Cohen Milstein attorneys have litigated and tried some of the most complex matters ever brought in U.S. courts and forged a firm able to combat and win against any adversary, no matter how well-funded. We have done so with a simple contingent-fee model – if we don’t succeed for our clients, we don’t get paid. Our livelihood depends entirely on our clients’ success. This model has been of utmost importance to our business clients, for whom hourly-based attorneys’ fees deter, or even prohibit, bringing valid claims which could bring them a significant monetary return. Our model is a cost effective way to produce results and revenue for individual businesses that cannot or do not wish to invest resources in paying hourly fees for litigation expertise.
Our contingent-fee model also helps us align our interests with that of our clients, eliminating incentives to needlessly increase litigation costs while doing whatever is necessary to maximize the chances of a positive outcome. We believe that our contingent-fee model is the best way to compensate both our clients and our firm. Whether we are representing a single client or a class of individuals or businesses, we must be efficient and single-minded in our focus on results for our model to be successful. We have done just that in recovering billions of dollars for our clients over the past 40 years.
Range of Expertise
Cohen Milstein prides itself in having a broad range of fields of expertise, all of which are governed by our contingent-fee model. Recent representations have included:
- Startup companies in breach-of-contract cases where our clients have suffered millions of dollars in damages.
- Patent holders in multi-million dollar patent-infringement litigation.
- Farmers against the U.S. government for discriminatory lending practices, resulting in an award of more than $760 million.
- Small businesses victimized by anti-competitive and monopolistic business practices.
- A wide array of institutional investors, including state pension funds like the Massachusetts Pension Reserves Investment Trust and life insurance companies like Pacific Life, who suffered losses due to corporate fraud.
We have the resources and experience to undertake the most complex and costly litigation. For example, in the Keepseagle case we fought on behalf of farmers against the U.S. government's dicriminatory lending practices for more than 12 years to secure a settlement valued at $760 million. In the In re Vitamins Antitrust litigation we recovered over $1.1 billion on behalf of clients in multiple settlements, including one that was reached after a successful jury verdict. As a result of our creative lawyering in the MF Global securities litigation, the $90 million settlement we negotiated for our clients remained intact after MF Global subsequently filed for protection under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. Further, in the Parmalat and China Shenghuo securities cases we litigated the case in countries around the world in order to secure favorable settlements for our clients. As these cases demonstrate, we have the skills and resources to overcome significant obstacles and secure significant recoveries for our clients.
Our success derives from our people and resources. We have more than 60 litigators with extensive experience representing sophisticated private and government plaintiffs in securities, antitrust, civil rights, consumer, employee benefits and many other types of litigation.
Some of Cohen Milstein’s leading attorneys include:
- Managing Partner Steven J. Toll is one of Washington’s most prominent attorneys and co-chair of the firm’s Securities Fraud Practice Group. Mr. Toll was lead trial counsel in one of the few large securities cases to ever go to trial and he is responsible for one of the largest securities settlements in history, the $575 million Lucent case. Lawdragon has listed him regularly as one of the 500 Leading Lawyers in America, recently Law360 named him one of its “Most Admired Attorneys,” and the Washington Business Journal profiled him as one of five attorneys that stand out as the “cream of the crop” in the Washington D.C. legal community.
- Joseph M. Sellers leads the firm's Civil Rights & Employment Practice Group. Mr. Sellers has tried several cases through judgment before juries and argued more than 25 appeals – including before the United States Supreme Court. He is one of the country’s most prominent civil rights and employment attorneys. He has testified more than 20 times before Congress, served on the Clinton/Gore Transition Team in 1992-93, and was recognized by the National Law Journal as one of the “Decade's Most Influential Lawyers” in 2010. Mr. Sellers was a finalist for the 2011 Trial Lawyer of the Year Award by the Public Justice Foundation for his work on Keepseagle v. Vilsack.
- Linda Singer, the former Attorney General for the District of Columbia, chairs the firm’s Public Client Practice Group. Ms. Singer currently represents Attorneys General in high stakes and high profile investigations and litigation involving fraudulent mortgage lending and servicing, unsafe and deceptive practices in the sale of prescription drugs, and misclassification of independent contractors in violation of state tax and employment laws. Ms. Singer has successfully represented Attorneys General in cases against Countrywide Financial, Bank of America and a Fortune 100 company, among others. Ms. Singer was selected as one of “Washington’s Most Influential Women Lawyers” and as a finalist for the Lawdragon 500 Leading Lawyers in America.
- Daniel Small co-chairs the firm’s Antitrust Practice Group. Mr. Small has represented plaintiff classes, often as lead counsel, in numerous antitrust cases over the last 23 years. He has recovered hundreds of millions of dollars in class and non-class cases against companies such as Microsoft Corporation, 3M and Bristol Myers-Squibb Co. He has successfully tried cases to verdict before juries and has argued cases in several federal and state appellate courts, including the United States Supreme Court.
