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After 6 Months in Club Fed, High-Profile Criminal Defense Lawyer Mickey Sherman Is Back at Work

Posted Apr 23, 2012 5:56 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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Mickey Sherman still owes what prosecutors termed a "staggering" amount of unpaid income tax, penalties and interest, estimated by prosecutors at $1.3 million in 2010.

But the high-profile Connecticut criminal defense attorney now has some hope of making a dent in his tax debt, having been released from federal prison last year after a six-month stint on two misdemeanor convictions and had his law license reinstated last month after a one-year suspension, the Connecticut Post reports.

Although Sherman got into trouble by getting behind on his taxes, he never filed an inaccurate return, his lawyer, William Dow III, contended when he argued his client's case. Somehow, Sherman thought, a big legal payday might put him back in control of his finances even as he overspent on a lifestyle he couldn't afford.

"Mickey, like Annie, naively anticipated that `the sun will come out tomorrow,' that a big case would walk in the door allowing him to make right his obligations," Dow wrote in a 2010 sentencing memorandum. "That never happened."

Unlike some of his fellow inmates, Sherman told the newspaper, he didn't feel that he had been wrongly imprisoned and tried to focus on making the most of his time while he was incarcerated. Work he did helping fellow inmates at the Otisville, N.Y., minimum-security federal prison build their resumes and look for work helped him regain his law license.

"How can [an] experienced criminal defense lawyer, who some might consider to be reasonably intelligent, could have screwed myself up so bad?" Sherman said. "I ask the same question every night at about four in the morning. I don't have an answer."

Now 65 he is back in practice and appearing as a television commentator, the Post reports. Initially worried about how he might be accepted after a stint in prison, he was relieved to get a warm reception from the legal community in Stamford and feels he is now in a better position to empathize with clients.

"Honestly, it made me a better person," he said of his experience as a defendant. "Not that I was always so arrogant. It's such a humbling experience. It makes you appreciate so much. Whether its driving in your car or having money in your pocket or being able walk to the mall or whatever."

Earlier coverage:

ABAJournal.com: "Celebrity Lawyer Put Lifestyle Before IRS, Gets 1 Year and 1 Day in Tax Case"

ABAJournal.com: "Crim Defense Colleagues Throw Going Away Party for Mickey Sherman, Headed to Club Fed"

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