Joseph L. Sorkin handles a wide range of complex commercial litigation, concentrating on the financial services, insurance and commercial real estate industries.

Practice & Background

Mr. Sorkin has significant experience in bankruptcy-related litigation. Mr. Sorkin has also conducted internal investigations for public companies and has assisted in the defense of clients involved in investigations by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Department of Justice (DOJ).

Mr. Sorkin’s clients include insurance and financial services companies, private equity organizations, commercial lenders, investment funds, real estate developers, debtors and creditors committees.

Mr. Sorkin has devoted significant time to pro bono matters, including obtaining asylum or other relief for four individuals, each of whom have been able to begin new lives here in the United States. Mr. Sorkin contributed substantially to “In Pursuit of Justice,” Human Rights First, May 2008 and “In Pursuit of Justice, 2009 Update and Recent Developments,” Human Rights First, July 2009. He has also been recognized by Human Rights First and The Legal Aid Society for his pro bono work.

Mr. Sorkin has also been an adjunct lecturer-in-law at Columbia University Law School.

Mr. Sorkin received his B.A. in East Asian studies from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill in 1994. He received his J.D. cum laude in 2001 from the University of Wisconsin Law School, where he was a teaching assistant for the Legal Research and Writing program and a member of Order of the Coif.

Representative Matters

Mr. Sorkin’s recent engagements include:

  • representing two major insurance and financial services companies in a successful dismissal from federal multidistrict litigation involving a putative class action and individual suits alleging antitrust violations (Hinds County, Mississippi v. Wachovia Bank, N.A., 620 F. Supp. 2d 499 (S.D.N.Y. 2009) and -- F. Supp. 2d --, 2010 WL 1727965 (S.D.N.Y. Apr. 26, 2010))
  • representing a major insurance and financial services company in a joint DOJ (Antitrust Division) and SEC investigation and parallel investigation by various state attorneys general
  • representing a major insurance and financial services company in a successful dismissal based on the Securities Litigation Uniform Standards Act (SLUSA) from federal multidistrict litigation alleging putative class action (In re Mutual Funds Investment Litigation, 437 F. Supp. 2d 439 (D. Md. 2006), aff’d 309 Fed. App’x, 2009 WL 225931 (4th Cir. 2009))
  • acting as litigation counsel to the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors of General Growth Properties, Inc.
  • representing a real estate developer in a New York state court litigation resulting in a successful summary judgment verdict
  • representing an investment fund in successfully defeating a New York state court temporary restraining order and attachment proceeding at trial court and appellate court levels
  • representing a major insurer in a obtaining jury verdict in federal trial involving allegations of bad faith and breach of contract
  • representing a major insurer in reinsurance arbitration
  • representing insurers in class action lawsuits involving alleged misrepresentation/omissions of premium charges and service charges for life insurance products
  • representing insurers in numerous large-exposure, bad-faith actions, including representing life insurers in large death claims, representing property and casualty insurers, and representing insurers in claims involving the denial of large medical and disability claims
  • representing drug manufacturers in lawsuits alleging unfair competition and Lanham Act false advertising claims in connection with the marketing and sale of pharmaceutical products
  • defending major insurers in numerous ERISA cases involving disability, ADD and life insurance policy claims, both in federal district courts and in federal appellate courts
  • conducting an internal investigation for the board of directors of a public company to assess the company’s claims and defenses against its affiliate
  • conducting an internal investigation for the special committee of a board of a public company regarding allegations of the backdating of options.