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VOL. 115 | NO. 60 | Thursday, March 29, 2001

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By SUE PEASE Commissioner merges practice with Cochrans firm By SUE PEASE The Daily News Johnnie L. Cochran Jr. was in Memphis this week to be sworn in as a member of the Tennessee Bar Association. Cochran, who garnered the national spotlight as a defense attorney in the O.J. Simpson murder trial, is expanding his law firm to Memphis. The firm, Cochran, Cherry, Givens & Smith, has more than 60 attorneys in offices in Atlanta, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and Alabama and is expected to open an office here in May through a merger with the Julian T. Bolton firm. Attorney and Shelby County Commissioner Bolton will be the managing partner of the Memphis firm. Bolton met Cochran while he worked on a case in Memphis. They also both worked with the Congressional Black Caucus. "Based on market studies, Ive been working with them now for several months introducing them to the Memphis market and the need for a top-notch plaintiffs firm. They ran some test ads in market studies here and found out the response was overwhelming," Bolton said. The law offices of Julian T. Bolton are comprised of Bolton and attorney Danese K. Banks. While no home for the new firm has been chosen, partners are negotiating for a long-term lease at One Commerce Square, Bolton said. Partner with the Cochran firm, Sam Cherry, was sworn in Tuesday, while national partner Jock Smith was admitted to the state bar in a ceremony several weeks ago. "I am extremely excited about this opportunity to expand into the transportation center of America," Cochran said in a press release issued from Boltons office. "I think that the combination of whats coming together in Memphis is a venture that is long overdue in this country. (We will be) a diverse law firm of committed lawyers for the plaintiffs who have a sincere interest in putting something back into the community that has been so good to us. We will strive to bring a new level of justice to all of the citizens of this area." During the next few months, the firm will be interviewing additional lawyers and staff for the Memphis office. Bolton believes the firm will initially employ five attorneys. None of the national partners plan to move to Memphis, but they will actively litigate here along with those in the local office. Bolton said the firm plans to buy a house locally for national partners during stays here. The official name for the new firm will be announced in May. The focus of the Memphis practice will be cases dealing with personal injury and wrongful death.

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