The Straight Dope

Go Back   Straight Dope Message Board > Main > General Questions

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 08-02-2001, 09:57 PM
JCorre JCorre is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
This is, of course, a line from The Godfather. My question is about the scene in which Marlon Brando, Robert Duvall and James Caan are all sitting in a room debating whether to get into the narcotics business (well, not really *debating* no one debates with the godfather himself, but rather James and Robert gave him their takes on it)

So to the question. Robert Duvall's character, Tom, is the family's lawyer. He sits there and openly discusses, and verbally supports I might add, that the organization target the narcotics 'industry'. As a lawyer shouldn't he have left the room at least when they were discussing that?

To my knowledge real lawyers would be disbarred if they did this and were found out (which I sppose is the rub).

John
Reply With Quote
Advertisements  
  #2  
Old 08-03-2001, 08:01 AM
Smitty Smitty is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Oh come on! Tom was the consigliere (sp?). He wasn't just the family lawyer. As he told Leo Woltz, "I have a special practice. I only handle one client." Tom was a lawyer because the family needed someone with those credentials for certain legal processes, but he was a lawyer second. He was a family man first.
__________________
There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 08-03-2001, 08:09 AM
NutWrench NutWrench is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2001
Hagen(sp?) was "adopted" by Vito Corleone years earlier (according to Michael) and served the Corleone family exclusively.

Don't know if this helps, but I remember an episode of Law and Order where an attorney was helping out some criminal types by actually giving advice on how to commit and cover up crimes and it turned out that their conversation had been recorded during a police wiretap. This attorney later tried to get the wiretap evidence excluded by claiming that any discussions he had with his client fell under the attorney-client priviledge rule and could not be admitted. The judge ruled that when the attorney went beyond giving legal advice and actually began breaking the law, that he was no longer acting as an attorney.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 08-03-2001, 09:05 AM
Cartooniverse Cartooniverse is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: Betwixt My Ears
Posts: 11,278
Life Imitating Art Imitating Life....

As a fascinating real-life side-bar to this O.P., the American Bar Association has proposed a rather radical reform. Actually, many of them. One would now permit lawyers to report, and testify against, clients if the act of reporting and/or testifying would stop a murder or fraud.
This Site will provide links to the detailed proposed changes.

Dicey, ain't it? In other related news this week, a judge ruled that A.A. meetings are as sacrosanct as a confessional closet with a priest, and admissions of crimes spoken during an A.A. meeting cannot be used as evidence. This A.B.C. News report covers it nicely.

What a world, what a world.......

Cartooniverse
__________________
If you want to kiss the sky you'd better learn how to kneel.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 08-03-2001, 11:57 AM
Captain Amazing Captain Amazing is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 1999
Posts: 23,398
Quote:
Originally posted by NutWrench
Hagen(sp?) was "adopted" by Vito Corleone years earlier (according to Michael) and served the Corleone family exclusively.
IIRC from the book, Tom Hagen was a street kid who Sonny Corleone (as a boy himself) met and befriended and then took home, and the Corleones took him in and raised him as their son.

I don't get the impression that Tom is the most ethical lawyer out there, though...
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 08-03-2001, 01:27 PM
jsc1953 jsc1953 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Quote:
Originally posted by Captain Amazing

I don't get the impression that Tom is the most ethical lawyer out there, though... [/B]
Jeez, he was tacitly involved in the murder of one Salvatore Tessio...

Tessio: "Tom, can you get me off the hook? For old time's sake?"

Hagen: "Sorry, Sally..."


Chilling. Poor Tessio...

I always wondered how involved he was in the Horse Head incident, being the man on site, as it were. (And I also always wondered about the logistics of that. How many people needed to get paid off and/or eliminated to pull that off?)
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 08-03-2001, 01:43 PM
Padeye Padeye is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: Phoenix, AZ, US
Posts: 7,672
Yeah, but Tessio went like a man to his fate. Possibly the end wasn't as calm as what we saw but he didn't go kicking and screaming like Carlo did. Sheesh, could Clamenza have been a little less discreet? No matter, I'm sure the Corleone's neighbors didn't see a damn thing.

Keep in mind that the criminal conspiracy went far beyond the family as Vito owned many judges and cops. Tom would have been virtually untouchable by the law. It is a little inconsistent though when Micheal excludes Tom because he's "not a wartime consiglieri."

I've wondered about the horse head too. The logistics are mind boggling but I just chalk it up to a little suspension of disbelief in favor keeping the story going. Luca Brasi must have been a lot smarter than he looked.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 08-03-2001, 02:13 PM
b-side b-side is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
But don't I remember other situations in which the Godfather tried to distance Duvall's character from the criminal activity, ostensibly because he might have to represent them in court?

Also, is it plausible that an Irish kid from a working class neighborhood with an interest in the law could be accepted in the Italian mafia? Where do I sign up?
Reply With Quote
Reply



Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:13 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@chicagoreader.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Publishers - interested in subscribing to the Straight Dope?
Write to: sdsubscriptions@chicagoreader.com.

Copyright 2013 Sun-Times Media, LLC.