From prosecuting (and defending) murderers in the Bronx to handling the public and private problems of Manhattan’s elite, Mouthpiece recounts the colorful adventures of New York City’s ultimate legal operator.
“In the pages before us, the Counselor tells a saga’s worth of tales of the city. As the saying goes, he’s got a million of them.” —Tom Wolfe, from his Introduction
Edward Hayes is that unusual combination: the likable lawyer, one who could have stepped off the stages of Guys and Dolls or Chicago. Mouthpiece is his story—an irreverent, entertaining, and revealing look at the practice of law in modern times and a social and political anatomy of New York City. It recounts Hayes’s childhood in the tough Irish sections of Queens and his eventual escape to the University of Virginia and then to Columbia Law School. Not at all white-shoe-firm material, Hayes headed to the hair-raising, crime-ridden South Bronx of the midseventies—first as a homicide prosecutor and then as a defense attorney seeking to free the same sort of people he formerly had put in jail.
Tom Wolfe immortalized this setting in The Bonfire of the Vanities. Ed Hayes was his guide, and he served as the model for the scrappy defense lawyer Tommy Killian. Eventually, Hayes moved his practice to Manhattan, using his neighborhood white boy instincts and connections and the rough-and-tumble techniques learned in the Bronx on behalf of the rich and powerful and famous. From a high-stakes legal shootout over the Andy Warhol estate to working to secure financial justice for the families of the World Trade Center victims, Hayes has been behind the scenes of how New York City really operates.
For the tens of millions fascinated by New York’s unique blend of glitter and grime, of idealism and corruption, of avarice and ambition, Mouthpiece provides the ultimate close-up of high-stakes Gotham gamesmanship.
About the Author
Edward Hayes now practices law in Manhattan for a wide variety of influential and/or notorious clients. He co-anchors "Both Sides "for Court TV and broadcasts once a week on WABC Talk Radio. He is an inductee into the International Best Dressed Hall of Fame.
Susan Lehman, a former criminal defense lawyer, was senior editor at Riverhead Books, "Talk" magazine, and Salon.com. She has written about the law, crime and other topics for the "New York Observer," the "Washington Post," and other publications.
Tom Wolfe is the famed author of "The Bonfire of the Vanities," "The Right Stuff," and, most recently, "I Am Charlotte Simmons."
Praise for Mouthpiece
“Ed Hayes has an almost unique ability to treat ‘kings and paupers, one and both the same’; indeed, he has prosecuted or defended both at one time or another in his career. Anyone who has seen Eddie in action recognizes that he is as articulate as he is colorful. His book, Mouthpiece, proves ‘beyond a reasonable doubt’ that he is also one of the most effective lawyers practicing today.”
—Henry S. Schlieff, Chairman & CEO, Court TV
“Eddie Hayes has more excitement in real life than any lawyer in the movies.”
“Eddie Hayes walks, talks, and acts like a character created by Damon Runyon, but he’s even better because he’s the real thing.”
—William Bratton, former Police Commissioner of Boston and New York, current Chief of Police, Los Angeles
“Whether it’s his blistering performances in court, or his Savile Row chalkstripe suits, Ed Hayes has always been a law unto himself. Half of New York society is in his memoirs—the other half is trying to stay well out of his sights.”
—Anna Wintour, Editor-in-Chief, Vogue
“In the battle between good and evil, Ed Hayes is on both sides. After reading Mouthpiece I don’t know whether to congratulate him or arrest him.”
—John Timoney, City of Miami Police Chief, former First Deputy Commissioner, New York City Police Department
“Thanks to Eddie Hayes, I never got what I deserved.”
—Little Georgie (not his real name)