I was admitted to practice law in New York in 1997. I also have two computer-related business degrees, an AS in Information Processing and a BS in Business - Management Information Systems. My education and technology skills have been a great fit with the modern practice of law, as computers have forever changed legal research and writing. I've worked in many areas of law, including subjects as diverse as maritime law, consumer law and federal sentencing. I've written dozens and dozens of appeals and very heavy motions for many other law firms - particuarly in my first few years of practice. It was a great way to learn different areas of law and procedure while developing business, contacts and clientele for my own firm.
My wife has been my law partner since January 1, 2003. She was previously the partner of Colleen F. McGuire, Esq., who retired from practice on December 1, 2002. We all shared an office suite from the time I started out alone in 1997. Colleen, who was an utterly tireless, persistent and caring housing advocate, was a great influence for both of us.
My hobbies include music. I am also a non-professional musician, I can sing, I've played guitar for about 35 years, and I also play lite keys and lite drums. I played in modern and classic rock bands from my first year in high school through my law school graduation, when the demands of developing my law firm made it impossible to play for a while. Over the last few years, I've returned to music, playing both acoustic guitar and heavier rock shows on a more-or-less casual basis with several other musicians and bands.
I am, and have always been, a registered Independent, because I'm all over the board on issues and have found that a single political party generally does not have all of the answers for me. As a tenant attorney, of course, I am a big housing rights activist, and in New York City, we seek to preserve affordable housing, which is very very scarce. As a person, my philosophy is to "do the right thing" for other people. I think that's why I was drawn to tenant law - defending people from eviction by landlords who have much greater financial resources was a natural fit for my personality.
People sometimes ask me: "Why tenant law?" Well, when we've won or settled cases that keep our clients in their homes in New York City (and particularly, in Manhattan, where they have no chance of being able to afford a free market apartment if they get evicted from their long-term rent stabilized homes) we've gotten flowers, fruit baskets, cakes, cookies, cards and other thank you gifts that say to us this fight is very important to people, and it transcends money. For landlords, it is always about money, if not plain old greed. For our clients, it is almost always about someone being in danger, or at risk of losing their home. Making my living by helping tenants defend their homes and keeping their apartments safe and affordable is a profession I am very proud to have.
Hourly ($350-450/hour), Fixed (sometimes), Retainer (sometimes), Free consultation (30 minutes)
|Partner, Vice President||Sokolski & Zekaria, P.C.||2003 - Present|
|Partner, President||Robert E. Sokolski, Esq., P.C.||1997 - 2003|
|Jazilek v. Abart Holdings, LLC, 10 N.Y.3d 943 (2008)||Reversed and remitted in tenant's favor|
|72A Realty Assoc. v. Lucas, 101 A.D.3d 401 (1st Dept. 2012)||Tenant won, courts below reversed|
|See all legal cases|