Joel M. Cohn retired from the partnership in 2018. While working in the firm’s Washington, D.C. office, he represented management in federal and state court complex employment litigation.

Mr. Cohn has substantial experience defending wage and hour and employment discrimination collective and class actions. His experience includes federal court jury trials and arguments in most of the U.S. courts of appeals. He represented national employers in the retail, food processing, financial services, manufacturing and restaurant industries.

Mr. Cohn led the firm’s national wage and hour practice. He served for many years as a member of the board of editors of The Fair Labor Standards Act (BNA). He frequently participated in programs discussing wage and hour issues.

Mr. Cohn joined Akin Gump in 1983 after serving as a staff attorney in the Appellate Litigation Division at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and earlier in the Office of Representation Appeals at the National Labor Relations Board.

Following law school, he served as a law clerk to the Honorable Milton D. Korman of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. Mr. Cohn is a member of the American Bar Association and its Section of Labor and Employment Law.

Representative Work

Mr. Cohn’s representations included:

  • acting as strategic counsel for national retailer in series of wage and hour collective and class actions
  • acting as national trial counsel for major retailer in all wage and hour collective and class actions
  • successfully trying Fair Labor Standards Act collective and Department of Labor actions before federal juries in Alabama and Pennsylvania
  • successfully representing California Highway Patrol in state-wide Title VII promotion and assignment discrimination class action before a federal jury in Los Angeles; the jury verdict and judgment on parallel disparate impact claim were affirmed by the Ninth Circuit
  • defeating class and collective action treatment in multiple lawsuits alleging wide range of wage and hour claims under federal and state law including misclassification, off-the-clock work, unpaid overtime for preliminary and postliminary activities, missed or interrupted rest breaks and meal periods, failure to calculate correctly the regular rate, and failure to compensate for travel time.
  • obtaining summary judgment in multiple lawsuits alleging wide range of wage and hour claims under federal and state law.