Brian S. Sokoloff attended Brooklyn Law School, graduating cum laude in 1986. He was admitted to the bar in New York State in 1987, and is admitted to the following federal courts: United States District Courts for the Southern, Eastern, Northern and Western Districts of New York; the Second Circuit, and the United States Supreme Court. He was admitted pro hac vice in cases in Washington, D.C., Texas, Connecticut, New Hampshire, and California.
Mr. Sokoloff’s broad-based litigation experience spans his entire legal career, often with a focus on difficult federal and constitutional issues. From 1986 to 1989, Mr. Sokoloff was an Assistant Corporation Counsel in the General Litigation Division of the New York City Law Department, representing the City of New York, its agencies, and employees in their role as employer and service provider. He routinely litigated cases involving alleged discrimination in employment and public accommodation, police misconduct, and election law issues. Mr. Sokoloff defended the NYC Commission on Human Rights in a challenge to its groundbreaking determination that a dental office could not refuse to treat an HIV patient because it was a place of public accommodation. Sattler v. New York City Commission on Human Rights, 147 Misc.2d 189, 554 N.Y.S.2d 763 (Sup. Ct. Westchester Co.), aff’d 180 A.D.2d 644, 580 N.Y.S.2d 35 (2nd Dep’t 1990). Mr. Sokoloff successfully tried a highly controversial federal case that foreshadowed the Abner Louima case and became a landmark for police discovery issues. Berkovich v. Hicks 922 F.2d 1018 (2nd Cir. 1991).
For nearly eight years, Mr. Sokoloff worked for the NYC law firm of Thurm & Heller, LLP, the last two as a partner. He defended employment discrimination, police misconduct, municipal land use, and other civil rights cases, such as claims brought under the First Amendment’s speech and religion clauses, for private business, municipalities, and schools, and acquired an expertise in handling insurance coverage litigation. He successfully tried complex and lengthy, politically sensitive federal civil rights cases, such as LeBlanc-Sternberg v. Fletcher, 846 F. Supp. 294 (S.D.N.Y. 1994), the challenge by Orthodox Jews and the U.S. Department of Justice to the formation of the Village of Airmont in Rockland County, and DLC v. Town of Hyde Park, 163 F.3d 124 (2d Cir. 1998), a developer’s claim that the Town rezoned land to scuttle a proposed Walmart shopping center across from the FDR home and library.
In 1998, Mr. Sokoloff co-founded Miranda & Sokoloff, LLP, where he continued his zealous advocacy for insurers, municipalities, and private clients. In 2008, he co-founded Sokoloff Stern LLP, where he continues as a high profile, well-respected federal litigator, to whom clients turn with their most challenging trial court and appellate court assignments. In 2012, the authoritative Scotusblog named Mr. Sokoloff’s Supreme Court certiorari petition in Byrne v. Jackler the “Cert. Petition of the Day,” later deeming it a “petition to watch,” with a “reasonable chance of being granted.” http://www.scotusblog.com/2012/02/petitions-to-watch-conference-of-february-24-2012/
Mr. Sokoloff regularly lectures at seminars on employment discrimination and civil rights, and has been invited to speak before the New York State Association of Towns, the New York State Conference of Mayors, the Suffolk County Bar Association, and groups of New York State Chiefs of Police and other brass.