Michael D. Cok

Michael D. Cok

Bozeman, Montana

After graduating from law school and being admitted to the State Bar of Montana, Mr. Cok joined the firm of Drysdale, McLean, Screnar and Cok in Bozeman. In 1981 he founded the firm of Cok and Wheat with Michael E Wheat, a retired Montana Supreme Court Justice. Mr. Cok’s practice has evolved over time and is limited to a trial practice representing individuals in claims regarding products liability (unsafe products); brain and spinal injuries; medical malpractice; personal injury; insurance claims/bad faith; aviation accidents; nursing home neglect; propane and gas explosion injuries; and claims involving large scale environmental and toxic pollution.

Mr. Cok is a long-term member of the Board of Directors of the Montana Trial Lawyers Association where he has served on several committees. He has been an officer and was President in the years 1998-1999. He presently serves on its Education Committee. Mr. Cok is a member of the faculty for the University of Montana School of Law Trial Advocacy School. He has been member of the University of Montana School of Law Development Committee since 2004, and was a board member of the Montana Justice Foundation from 2004 to 2009. Michael Cok is a fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers, an invitation only group at the top 1% of trial lawyers in the country, has been listed in Best Lawyers in American since 2005, was named to the Super Lawyers list since its inception in 2005, named as a top 100 trial lawyers by the National Trial Lawyers, and has been selected for membership in the Academy of Catastrophic Injury Attorneys. His clients have received over $100 million in verdicts and settlements.

He is a sustaining member of the Montana Trial Lawyers Association, 1979-present (board member, 1989-2013, president, 1998-1999); a sustaining member of  Association of Trial Lawyers of America, 1981-present; Trial Lawyers for Public Justice; lawyer representative to the 9th Circuit Judicial Conference (2005-2008); a member of Montana Supreme Court’s Commission on Evidence (2012-2016); Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers (State Committee Chairman, 2016-2018); and an ABOTA member.

Areas of Practice

  • Product Liability
  • Unsafe Products
  • Brain and Spinal Injuries
  • Catastrophic Injuries
  • Medical Malpractice
  • Insurance Claims/Bad Faith
  • Aviation Accidents
  • Nursing Home Neglect
  • Personal Injury
  • Large Scale Environmental and Toxic Pollution

Bar Admissions

  • Montana, 1978
  • U.S. District Court District of Montana, 1978
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit, 1987
  • U.S. Supreme Court, 2005
  • U.S. Tax Court, 1981


  • University of Montana School of Law, Missoula, Montana
    • J.D. - 1978
    • Honors: With Honors
  • Montana State University
    • B.A. - 1974
    • Major: Political Science


  • Faculty Member, Advanced Trial Advocacy Program, University of Montana School of Law, 2004 - 2018
  • Speaker, Finding the Winning Focus, Montana Trial Lawyers Association, November 13, 2015
  • Speaker, New Lawyers Section, How to Prepare For, Take, and Defend Depositions, Montana State Bar, March 25, 2011
  • Speaker, Judicial Institute for Teachers, Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference Committee, February 25 - 27, 2008
  • Speaker, Ethics and Effective Advocacy, Montana County Attorneys, December 2, 2005
  • Faculty Member, Montana Trial Lawyers Trial Academy, 2005 - 2008, 2012
  • Speaker, Whose Money is it Anyhow? Subrogation by ERISA Plans, Medical Insurers, Workers' Compensation Plans, Medicaid and Others, Insurance Law: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, Montana Trial Lawyers Association Spring Seminar, April 8, 2005
  • Speaker, Litigating Your Workplace Injury Product Liability Case, With Travis W. Kinzler, Montana Trial Lawyers Association, January 31, 2003
  • Speaker, Making and Defending Claims Under Federal Tort Claims Act, State Law, 1983 Actions, Governmental Liability in Zoning and Land Use Planning, Bucking Horse CLE General Practice, May 17, 2002
  • Speaker, Current Issues for State Lawyers, Negotiations Importance and Method, Montana Attorney General's Office, December 14, 2000
  • Speaker, Anatomy of a Tort Case, Settlement Mediation, Montana Trial Lawyers Association, January 29, 1999
  • Speaker, Rookie Camp, State Bar of Montana, 1998 - 2001
  • Speaker, Recurring Litigation Problems and Recommendations for Change, Exchange of Experts, and Trial Diplomacy, Montana Trial Lawyers Association, September 24, 1998
  • Lecturer, Introduction to Business Law, Montana State University, 1998
  • Speaker, Montana: Litigating Wrongful Discharge Cases, Wrongful Termination: Some Pretrial Considerations from the Plaintiffs Perspective, Professional Education Systems, Inc., 1987

Honors and Awards

  • Fellow of American College of Trial Lawyers
  • The Best Lawyers in America (Naifeh and Smith), 2005 - Present
  • Mountain States Super Lawyers, 2008 – Present
  • Top 100 National Trial Lawyers
  • Best Law Firms in Montana by U.S. News & World Report
  • Martindale Hubbell Law Directory, Rated "AV Preeminent" (Highest Rating)

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Montana Trial Lawyers Association (MTLA), Sustaining Member, 1979 - Present
  • Montana Trial Lawyers Board of Directors, 1989 - 2013
  • Montana Trial Lawyers Association, President, 1998 - 1999
  • American Association for Justice (AAJ), Sustaining Member, 1981 - Present
  • Trial Lawyers for Public Justice (TPLJ), Member
  • Attorneys Information Exchange Group (AIEG), Member
  • American College of Trial Lawyers Fellow
  • American College of Trial Lawyers Montana State Committee Chairman, 2016 - 2018
  • State Bar of Montana, Member
  • Gallatin County Bar Association Member
  • Montana Supreme Court’s Commission on Evidence Member, 2012 - 2016
  • Gallatin County Bar Association, President, 1997 - 1998
  • American Judicature Society, Member
  • Montana Justice Foundation, Board Member, 2004
  • University of Montana School of Law School Development, Member, 2001 - 2004
  • Academy of Catastrophic Injury Attorneys, Member
  • Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference, Lawyer Representative/Delegate, 2005 - 2008