In 2005, New York magazine's feature article listed Jay Goldberg as having been selected by his peers for inclusion in "The Best Lawyers in New York." A poll in which lawyers and judges were asked to answer this question: "Who Are Manhattan's Most Powerful, Talented, and Fearsome Prosecutors and Defenders?" resulted in this statement: Goldberg is a lawyer's lawyer, a defense attorney whom colleagues and prosecutors alike cite as exemplary of the mix of qualities that make a lawyer effective.
"Finest and most skilled trial lawyer"
In a letter to CBS producer Fred Friendly who was then preparing a program on the legal profession, the Honorable H. Lee Sarokin of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, wrote: "Of my time on the trial bench as a District Court Judge, Jay Goldberg was the finest and most skilled trial lawyer ever to try a case before me."
In Professor Joel Seidemann's book -
In The Interest of Justice: Great Opening and Closing Arguments of the Last 100 Years (HarperCollins Pub.) two of the twenty courtroom arguments selected are those of Goldberg. The book has been described as:
A first: America's greatest courtroom speeches beginning with
Scopes trial and the summation of Clarence Darrow.
"The city's best and brightest trial lawyer"
In Zuckerman's Vengeance Is Mine (MacMillan) the author wrote "Goldberg held a reputation as the city's best and brightest trial lawyer. He had mastered a style of cross examination that left witnesses gasping for breath; he had an energetic, courtly manner with a jury and a style of summation of such eloquent fury that one could almost lose sight of anything his opponent had proven."
"Dr. Armand Hammer's "counsel had performed
Dr. Armand Hammer, then Chairman and Founder of Occidental Petroleum, after what
he said was a several month search to find what he considered to be the best trial
lawyer, chose Mr. Goldberg to defend his $450 million art collection against a
claim of fraud made by the beneficiary of his wife's estate. In a biography of
Dr. Hammer, The Dark Side of Power by Carl Blumay (Simon
& Schuster), the author wrote: "Armand hired Goldberg to represent him against
a pending lawsuit in California which he declared was going to be 'the most difficult
struggle of his long life'." Hammer was one of history's greatest industrial living
legends. After a number of court sessions the word at Occidental was that "his
counsel had performed brilliantly."
"Summation is must reading for those studying trial
Mr. Goldberg was lead counsel in United States v. Bess Meyerson,
a criminal case in which the former Miss America, City Official, and Senate Candidate
was accused, along with a New York Supreme Court Justice, of bribery in order
to secure a desired result in a state proceeding. In a book used in law schools
in courses on trial advocacy, Iannuzzi in Trial: Strategy
& Psychology (Prentice Hall) reprinted Mr. Goldberg's summation in the
Meyerson case and wrote: "The trial ended in an acquittal
in large measure based on Mr. Goldberg's summation. His summation is must reading
for those studying trial advocacy." In Alexander's When
She Was Bad (Random House Pub.), the author ascribed the acquittal to the
"skill and craftiness of Goldberg."
"Waylon "even wrote a song about him"
In his autobiography, Waylon (Warner Books), country
music star Waylon Jennings wrote "Jay Goldberg orchestrated my defense. He's one
of the greatest lawyers in the world and when he got into his legal mode, he was
an artist. When he walked in the courtroom the government didn't have a chance
against him. I even wrote a song about him."
"Masterful Cross-Examination" of Gravano
Following a record number of government convictions using centerpiece witness
Salvatore Gravano, Mr. Goldberg's representation of a defendant resulted in an
acquittal, and this observation 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 Prentice Hall publication for use in law
schools, Handbook of Cross-Examination, contains what
the author found to be "five outstanding cross-examinations" including one by
"such a formidable trial lawyer as Jay Goldberg" including his "masterful cross-examination
of a linchpin witness [Gravano] in United States v. Gambino."
"Toughest Lawyer in Town" and Other Miscellaneous
In 1994, Mr. Goldberg was profiled on Robin Leach's Lifestyles
of the Rich and Famous in a segment entitled "Toughest Lawyer in Town." He
is also listed in Naifeh and Smith's Best Lawyers in America
and in two Marquis publications, Who's Who in the
World and Who's Who in American Law.