Legal Legends

Legal Legends

The Cochran Firm has a long-standing reputation for maintaining some of the nation’s top attorneys. With multiple locations throughout the United States, we have established ourselves as the country’s premier victims’ advocate law firm, a prestigious honor we owe largely to the legal legends whose hard work and dedication helped build the foundation upon which our firm stands.

Johnnie L. Cochran, Jr.
October 2, 1937 – March 29, 2005

jhonniecochranKnown as an accomplished trial lawyer, tireless civil libertarian, and generous philanthropist, Johnnie L. Cochran, Jr. founded our firm over 40 years ago. While Johnnie became nationally recognized for his high profile cases such as the O.J. Simpson trial, his dedication to bringing justice to everyday Americans had already earned him several honors and distinctions long before.
Johnnie was the first attorney in Los Angeles to receive both the “Civil Trial Lawyer of the Year” Award and the “Criminal Trial Lawyer of the Year” Award. Additional distinctions include:

  • America’s Trial Lawyer of the Year, 1995, The National Law Journal
  • Headliners of the Year, 1999, Time
  • Top 50 Trial Attorneys of 1999, Los Angeles Business Journal

Johnnie was elected for membership into the Inner Circle of Advocates in 1996. The Inner Circle of Advocates is an exclusive organization composed of the top 100 personal injury lawyers in America. Recognized as one of the top one percent of trial lawyers in the United States, Johnnie held the distinction of being inducted into the American College of Trial Lawyers and was also inducted into the prestigious International Academy of Trial lawyers, which is comprised of leading trial attorneys from throughout the world.
Johnnie passed on March 29, 2005, but his vision and dedication live on in the hearts and minds of all of our attorneys.

Jock Smith (1948 – 2012)
jock-smithJock M. Smith was a co-founder, National Partner, and President of The Cochran Firm. During his career, Jock worked on a number of high-profile and precedent-setting cases. He was dedicated to assisting victims in getting large settlements, and took on some of the most powerful corporations of his time, including Orkin, Monsanto, and Southwestern Life Insurance. In fact, the verdict he obtained against Southwestern Life Insurance was reported as the single largest verdict in the nation in the National Law Journal and Lawyers Weekly USA, and remains the largest civil verdict obtained by an African American lawyer in the nation’s history.

Jock was the recipient of numerous awards and distinctions including the keys to the cities of New Orleans, Memphis and Flint. Additional distinctions include:

  • Recognition by the Alabama Trial Lawyers Association
  • The Million Dollar Advocates Forum
  • Johnnie L. Cochran, Jr. Journey to Justice Award, 2005, at the National Bar Association Convention
  • AV Rated by Martindale-Hubbell
  • America’s Top 500 Trial Litigators, 2006 and 2007, Legal Magazine
  • Who’s Who in Black Lawyers in New York, 2009
  • Lifetime member of Superior Lawyers of America
  • Board of Trustees of Tuskegee University, 2011

Shortly before his passing on January 8, 2012, Jock was selected by The Trial Lawyer as one of the 100 Most Influential Trial Lawyers in America.

J.B. Spence (1922 – 2011)
jb-spenceFor over six decades, J.B. Spence was known as one of Florida’s best trial attorneys. In fact, J.B. was the first attorney in the state of Florida to obtain a million dollar verdict for a client. Following that verdict in 1967, J.B. obtained over 100 more million dollar verdicts for his clients during his impressive career.
A frequent lecturer and author of two books, J.B. was an associate professor at the University of Miami School of Law. Additional distinctions include:

  • Academy of Florida Trial Lawyers, member
  • The International Academy of Trial Lawyers, member
  • The Inner Circle of Advocates, member
  • Perry Nichols Award,1987, the Academy of Florida trial Lawyers
  • Inducted into the Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame, 2010

J.B. Spence passed at the age of 89 on November 26, 2011. A distinguished and dedicated attorney, J.B.’s memory continues to provide inspiration for our attorneys.

