The lawyer who can turn his green bag of memories into a reasonably literate volume of courtroom yarns isn't rare, Lord knows. But how many brethren at the bar can write a book that is at once urbane and modest? Counselor Gould has done it with a panache tainted only by that legal scribe's bane; a surfeit of footnotes. Forget the rodomontade of a Nizer or the display of a Belli and enjoy Gould's luxuriant review of New York's forgotten legal saints and scalawags. Bygone litigators, legislators, juries, and judges of various ethnic persuasion--Italian, Jewish, WASP--are sketched from a funny perspective which probably wasn't evident at the time. Con men Itzke, Mitzke, and Hotzke, Hizzoner Martin Manton the Fixer, Schorenstein the Pitkin Avenue Patroon, and all the Foley Square gang are described in terms more reminsicent of Howe and Hummel than Mr. Tutt. ""The Golden Age of Gasner's""--set in the restaurant where justice was dispensed along with the pastrami--is a particularly graceful essay in the classic mold. Gould, senior partner of a politically active uptown firm, is ever intrigued by New York's Runyonesque politics as well as past antics behind some illustrious office walls. If, as it's believed, lawyers are persuasive fellows, this book affirms that conviction appealingly.