Nelson L. Atkins
Nelson L. Atkins earned a Bachelor of Arts in Social Science and English from California State University at Los Angeles. He was awarded his Juris Doctor from Loyola University of Los Angeles. In addition, he holds a Life Credential from the Department of Education for the State of California in the designated subjects of Real Estate Law, Business Law, Accounting, and English.
Mr. Atkins first worked as a Deputy City Attorney for the City of Los Angeles in the Criminal Division and advanced to Senior Trial Deputy. He left the City Attorney’s office and entered private practice with Johnnie L. Cochran, Jr. to form Cochran & Atkins. Irwin Evans later joined the firm, and it became Cochran, Atkins & Evans. When Cochran was appointed as Chief Deputy for the Los Angeles County District Attorney, the firm became Atkins & Evans and has remained so for over 30 years until the merger with Gonzalez Saggio & Harlan.
Mr. Atkins has a wealth of trial experience and has successfully tried hundreds of criminal and civil cases. He has tried major felony actions, including death penalty murder cases when he was a criminal defense attorney. He subsequently focused his practice in civil litigation and has continued his trial practice in defending a variety of complex labor and employment claims, tort claims, complex commercial litigation, and civil rights litigation, among other areas.
Mr. Atkins is an arbitrator for the Superior Court in the County of Los Angeles and the American Arbitration Association. He was a member of the Los Angeles County Commission on Judicial Procedures and served as Chair of the Commission in 2008. He has been recognized for his accomplishments by the California State Assembly, California State Senate, Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors and the Los Angeles City Council. Mr. Atkins is a recipient of the March of Dimes and Kappa Alpha Psi Community Service Awards.
Mr. Atkins was inducted into the National Bar Association Hall of Fame in 2010, which recognizes lawyers who have been licensed to practice law for forty years or more and who have made significant contributions to the cause of justice. He was inducted into the Langston Bar Association Hall of Fame in 2006. He is a member of the Los Angeles County Bar Association, American Bar Association, and the National Bar Association, as well as the California Association of Black Lawyers. Mr. Atkins is admitted to practice in all courts in the State of California.
Mr. Atkins has served as lecturer for the California and Los Angeles Trial Lawyers’ Association on the subjects of jury selection, trial preparation, strategy, and tactics. He has also served as chairman of the Public Law and Human Rights committees of the Los Angeles Trial Lawyers Association, where he was a past member of the Board of Governors. Additionally, Mr. Atkins was a member of the Board of Directors of the Southern California Defense Counsel.
Mr. Atkins is an equity partner and head of the Los Angeles office.
Education & Bar Admissions
- Loyola University of Los Angeles, J.D.
- California State University, B.A.