Schlissel Ostrow Karabatos (SOK) is an innovative matrimonial and family law firm with a reputation for handling the most complicated financial, valuation, and property distribution matters, as well as the most complex custody and support issues.“We're willing to challenge what people think are established principles,” notes managing partner Elena Karabatos. “When the law is undeveloped or still developing, this firm has never hesitated to try and make new law for the betterment of our clients. “Indeed, SOK has regularly challenged case law to protect its clients’ interests".
SOK attorneys were among the first lawyers in the country to prevent a parent from smoking in the presence of her children, and they pioneered new law in the areas of settlement agreements and custody evaluations. The firm has also had considerable success in securing the rights of non-monied spouses to effective legal counsel.“We take pride in bringing the highest degree of excellence, integrity, and creativity to the practice of matrimonial law,” says partner Stephen W. Schlissel. “Although we have the depth and expertise to aggressively litigate the largest and most complex matters, we are also extraordinarily aware of the emotional component of family law; and because of that, we often take a more nuanced approach in order to deliver a superior result for the client in the long run.”The attorneys of SOK begin each case by evaluating the situation from a holistic perspective, taking into account the emotional components of the matter, the personalities of the clients, and the financial aspects of the case. And while the firm’s attorneys are experienced trial lawyers, they regularly address issues by using alternative resolution methods, such as negotiation, mediation, arbitration, and collaborative law.
Given their expertise, it should come as no surprise that the firm’s lawyers have garnered significant recognition from their peers. SOK is one of the few firms in the country with three fellows of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers and two Diplomates of the American College of Family Trial Lawyers, which limits membership to 100 attorneys across the country. The firm’s name partners have also been selected for inclusion in New York Super Lawyers and The Best Lawyers in America, with two of them having been named in every edition of both publications. In addition, all three are named in Ten Leaders for matrimonial and divorce law in Long Island.
As leaders of the bar, the firm's lawyers have achieved a number of honors in the family law field. Schlissel was a recipient of the 2013 Distinguished Service Medallion, the highest honor bestowed by the Nassau County Bar Association (NCBA); he has also been named to the Independent Judicial Election Qualifications Commission for the 10th Judicial District (Nassau & Suffolk Counties) and is a member of the Board of Governors of the New York State Attorney-Client Fee Dispute Resolution Board. Karabatos, meanwhile, serves as secretary of the NCBA and president-elect of the New York Chapter of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML). Name partner Michael J. Ostrow has served as president of the NCBA, president of the AAML National, and chair of the Family Law Section of the New York State Bar Association (NYSBA). Beyond the firm's name partners, attorneys Joseph A. DeMarco and Lisa R. Schoenfeld have been named as Super Lawyers Rising Stars, and Jennifer Rosenkrantz was appointed as first vice chair of the NCBA’s Matrimonial and Family Law Committee. Schoenfeld is also the chair of the Young Lawyers Committee of the NYSBA.