THE COCHRAN FIRM, WITH OFFICES LOCATED NATIONWIDE
When Johnnie Cochran founded The Cochran Firm, he set out with one goal in mind: To provide exceptional representation to victims of all types of injustice. Now, over 40 years later, The Cochran Firm has established itself as one of the premier plaintiffs' litigation and criminal defense law firms in the United States.
With offices throughout the United States, The Cochran Firm has brought together some of the most highly-respected and experienced men and women in the legal field. Our attorneys have obtained significant verdicts and settlements in a number of noteworthy and high-profile cases, but work equally hard on every case we take. We pride ourselves on providing each of our clients with the same personal treatment, in-depth legal expertise, and tireless representation.
How We can Help
The Cochran Firm is one of the nation's largest personal injury law firms. Our personal injury attorneys work personally with each client, but retain access to the legal expertise of our entire firm, enabling us to pool resources and provide you with the most effective representation available.
We also have lawyers who focus on criminal defense as well as civil rights issues such as gender and racial discrimination, enabling us to meet the needs of the largest number of people possible. We are dedicated to justice and have the experience, both in and out of the courtroom, to see that justice is served.
The Cochran Firm is an award-winning law firm, and several of our Civil Litigation attorneys and criminal defense lawyers have been recognized as leaders in their field. We continually strive for excellence and remain dedicated to the execution of Johnnie's vision to have "a diverse law firm which reflects society and is capable of handling cases throughout America."
The attorneys and staff at The Cochran Firm are committed to upholding the standards of excellence set by its founding partner in representing all of their clients. We would be happy to discuss how we can help you and your family during your free initial case evaluation.
To learn more about us or to meet with an experienced personal injury attorney or criminal defense lawyer in your area, please contact The Cochran Firm today to schedule a free initial consultation.
233 Broadway, 5th Floor
The Woolworth Building
New York NY 10279
A personal injury is any injury you suffer as a result of someone else's negligence.
The sad truth is, when you are injured in an accident, insurance companies are not on your side. While they may offer a quick settlement, this is to protect their bottom line, not your best interests. The only way to get the compensation you are truly due is through legal action brought by an aggressive personal injury law firm. It is important that you know how to choose a personal injury attorney.
The personal injury lawyers at The Cochran Firm are among some of this country's most recognized and respected. We have a proven ability to secure large verdicts and settlements for our clients and are prepared to take your case as far as necessary to see that you receive maximum compensation.
Types of Personal Injury
We focus on serious personal injury such as:
-Fractured or pulverized bones
-Spinal cord injury
These injures can all have long-term consequences such as medical expenses, lost wages, home and lifestyle modifications, and personal pain and suffering that demand aggressive legal action. The personal injury attorneys at The Cochran Firm will work with you individually, taking time to understand how an injury will impact every area of your life, and fight tooth and nail to get you every penny you deserve.
Causes of Personal Injury
Any accident can result in personal injury. At The Cochran Firm, we have successfully handled cases involving issues such as:
-Nursing home abuse
No matter what the cause of your accident, if you were injured or a loved one was killed, you are entitled to justice. The experienced personal injury lawyers at The Cochran Firm will do everything possible to see that justice is served. We understand the elements of a personal injury claim.
Derek Sells is the Managing Partner for The Cochran Firm's New York office. He is an exceptional trial attorney, having achieved many successful results, including a damages trial verdict against The City of New York for $33.52 Million Dollar, a result featured in the Nation Law Journal's Top 100 Verdicts of 2002.
A 1985 graduate of Dartmouth College and a 1988 Yale Law School graduate, Derek began his legal career at the prestigious Washington, D.C. firm of Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering. He then joined the Washington, D.C. Public Defender Service, rising to a senior trial attorney.
In 1995, Derek joined New York's Schneider Kleinick Weitz Damashek & Shoot, later known as The Cochran Firm, Schneider Kleinick Weitz Damashek & Shoot, as a trial attorney. In May 2002, Derek became Managing Partner of The Cochran Firm. He has since amassed an extraordinary number of Million Dollar verdicts and settlements, exceeding a total of $100 Million Dollars.
