sonny was found not guilty of the charges of kidnapping and attempted murder that were against him.