Finding Aid PDF
Scope and Contents Note
This collection is closed to researchers. Only the donor, Oscar B. Goodman, may request access to the collection. Contents in this collection will be open for research fifty years from the date that the donor ceases practicing law in the state of Nevada.
Materials in this collection may be protected by copyrights and other rights. See Reproductions and Use on the UNLV Special Collections website for more information about reproductions and permissions to publish.
These records are organized into six series:
Series I. Case Files, 1950-2008;
Series II. Administrative Files, 1888-1999;
Series III. Tapes and Transcripts, 1968-1997;
Series IV. Chesnoff Case Files, 1969-1995;
Series V. Oscar Goodman Personal Files, 1964-2020;
Series VI. Carolyn Goodman Personal Files, 1986-1992.
Biographical / Historical Note
Oscar Goodman was born June 26, 1939 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He earned his undergraduate degree from Haverford College in 1961 and his law degree from the University of Pennsylvania Law School in 1964. That same year, he moved to Las Vegas, Nevada and in 1965 he was admitted to the Nevada State Bar. He served as Clark County’s chief deputy public defender from 1966 to 1967. He was known as one of the best criminal defense attorneys in the United States, and spent 35 years defending alleged organized crime figures such as Meyer Lansky, Frank Rosenthal, and Anthony Spilotro. Goodman was the primary visionary and a member of the board of directors of The Mob Museum in downtown Las Vegas, which opened in 2012. Goodman was elected as mayor of Las Vegas for the first time in 1999. During his three terms as mayor, he supported projects such as forming the Arts District and Union Park, a high-rise residential and business project. He helped begin what he called the “Manhattanization” of downtown Las Vegas, which included the construction of taller buildings for better use of the area’s relatively small real estate footprint.
Oscar B. Goodman Papers [CLOSED], 1888-2020. MS-00478. Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada. http://n2t.net/ark:/62930/f1jf5f
Materials were donated in 2010 by Oscar Goodman; accession number 2003-24. Additional material was donated in 2022 and 2023 by Oscar Goodman; accession numbers 2022-094 and 2023-074.
Materials were sorted and arranged by Hana Gutierrez, Nia Banks, and Minaam Baseer in 2017 and 2018. In 2019, Nia Banks, Brooks Whittaker, and Miguel Dominguez, inventoried and rehoused the materials, and entered the data into ArchiveSpace. The collection is not processed, but an inventory was created indicating material types and date ranges. File titles were transcribed and spelling corrections were added to facilitate searching. In 2023, Sarah Jones processed the additional materials and updated the finding aid; 11 boxes of newspaper clippings and 4 boxes of artifacts were discarded.
Materials are stored in the Lied Automated Storage and Retrieval Unit (LASR). Advanced notice may be required to access these materials.