McKool Smith Co-Founder and Chairman Mike McKool accepted a National Impact Case Award at the 2018 Benchmark Litigation awards reception in New York City on February 15 for his success in representing Quincy Jones against the Michael Jackson estate. Robin Cohen, head of the firm’s insurance recovery practice, was also awarded “Insurance Lawyer of the Year” for the second consecutive year.
Over the course of his 40-year career, Mike McKool has tried more than 100 jury trials and developed an enhanced understanding of the psychology that governs how juries decide cases. Last year, he served as lead trial counsel in securing a $9.4 million jury verdict on behalf of legendary music producer Quincy Jones against the late music icon Michael Jackson’s production company, MJJ Productions Inc., in a breach of contract and royalty dispute. Mr. Jones produced a number of the King of Pop’s most acclaimed albums, including “Off the Wall,” “Thriller,” and “Bad.” The lawsuit centered on allegations that MJJ Productions Inc., which is controlled by Michael Jackson's estate, failed to pay Mr. Jones royalties for the soundtrack to "This Is It," a documentary that was released just months after Michael Jackson's death, and Jackson’s Cirque du Soleil productions, which both feature several musical hits produced by Jones. Mr. McKool was recognized as the AmLaw Litigation Daily “Litigator of the Week” following his success in the case.
As the head of McKool Smith’s insurance recovery practice, Robin Cohen leads an elite group of 35 trial lawyers across offices in New York, California, and Texas. Over the past year, she has served as lead counsel in several courtroom victories that have amounted to billions of dollars in coverage for her clients, including representing New Jersey Transit Corporation in securing a New Jersey state court victory allowing the transportation entity to access up to $400 million in insurance coverage for property repairs related to Superstorm Sandy. She also represented Givaudan Fragrances Corporation in a New Jersey Supreme Court victory that affirmed Givaudan's right to seek more than $500 million in insurance coverage for claims related to environmental damage. Ms. Cohen was recognized as the “Litigator of the Week" by AmLaw Litigation Daily following her success as lead counsel for Verizon in securing a Delaware Superior Court decision finding that Verizon’s insurers must provide coverage for tens of millions of dollars in legal fees and costs that the company incurred while successfully defending a $14 billion lawsuit filed in connection with the spin-off of certain of its directories businesses.
With more than 185 trial lawyers across offices in Austin, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, Marshall, New York, Silicon Valley, and Washington, D.C., McKool Smith has established a reputation as one of America’s leading trial firms. Since 2006, the firm has secured ten nine-figure jury verdicts and twelve eight-figure jury verdicts. The firm has also won more VerdictSearch and The National Law Journal "Top 100 Verdicts" over the last ten years than any other law firm in the country. Courtroom successes like these have earned McKool Smith critical acclaim and helped the firm become what The Wall Street Journal describes as “one of the biggest law firm success stories of the past decade.” McKool Smith represents clients in complex commercial litigation, intellectual property, bankruptcy, and white collar defense matters.