Managing Partner Derek Sells began his legal career at the prestigious Washington, D.C. law firm of Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering and continued on to the Washington, D.C. Defender Service as a Senior Trial Attorney.
In 1995 Derek joined what is today known as The Cochran Firm. He successfully represented, as co-lead counsel with firm founder Johnny Cochran, a diverse list of clients covering a wide variety of legal matters. In 2002 Derek was selected as Managing Partner of The Cochran Firm and since then he has amassed an extraordinary record of million dollar verdicts and settlements, exceeding over $300 million to date.
Derek is a graduate of Dartmouth College (Class of 1985) and Yale Law School (Class of 1988). In addition to his leadership role at The Cochran Firm he 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 resides in Queens, New York with his wife and two sons.
PAUL B. WEITZ
Prominent trial attorney Paul B. Weitz was the Founding and Managing Partner of Paul B. Weitz & Associates, a Partner in the personal injury firm of Schneider, Kleinick, Weitz, Damashek, a Partner at Kleinick & Weitz LLP, and currently a Managing Partner at The Cochran Firm.
After graduating magna cum laude from Harvard Law School, he has spent the last quarter century handling cases which required complex litigation skills covering such categories as construction accident cases, medical malpractice actions, product liability suits and premises & automobile accident cases. He has also co-authored the “Art of Summation” an insightful analysis of successful jury summations by some of the nation’s most outstanding trial lawyers.
Mr. Weitz is a past President of the New York State Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates, a past officer of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association, and is currently serving on its Board of Directors. He frequently lectures to other lawyers practicing in the personal injury field.
TRACEY L. BROWN
Partner Tracey L. Brown joined The Cochran Firm in 2003 and has spearheaded the firm’s Employment Law practice area. She specializes in employment discrimination, civil rights and police misconduct matters. Her vigorous representation has resulted in multiple million dollar settlements and verdicts.
Prior to joining The Cochran Firm Ms. Brown was Senior Counsel at the Federal Trade Commission in Washington, D.C. where she litigated consumer fraud cases. She also served as a Deputy District Attorney for the County of Los Angeles.
A graduate of Boston College and St. John’s University Law School, she is licensed to practice law in New York, California, the District of Columbia and Pennsylvania.
In addition to her legal work, Ms. Brown is the author of the best-selling book, “The Life and Times of Ron Brown”, a biography of the late U.S. Secretary of Commerce, Ronald H. Brown. Active in many civic and philanthropic organizations, Ms. Brown serves on the Board of Directors of the National Child Labor Committee, FuturePac, and the Ronald H. Brown Center for Civil Rights and Economic Development at St. John’s University Law School.
She resides in Harlem with her husband and two children.
RUDYARD F. WHYTE
Rudyard F. Whyte directs the Cochran Firm’s Immigration Department. His practice focuses on civil litigation with a concentration in the areas of personal injury, immigration and naturalization. The London-born attorney received his undergraduate degree from Brooklyn College of the City University of New York and his law degree from Georgetown University. He began his legal career in 1984 as New York City Corporation Counsel.
He is admitted to practice in all New York and New Jersey State Courts, as well as the U.S. District Court, Southern and Eastern Districts of New York and 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 Metropolitan Black Bar Association, the Bronx Black Bar Association and the New York State Trial Lawyers Association.
Mr. Whyte has tried cases on behalf of his clients for numerous personal injury claims. In 2004 he obtained, on behalf of his clients, the two highest verdicts in New York in Lead Paint cases.
Mr. Fischbein currently manages the Medical Malpractice division of The Cochran Firm. He has extensive experience in every aspect of litigating complex medical malpractice cases. Mr. Fischbein has negotiated numerous multimillion dollar settlements on behalf of Cochran clients. He is also a member of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association.
Mr. Gold has dual qualifications, having graduated both medical and law schools. He has more than 20 years experience in medical malpractice litigation and has been responsible for obtaining numerous multimillion dollar settlements totaling more than $100 million. Mr. Gold is uniquely qualified to assist Cochran Firm clients who have suffered as a result of medical negligence.
Ms. Mazzatto has appeared as counsel in hundreds of Surrogate’s Court proceedings, and has litigated multiple complex proceedings featuring estate assets in dispute up to $500,000,000. Her practice is concentrated in the area of Trusts and Estates, and includes all phases of Surrogate’s Court Practice, as well as collateral practices generally flowing from the complete administration of an estate.