"He has expressed remorse from day one," Ira Lee Sorkin said, adding, "he's never been articulate about it."
Madoff received a 150-year prison sentence Monday for his massive fraud, a penalty that Sorkin said was a "death sentence" for his 71-year-old client.
"I don't ask any forgiveness," Madoff told the judge Monday. "Although I may not have intended harm, I did a great deal of harm."
He then addressed some of his victims: "I'm sorry.I know that doesn't help you."
U.S. District Judge Denny Chin, however, was unmoved. "This is not just a matter of money," Chin said. "The breach of trust was massive. Investors - individuals, charities, pension funds, institutional clients - were repeatedly lied to, as they were told their monies would be invested in stocks when they were not."
Madoff is believed to have defrauded investors of at least $13.2 billion by conservative estimates.
Complete Bernard Madoff coverage:
10 More To Be Charged, Source Says
Madoff Feels Remorse, Lawyer Says
Madoff Sentenced To 150 Years In Prison
Ruth Madoff: "Embarrassed And Ashamed"
Madoff's Fraud: A Family Affair?
Transcript of Madoff Sentencing
Analysis: 150-Year Sentence "Grossly Unfair"
Court Sketches: Madoff Sentencing