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Cochran Legacy Continues in Birmingham

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Special to The Birmingham Times

Attorney Michael T. Bell has joined The Cochran Firm’s Birmingham regional office as managing partner of the firm’s consumer litigation practice group. Historically a plaintiff’s injury firm, the newly formed consumer litigation group will allow The Cochran Firm to represent clients in a wide array of legal matters including: bankruptcy, criminal defense, employment, family law, immigration, mediation, Social Security disability, and worker’s compensation.

Prior to joining The Cochran Firm, Bell served as a creditor-rights attorney with a Birmingham-based law firm. Bell, a first-generation attorney, is a Birmingham native and the son of longtime educator, Alfred J. Bell. Bell is a graduate of Birmingham School of Law and focuses his practice on consumer bankruptcy, immigration, and personal injury.

Bell, who was raised in North Birmingham, is an alumnus of G.W. Carver High School and Jacksonville State University. After completing his undergraduate studies, Bell went on to obtain the degrees of Master of Business Administration and Doctor of Education.

Prior to becoming an attorney, Bell served as a business and technology instructor at Brown Mackie College and Montgomery Public Schools.

As the leader of the firm’s consumer-focused practice areas, Bell has assembled a team of several prominent local attorneys. Joining Bell at The Cochran Firm are Attorneys Melody Banks; Jim Bushnell, III; Cedric Coleman; Rebecca Hyche; Andy Roper; and Ted Stuckenschneider.

Bell plans to expand the group’s reach with additional attorneys across the firm’s Alabama footprint, but the focus remains centered on Birmingham. “Our goal is to become a full-service law firm for our clients. Whether a client comes to us for a personal injury claim or in need of debt-relief through bankruptcy, we will be able to counsel our clients in multiple areas of law, in-house. We hope to build lasting relationships with our clients and within the community,” said Bell.

With its roots steeped in civil litigation and criminal defense, The Cochran Firm was founded by award-winning attorneys Johnnie L. Cochran, Jr., Jock Smith, Sam Cherry, and Keith Givens. The firm’s namesake, Johnnie Cochran, came to national prominence as the lead defense attorney in the O.J. Simpson murder trial. What became known as “The Trial of the Century,” propelled Cochran on a path to build what has become one of the largest personal injury and minority-owned law firms in the country.

Headquartered in Dothan, The Cochran Firm has grown to 26 offices in 19 states and has won over $35 Billion in verdicts and settlements for clients across the country.

Alabama native and co-founding attorney Keith Givens describes the Birmingham community as a special place for The Cochran Firm. Citing the city’s historic civil rights past and resurgence as a cultural and economic powerhouse, Givens says that The Cochran Firm will take a significant step to continue the legacies of two of the nation’s most influential African-American lawyers, Johnnie Cochran and Jock Smith, by expanding the firm’s practice areas to better serve the Birmingham community.

With a renewed focus on community-engagement and community service, The Cochran Firm’s Birmingham office is planning to host several community seminars throughout the Birmingham area. The firm also plans to partner with nonprofit and community-based agencies to bring legal awareness and support to the local community. “We want to become the firm for the people of our community. That starts by becoming the most visible and hands-on firm in Birmingham; not from an advertising standpoint, but from a community service standpoint,” says Bell.

The Cochran Firm is located at 222 20th Street North, Suite 800, Birmingham, AL 35203. To contact the firm, call 205-244-1115 or 1-800-THE-FIRM. Visit us on the web at COCHRANFIRM.COM. No representation is made that the quality of the legal services to be performed is greater than the quality of legal services performed by other lawyers.