John H. Cocke

Attorney Profile

Top Rated Medical Malpractice Attorney in Clarksdale, MS

Merkel & Cocke, P.A.
 | 30 Delta Avenue, Clarksdale, MS 38614
Phone: 877-837-8606
Fax: 662-627-3592
Selected to Super Lawyers: 2006 - 2019
Licensed Since: 1975
Practice Areas:
  • Personal Injury - Medical Malpractice: Plaintiff (80%),
  • Personal Injury - General: Plaintiff (10%),
  • Professional Liability: Plaintiff (10%)
Attorney Profile

John H. Cocke co-founded Merkel & Cocke, P.A., in 1982. Since that time, he has developed a reputation as one of Mississippi's leading medical malpractice attorneys. From the firm's offices in Clarksdale and Jackson, Mr. Cocke provides assistance to people throughout the state who have been harmed by the negligence of health care practitioners and facilities. His clients include both patients who have been adversely affected, as well as family members who have lost a loved one. Mr. Cocke also has a background in other areas of personal injury and wrongful death litigation, with experience in cases arising out of motor vehicle accidents, defective products, and premises liability.

During his career, Mr. Cocke has been instrumental in obtaining many sizable settlements and jury verdicts on behalf of his plaintiff clients. This has led to a great deal of recognition from his fellow professionals. Selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America, Mr. Cocke has also received an AV Preeminent* peer review rating through Martindale-Hubbell.

Mr. Cocke attended the University of Virginia as an undergraduate, where he majored in economics and received a Bachelor of Arts with distinction in 1969. After spending two years in the U.S. Army, he returned to Charlottesville and enrolled at the University of Virginia School of Law. Upon his being awarded his Juris Doctor in 1975, he joined a Clarksdale general litigation firm, where he remained until 1982.

Admitted to practice before all Mississippi and Tennessee state courts, Mr. Cocke is also admitted to practice before the U.S. District Courts for the Southern and Northern Districts of Mississippi and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit. He is a former member of the board of governors of the Mississippi Association for Justice.

*AV®, AV Preeminent®, Martindale-Hubbell Distinguished and Martindale-Hubbell Notable are certification marks used under license in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies. Martindale-Hubbell® is the facilitator of a peer review rating process. Ratings reflect the anonymous opinions of members of the bar and the judiciary. Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Rating™ fall into two categories – legal ability and general ethical standards.

Practice Areas
Lawyer Practice Area Pie Chart

Personal Injury - Medical Malpractice (80%): Medical Malpractice, Birth Injury, Informed Consent

Personal Injury - General (10%): Motor Vehicle Accidents, Personal Injury - Plaintiff, Wrongful Death, Brain Injury, Trucking Accidents, Premises Liability - Plaintiff

Professional Liability (10%): Legal Malpractice, Professional Malpractice - Other

Focus Areas

Medical Malpractice, Birth Injury, Informed Consent, Motor Vehicle Accidents, Personal Injury - Plaintiff, Wrongful Death, Brain Injury, Trucking Accidents, Premises Liability - Plaintiff, Legal Malpractice, Professional Malpractice - Other


Selected to Super Lawyers for 14 yearsbottom-image

Super Lawyers: 2006 - 2019

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About John Cocke

Admitted: 1975, Mississippi

Professional Webpage:


  • Mississippi Volunteer Lawyer Project's "Beyond the call of Duty Award", 2008
  • Lawyer of the year by Best Lawyers for Memphis, Medical Malpractice, 2014
  • Lawyer of the year by Best Lawyers for Memphis, Medical Malpractice, 2012
  • Super Lawyers, 2006 – Present
  • Lawyer of the Year, Medical Malpractice Law – Plaintiffs, Memphis, 2013
  • Lawyer of the Year, Personal Injury Litigation – Plaintiffs, Memphis, 2016
  • Best Lawyers in America, 2007 – Present
  • AV Preeminent® by Martindale-Hubbell®

Special Licenses/Certifications:

  • Licensed in Mississippi and Tennessee

Bar/Professional Activity:

  • U.S. District Court Southern District of Mississippi, 1975
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of Mississippi, 1975
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 5th Circuit, 1975
  • Tennessee, 1992
  • Mississippi, 1975
  • American Bar Association, Co-chair, Section of Healthcare Law (Former)
  • American Bar Association, 1998 – Present
  • Mississippi Association for Justice, Board of Governors (Former)
  • Mississippi Association for Justice, 1992 – Present


  • Drummond v. Buckley, 627 So.2d 264 (Miss. 1993)
  • DeLaughter v. Lawrence County Hosp., 601 So.2d 818 (Miss. 1992)
  • Buford v. Howe, 10 F.3d 1184 (5th Cir. Miss. 1994)
  • Krieser v. Hobbs, 166 F.3d 736 (5th Cir. Miss. 1999)
  • Sperry-New Holland, a Div. of Sperry Corp. v. Prestage, 617 So.2d 248 (Miss. 1993)
  • Williams v. Chism, 164 B.R. 735 (N.D. Miss. 1994)
  • Dickey v. Baptist Memorial Hospital-North Mississippi, 146 F.3d 262 (5th Cir. Miss. 1998)
  • Waldrip v. Turley, 1987 WL 30320 (Tenn. App. 1987)
  • Scott v. Ball, 595 So.2d 848 (Miss 1992)
  • Senatobia Community Hospital v. Orr, 607 So.2d 1224 (Miss. 1992)

Educational Background:

  • University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia, B.A., Economics, 1969
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Office Location for John H. Cocke

30 Delta Avenue
Clarksdale, MS 38614

Phone: 877-837-8606

Fax: 662-627-3592

John H. Cocke:

Last Updated: 7/31/2019

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