Jonathan Cole focuses his practice on civil trial work, representing clients on all levels of state and federal court, administrative procedures, and in mediation/arbitration. He is listed by the Tennessee Supreme Court as a Rule 31 mediator. Mr. Cole has significant experience representing national financial institutions and businesses in a wide variety of cases, including, lender liability/consumer financial litigation, contract dispute, bad faith/fraud and creditors’ rights. He routinely represents broker-dealers and investment advisers in securities claims, FINRA arbitrations and in state and federal court proceedings, and defends them against regulatory compliance allegations from state, FINRA and SEC officials. He also handles enforcement proceedings and investigations by the SEC. In addition, Mr. Cole has extensive experience in environmental law, safety and health, products liability and personal injury/wrongful death.
To complement his practice, Mr. Cole is committed to the legal profession and his community. Among his current activities, Mr. Cole founded and currently serves as the chair of Baker Donelson’s award winning Pro Bono program, served as president of the Nashville Bar Association, served as president of the National Conference of Bar Presidents, serves as a director of the American Bar Endowment, was awarded the Young Leader of the Year Award by the Young Leaders Council and the 2008 NELA (Nashville Emerging Leader Award), and was selected to Leadership Nashville’s Class of 2010.
• Defended a national broker dealer in an alleged Ponzi scheme, including resolution of multiple lawsuits and arbitrations.
• Negotiated a favorable settlement of a predatory lending claim against a national mortgage lender, including defeating seven motions for sanctions.
• Won trial on usury claim for a national mortgage lender.
• Won OSHA trial on willful citation for a manufacturer whose employee had lost his leg.
• Prosecuted and defended multi-million dollar breach of contract actions in state and federal courts.
• Represented a national railroad carrier in breach of contract, adverse possession, and private right of eminent domain claims in Tennessee.
• Defended an out-of-state landowner in state regulatory enforcement in Chancery Court. Representation also included succeeding in having previously imposed sanctions against the client lifted, and prevailing in having the State of Tennessee pay itself to bring the property into compliance.
Professional Honors & Activities
• Listed in The Best Lawyers In America® in the area of Commercial Litigation (2014 – 2019); Banking and Finance Litigation (2019)
• Rule 31 Listed Mediator
• “The Best of the Bar” honoree by the Nashville Business Journal (2013, 2018)
• Past President – National Conference of Bar Presidents
• Past President – Nashville Bar Association (2010)
• Selected to Leadership Nashville, Class of 2010
• Named Young Leader of the Year by the Young Leaders Council, Inc. (2009)
• Winner, 2008 NELA (Nashville Emerging Leader Award)
• AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell
• Former Chair — American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division (2003 – 2004)
• Former Member – Disciplinary Hearing Committee, Tennessee Supreme Court, District V
• Named to the “Top 40 Under 40 Community and Charitable Leaders” by The Tennessean (January 2002)
• Fellow – Nashville Bar Foundation
• Volunteer of Year, YMCA of Middle Tennessee
• Director – American Bar Endowment
• Member – Nashville, Tennessee and American Bar Associations
• Tennessee Bar Association Delegate – American Bar Association House of Delegates
• “Mock Trial of Disciplinary Hearing,” Tennessee Board of Professional Responsibility 2018 Ethics Workshop (November 2018)
• University of Tennessee, J.D., 1994
• Georgetown University, A.B., 1991
• Tennessee, 1994