FROM THE DESK OF SAUL GOODMAN

Learn from Breaking Bad’s shadiest lawyer

FRANK OCKANFELS/AMC

Get a Name That Inspires Trust

Saul Goodman may sound Jewish, but he’s actually a “potato eater” with the last name McGill. He changed it to Goodman for his clients. “They all want a pipe-hitting member of the tribe, so to speak,” he explains. Even the phonetics of “Saul Goodman” are designed to put people at ease — they’re a play on the phrase: “It’s all good, man.”

Have a Memorable Catchphrase

Goodman (played by Bob Odenkirk) has a catchy slogan — “Better call Saul” — which he makes ubiquitous on an aggressive late-night infomercial. It’s only three words and not especially clever, but the message comes across. Additional information would be redundant (and possibly admissible in court).

Failure Is Always an Option

“Did you not plan for this contingency?” Goodman asks his client upon learning his meth lab was almost discovered by the DEA. “The Starship Enterprise had a self-destruct button. I’m just saying.” When in doubt, burn the evidence and go into hiding.

Believe Your Own Story

The only way to get away with a blatant lie is to believe in your heart that you’re telling the truth. “If you’re committed enough, you can make any story work,” Goodman brags. “I once told a woman I was Kevin Costner, and it worked because I believed it.”

But Know When to Tell the Truth

Tough love is necessary, especially when a client’s hurting your bottom line. “You two suck at peddling meth, period,” Goodman says to Walt and Jesse. His brutal honesty motivates them to become the top meth suppliers in Albuquerque.

Don’t Take American Express

When it comes to payment, Goodman is flexible. He’ll take cash or a money order. (Make it out to “Ice Station Zebra Associates” for tax purposes.) He accepts MasterCard and Visa. But under no circumstances will he take AmEx. He’ll work with clients who threaten to kill him, but he’ll never pay that 5 percent merchant fee.

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