Randy Mainor (1941 – 2007)
randyRandall “Randy” Mainor was a senior partner of Mainor, Eglet & Cottle in Nevada. Randy’s experience included career choices such as Special Agent for the F.B.I., Deputy District Attorney, Deputy Public Defender, and a member of the Nevada Taxicab Authority, but it was his legal career that included several multimillion dollar verdicts for which he is best known.

In 1999, Randy was named Trial Lawyer of the Year by his peers. He passed on December 11, 2007.

For more information on our legal legends or to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced attorneys, please contact The Cochran Firm today.

Johnnie Cochran – The Legacy

Johnnie L. Cochran, Jr.
October 2, 1937 – March 29, 2005

Johnnie L. Cochran, Jr. has been recognized as an outstanding trial lawyer, civil libertarian and philanthropist throughout the world. As a seasoned litigator, Johnnie was considered to be one of the leading authorities on the criminal and civil justice system, as well as an international leader in the legal profession.

Born in Shreveport, LA, Johnnie Cochran moved with his family to California. With an undergraduate degree in Business Administration from the University of California at Los Angeles, Johnnie attended Loyola Law School in Los Angeles where he received his Juris Doctor. Johnnie’s early legal career began in the City Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles in 1963 where he was assigned to the criminal division. After several years, he entered private practice and founded a Los Angeles-based law firm where he developed a practice handling a substantial volume of both civil and criminal cases.

In 1978, he was invited to serve as the Assistant District Attorney of Los Angeles County. As the third ranking lawyer in the nation’s largest law office, he had general administrative responsibility for six hundred lawyers.

In 1981, he was eager to return to private practice where he soon began obtaining record verdicts for victims of negligence. As his remarkable achievements continued, Johnnie settled or tried to verdict numerous landmark, high-profile cases.

Although widely known as an outstanding trial lawyer, it was Johnnie’s role as lead counsel for the O.J. Simpson case that brought him international recognition. He was the only attorney in Los Angeles ever to receive both the “Civil Trial Lawyer of the Year” Award and the “Criminal Trial Lawyer of the Year” Award. In 1995, he was named “America’s Trial Lawyer of the Year” by The National Law Journal, as well as being named one of the “Headliners of the Year” by Time magazine.In 1999, he was named one of the “Top 50 Trial Attorneys of 1999” by the Los Angeles Business Journal.

In 1996, Johnnie was elected for membership into the Inner Circle of Advocates, an exclusive organization composed of the top 100 personal injury lawyers in America. He further held the distinction of being inducted into the American College of Trial Lawyers, an organization whose membership consists of the top one percent of trial lawyers in the United States. He was also inducted into the prestigious International Academy of Trial lawyers, which is comprised of leading trial attorneys from throughout the world.

In addition to his professional career, Johnnie published two autobiographies.

In 1996, Journey To Justice became a best seller, followed by A Lawyer’s Life in 2002. Johnnie always maintained an interest in communities and their outreach programs. He helped establish the Johnnie L. Cochran, Jr. Academy of Legal Studies and Community Service in East Orange, New Jersey, the Johnnie L. Cochran, Jr. Center for Early Learning At Second Baptist Church in Los Angeles, and scholarship funds for the University of California at Los Angeles, the University of New Mexico School of Law, and the Southern University School of Law in Baton Rouge, LA .

It was Johnnie’s dream to bring justice to all Americans who suffer because of the wrongdoing of individuals, corporations or governmental entities. This dream was realized when Johnnie became founding partner of the national law firm of Cochran, Cherry, Givens and Smith, P.C. The Cochran Firm, as it is known today, has become one of the largest law firms serving injured people and their families. Located in major cities throughout the United States, The Cochran Firm offers extensive national resources, legal talent and leadership to its clients.

Johnnie L. Cochran, Jr. may have become well known for his representation of celebrities in high-profile and groundbreaking cases, but his true measure of success came from his lifelong dedication in the fight for the injured and the disenfranchised throughout America.