NEW YORK -- Star criminal defense attorney Mel Sachs, who represented the likes of Mike Tyson , Lil' Kim and former Boston Red Sox pitcher David Wells in cases accusing his clients of crimes ranging from perjury to assault and worse, died Wednesday. He was 60.
Mr. Sachs was widely regarded as one of the nation's premier trial lawyers.
He sometimes seemed a throwback to the 1930s, with his trademark custom tailored English-fabric suits: three-piece, double-breasted, pleated, complete with vests and watch pockets. He usually stepped into court with a starched white pocket square, hand-tied bow tie, and horn-rimmed glasses on a chain around his neck.
He was known for sweeping oration.
Mr. Sachs was attached to myriad big-name cases, including some that lost. He recently represented New Jersey musicians taking on rappers Ludacris and Kanye West in a copyright infringement case, but the Manhattan jury concluded the rappers did not copy his clients' work.
Mr. Sachs also represented Lil' Kim in a conspiracy and perjury case, which she lost, meaning she had to serve nearly 10 months in prison.
He defended Sante and Kenneth Kimes , the mother-son duo convicted of murder in 2000 after a cross-country crime spree. Prosecutors said they conspired to steal a woman's $7 million Manhattan town house and other possessions.
Mr. Sachs also had his share of victories: A disorderly conduct charge against Tyson stemming from a brawl with two autograph seekers was dismissed in 2004.
Mr. Sachs represented former Red Sox lefty Wells, who won a case against a man accused of slugging him. He also represented David Copperfield, Russell Simmons, and Joe Franklin.
The lawyer attended Boston University and Brooklyn Law School, graduating in 1971. He was admitted to the bar in 1972, and worked as a Legal Aid Society lawyer for three years before going into practice for himself.
He was a member of the Congress of Racial Equality.
Mr. Sachs taught at several law schools, including Cornell and Emory.