Frederic Block reads and signs RACE TO JUDGMENT! Part of UHBF
On September 14, WBW welcomes Judge Frederic Block for a reading and signing of RACE TO JUDGMENT!
RACE TO JUDGMENT is a “reality-fiction” debut novel loosely based on a number of high-profile cases handled by its author, a federal trial court judge, over his 23 years on the federal bench in Brooklyn—such as the Crown Heights riots and the Peter Gotti trial. It tracks the rise of the fictional African-American civil rights protagonist Ken Williams (in real life, the recently deceased Brooklyn DA Ken Thompson) from his days as an Assistant United States Attorney through his meteoric rise to unseat the long-term, corrupt Brooklyn DA because of a spate of phony convictions against black defendants, including another one of the judge’s real cases (JoJo Jones in the book) for the murder of a Hasidic rabbi. Williams’ dramatic courtroom antics (with the aid of his colorful private eye) results in JoJo’s exoneration after 16 years behind bars. In addition, Williams defends a young black guidance counselor accused of killing the rabbi’s son many years ago, and champions the cause of a young Hasidic woman raped by her father. As a hobby, Williams plays jazz piano and writes country songs—written by the author—which are reproduced in the book.
Judge Frederic Block was appointed United States District Judge for the Eastern District of New York on September 29, 1994, and entered duty on October 31, 1994. He assumed senior status on September 1, 2005. He received a Bachelor’s Degree from Indiana University in 1956, and an LL.B. Degree from Cornell Law School in 1959.
During his twenty-three years on the bench, Judge Block has presided over a number of high-profile cases, including the trials of former Bear Stearns hedge fund managers Ralph Cioffi and Matthew Tannin, Kenneth “Supreme” McGriff, Peter Gotti, Lemrick Nelson and nightclub magnate Peter Gatien.
He regularly sits by designation on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Judge Block recently authored the best-selling book entitled DISROBED: An Inside Look at the Life and Work of a Federal Trial Judge. He also co-authored the 1985 off-Broadway musical Professionally
Speaking (music and lyrics). He has likewise published articles on a variety of legal topics, including Tales of an “Active” Senior Judge, ABA Litigation Journal, Spring 2011; Reflections on Guns and Jury Nullification – And Judicial Nullification, The Champion, July 2009; Senior Status: An “Active” Senior Judge Corrects Some Common Misunderstandings, 92 Cornell L. Rev. 533 (2007); and Civil Liberties during National Emergencies: The Interactions between the Three Branches of Government in Coping with Past and Current Threats to the Nation’s Security, 29 N.Y.U. Rev. L. & Soc. Change 459 (2005). He was also a contributing author for Perspectives on 9/11 (Yassin El-Ayouty ed., 2004), and for the New York State Bar Association’s textbook Federal Civil Practice. In 2007, he penned a New York Times op-ed addressing the financial burdens of death penalty prosecutions.
Part of Utah Humanities Book Festival!