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Hezekiah Sistrunk, Jr., National Partner


Hezekiah Sistrunk - Attorney at Cochran Firm AtlantaHezekiah Sistrunk, Jr., is a National Partner and President of The Cochran Firm, Chairman of the National Firm's Executive/Management Committee and the Managing Partner of the Firm's Atlanta Office.

Mr. Sistrunk's practice focuses largely on the litigation of complex disputes involving common law, statutory law, contract law, physician and hospital liability law, product liability law, commercial, corporate and business issues, catastrophic personal injury cases and class action/mass torts/pharmaceutical litigation. Over the course of his career, in fact, Mr. Sistrunk has prosecuted and defended hundreds of litigated matters before state courts, federal courts and administrative agencies and has tried over 100 cases to verdict.

Mr. Sistrunk has lectured on medical professional liability issues, complex litigation matters, including class action and mass tort litigation, and has conducted risk management and risk assessment seminars for various clients. In addition to his trial experience, lecturing and advising clients, Mr. Sistrunk has also served as a mediator in hundreds of matters.

Mr. Sistrunk's professional recognitions include being named as one of the "Top 100 Lawyers" in the state of Georgia by the National Trial Lawyers Association (2011-2018). He has earned an *AV Preeminent rating in the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, the highest achievable rating given to an attorney (2007-2018). He is a Charter Fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America (2007-2018). He was named by Men Looking Ahead News Magazine on its 2011 annual "Power List of Georgia's Most Powerful and Influential Lawyers". Mr. Sistrunk has been selected to the Super Lawyers Magazine list of Georgia Super Lawyers (2007-2019).

In November 2011, Mr. Sistrunk was inducted into the Gate City Bar Association Hall of Fame. The Gate City Bar Association is the oldest African-American Bar Association in the State of Georgia. Being inducted into the Hall of Fame is the Association's highest award.

In March 2012, Mr. Sistrunk was inducted as a Fellow into the International Academy of Trial Lawyers (IATL). Chartered in 1954 to facilitate the administration of justice, promote the rule of law internationally and elevate the standards of integrity, honor and courtesy in the legal profession. IATL limits it's invitation-only membership to 500 lawyers from the United States. IATL selects only those lawyers who have demonstrated excellence in courtroom advocacy throughout their careers. Each Fellow is extensively evaluated by his colleagues and the judges in his jurisdiction and has been highly recommended by them as possessing the qualifications for induction into the IATL.

In April 2014 Mr. Sistrunk received the Clarence Darrow Award during the Mass Torts Made Perfect Conference. The Clarence Darrow Award recognizes dedication and excellence in the legal profession and is given to an attorney who has demonstrated exceptional conviction in his work. The prestigious Clarence Darrow Award is a national award that honors the legacy of famed attorney Clarence Darrow. One of the greatest trial lawyers of the 20th century and a leading member of the American Civil Liberties Union, Darrow was know for his eloquent presentations and oral arguments. His role in defending John T. Scopes in the Scopes Monkey Trial in 1925 was later depicted by Spencer Tracy in the film "Inherit the Wind".

The National Bar Association honored Mr. Sistrunk with the Maynard H. Jackson, Jr. Legacy Award during the annual convention in July 2014. The award is presented to an honoree for empowering the future and providing leadership of our communities as did the late Honorable Maynard H. Jackson, Jr. Jackson was Atlanta Georgia's first African-American Mayor, serving three (3) terms (1974-1982 and 1990-1994). Jackson was credited for working to improve race relations and providing leadership in developing major public-works projects in Atlanta, including the renovation of the Hartsfield Atlanta International Airport, which was renamed the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport following Jackson's death in 2003. The National Bar Association, founded in 1925, is the nation's oldest and largest association of African-American lawyers, judges and law students, with a network of more than 59,000 professionals.

Best Lawyers

Mr. Sistrunk was selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America 2015 for his work in the area of Personal Injury Litigation-Plaintiffs and in the 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 editions for his work in the areas of Personal Injury Litigation-Plaintiffs and Products Liability Litigation-Plaintiffs. He was also recognized as the 2019 "Lawyer of the Year" award recipient for his work in Product Liability Litigation - Plaintiffs in Atlanta. Only a single lawyer in each practice area and community is honored with a "Lawyer of the Year" award. Since it was first published in 1983, Best Lawyers® has become universally regarded as a definitive guide to legal excellence. To compile the current 21st edition of the annual publication Best Lawyers conducted an exhaustive peer-reviewed survey. Over 52,000 leading attorneys cast more than 5.5 million votes on the legal abilities of other lawyers in their practice areas. Nominees were reviewed on the basis of professional expertise and underwent a confirmation process to make sure they were in good standing with their local Bar Associations.

 Top 100 Trial Lawyers

In January 2015, Mr. Sistrunk was installed as President of the National Trial Lawyers. The National Trial Lawyers is a professional organization whose membership includes the 100 most outstanding Trial Lawyers from each state. Mr. Sistrunk currently serves on the Executive Committee of the National Trial Lawyers (2008-2018).

In March 2015, Mr. Sistrunk was included on The Lawyers of Color Fourth Annual Power List. The Power List is a comprehensive catalog of the nation's most influential minority attorneys and non-minority legal diversity advocates, including corporate general counsel, law firm managing partners, law school deans and the highest ranking government attorneys.

