Boardwalk Empire Wiki

Bill Fallon, played by David Aaron Baker, is a criminal defense attorney based in New York City. He represents crime boss Arnold Rothstein. The character is based on the historical figure of the same name. Later he also represents Nucky Thompson.


Season 1[]

Fallon meets his client Arnold Rothstein in a New York barbershop to discuss ongoing media coverage alleging Rothstein's involvement in fixing the baseball world series. Rothstein worries that he was seen meeting with boxer Abe Attell and then ate dinner with baseball player "Sleepy Bill" Burns at the Astor hotel. Fallon recommends ignoring the accusations until they pass but Rothstein is concerned that the World Series was months ago already. ("Nights in Ballygran")

Fallon and Rothstein meet in June 1920. Fallon pours a glass of milk for Rothstein. Fallon tells Rothstein that he has heard rumours of the District Attorney investigating the Chicago White Sox. Rothstein asks which players and Fallon tells him that it is Seacott and Jackson. Rothstein recognises that the authorities are targeting the farm boys. Fallon half-heartedly reassures Rothstein that Abe Attell will say nothing whatever the players reveal. Rothstein says that Attell has already been talking to their shared associated. Fallon wonders what will happen if he is questioned and Rothstein predicts that he will fold quickly. Fallon asks Rothstein to repeat his practice denial which he does; beginning with a commentary on his respect for baseball. Fallon improves the wording slightly. Rothstein goes on to say that he was approached by Attell but turned down his offer to fix the 1919 world series and then avoided betting on the series. Fallon plays prosecutor and asks if a man named “Sport” Sullivan also approached Rothstein. Rothstein says that he is approached daily by people with schemes and that suffering fools is not illegal. Fallon jokes that it is not too late for Rothstein to attend law school. Rothstein grins and counters that he prefers to make an honest living. ("Hold Me in Paradise")

Season 2[]

Arnold Rothstein and Bill Fallon meet with Nucky Thompson in Fallon’s New York offices on July 24 1921. Nucky is under indictment and released on bail for charges of election rigging. Fallon greets Nucky and says that he has heard only good things. Rothstein jokes that none of them came from him and Nucky plays along, saying that this narrows the list of suspects. Teddy looks at a baseball on the corner of Fallon’s desk. Fallon asks if the boy likes baseball and makes a gift of the ball, telling Teddy that it is signed by Ty Cobb. Nucky prompts Teddy to say thank you but Teddy instead remarks that Cobb is a bad man. Nucky tells Teddy that while Cobb does not like to be crossed he is a good player to have at bat if you are losing. Teddy goes out with Fallon's secretary. As the door closes behind them Fallon takes another signed baseball from the stock he keeps in a desk drawer and places it on the stand. Fallon says that Rothstein has told him that Nucky wants to take his case in a new direction; Nucky jokes that he would prefer away from jail. Fallon disparages Ginsburg as he pours drinks (milk for Rothstein) and Nucky says that he hopes Fallon is not charging him to hear that he is a fool for hiring Ginsburg. Fallon shrugs and agrees that part of the meeting will be free. Rothstein tells Nucky that if you can see past Fallon’s charm he is effective. Nucky asks if Fallon will be able to change the trial venue back to Atlantic City and Fallon admits that this is unlikely but reassures Nucky that he is skilled at sowing the seed of doubt in a jury trial. Nucky jokingly wonders at the cost of Fallon’s seed farming and Fallon announces a rate of $80 per hour inclusive of his ability to befriend judges. Nucky wonders what Fallon would say if he had no money for bribes and Fallon tells him that he would be relying solely on his legal acumen. Nucky asks Rothstein’s advice and Rothstein tells him that a gambler likes a long shot. Fallon laughs and Nucky nods and drinks deeply from his glass. ("Georgia Peaches")

On July 26 1921 Fallon meets with Nucky at his home in Atlantic City. Fallon has met with prosecutor Esther Randolph and jokes that she is vinegary for a cookie. Nucky asks about the judge and Fallon admits that he was not receptive to signals about bribery. Nucky instructs Fallon to press harder and Fallon refuses, saying that he cannot do more without exposing himself to charges. In the corner of the room Harlan decants whiskey. Fallon tells Nucky that Randolph is concentrating on the murder charges levelled against him for ordering the death of Hans Schroeder. Her case is largely based on the testimony of Deputy Halloran. Nucky asks about Eli and Fallon confuses him by saying that Eli is not talking. Nucky assumes he means to the investigators but Fallon clarifies that he means that Eli is not talking to them. Nucky lies that he is innocent and Fallon says that he would not have taken the case if he believed otherwise. Not quite believing Fallon Nucky asks for more news. Fallon reveals that Randolph is having Prohibition Agent Nelson Van Alden testify. Nucky describes Van Alden as a bigamist and Fallon disagrees, correctly stating that Van Alden is an adulterer with a child by Nucky’s former mistress Lucy Danziger. Fallon says that it is best to keep such matters from the jury to avoid confusion, making a reference to ox goring in the Torah. Fallon points out that as an agent of the Treasury Van Alden may still seem sympathetic to some jurors. Nucky wonders why Harlan is still hovering behind Fallon having completed his task and dismisses him. Nucky asks how bad things look and Fallon warns him that it would be prudent to get his finances in order. Nucky asks Fallon to get him a whiskey; Fallon goes to the bar and pours from the freshly filled decanter. Harlan slowly picks up a tray and Nucky asks if he wasn’t clear earlier, Harlan is polite but remains in the room. Nucky asks what he has to say and Harlan begins by reminding Nucky that he has kept him working throughout the strike. Nucky says that he does not need a thank you and Harlan nods. Harlan moves on to reiterate his membership of the Shiloh Baptist Church and Nucky impatiently says that he appreciates Harlan’s prayers and again asks him to leave. Fallon realizes Harlan has more to say and asks him what it is. Harlan relates the story of Van Alden drowning his partner Eric Sebso in full view of the congregation during Deacon Cuffy’s week of miracles event the previous year. Fallon is impressed and checks Harlan’s name. ("Under God's Power She Flourishes")

