Mickey Sherman

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Michael "Mickey" Sherman, a criminal-defense attorney who has represented some famous clients, often appeared as a legal analyst on cable television talk shows. On March 15, 2011, Sherman was sent to prison for failing to pay more than $1.1 million in federal taxes.

The Greenwich, Connecticut native, who has offices in Stamford, Connecticut, represented Michael Skakel in his murder trial. After Skakel was found guilty, some members of Skakel's family blamed Sherman for losing the case and as a result, Mr. Sherman is not part of the pending Skakel appeal.

He has frequently appeared as a commentator on MSNBC, CNBC, Court TV, Fox News, and CNN, and has been employed as a legal analyst on CBS News, appearing on the CBS Early Show and CBS Evening News.


Life and career

A graduate of Greenwich High School, Sherman received his bachelor's degree from the University of Connecticut and, in 1971, his Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree from the University of Connecticut School of Law. In May 2005, Sherman was disinvited from speaking at Greenwich High School's commencement due to public outcry from many parents. Mr. Sherman served as an assistant public Defender in Stamford Superior Court and later as an assistant prosecutor, a post he held for four years.[1]

His courtroom and trial tactics have been the subject of feature articles in the New York Times, the National Law Journal, The American Lawyer, and New York Newsday. In 1986, the New York Times questioned whether he hurt the jury system by hiring a juror from a deadlocked rape jury to sit through the defendant's retrial as a consultant. After the second trial, the Connecticut Legislature passed a statute outlawing the tactic.[2]

Sherman successfully defended a Vietnam veteran in a murder trial using the post-traumatic stress disorder defense. That became the subject of half-hour productions on CBS’s Verdict, NBC’s Dateline and the BBC series, America on Trial.[2]

Investigations into billing, criminal conviction for failing to pay taxes and accusations of misconduct

On January 5, 2007, the Hartford Courant reported that Sherman was under investigation by a panel of the Statewide Grievance Committee, a state agency which disciplines lawyers, concerning an accusation that he violated several rules of professional conduct, including charging the client $187,000 without providing a fee agreement or an hourly billing statement. A former client, Hakan Yalincak, complained to the agency in March 2006 that Sherman, his attorney, had billed him but had provided little documentation to show where the money went. [3]

"I was hired to try to put these fires out and defend him. It was an absolutely fair fee, and I'm confident that will come out," Sherman told The Courant "I'm confident this will resolve itself in a very favorable manner." Sherman said he worked on Yalincak's complex cases for more than a year and earned the money. In 2007, Sherman's former client filed a lawsuit in federal court which Sherman later settled in May 2008.

In 2006, Sherman paid Yalincak a $50,000 refund during the grievance process, and the former client tried to drop his charges, but the agency wouldn't allow it. The panel then started investigating whether or not Sherman had acted improperly by making a payment to someone who brought accusations against him to the state agency. Sherman said the payment had nothing to do with the complaint to the agency but was made in exchange for Yalincak's agreement not to file a lawsuit against him. In September 2006, a regional panel of the Statewide Grievance Committee issued a finding of probable cause against Sherman. In May 2007, Sherman agreed that he violated two rules of professional conduct and was reprimanded by the Statewide Grievance Committee.

On June 30, 2010, Sherman pled guilty two counts of willfully failing to pay federal income taxes for tax years 2001 and 2002, in the amount of $390,000 in the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut. As of the date of his plea, Sherman still owes penalties and interest for those years in the approximate amount of $309,000. Sherman also owes back taxes in the approximate amount of $697,500, and approximately $144,000 in penalties and interest, for the 2004 through 2008 tax years. He was sentenced on December 22, 2010 to one year and one day in prison. He will report to prison on March 16, 2011. [4]

Sherman's former law firm partner, Joseph Richichi also pled guilty to similar charges of tax evasion for failing to pay taxes on approximately $3.1 million on April 5, 2007 and was sentenced on December 19, 2007 to sixteen month imprisonment. [5]

It is unclear whether Sherman will be permitted to practice law ever again after his June 30, 2010 criminal conviction. [6]


Sherman is married to Fox News legal analyst and author Lis Wiehl. Numerous celebrities were present at their marriage on June 23, 2006 at a Greenwich restaurant: singer Michael Bolton, Bolton's fiance, Nicollette Sheridan, Court TV founder Steven Brill, legal analysts Rikki Klieman and Catherine Crier, Los Angeles Police Chief William Bratton, television host and journalist Dan Abrams, CBS journalist Hannah Storm, NBC Sports anchor Dan Hicks, actor Christopher Wiehl, film producer and director Barry Levinson, Fox News personality Geraldo Rivera, Fox News personality E.D. Hill, state Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, filmmaker Tomaczek Bednarek, Fox News legal analyst Jonna Spilbor, and John Dearden. Judge Judy Sheinlin showed up after the ceremony.[7]

Sherman has an adult son and an adult daughter from a previous marriage. Wiehl, about 14 years younger than Sherman, has a daughter and a son from a previous marriage.

On the July 25, 2012 broadcast of Imus in the Morning, Lis Wiehl indicated that the couple had separated, telling host Don Imus, "I'm single."

In Barry Levinson's 2006 film Man of the Year Sherman appears as a "talking head lawyer".[8]


  1. ^ [1]"Fans of Feiger" Web site, Web page titled "Lawyers Hall of Fame: Mickey Sherman", accessed October 11, 2006
  2. ^ a b [2] Web site of Sherman, Richichi & Hickey, Web page titled "Mickey Sherman" accessed October 11, 2006
  3. ^ [3] Stacom, Don, "Panel Investigates Defense Attorney", article in The Hartford Courant, January 5, 2007
  4. ^ [4] Carson, Tom, "U.S Attorney's Office Press Release: Attorney Pleads Guilty to Federal Tax Charges", press release in U.S. Attorney Office for the District of Connecticut, June 30, 2010
  5. ^ [5] Carson, Tom, "U.S Attorney's Office Press Release: Stamford Lawyer Sentenced to Prison for Sixteen Months for Tax Evasion", press release in U.S. Attorney Office for the District of Connecticut, December 19, 2007
  6. ^ [6] Mayko, Michael, "Celebrity Attorney Sherman Pleads Guilty to Tax Evasion", Mayko, Michael P. writer for Stamford Advocate in Stamford Advocate, June 30, 2010
  7. ^ Costaregni, Susie, The Dish column, "Paul Simon springs a 'Surprise' visit", page A2, The Advocate of Stamford, July 1, 2006, page A2
  8. ^ [7] IMDB.com Web page titled "Mickey Sherman", accessed October 11, 2006

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