Attorney Coleman Cowan

Combining the art of storytelling with powerful trial advocacy

Attorney and Emmy award-winning 60 Minutes producer, Coleman Cowan, joined the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin in 2018 as a personal injury attorney. As a member of the firm’s litigation team, Coleman litigates some of the more complex, high stakes cases in the areas of personal injury, products liability and medical malpractice. He is also a shareholder of the firm.

He received a J.D. cum laude 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, Chapel Hill, and he holds a Master’s in Journalism cum laude 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 ten 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 dollar* 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”**. He has also developed legal courses for the North Carolina Bar Association and has spoken at various legal seminars.

Practice Area:

Personal Injury
Consumer Protection
Business Litigation
Class Actions
Mass Torts
Products Liability
Whistleblower Claims

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


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

Honors, Awards, Accomplishments

  • Business North Carolina’s “Legal Elite**” 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, “Lifeline” 2009

Community & Civic Involvement:

  • Nationswell Council

Published Legal Opinions/Legal Presentations:

  • 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

* Each case is unique and must be evaluated on its own merits. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome

** For more information regarding the standards for inclusion for Business North Carolina’s Legal Elite, visit