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Better-call-saul-episode-108-jimmy-odenkirk-935-sized-8

Jimmy interviewing residents at Sandpiper Crossing.

Sandpiper Crossing. That was quite a case.
Richard Schweikart[src]

The Sandpiper Crossing class-action lawsuit, or the Sandpiper case, concerned the overcharging of residents by Sandpiper Crossing, a chain of assisted-living facilities. The case played an important role in the early legal career of Jimmy McGill, who had originally uncovered evidence of wrongdoing. However, he was compelled to turn the case over to Hamlin, Hamlin & McGill, his brother Chuck's law firm, which partnered with the firm of Davis & Main in litigating the case for the plaintiffs. Sandpiper Crossing was represented by Schweikart & Cokely.

Despite being forced to relinquish the Sandpiper case to HHM, it kept a looming presence in the events of Jimmy's life. After Jimmy was hired by Davis & Main to continue his work on the case, his bid to air a television commercial promoting the class action without the permission of the firm's partners soured his relationship with his boss, Clifford Main. When Jimmy was suspended from practicing law and went broke, he attempted to force a settlement in the case to earn his $1.16 million cut of the payout. Finally, Jimmy and his wife Kim Wexler conspired to smear Howard Hamlin, HHM's lead attorney, in an ultimately successful attempt to force a settlement.

History[]

2002[]

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Jimmy confronting Sandpiper management.

Lawyer Jimmy McGill visits one of his clients, Irene Landry, at Sandpiper Crossing's location in Albuquerque. His interest is piqued when Irene tells him that she can't pay his fee because she doesn't have enough money left from a "monthly allowance". Jimmy opts to investigate, comparing the bills of several Sandpiper residents and discovering that the company is grossly overcharging them. He brings this evidence to his older brother, Chuck McGill, who agrees that a class-action suit can be brought against Sandpiper if Jimmy can establish a pattern of over-billing.

Jimmy attempts to return to Sandpiper to collect more evidence, but is barred from the premises by the facility manager. During the ensuing confrontation, he hears paper being shredded in an adjacent office. Jimmy manages to talk his way into being allowed to use the restroom, where he furiously scribbles a "demand letter" on toilet paper, informing Sandpiper of pending litigation against them. He thrusts the "document" at the facility manager before he is tossed out. Jimmy returns to Sandpiper that night and finds shredded documents in the dumpster. He also receives a phone call from Sandpiper's attorney, Richard Schweikart, who warns him not to pursue litigation.

Jimmy and Chuck take turns piecing together the documents, eventually finding a "smoking gun" in the form of an invoice for syringes from a medical supply company in Nebraska. The McGill brothers send a fax to Schweikart consisting of a demand letter and a copy of the reassembled documents. Schweikart is compelled to sit down for a meeting with the brothers, proposing a settlement in which Sandpiper's residents receive $100,000 in compensation and legal fees in exchange for the company not admitting wrongdoing. Jimmy points out that the syringe invoice puts Sandpiper on the hook for RICO penalties for illegal interstate commerce; Chuck demands $20 million in damages or "we will see you in court".("RICO")

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Jimmy and Chuck analyzing Sandpiper documents.

Schweikart unsuccessfully tries to slap Jimmy with a restraining order, arguing that his "loud and boisterous" manner is disruptive to the routine of Sandpiper's residents. Schweikart's law firm, Schweikart & Cokely, also sends boxes and boxes of paperwork to Chuck's house in order to mire the brothers in red tape. With the case quickly becoming too big for the brothers to handle alone, Chuck suggests taking it to his own firm, Hamlin, Hamlin & McGill; Jimmy is against the idea, having longstanding disputes with Chuck's partner in the firm, Howard Hamlin. Chuck eventually convinces Jimmy that taking the case to HHM is the only way they will win.

Jimmy expects to be hired as an attorney by HHM and be allowed to work on the Sandpiper case with his brother Chuck. Howard agrees to take the case, and guarantees to award Jimmy with 20% of the common fund share of the final settlement; however, despite this, he refuses to hire Jimmy. Shocked and hurt, Jimmy quashes the deal. However, after Jimmy realizes that it was Chuck who was responsible for keeping him from being hired by HHM, he decides to go through with the deal and relinquish the Sandpiper case.("Pimento") Eventually the case grows to such gigantic proportions that HHM partners with another firm, Davis & Main, to handle the litigation.("Marco")

Jimmy is later hired by Davis & Main in a partner-track position and oversees their end of the Sandpiper case. He attends a meeting between his firm and HHM, detailing his efforts at client outreach.("Cobbler") Jimmy quickly resorts to illegal methods of recruiting new clients for the class action, boarding a Sandpiper bus to solicit the residents on board and collect letters of engagement; he manages to gain more than 200 new clients in this manner. However, Jimmy is displeased with the poor response to Davis & Main's mailers and suggests producing a highly-targeted television commercial. He appraises Davis & Main's advertising for a previous lawsuit, finding it underwhelming.

