Gerald Shargel

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Gerald Shargel (born October 5, 1944) is an American defense attorney based in New York City who has been a member of the New York Bar since 1969.[1] He is widely regarded as one of the best lawyers in America - The New Yorker in a 10,000 word profile said he is "...a criminal lawyer considered quite possibly the finest of his generation, a man of elegance in the courtroom, who has said he models his oratory on Martin Luther King, Jr....The most scholarly judges treat him as an equal...He is also one of the best pure trial lawyers in town, known for the exceptional skill of his cross examination and for his physicality..."[2]

He has garnered attention as both a trial and appellate lawyer, representing white-collar clients and ordinary criminal defendants, but is most famous for along with Bruce Cutler, securing the acquittal of Mafia boss John J. Gotti in 1990 on New York State charges that Gotti had ordered the shooting of labor union official John F. O'Connor.[3]

Early life and education[edit]

Shargel was born in New Brunswick, New Jersey.[4] He graduated from Rutgers University in 1966 and from Brooklyn Law School in 1969.[5][6]


Shargel is widely regarded as one of the best criminal lawyers in New York.[7][8] The New York Times in an extensive profile referred to him as "charming", and one "regarded on Centre Street as a brilliant tactician and a very good trial lawyer with a successful white-collar practice."[9] In receiving the Thurgood Marshall Award for Outstanding Criminal Law Practitioner by the New York State Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers in 2006 he was referred to as "one of the most brilliant criminal defense attorneys in America… quite possibly the finest of his generation."[10]

In a 1991 federal case against the Gambino crime family, Shargel was initially slated to represent underboss Sammy Gravano. However, Judge I. Leo Glasser barred Shargel and Bruce Cutler from representing Gravano and Gotti, respectively, agreeing with prosecutors' assertion that the lawyers were "house counsel" to the Gambinos. Prosecutors, including now-Judge John Gleeson, contended that since Shargel and Cutler may have known about criminal activity, they were "part of the evidence" and liable to be called as witnesses.[11]

Shargel's high-profile clients include Daniel Pelosi, who was charged and later convicted of the second-degree murder of East Hampton millionaire Ted Ammon,[12] and Robert "Joe" Halderman in the matter of Halderman's extortion of TV personality David Letterman.[13] Shargel represented Halderman from October 2009 to March 9, 2010, when Halderman entered a plea-bargained guilty plea.[14]

Shargel is well-known for his courtroom style and dramatic presentations - in 2005, Murder Inc. record label owners Irv and Chris Gotti (no relation to the Mafia boss mentioned above) were acquitted on all charges. There were a number of lively exchanges between Shargel and NYPD detective Anthony Castiglia during testimony.[15][16][17]

In 2012, Shargel represented Hip-Hop mogul James "Jimmy Henchman" Rosemond, CEO of Czar Entertainment, in a federal trial in Brooklyn, New York presided over by Judge Gleeson.[18] Rosemond was convicted on all charges, including cocaine distribution, conspiracy, money laundering, firearms possession and witness tampering.[18] On October 25, 2013, Rosemond was sentenced to life imprisonment.[19][20]

As of June 2013, in addition to his trial work, he teaches criminal-law classes at his alma mater, Brooklyn Law School.[21] Shargel holds the position of Practitioner-In-Residence at Brooklyn Law School, teaching courses on evidence, criminal procedure and trial advocacy.[4][6]

He is a frequent writer and commentator[where?] on legal issues that arise during high profile criminal cases, which generate sustained national and regional media focus.

Notable clients[edit]