Derek has successfully represented, as co-lead counsel with firm founder Johnnie L. Cochran, Jr., a diverse list of clients on various matters, including: N.F.L. player Orlando Brown (confidential settlement); Patrick Dorismond, a young Haitian man shot and killed by police ($2.25M)l Alberta Spruill, an African-American woman killed in her Harlem home during an illegal police raid ($1.6M); a shark bite victim who lost a leg while swimming in the Bahamas (confidential settlement); a regional Vice President of a major computer company who suffered a brain injury after being struck by a falling building faade in midtown Manhattan ($3.5M); the widow and mother of three children who lost their husband and father in a car accident ($3.9M); Michelle Evans, a junior at Cornell University who was killed by a "drunk driving" campus bus driver (settlement includes a perpetual scholarship in Michelle's name and a confidential monetary award); Eric Berry and Yolanda Washington, two black employees who were victims of race discrimination at a major corporation (confidential settlement); and Joyce Reynolds, a plane crash victim who miraculously survived orthopedic injuries (confidential settlement).
Derek has taught trial advocacy at various seminars, including those sponsored by the New York State Trial lawyers Association, the New York State Bar Association and Harvard Law School. He is a member of the New York and Washington, D.C. bars.
Derek was selected to 2010 New York Super Lawyers for personal injury plaintiff - general. Only 5% of lawyers in the state of New York are chosen for this honor each year. The multi-phase, selection process for this recognition includes a statewide survey of lawyers, an independent evaluation of candidates by the attorney-led, research staff at Super Lawyers, a peer review of candidates by practice area, and a good-standing and disciplinary check.nn
Douglas Milch has more than ten years litigation experience. He has handled class, mass tort and product liability actions as well as multi-party, complex matters. While in private practice for three years, he focused on personal injury cases and obtained several significant settlements. From 1994-1998, he served as national litigation counsel for a Fortune 500 company, litigating and supervising local counsel in a wide variety of disputes.
A cum laude graduate of New York Law School, Mr. Milch attended the University of Rochester and obtained a B.A. in history from George Washington University. He is a member of the bar in New York and admitted to practice before the United States District Court for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York.
Gerard A. Lucciola is an experienced trial attorney with many multi-million dollar verdicts in a variety of personal injury actions. He has extensive trial experience in products, automobile, construction, municipal, premises and medical malpractice cases. He was associated with Schneider, Kleinick, Weitz, Damashek and Shoot and later Godosky and Gentile, PC prior to rejoining The Cochran Firm as a partner. He successfully tried Cosgriff v. City of New York 241 A.D.2d 382 aff.'d sub nom Gonzalez v. Iocovello 93 N.Y.2d 539 (1999), which created the right of police officers injured in the line of duty on defective sidewalks and roadways to use the NYC Pothole Law as a statutory predicate to maintain an action against municipalities and property owners. He has also represented NYC firefighters in personal injury actions and those injured or who lost their lives in the tragic events of September 11, 2001. Prior to private practice, Mr. Lucciola, as a court attorney, was involved in hundreds of violent and non-violent felony trials, including homicide, assault, robbery, and narcotics.
Mr. Lucciola was born in Ponte Corvo, Italy, in 1957; admitted to the New York State Bar in 1983; admitted to practice in U.S. District Court, Eastern and Southern Districts of New York in 1984, and admitted to practice in New Jersey State and Federal Courts in 1987.
He attended Cathedral College, graduated B.A., summa cum laude, in 1979, and Brooklyn Law School (J.D., 1982), where he was a member of the Brooklyn Journal of International Law. He is a member of the Brooklyn Bar Association (Member, Board of Trustees, 1990-1992; Vice Chair, CLE Committee, 1984 1991); Association of Trial Lawyers of America; New York State Trial Lawyers Association; Columbian Lawyers Association. He is fluent in Italian and French.
Brooklyn Law School
Juris Doctorate, 1982
With over 100 cases resulting in verdicts in excess of $1 million each, Harvey Weitz has concentrated his practice in the areas of civil law, trial practice, medical malpractice, and product liability. A graduate of Brooklyn College of the City University of New York, Harvey received his Juris Doctor from Brooklyn Law School where he serves as an Adjunct Professor of Trial Advocacy.
Harvey served as president of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association, a Dean of the New York State Trial Lawyers Institute, national secretary of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America, and president of the New York State Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates. A member of the Inner Circle of Advocates, an organization of the top 100 lawyers in the country, Harvey is also a member of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers, the International Society of Barristers, the New York State Bar Association, and the Association of Trial Lawyers of America.
Harvey was named to 2010 New York Super Lawyers for personal injury plaintiff - general. Only 5% of lawyers in the state of New York are chosen for this esteemed honor each year. The multi-phase, selection process for this recognition includes a statewide survey of lawyers, an independent evaluation of candidates by the attorney-led, research staff at Super Lawyers, a peer review of candidates by practice area, and a good-standing and disciplinary check.
