For the third year in a row, two veteran attorneys at Chain | Cohn | Stiles have been recognized in the Best Lawyers in America program, the oldest and among the most respected attorney ranking services in the world.
David K. Cohn, managing partner at the law firm, was selected once again into the personal injury litigation category, while James A. Yoro, senior partner at the firm, was selected into the workers’ compensation law listings. Both attorneys were selected into the 2018 and 2019 program listings. This year they are also the only two attorneys in the greater Kern County area to be listed.
Attorneys named to the U.S. News & World Report’s “The Best Lawyers in America” are recognized by their peers in the legal industry for their professional excellence in specific practice areas. For the 2020 edition of The Best Lawyers in America, more than 8.3 million votes were analyzed, which resulted in more than 62,000 leading lawyers being included in the new edition, about 5 percent of lawyers in private practice in the United States. Unlike some other attorney directories and awards, lawyers are not required or allowed to pay a fee to be listed, and inclusion in Best Lawyers is considered a singular honor.
“Best Lawyers was founded in 1981 with the purpose of recognizing extraordinary lawyers in private practice through an exhaustive peer-review process,” said Best Lawyers CEO Phil Greer. “Almost 40 years later, we are proud to continue to serve as the most reliable, unbiased guide to legal talent worldwide.”
David Cohn is one of the most respected lawyers in the Central Valley, having been voted into the “Best Lawyer” category of The Bakersfield Californian’s Readers Choice Poll year after year. He is a Martindale-Hubbell AV preeminent-rated trial attorney, has been named to the Southern California Super Lawyers list, and was selected to join the International Society of Barristers. Over the course of his career, which spans nearly 45 years all at Chain | Cohn | Stiles, Cohn has obtained numerous multi-million dollar results on behalf of his clients, and his cases have led to workplace, roadway and vehicle safety measures.
James Yoro is a Certified Workers’ Compensation Professional in California, and is one of the most veteran and most respected workers’ compensation lawyers in the San Joaquin Valley. He is the past president of the Kern County Bar Association. He has argued cases in front of the California Supreme Court, and for nearly 40 years has fought day in and day out for the rights of injured workers.
For decades, Best Lawyers has assisted those in need of legal services to identify the attorneys best qualified to represent them in distant jurisdictions or unfamiliar specialties. Recognition by Best Lawyers is based entirely on peer review. Its methodology is designed to capture, as accurately as possible, the consensus opinion of leading lawyers about the professional abilities of their colleagues within the same geographical area and legal practice area.
Attorneys are nominated for consideration. They are divided by geographic region and practice areas, and are evaluated by their peers on the basis of professional expertise. Those who receive high peer reviews undergo an authentication process to make sure they are currently practicing and in good standing. Only then can top attorneys be included in Best Lawyers.
“Best Lawyers believes that the best lawyers know who the best lawyers are,” according to the program’s methodology. “Thus, our recognitions are based purely on the feedback we receive from lawyers already highlighted in our publication.”
Having at least one attorney selected into the “Best Lawyers” program qualifies Chain | Cohn | Stiles to be included in the program’s “Best Law Firms” listings. In fact, Chain | Cohn | Stiles was selected for inclusion in the 2019 “Best Law Firms” list by U.S. News & World Report, which recognizes law firms for “professional excellence with persistently impressive ratings from clients and peers. Additionally, achieving a ranking “signals a unique combination of quality law practice and breadth of legal expertise.” The 2020 “Best Law Firms” list is released in November.
- Two Kern County attorneys nationally recognized focus on their impact, influence (The Bakersfield Californian – Sept. 9, 2019)
Of the 100 leading lawyers recognized by U.S. News & World Report’s The Best Lawyers in America 2020 edition, only two Kern County attorneys were represented.
Attorneys James Yoro and David Cohn, both partners and veteran attorneys at Chain Cohn Stiles, were recognized by one of the United States’ most honored and respected attorney-ranking systems.
Yoro and Cohn, both Bakersfield natives, stayed in the area after they received their law degrees. Cohn began practicing law in 1976, and Yoro began in 1979, and the entirety of their careers has been at Chain Cohn Stiles.
Their careers have impacted the Kern County community in a positive light — and they continue to make great strides in helping others.
‘A more positive and safer environment’
Cohn saw practicing law as a way to help others in need.
His uncle, Milt Younger, was a local lawyer who practiced personal injury law. The work he did inspired Cohn to follow in his footsteps, he said.
“Personal injury just seemed to be an area where I knew I could help the everyday person against insurance companies and big corporations,” Cohn said.
Since then, Cohn’s career has flourished, and he’s been able to create positive change in the community through litigation. Cohn, for example, represented the young son of James Moore, who died as a result of a severe beating in the Kern County Jail in 2006. Moore was mentally ill.
Cohn said he was able to establish in court that deputies from the Kern County Sheriff’s Office used excessive force on Moore.
“We were able to obtain a significant settlement against the (Sheriff’s Office) for Moore’s son,” Cohn said, noting that two deputies were also convicted and sent to prison for the beating. “Following the completion of the case, the (Sheriff’s Office) reviewed and revised their procedures for how to handle mentally ill detainees in jail.
“These types of changes, I hope, create a more positive and safer environment for the public.”
Representing the average working person
Yoro has been managing Chain Cohn Stiles’ workers’ compensation practice full time for about 30 years. The firm has a long-standing tradition of representing injured workers, he said.
In his 30 years, Yoro has argued cases before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and before the California Supreme Court. But one of the most inspirational cases he’s worked was a disability case he won for a farmworker who worked all his life in the fields. Yoro said the man would have been destitute without the benefits he won in the lawsuit.
“After the hearing was over and I told him that the judge had ruled in his favor, he and his family hugged me and said to me in Spanish, ‘gracias por darnos esperanza,'” meaning “thank you for giving us hope” in English, Yoro said. “As a lawyer, you can never take for granted the impact or influence you can have on someone’s life.”
Yoro appreciates how Chain Cohn Stiles represents the average working man and woman.
“We don’t represent big corporations or insurance companies,” Yoro said. “That guiding principle has always served our mission statement. Our clients deserve the best representation we can give them.”