Faden was a corrupt city judge in Gotham who was in league with Carmine Falcone. When Joe Chill was about to testify with evidence against Falcone, Faden was paid to make the hearing public so that Falcone could have an assassin kill the man.
For the next few years, Faden would let Falcone's thugs off jail time in exchange for money. He had Victor Zsasz transferred to Jonathan Crane's wing at Arkham Asylum rather than to jail. However Batman had Falcone arrested at the scene of a crime, and took photographs of Faden with a mistress as leverage. Rachel Dawes used these photographs to make sure Faden was fair in the trial of Falcone.