In addition to his professional duties, Harvey has authored and coauthored several books, articles, and periodicals. He has served on various committees of the New York State Bar Association, the Association of Trial Lawyers of America, the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, the Society of Medical Jurisprudence and other local bar associations. He also continues to lecture and conduct legal seminars around the country.
Brooklyn Law School
Joseph S. Rosato is a distinguished trial attorney with numerous multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements totaling in excess of $200 million dollars. He has extensive experience in all types of personal injury and complex litigation fields, including construction, automobile, wrongful death, municipal and commercial litigation. His experience also includes eleven years in the New York State Court System where he held positions as a court officer, court clerk and law clerk to a Supreme Court Justice. He was admitted to the New York and New Jersey bars in 1993, and in 1997, to the U.S. District Court of New Jersey, as well as the U.S. District Courts for Eastern and Southern Districts of New York.
Mr. Rosato obtained his Bachelor of Science degree from New York University in 1986 and his Juris Doctor degree from Brooklyn Law School in 1993. After graduation, he retired from the New York State Court System and began his legal career as an associate and trial attorney for private firms in the insurance defense field before joining the plaintiff's bar as a trial attorney with the firm of Schneider, Kleinick, Weitz, Damashek and Shoot, a premier New York plaintiff's firm. That firm later joined with our founder, Johnnie L. Cochran, Jr. to form the New York office of The Cochran Firm. After briefly serving as a trial attorney with the firm of Sullivan, Papain, Block, McGrath and Cannavo, Mr. Rosato rejoined The Cochran Firm as a partner in 2004.
Mr. Rosato handles many of the firm's complex litigations and more seriously injured clients. In addition to his commitment to his clients, Mr. Rosato continues his efforts to improve the legal system through his volunteer work as a Director and Trustee with the Brooklyn Bar Association and Foundation, his membership in the New York State Trial Lawyers Association, his participation in the Civil Term Forum and other committees, as well as his charitable work with the Amicus Curiae Association. Mr. Rosato has been named to 2010 New York Super Lawyers for personal injury plaintiff - general. Only 5% of lawyers in the state of New York are chosen for this honor each year. The multi-phase, selection process for this recognition includes a statewide survey of lawyers, an independent evaluation of candidates by the attorney-led, research staff at Super Lawyers, a peer review of candidates by practice area, and a good-standing and disciplinary check.
Brooklyn Law School
Juris Doctorate, 1993
As a litigator since 1985, Paul Marber has developed a penchant for thorough and effective representation of clients. His attention to detail has enabled him to develop and prepare cases that have resulted in verdicts and settlements in excess of Sixty-seven Million Dollars ($67.4M) from 1997-2011.
A graduate of Boston University School of Law (1985), Mr. Marber started his legal career as an Assistant Corporation Counsel for The City of New York. Prior to becoming a partner with The Cochran Firm, he was associated with the New Jersey-based Budd Larner Gross Rosenbaum Greenberg & Sade and, more recently, with two of New York's preeminent law firms: Schneider Kleinick Weitz Damashek& Shoot and Sullivan Papain Block McGrath & Cannavo.
Paul Marber has significant experience with all types of personal injury and wrongful death cases: complex litigation, products liability, construction accidents, premises liability, auto accidents, etc. He has worked on airplane disaster matters including TWA Flight 800, Egypt Air 990 and American Airlines Flight 587, explosion and fire cases, and cases involving animal bites by rodents, dogs and even a shark.
Paul is admitted to practice law in New York and in New Jersey, as well as in the Federal Courts. He is an active member of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association, New York State Bar Association and the Bar Association of Nassau County.
In March 2006, Paul was appointed by the Judiciary Committee of the Bar Association of Nassau County to serve as an arbitrator for the Nassau County District Court.
For the sixth year in a row (2007-2012), Paul has been selected to 2012 New York Super Lawyers for personal injury plaintiffs in general. Only five percent (5%) of all lawyers in the state are chosen for this esteemed honor after "considerable polling and peer evaluation efforts with a detailed research process that evaluates each candidate based on 12 indicators of peer recognition and professional achievement." In his category in 2011, Paul was one of only 176 lawyers to receive the designation.
In addition to this honor, Paul continues to receive an "AV" rating from Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings. This means that his legal abilities are rated at "Very High to Preeminent" and that his general ethical standards are "Very High." Martindale-Hubbell describes the "AV" rating as "a significant rating accomplishment - a testament to the fact that a lawyer's peers rank him or her at the highest level of professional excellence."
