Joel B. Rudin

Joel B. Rudin

Attorney Profile

Top Rated Civil Rights Attorney in New York, NY

Law Office of Joel B. Rudin
 | 600 Fifth Avenue, 10th Floor
New York, NY 10020
Phone: 212-752-7600
Selected To Super Lawyers: 2011 - 2020
Licensed Since: 1979
Practice Areas:
  • Civil Rights (40%),
  • Appellate (30%)
    Attorney Profile

    Joel B. Rudin is a leading criminal defense and civil rights lawyer with more than 30 years of experience and is the principal in his own firm.

    Mr. Rudin’s diverse practice includes state and federal criminal trials, appeals, and post-conviction motions, and civil rights lawsuits for police misconduct and wrongful convictions.  He has been active, in his case work, writings, bar association activities, and public appearances, in speaking out about prosecutorial misconduct and the failure to discipline prosecutors for it, and is a leader in finding ways to bring lawsuits for such misconduct even though ordinarily prosecutors have immunity from suit. 

    Mr. Rudin first gained public attention when he won on appeal, and succeeded in freeing from prison, four innocent defendants who had been wrongfully convicted in the notorious Bronx Day Care Center sexual abuse cases in the 1980s.  One client was a prominent Yonkers minister and civil rights leader, the Rev. Nathaniel T. Grady, Sr., who had spent 10 years in prison before Mr. Rudin won a federal habeas petition on the ground of ineffective assistance of appellate counsel and then won Rev. Grady's second chance at a state appeal. Mr. Rudin succeeded in winning the freedom of Alberto Ramos, who had spent seven years in prison on a false child rape conviction, by showing that prosecutors had withheld exculpatory evidence proving Mr. Ramos's innocence, and then recovered a $5 million civil settlement for Mr. Ramos in 2003, at the time the largest such settlement ever in New York State.
    Mr. Rudin has since been retained to re-investigate numerous other state and federal criminal cases and has succeeded for many of these clients in overturning their convictions. In June, 2010, Mr. Rudin won a highly-publicized federal writ of habeas corpus freeing Jabbar Collins, and dismissing the indictment against him, after he had served 16 years in prison on a false murder conviction.  The ground was pervasive misconduct by the Brooklyn District Attorney's Office.  The previous year, Mr. Rudin, based upon his re-investigation of the double-homicide conviction of Danny Colon, persuaded the highest court in New York State, the Court of Appeals, to vacate the conviction, due to misconduct by the Manhattan D.A.'s Office, and later the D.A.’s Office dismissed the indictment. 

    Mr. Rudin's white-collar defense practice recently included the successful representation of the CEO of a major telecommunications company charged with money laundering, the president of a managed care health provider that was under federal and state investigation for fraud, a hedge fund manager charged with securities violations, and real estate executives under investigation for mortgage fraud.  He won the acquittal of a New York City police detective, Zaher Zahrey, in a highly-publicized federal police corruption case, and then recovered $2.25 million in damages and fees from New York City and several of the prosecutors and police detectives responsible for developing the case. 

    Mr. Rudin is a graduate of Cornell University (1974), where he was managing editor of The Cornell Daily Sun, had a brief career as a journalist in Springfield, Massachusetts, and then attended New York University School of Law (Class of 1978), where he was on the Journal of International Law and Politics, participated in the Criminal Law clinical program, and argued a federal criminal appeal as a student before the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.  He is admitted to practice in the United States Supreme Court, numerous federal courts of appeal and district courts, and all courts in New York State.

    About Joel Rudin

    Admitted: 1979, New York

    Professional Webpage:


    • Justice Thurgood Marshall Award for Outstanding Criminal Defense Practitioner, New York State Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, 2011

    Bar/Professional Activity:

    • Bar Admissions: New York, 1979; U.S. District Court Southern District of New York, 1979; U.S. District Court Eastern District of New York; U.S. District Court Northern District of New York; U.S. Court of Appeals 2nd Circuit, 1980; U.S. Court of Appeals 4th Circuit; U.S. Court of Appeals 6th Circuit; U.S. Court of Appeals 7th Circuit; U.S. Supreme Court, 1986.
    • Bar Association of the City of New York, Member
    • New York City and State Associations of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Member
    • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Vice-Chair,
    • Amicus Committee for the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, Member, Discovery Reform Task Force

    Scholarly Lectures/Writings:

    • Mr. Rudin has authored several “amicus” briefs filed in the United States Supreme Court on cutting edge criminal defense and civil rights issues for the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (“NACDL”).  He was appointed vice chair of that organization’s amicus committee for New York and Connecticut (Second Circuit), is a member of the organization’s national Discovery Reform Task Force, testified about wrongful convictions and prosecutorial misconduct before the New York State Bar Association's Task Force on Wrongful Convictions, and is active on that association’s Wrongful Convictions Committee.  He recently authored an article for the November 2011 issue of Fordham Law Review on the absence of discipline for prosecutorial misconduct.  He also wrote a lengthy article on “Suing for Prosecutorial Misconduct” for the March 2010 edition of the NACDL’s national magazine, The Champion. 
    • Mr. Rudin has lectured at  New York University,  Fordham, and Brooklyn Law Schools and the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism, led a program on federal habeas corpus at the New York City Bar Association, and participated in symposiums on prosecutorial immunity issues at Fordham Law School and the Practicing Law Institute. 


    • Mr. Rudin has won a leading federal criminal case in the United States Supreme Court, Gomez v. United States, won acquittals at trial in numerous state and federal criminal cases, reinvestigated and won on appeal and collateral attack apparently hopeless cases already lost by other attorneys, and won several of the largest civil rights settlements ever in New York for wrongful prosecutions ($5 million, $3.5 million, $3.1 million, and $2.25 million). 

    Educational Background:

    • New York University School of Law, New York, New York - 1978; Law Journal: Journal of International Law and Politics.
    • Cornell University - 1974
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    Office Location for Joel B. Rudin

    600 Fifth Avenue
    10th Floor
    New York, NY 10020

    Joel B. Rudin:

    Last Updated: 3/22/2019

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