Hofstra Law Review


Bruce A. Green


This Article is about a prominent, early 20th-century New York City criminal defense lawyer, John Palmieri. In 1915, Palmieri defended a minor politician, John J. Delane, on charges of receiving the proceeds of prostitution from a woman with whom Delane was living. In the course of thetrial, Palmieri elicited the woman's false testimony - whether or not intentionally was later disputed - and he summed up on a portion of her testimony the he undeniably knew to be false. Palmieri's conduct led to a criminal prosecution (in which he was defended by Max Steuer) and disciplinary charges that were eventually resolved by a split decision in New York's highest court. After reconstructing this story, the Article attempts to draw some lessons for today.

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