A fierce and determined advocate who fights for as long as it takes in the courtroom or before government agencies, Jack Cohoon focuses his legal practice on employment law, civil rights, appeals, and administrative law.
He’s a highly experienced litigator who has successfully challenged agencies and policies to move law forward. Jack has won in trial and appellate courts as well as before state and federal government agencies.
The common thread running through his cases: A drive to defend those whom the legal system has wronged.
Jack battles tirelessly to remove barriers for clients, working to eliminate roadblocks that prevent them from obtaining jobs and moving toward better futures. This includes seeking pardons, criminal record expungement, working to correct errors in criminal records, defending occupational licenses, and reinstating driver’s licenses. He has successfully sued under the Fair Credit Reporting Act to correct errors on a background report that denied a client a job opportunity.
He represents people facing a range of employment law issues that put their livelihoods at risk, including unpaid wages, unemployment benefits denial, workplace discrimination, and wrongful termination.
He’s succeeded in changing policies and procedures. He stopped the state of South Carolina from listing civil non-payment of child support on criminal records, and he challenged a Department of Motor Vehicles policy that denied commercial driver’s licenses to legal immigrants. He brought a federal civil rights challenge to South Carolina’s policy of charging people with certain criminal convictions $50 for issuance of an ID. The card was free to everyone else. The state Legislature subsequently eliminated the fee.
Jack worked in the Columbia office of South Carolina Legal Services for nearly 14 years before joining Burnette Shutt & McDaniel, rising to the position of senior litigation attorney and head of the Employment Unit. He led the firm’s efforts to advocate for low-income clients with employment law issues.
He developed legal clinic models now used throughout the state, including workshops on criminal records and driver’s licenses. Jack also has taught numerous continuing legal education programs on topics such as representing clients in administrative law proceedings, unemployment benefits, and criminal records.