Cochran Firm Attorneys



Samuel A. Cherry, Jr. Cochran FirmSamuel A. Cherry, Jr.

Samuel A. Cherry, Jr. is a founding partner of The Cochran Firm and serves as a member of The Cochran Firm's management team for national operations. The primary focus of his practice is in the area of product liability. Sam has obtained record verdicts and settlements in cases handled in more than 15 states, including a $114 million verdict in a personal injury products case.

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Sam attended Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama, where he received his undergraduate degree in Business Administration. He obtained his Juris Doctor from Cumberland School of Law. Sam is a member of the Alabama Bar Association, the Tennessee Bar Association, and the Washington D.C. Bar Association. He has been admitted pro hac vice in the states of Florida, Mississippi, Georgia, New Mexico, Ohio, Kansas, New Jersey, and Arkansas.

Sam is a sustaining member of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America, the Alabama Trial Lawyers Association, and the Million Dollar Advocate Forum. He has authored papers for these organizations and continues to be a guest speaker for trial lawyer seminars throughout the country. Sam has been very instrumental in the development of product liability claims against manufacturers of defective aerial lift devices. As a result of his efforts, new and better safety features have been incorporated within the aerial lift device industry.

Hezekiah Sistrunk Cochran FirmHezekiah Sistrunk

Mr. Sistrunk has been a trial lawyer for thirty (30) years. His practice focuses largely on the litigation of complex disputes involving common law, statutory law, contract law, physician and hospital liability law, products liability law, commercial, corporate and business issues, catastrophic personal injury cases and class action/mass torts/pharmaceutical litigation. He has prosecuted and defended hundreds of litigated matters before state courts, federal courts and administrative agencies and tried over 100 cases to verdict.

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Mr. Sistrunk has lectured on medical professional liability issues, complex litigation issues and trial techniques and presented risk management and risk assessment seminars for various clients. In addition to his trial experience, lecturing and advising clients, he has served as a mediator in hundreds of matters.

Mr. Sistrunk is a National Partner of The Cochran Firm, Chairman of the Firm's Executive/Management Committee for national operations and Managing Partner of the Firm's Atlanta office.

Mr. Sistrunk's professional recognitions include being named as one of the "Top 100 Lawyers" in the State of Georgia by the National Trial Lawyers Association. He has earned an "AV" Preeminent rating in the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, the highest achievable rating given to an attorney and has been designated a Georgia Super Lawyer by Super Lawyers Magazine from 2007 - 2012. Mr. Sistrunk was selected as a Charter Fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America and named by Men Looking Ahead News Magazine to its 2011 annual "Power List of Georgia's Most Powerful and Influential Lawyers". In November 2011, he was inducted into the Gate City Bar Association Hall of Fame. The Gate City Bar Association is the oldest African-American Bar Association in the State of Georgia. Being inducted into the Hall of Fame is the Association's highest award.

In March 2012, Mr. Sistrunk was inducted as a Fellow into the International Academy of Trial Lawyers (IATL). Chartered in 1954 to facilitate the administration of justice, promote the rule of law internationally, and elevate the standards of integrity, honor and courtesy in the legal profession, IATL limits its invitation-only membership to 500 lawyers from the United States. IATL selects only those lawyers who have demonstrated excellence in courtroom advocacy throughout their careers. Each Fellow is extensively evaluated by his colleagues and the judges in his jurisdiction and has been highly recommended by them as possessing the qualifications for induction into the IATL. There are only 12 Fellows in Atlanta and only 18 in the state of Georgia.

Following service with the U.S. Army, Mr. Sistrunk graduated, with honors, from North Carolina State University. He attended on full academic scholarship and earned his law degree from Duke University.

Mr. Sistrunk is a member of the American Association for Justice, the American and National Bar Associations, the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association, as well as the Atlanta and the Gate City Bar Associations.


Personal Injury Lawyer, Benjamin A. Irwin Benjamin A. Irwin

Benjamin Irwin is the Managing Partner in The Cochran Firm-Memphis, a personal injury law firm serving eastern Tennessee. Ben is also the Managing Partner and founding member of Cherry & Irwin, a leading personal injury and product liability firm headquartered in Dothan, Alabama. In addition to managing legal entities he is also the founder and President of PinPoint Media Inc., a national advertising and marketing firm for lawyers and law firms.

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Ben was elected to the Board of County Commissioners for Dale County, Alabama and served as a County Commissioner. He was the youngest commissioner ever elected for this position. He also served in the United States Army in Military Intelligence Operations where he worked primarily overseas in South Korea, Germany and Italy.

Ben is admitted to practice in all Alabama State Courts, as well as the Federal District Court for the Middle District of Alabama. He is a member of the Alabama State Bar Association, American Association for Justice, the Alabama Association for Justice and NOSSCR.


Personal Injury Lawyer in Memphis, TN, Danese Banks

Danese K. Banks

Danese K. Banks is a native Memphian. She is a 1992 cum laude graduate from Xavier University of New Orleans and attended the University of Texas at Austin School of Law where she graduated in May, 1995.

