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Criminal Defense

Rankin & Sultan concentrates on vigorously defending individuals and companies facing criminal investigations or prosecution. Our firm provides aggressive advocacy in a variety of contexts.

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Civil & Administrative Litigation

Rankin & Sultan also handles selected civil matters. Most often, it is our commitment to defending individual liberties and fighting against government misconduct that brings us into the civil arena.


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Rankin & Sultan News


March 2015

In an article by Nik DeCosta-Klipa published on Boston.com, Rankin & Sultan was recognized for its numerous post-conviction victories as well as its excellent trial advocacy skills, most notably in its work in the ongoing murder trial of former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez. A copy of the article is available here.

Massachusetts Parole Board

January 2015

Following a Parole Board review hearing at which Cathy Hinton presented strong evidence of our client’s extensive rehabilitation, the Massachusetts Parole Board issued a positive parole decision after our client served 20 years of a life sentence on a second degree murder conviction. This was Cathy Hinton’s second successful parole decision in a row in a lifetime imprisonment case before the Parole Board.


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About Us

Attorney Charles “Charlie” Rankin and Attorney James “Jamie” Sultan founded our boutique criminal defense firm on June 1, 1986.  They had graduated from Harvard Law School in the same class (1980) and worked together as associates at the small criminal and constitutional litigation firm of Silverglate & Gertner.  After each subsequently enjoyed a successful tour in private solo practice, the two reunited to join forces as Rankin & Sultan.  

Rankin & Sultan quickly developed a reputation for providing highly sophisticated and effective criminal defense at both the trial and appellate levels.  Increasing demand for their services led them to grow.  Catherine Hinton became a partner in 2002, followed by Michelle Menken, who became a partner in 2008.  

Today, Rankin & Sultan is at the forefront of the field, having forged some of the most significant advances in criminal justice in Massachusetts over the past two decades.  Our attorneys practice regularly in state and federal trial courts throughout Massachusetts.  We also practice regularly in state and federal appellate courts in Massachusetts and in other jurisdictions.  The firm is one of very few Boston criminal firms listed in the Martindale-Hubbell Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers.

All of our attorneys are passionate about fighting zealously on behalf of the accused. We believe that the power of government is immense, and the process fraught with pitfalls. Our mission is to marshal our skill and experience to protect the underdog – to even the playing field; to safeguard liberty, property, and sometimes life; and to champion fundamental principles of justice, equity, and human dignity.

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