Skakel's lawyer adds son to his team
By Lindsay Faber - Greenwich Time
Michael Sherman, the Stamford lawyer who will defend Michael Skakel during his upcoming murder trial, has drafted his 28-year-old son, Mark, to the defense team, rounding out a triumvirate that includes the elder Sherman and two 28-year-old associates.
Mark Sherman, who was 2 years old and living in Stamford when Martha Moxley was killed with a golf club linked to the Skakel household, will join Jason Throne, also 28, who joined the firm Sherman & Richichi soon after Skakel was arrested in January 2000.
From 1998 to 2000, Mark Sherman worked for Prior Cashman Sherman & Flynn, a New York firm that specializes in entertainment and intellectual property law. From 2000 to last year, he oversaw litigation as in-house counsel for a New York City technology firm.
Mark Sherman has never tried a murder case, but he said he is up to the task.
"I have followed this case for four years, and I believe in Michael Skakel's innocence," Mark Sherman said. "They're serious charges against him, but I'm not worried."
Sherman graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1995 with a degree in English and received his law degree in 1998 from Fordham University, where he was chairman of the student government body.
He described himself as a detail-oriented guy with a background in legal writing and research. His father, who is admittedly more flamboyant and friendlier with the cameras, will do most of the talking during the trial.
"There is a ton of material that needs to be organized, like witness interviews and other research my father has done over the years," Mark Sherman said. "I'm well-acquainted with the facts, well-acquainted with the witnesses and I'm very familiar with the law."
Throne will take the second seat during the trial and assist Sherman by preparing and possibly questioning some witnesses. Mark Sherman also will sit at the defense table, organizing exhibits, research motions and witness schedules. Stephen Seeger, a lawyer who rents space in Sherman's office, will assist on some days with legal research.
"My dad hired me to keep him involved in the case and away from the cameras," Mark Sherman joked. "He groomed me to be a baseball player but that didn't really work out."
Michael Sherman said he will rely on his son and Throne.
"I'm a big picture person. Mark is a real detail person and Jason kind of bridges the gap between us," Michael Sherman said. "Age isn't really the key ingredient here. It's ability, interest, trust and, most importantly, our common belief in Michael Skakel's innocence."
Mark Sherman is friends with Throne, whom he met through his wife, Stamford attorney Rachel Sherman. The younger Shermans live in Greenwich.
Throne said he is encouraged by the dynamic between the three lawyers.
"We have a mutual admiration," Throne said. "And with Mark, it's a one- in-a-million kind of shot that you get to work with someone you're so close to on a personal level. We have a lot of respect for each other and our different abilities."
Skakel, 41, is charged with the 1975 murder of Moxley, his teenage neighbor at the time. He will be tried as an adult beginning May 7 at state Superior Court in Norwalk. Jury selection begins April 2.