Kovat was a Cardassian who served as a Public Conservator in the Cardassian system of jurisprudence. He was very adept at crafting guilty pleas. According to Cardassian law, an accused person was guilty – not guilty until proven innocent, simply guilty. He was due to retire in 2371.
In 2370, he represented Miles O'Brien who was accused of arming the Maquis. Kovat explained to O'Brien that he had already been convicted. When O'Brien asked why he would need a lawyer, Kovat explained that it is to help the accused concede the wisdom of the state. Odo would be assigned as the Nestor to O'Brien, and Kovat asked him not to ruin his case by trying to introduce evidence, that he was only a year away from retirement and wanted no trouble. During the trial, Kovat tried to resign because he was humiliated by Odo's interruptions. Kovat also asked O'Brien a series of bizarre questions, such as was he abused by his parents or his wife. He said he was trying to show why a fine man like O'Brien would commit crimes. He also conceded O'Brien's guilt.
Benjamin Sisko was able to prove that the charges were fabricated by the Cardassian government; rather than face embarrassment, the court released O'Brien. When Kovat asked what happened, Odo told him he won, he replied, "They'll kill me." (DS9: "Tribunal")