The Cochran Firm-Atlanta
Hezekiah 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. Most recently, he was appointed to the Discovery Committee in the DePuy ASR hip implant mass tort MDL.
Mr. Sistrunk has lectured on medical professional liability issues, complex litigation matters 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 and has earned an *AV Preeminent rating in the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, the highest achievable rating given to an attorney. He is a Charter Fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America and has been named by Men Looking Ahead News Magazine to its 2011 annual "Power List of Georgia’s Most Powerful and Influential Lawyers." Mr. Sistrunk has been designated a Georgia Super Lawyer by Super Lawyers Magazine from 2007 – 2016.
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 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. There are only 12 Fellows in Atlanta and only 18 in the entire State of Georgia.
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 known 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 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 has been selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America 2013 – 2016 for his work in the area of Personal Injury Litigation-Plaintiffs and Product Liability Litigation – Plaintiffs. 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. Lawyers are not required or allowed to pay a fee to be listed; therefore inclusion is considered a singular honor.
In January 2015, Mr. Sistrunk was installed as President of The National Trial Lawyers. The National Trial Lawyers is a professional organization composed of the Top 100 Trial Lawyers from each state. 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.
Following service with the U.S. Army, Mr. Sistrunk graduated, with honors, from North Carolina State University. He attended on full academic scholarship and earned his law degree from Duke University.