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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

Massachusetts Appeals Court

May 2015

Kerry Haberlin successfully defended our client against the Commonwealth’s appeal of a trial court’s decision to dismiss charges without prejudice due to the Commonwealth’s lack of diligence in its prosecution of those charges. The Appeals Court agreed with Kerry that the Commonwealth was not prejudiced by the court’s dismissal.

Boston Municipal Court - Roxbury Division

March 2015

Our client, a passenger in a rental car, was charged with possession of cocaine. Audrey Grace moved to suppress all of the evidence against our client on the grounds that the evidence was discovered as a result of an unconstitutional seizure of the car. The Court allowed the motion to suppress, finding that the State Police Trooper acted unreasonably in impounding and towing the car, after the driver produced a valid license and rental agreement, without taking reasonable steps to verify the driver’s authorization to operate the rental car.


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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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