The Cochran Firm

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The Cochran Firm is a law firm in the United States founded by the late Johnnie L. Cochran, Jr. in Los Angeles, CA in 1983.[1]


In 1997, Cochran partnered with Samuel A. Cherry, Jr.,[2] Keith Givens,[3] and Jock M. Smith.[4] The partnership of Cochran Cherry Givens and Smith provided the framework which launched The Cochran Firm. With the first offices located in Los Angeles and New York, The Cochran Firm expanded into a national law firm with regional offices across the U.S., giving the firm the ability to represent clients in multiple states.

In 2007, the firm was ranked as the 141st largest law firm in the United States on the National Law Journal 250 with nearly 3,000 attorneys.[5] The Cochran Firm primarily does civil plaintiff and criminal defense work. The firm has been named to the National Law Journal Plaintiff's Hot List which compiles the United States' top plaintiffs' firms.[6][7]

In 2014, the firm had 26 offices in 15 states: including Alabama; Florida; California; New York; Georgia; Illinois; Texas; Louisiana; Wisconsin; Tennessee; and Washington, D.C.[8]

Civil practice[edit]

The firm maintains a massive civil law division representing plaintiffs who have suffered a personal injury due to the negligence or wrongful conduct of others. The firm handles products liability, medical malpractice, mass torts, pharmaceutical litigation, and premises liability.[9] The Cochran Firm has received verdicts and settlements totaling over $45 billion.[10] The partners of the firm have won 11 verdicts in excess of $100 million, more than 35 over $10 million and hundreds of verdicts or settlements in excess of $1 million.

In 2004 one of the founding partners, Jock Smith, helped his client retain a verdict of $1.6 billion, the largest jury verdict in 2004.[11]

In 2008 an attorney in the California office, Brian T. Dunn, achieved a landmark decision from the California Supreme Court in the case of Yount v. City of Sacramento. In 2013 in a separate case, Dunn achieved a $4.4 million settlement[12] in the case of Marine Sergeant Manual "Manny" Loggins, a Marine stationed at Camp Pendleton, who was shot and killed by Orange County Sheriff's Deputy Darren Sandberg in the presence of Loggins' children.

In civil rights and police misconduct cases, The Cochran Firm often works alongside highly recognized public figures and groups, such as the Rev. Jesse Jackson,[13] Rev. Al Sharpton,[14] and Black Lives Matter.[15] In addition to wrongful death and personal injury, the firm also pursues other types of Civil Litigation such as Securities and Exchange fraud.[16]

Criminal defense practice[edit]

The Cochran Firm also has a criminal defense section. Notable clients include Sean "Puffy" Combs, O.J. Simpson, Snoop Dogg, Michael Jackson, Tupac Shakur, Todd Bridges, Riddick Bowe, Jim Brown and Latrell Sprewell.[10] More recently the firm was counsel in the acquittal of former HealthSouth CEO, Richard Scrushy of all white collar charges involved in allegedly directing a massive $2.7 Billion earnings overstatement, the only successful defense of a defendant charged under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.[10]


After Cochran's 2005 death, there were questions about changes in the firm's mission and personnel and whether the new criminal division would weaken the firm's traditional emphasis on civil cases, particularly civil rights and police abuse cases. There was concern in the Los Angeles black community about "white folks taking over Johnnie Cochran's firm".[17] Brian Dunn,[17] who was originally hired by Johnnie Cochran in 1992 to follow in Cochran's foot steps as a civil rights lawyer, is the senior partner of the Los Angeles office.[18]

Despite past controversy, The Cochran Firm remains a national legal presence. In 2013 Cochran's daughter, Tiffany Cochran Edwards, was interviewed about the continuing legacy of the firm and the pride her father would feel for the firm's work.[19]


  1. ^ Johnnie Cochran - Biography
  2. ^ Samuel A. Cherry, Jr. - The Cochran Firm
  3. ^ Keith Givens - The Cochran Firm
  4. ^ Los Angeles Times - PASSINGS: Jock Smith
  5. ^ ILRG Largest 250 Law Firms in the US
  6. ^ The 2007 Plaintiffs' Hot List
  7. ^ The Cochran Firm, Lawyers and Attorneys, Johnnie Cochran
  8. ^ The Cochran Firm, Lawyers and Attorneys, Johnnie Cochran
  9. ^ The Cochran Firm, Lawyers and Attorneys, Johnnie Cochran
  10. ^ a b c The Cochran Firm, Lawyers and Attorneys, Johnnie Cochran
  11. ^ : Jock Smith
  12. ^ Los Angeles Times - Slain Marine Loggins
  13. ^ "Jonesboro ceremony marks third anniversary of Chavis Carter death".
  14. ^ "Crawford Family to join D.C. March".
  15. ^ "DuBose case draws downtown Cincinnati protests".
  16. ^ "Johnnie Cochran's Law Firm Looking for Whistleblowers".
  17. ^ a b Hall, Carla (March 9, 2006). "Many Angry Over Fate of Cochran Law Firm". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 7 April 2015.
  18. ^ "Brian T. Dunn, Findlaw". FindLaw.
  19. ^ "YouTube, Tiffany Cochran". YouTube.

External links[edit]