He’s Attorney James Sokolove

And those cheesy ads of his? They’ve done more than make him a pariah and a punch line. They’ve also created an under-the-radar empire that’s about to reinvent the business of ambulance chasing yet again.

The law offices of James Sokolove, on Centre Street in Newton, don’t look much like a law office at all. There’s no sign on the outside of the stucco building it shares with a business that gets people out of IRS trouble and an outpost of the Fuller Brush Company, which peddles cleaning supplies to door-to-door salesmen. Inside, Sokolove has no reception desk, none of the shelves stacked high with the volumes of case law that occasionally appear in his commercials, just two floors packed tight with cubicles. Painted on the wall is the firm’s utilitarian tag line, “We fix problems.”

Most mornings, Sokolove arrives around 9:30. He works less than a half a mile from his home, a mansion on Crystal Lake. There, he maintains a more lawyerly office—big desk, framed commendations, requisite picture of himself with President Bill Clinton—that he barely ever uses. At age 64, Sokolove has a retired boxer’s slumped shoulders and a newscaster’s head of hair. He wears khakis and brightly colored dress shirts left open at the collar; just about the only time he dons a suit these days is when he’s filming a commercial. Meeting a practicing attorney in Sokolove’s office is so rare an event (there are only three) that it practically demands comment. “She’s a real lawyer” is how he introduces one.

At a typical personal-injury firm, potential clients call with a legal issue and are passed along to a paralegal or a lawyer who determines whether a case can be made on their behalf. Sorting through prospects represents the lion’s share of its attorneys’ work. To find a single malpractice case, a firm might first have to wade through interviews with 125 callers.

The problem with that system, as Sokolove has always seen it, is that it’s inefficient. Plenty of people who need help get turned away from firms that don’t really have the expertise to handle their cases. “If you advertise for personal injury and you get a call for med mal, you have to have somebody to handle the stuff,” Sokolove says. “Waste can kill you.” Meanwhile, lawyers lose time speaking to potential claimants who don’t end up bringing in winnable suits. Sokolove solves all that by matching clients with specialized lawyers who belong to his network of 400 affiliated law firms. Together, they can represent clients in more than 130 types of cases.


  • Ben

    I have been waiting for this article ever since I got cable in 1990! Fantastic story. It would be nice to see more feature stories like this that don't revolve entirely around keeping up with the Joneses and conspicuous consumption, right?

  • joe
  • omayra

    hello i would like to know if i would be able to recieve workers comp. due to an accident at work. I had gotten injured and my employer refuses to give me money although i had gotten hurt at work and am not able to return to work till my doctor says taht its ok. can james k. sokolove help me?

  • Robin

    I read the article in the Boston Magazine moths ago. My sisters and I are concerned for my dad who is in Boston Medical now going on 7 mo 7-31-09. This is unhear of. Hes 79 originally started with colon cancer 1st surgery to remove then 2 others because of leakage from punctured blatter and kidney, another gallblatter surgery and plastic surgery to close the wound that punctured something. stints put in and taken out. Hes YELLOW, fever and has infection from open wound thats only special nurses can change. Please advise. My dad is affraid to say anything. He wants to get back together. No one else would take this case, its contaminiated.

  • jb

    Sadly, Mr. Sokolove’s misguided ability to convince himself that he is, in some way, doing good in the world has only let to the propagation of his destructive enterprise from within New England to the rest of the country. Though clearly focusing on the quite interesting evolution of this evil empire, I thank Boston Magazine for at least showcasing at least some of Mr. Sokolove’s shameless self promotion and lust for financial gain (at any cost.) Be ashamed Jim Sokolove. I can assure you, your influence on the health care system has killed many more than you have saved…

  • Salvador Angel


  • lynne

    Is Jim still doing coke? Does he have any $ left. He is the worst human being.

  • http://www.facebook.com/richard.slaven.16 Richard Slaven

    After reading this article I think Sokolove’s firm is one of the best firm. Now as a professional member of http://lawyerredmondattorney.com/ I want to discuss here about personal injury law. I know that many people have no idea about this and they are not getting enough compensation. Remember one-thing only a good lawyer can help an injured person to get enough compensation.

  • Jerry C. Allen

    My wife borrowed our uncle car with permission and was in an accident. we seattle the amount but they are greedy to ask more money. how to handle this case

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