Paul Bergrin Was The Lawyer On The Wire

“I’m so glad I mandated that the whole staff had to watch the complete series of The Wire.”

~Tom Selleck, AFFotD TV Critic

Illustrations by Jesse Lenz because dayumnnnn

Lawyers, especially defense attorneys, tend to get a bad rap.  In a scientific study of five random people outside our offices, 60% of America’s population believe that there are more lawyer jokes than Hellen Keller, dead baby, and Polish jokes combined.  The rest of America is evenly split between “Can I get some money for some booze” and “Aren’t you those assholes that keep making ungodly noises from the building all night long?”

What’s wrong with that?  This is the way we unwind a the end of a long day.

But really, is that fair?  It’s not like we have defense attorneys in, say, Jersey just running around, supervising prostitution rings and arranging for witness’s murders or anything…ohhhhhh.

Yeah Paul Bergrin was basically the lawyer in the wire.


Paul Bergrin has a “colorful” reputation in the same way that Elton John is only “slightly homosexual on the Kinsey scale.”  We’d spend a lot of time insulting Paul Bergrin for the whole “killing witnesses” thing (which tends to piss off most decent Americans) except for the fact that he also ran a drug empire through his mistress, and also that he has proven himself very good at killing people when he wants to.  So you know.  Cough.

In the New York Magazine article we linked for this article (and basically stole from.  In its entirety.  Fair warning, hard working journalists of the world, if you write an article about something really American, we’ll be among the first to read it, hijack it, and basically add a bunch of dick and whiskey jokes to it.)

While we are terrified of Paul Bergrin stories we’ve heard about him (one female attorney remarked, “He came across as a guy who wouldn’t bother with a fantasy that didn’t involve coming in your face.”) we appreciate the fact that just about everything he does seems like a mix between Maurice Levy and David Caruso.

Paul Bergrin’s motto was “No witness, no case.”  One attorney told New York Magazine that one of Bergrin’s clients had a prison tattoo on his back that had the scales of justice, while listing this motto, and Bergrin’s name.  We guess you could say that he really…*puts on sunglasses *left his mark.


Bergrin drove around in his Bentley in the rough neighborhoods mainly to impress the criminals that would be his eventual clients.  When criminals with money were facing murder charges, they went to Bergrin.  Money was no option, and Bergrin had a habit of making witnesses disappear, and often bragged about his incredibly high acquittal rates.  You might say he was quite the…*puts on sunglasses* hot shot.


No, but seriously, he absolutely once suggested to a client that they give a witness a hot shot (For those of you not up to date on your heroin based crime lore, go here and don’t say we didn’t warn you).

Bergrin was eventually arrested since, well, hiring hit-men is somewhat illegal.  His history is both remarkable and kind of fucked up, but we can’t go into any more details due to legal reasons, since if we make one more direct reference to something from the New York Magazine article we technically become a subsidiary of New York Media Holdings.

Too bad we can’t find a lawyer who can make those pesky copyright laws…*takes of sunglasses* disappear.


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