Robert Gottlieb: Where is the Lawyer Now?

In Netflix’s biographical drama film ‘Shirley,’ Robert Gottlieb becomes a part of Shirley Chisholm’s presidential campaign as the national coordinator of students. Shirley asks him to spread his wings and travel across the country to communicate with students of his age and sensibilities to convince them to vote for her. When major networks decide not to give her a space to address the country through their channels, it is Gottlieb who moves legally against them on her behalf. In reality, as the movie depicts, Shirley’s campaign was an integral part of Gottlieb’s career, who eventually became one of the most well-regarded defense lawyers in the country!

Who is Robert Gottlieb?

In the summer of 1971, Robert C. Gottlieb was a Cornell University student from New York City who went on to work with Shirley Chisholm as a congressional intern. Without any prior experience, Gottlieb became the national youth coordinator of Shirley’s campaign when she set out to run for the presidential nomination of the Democratic Party. “I really didn’t know what I was doing,” Gottlieb said about his inclusion in the campaign, as per Anastasia C. Curwood’s ‘Shirley Chisholm: Champion of Black Feminist Power Politics.’ The position took him to different states such as New York, North Carolina, Florida, Wisconsin, and California.

Image Credit: Robert C. Gottlieb & Associates PLLC

Gottlieb sacrificed his comfort and living standards for the sake of the campaign. Since he didn’t have enough money for accommodation, dorm rooms and private residences became his homes. “Campaigning on college campuses was very inexpensive, and he [Gottlieb] found himself to be operating as an advance person for such appearances: he would approach student leaders, ask them if they wanted to help organize a rally, and then contact local media about the event,” Curwood wrote about Gottlieb’s responsibilities. He graduated from Cornell in 1972 with a Bachelor’s degree in Industrial and Labor Relations. He then attended New York University’s School of Law and graduated with a Juris Doctor degree in 1975.

In 1975, Gottlieb started serving as an assistant district attorney in Manhattan under Robert Morgenthau, who retired as the longest-serving district attorney in the history of the State of New York. He remained in the position until 1979. In 1983, he founded Robert C. Gottlieb & Associates PLLC, a law firm that mainly focuses on criminal defense.

Robert Gottlieb Remains a Reputed Trial Attorney Now

Based in Broadway, New York, Robert Gottlieb continues to work as one of the country’s best trial attorneys or in other words, defense lawyers. With over forty years of practice under his belt, Gottlieb has been involved in trials unfolded in courts like the United States Supreme Court and the United States Court of Appeals. His cases range from murder to rape, securities and bank fraud to money laundering, and federal and state tax violations to Medicare and insurance fraud. He is named in multiple national and state-wise lists of top lawyers.

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Over the years, Gottlieb has represented a group of high-profile clients, including former NY1 anchor Gary Anthony Ramsay, who was accused of groping former NY1 reporter Adele Sammarco. He was the lawyer of Adis Medunjanin, who was charged with plotting to kill passengers of Manhattan subway trains. His clientele included Anna Malova, a former Miss Russia who had drug-related issues in New York, and Douglas Kennedy, the son of Robert F. Kennedy who was charged with child endangerment. He appeared in court for Jaynie Mae Baker, who was accused of running a brothel on the Upper East Side in Manhattan.

When former ‘Real Housewives of New York’ star Bethenny Frankel accused her ex-husband Jason Hoppy of stalking and harassment, Gottlieb represented the latter. His celebrity clients include the radio and television personality Craig Carton, who was arrested on charges of securities fraud, wire fraud, and conspiracy to commit these crimes. He was also the lawyer of Anthony Comello, who allegedly killed Frank Cali, who served as the acting boss of the infamous Gambino crime family. His other client Laurence Doud III was sentenced to prison for conspiring to unlawfully distribute controlled substances and defrauding the DEA.

As far as Gottlieb’s recent cases are concerned, he represented Adam Foss, a former Boston prosecutor and justice reform advocate, who was alleged of rape and sexual abuse. He was eventually cleared of the two charges. He had been the lawyer of Galen Marsh, who was dismissed by Morgan Stanley for compiling the information of around 350,000 wealth-management clients. Gottlieb is highly critical of certain judicial practices in the country. He described the criminal justice system as “impotent when it comes to addressing issues of mental illness and preventing crime because of mental illness,” as per the New York Post with regard to the case of Steven Hutcherson, who allegedly stabbed two teen tourists in New York City.

In addition to working as an attorney, Gottlieb has also served as a faculty member of prestigious institutions such as Touro College, Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center in Huntington, etc. He was also a part of the New York State Bar Association’s Task Force on Wrongful Convictions. Despite being a popular attorney, he has chosen to keep his personal life private.

Read More: What Happened to Shirley Chisholm’s Mom and Sister?