NY / New York

Derek  Sells

The Cochran Firm - New York
55 Broadway, 23rd Floor 
New York , NY 10006


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 graduate of Dartmouth College (Class of 1985) and Yale law School (Class of 1988), 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 was selected the Managing Partner of The Cochran Firm and has since amassed an extraordinary number of Million Dollar verdicts and settlements, exceeding a total of $100 Million Dollars as of 2006.

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 fa_ßade 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.

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