Professor of Law
Professor Cochran comes to Belmont University College of Law from Cumberland School of Law in Birmingham, Alabama where he taught for ten years. At Cumberland, Professor Cochran was the recipient of the Harvey S. Jackson Excellence in Teaching Award and the Lightfoot, Franklin, and White Award for Faculty Scholarship.
Prior to teaching at Cumberland, Professor Cochran was an Assistant United States Attorney in the Northern District of Alabama. As a federal prosecutor, Professor Cochran received both of the highest awards given by the Department of Justice for trial work. He received the Department’s John C. Marshall Award for the successful 2002 prosecution of Bobby Frank Cherry for the murder of four girls in the bombing of Birmingham’s Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in 1963. He also received the 2001 Department of Justice Director’s Award for prosecution of United States v. Harry Snyder and Renee Peugeot, which involved the reporting of falsified drug test results to the FDA. Prior to his service in the U.S. Attorney’s Office, he was a law clerk for the Honorable Julie E. Carnes of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, then a prosecutor in the Jefferson County (Birmingham, Alabama) District Attorney’s Office, where he handled primarily homicide and sexual assault cases. Prior to attending law school, Professor Cochran was an Army Ranger and Special Forces officer for nine years.
At Belmont, Professor Cochran teaches in the areas of Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, Evidence, and Trial Advocacy.
Malcolm Gladwell and the Art of Trial Advocacy: Getting the Jury to the Tipping Point, 38 AMERICAN JOURNAL OF TRIAL ADVOCACY 2 (forthcoming Spring 2015).
Don Cochran, Material Witness Detentions in a Post-9/11 World: Mission Creep or Fresh Start?, 18 Geo. Mason L. Rev. 1 (2010).
Don Cochran, Ghosts of Alabama: The Prosecution of Bobby Frank Cherry for the Bombing of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church, 12 Mich. J. Race & L. 1 (2006).
Don Cochran, Case File: United States v. Andre Clark (2006).
Don Cochran, Alabama v. Clarence Simmons: FBI “Profiler” Testimony to Establish an Essential Element of Capital Murder, 23 Ala. L. & Psychol. Rev. 69 (1999).