News

Real-life ‘Saul Goodman’

Real-life ‘Saul Goodman’

THANKS DAN!: The 32-year-old lawyer insists the video is meant to be satire. Photo: YouTube

By Elizabeth Daley

PITTSBURGH (Reuters) – A Pittsburgh lawyer’s online ad showing smiling robbers, drug dealers and prostitutes flashing thumbs up and thanking him for getting them off the hook has garnered tens of thousands of views and drawn fire from a local bar association.

One fictional criminal pauses while climbing out a window, carrying a laptop to say “Thanks Dan,” to the camera, while a pair of men carrying handguns offer a similar message before pulling ski masks over their faces in the three-minute, 27-second ad posted on YouTube by criminal defense attorney Daniel Muessig.

Muessig, a 2012 University of Pittsburgh Law School graduate, then makes his own pitch: “Trust me, I may have a law degree, but I think like a criminal.”

Tom Loftus, spokesman for the Allegheny County Bar Association, said he found the ad “insulting to Pittsburgh lawyers and lawyers across the country, who take great pride in their profession.”

He said he worried that the video could be misinterpreted: “There could be kids watching it, or people who don’t even understand what tongue-in-cheek means, and what they’ll see is: if you commit a crime this attorney will get you off without any explanation.”

Muessig, 32, defended the spot but said he would take it down if law enforcement or a legal professional organization asked him to.

“It’s a send-up of the cartoonishly amoral Jewish criminal defense attorney,” he said. “The criminal justice system is broken, it creates a system where we are basically putting people on a conveyor belt to prison. If you want to get your ire up, get your ire up about that.”

Recent Headlines

in Local

Extension Sought for Medical Marijuana Program

marijuana

Medical marijuana has gotten off to a slow start in Illinois, so one state lawmaker wants to push back the finish line.

in Local

SEIU Rallies to Find Funding for Child Care Program

state_capitol_1

The program's money is about to run out, part of the current fiscal year's budget problems.

in Local

U of I Asks Court to Dismiss Professor’s Lawsuit

university illinois

University lawyers say Steven Salaita had no "binding contract''.

in Local

U.S. Court Declines to Decide Illinois Benefits Issue

gavel2

A federal appeals court in Chicago has declined to resolve a contentious issue over whether Illinois' constitution strictly bars the reduction of retiree benefits.

in Local

Deere & Co. Prepares for Largest Revenue Drop Ever

john-deere-logo

Sales are forecast to fall 17 percent this fiscal year from 2014.