Izzy Michel, Jersey City attorney and eccentric, was for many years a prominent fixture in the courtrooms at 595 Newark Avenue.
A certain local resident had the bad luck to suffer a career setback; the police nabbed him while taking numbers. One lawyer promised that for $5,000 the charges would be dropped. Another lawyer quoted a price of $1,000 with the assurance of no jail time, but probation was a possibility. Izzy Michel offered to take the case for $300 with no guarantee.
This was the bookmaker’s first arrest. Plus, he had a full-time job and a family. So, this numbers runner felt that the odds were in his favor with Izzy’s $300 legal fee.
It was a bad bet. The result was a conviction with a sentence of one year in jail.