May 16, 2016

(WASHINGTON, D.C. – May 16, 2016)  –  Former North Carolina Court of Appeals Judge Martha Geer today joined Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC, a premier national plaintiffs’ firm, as a partner and head of the firm’s new North Carolina office, which is expected to open later this month.

“We are delighted that Judge Geer has joined Cohen Milstein and are excited about working with her to expand the firm’s presence in North Carolina,” said Cohen Milstein Managing Partner Steven J. Toll. “In addition to her impeccable reputation as a judge, she is a highly respected litigator and appellate advocate in areas of complex litigation, making her a perfect match for Cohen Milstein.”

Judge Geer, who has served on the N.C. Court of Appeals for more than 13 years, had 19 years of trial and appellate experience in complex civil litigation prior to being elected to serve on the Court. At Cohen Milstein, she will litigate cases, both locally and nationally, across the firm’s many practice areas at both the trial and appellate levels.

“I want to thank the citizens of North Carolina for entrusting me with the honor of serving them on the Court of Appeals for the past 13 years,” said Judge Geer. “Throughout my career in private practice, I have been an advocate for justice with an emphasis on giving a voice to the powerless.  As a judge, my goal was to provide an even playing field that ensured all were heard and to write opinions that applied the law fairly, impartially, and with an open mind.  Cohen Milstein is a firm with a well-earned reputation for bringing cases that matter and obtaining results that have a real impact.  I am thrilled to have joined a firm where I will be able to return to advocating for justice on a much larger scale against corporate and other misdeeds that victimize citizens and noncitizens alike – including businesses and other entities – at the local, national, and international levels.”

Judge Geer was first elected to the Court of Appeals in 2002, receiving more than a million votes statewide.  In 2010, because of her reputation as a fair and impartial judge, she garnered bipartisan support that resulted in her winning re-election by a 20-point margin.  During her tenure on the Court, Judge Geer has heard more than 3,800 appeals, authored more than 1,350 opinions, and had her opinions reversed less than 2% of the time.  As one of the most experienced Court of Appeals judges, Judge Geer has been responsible for hearing and deciding appeals on a wide variety of issues involving almost every area of law. 

Judge Geer began her career with the New York firm of Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison where she worked with nationally-respected litigators, including legal icons such as Arthur Liman, on high profile cases, including the litigation arising out of the attempt to corner the silver market in 1979-1980.  She left New York to join a leading civil rights firm in North Carolina and ultimately became a founding partner of Patterson, Harkavy & Lawrence, LLP where she was a highly respected trial and appellate litigator known for obtaining cutting-edge and precedent-setting victories in a diverse set of practice areas, including, among others, constitutional law, securities fraud, employment law, and civil liberties.  

While in private practice, Judge Geer was selected for inclusion in Best Lawyers in America, and recognized by the journal Business North Carolina as one of North Carolina’s “Legal Elite” – a list of the top 200 lawyers in the State.  As a judge, she was named Outstanding Appellate Judge by the North Carolina Advocates for Justice.  As both a judge and a lawyer, Judge Geer has also been a highly sought-after teacher of continuing education programs for both other judges and lawyers and has worked to improve the quality of legal representation in various practice areas through participation on the Appellate Specialization Committee of the North Carolina State Bar, the Appellate Rules Committee of the North Carolina Bar Association, the Board of Governors of the North Carolina Advocates for Justice, and various committees of the American Bar Association and other bar association groups.

Judge Geer received her B.A. summa cum laude from Bryn Mawr College and her J.D. with high honors from the University of North Carolina School of Law in Chapel Hill, where she was a Morehead Fellow and served as Managing Editor of the North Carolina Law Review.

As one of the premier firms in the nation handling major complex cases, including class actions, Cohen Milstein’s practice areas include Antitrust, Civil Rights and Employment, Securities Fraud/Investor Protection, Complex Commercial Litigation, Public-Sector Client Representation, Consumer Protection, Product Liability, Employee Benefits, Whistleblower/False Claims Act, Veterans' Rights and Benefits, Human Rights, Abuse by Managed Care Companies, Catastrophic Injury, and Ethics and Fiduciary Counseling (including advice to pension funds, law firms, and governmental entities).

Founded in 1969, and with more than 90 attorneys, Cohen Milstein has offices in Washington, D.C., New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., Denver, Colo., and, soon, Raleigh, N.C.  For more information, visit http://www.cohenmilstein.com or call (202) 408-4600. For more information about Cohen Milstein Partner Martha Geer, visit http://www.cohenmilstein.com/professional/martha-geer