Coleman M. Cowan

Top rated Personal Injury attorney in Durham, North Carolina

Law Offices of James Scott Farrin
Coleman M. Cowan
Law Offices of James Scott Farrin

Practice Areas: Personal Injury

Licensed in North Carolina since: 1995

Education: Wake Forest University School of Law

Selected to Super Lawyers: 2023 - 2024

Law Offices of James Scott Farrin

555 South Mangum Street
Suite 800
Durham, NC 27701 Visit website


A partner at the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin, attorney Coleman M. Cowan leads the law firm’s litigation practice. Based in Durham, North Carolina, he assists clients in a wide range of matters related to car and motorcycle accidents, class actions and mass torts, product liability, business litigation, construction litigation and consumer protection.

Mr. Cowan did his undergraduate degree in economics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1992. He received his Juris Doctor, with honors, in 1995 from the Wake Forest University School of Law, where he was a highly involved member of the Wake Forest Law Review. A recipient of the Most Outstanding Advocate Award in law school, he won the Best Oralist Award in the First Year Moot Court Competition. 

Upon gaining substantial legal experience clerking for Honorable N. Carlton Tilley Jr. and working for well-reputed law firms in North Carolina, he eventually became a writer covering topics such as immigration, the airline industry, the New Orleans schools post-Katrina, corporate incentives and the NBA betting scandal for the BusinessWeek magazine. 

A 2007 cum laude investigative journalism postgraduate from the Columbia Journalism School, he served as the producer for 60 Minutes and CBSN: On Assignment, winning two Emmy awards and numerous other honors. After more than a decade away from legal services, he returned intending to aid affected people tell their side of stories in a compelling manner.

Mr. Cowan actively participates in several organizations, including the North Carolina Bar Association, the North Carolina State Bar, the American Bar Foundation, the National Association of Consumer Advocates, the Public Justice Foundation and the Taxpayers Against Fraud. Professional and responsive, he offers honest and well-thought-out options to clients during times of uncertainty. Throughout his career, he has recovered millions of dollars on behalf of his clients in verdicts and settlements. 

For his hard work and solid commitment to his clients, Mr. Cowan has received various honors and recognitions such as an AV Preeminent* rating through Martindale-Hubbell and the Business North Carolina’s Legal Elite listing. Apart from helping the North Carolina Bar Association to develop legal courses, he has shared his legal knowledge with fellow attorneys and students by lecturing at many legal seminars.

*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 Ratings™ fall into two categories – legal ability and general ethical standards.

Practice areas

Personal Injury - General: Plaintiff
  • 100% Personal Injury - General: Plaintiff

First Admitted: 1995, North Carolina

Professional Webpage:

  • Business North Carolina’s “Legal Elite”3 list, 2002
  • Peabody Award, 2009 “60 Minutes: Lifeline”
  • George Polk, “The Price of Oil,” 2010
  • Sigma Delta Chi, “Amazon Crude,” 2010
  • Gracie, “Kathryn Bigelow,” 2011
  • Edward R. Murrow, “Stuxnet” 2013 and “Amazon Crude,” 2010
  • Emmy for Business, “The Chairman,” 2009
  • Emmy for News and Documentary, “Imminent Danger,” 2013
Bar/Professional Activity:
  • Fellow, American Bar Foundation5
  • North Carolina
  • North Carolina Bar Association
  • North Carolina Advocates for Justice
  • National Association of Consumer Advocates
  • Taxpayers Against Fraud
  • Public Justice Foundation
Scholarly Lectures/Writings:
  • “Hardwired: What Our Experiences Can Teach Us About Managing Stress and Anxiety” CLE, Keynote Speaker (2022)
  • North Carolina Bar Association Pre-Trial Practice Seminar, July 2004, Speaker, Admission of Expert Witness Testimony under the Federal Rules of Evidence
  • North Carolina Academy of Trial Lawyers Annual Product Liability Meeting, May 2004, Speaker, Pharmaceutical Products Liability
  • North Carolina Bar Association Evidence Seminar, Dec. 2003, Course Planner
  • North Carolina Bar Association Evidence Seminar, Dec. 2001, Course Planner
  • Anthony Lambert, Sr. v. Brenda G. Williams et al., 223 F.3d 257 (4th Cir. 2000)
  • Alex. H. Thompson v. Michael S. Waters et al., 351 N.C. 462, 526 S.E.2d 650 (2000)
  • Sue C. McNeil v. Wyeth, 462 F.3d 364 (5th Cir. 2006)
  • NC Family Law Specialist CLE, Speaker, 60 Minutes with Coleman Cowan (2019)
  • Litigating Landmines CLE, Speaker, “Being Prepared for the Charge” Conference (2021)
Pro bono/Community Service:
  • Board of Directors, The Free Indeed Project of Charlotte
  • NationSwell Council
Educational Background:
  • Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, New York, NY, M.S., cum laude, Stabile Center for Investigative Journalism, 2007
  • University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, B.A. in Economics, 1992

Office location for Coleman M. Cowan

555 South Mangum Street
Suite 800
Durham, NC 27701

Phone: 919-688-4991


2 Years Super Lawyers
  • Super Lawyers: 2023 - 2024

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