The Kettleman Conspiracy

Note: this is the second post in a multi-part series.

Craig Kettleman, a thieving treasurer, has been accused of embezzling $1.6 million in taxpayer dollars from Bernalillo County. With the help of his wife Betsy, who is fully aware of her husband’s crime, the Kettlemans (pictured below) decide to keep their ill-gotten gains and soon go into hiding, and at one point, they offer Jimmy McGill the sum of $30,000 to keep their hiding spot a secret. [“Hero” (Season 1, Episode 3).] The criminal conspiracy between Craig and Betsy Kettleman, not to mention their bribing of Jimmy, once again generates a difficult moral dilemma: should Jimmy keep his promise to stay quiet? After all, he has accepted their money, and we have a moral duty to keep our promises. But at the same time, lawyers have an ethical duty to avoid assisting a client—even a prospective one—in conduct that the lawyer knows to be criminal. [See, for example, Model Rule 1.2 of the American Bar Association’s Model Rules of Professional Conduct, which prohibits a lawyer from counseling or assisting a client in conduct the lawyer knows is criminal or fraudulent.]

But Jimmy McGill/Saul Goodman is not the only character in “Better Call Saul” who is a party to an ongoing illicit agreement. As it happens, most of the characters in this popular spin-off series, just like most of the characters in Breaking Bad, end up making promises that are either illicit or illegal, or both. For the record, I will highlight two additional illicit relationships in “Better Call Saul” in my next post …

About F. E. Guerra-Pujol

When I’m not blogging, I am a business law professor at the University of Central Florida.
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