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Jonathan M. Cohen

Fax +1.202.778.9100
Jonathan Cohen is a partner in the firm’s Washington, D.C. office, where he is a member of the Insurance Coverage practice group. His practice focuses on representing policyholders in obtaining insurance coverage in complex, multiparty disputes involving product liability, product recalls, and supply chain issues.

Mr. Cohen has worked extensively with food, supplements, technology, and consumer product companies. He has successfully recovered insurance proceeds on behalf of Fortune 500 and smaller companies for a broad array of consumer product risks. Mr. Cohen served as lead counsel in numerous negotiations and in litigation involving food contamination and recall losses, Proposition 65 claims, advertising and IP claims, supply chain losses, and first-party property losses.

Mr. Cohen also represents clients in managing their business risks and advises clients with respect to insurance, indemnity agreements, and other contract-related aspects of their risk management strategies. Mr. Cohen brings a unique perspective to client counseling, drawing on both his legal experience and his Ph.D. in organizational sociology to advance his clients’ business approach to addressing risk.

He also regularly represents civil rights organizations and individuals in high stakes appellate litigation. He has filed briefs for individuals, consumer and policyholder groups, asbestos trusts, and civil rights organizations in more than a dozen U.S. Supreme Court cases, as well as before the Fourth and Ninth Circuit U.S. Courts of Appeal and state high courts.

Professional Background

Prior to entering private practice, Mr. Cohen served as a law clerk for Judge Ferdinand Fernandez of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Additionally, he assisted Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg of the U.S. Supreme Court in preparing for her Senate confirmation hearings. He also served as a research assistant to Judge Richard Posner of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, who also served on Mr. Cohen’s Ph.D. dissertation committee.


  • Selected as a Washington, DC Super Lawyer, 2014 through 2018
  • Best Lawyers in America, Insurance Law, 2017 through 2019
  • Capital Pro Bono Honor Roll, 2012 through 2016
  • D.C. Circuit Judicial Conference Pro Bono Service Standard Honor Roll, 2016

Professional/Civic Activities

  • Fellow, American Bar Foundation, 2017 through present
  • Board of Trustees, National Park Trust, 2010 through 2017
  • Co-Chair, Bankruptcy and Insolvency Subcommittee of the Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee of the ABA Section of Litigation, 2010 through present
  • National Advisory Council for Advancing Justice: Asian American Justice Center, 2008 through present
  • Board of Editors, The Corporate Counselor, 2007 through 2018

Speaking Engagements

  • Speaker, Berkeley Judicial Institute/California Law Review, Spring 2019 Symposium: Charting a Path for Federal Judiciary Reform, April 12-13, 2019
  • Speaker, ACI 3rd Annual Advanced Summit on Food Law, Keeping the Food Supply Safe: Developing Strategies for Supply Chain Risk Minimization, April 10, 2019
  • Speaker, 2018 Consumer Financial Services Symposium, 3 December 2018.
  • The Big Picture: Considering Corporate-Wide Objectives While Fighting Individual Legal Battles, Grocery Manufacturers Association 2018 Legal Conference, February 28, 2018
  • Matters of Insurance That No Dietary Supplement Company Can Ignore, Dietary Supplements Conference, American Conference Institute and Council for Responsible Nutrition, June 27, 2017
  • Roundtable Discussion on Marketing and Advertising Law, Grocery Manufacturers Association 2017 Legal Conference, February 27, 2017
  • A Practical Guide to Recovery for Product Contamination Incidents, Grocery Manufacturers Association 2016 Legal Conference, February 23, 2016
  • Presenter, Food Regulatory & Quality Assurance Summit, Strategy Institute, November 18, 2015
  • Presenter, Food Safety & Regulatory Compliance Conference, American Conference Institute, September 30, 2015
  • 7 steps to prepare for and execute a successful food-related recall, Westlaw, March 2019
  • You’re in Better Hands Than You Think: Insurance Law May Provide Coverage for Defense of Advertising Claims, FDLI Update Magazine, March/April 2018
  • Ten Things Every Food and Supplement Company Needs to Know About Insurance Coverage for Recent Hurricanes, We’ve Got You Covered - Insurance Law Blog, October 11, 2017
  • Disruption Protectors: Companies Can Take Three Steps to Minimize the Costs of a Supply Chain Interruption, Wholesale & Distribution International, September 11, 2014
  • Seeking (and Finding) Coverage for Proposition 65 Claims, We’ve Got You Covered - Insurance Law Blog, May 14, 2014
  • How Insurance Works with Labeling and Duty-to-Warn Lawsuits, Food Quality & Safety, January 28, 2014
  • Inside Appellate Courts: The Impact of Court Organization on Judicial Decision Making in the United States Courts of Appeals, University of Michigan Press, 2002
Insurance Recovery
  • Negotiated insurance settlements for asbestos trusts, claimant committees, and a future claimants representative in numerous asbestos-related bankruptcies and post-bankruptcy proceedings, securing more than $3 billion in insurance recoveries for the benefit of creditors
  • Argued insurance-related issues in U.S. District Court in an appeal in an asbestos bankruptcy case involving more than a billion dollars in insurance assets
  • Advised a Fortune 500 pharmaceutical company with respect to insurance claims for various pharmaceutical and asbestos-containing products
  • Secured insurance coverage for a consumer products company for losses related to a false advertising claim
  • Represented hospitals and a university in securing insurance coverage for allegations of wrongdoing by employees and students
  • Represented high technology company in property loss insurance dispute
Food, Agribusiness, And Supplements Industries
  • Secured a favorable appellate ruling for a Fortune 500 food manufacturer to obtain insurance for bodily injury claims arising from an alleged product contamination, and worked with co-counsel to win a jury verdict worth more than $40 million
  • Represented a large supplement manufacturer to recover from its suppliers and insurers for multiple product contamination and potency claims
  • Secured a favorable arbitration ruling for an egg manufacturer to obtain product contamination insurance for an adverse publicity event
  • Served as an expert regarding insurance issues in a diacetyl-related bankruptcy
  • Secured defense and indemnity coverage for multiple food manufacturers for lawsuits claiming that the companies failed to warn consumers under California’s Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986 (Proposition 65)
  • Led a multi-year analysis project to identify and protect against business risks for a mid-sized food manufacturer, including advising CEO and CFO regarding risk mitigation strategy, insurance, and supply chain agreements
  • Secured insurance proceeds for an international meat processing company to pay for losses due to a contamination and recall of multiple products
  • Represented large, privately held food company to recover insurance proceeds for consumer act and disparagement claims
  • Represented large food packaging company to recover insurance proceeds for multiple contaminations and other issues
Appellate and Civil Rights
  • Represented a criminal defendant in petitioning for a writ of certiorari before the United States Supreme Court
  • Successfully argued appeal on behalf of a large food company in insurance coverage case before en banc panel of the Delaware Supreme Court
  • Filed amicus briefs on behalf of civil rights organizations and other organizations in twelve cases before the United States Supreme Court
  • Filed amicus brief on behalf of a consumer federation and an insurance policyholders group in a case before the United States Supreme Court
  • Filed amicus briefs on behalf of innocence projects in criminal cases before state high courts in multiple high-profile cases
  • Successfully represented an applicant for political asylum before the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
  • Successfully represented two foreign citizens before the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in an appeal of an adverse immigration ruling
  • Filed amicus briefs on behalf of civil rights organizations in multiple cases before United States Courts of Appeals.