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Jimmy and Kim watch his commercial for the Sandpiper lawsuit.

Jimmy enlists student filmmaker Joey Dixon, Joey's film crew, and his own client Geraldine Strauss in shooting an ad that is more emotionally impactful than Davis & Main's would have been. Rather than clear the ad with Cliff, he broadcasts it immediately in several states.("Amarillo") While the ad succeeds in generating new prospective clients for the class action, Cliff and his partners are furious with Jimmy for going over their heads in making and airing it. Cliff initially votes to keep Jimmy at the firm despite his actions, but is eventually forced to fire him without cause.("Gloves Off")("Inflatable") Davis & Main replaces Jimmy's commercial with the one evoking the conventional style he had disliked.("Bali Ha'i")

Meanwhile, Kim Wexler, Jimmy's girlfriend and an attorney at HHM, appears in court for a motion hearing in the Sandpiper case. Schweikart, who is arguing against Kim at the hearing, is impressed with her ability to make strong arguments even when she is in a losing position. He invites her to lunch and offers her a job with Schweikart & Cokely, an offer she seriously considers due to being mistreated at HHM in connection with Jimmy's commercial fiasco.("Bali Ha'i") Instead, Kim decides to leave HHM to start a startup law firm with Jimmy. Neither she nor Jimmy are directly involved in the Sandpiper litigation going forward.("Bali Ha'i")

2003[]

After being suspended from practicing law for a year, Jimmy visits Irene, who has become the class representative in the Sandpiper lawsuit. She shows Jimmy a settlement offer presented to her by Erin Brill, his former co-worker at Davis & Main. Taken aback by the figure, Jimmy calculates that he stands to make $1.16 million from his 20% share of the settlement. Despite being told that the case is still years away from resolution, a cash-strapped Jimmy begins looking for ways to force the settlement early. He confronts Howard and demands that he settle the case immediately. Howard refuses and warns Jimmy against employing any dirty tricks to get the settlement approved.

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Jimmy and Irene.

Jimmy embarks on a prolonged scheme to indirectly pressure Irene by turning her friends against her, telling them she has been improperly taking advantage of her status as class representative. He points to her possession of a pair of expensive track shoes, which in fact had been Jimmy's gift. He further rigs a bingo game to make her win. These actions cause Irene to be ostracized by her friends, eventually reducing her to tears. Under the guise of helping Irene, Jimmy suggests that the only way to win back her friends' approval is by agreeing to settle right away. Irene agrees.("Fall")

Jimmy later visits Irene again and is told that her friends are still upset with her. He approaches her friends in an attempt to reconcile, but they are not persuaded. Feeling guilty, Jimmy decides to forgo his payday by engineering a scheme that discredits himself and reverses the settlement: he stages a "hot mic" incident with Erin in which he admits to manipulating his elderly clients and insults them for good measure, all of which they overhear. Jimmy is rebuked by Irene and her friends, and he loses his elderly client base. With no money coming from a settlement, Jimmy and Kim are forced to close their law firm.("Lantern")

2004[]

See also: Howard Hamlin character impeachment scam

Jimmy and Kim embark on a new scheme to force a settlement in the Sandpiper case, hoping to use the proceeds to launch another law practice. The scheme involves multiple phases in which Cliff, by being made to witness to several stunts engineered by the duo, is manipulated into thinking that Howard is a drug addict. The final phase involves learning the details of a planned mediation session between HHM, Davis & Main, and Schweikart & Cokely. This phase involves staging several photos in which Jimmy hands an envelope to an actor impersonating the mediator, Rand Casimiro, with the photos being handed to Howard by a con man posing as a private investigator. The photos are laced with a psychotropic drug.

At the mediation, Howard—having just been handed what appears to be incriminating photos showing Casimiro taking a payoff—grills the mediator and accuses him of being bribed by Jimmy. He also begins suffering from the effects of the drug, causing him to sweat and his pupils to dilate. Howard's agitated state and his inability to prove his claims lead to the mediation breaking down. Schweikart informs Cliff that his team are going back to their previous settlement offer, which will only last until the end of the day and will then be reduced by one million dollars each following day. Left with no other choice, Cliff forces Howard to accept the offer. The Sandpiper case is finally settled. ("Plan and Execution")

Jimmy uses his share of the Sandpiper settlement to expand his law practice and indulge in a lavish lifestyle; Kim, feeling guilty that their scheme inadvertently resulted in Howard's murder by Lalo Salamanca, forgoes her share, divorces Jimmy, and moves to Titusville, Florida. ("Waterworks")

2010[]

Kim flies back to Albuquerque and submits an affidavit to both the district attorney and Howard's widow, Cheryl, revealing the truth about her and Jimmy's scheme to force the Sandpiper settlement by ruining Howard's reputation, along with his subsequent murder and staged suicide. However, with no physical evidence of her story, Kim doubts she will be prosecuted, although she concedes that Cheryl can sue her in civil court. ("Waterworks")

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