Cochran’s Senate confirmation was announced by Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander. “I’m glad the Senate has confirmed Don — he has long served his community and his country as an assistant U.S. Attorney, deputy district attorney, and Major in the United States Army,” Sen. Alexander said. “It is appropriate that he will now serve here in the Middle District. He is a Nashville native and received both his undergraduate and law degrees from Vanderbilt University.”
After earning his undergraduate degree at Vanderbilt, Cochran served for nine years as an Army Ranger and Special Forces officer. After earning his law degree in 1992, he was a law clerk for Judge Julie E. Carnes, then of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia. He then worked as a prosecutor in Jefferson County, Alabama, where he prosecuted violent crimes. He joined the staff of the Northern District of Alabama as an assistant U.S. attorney in 1998, prosecuting white-collar crimes, public corruption and violent crimes, including the final defendant charged with the 1963 bombed of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham. In 2002, he joined the faculty of Cumberland School of Law in Birmingham, where he taught for 10 years before joining Belmont’s law faculty. At Belmont, he taught Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, Evidence and Trial Advocacy.
As a federal prosecutor in Alabama, Cochran received both of the highest awards given by the Department of Justice for trial work—the John C. Marshall Award for the successful 2002 prosecution of Bobby Frank Cherry for the murder of four girls in the bombing of Birmingham’s Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in 1963, and the 2001 Department of Justice Director’s Award for prosecution of United States v. Harry Snyder and Renee Peugeot, which involved the reporting of falsified drug test results to the FDA.