Duane Cochenour is a litigator specializing in the representation of medical professionals and is Co-leader of the firm’s Insurance Coverage Practice Group. He has a unique perspective, with almost 20 years of experience as an insurance claim professional prior to becoming a lawyer. He knows exactly what it is like to be an adjuster, supervisor, regional claim manager and major case negotiator, because he has worked in each of those positions. He draws on this vast experience to defend clients in various types of serious bodily injury and property damage litigation. He also specializes in insurance coverage and bad faith litigation, regularly providing guidance on complex coverage matters to major insurance carriers. Mr. Cochenour is also a certified mediator and a member of both the Georgia and Florida bars.
Mr. Cochenour specializes in representing hospitals, physicians and other health care providers against claims of medical malpractice. In addition to routinely defending these cases in both Georgia and Florida, he is also part of a team of litigators who defend catastrophic cases across the country as part of the firm’s National Trial Counsel Program. However, he keeps a varied litigation practice, representing clients in negligent security cases, motor vehicle accidents, premises liability accidents, construction disputes, and other types of bodily injury and property damage litigation.
Drawing on almost three decades of experience interpreting insurance coverage, Mr. Cochenour is one of the leaders of the firm’s Insurance Coverage Practice Group. He regularly provides coverage opinions and other guidance to major insurers on complex coverage and bad faith cases. His vast experience in the insurance industry, coupled with his experience litigating coverage and bad faith actions, gives him a unique perspective in guiding and defending insurers in coverage and bad faith disputes. He regularly litigates declaratory judgment and bad faith actions in both state and federal court.
Mr. Cochenour started his insurance career as a claim representative with Liberty Mutual, but spent the bulk of it with St. Paul Insurance Company. He managed territories throughout the Southeast and, as a major case negotiator, handled catastrophic claims throughout the country. He has experience in many types of high-exposure claims, including medical and dental malpractice, construction defect, negligent security, automobile, defamation, long term care, excess liability and bad-faith/extra contractual claims. He was also designated as an internal resource on coverage matters at St. Paul, teaching liability coverage courses internally to adjusters and supervisors. This experience gives Mr. Cochenour a unique insight into how to meet the needs of his insurance clients.
Mr. Cochenour excelled academically, graduating 7th in a class of over 150 students at the Georgia State University College of Law. He demonstrated his litigation skills early, leading a team that placed second nationally at the prestigious National Trial Advocacy Competition held annually at Michigan State University. He also received the Nai Karimimanesh Award as the top student in Advanced Evidence.
•“Legislative Update: 2013 Atlanta Claim Association Legislative Review,” A Claimscene: The Newsletter of the Atlanta Claims Association, Sept. 2013, p. 5
•“Timing is everything: Liability and Limitations.” Claim and Underwriting units at Crum & Forster. Sept. 2014.
•“Tort Reform in Georgia: A current status of the 2005 tort reform.” Zurich Medical Professional Liability Claim Department. April 14, 2010.
•“Cross Examination of the Plaintiff in a Personal Injury Case” Presented at: “Inside the Courtroom: The Trial of a Personal Injury Case” Institute of Continuing Legal Education in Georgia September 20, 2012.
•“Diminution of Value in Property Loss Claims” presented at the US Law Spring 2013 Client Conference in Tuscon, AZ.
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HBS Announces New Members of the Firm’s Partnership
January 12, 2015
Atlanta, GA. - Hall Booth Smith, P.C. (HBS) announces the election of new partners, Duane Cochenour and Michael Williams, effective January 1, 2015.Duane Cochenour is a