Stephen Sokoloff, General Counsel
Steve Sokoloff became the General Counsel for Missouri Office of Prosecution Services In February, 2017 after serving for two years as Deputy Director of the Missouri Department of Public Safety. At DPS, he oversaw administration of the Department’s programs and agencies, including serving as the acting State Homeland Security Coordinator. He also served on the US Department of Homeland Security Identification and Credentials Management Committee. Sokoloff also served as Chairman of the State Crime Lab Review Commission, as a member of the State Drug Court Coordinating Commission, and Chaired the Criminal Records and Justice Information Advisory Committee.
He previously served as the elected Prosecuting Attorney of Dunklin County, Missouri from 1990 through 2014. Mr. Sokoloff is a past president of the Missouri Association of Prosecuting Attorneys (2004) and served on the Executive and Legislative committees of that organization. He has served on the faculty of the National Advocacy Center in Columbia, S.C., and on the faculty of the Missouri Office of Prosecution Services Trial School. He has also presented on behalf of the Missouri Bar. Mr. Sokoloff served as a member of the Board of Directors of the National District Attorneys Association from 2006 through 2014, where he was Chairman of the Justice and Generosity Fund Committee and also served on the legislative committee of the organization. He also served as an admission examiner for the National Board of Trial Advocates in the Criminal Law Section.
Mr. Sokoloff initiated a number of innovations in his office, chief among which was the creation of the Dunklin County Drug Court Diversion Program, the first rural drug court in the state. He also started a DWI track for the court. He initiated the automation of case management in his office and chaired the state committee to create a statewide computerized case management system for prosecutors. Mr. Sokoloff also participated in the creation of a Victim Impact Program for alcohol offenders. His chief focus has always been trying cases in court, where he has enjoyed significant success. Mr. Sokoloff has tried over 250 jury trials, including more than 30 murders.
Mr. Sokoloff received his undergraduate degree, a BA in Political Science, from Pace University in New York in 1978, where he was a Regent’s Scholar and an InterFuture Scholar. He received his law degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Law in 1979 where he was a member of the Board of Advocates.
Mr. Sokoloff has been responsible for drafting numerous criminal statutes enacted by the Missouri Legislature and was a contributing member of the Missouri Bar Special Committee on the Missouri Criminal Code Revision. In addition to actively participating in the code revision process, he testified numerous times before the House and Senate Committees reviewing the revisions, and has written a Guide to the Code Revisions for the Bar. He also served on the Supreme Court Sentencing Commission Advisory Committee. Mr. Sokoloff also serves as Vice-Chair of the Criminal Law Committee of the Missouri Bar. Mr. Sokoloff has lectured extensively to many professional organizations on Trial Practice topics and to legal and law enforcement groups about Code revisions and case law issues.
Mr. Sokoloff has been involved in many community betterment activities over the years, having served as President of the Board of Directors of the Boys and Girls Club of the Bootheel, Treasurer of the Delmo Housing Corporation, President of the Kennett Optimist Club, President of the Cotton Boll Artist League, President of the Kennett Alliance for the Arts Member of the Board of Directors of the Kennett Chamber of Commerce, the Kennett United Way Board and has also served in a number of Democratic Party Offices, including Chair of the County Central Committee, Vice Chairman of the 8th Congressional District Committee. He was elected as a member of the U.S. Presidential Electoral College in 1992.
Mr. Sokoloff had an extensive private law practice until 2007 when the office of Prosecutor was made full time. His practice focused on general litigation with an emphasis on plaintiff’s injury law. He obtained what was then the largest wrongful death jury verdict in Missouri, in 1998. He has appeared successfully before the Southern District Court of Appeal, the Missouri Supreme Court and the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals on numerous occasions in both civil and criminal matters.
Mr. Sokoloff is married to Freddi K. Sokoloff, his wife of 35 years and has a step-son Matthew Jackson, who practices law in Kennett. When not involved in professional activities, he enjoys traveling, bonsai, golf and cooking. He is a Certified Master Gardener and has taught classes in the art of bonsai. He has won numerous awards for his painting, sculpture, photography, and barbecue and wild game cooking as well. Mr. Sokoloff served as the restaurant critic for the Daily Dunklin Democrat newspaper in the 1980’s.