The NBL Top 100 Executive Committee voted unanimously at our March meeting to endorse the 
“Guidelines and Best Practices for Judges Appointing Lawyers to Leadership Positions in MDL and Class-Action Litigation."
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GA / Atlanta

Hezekiah Sistrunk, Jr.

The Cochran Firm - Atlanta
100 Peachtree St. NW., Suite 2600 
Atlanta , GA 30303
NBL Top 100 Executive Committee

About

Hezekiah Sistrunk Jr. is a National  Partner and President of The Cochran Firm, founded by legendary trial lawyer Johnnie L. Cochran, Jr.  He is also Chairman of the National Firm's Board of Partners 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 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 trials 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 (2011-2020). He has earned an AV Preeminent* rating in the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, the highest achievable rating given to an attorney (1989-2020). He is a Charter Fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America (2007-2020). 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 (2007-2021).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 honor. 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 its 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. 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, 2019, 2020, and 2021 editions for his work in the areas of Personal Injury Litigation-Plaintiffs and Products Liability Litigation-Plaintiffs. The 2021 listing also included his work in Mass Tort Litigation/Class Action-Plaintiffs.   In 2019 Mr. Sistrunk was named “Lawyer of the Year" for his work in Products Liability Litigation - Plaintiffs in Atlanta. Only a single lawyer in a specific practice area and location is honored with a "Lawyer of the Year" designation. Since it was first published in 1983, Best Lawyers® has become universally regarded as a definitive guide to legal excellence. To compile the edition of the annual publication Best Lawyers conducted an exhaustive peer-reviewed survey. 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. 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 (2008-2020).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 2020. 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, 2018, 2019 and again in January 2020 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. (2017-2020)In March 2017, Mr. Sistrunk was selected to America’s Top 100 High Stakes Litigators®.  The recipients of this coveted award include the most skilled litigators in the nation, including past and/or current State Bar Association Presidents, National ABOTA Presidents, ABOTA State Presidents, ABOTA Masters in Trial, and International Academy of Trial Lawyers Presidents (2017-2018).In June 2017, The National Board of Trial Advocacy (NBTA) appointed Mr. Sistrunk to the National Board of Complex Litigation Lawyers (NBCLL).  The NBCLL brings together exceptional experience and expertise of judges, attorneys and law professors-all national leaders in complex litigation. The purpose of NBCLL is to develop a National Board-certified legal specialization accreditation program and to advocate and promote excellence in the field of complex litigation. 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. In 2019, Mr. Sistrunk was, again, selected to America’s Top 100 High Stakes Litigators® .  Selection is by invitation only and is reserved to identify the nation’s most exceptional trial attorneys in high value, high stakes legal matters.  To be considered for selection, an attorney must have litigated (for either plaintiff or defendant) a matter (1) with at least $2,000,000 in alleged damages at stake or (2) with the fate of a business worth at least $2,000,000 at stake. These minimum qualifications are required for initial consideration.  Thereafter, candidates are carefully screened through comprehensive Qualitative Comparative Analysis based on a broad array of criteria, including the candidate’s professional experience, litigation experience, significant case results, representative high stakes matters, peer reputation, and community impact in order to rank the candidates throughout the state.  Only the top 100 qualifying attorneys in each state will receive this honor and be selected for membership. Less than one-half percent (0.5%) of active attorneys in the United States will receive this honor. In August 2019, Mr. Sistrunk was selected for inclusion in the LAWDRAGON 500 Leading Plaintiff Consumer Lawyer guide. The guide presents the best of the U.S. plaintiff bar who specialize in representing individuals who have suffered injuries from accidents, pharmaceuticals, civil rights abuse and other torts. The 500 lawyers selected bring their cases as individual matters as well as in class actions. In January 2020, Mr. Sistrunk was selected as an honoree on The Lawyers of Color Fifth Power List.  The power list recognizes the most influential minority attorneys and allies in the nation. In April 2020, Mr. Sistrunk was, again, selected for inclusion in the LAWDRAGON 500 Leading Plaintiff Consumer Lawyer Guide.  The guide compiles honorees through editorial research, submissions, and nominations to highlight the top legal professionals across the industry. In January 2021, Mr. Sistrunk was named to the LAWDRAGON list of 500 Leading Lawyers in America.   These are the plaintiffs’ lawyers and voting rights advocates, litigators and dealmakers who have joined arm in arm to turn the page on the hard times caused by the 2020 pandemic. In February 2021, Mr. Sistrunk was recognized by Lawyers of Color as one of the Ten Most Influential Black Lawyers of the Decade.  In March 2021, Mr. Sistrunk was named by Trial Lawyer Magazine and The National Law Journal as a 2020 member of America’s 50 Most Influential Trial Lawyers. In May 2021, Mr. Sistrunk was, again, selected for inclusion in the LAWDRAGON 500 Leading Plaintiff Consumer Lawyer Guide.  The 500 lawyers featured in the guide are described as the warriors who fight the good fight for consumers who have been injured or had family killed through accidents, medical malpractice, faulty products or toxic exposure. In July 2021 The Litigation Counsel of America (“LCA”) designated Mr. Sistrunk as a member of The Order of Centurions, comprised of Fellows of the LCA who have tried to verdict one hundred or more jury trials in trial courts of record and The Order of Certus, comprised of Fellows of the LCA who have made at least three oral arguments before state appellate courts or Canadian Federal or Provincial Courts of Appeal and/or two oral arguments before the United States Courts of Appeals and/or one oral argument before the United States Supreme Court or the Supreme Court of Canada. 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.


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