Judge Frederic Block of the Eastern District of New York (which covers Brooklyn and Long Island) has written Disrobed: An Inside Look at the Life and Work of a Federal Trial Judge, a 456 page book that offers a behind-the-bench look at some of the most newsworthy cases of the past 20 years. In the book’s three parts, Judge Block writes in Part I about how, as an outsider born in Brooklyn, he broke through the big-city establishment barrier and become a federal judge. Part II reflects on his early days as a federal court judge. Part III of the book comments on the death penalty, racketeering, gun laws, drug laws, discrimination laws, race riots, terrorism, and foreign affairs. Judge Block’s personal account of his experiences with noted cases from the last 20 years, (including the Kitty Genovese case, the trial of mob boss Peter Gotti, and his connection to the trial of Lemrick Nelson who was convicted of killing Yankel Rosenbaum during the Crown Heights riots) gives the average reader an understanding of the judicial system and the role that judges play.
Judge Block was appointed US District Judge for the Eastern District of New York in 1994. In 2005, he assumed senior status. Before that, he was a partner in a Smithtown, New York law firm and maintained his own general practice on Long Island. Judge Block will give a book talk at Brooklyn Law School’s Geraldo’s Café at Feil Hall at 6pm on Thursday, October 11, 2012. Thomson Reuters, the publisher of Disrobed, interviewed Judge Block about the book. A video of that interview is below.