Daniel Cohen is the leader of Baker Donelson’s Higher Education Group and a shareholder in the Firm’s business litigation practice. Mr. Cohen leverages his on-campus athletics administration and legal experience to offer guidance to schools on the complex legal issues they face.
Mr. Cohen provides legal and strategic advice to universities, colleges, academic medical institutions and other clients across the country. He counsels clients in the areas of Title IX athletics and sexual misconduct, NCAA compliance, labor and employment, business and commercial litigation, intellectual property, professional malpractice, school and university law, and sports law.
As part of his Title IX practice, Mr. Cohen provides Title IX athletics audits and compliance reviews to improve schools’ legal compliance. He also assists with schools’ athletics strategic planning initiatives to develop risk management and litigation avoidance strategies, and represents schools in NCAA investigations and appeals.
In regard to Title IX sexual misconduct matters, Mr. Cohen assists colleges and universities with drafting policies and procedures, leading extensive sexual misconduct investigation and adjudication training, and conducting investigations.
In addition, Mr. Cohen litigates Title IX athletics and sexual misconduct matters on behalf of schools, including defending colleges under investigation by the federal Office for Civil Rights for alleged gender discrimination.
Mr. Cohen is appointed as a Special Assistant Attorney General by two states to represent their public universities in Title IX matters. He has been described as a “gender equity expert” by The Chronicle of Higher Education. He has testified before the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights on Title IX best practices.
Mr. Cohen has been published and quoted frequently about Title IX issues in the media, including The Chronicle of Higher Education, USA Today and the Washington Post, among others. A frequent industry speaker, Mr. Cohen has given Title IX presentations to NACDA, NACUA, NACWAA and WinAD audiences as well as multiple collegiate athletic conferences.
He has delivered Title IX sexual misconduct training to two state college systems and many individual schools. He has also guest lectured at Emory University School of Law, Vanderbilt University School of Law and Florida State University’s College of Education, Sports Management Master’s Program.
- Vanderbilt University School of Law, J.D., 2000
- Duke University, B.A., magna cum laude with distinction, 1997
- Georgia, 2000
- Supreme Court of Georgia, 2001
- Georgia Court of Appeals, 2001
- Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, 2013
Representative Matters :
- Higher Education
- Represented several dozen schools regarding Title IX compliance issues, including universities under investigation by the federal Office for Civil Rights for alleged gender discrimination involving athletics and sexual misconduct matters.
- Worked collaboratively with schools on the legal aspects of their strategic planning initiatives, including developing risk management and litigation avoidance strategies.
- Led external due diligence reviews and constructed legal and Title IX compliance strategies related to NCAA governance issues and changing conference affiliations.
- Successfully defended and advised schools on NCAA compliance matters.
- Worked with institutions on a variety of other legal and compliance issues.
- Business Litigation
- Experience as first and second chair in lawsuits regarding contractual disputes, intellectual property, professional malpractice, restrictive covenants, unfair competition, debtor/creditor law and products liability.
- Defense and prosecution of various employment and discrimination lawsuits, including prosecution of a gender discrimination case in federal court that resulted in a damages award following a bench trial.
- Prosecution and defense of accounting and auditing malpractice lawsuits, including one prosecution that resulted in a jury verdict for the client following a three-week trial.
Professional Honors & Activities :
- Special Assistant Attorney General in two states, representing their public institutions in Title IX matters
- Member – National Association of College and University Attorneys (NACUA)
- Member – National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA)
- Member – National Association for Athletics Compliance (NAAC)
- Member – Women Leaders in College Sports
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