Document Type


Publication Title

SMU Law Review Forum

Publication Date



In the Godfather trilogy, lawyers do most of their work outside of the courtroom. The family’s lawyer, Tom Hagen, has the title of consigliere, serving as the boss’s right-hand man. He is legal counsel and also assists with business management and planning. This includes operation of the family’s criminal enterprise. In The Godfather, a lawyer is a fixer, an enforcer, and a collaborator. This conceptualization of the attorney role is not only unethical, it is illegal. Yet, it is the role currently assumed by our Attorney General, William “Bill” Barr, and White House Counsel, Pasquale “Pat” Cipollone. Although both men took an oath to represent the people and to uphold the Constitution, and are bound by the rules of professional conduct in the jurisdictions where they are licensed, they instead work on behalf of Donald J. Trump. The People’s attorneys are beholden to the President.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.