Attorney Coleman Cowan plain background banner image

“Being an effective trial lawyer is really about taking a complex body of information and turning it into a compelling story…”

- Coleman Cowan


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Fellow, American Bar Foundation5

National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Logo.

Received two Emmys, 2009 and 2013

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Named to “Best Lawyers”4 list for Litigation by Best Lawyers, 2024

Attorney Coleman Cowan (Partner)

Attorney and Emmy award winning 60 Minutes producer Coleman Cowan leads the litigation section of James Scott Farrin. As a trial lawyer, Coleman litigates some of the more high stakes cases in the areas of personal injury, product liability, insurance bad faith claims, and complex litigation. He is also a Partner at the firm.

He received a J.D. with honors from Wake Forest University School of Law in Winston-Salem, where he won awards for Most Outstanding Advocate as well as Best Oralist. Coleman earned his B.A. in Economics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and he received a Master’s in Journalism with honors from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.

While he began his career as an attorney, at about the 10-year mark, his career path led him away from North Carolina courtrooms and into war zones, jungles, and mountaintops across the world. For 10 years, Coleman worked as producer for 60 Minutes and CBSN On Assignment, and as a reporter for BusinessWeek magazine. His stories covered everything from war, politics, and economics to sports and adventure. He won two Emmy awards, a Peabody, a Gracie, a Polk, a Sigma Delta Chi award, and was nominated for several other awards.

“People often ask me why I would leave a successful career producing news stories from around the world. The answer is simple. I was at ‘60 Minutes’ for 10 years and had a lifetime of adventure during that time. But I wanted to get back to North Carolina, and back to the courtroom. I wanted to tell people’s stories and help decide right from wrong in a courtroom in front of a jury. I’ve been fortunate to have two successful and interesting careers, which I’ve learned have many similarities. Being an effective trial lawyer is really about taking a complex body of information and turning it into a compelling story, which is exactly what I was doing at ‘60 Minutes.’ The only difference is my audience used to be millions of people around the world. Now, it’s 12 men and women on a jury.”

Coleman has participated as lead counsel litigating successful multi-million dollar1 jury verdict cases throughout his legal career and in 2002, was selected by Business North Carolina Magazine as one of North Carolina’s “Legal Elite.”4 He was named to the 2023 North Carolina “Super Lawyers” list by Super Lawyers,6 and he has also developed legal courses for the North Carolina Bar Association and has spoken at various legal seminars. He serves on the Civil Rules Committee for the Middle District of North Carolina and is the Chair of the North Carolina Bar Association’s Professional Vitality Committee.

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Licensed In

  • North Carolina

Practice Area


  • Super Lawyers North Carolina “Super Lawyers”4 list, 2023
  • “Best Lawyers in America” list4 for Personal Injury Litigation – Plaintiffs, 2024 by Best Lawyers in America
  • Business North Carolina’s “Legal Elite”4 list, 2002
  • Emmy for News and Documentary, “Imminent Danger,” 2013
  • Emmy for Business, “The Chairman,” 2009
  • Edward R. Murrow, “Stuxnet” 2013 and “Amazon Crude,” 2010
  • Gracie, “Kathryn Bigelow,” 2011
  • Sigma Delta Chi, “Amazon Crude,” 2010
  • George Polk, “The Price of Oil,” 2010
  • Peabody Award, 2009 “60 Minutes: Lifeline”


  • Fellow, American Bar Foundation5
  • Public Justice Foundation
  • Taxpayers Against Fraud
  • National Association of Consumer Advocates
  • North Carolina Advocates for Justice
  • North Carolina Bar Association
  • North Carolina State Bar

Publications & Speaking Engagements

  • Attorney At Law Magazine, “Coleman Cowan: To Live. Not Exist.” Nov. 2023
  • “Hardwired: What Our Experiences Can Teach Us About Managing Stress and Anxiety” CLE, Keynote Speaker (2022)
  • Litigating Landmines CLE, Speaker, “Being Prepared for the Charge” Conference (2021)
  • NC Family Law Specialist CLE, Speaker, 60 Minutes with Coleman Cowan (2019)
  • Sue C. McNeil v. Wyeth, 462 F.3d 364 (5th Cir. 2006)
  • Alex. H. Thompson v. Michael S. Waters et al., 351 N.C. 462, 526 S.E.2d 650 (2000)
  • Anthony Lambert, Sr. v. Brenda G. Williams et al., 223 F.3d 257 (4th Cir. 2000)
  • North Carolina Bar Association Evidence Seminar, Dec. 2001, Course Planner
  • North Carolina Bar Association Evidence Seminar, Dec. 2003, Course Planner
  • North Carolina Academy of Trial Lawyers Annual Product Liability Meeting, May 2004, Speaker, Pharmaceutical Products Liability
  • North Carolina Bar Association Pre-Trial Practice Seminar, July 2004, Speaker, Admission of Expert Witness Testimony under the Federal Rules of Evidence

Community & Civic Involvement

  • Board of Directors, The Free Indeed Project of Charlotte
  • NationSwell Council

Law School

Wake Forest University School of Law
Winston-Salem, NC
1995, J.D., cum laude

  • Wake Forest Law Review, staff
  • Most Outstanding Advocate Award
  • Best Oralist Award
  • Moot Court Competition


Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism
New York, NY
2007, M.S., cum laude

  • Stabile Center for Investigative Journalism


University of North Carolina
Chapel Hill, NC
1992, B.A. in Economics

five star review badge Former Auto Accident Client, Online Google Review
I was very happy with the services received from James Scott Farrin.
I was very happy with the services received from James Scott Farrin. [The] legal team was very professional and responsive to any questions that I had. 1
five star review badge Former Personal Injury Client, Online Google Review
I am pleased and thankful for the excellent service
I am pleased and thankful for the excellent service that I received at the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin, from the beginning to the end. The entire staff was professional and proficient in every way. I would use you again and recommend your office to anyone.1

For legal reasons and client confidentiality, reviews have been slightly edited to remove identifying information and correct typos.

5For information regarding the American Bar Foundation’s 1% of lawyers licensed to practice in each jurisdiction, visit