- Kit Pierson co-chairs the the firm's Antitrust Practice Group and has spent the last two decades handling civil litigation matters in antitrust cases and other complex litigation. Prior to joining Cohen Milstein, Mr. Pierson was a shareholder at Heller Ehrman and represented, among others, Microsoft Corporation, 3M Company, the American Booksellers Association, the American Psychological Association, Tenneco, MCI WorldCom and Public Storage. In Pallin v. Singer (D. Vt.), he represented a hospital and surgeon in their successful defense of claims brought by a physician alleging that they had infringed his patent by performing eye surgery using a method allegedly subject to the patent. In Turner Broadcasting Systems v. FCC (S. Ct), he represented the National Association of Broadcaster’s successful defense of the “must carry” provisions. Recently, Mr. Pierson was selected as a “National Finalist” for the Lawdragon 500 Leading Lawyers in America.
- J. Douglas Richards heads up Cohen Milstein’s New York office. Mr. Richards, former Deputy General Counsel of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and litigation partner for O’Sullivan Graev & Karabell (which merged into O’Melveny & Myers), has over 30 years of experience litigating a wide array of commercial and antitrust cases. He was a lead trial counsel for defendant Stroh Brewery Company in In re Beer Industry Antitrust Litigation (E.D.N.Y.) and successfully obtained a directed verdict after a two-week jury trial. Mr. Richards has also served as co-lead counsel in several prominent antitrust cases, obtaining multi-million dollar settlements. He played a leading role in recovering more than $3 billion in an antitrust class action against Visa and Mastercard. Mr. Richards is also a member of the team of attorneys that represents Automated Tracking Solutions in a patent infringement suit involving the sale and manufacture of management and tracking systems, Automated Tracking Solutions, LLC v. Awarepoint Corp., et al. (E.D. VA). Mr. Richards has argued in several federal appellate courts, including the United States Supreme Court.
- Daniel S. Sommers is co-chair of the firm's Securities Fraud Practice Group and has many years of experience litigating complex securities cases on behalf of some of the nation’s largest pension funds and was listed by Super Lawyers in 2011 for his expertise in securities litigation. Mr. Sommers served as the chairman of the Investor Rights Committee of the Corporation, Finance and Securities Law Section of the District of Columbia Bar, regularly speaks on securities law issues to institutional investors groups, and has litigated cases covering a wide-range of industries including the financial services, computer software, pharmaceutical, insurance, real estate and telecommunications industries among others.
- Andrew N. Friedman, head of the firm's Consumer Protection & Unsafe Products Practice Group and member of the Securities Fraud Practice Group, has been lead counsel in many successful securities class actions and consumer cases, which have resulted in significant recoveries on behalf of thousands of consumers and investors. In one such action, Mr. Friedman represented the County of Cuyahoga in a successful lawsuit alleging that broker/dealers and a financial institution victimized the County by engaging in unsuitable and inappropriate investments and trading activity. He was also recently named to the Super Lawyers 2011 Business Edition for Litigation.
- Carol V. Gilden is the resident Partner at Cohen Milstein’s Chicago office. Ms. Gilden is a former enforcement attorney with the Securities and Exchange Commission and a highly skilled litigator who is actively engaged in litigating high-profile, financially complex cases. She has recovered hundreds of millions of dollars on her clients’ behalf in securities actions against companies in a variety of industries and has experience dealing with the impact of bankruptcy filings on those cases. Her work in the MF Global securities litigation, in which she obtained a reversal from the Second Circuit Court of Appeals of the lower court’s dismissal of the case, was recently singled out for recognition by the National Law Journal in connection with its selection of Hot Plaintiffs’ Firms for 2011. Ms. Gilden has been repeatedly selected as an “Illinois Super Lawyer” (2005-2012).
- Agnieszka Fryszman, head of the firm’s Human Rights and Pro Bono Practice Group, regularly litigates complex cases. She was a member of the legal team that successfully represented survivors of Nazi-era forced and slave labor against the German and Austrian companies that allegedly profited from their labor. She also represented Holocaust survivors suing Swiss banks that collaborated with the Nazi regime during World War II. Ms. Fryszman was a finalist for the 2010 Trial Lawyer of the Year Award by the Public Justice Foundation for her work on Wiwa v. Royal Dutch Shell. She was also recently recognized as one of the 500 “Leading Lawyers in America” by Lawdragon.
- Manuel J. (“John”) Dominguez heads up Cohen Milstein’s Florida office. Mr. Dominguez, a former Assistant Attorney General in the State of Florida’s Department of Economic Crimes, has been litigating complex antitrust and consumer cases in the private sector for more than 15 years. He is the Chair of the Antitrust, Franchise & Trade Regulation Committee of the Florida Bar’s Business Law Section and has won hundreds of millions of dollars on behalf of his clients. Mr. Dominguez is currently representing plaintiffs in antitrust litigation involving alleged price-fixing and other anti-competitive conduct in various industries including truck transmissions, high tech, medical products, building materials, agriculture, entertainment and finance, among others.
In addition to our flagship office in Washington, D.C., our firm has offices in New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, and Palm Beach Gardens, FL. Our attorneys regularly litigate cases in courts around the country.
Cohen Milstein’s depth and breadth of experience in representing plaintiffs cannot be matched by any firm in the country. The firm’s lawyers have successfully litigated many types of cases while representing a diverse group of clients, from Fortune 500 companies to the victims of human trafficking. Our success has been achieved without billing by the hour where work and more work is the goal. Instead, our interests are the same as those of our clients—the firm cannot succeed unless its clients win.
To learn more about the firm, please contact us here.