NEW YORK (July 16, 2020) – Holland & Knight's Robert Katzberg has authored "The Vanishing Trial: The Era of Courtroom Performers and the Perils of Its Passing," an exploration of why trials have become rarities in today's federal courtrooms and the consequences of a justice system without juries.
In "The Vanishing Trial," Mr. Katzberg reflects upon his four-decade courtroom career, first prosecuting federal criminal cases in New York, and then defending high-profile cases across the country. Mr. Katzberg recreates a time when trials were commonplace, when average citizens played a key role in the administration of justice, when young lawyers honed significant trial skills, and when veteran courtroom stars performed their craft at the highest level. "The Vanishing Trial" describes the realities of a courtroom world known only to insiders, one that cannot exist without jury trials. Finally, it provides readers with a roadmap to reclaim their role in preserving justice in America.
"The lack of public awareness belies the significance of the problem," Mr. Katzberg says. "There are only two constitutionally guaranteed ways the average citizen can directly impact the operation of our democracy—voting in an election and serving on a jury. If the average citizen is no longer going to be able to play this role, even for once or twice in their life, it's a terrible loss."
Mr. Katzberg is a prominent member of the New York white collar criminal defense bar and has represented clients in a multitude of high-profile criminal investigations and prosecutions. A graduate of George Washington University Law School, he began his career as a law clerk to the Honorable Oliver Gasch on the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. He then served as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, where his prosecution of political corruption and financial crimes earned him the coveted Attorney General's Special Achievement Award. For the next four decades, as a partner in Kaplan & Katzberg and later with Holland & Knight, he defended clients in high-profile cases in New York City and throughout the country.
Praise for "The Vanishing Trial"
"A compelling read not ruined by having been dipped into the marinade of the writer's own ego." New York Law Journal, June 19, 2020
"People often ask me what it is like to defend high profile cases in the courtroom. There is now an easy answer. Read The Vanishing Trial." Ben Brafman, described by CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin as "the best criminal defense lawyer in the country"
"A window into the vanishing world of the interplay between well-trained defense lawyers and the American jury. Best of all, it reads like butter." Burt Neuborne, NYU Law School professor, former National Director of the American Civil Liberties Union, and co-founder of the Brennan Center for Criminal Justice
"A masterful job exposing one of the dirty little secrets of the criminal justice system: the imminent extinction of the jury trial." Marc Geragos, famed criminal defense attorney and television legal analyst
"An entertaining, fast-paced and instructive book by a top-flight defense lawyer . . . makes a compelling case for legal reform." Daniel Capra, Fordham Law School professor
"A compelling and entertaining book with an important warning: reform the criminal justice system or it might just disappear." John Brownlee, criminal defense attorney and former United States Attorney for the Western District of Virginia
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