During her law school years, Ms. Banks served as a Judicial Intern to the Honorable Judge Morris Overstreet of the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals and was a Research Assistant to Professor George Dix, whom she assisted in editing a treatise in Texas Criminal Procedure. She also interned for the Law School Admission Services and wrote articles regarding "Minority Affairs," specifically targeting minority enrollment and retention in law schools.

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After graduating from the University of Texas, Ms. Banks returned to Tennessee where she obtained her license to practice law. She also became a licensed investigator and began her legal career with Inquisitor, Inc., a legal investigative company specializing in capital cases. Ms. Banks left Inquisitor, Inc., in January, 2000 to pursue the practice of law full time. In July of 2000, she joined The Law Offices of Julian T. Bolton.

On July 1, 2001, Ms. Banks joined the Memphis Office of The Cochran Firm, becoming the managing partner for the office in January, 2011. During the past decade, she has successfully litigated hundreds of cases, resulting in millions of dollars in verdicts or settlements on behalf of her clients. Her most proud professional accomplishment, however, was her role as part of the legal defense team that victoriously overturned three guilty pleas of two minors and an adult for first degree murder charges for a crime they did not commit.

Ms. Banks' past and present memberships include:

  • National Bar Association,
  • Tennessee Bar Association,
  • Memphis Bar Association,
  • National Black Trial Lawyers Association,
  • American Association of Justice,
  • Tennessee Association of Justice and
  • Association of Women Attorneys.
She has been admitted to practice law in all state courts in Tennessee, as well as federal courts in the Western and Middle Districts of Tennessee. She has been recognized as one of the Top Guns Under 40 - Black Business Association 2003-2004 and Top 100 Trial Lawyers of Tennessee in 2010.


Ursula Yvette Holmes- Cochran Firm Memphis

Ursula Yvette Holmes

Ursula Holmes is an experienced litigator who focuses her practice on personal injury, general business litigation, health care litigation including medical malpractice, and labor and employment. Over the course of her career, Ms. Holmes' clients have included publicly-held restaurant chains, governmental entities, nonprofit organizations, long term care facilities, hospitals, physicians and dentists. She has also represented clients in complex constitutional tort cases under 42 USC - 1983. Ms. Holmes has extensive experience in conducting investigations of discrimination under Title II and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, and she has also created and facilitated training in diversity and inclusion, Title VII and Title II.

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Ms. Holmes spent more than five years as in-house counsel for a publicly held restaurant chain, where she managed litigation, handled contract administration, served as part of the team overseeing DOJ consent decree compliance and handled the company's intellectual property portfolio. Ms. Holmes' experience as in-house counsel provides her with a unique perspective that enables her to effectively identify and meet the business and legal needs of her clients.

A native of the Mississippi Delta, Ms. Holmes is founder of Fertile Ground Foundation, a nonprofit organization created in 2009 to help revitalize the rural communities of the Mississippi Delta through community development, business development, and health and fitness initiatives.

Professional Honors & Activities

  • Member - American, Tennessee and Memphis Bar Associations

  • Member - National Bar Association , Ben F. Jones Chapter

  • Member - Women's Foodservice Forum

  • Fellow - The Leadership Academy (September 2010 class)

  • Firm Representative - Memphis Minority Business Council

  • Past Member - Harry Phillips American Inns of Court and Leo Bearman American Inns of Court


  • Tennessee

  • Arkansas

  • Mississippi

  • U.S. District Court of Tennessee, Middle District

  • U.S. District Court of Tennessee, Western District

  • U.S. District Courts of Arkansas, Eastern and Western Districts

  • U.S. District Court of Mississippi, Northern District


  • Vanderbilt University School of Law, J.D., 1996

  • Spelman College, B.A. cum laude, 1993


Bill Wade- Cochran Firm Memphis

Bill Wade

Bill Wade is an experienced civil litigator who has represented plaintiffs in several different areas including medical malpractice, personal injury, business litigation, construction litigation, consumer protection and class actions. Mr. Wade graduated from the University of Notre Dame, magna cum laude, then attended law school at Vanderbilt University, where he won the 8th annual Manfred Lachs International Moot Court Competition. Since beginning his practice in Memphis in 2000, Mr. Wade has extensive first chair trial experience in both jury and non-jury cases. Mr. Wade has been named a Mid-South Super Lawyer Rising Star in Medical Negligence from 2009 to 2014, and in Business Litigation for 2013 and 2014. Today, Mr. Wade is licensed in both Tennessee and Arkansas and focuses his practice predominantly in Medical Malpractice, Personal Injury and Business Litigation.

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Areas of Practice:
  • Personal Injury 
  • Medical Malpractice
  • Business Litigation

Bar Admissions:

  • Arkansas
  • Tennessee


  • University of Notre Dame, magna cum laude
  • Vanderbilt University




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Cochran Firm

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Contact Phone:
855-411-4YOU (855-411-4968)

One Commerce Square, Suite 1700, 17th floor
Memphis, TN 38103

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201 Poplar Avenue
Memphis, TN 38103