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I haven't quite catched the reason why Saul Goodman has to go into hiding at the end of Breaking Bad.

He has commited crimes, yes, but I don't know how somebody could prove them.

He's a lawyer, he can defend himself very well at court. Walter is dead, Lydia is pretty much dead, Hank is dead and never was prosecuted, the white supremacist gang is dead, Jesse is gone, Skyler won't tell the police more than she absolutely has to... so, I don't understand, why does Saul have to live in hiding?

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    Although Saul's character appears in BCS - I don't see the question as being relevant to it. The 'going into hiding' part becomes relevant at least two years (the duration of BB) after the conclusion of BCS.. – Andrew Thompson Aug 11 '16 at 16:43
  • "Skyler won't tell the police more than she absolutely has to" does Saul know that? Does Saul trust that? You're conflating what the viewer knows, what the viewer believes, what Saul knows, and what Saul believes. – Flater Sep 3 '18 at 9:31
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Saul decides to go into hiding in episode Granite State, right after Heisenberg's identity is revealed in the previous episode and Walt goes on the run.

At this point everyone that you listed, apart from Hank, is alive and is a potential threat to Saul. Additionally his association with Jesse and Mike Ehrmantraut is well known to the police. At this point he doesn't know whether the police is able to link them to Walt-Heisenberg. If they are, it would allow them to aquire evidence against Saul that would put him in jail for a long time, regardless how good lawyer he is.

It seems that for him the threat is too big to take any chances and he prefers to go completely low-profile, as he says to Walt when they are in bunker together:

Hey, I'm a civilian. I'm not your lawyer anymore, I'm nobody's lawyer, the fun's over. From here on out, I'm mister low profile. Just another douchebag with a job and three pairs of Dockers. If I'm lucky, three months from now, best case scenario, I'm managing a Cinnabon in Omaha.

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    Better Call Saul spoiler alert, he actually does end up managing a Cinnabon in Omaha. – MattD Aug 11 '16 at 20:44
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He certainly had good reason to fear prosecution, so I don't think this was a plot hole at all. Attorney client privilege is waived if prosecutors can show that the privilege was being used to further an active conspiracy. Also the fact that the things discussed were covered by privilege doesn't mean that the underlying criminal acts that Saul helped achieve would be protected by privilege. There was likely more than enough to tie Saul to a conspiracy on multiple counts and the only reason he wasn't caught was that no entity was investigating him closely enough. His money laundering efforts would very likely be found out which would place him in a conspiracy. He also hired people to help in criminal activity. This would have been found out and he could have faced serious jail time. Being an attorney does not shield you if you go too far. You can be a criminal attorney, but you can't be a Criminal attorney.

  • Fully on board with your answer (that the ACP does not apply for furthering criminal activities), but one minor nitpick: "the fact that the things discussed were covered by privilege doesn't mean that the underlying criminal acts that Saul helped achieve would be protected by privilege." Saul's role was purely providing information. If you can't use the communication between him and his clients as proof, then there is no evidence of Saul's involvement. You can only really try to circumvent ACP (e.g. when a client testifies, or the court overrules ACP due to reasonable suspicion, ...). – Flater Sep 3 '18 at 9:50
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It's plot device by the writers which makes little true sense when carefully considered.

Why?

  1. Saul Goodman is, as he says, a "civilian" - It would have taken a great deal to link him to Walter White's actions and many of the people with intimate knowledge of what has transpired (Mike, Gus Fring,Walter White etc) are deceased or have no reason to implicate Saul in their activities. While Goodman couldn't remain high profile until the neo-Nazis were dealt with, he certainly wouldn't have to go into hiding from the authorities as they had nothing on him.
  2. The neo-Nazis had the tapes of Jesse's confession - The only real evidence against the neo-Nazis and Walt/Heisenberg was Jesse' mewling confessions on video. The neo-Nazis obtained this when they broke into Agent Hank Schrader's home. Without the tapes and without Jesse, there was no case against Saul Goodman and being a seasoned attorney he would know that.
  3. The neo-Nazis had Jesse - Walt and Skylar had no interest in confessing to their crimes, meaning that the only loose end was Jesse. Had the Nazis killed Jesse, that would have wrapped up things nicely as the re would have been a paucity of evidence from which a case could be made.
  4. Attorney-client privilege - Very little of what Saul did for Walt would have fallen outside the parameters of attorney-client privilege meaning that Saul would not have had to disclose it to the authorities. They certainly could have questioned him about certain other matters, but not about the core of their investigation.
  5. The neo-Nazis would have been a minor threat, if a threat at all - They have $69 million, they are holding Jesse hostage to make meth for them and they have killed two federal agents. They SHOULD have been in hiding; however the narrative somehow made them overconfident. The last thing that they would want to have done is to be connected with the disappearance or murder of a prominent local attorney.Lydia was a potential danger; however even she would have realized that Saul could easily ensnare her in the matter if she wasn't careful.

So, Saul Good man was rather foolish when he decided to flee. There was no one who wanted him dead, he'd made plenty of money from Walt that he could have stashed away and his was largely immune from prosecution thanks to attorney-client privilege. The few people who might have considered hurting him (Lydia, the neo-Nazis, Walter, etc) all had greater issues on their plate than taking Saul out of the picture.

Hide out for a while? Yes. Permanently flee? Not really necessary.

  • Just off the top of my head Saul making a fake call to distract Hank when he has Walter and Jesse cornered in the RV, and advising Walter on business to acquire for money-laundering would probably fall outside of the scope of attorney-client privilege. I'm sure he's committed other illegal actions too. – Jay Mar 26 '18 at 18:51
  • Very little of what Saul did for Walt would have fallen outside the parameters of attorney-client privilege That is incorrect. There are a number of exceptions to the (attorney-client) privilege in most jurisdictions, chief among them: the communication was made for the purpose of committing a crime or tort. If there is reasonable evidence that Saul is furthering crimes (which can amply be proven when you prove that many of Saul's clients were part of the same drug operation), then the privilege is null and void. – Flater Sep 3 '18 at 9:39
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    Additionally, Saul was dealing with people who kill just to send a message. He was in no way safe. Even if he was somehow immune to prosecution, his former associates (the cartel, the neonazis; or any remnants thereof) would still want to kill him to ensure that he never talks. Saul flees not because he knows he'll be sued, but because he knows that he may lose either his life (when his former associates silence him) or his freedom (jail after prosecution) and he does not want to risk it. – Flater Sep 3 '18 at 9:46

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