Around the Island

Friday Night Dialogues: ‘The Courtroom Is My Theater’ trial attorney Jay Goldberg

Jay Goldberg, one of America’s preeminent trial attorneys, has represented Robert F. Kennedy, John F. Kennedy, Willie Nelson, Miles Davis, Donald Trump, Johnny Cash, Armand Hammer, The Hells Angels and many others over the course of his long and illustrious career. The Shelter Island Public Library welcomes Mr. Goldberg to our Friday Night Dialogues on Nov. 8 at 7 p.m.

In his memoir “The Courtroom Is My Theater,” Mr. Goldberg shares stories of high-profile courtroom drama and his work with colorful and powerful figures in politics, business, entertainment, and “men of honor” such as Joe “Scarface” Agone and Vincent “Jimmy Blue Eyes” Alo.  

After graduating magna cum laude from Harvard Law School, Goldberg worked for legendary District Attorney Frank S. Hogan in New York. Robert F. Kennedy appointed him Acting U.S Attorney for the Northwest District of Indiana, which was then considered the most crime-ridden, mafia-controlled area of the United States. He was legal assistant to James B. Donovan at the time of the transfer of a convicted Russian spy, Rudolph Abel, for American U-2 pilot Francis Gary Powers (as depicted in the Tom Hanks film “Bridge of Spies”). 

A former President of the Criminal Bar Association called Goldberg “one of the foremost litigators of this or any generation.” Former Chief of the Criminal Division of the United States Attorney’s Office, SDNY Frederick Hafetz said, “I consider you to have the best killer trial skill I have ever seen in my 47 years of practice and I have worked with the best…”  Goldberg’s masterful cross-examination of Sammy “the Bull” Gravano in U.S. vs Gambino was praised by the National Law Journal, “If not for defense attorney Jay Goldberg’s methodical destruction of Mr. Gravano showing that he was not telling even the same story, no less the truth, then Mr. Gravano would still be selling his versions in the way that ‘professional anti-Communists’ created testimony to order in the 1950s.”

“The Courtroom Is My Theater” is Mr. Goldberg’s fourth book. He has appeared as a guest legal analyst on CNN, MSNBC, Fox News and ABC.

Please join us to hear about one man’s journey through the practice of law and to gain insight into the tactics, strategies and rhetoric that the finest lawyers use to win over juries and judges.

Mr. Goldberg’s talk is sure to be compelling and enlightening.  

Up next: On Friday, Nov. 15, at 7 p.m., Paulann Sheets will speak about her late father-in-law composer and musician Arthur Chitz whose life was tragically cut short by the Holocaust.