J. Reuben Clark Law Society

In memory of a beloved professor and colleague, Michael

Personal biographical sketch on Professor Michael Goldsmith by BYU law student, Alisi K. Langi. Read more here.

The BYU law school community honors the memory and influence of a beloved professor, colleague, and friend, Michael Goldsmith, who died at 58 after battling amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Goldsmith joined the faculty at the J. Reuben Clark Law School in 1985.
He has been named professor of the year six times including most recently in 2008.


In September of 2006 Goldsmith was told he had ALS. After his diagnosis, Goldsmith continued to teach and make a valuable contribution to the law school and its students, as well as the legal profession.


“I have great admiration for Michael, not only for the way in which he continued to work so diligently and successfully to benefit others with ALS but also for his lasting contributions to the law school,” said Dean James R. Rasband.


A former Assistant United States Attorney as well as Counsel to the New York State Organized Crime Task Force, Goldsmith offered students personal insights in his Criminal Procedure, Evidence, RICO, and Trial Advocacy classes.

Goldsmith wrote extensively on RICO, asset forfeiture, and electronic surveillance. He previously served as vice-chairman of the ABA Criminal Justice Section, RICO Committee. In 1994, President Clinton appointed Goldsmith to the U.S. Sentencing Commission. In 1996-1997, he served as the Commission’s vice-chair.

Goldsmith’s work has been cited in numerous judicial decisions, and he has testified before the U.S. Congress on several occasions. He has been an expert witness in international RICO litigation.

Goldsmith has lectured on these issues throughout the country, and has served as a consultant to many law firms and law enforcement agencies. He has also served on the faculty of several state and federal judicial training programs.

Students at the J. Reuben Clark Law School put together a tribute booklet in memory of their Professor Michael Goldsmith. View the contents here.

Posted: 2009-11-14