On Wednesday afternoon, a Connecticut judge ordered a new trial for Michael Skakel, the Kennedy cousin convicted in 2002 of killing his neighbor, Martha Moxley, when they were both 15. As Edmund Mahony reports at the Hartford Courant, Judge Thomas Bishop found that Skakel’s original defense attorney, Michael “Mickey” Sherman, “was in a myriad of ways ineffective,” and that his errors were “ultimately fatal to a constitutionally adequate defense.”
Well, that’s Judge Bishop’s opinion, and he’s entitled to it. But I, for one, am an unabashed Mickey Sherman fan, and you will be, too, once you visit his awesome website. The first thing you see is a huge portrait of Sherman, who frequently appears on television as a legal analyst. If you don’t recognize him, no matter: A brassy slogan right next to his picture attests to his fame: “I May Be On TV A Lot But I Am Still A Nuts-And-Bolts Criminal Defense Lawyer Available To YOU 24/7.”
This is the greatest humblebrag in history.
Hold on, I’m going to repeat it, this time in blockquote form:
I May Be On TV A Lot But I Am Still A Nuts-And-Bolts Criminal Defense Lawyer Available To YOU 24/7.
My stars, that is spectacular.
Moving along: Though Sherman might be famous for his television appearances, he is also famous for being sent to prison on charges of tax evasion. As the New York Post reported in 2010, Sherman “pleaded guilty in June to two misdemeanor counts of willful failure to pay income taxes. He admitted he could have paid the taxes but spent the money on country club memberships and other lavish expenses.”
Think Sherman’s ashamed of this skeleton in his closet? Think again! “I appreciate the perpetual nausea you experience after being arrested and you're suffering through the long and painful journey through the criminal justice system,” he writes on the site, in a truly admirable attempt to turn lemons into lemonade. “I know all of this because I've been there myself!”
Elsewhere, Sherman elaborates:
I continue to represent individuals from all walks of life in state and federal courts throughout Connecticut in a full range of criminal cases. In fact, I have been in their shoes. In 2010, I pleaded guilty to two tax misdemeanors and served six months in a federal prison "camp." It is an experience that I believe has served me well in my work as an attorney. A chapter about my experience that was written for the recent edition of "Chicken Soup for the Soul" has been widely praised.
It’s hard to see what Michael Skakel and Judge Thomas Bishop are complaining about—this man is amazing. If you want to learn more, Sherman has also written a book about his life and times as a criminal defense attorney. Its title: How Can You Defend Those People? I know what I’m giving my family for Christmas!