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David Cookson served in the Nebraska Attorney General’s Office for 16 years. He was Nebraska’s Chief Deputy Attorney General from 2007-2014. Prior to assuming that position, Cookson was Special Counsel to the Nebraska Attorney General with a focus on interstate water issues, environmental law and major multi-state litigation. Before joining the Attorney General’s Office, Cookson was a partner with the law firm Webb, Carlock, Copeland, Semler & Stair in Atlanta, Georgia. He specialized in medical malpractice claims and complex federal multi-district litigation.
Cookson has represented the State of Nebraska as lead counsel in two original actions in the U.S. Supreme Court. He successfully argued before the U.S. Supreme Court in litigation with the State of Kansas. He served as lead counsel for Nebraska in interstate water litigation, including six different federal cases consolidated in a multi-district litigation involving the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers operation of the Missouri River Main Stem System. Cookson also successfully negotiated a resolution to a multi-million dollar judgment against the State of Nebraska involving storage of low-level radioactive waste, which resulted in saving more than $60 million for Nebraska taxpayers.
In addition to his direct representation, Cookson has been an integral part of more than forty multi-state challenges to federal environmental regulation and played a critical role in the states’ challenge to the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. He was a primary negotiator on behalf of 40 states challenging the Obama Administration’s resolution of the General Motors bankruptcy, in which each of the states’ issues were resolved in their favor.
Cookson is the 2011 recipient of the National Association of Attorneys General Laurie Loveland Award. The Loveland award is given annually to an Attorney General Office staff member who has done the most to advance the work of the Attorney General on tobacco-related issues. He received this award for his instrumental role in the successful resolution of a multi-year, multi-billion dollar dispute with major tobacco companies. Cookson’s leadership in negotiations resulted in the release of more than $4 billion to Nebraska and other states and ensured future stability of funding for critical public health issues.
He earned his J.D. in 1987 from the University of Nebraska and his B.S. in 1982 from Nebraska Wesleyan University. He is admitted to the Bars of Georgia, Nebraska, multiple U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court.
- B.S. Nebraska Wesleyan University
- J.D. University of Nebraska School of Law
- Chief Deputy Attorney General of Nebraska (2007-2014)
- 2011 National Association of Attorneys General Laurie Loveland Award Recipient
- Nebraska State Bar Association
- Nebraska State Courts
- Georgia State Courts
- Multiple U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeals
- U.S. Supreme Court
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