Mario PuzoMario Puzo, (1920-1999) Novelist

Mario Puzo Quote

“A lawyer with a briefcase can steal more than a hundred men with guns.”

Mario PuzoMario Puzo
~ Mario Puzo

The Godfather

Ratings and Comments

Anonymous, Reston, VA US

... but a lawyer with a briefcase will not always be a crook, and does not take your life. Likewise, moral, ethical, sane men with guns are not to be feared.

E Archer, NYC

Ain't that the truth!

Bob, Eugene, OR

Still, I'd usually like to retain that lawyer!

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EGL, LA    4/24/07

Taken as one more lawyer joke it is a good quote-but my lawyers have done far more good for me then otherwise.Certainly applies to lawyer lobbyists running DC.

Mike, Norwalk

As with any group, there are good ones and bad ones. When they move into politics some will even kill indiscriminately.

Ken, Allyn, WA

The law can be a shield or a weapon. It can be used as a shield by both the innocent and the guilty. Likewise, it can be used as a weapon against the innocent and guilty. Lawyers are simply the hired mercenaries.

Jack, Green, OH

Stupid analogy. Does he really mean it can happen, or is he suggesting it always happens? Of course, it's possible but means nothing -- and what does a briefcase have to do with it?.

Lawyer, NY
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Lawyer, NY Jack, Green, OH 11/24/20

It's a briefcase and knowledge he's focused on. Not a gun and violence. Get smart. 

JT Ready, Mesa, AZ

Lawyers do take life, liberty, and property all day long.

Ken, Allyn, WA

A lawyer's briefcase can come loaded with all manner of legal ammunition that can steal your property or your life.

Jack, Green, OH

Then, if the lawyer doesn't have his briefcase he's harmless? Does he need that, as a robber needs a weapon, or can't steal? It means nothing the quote itself. A poorly constructed satire

Ken, Allyn, WA

If a robber doesn't have a gun is he necessarily harmless? A robber can beat you with his fists, just as a lawyer can beat you with his mind.

jim k, Austin, Tx

Anonymous and Jack Green, as usual you miss the point. And don't forget that almost all of our wonderful congress people are now or have been lawyers. Of course some are disbarred and most should be.

Bill Fairchild, Franklin, TN, USA

This quote must have come from the movie. The original novel's version is even bettter: "Lawyers can steal more money with a briefcase than a thousand men with guns and masks.” [Don Vito Corleone to his son Santino]

I recommend reading the entire novel, and, while doing so, look for subtle hints dropped by Don Vito, especially, as to the way the Sicilian mafiosi had come to understand their need to avoid all government interactions. They operate as an invisible nation within another nation with their own police and judicial power, moral code, business code, etc.

E Archer, NYC

Crime does pay  lawyers.  Everybody wants in on the racket.


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