The Fixer: The Notorious Life of a Front-Page Bail Bondsman

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Overview

From New York’s foremost bail bondsman with “over $30 million on the street” comes the story of a modern-day “fixer” who walks a fine line between hustler and humanitarian with clients ranging from the rich and famous to the mafia and gangs of New York.

With from-the-gut prose, Ira Judelson sheds light on the highs and lows of the bondsman life. But Judelson is no process server. He sees himself as a sort of modern day “macher”—using his juice as a bail bondsman to help friends ...

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The Fixer: The Notorious Life of a Front-Page Bail Bondsman

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Overview

From New York’s foremost bail bondsman with “over $30 million on the street” comes the story of a modern-day “fixer” who walks a fine line between hustler and humanitarian with clients ranging from the rich and famous to the mafia and gangs of New York.

With from-the-gut prose, Ira Judelson sheds light on the highs and lows of the bondsman life. But Judelson is no process server. He sees himself as a sort of modern day “macher”—using his juice as a bail bondsman to help friends old and new out of jams wherever he can. He is also a keenly observant and wildly charismatic insider who’s seen it all.

Prepare to be shocked and informed as Judelson reveals the unwritten laws of the courtroom and even prison—not to mention the shameless activities of his unbelievable list of clients, including former New York Giants Plaxico Burress and Lawrence Taylor; rappers Ol’ Dirty Bastard, Ja Rule, Lil’ Wayne, and DMX; comedian Katt Williams; notorious Manhattan madam Kristin Davis; and former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn. You’ll see why the New York Times describes Judelson as “an inevitable entry in the BlackBerrys of New York defense lawyers, an ATM for desperate rappers, actors, athletes, executives, and madams with pocketbooks much fatter than his.”

The Fixer is a rollicking narrative that follows Judelson as he learns the ins and outs of the down-and-dirty world of bonds: which judge might let you slide, which ones have zero tolerance, which lawyers do pro bono for the right case, and the cops and DAs who believe in second chances. Judelson illuminates a world almost entirely opaque to the general public, but also entertains and informs with the inside scoop on the underbelly of the justice system.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

In television and film, bail bondsmen seldom get even walk-on parts, but in real-life, high-profile New York bondsman Ira Judelson grabs headlines—and the biggest clients. Among the accused that he has helped excuse are IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn; Manhattan Kristin Davis; football stars Plaxico Burress and Lawrence Taylor, and rapper Lil' Wayne. His clients might hide from cameramen and reporters after their arrests, but Judelson doesn't. In this revelatory autobiography, he exposes new dimensions of the criminal justice process and takes us where CSI shows dare not go. A lively, fast-paced first-person account.

