- Catastrophic Injury Litigation
- Complex Commercial Litigation
- White Collar Criminal Defense
- Fiduciary Litigation
Stated simply, Chris Cohilas specializes in the complex. Because of his past experience and results, he is routinely sought out by individuals and businesses to handle complex matters involving catastrophic injury, civil RICO, white collar criminal defense, commercial and fiduciary litigation. Chris’s catastrophic injury practice focuses on representing individuals and families who have been the victims of negligent acts resulting in wrongful death or serious injury. In this regard, Chris represents and handles cases involving automobile/trucking accidents, child abuse, daycare negligence, and premises liability.
Chris is routinely sought out by businesses and individuals for his expertise in handling claims involving civil RICO (Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organizations Act), particularly those which occur in the context of a commercial business or a fiduciary relationship. Often the cases wherein Chris is sought out for representation involve business torts, breaches of fiduciary duties, commercial disputes, non-compete agreements, and trade secrets. Consistent with his experience and expertise, Chris has been appointed by several superior courts of Georgia to serve as a court-appointed receiver in complex civil RICO actions. In that role, Chris serves by designation of the Court and is responsible for managing the assets, holdings, and businesses which are the subject of litigation.
Prior to coming to Watson Spence, Chris served as the Chief Assistant District Attorney for Dougherty County. As the Chief Assistant District Attorney, he was responsible for the prosecution of felony crimes against children, violations of the Georgia RICO act, serious violent felonies, and cases involving extended or complex litigation. During his time in public service, he tried all manner of cases ranging from murder to public corruption. As such, he brings a unique insider’s perspective to his representation of businesses and individuals who have civil or criminal claims or defenses that arise from allegations of breach of fiduciary duty, racketeering, fraud, or embezzlement. Further, Chris’s tremendous experience in pursuing justice for victims of crime is invaluable to those he represents in catastrophic injury cases. Chris knows how to build a case from the bottom up, and more importantly, he knows how to win at trial.
Chris is a consummate litigator with the experience to back it up. He has tried over 40 jury trials to verdict including both civil and criminal trials. Additionally, he has litigated cases in the Georgia Court of Appeals, the Georgia Supreme Court, and the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals.
Chris is a member of the State Bar of Georgia and is admitted to practice in all State and Superior Courts of Georgia as well as the Georgia Court of Appeals, the Georgia Supreme Court, the United States District Courts of the Northern and Middle Districts of Georgia, and the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals. In addition to being a partner at Watson Spence, he is the current County Commission Chairman for Dougherty County. He was elected in a county-wide election in May, 2014 and began office in January, 2015. Chris also serves as the Chair of the Darton College Foundation. He has previously served as the Chairperson of the Dougherty County Multi-Disciplinary Team Against Child Abuse and as the Chairperson of the Dougherty County Child Fatality Review Committee.
Graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Georgia in 1999, Chris went on to receive his J.D. from Georgia State Law School in 2002. While in law school, he was named and awarded the “Best Advocate” scholarship in the William Daniel National Mock Trial Competition. Additionally, he participated on the International Moot Court Team and was named a “Top-Ten Oralist” at the 2002 Jessup International Moot Court Competition at Duke University. While at Georgia State Law School, he was a member of the Student Trial Lawyers’ Association, the International Comparative Law Society, and served as a Student Governmental Association Senator.
Locally, Chris has immersed himself within the community becoming involved in many local organizations and charities. He is the former president and chairperson of the Artesian City Sertoma Club. He is further known for his work as the former co-chairperson of the Martin Luther King Day Celebration Committee and as one of the founding members of the Lily Pad SANE Center.
In January, 2013, Chris was awarded the Martin Luther King Day “Dream Award” for his community involvement. In 2007, he was named one of Southwest Georgia’s 40 under 40, and, in 2006, he was recognized by the State Bar of Georgia when was given the Young Lawyers Ethics and Professionalism Award. Chris, along with his wife Karen, is a 2008 graduate of Leadership Georgia and served as a Program Chair for the organization in 2009.
Chris has four children, Christopher, Jr., Nicholas, Michael, and Isabella. They attend Porterfield Methodist Church.