The Legacy

Despite his notoriety and list of famous clients and friends, Johnnie Cochran never lost sight of his mission to bring access to justice to people from all walks of life. While expanding his firm to a national platform Mr. Cochran knew he would have to surround himself with likeminded attorneys who shared his commitment to justice, attorneys he could trust to continue his legacy.

Our Legal Legends section is dedicated to the memory of Cochran Firm attorneys from across the U.S. who helped Mr. Cochran build and realize his dream of a nation – wide law firm dedicated to standing up for the little guy.

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Legal Legends

Johnnie L. Cochran, Jr.

Johnny L. Cochran Jr.

October 2, 1937 – March 29, 2005

Johnnie L. Cochran, Jr. has been recognized as an outstanding trial lawyer, civil libertarian and philanthropist throughout the world. As a seasoned litigator, Johnnie was considered to be one of the leading authorities on the criminal and civil justice system, as well as an international leader in the legal profession.

Born in Shreveport, LA, Johnnie Cochran moved with his family to California. With an undergraduate degree in Business Administration from the University of California at Los Angeles, Johnnie attended Loyola Law School in Los Angeles where he received his Juris Doctor. Johnnie’s early legal career began in the City Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles in 1963 where he was assigned to the criminal division. After several years, he entered private practice and founded a Los Angeles-based law firm where he developed a practice handling a substantial volume of both civil and criminal cases.

Jock Smith

Jock Smith

June 10, 1948 – January 8, 2012

Jock M. Smith was a co-founder, National Partner, and President of The Cochran Firm. During his career, Jock worked on a number of high-profile and precedent-setting cases. He was dedicated to assisting victims in getting large settlements, and took on some of the most powerful corporations of his time, including Orkin, Monsanto, and Southwestern Life Insurance. In fact, the verdict he obtained against Southwestern Life Insurance was reported as the single largest verdict in the nation in the National Law Journal and Lawyers Weekly USA, and remains the largest civil verdict obtained by an African American lawyer in the nation’s history.

JB Spence

J B Spence

March 31, 1922 – November 26, 2011

For over six decades, J.B. Spence was known as one of Florida’s best trial attorneys. In fact, J.B. was the first attorney in the state of Florida to obtain a million-dollar verdict for a client. Following that verdict in 1967, J.B. obtained over 100 more million-dollar verdicts for his clients during his impressive career. A frequent lecturer and author of two books, J.B. was an associate professor at the University of Miami School of Law.

Randall Mainor

December 9, 1941 – December 11, 2007

Randall “Randy” Mainor was born in Overton, Nevada in 1941. After his graduation from high school in 1960 he attended the College of Southern Utah and Brigham Young University earning his bachelor’s degree in economics with a minor in Spanish. In 1969 Randy earned his law degree from American University. Before going into private practice, Randy was employed with the FBI as a special agent and a criminal prosecutor with the District Attorney’s Office.

Phil Damashek

December 9, 1941 – December 11, 2007

Born in New York City in 1940, Phillip Damashek was educated at the University of Miami and admitted to the New York State bar in 1969. He helped to build his prestigious New York law firm Schneider, Kleinick, Weitz, Damachek & Shoot for forty years before merging with The Cochran Firm. During that time, he was a visionary in the legal field by being one of the very first attorneys to advertise his services in 1978 after the supreme court determined that attorney advertising was legal.

Ivan S. Schneider

October 20, 1931 – January 5, 2017

Ivan Schneider grew up in Brooklyn and graduated from Brooklyn Law School in 1953. He is credited with obtaining more than 200 multimillion-dollar verdicts and settlements for his clients. In his half century long career Ivan was regularly named as one of the top trial lawyers in New York City. He was a founding partner in Schneider, Kleinick and Weitz which merged with Damshek, Godosky and Gentile in 1994 to become Schneider, Kleinick, Weitz, Damashek and Shoot.

Founding Partners

Founding attorneys