Publishers Weekly
02/03/2014
Avid crime-show enthusiasts are likely familiar with the figure of the bail bondsman—a third party who helps clients get out of jail while ensuring they make all their appointed court dates. Judelson, one of New York’s most prominent bondsmen, pulls back the curtain to reveal the backroom machinations, last-minute deals, and occasional manhunts that go along with the job in this page-turner. After he discovered a distant relative was one of New York’s premier bondsmen, Judelson was able to establish a foothold in the close-knit industry and found himself working with clients ranging from mobsters to rappers. Tales of close calls and paranoia, as well as tips on surviving prison (“don’t trust a prison phone,” “hire a prison coach”) carry the book, but Judelson’s anecdotes of how his career has impacted his family (“all three of my kids would be born during a major organized crime case”) add another layer of depth. As he closes with a lamentation on how the trade is losing the long-held brotherhood and camaraderie among bondsmen, attorneys, and judges due to technology and spreadsheets, it becomes clear that this may be a last glimpse at one of the country’s most unique professions. Agent: Jay Mandel, William Morris Endeavor. (June)
Kirkus Reviews
2014-04-10
Acidic account of the little-understood profession of bail bondsman."You don't want to need to call me—but I'm a good guy to have on your side if you do," writes Judelson, who is unapologetic about the strange inverse morality of being determined to provide for his clients' well-being despite, in many cases, their involvement in serious crime: "I don't give a shit if you're innocent. That's not my problem." Furthermore, each bond Judelson writes represents major financial risk; as depicted in movies, clients do sometimes flee, requiring pursuit by bounty hunters. With Paisner (co-author: Qaddafi's Point Guard: The Incredible Story of a Professional Basketball Player Trapped in Libya's Civil War, 2013, etc.), Judelson explains all this, and tells his life story, in a street-wise patois fortunately leavened by self-depreciation, as regarding his misspent youth: "I had a criminal history....Like an idiot, I didn't think [the state would] run my fingerprints." The author eventually discovered that a distant relative, "Uncle Phil" Konvitz, was "the go-to guy for bonds in the whole metropolitan area," and he was able to ease his entry into this generally closed-off profession. Much of the narrative is a colloquial overview of Judelson's success since then, which he modeled on Konvitz's discreet power-broker style of networking on both sides of the law. The ambitious author first pursued business with prominent defense attorneys, who connected him with high-level organized crime clients. They are prudently left unnamed, but Judelson claims these "made men" hold him in the highest esteem. He is equally proud of his relationships with famous rappers and athletes who've dallied with guns and drugs (DMX, Plaxico Burress) and with some notorious upper-crust transgressors, like former IMF head Dominique Strauss-Khan: "No one had ever written a $5 million bail before." The author intersperses these anecdotes with discussions of his long-suffering family and the intricate calculations involved in developing bond packages, resulting in a flavorful if disorganized exposé of this gritty corner of the underground.Will appeal to readers of true crime and law enforcement narratives.
New York Daily News
"Judelson dishes on the famous, and infamous, clients he’s offered his special services, from an easier ride through the courts to a better life in prison. It seems he always knows someone, from a guard to a gangbanger, who can get things done."
Regis Philbin
"If you ever get in trouble, I mean real trouble, remember this guy, Ira Judelson. If you don’t believe me, read this book! It’s a must-read."
Alan Dershowitz
"Ira Judelson has gotten more guys out of jail than I have. This riveting account of a bail bondsman and his interaction with the criminal justice system is a must read. I thought I knew a lot about criminal law but I learned so much more from this bottom-up look at how the system actually operates."
The New York Times
“Ira Judelson, bail bondsman, is an inevitable entry in the BlackBerrys of New York defense lawyers, an ATM for desperate rappers, actors, athletes, executives, and madams with pocketbooks much fatter than his.”
The Daily Beast
“[Judelson] is a sadly rare breed of New Yorker, a true stand-up guy.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781451699333
  • Publisher: Touchstone
  • Publication date: 6/3/2014
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 201,886
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Ira Judelson

Ira Judelsonis one of New York’s most prominent bail bondsmen. For nearly twenty years, he has posted bail for some of the city’s most notorious defendant-celebrities, as well as thousands of common criminals. He is well known to those in the justice system for his no-nonsense demeanor, his charismatic charm, and his ability to “read” a prospective client. He lives in Westchester, New York with his wife and three children.

Daniel Paisneris the author of more than fifty books, including eleven New York Times bestsellers. He's written on topics ranging from business and sports, to politics and entertainment. He is also one of the busiest collaborators in publishing, having had a hand in the autobiographies and memoirs of some of our best-known atheletes, actors, politicians, television personalities, and “ordinary” individuals who have managed to conquer extraordinary situations.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 25, 2014

    Highly Recommended -- do yourself a favor and check it out.

    My husband and I read Ira Judelson/Daniel Paisner's book which we found enlightening, vibrant, and engrossing. We did not want to put it down. It told the story of a young man who found his way when he became a well known bail bondsman. It shows that he is good with his clients and available round the clock. This is pretty special for a married man with three young children.

    We enjoyed it all the more because Ira is my second cousin.. How wonderful that he could write such a titillating book that held our interest throughout.. Good going. Good read. Enjoy it..

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