Margaret Allison Hart is a defense attorney.
Prior to her introduction, Hart interceded in Mexico on behalf of Colonel Merton Bell, getting him out of prison for illegal bounty hunting. Bell, in turn, "requested" that Hart hamper the man who had placed him under arrest in the first place: Leroy Jethro Gibbs. Hart accepted the request, because she considered Bell "a good man", who convincingly portrayed Gibbs as a dangerous maverick.
NCIS Season 7Edit
Hart first appeared in "Ignition", acting on behalf of Victor and Vanessa Tillman, a divorced pair of engineers both suspected of engineering the jet pack that Navy Lt. Commander Brad Sayers was flying when he died. She quickly antagonized Gibbs and his agents, impeding their investigation by refusing to allow either of the Tillmans to be interrogated. She also hired a private investigator to follow the team's movements. Her first confrontation with Gibbs ended in stalemate, when the team determined that the pack had been built, and sabotaged, by persons other than the Tillmans. Confused by her antagonism towards him, Gibbs researched her background, and discovered that she had represented Bell in Mexico.
NCIS encountered her again in "Masquerade", representing Marine Lance Corporal Roman Vega, who had been transporting radioactive material, believed to have been killed when a bomb went off in his car. With her client deceased, she represented his brother, Alfonso, in his stead. She tried to hamper the investigation once again, but Gibbs held Alfonso on terrorism charges, meaning his civil rights had been suspended. Roman was suspected to still be alive, which led Gibbs to release Alfonso as bait. When Roman was captured, he signed a legal waiver, agreeing to be interrogated without his lawyer present, and Director Vance later banned Hart from the building.
Not one to be deterred, Hart broke into Gibbs' house (prompting him to reverse his long-standing practice of leaving his doors unlocked), and accused him of breaking federal law. Gibbs, however, responded by proving Hart was specifically targeting Gibbs's cases to obstruct his investigations on behalf of Colonel Bell. He gave her one warning to stay out of the way.
In a twist of fate, they met again in "Mother's Day", but this time Hart was working on Gibbs's behalf. Gibbs's former mother-in-law Joann Fielding had seduced and murdered a Navy Officer who worked for the Reynosa Cartel in revenge for the killing of Shannon and Kelly Gibbs. Gibbs was legally required to arrest Joann but by securing Hart's services for her, ensured that she would not face any charges.
In "Obsession", Hart was given temporary employment at NCIS as the legal counsel for Mexican federale officer Alejandro Rivera, neutralizing Vance's ban. Hart clashed with Gibbs again, and Gibbs accused her of interfering in their investigation to benefit Colonel Bell, who would have been directly affected had the victims of his current investigation lived. However, this proved to be false, as the victims were not killed by First Defense Inc. but by a former agent of the KGB.
Hart continued to have access in "Patriot Down" and worked to have the body of Pedro Hernandez sent back to Mexico. After Mike Franks was targeted by Bell, Gibbs openly accused Hart of conspiring with Bell to kill people he cared about, and forced her to reveal Bell's location. She claimed he was making a grave mistake, but Gibbs was undeterred. His patience exhausted, he declared war on First Defense Incorporated, the Reynosa Cartel, and everyone who dared to lay a finger on those he loved.
At the same time, Director Vance finally took Hart to task, and interrogated her on her activities and work for Colonel Bell. She revealed Bell was seeking to destroy Gibbs. Connecting all the pieces of his investigation, Vance followed Gibbs's lead and directed all of NCIS's major resources against the conspiracy. Bell later turned up murdered by the Reynosa Cartel, his usefulness to them as an ally over.
In "Rule Fifty-One", Hart identified Bell's body, and finally expressed remorse for her actions, almost but not quite admitting to Donald Mallard that she had been wrong in judging Bell "a good man" and agreeing to aid his vendetta against Gibbs. She also acknowledged that she had inadvertently helped Paloma Reynosa get close to Gibbs, and put the NCIS team, and Gibbs's friends, in jeopardy.
When Gibbs returned from Mexico after a confrontation with the Reynosa Cartel, Hart shared one final meeting with him, and revealed that she had intercepted Abigail Sciuto's forensic report which would have incriminated Gibbs in the murder of Pedro Hernandez. She believed Gibbs did the right thing, and implied that if the time ever came, she would stand with him, and, speaking as a lawyer, believed that if was ever formally accused of Hernandez's murder, he had a fighting chance of beating the charges. This led Gibbs to the titular Rule #51: "Sometimes - you're wrong", written on the back of Rule #13: "Never involve a lawyer."
NCIS Season 8 Edit
Hart was implied to have either been told to leave the country by Gibbs or voluntarily quit her job at NCIS and moved elsewhere to ensure his safety, taking the only copy of the forensic report with her. This kept her out of the reach of Alejandro Rivera and Paloma Reynosa. The report eventually found its way back into the hands of Leon Vance, who put it in a random case file box in the archives. Much later, Vance destroyed it.
- Her name is a play on the words 'malice in heart.'