Trial lawyers ‘Better Call Saul’ for help retaining Supreme Court justices

By Chris Butler | Tennessee Watchdog

“If you’re committed enough, you can make any story work. I once told a woman I was Kevin Costner, and it worked because I believed it.” — Saul Goodman

NASHVILLE — Apologies for the broad generalizations or for reinforcing stereotypes — but trial lawyers don’t give advice unless they get something in return.

As reported, some trial lawyers in Tennessee are likely putting on a charade right now in an effort to retain three Tennessee Supreme Court justices.

They likely want the justices retained so the justices can eventually overturn the state’s tort reform laws, which they oppose not for the good of their fellow man but for the good of their own wallets.

Saul Goodman, as played by actor Bob Odenkirk, on “Breaking Bad.”

To make you believe otherwise, they bellyache the usual progressive/liberal clichés about the Koch brothers, big business trying to throw the justices out, and on and on.

As expected, establishment media organizations play along.

You know who would beam with pride at these efforts, if he were real and if he lived in the Volunteer State?

Saul Goodman, that’s who.

Goodman would congratulate these trial lawyers for a job well done, although he would probably caution them to show a tad more discretion about posting pictures of their swanky fundraisers on Facebook.

Goodman was the sleazy attorney for chemistry teacher turned drug kingpin Walter White on the television series “Breaking Bad.”

Despite claiming to represent the people, and despite putting on a public face of virtue, Goodman mastered the art of deception.

He once, for instance, profited from a class action lawsuit against an airline involving a plane crash that White, his own client, had a hand in causing.

This trial lawyer once hired a decoy to assume White’s place and take responsibility for all of White’s crimes up to that point.

Later in the show, Goodman encouraged White to launder drug money through a website originally set up to raise money after White was diagnosed with lung cancer.

Yes, it is possible to build a website that carries out a function that differs from its stated intentions.

Perhaps the people behind Keep Tennessee’s Supreme Court Fair are “Breaking Bad” fans?

“There’s no honor among thieves, except us, of course,” Goodman once told White, referring to trial lawyers and drug kingpins.

Tennessee Watchdog has yet to identify any practicing attorneys in the state who support the justices and are as sleazy as Goodman — but heavy emphasis is placed on the word “yet.”

If the words and actions of a fictional lawyer aren’t enough to turn you off from any attorney telling you how to vote, then consider the words of Knoxville attorney James Wright.

“Lawyers have a special role when issues come up to be able to try to inform the public as to what’s happening,” Wright told Tennessee Watchdog recently.

“There is a special role in this situation where maybe uniquely we might understand the issue better than the public might have an ability to understand what’s going on.”

Some readers on Tennessee Watchdog’s Facebook page found those words condescending.

And if that’s not enough, consider Nashville attorney Bryan Lewis, who may have used his relationship with a judge to secure an early release for his client, charged with domestic violence against his girlfriend.

The same client, David A. Chase, was released and, according to police, immediately beat his girlfriend up a second time. 

Lewis sponsored an event for the judges last month, which begs one to wonder what sort of special favors he expects from them?

Saul Goodman would caution those guys to tone things down, stay out of the newspapers and play it cool — at least until the election is over.

Contact Christopher Butler at chris@tennesseewatchdog.org or follow him and submit story ideas on his official Facebook page.

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