  1. ^ "Gerald Lawrence Shargel". New York State Unified Court System. Retrieved 23 July 2017.
  2. ^ "Annals of Law : Defending The Mafia" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-10-29. Retrieved 2013-10-26.
  3. ^ Raab, Selwyn (1990-02-10). "GOTTI NOT GUILTY ON ALL 6 CHARGES IN ASSAULT TRIAL - New York Times". Retrieved 2013-10-26.
  4. ^ a b "Gerald L. Shargel Lawyer Profile on". 1944-10-05. Retrieved 2013-10-26.
  5. ^ "Lawyer Gerald Shargel - New York Attorney". 2011-05-21. Retrieved 2013-10-26.
  6. ^ a b "Biography". Archived from the original on 2013-10-29. Retrieved 2013-10-26.
  7. ^ "Uh-oh: Phonies Rule the day". New York: NY Daily News. 2007-07-24. Retrieved 2013-10-26.
  8. ^ "Faculty Member Laura Brevetti, Joel Cohen, Bruce Green, Gerald Shargel". 2009-03-13. Archived from the original on 2013-01-28. Retrieved 2013-10-26.
  9. ^ Wadler, Joyce (1998-02-05). "PUBLIC LIVES; Not Mob Lawyer. Just Lawyer. Uh, for Gotti. - New York Times". Retrieved 2013-10-26.
  10. ^ "Gerald Shargel Lawyer in New York, Attorney NY". Super Lawyers. Retrieved 2013-10-26.
  11. ^ Lubasch, Arnold H. (1991-07-27). "Judge Disqualifies Gotti's Lawyer From Representing Him at Trial - New York Times". Retrieved 2013-10-26.
  12. ^ "Pelosi Found Guilty Of Murder". CBS News. 2009-02-11. Retrieved 2013-10-26.
  13. ^ "Robert Halderman's Attorney Speaks Out on David Letterman Extortion Case - ABC News". 2009-10-05. Retrieved 2013-10-26.
  14. ^ Eligon, John; Stelter, Brian (2010-03-09). "Six Months in Jail for Letterman Plot". The New York Times. Retrieved 2013-10-27.
  15. ^ Feuer, Alan (2005-11-22). "7,400 Bills Fit in Shoebox, a Detective Proves in Court". The New York Times. Retrieved 2013-10-27.
  16. ^ [1] Archived May 4, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  17. ^ Breihan, Tom (2005-11-21). "Irv Gotti Trial: 50 Cent Shooting To Be Admitted?". Archived from the original on 2008-10-22. Retrieved 2013-10-26.
  18. ^ a b Maddux, Mitchel (2012-06-05). "Hip-hop mogul 'Jimmy Henchman' guilty on all charges | New York Post". Retrieved 2013-10-26.
  19. ^ a b "James Rosemond, hip-hop's "Jimmy Henchman," gets life". 2011-06-21. Retrieved 2013-10-26.
  20. ^ a b "Hip Hop mogul Jimmy Rosemond gets life in prison for drug trafficking". New York: NY Daily News. 2013-10-25. Retrieved 2013-10-26.
  21. ^ a b c d e Lattman, Peter (2013-06-09). "Criminal Defense Lawyer Closes Office to Join a Big Firm". The New York Times. Retrieved 2013-10-27.
  22. ^ "Amanda Bynes' bong-tossing case may be resolved in next Manhattan court appearance". New York: NY Daily News. 2013-09-26. Retrieved 2013-10-26.
  23. ^ Oldenburg, Ann (2013-07-09). "Amanda Bynes wears blue wig to court". Retrieved 2013-10-26.
  24. ^ "Former Braniff President On Trial For Fraud". 1995-09-18. Retrieved 2013-10-26.
  25. ^ Lubasch, Arnold H. (1988-02-25). "7 Convicted of Racketeering, 1 Acquitted, in Westies Trial - New York Times". Retrieved 2013-10-26.
  26. ^ Raab, Selwyn (1999-01-06). "Schedule May Force Top Lawyer Off Gotti Team - New York Times". Retrieved 2013-10-26.
  27. ^ "2 VIEWS OF GAS MOGUL IN SLAY RAP". New York: NY Daily News. 1997-07-10. Retrieved 2013-10-26.
  28. ^ "FindLaw | Cases and Codes". Retrieved 2013-10-26.
  29. ^ " - Irving Lorenzo of Murder Inc. acquitted". 2005-12-02. Retrieved 2013-10-26.
  30. ^ "'War On Hip Hop' Ja Rule Blasts Trial Against 'Gotti' Bros". New York: NY Daily News. 2005-11-17. Retrieved 2013-10-26.
  31. ^ "McGriff, Lorenzo Link Debated At Trial". Billboard. Retrieved 2013-10-26.
  32. ^ Fleischer, Matt. "Mob Prosecutor Fired for Leaking to Press in John A. Gotti Trial | The New York Observer". Retrieved 2013-10-26.
  33. ^ "John 'Junior' Gotti pleads guilty to racketeering, bribery, extortion on eve of trial". 1999-04-06. Retrieved 2013-10-26.
  34. ^ Graham, Mark (2013-09-04). "David Letterman's Alleged Extortioner's Lawyer Went on the Today Show and It Wasn't Pretty". Vulture. Retrieved 2013-10-26.
  35. ^ "David Letterman Extortion Suspect Robert "Joe" Halderman to Seek Dismissal of Case - Crimesider". CBS News. 2009-11-10. Retrieved 2013-10-26.
  36. ^ Graham, Mark (2013-09-04). "Aspiring Screenwriter Robert 'Joe' Halderman Insists That He Just Wanted to Sell David Letterman His Screenplay". Vulture. Retrieved 2013-10-26.
  37. ^ "Letterman extortion suspect's lawyer seeks dismissal". 2009-11-10. Retrieved 2013-10-26.
  38. ^ Eaton, Phoebe (2013-10-18). "Danny Pelosi's Biggest Problem". Retrieved 2013-10-26.
  39. ^ "Behind the Daniel Pelosi Murder Case - ABC News". 2004-12-15. Retrieved 2013-10-26.
  40. ^ "A View From the Inside: New Documentary Looks at Fraudster Marc Dreier". 2012-04-01. Retrieved 2013-10-26.
  41. ^ [2] Archived July 10, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.
  42. ^ Slater, Dan (2008-12-11). "Dreier Doing Time Alone: "You Could Lose Your Mind in Three Weeks" - Law Blog - WSJ". Retrieved 2013-10-26.
  43. ^ Scott Cohn (2012-11-08). "Did Marc Dreier Get the Punishment He Deserved?". Retrieved 2013-10-26.
  44. ^ Lubasch, Arnold H. (1992-12-15). "Ex-Head of Chinatown Gang Is Guilty of Leading Drug Ring - New York Times". Retrieved 2013-10-27.

External links[edit]