Emile Zola Berman

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Emile Zola Berman (November 3, 1902 – July 3, 1981) was an American criminal defense lawyer. He was named after the French novelist Émile Zola (1840–1902). During World War II he was an intelligence officer in the 10th Air Force in Burma where he received the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Bronze Star. He was discharged as a lieutenant colonel.[1]

Famous cases[edit]

Berman first became nationally known in 1956 when he defended Staff Sgt. Matthew McKeon who was accused of manslaughter after leading men into a creek during a training exercise on Parris Island. Six of the men drowned, but Berman was able to get an acquittal on the most serious charges. In 1969, Berman was part of the defense team of Sirhan Sirhan, the assassin of Robert F. Kennedy. Berman received criticism for defending an avowed anti-Zionist but countered his critics by stating that he was defending Sirhan's rights and not his beliefs.


  1. ^ McCarthy, Joe (August 13, 1956), "The Man Who Helped The Sergeant", LIFE, Time, 41 (7), p. 59, ISSN 0024-3019


External links[edit]