Although I’m a partner at the law firm of Jacobs & Hazan, LLP, I often work together with Schmelkin Associates, P.C. I work together with them on all phases of litigation in both criminal and civil rights cases. My focus is to protect the constitutional rights of individuals who have been subject to police misconduct, and prisoners who have been subject to constitutional violations while incarcerated. I also represent individuals who have been accused of criminal misconduct in all phases of criminal proceedings, from arraignment to trial. In addition to civil rights litigation and criminal defense litigation, in addition, I’m active in the practice of Constitutional Law, Children’s Rights, Class Actions, and Free Speech/ First Amendment Litigation.
For six years, I was a public servant at the New York City Office of the Corporation Counsel in the Special Federal Litigation Division; I was responsible for litigating civil rights cases and supervising younger attorneys. In this office, where my focus was on defending the City of New York, New York City Police Officers, New York City Corrections Officers, and other agents of the City of New York against lawsuits alleging that an individual’s constitutional rights had been violated. Many of these claims were brought pursuant to the First, Fourth, Fifth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution. They included false arrest, malicious prosecution, and excessive force.
I've successfully represented the New York City Police Department and the City of New York in several high profile class action lawsuits, wherein plaintiffs claimed that the New York City Police Department had an actual policy and practice of violating individuals’ Constitutional Rights.
Now I work to protect the rights of individuals and the public at large from violations of their civil rights, including police brutality and prisoner abuse. So my background is unique: I’ve represented citizens as well as police and correction officers. This work’s given me the understanding that only comes from representing clients with a variety of perspectives.
I’m a member of the New York State bar and I’ve been admitted to practice in the Southern, Northern, and Eastern Districts of New York. I’m also an active member of the New York State Bar Association and New York County Lawyers’ Association. I received my undergraduate degree from Emory University, and my Juris Doctorate from Northwestern University Law School.