The Cochran Firm announces that Hezekiah Sistrunk, Jr., Managing Partner of The Cochran Firm – Atlanta office, is now a Shareholder and Equity Partner of The Cochran Firm, one of the country’s leading and most recognized law firms.
Effective immediately, The Cochran Firm, founded by the late Johnnie L. Cochran, Jr. (1937-2005), will begin a new chapter of leadership as Mr. Sistrunk joins Jock Smith, Sam Cherry and Keith Givens as a national partner of The Firm.
“I feel fortunate to have the extraordinary opportunity to be a part of the select group of lawyers entrusted with continuing the legacy of Johnnie L. Cochran, Jr. as a trial lawyer, civil libertarian and philanthropist,” stated Mr. Sistrunk, when asked of his new role with The Firm.
He added, “We will redouble our efforts to make Mr. Cochran’s dream to bring justice to all Americans who suffer because of the wrongdoing of individuals, corporations or governmental entities a reality. We remain dedicated to representing common, ordinary people. Our mission is simple: Full justice for all our clients.”
Mr. Sistrunk became the Managing Partner of The Cochran Firm – Atlanta in 2000. Since that time he has served on The Firm’s Executive Committee and as Chairman of the Management Committee.
President and Co-Founding Partner of the firm, Jock Smith, stated, “Johnnie was smiling down upon us at the time we made this appointment. He said he would always be looking over our shoulder, and today I know he is pleased and honored with the actions this firm has taken with the appointment of Hezekiah Sistrunk as an Equity Partner in The Firm.”
Smith added, “Mr. Sistrunk has mastered the practice of law and has, in and out of the courtroom, the same impacting presence of the greats of all time like and unto Thurgood Marshall, Clarence Darrow, and Johnnie L. Cochran, Jr. I look forward to working with Hezekiah to advance the legacy of Johnnie L. Cochran, Jr. from sea to shining sea.”
A seasoned litigator, Mr. Sistrunk is respected and admired throughout legal and professional circles. His practice focuses on litigation of complex matters, contract cases, physician and hospital liability cases, products liability cases, commercial and corporate disputes, and catastrophic personal injury cases.
Jane Sams, Equity Partner with The Cochran Firm – Atlanta, says of Mr. Sistrunk, “I am honored to have practiced law with Hezekiah for over 20 years. He is a brilliant lawyer and masterful trial attorney. What makes Hezekiah truly special, however, is that he purposefully applies his skills to make justice a reality for all people, not just the powerful. He has dedicated his life not only to the pursuit of justice, but to the mentoring of minority attorneys and to promoting the well-being of our community.”
“Having already proven himself an outstanding leader of the Atlanta office, Hezekiah will be an invaluable asset as a national partner and guardian of Johnnie Cochran’s legacy and vision of justice,” Sams added.
Mr. Sistrunk began his remarkable legal career in 1983. He has served as lead counsel in numerous cases involving products liability and multi-party toxic tort litigation, class action litigation, and multi-district litigation. He has litigated over one hundred cases to verdict. Mr. Sistrunk has served as trial counsel for individuals, as well as national and international corporations in complex litigation cases. Reflecting this diverse legal experience, he has been a frequent lecturer on trial practices and techniques.
After serving in the U.S. Army, Mr. Sistrunk graduated, with honors, from North Carolina State University and earned his law degree from Duke University.
Atlanta office law partner, Audrey Tolsen said, “Hezekiah is a true proponent of justice, both in and out of the courtroom. Although his skills as a lawyer are unrivaled, he is as much a humanitarian as he is a litigator. I cannot think of a person more capable of, or more dedicated to, providing the leadership that will ensure that Mr. Cochran’s legacy continues to thrive.”
Mr. Sistrunk is a member of the American Association for Justice, the American and National Bar Associations, and the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association. He is also a member of the American Trial Lawyers Association which has designated him one of the “Top 100 Lawyers” in the State of Georgia. He has earned an “AV” rating from the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, the highest achievable rating given to an attorney. For four years (2007, 2008, 2009, 2010), Mr. Sistrunk has been selected as a Georgia Super Lawyer by Super Lawyers magazine. He is also a Charter Fellow of The Litigation Counsel of America.
In 2000, Sistrunk & Associates merged with the national law firm of Cochran Cherry Givens & Smith creating Cochran Cherry Givens Smith & Sistrunk, PC. With this merger, The Cochran Firm – Atlanta became the eighth regional office of The Cochran Firm.
“Hez has been very instrumental in the growth and success of The Cochran Firm. His national reputation and skills as a trial lawyer have established him as a true leader in the firm. We are pleased to have him as a shareholder,” says Keith Givens, Equity Partner with The Cochran Firm.
It was Mr. Cochran’s dream to have “a diverse law firm which reflects society and is capable of handling cases throughout America.” Mr. Cochran began his law practice over 40 years ago in Los Angeles, California. As it is known today, The Cochran Firm has 27 offices in 18 states and the District of Columbia. It has established itself as one of the premier civil plaintiffs’ litigation law firms in the country.
Equity Partner, Sam Cherry offered, “Hez has shown that he has the wisdom of Solomon, the tenacity of a lion, and the heartfelt concern for his clients. Be it a legal war or a need for understanding and compassion, Hez is the man you want on your side. Congratulations and welcome aboard.”