Salon Series: The Chicago 7 Trial
April 22, 2021
A documentary of courtroom confrontations from one of the most incredible trials in American history
The Trial of the Chicago 7: The Official Transcript is a collection of verbatim excerpts from the trial that contains – in the parties’ own words – not only the opposing philosophies of each side and virtually all of the significant courtroom confrontations between Judge Hoffman and the defendants (and their lawyers), but also the bitter – and often hilarious – repartee that characterized so much of the trial. Aaron Sorkin wrote the book’s introduction.
The John Brademas Center and DC Dialogues hosted this salon series webinar with book editors Daniel Greenberg and Mark Levine in conversation with Alvin Bragg.
Alvin Bragg, Visiting Professor of Law Co-Director, Racial Justice Project, New York Law School
Alvin Bragg joined New York Law School in January 2019. His scholarship focuses on the intersection of criminal law and civil rights, prosecutorial discretion and accountability, and the functions of state Attorneys General (AGs).
Prior to joining NYLS, Professor Bragg worked more than 15 years in government service. Most recently, he served as Chief Deputy AG in the NY State Office of the AG. In that role, he helped set the office’s investigation and litigation priorities, and oversaw the work of the Criminal Justice and Social Justice Divisions. During his tenure, the Social Justice Division brought lawsuits against the Donald J. Trump Foundation and its directors alleging breaches of fiduciary duties; The Weinstein Company, Harvey Weinstein, and Robert Weinstein alleging the existence of a hostile work environment; and the U.S. Department of Commerce challenging its intention to include a citizenship question on the decennial census. The Criminal Justice Division brought significant criminal charges, including in bribery, securities fraud, and Medicaid fraud.
Professor Bragg also served as the Chief of the Special Investigations and Prosecutions Unit (SIPU) and the Executive Deputy Attorney General (EDAG) for Social Justice. As the Chief of SIPU, he oversaw investigations of law enforcement conduct resulting in the death of civilians and of a District Attorney’s handling of a shooting of a civilian by a police officer. For investigations that did not result in charges, SIPU released public reports providing analysis and recommendations for systemic reforms. As EDAG, Professor Bragg oversaw settlements including matters concerning discriminatory redlining, tenant harassment, wage and hour violations, and unlawful employment discrimination based on applicants’ criminal history.
Earlier in his career, Professor Bragg was an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Criminal Division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of NY, where he tried 10 cases to verdict. He also worked as Chief of Litigation and Investigations for the NYC Council, where he argued before the NY Court of Appeals in a groundbreaking case concerning separation of powers. Additionally, he was an associate at Morvillo Abramowitz Grand Iason & Anello PC and a law clerk to the Honorable Robert P. Patterson Jr., U.S. District Judge for the Southern District of NY.
Professor Bragg is a member of the Board of Directors of The Legal Aid Society, a former member of the Board of Directors of the New York Urban League, and a Sunday School teacher at the Abyssinian Baptist Church.
Daniel L. Greenberg, Co-Editor of The Trial of the Chicago 7 and Lawyer
Danny is a progressive lawyer who has worked with poor and marginalized people and the organizations that represent them for nearly fifty years. He recently retired as Special Counsel for Pro Bono Initiatives at Schulte Roth and Zabel, a large New York law firm, a position he had held since 2005.
From 1994 to 2004, he was president and attorney in chief of the Legal Aid Society, the country’s largest full-service law firm for the indigent, with over a thousand lawyers delivering criminal defense, juvenile representation and civil legal services to hundreds of thousands of clients a year. Before that, from 1987 to 1994, he was Director of Clinical Programs at Harvard Law School.
Danny started as a legal services lawyer on New York’s Lower East Side in 1971, spending 16 years as a staff attorney and managing attorney with MFY Legal Services there.
He is a former president of the New York City Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild and has been a consultant on domestic and international legal issues for the American Bar Association, the Ford Foundation and the Open Society Foundations. For the 2004-5 academic year, he was the Distinguished Visitor at NYU Law School.
A graduate of Brooklyn College, Danny received his law degree from Columbia Law School in 1969. Following graduation from Columbia, he taught elementary school in Harlem until he turned 26 in 1971.
He is married with two adult daughters. His daughter Mara Nelson-Greenberg is a playwright whose plays have been produced in New York (at the Vineyard Theatre), Kentucky (at the Humana Festival of New American Plays in Louisville) and Chicago. His daughter Ilana Nelson-Greenberg is a doctor in her first year of residency at Johns Hopkins Hospital. He lives in Manhattan with his wife, Dr. Karen Nelson.
Mark L. Levine, Co-Editor of The Trial of the Chicago 7 and Lawyer
Mark’s career has revolved around his interests in law, book publishing, politics and the Bible. A lawyer since 1969, Mark has practiced corporate and transactional banking law with two major law firms and is one of the country’s leading authorities on book publishing contracts. He is also an experienced voter protection lawyer and campaign operative, having worked for progressive political candidates in nearly a dozen states.
His books include The Complete Book of Bible Quotations, a “Bartlett’s of the Bible” still in print after 33 years, and Negotiating a Book Contract: A Guide for Authors, Agents and Lawyers. From 2006-2016, he wrote the Contracts Q&A column for the Authors Guild Bulletin.
Under his Scarf Press imprint, he publishes Picture Stories from the Bible … in Full-Color Comic-Strip Form (Old Testament and New Testament editions), hardcover reprints of paperback books originally published in the 1940s by the father of William M. Gaines, founder of Mad Magazine.
Mark is a former partner in the New York office of Boston’s Sullivan & Worcester and a former vice president and member of the Board of Directors of the American Book Producers Association. He has taught Contracts Drafting at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law and Business Law at Zicklin School of Business/Baruch College, both in New York City. He has also been a substitute teacher in the Peekskill, NY public school system.
Mark is a graduate of Columbia College, NYU School of Law (where he was a member of Law Review) and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.
Born in Bath, Maine, he currently lives in Yorktown Heights, New York.
Published by Simon & Schuster, The Trial of the Chicago 7 is the 50th anniversary edition of The Tales of Hoffman, the best-selling edited version of the 22,302-page transcript that Bantam Books published and had in bookstores just 11 days after the 5-month trial ended in February 1970. It is the authentic record of what happened and what was said at this notorious and historic trial.
This new edition, published concurrently with the release of Aaron Sorkin’s award-winning Netflix movie, adds two sections to the original: one containing post-trial biographies of all defendants (including Bobby Seale), the lawyers and the judge, and another section containing summaries of the post-trial appeals and other legal proceedings. Learn More >>