Paul Weitz is an outstanding trial lawyer who has obtained numerous multi-million dollar verdicts including $12 million for the mother of a brain damaged baby who lived only 12 days. In another medical malpractice case against NYCHHC that Paul tried, the jury awarded $5.2 million to the family of a brain damaged child.
An honors graduate of Harvard Law School (magna cum laude, 1985), Paul was a partner with the prominent personal injury law firm Schneider, Kleinick, Weitz, Damashek & Shoot for ten years. Prior to becoming a partner with Weitz, Kleinick & Weitz, he practiced with his own firm for three years.
Paul is the co-author of the book Art of Summation, published by the New York State Trial Lawyers Institute. This book analyzes successful jury summations by eleven of the nation's most successful lawyers.
Highly experienced in complex litigation, Paul handles medical malpractice, products liability, construction accidents, premises liability, and automobile accident cases. In an elevator accident, he obtained $1.5 million for a 79-year-old woman who tripped and fell because the elevator was not level. In a hit-and-run case involving a charter bus that struck and killed a 58-year-old woman, the jury awarded $1.05 million to her estate.
Paul was selected to 2010 New York Super Lawyers for personal injury plaintiff - general. Only 5% of lawyers in the state of New York are chosen for this honor each year. Super Lawyers, a service of the Thomson Reuters, rates outstanding lawyers through a multi-phase, selection process which includes a statewide survey of lawyers, an independent evaluation of candidates by the attorney-led, research staff at Super Lawyers, a peer review of candidates by practice area, and a good-standing and disciplinary check.
Paul is an active member of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association and has lectured at numerous bar associations including the American Board of Trial Advocates and the New York State Bar Association.
Born in London, England, Rudyard F. Whyte is an attorney with The Cochran Firm's New York City office and directs the firm's Immigration Department. His practice focuses on civil litigation with a concentration in the areas of personal injury and immigration and naturalization.
Rudyard received his undergraduate degree from Brooklyn College of the City University of New York. After obtaining his law degree from the Georgetown University, Rudyard began his legal career in 1984 as New York City Corporation Counsel.
Rudyard has tried on behalf of his clients numerous personal injury cases in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan and Queens. In 2004, he obtained on behalf of his clients the two highest verdicts in New York State for slip and fall cases. Each verdict was in excess of $1.5 million. Rudyard wrote Damages in Lead Paint Cases; Practicing Law Institute, 1996 and has lectured on Municipal and Transit Liability in 2000 and 2001 for the New York State Trial Lawyers Institute.
Rudyard is admitted to practice in all New York and New Jersey State Courts. He is admitted to practice in the U.S. District Court, Southern and Eastern Districts of New York, as well as the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey.
He is a member of the New York State Bar Association, the American Bar Association, the National Bar Association, the Metropolitan Black Bar Association, the Bronx Black Bar Association, and the New York State Trial Lawyers Association.
A graduate of New York University Medical School (M.D., 1987), Steven Gold is certified by the National Board of Medical Examiners and licensed to practice medicine. He was admitted to the New York State Bar (1994) after attending Brooklyn Law School and completing his legal studies through a law office clerkship at the prominent New York personal injury firm Schneider, Kleinick & Weitz. He has more than ten years experience in medical malpractice litigation and has been responsible for obtaining numerous multimillion dollar settlements totaling more than $75 million. With a background in both the medical and legal professions, he is especially qualified to assist clients of Weitz Kleinick & Weitz who have suffered as a result of medical negligence.
Tracey L. Brown is an experienced litigator with both civil and criminal experience. Her practice areas include personal injury, municipal liability, and employment discrimination. Prior to joining The Cochran Firm, Ms. Brown was Senior Counsel at the Federal Trade Commission in Washington, DC, where she litigated consumer fraud cases, including a $70 million judgment in a case on behalf of consumers who had been victims of Internet credit card fraud.
Ms. Brown also served as a Deputy District Attorney for the County of Los Angeles where she tried more than fifty cases before juries and judges.
In addition to her legal work, Ms. Brown is the author of the best-selling book, "The Life and Times of Ron Brown," published by William Morrow/Harper Collins in 1998. This book is a biography of the late U.S. Secretary of Commerce, Ronald H. Brown.
Ms. Brown serves on the Board of Directors of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, FuturePac, and the Alan Guttmacher Institute, and is active in many civic and philanthropic organizations, including The Links, Inc., the Smart Set, and the Power 40 Initiative of the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies.
A graduate of St. John's University Law School, she is licensed to practice law in New York, California, and the District of Columbia.