When Van Alden arrives at the post office the next day he is met by Randolph, Fallon and Cuffy. Lathrop sidles up behind Van Alden as Randolph introduces the visitors, reminding Van Alden that he has met Cuffy. Fallon produces Sebso’s gun and new shoes from a box; Sebso removed them before going into the river where Van Alden drowned him. Randolph asks if Van Alden recognises the items. Cuffy quotes Proverbs 21:15 “It is joy for the just to do justice.” Lathrop instructs Van Alden to hold his hands up as he takes Van Alden's gun. Van Alden grabs the weapon once it is out of the holster and fires it into Lathrop’s right knee. Lathrop collapses, dropping the gun and Van Alden flees the room. Van Alden pushes past Agent Sawicki and runs out of the building. ("Under God's Power She Flourishes")

In August 1921 Fallon and Nucky meet to discuss stratefy. Nucky pours bourbon from a decanter in his home office. He asks Fallon how you order someone to commit murder, dissembling the instances when he has done so and calling the idea ludicrous. Fallon agrees and says that he will take this position in court. Nucky wonders if the witnesses against him would follow his orders to their deaths and Fallon jokes that if they would his troubles would be over. The decanter is depleted and Nucky swears and calls for his assistant Eddie Kessler. Nucky asks why it is empty and Eddie says that someone drank the contents. Nucky warns him against wisecracking and orders him to fetch ice. Fallon says that they should talk about Nucky’s brother Eli Thompson, one of the witnesses against him, asking Nucky to speak with him. Nucky wonders how he will reach him in protective custody and Fallon suggests an approach through Eli’s lawyer. Nucky says that Eli is not the real problem and Fallon says that he has noticed the elephant in the room. Nucky confirms that he means Margaret. Fallon predicts that Margaret’s testimony could sink their case because the jury will give weight to her corroborating the stories of Eli and Halloran given that she is not directly involved. Nucky ignores the phone ringing as Fallon tells him that Margaret testifying would be catastrophic. Following the meeting Nucky proposes to Margaret and the two marry. Nucky arranges for the murder of Neary to frighten the other witnesses into recanting their testimony. ("To the Lost")

The judge bangs his gavel and calls for order at Nucky’s trial. Randolph complains to the judge about the disintegration of her case with the marriage of Nucky and Margaret, the apparent suicide of Neary and the recanting of testimony by other witnesses. Nucky sits quietly at the defendant’s table, Mayor Bader, Alderman Damien Fleming and Eddie are seated behind him. Randolph accuses Nucky of witness tampering and Fallon objects. Fallon characterises her case as unravelling and she says that the court knows what is really going on. Fallon suggests that she wait until she can prove it and the judge again calls for order before asking both counsels to approach. The judge tells Randolph that she has no chance of a murder conviction and says that she has lost her main witness on the election rigging charges. He offers her a chance to back out now, before jeopardy is attached to the charges, and get her “ducks in a row.” Fallon quotes the proverb “[She] who fights and runs away.” Randolph agrees to take the ducks. The judge announces that the defence motion for mistrial is granted and the courtroom erupts in noise. ("To the Lost")

Nucky stands and shakes Fallon’s hand. Eli’s lawyer Douglas Wallbridge proposes a motion for Eli to be released and the judge grants it. Eli sits unshaven next to Halloran who is still recovering from the beating Eli arranged. Nucky stares across at his brother. Halloran’s lawyer dashes forward with an identical motion for his client. The judge reminds him that Halloran confessed to the murder of Hans Schroeder. The lawyer protests that they had a plea deal and the judge asks him to check the terms, which include a requirement for Nucky to stand trial before a jury on the charge. The judge remands Halloran to Leavenworth federal penitentiary and Halloran tries to protest, struggling to make himself heard through the wire work on his jaw. Eddie, Fleming and Bader surround Nucky as he exits the courtroom, shielding him from the throng of reporters. Nucky and Fallon spend the night celebrating in Atlantic City. Following the mistrial Fallon advises Nucky to convince Eli to plead guilty to the charges so that they cannot be retried. ("To the Lost")


Memorable Quotes[]


Season one appearances
Boardwalk Empire The Ivory Tower Broadway Limited Anastasia
Nights in Ballygran Family Limitation Home Hold Me in Paradise
Belle Femme The Emerald City Paris Green A Return to Normalcy
Season two appearances
21 Ourselves Alone A Dangerous Maid What Does the Bee Do?
Gimcrack & Bunkum The Age of Reason Peg of Old Two Boats and a Lifeguard
Battle of the Century Georgia Peaches Under God's Power She Flourishes To the Lost