6 Most Evil Attorneys Ever

by Sean McGilvray on June 10, 2009

Joshua already laid out the most badass attorneys of all time. But what about the just plain bad? Here’s a countdown of some of the most vile, evil, and corrupt lawyers ever to enter the popular imagination. From drug lawyers to mafia bosses, let’s just say that none of the attorneys on this list aced their Professional Responsibility exams.

6. Tom Hagen, The Godfather Parts I-II

“Now we have the unions, we have the gambling; and they’re the best things to have. But narcotics is a thing of the future. And if we don’t get a piece of that action, we risk everything we have. “

robert-duvall-the-godfather-tom-hagenHe may not be a wartime consigliere, but Corleone family attorney Tom Hagen knows a thing or two about a thing or two, capice? Advisor to two generations of mafia dons, Hagen is loyal and capable. He arranges any number of hits and guides his mob bosses through several turf wars and acquisitions. He negotiates with crooked judges and corrupt senators and intimidates casino owners and studio heads. He even takes over as acting Don in The Godfather Part II. He’s an able attorney, but if you get on his bad side you just might wake up next to the severed head of your favorite horse.

5. Billy Flynn, Chicago

“Give ‘em the old double whammy
Daze and dizzy ‘em
Back since the days of old Methuselah
Everyone loves the big bambooz-a-ler”

richard-gere-chicago-billy-flynn

As defense attorneys go, Billy Flynn is a success. He gravitates toward the limelight and seems to specialize in defending the most salacious and tabloid-friendly clients, getting even the most blatantly guilty an acquittal. Most of his litigation tactics seem to revolve around snapping his fingers dancing a softshoe, and jazz hands, which may or may not be sound legal practice but sure does wonders with his all-female clientelle. They must teach those techniques in advanced Trial Advocacy.

4. Harvey “Two-Face” Dent, The Dark Knight

“You either die a hero or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain. “

aron-eckhart-dark-knight-harvey-dentUnfortunately for crusading D.A. Harvey Dent, his words turned out to be true. Despite being the only criminal prosecutor on this list, it isn’t long after he loses half of his face to a horrific disfigurement before he goes on homicidal crime spree. Whether on a specifically-targeted revenge spree as in the The Dark Knight or the more generalized villainy of the comic books, Harvey Dent is one bad dude with two  faces. The tragedy of the character is that he starts off as a crusading force for good, but ends up as a punching bag for a rich orphan in a bat costume.

3. Wolfram & Hart, Angel

Our firm has always been here…in one form or another. The Inquisition. The Khmer Rouge. We were there when the very first cave man clubbed his neighbor. See, we’re in the hearts and minds of every single living being.  See, the world doesn’t work in spite of evil. It works because of it.

angel-evil-law-firm-wolfram-hart

An evil law firm with offices all over the world and in several dimensions, Wolfram & Hart were the long standing antagonists whose apocalyptic plans made life difficult for vampire with a soul Angel. The Senior Partners are unspecified demons from a hell dimension, the firm keeps a team of ninja assassins on retainer, has an in-house blood sacrifice division, and makes their associates sign employment contracts that keep their souls billing hoursfrom the afterlife. So just like any other BigLaw firm, really.

2. Maurice Levy, The Wire

Maurice ‘Maury’ Levy: You are amoral, are you not? You are feeding off the violence and the despair of the drug trade. You are stealing from those who themselves are stealing the lifeblood from our city. You are a parasite who leeches off…
Omar: Just like you, man.
Maurice ‘Maury’ Levy: …the culture of drugs. Excuse me? What?
Omar: I got the shotgun, you got the briefcase. It’s all in the game though, right?”

the-wire-drug-lawyer-maury-levyCounsel for Marlo Stanfield, The Wire‘s most infamous drug kingpin, Maury Levy epitomizes the amoral sleaze that crusts up at the bottom of the legal barrel. The Wire is rightly praised as the deepest, most uncompromising peice of modern literature and it doesn’t pull any punches in its portrayal of even the good guys, so a shyster like Levy is doomed to ignominy. He approaches the role of advocate with abandon, and he doesn’t leave any dirty tricks out of his arsenal. From advising his clients to kill potential witnesses to teaching a gangbanger tutorial on how to launder drug money Levy is everything a lawyer shouldn’t be. But he’s still less evil than…

1. John Milton, The Devil’s Advocate

And as we’re straddling from one deal to the next, who’s got his eye on the planet, as the air thickens, the water sours, and even the bees’ honey takes on the metallic taste of radioactivity? And it just keeps coming, faster and faster. There’s no chance to think, to prepare; it’s buy futures, sell futures, when there is no future.

al-pacino-devils-advocate-john-milton

It’s hard to get much more vile than the source of all evil, Satan himself. He went to war with God. He tempted Eve. He has been bedevilling mankind since the beginning, but apparently he’s also a handy trial lawyer. As an attorney, he guides his firm in accepting ritual slaughter cases and isn’t afraid to do the dirty work himself. He personally dispatches the demonic muggers that make annoying managing partners go away. He may not be particularly clever at choosing inconspicuous aliases (seems like naming your earthly incarnation after a guy who is famous for writing a poem about you lacks a little subtlety even for the Prince of Darkness), but the fact that he is actively trying to instigate the End of Days makes him a very poor role model for would-be lawyers indeed.

