Melvin Brooks

Managing Partner

140 S. Dearborn Street,
Suite 1020 Chicago, IL 60603

Melvin L. Brooks is a managing partner with The Cochran Firm Chicago. Mr. Brooks is one of Johnnie Cochran’s original partners in the Chicago Office having teamed with the famed attorney and founder of the firm in February 2003. His practice focuses on the representation of clients in wrongful death and serious personal injury matters ranging from trucking and vehicular negligence, police misconduct, premises and products liability and medical negligence.

Mr. Brooks began his legal career on the south side of Chicago at the law office of Benjamin E. Starks. He later gained extensive experience as a civil litigator with the Corporation Counsel’s Office handling complex, multi-million-dollar exposure cases. Mr. Brooks’ litigation skills have been recognized by legal publications such as the “National Law Journal” and the “Chicago Law Bulletin.”

His list of high-profile cases includes having served as lead counsel in the E2 Nightclub litigation representing the family of patrons who were trapped and trampled in a staircase after mace/pepper spray was dispersed in the club creating a stampede in the overcrowded nightclub. Through the efforts of Mr. Brooks, over $20 million was recovered for families of the E2 victims from the club owners and the radio station promoter. He also represented the family of Rekia Boyd; a young lady fatally shot by an off-duty, Chicago police officer. Mr. Brooks successfully obtained an award of $4.5 million for Ms. Boyd’s family despite the City of Chicago’s claim that the officer actions were outside the scope of his employment.

Obtained a $7.5 million verdict for the wrongful death of a 77-year-old woman who had significant comorbidities including congestive heart failure, hypertension, peripheral vascular disease, coronary artery disease, and a past heart attack.  Having suffered a broken femur, the woman was admitted to a rehabilitation hospital for recovery.  While in rehab, she was placed on a shower chair with an unsecured seat resulting in the woman being impaled with the steel tubing of the chair frame. She thereafter developed sepsis and died.

Mr. Brooks is admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court, the Federal District Court for the Northern District of Illinois and is a member of the Federal trial bar.

Honors & Awards

  • Named to Leading Lawyers 2018-2021 Personal Injury, Civil Rights
  • Named to list of Super Lawyers, 2013-2022
  • Named as part of the “Nation’s Top One Percent” by the National Association of Distinguished Counsel, 2015-2021
  • Recipient of the Women of Wisdom’s Distinguished Service Award, 2009
  • Named as one of the American Trial Lawyers Association “Top 100 Trial Lawyers”
  • Recipient of Cook County Bar Association’s Harold Washington Historical Award, 2012
  • Recognized by legal publications such as the National Law Journal and the Chicago Law Bulletin

Professional Associations & Memberships

  • Illinois Trial Lawyers Association, Member
  • Cook County Bar Association, Member
  • Habilitative Systems, Inc., Board Chairperson


  • J.D., University of Iowa College of Law
  • B.A., Iowa State University

Bar Admissions


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