"You don't want a criminal lawyer. You want a *criminal* lawyer."
May 19, 2015 8:17 PM   Subscribe

The New Mexico Law Review just published an issue dedicated entirely to Breaking Bad. It features eight articles that analyze the illegal acts committed on the show, their real-world parallels, and the consequences attached:
Given the array of legal issues raised, our editorial board was excited to take the opportunity to present analysis of Breaking Bad by scholars and legal practitioners. In April 2014 we issued a call for papers requesting abstracts on topics including the application of the Fourth Amendment to drug crimes under the New Mexico and/or U.S. Constitutions; the War on Drugs; ethical duties of lawyers; drug-offense sentencing; drug enforcement in rural, urban, and/or Tribal areas; and substance abuse and the law.
Some of the greatest legal minds in New Mexico (and the country) came together to examine how Walter White would look to a jury, how the war on drugs affects peripheral citizens like Skyler, and whether Heisenberg could have stayed legit by fighting for his stake in Grey Matter in the courts. [via] posted by Room 641-A (25 comments total) 64 users marked this as a favorite
 
I'd love to have a hard copy of this.
posted by Flashman at 8:36 PM on May 19, 2015 [2 favorites]


subscription information here.
posted by anewnadir at 9:15 PM on May 19, 2015


A good friend of mine was recently convicted of a crime he obviously didn't commit. His attorney was terrible. He misrepresented his experience. He ignored 90% of the exculpatory evidence my friend prepared and refused to present it in court. He lied about the case he would present. He gave a closing argument that consisted of rambling anecdotes about law school, which it became apparent he'd just graduated from.

And he constantly referred to Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul as examples of effective lawyering.

Watching my friend struggle to find adequate representation it became apparent that crooked attorneys aren't crooked because they break rules to get guilty clients off. Sauls are actually quite rare. Real crooked attorneys simply take your money, do no work, and give you consoling mouth noises when you lose.

My friend thought the evidince and an honest defense would see him through. At the end he would have been a thousand times happier with a Saul than a lazy punter who chatted about Saul during billable hours.
posted by clarknova at 9:28 PM on May 19, 2015 [22 favorites]


Huh, this part isn't right. [spoiler alert I guess?] From the introduction:

After interacting with a former student, Jesse Pinkman, while buying marijuana to alleviate the side effects of chemotherapy, Walt hatches a plan to use his substantial chemistry skills to produce a higher quality meth than was available on the streets of Albuquerque ...

Walt saw Jesse when he did the ride-along with Hank, then he went to Jesse's house to talk him into cooking. He wasn't buying weed. He wasn't even in chemotherapy yet at that point.
posted by dialetheia at 9:42 PM on May 19, 2015 [14 favorites]


I'd love to have a hard copy of this.

Print it and copy it. Get all the money and fuck them all.

(cue 'Breaking Bad' theme music)
posted by hal_c_on at 10:01 PM on May 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


This is relevant to my interests
posted by heisenberg at 10:41 PM on May 19, 2015 [27 favorites]


Some of the greatest legal minds in New Mexico (and the country) came together to figure out a way to get free Breaking Bad box sets.
posted by adept256 at 10:42 PM on May 19, 2015 [11 favorites]


This is relevant to my interests
posted by heisenberg

Personally, I'm waiting to saulgoodman to chip in here.
posted by maupuia at 10:44 PM on May 19, 2015 [2 favorites]


dialetheia: "Walt saw Jesse when he did the ride-along with Hank, then he went to Jesse's house to talk him into cooking. He wasn't buying weed. He wasn't even in chemotherapy yet at that point."