Who are some evil lawyers you love to hate?

{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

Adam June 10, 2009 at 7:07 am

Point of correction–Tom Hagan was NOT in Godfather III, having already ‘passed away’, according to the storyline. We are introduced to his son who is in the priesthood.

Michael Corelone’s new laywer is played by a legit focused character, a ball-buster, but not involved in the underworld dealings.

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smcgilvray June 10, 2009 at 7:17 am

Thanks for the info. Confession time: I only saw The Godfather movies recently. For some reason I had never got around to them, and everybody I talked to agreed that Part III was a waste of time and I should only bother with I and II, so I haven’t actually seen III. Were they right?

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taynegheel June 10, 2009 at 8:37 am

I’m noticing the sheer volume of fictional lawyers who are Satan, Satan’s minions, Satan’s children or some other demonic character. One more reminder of how favored my new career choice is in the popular culture…

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Joshua Auriemma June 10, 2009 at 12:27 pm

Welcome to the club, buddy!

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Joshua Auriemma June 10, 2009 at 9:39 am

But Wolfram & Hart hired Kane, so they can’t all be bad, right??

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Kim June 10, 2009 at 9:47 am

I think only you and I and a small-to-medium section of the internet know how awesome Christian Kane really is. To the rest of the world, that question makes NO sense.

However… in watching Angel this morning while getting ready to go to work, I came to the conclusion that I would really, really, REALLY love to have their Files and Records “Department.”*

And now, I’m afraid, it’s back to work for me, because I’m not a Seriously Evil Attorney, and have no minions to do my work for me.

* When I say “Department,” clearly, I mean the woman (or whatever she is) that is LITERALLY an index to every bit of information contained in every single file and could have done in five seconds what it took me 6.75 hours yesterday to do.

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Joshua Auriemma June 10, 2009 at 11:53 am

She’s a robot :x

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smcgilvray June 10, 2009 at 11:57 am

Little known fact: Lindsey McDonald went to my law school. I think they showed his diploma once or something, but he is listed as a notable alumni on wikipedia.

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Joshua Auriemma June 10, 2009 at 12:27 pm

Haha, that’s kind of funny. Kudos too because he actually was also a pretty badass attorney :p

Kim June 10, 2009 at 12:06 pm

Look, whatever she is, demon, robot, strange result of the frenzied passion between a man and his Rolodex, I want her in my office so she can do my indexing for me so that I can get other stuff done.

Is it too much to ask for just one little minion??

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armando November 15, 2009 at 5:49 pm

you forgot the lawyer played by sean penn opposite al pacino in carlito’s way. hey…do you see the al pacino connection to evil lawyers? coincidence?

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coco June 6, 2010 at 5:30 am

Knights solicitors in Paddington UK is one of those lesser know but most evil law firms around
Its an family unit with a brother whose speciality is exploiting loopholes and manipulating the system as the owner , 2 sisters who help concoct false allegations, & another sister and brother in law who “manage” the accounts .It always easier to keep shady business under wraps when you have family members in the business.They even have their own “godfather”.
As a former client -cheating other peoples out of their valuables and money is what their game is – justice is just something to be put up as logo. Be warned.

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Stacia October 26, 2010 at 9:51 pm

I have some to add for ya. I live in Alief and my family has been railrouted by corrupt lawyers who sued us for trying to get help for my disabled child.

HERE ARE THE TOP CORRUPT LAWYERS:

JEFF ROGERS
SHEILA HADDOCK
JON ERIK NICHOLS
AMY TUCKER
LEANE LUNDY
MISTY FORSTER

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John December 5, 2013 at 2:56 pm

BRAHM SIEGEL of Nathens Siegel in Toronto, should be at the top of the corrupt lawyers list!

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Gaby velazquez December 15, 2010 at 4:17 pm

What about Von Karma from Phoenix Wright???

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pinbalwyz February 16, 2012 at 3:55 am

And then there’s the junkyard DUI dog, Bruce Finlay, who negotiates pleas bargains after psychologically brow beating his clients into submission who thought they were retaining a litigator/trial lawyer. Evil comes in all shapes and sizes–not just the greedy attorney, but the lazy egotistical one.

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Delicia Lewis July 29, 2012 at 9:19 am

Ford Motor Company DYKEMA gets my vote. From the time my son and his girlfriend burned alive in a car fire, ( I received my recall 9 months AFTER they died ) I the grieving mother had a bulls-eye on my back. What better way to rid your company of a double death case than to attack the petitioner/plaintiff ? It’s that Mother that is to blame, not our defective cruise control switch!

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James cDavis October 8, 2012 at 4:55 am

I’m looking for,”EVIL LAW FIRM esq.”they followed me on twitter long enough to leave me a disturbing tweet,then they unfollowed me.I would like to know their purpose.Their messagr could be considered a threat.They stated that: “I’m very difficult to offend and I’m heavily armed,for any situation”.If you know these people,contact me by e-mail.Thank you.

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Ramiro November 23, 2012 at 10:34 am

There’s certainly a great deal to find out about this subject. I like all of the points you made.

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