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Strauser Lecture Series to feature U.S. judge and author

Strauser Lecture Series to feature U.S. judge and author


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Frederic Block, senior U.S. district judge, Eastern District of New York, will speak at Lycoming College as part of the 15th annual Larry Strauser Lectureship in Criminal Justice on Thursday, Oct. 3, at 4 p.m. in Honors Hall. The event is free and open to the public.

Block also is the author of “Disrobed: An Inside Look at the Life and Work of a Federal Trial Judge.” During his 17-year tenure on the bench, Block has presided over a number of high-profile criminal trials, including, most recently, a securities-fraud prosecution against former Bear Stearns hedge fund managers Ralph Cioffi and Matthew Tannin. He also oversaw the trials of Kenneth “Supreme” McGriff, Peter Gotti, Lemrick Nelson and nightclub magnate Peter Gatien. His talk will cover aspects from his book.

Block received an A.B. from Indiana University in 1956 and an LL.B. from Cornell Law School in 1959. He was a clerk to the New York Supreme Court, appellate division, from 1959 to 1961. He was in private practice from 1961 to 1994, when he was appointed to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York.

Susan Ross, Ph.D., professor and chair of criminal justice, and Kerry Richmond, Ph.D., assistant professor of criminal justice, both are incorporating sections of Block’s book into their classes this semester.

The Strauser Lecture Series, sponsored by Lycoming’s criminal justice department, is held each year to honor the memory of Larry Strauser, a 1959 Lycoming graduate and member of the college’s faculty from 1973 until his death in 1999. Strauser, who earned a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Arizona, started the interdisciplinary criminal justice program at Lycoming in 1977.

Previous lectures have featured Laura Pitter, counterterrorism adviser for the U.S. Program at Human Rights Watch; Robert K. Wittman, founder of the FBI art crime team and author; Juan Melendez, an exonerated death row inmate; and R. Dwayne Betts, author of “A Question of Freedom.”

Lycoming College is a four-year, residential liberal arts and sciences school dedicated to the undergraduate education of 1,400 students. Its rigorous academic program, vibrant residential community and supportive faculty foster successful student outcomes. Lycoming offers 36 academic majors and is recognized as a Tier 1 institution by U.S. News & World Report. Founded in 1812 and located near the banks of the Susquehanna River in Williamsport, Pa., Lycoming is one of the 50 oldest colleges in the nation. For more information, visit

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