In April 2015, Mr. Sistrunk was selected for membership in The National Association of Distinguished Counsel (NADC). Lawyers selected for membership in NADC receive the designation of Nation's Top Attorneys. The NADC is dedicated to promoting the highest standards of legal excellence. Each member is thoroughly vetted by a research team, selected by a blue ribbon panel of attorneys with podium status from independently neutral organizations, and approved by a judicial review board as exhibiting virtue in the practice of law. Only the top one percent of attorneys in the United States is selected for membership in the NADC. Mr. Sistrunk was again selected to the NADC membership through 2018.

In January 2016, Mr. Sistrunk was designated a Senior Fellow by the Litigation Counsel of America. Senior Fellow status in the honorary society is reserved for advanced commitment to and support of the Litigation Counsel of America, the Diversity Law Institute and Trial Law Institute.

In October 2016, Mr. Sistrunk was selected by America's Top 100 Attorneys as a Lifetime Achievement recipient. Selection to America's Top 100 Attorneys is by invitation only and is comprised of the nation's most exceptional attorneys whose accomplishments merit lifetime achievement recognition. This once-in-a-lifetime honor is given to less than one-half percent (0.5%) of active attorneys practicing in the United States.

In December 2016, Mr. Sistrunk was elected a Life Fellow of the American Bar Foundation. The Fellows of the American Bar Foundation is an honorary organization of attorneys, judges, law faculty and legal scholars whose public and private careers have demonstrated outstanding dedication to the welfare of their communities and to the highest principles of the legal profession. Membership in The Fellows is limited to one percent of lawyers licensed to practice in each jurisdiction. Members are nominated by their peers and elected by the Board of the American Bar Foundation.

In January 2017, and again in January 2018, Mr. Sistrunk was selected by the National Trial Lawyers to The RoundTable, America's 50 Most Influential Trial Lawyers. In January 2017 he was also certified as a member of the Lawyers of Distinction. Membership is limited to the top 10% of attorneys in the United States. Members are certified and accepted based upon objective evaluation of an attorney's qualifications, license, reputation, experience and disciplinary history.

In April 2018, Mr. Sistrunk was inducted into The Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame. The Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame recognizes and honors those few individuals, both past and present, who have left an indelible mark on the American legal tradition through a lifetime of service to the American public, the Constitution and the American bar.

Mr. Sistrunk and his trial teams have attained verdicts and settlements on behalf of his clients in excess of $1Billion.

Mr. Sistrunk graduated from North Carolina State University, with honors. He attended Duke University Law School, as an Elvin R. Latty scholar, graduating with a J.D.


The National Board of Trial Advocacy (NBTA) recently appointed and seated the National Board of Complex Litigation Lawyers (NBCLL), a division of NBTA. NBCLL brings together exceptional experience and expertise of judges, attorneys and law professors – all national leaders in complex litigation.

The purpose of NBCLL will be threefold:

  • To develop a national board-certified legal specialization accreditation program
  • To provide a professional development CLE in complex litigation in collaboration with the Louisiana State Bar Association, as part of the upcoming NBTA All-Star Conference on November 7-9, 2018 in New Orleans
  • To advocate and promote excellence in the field of complex litigation

Complex litigation is a field in which true specialists merit objectively verifiable national recognition. NBCLL is comprised of federal and state judges, leading plaintiff and defense counsel, and law school professors. The founding NBCLL includes:

  • Honorable James E. Kinkeade, U.S. District Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, Dallas, TX
  • Richard J. Arsenault, Neblett, Beard & Arsenault, Alexandria, LA
  • Wm. Stephen Boyd, Shackelford, McKinley & Norton, Dallas, TX
  • Alexander Calfo, King and Spalding LLP, Los Angeles, CA
  • Lori Cohen, Greenberg Traurig, LLP, Atlanta, GA
  • The Honorable Eldon E. Fallon, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, New Orleans, LA
  • The Honorable W. Royal Furgeson, Jr., University of North Texas College of Law, Dallas, TX
  • Ethan Lange, Stueve Siegel Hanson LLP, Kansas City, MO
  • W. Mark Lanier, Lanier Law Firm PC, Houston, TX
  • Douglas R. Marvin, Williams & Connolly LLP, Washington, DC
  • Honorable Kathleen M. O’Malley, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, Washington, DC
  • Mark P. Robinson, Jr., Robinson Calcagnie, Inc, Newport Beach, CA
  • Kathryn Snapka, Snapka Law Firm, Corpus Christi, TX
  • Hezekiah Sistrunk, The Cochran Firm, Atlanta, GA
  • James M. Stanton, Stanton Law Firm, Dallas, TX
  • Beth A. Wilkinson,Wilkinson Walsh Eskovitz, Washington, DC
  • The Honorable Mary E. Wiss, Superior Court of California, San Francisco, CA
  • Professor Lynn Baker, University of Texas School of Law, Austin, TX
  • Professor James Underwood, Baylor University Law School, Waco, TX
  • Professor James Wren, Baylor University Law School, Waco, TX

NBTA’s National Board of Complex Litigation Lawyers was put together in early 2018. For the remainder of the year, the group will be outlining and approving the scope and coverage of the Complex Litigation Certification, defining and approving the qualifications required of candidates, identifying the subject specifications for the test and preparing comprehensive examination questions.

Upon completion of the above tasks, an application for accreditation will be made to the American Bar Association Standing Committee for Certification. Application for approval of the ABA Standing Committee for Specialization is projected to be submitted by late 2018, with consideration of the application anticipated in 2019.

For more information about NBTA’s All Star Conference and the Complex Litigation schedule, visit http://nbtaconference.com.

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