I think the author was just misremembering -- the weed-for-chemo thing was Walt's impromptu cover story for his relationship with Jesse after Skyler confronted him about it at the hospital after Holly was born.
posted by Rhaomi at 11:20 PM on May 19, 2015


My legal inspirations are, in no order, Denning, Bingham, Goodman and Lionel Hutz.
posted by Braeburn at 11:45 PM on May 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'm not going to lie, I yelled aloud when Saul tried to get the Kettlemans to sign an actual engagement letter. It will probably be as close as I'll ever come to seeing the kind of stuff I do for a giant law firm dramatized unless I somehow get my Ethical Conflicts of Interest Rules and How to Break Them musical staged.
posted by Copronymus at 11:46 PM on May 19, 2015 [10 favorites]


I know what you mean, Copronymus. For me, the yell-out-loud moment was when they had a plot-point about Westlaw passwords and billing codes.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 12:15 AM on May 20, 2015 [4 favorites]


If practicing law is outlawed, only criminals will practice law.
posted by rankfreudlite at 2:01 AM on May 20, 2015 [6 favorites]


No contributors from the University of American Samoa, I notice.
posted by BWA at 5:40 AM on May 20, 2015 [10 favorites]


I yelled aloud when Saul tried to get the Kettlemans to sign an actual engagement letter.

the yell-out-loud moment was when they had a plot-point about Westlaw passwords and billing codes.

Mr. Machine is recovering from being involved in biglaw. I'm still in it. Mr. Machine is a huge Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul fan. Historically, despite sustained campaigning on his part, I've refused to watch anything to do with Breaking Bad, but after reading those comments, I wandered out of the bedroom this morning and started yelling about oh my GOD ENGAGEMENT LETTERS AND WESTLAW PASSWORDS AND BILLING CODES I NEED TO SEE IT RIGHT NOW

Mr. Machine just sighed and said, "I told you so."
posted by joyceanmachine at 7:23 AM on May 20, 2015 [9 favorites]


Side question: I've been hesitant to watch Breaking Bad for all the violence. Is Better Call Saul more light-hearted? Is it still "bad people treating other people badly?"
posted by Harvey Kilobit at 8:35 AM on May 20, 2015


I think it's more lighthearted. It's certainly not as violent. IIRC, there are two scenes of graphic violence in the first season of Better Call Saul, neither of which are as severe as the scenes of violence in Breaking Bad.
posted by joedan at 8:41 AM on May 20, 2015 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I'd say it's a notch or two less dark. It's certainly not a sitcom like it was originally pitched as, but it's definitely less violent and somewhat less about Terrible Men who are compelled to do Terrible Things.
posted by Copronymus at 8:54 AM on May 20, 2015 [1 favorite]


Although, soft spoiler alert, Saul has explicitly "broken bad" at this point, and Mike is still a terrifying lawful-neutral hardboiled Punisher, so I'm expecting increasing amounts of violence in the coming seasons.
posted by cmoj at 9:35 AM on May 20, 2015 [1 favorite]


My legal inspirations are, in no order, Denning, Bingham, Goodman and Lionel Hutz.

The essay on Attorney-Client Privilege actually cites The Simpsons in the footnotes, both times referencing Lionel Hutz. I think the authors had a lot of fun writing that paper.
posted by CCBC at 3:47 PM on May 20, 2015 [3 favorites]


My yelling moment was when Jimmy was asked his hourly rate by the guy who wanted a sovereign nation and I'm shouting, "450! Say 450!"
posted by Sweet Dee Kat at 6:18 PM on May 20, 2015


If practicing law is outlawed, only criminals will practice law.

Which is different from what we have now because...
posted by scalefree at 7:32 PM on May 20, 2015


If practicing law is outlawed, only criminals will practice law.

Which is different from what we have now because...


Yeah! That's what I want to know.
posted by rankfreudlite at 7:53 PM on May 20, 2015


I'd love to have a hard copy of this.

I just crossed three names off my x-mas shopping list.
posted by Room 641-A at 8:36 PM on May 20, 2015


Oh please, you don't have to go to the trouble. I'll just go to my local law school library and steal it.
posted by Flashman at 8:56 PM on May 20, 2015 [1 favorite]


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