Trial Lawyer

Ralph Cook has been a trial lawyer for nearly 50 years. Throughout 24 years of his career, he served as a trial judge, district court judge, circuit court judge, and as a family court judge. He has extensive experience in just about all areas of the law. Judge Cook was later appointed as an associate justice of the Supreme Court for the State of Alabama in 1993, and became an elected justice of the Alabama Supreme Court in 1994, serving until January of 2001. His role as a Supreme Court Justice was to review all areas of the law. Needless to say, Justice Cook brings a wealth of great knowledge and experience to Hare Wynn. Justice Cook has been Of Counsel for the firm from 2001 to 2013, and after a short stint as the city attorney for Birmingham, he has rejoined the team at Hare Wynn once again.

He recalls the early years of “old Alabama” when times in the state were much different. His vision to affect change in Alabama was the catalyst for attending law school. Ralph and his wife, Charlsie, have raised three children together, and when he’s not in the office he enjoys fishing, golfing and traveling with his wife.


Justice Cook, the second of three children of Joe and Nannie Cook, was born in Birmingham, Alabama. Justice Cook was educated in the public schools of Jefferson County, Alabama. After receiving a bachelor of science degree at Tennessee State University in Nashville, Tennessee, Justice Cook received his juris doctor degree from Howard University School of Law in Washington, D.C.

  • Tennessee State University, 1964
  • Howard University School of Law, 1967

Notable Work

As a charter member of the West Jefferson Kiwanis Club in Bessemer, he served as its charter president and as a member of the board of directors. He also served as lieutenant governor, Alabama District of Kiwanis International, from 1991 to 1992. He served as president of the Kiwanis Club of Birmingham for 2014-2015. He serves or has served on the board of directors of the Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham, Salvation Army, Alabama Civil Justice Foundation, Bessemer Chamber of Commerce, Bessemer YMCA, Kiwanis Club of Birmingham, St. Vincent’s Foundation, Alabama Power Company, Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, and the Birmingham Business Alliance. He is a member of the Quarterback Club and has served as chairman of the board of trustees, Birmingham Art Museum. He has also served as president of the Magic City Bar Association and The Civic Club Foundation, the organization which owns and provides management for the Harbert Center in downtown Birmingham.


  • Alabama, 1968
  • California, 1973


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  • Two Hare Wynn Attorneys Recognized As 'Lawyers Of The Year' And 11 Listed Overall In 2019 The Best Lawyers In America© Published By Woodward/White, Inc.

    Hare, Wynn, Newell, and Newton, LLP is pleased to ... READ MORE

  • Hare Wynn Attorney Elected Magic City Bar Association President

    Hare Wynn attorney, Former Justice Ralph D. Cook ... READ MORE

  • Judge Ralph Cook Becomes City Attorney for Birmingham

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  • Samples Inducted Into American College of Trial Lawyers

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  • Benchmark Litigation Honors for Hare Wynn

    Eight Hare Wynn attorneys have been recognized as ... READ MORE

  • Ralph Cook Honored by NAACP

    Hare Wynn’s Ralph Cook , former Alabama Supreme ... READ MORE

  • Hare Wynn Attorneys in Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ranking

    Twelve attorneys from Hare, Wynn, Newell & Newton ... READ MORE

  • Hare Wynn's 2011 Super Lawyers

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  • Seven Hare Wynn Lawyers Recognized By Their Peers

    Mike Ermert, Scott Powell, Leon Ashford, John ... READ MORE

  • Cook Honored by Boy Scouts of America

    Ralph Cook, Sr. was recently honored by the ... READ MORE

  • Hare Wynn Lawyer and Former Alabama Supreme Court Justice Ralph Cook Was Honored at His Portrait Unveiling

    Ralph Cook, a partner at Hare, Wynn, Newell & ... READ MORE

  • Hare, Wynn partner Ralph Cook selected to screen federal appointments for the Obama administration

    Hare, Wynn partner Ralph Cook has been selected by ... READ MORE

Awards & Accolades

  • Medical Malpractice Trial Lawyers – Top 25
  • ABA
  • American Board of Trial Advocates
  • AV Preeminent
  • American Society of Legal Advocates
  • The Best Lawyers in America
  • Best Lawyers 2019 - Lawyer of the Year
  • Best Lawyers 2018
  • Americas Top 100 Attorneys
  • American Association for Justice
  • American College of Trial Lawyers
  • Multi-Million Advocates
  • American Judicature Society
  • US News Best Law Firms 2019
  • Arkansas Trial Lawyers Association
  • Benchmark Litigation
  • Alabama Association for Justice
  • International Academy of Trial Lawyers
  • International Society of Barristers
  • Kentucky Justice Association
  • Lawdragon 2017
  • National Academy of Personal Injury Attorneys
  • National Law Journal Top 100 Verdicts
  • National Trial Lawyers
  • Top 40 Under 40
  • NBLSC Board Certified Lawyers
  • Phoenix Club of Birmingham
  • Plaintiffs Steering Committee
  • SuperLawyers
  • Super Lawyers Rising Star
  • Tennessee Trial Lawyers
  • Top Ranked USA Chambers
  • Arkansas Magazine - Very Best Award
  • National Featured Verdict
  • Best Lawyers Lawyer of the Year 2019
  • Top Rated Lawyers

Our Results

  • $2,860,000,000 Securities Fraud

    Hare Wynn obtains a $2.86 billion judgment in compensatory damages against Richard M. Scrushy, the largest judgment against an individual in history in any American jurisdiction....More

  • $750,000,000 GMO Rice Contamination

    Hare Wynn represents more than 2,500 rice farmers in a historic $750 million settlement against Bayer Cropscience....More

  • $422,000,000 Whistleblower

    Hare Wynn attorneys Scott Powell and Don McKenna represent one of four whistleblowers who brought False Claims Act suits against Novartis Pharmaceuticals for off-label marketing of Trileptal and paying illegal kickbacks to doctors in ass...More

  • $410,000,000 Qui Tam

    U.S. ex rel. Johnson v. Shell, resulting in the company’s agreement to pay $410 million to resolve claims that it underpaid royalties due for oil produced on federal leases...More

  • $310,000,000 Corporate Fraud

    In 2016, a team of Hare Wynn lawyers, including Scott Powell, John Haley, Bruce McKee, Ralph Cook, Brian Vines, and Tempe Smith secured a $310 million dollar settlement on behalf of a nationwide class of investors who had been defrauded...More

  • $218,000,000 Syngenta GMO Corn

    Scott Powell and three long-time colleagues are responsible for securing a $217.7 million dollar verdict on behalf of a class of more than 7,000 Kansas farmers. This was the first of a number of trials against Syngent....More

  • $133,000,000 Securities Fraud

    This was a shareholder derivative suit on behalf of HealthSouth Corporation. It alleged that UBS Securities knew about Richard Scrushy’s accounting frauds at HealthSouth, yet helped Scrushy to continue to make acquisitions and to c...More

  • $40,250,000 Wrongful Death

    Hare Wynn has obtained a $40.25 million jury verdict in Jefferson County, Alabama, in a case involving the death of Derric Rush, a Hoover resident killed on his way home from Wednesday night service at the church where he worked....More

  • $40,000,000 Whistleblower

    Healthways Inc. will pay $40 million to end a lawsuit alleging the company’s Diabetes Treatment Center of America received kickbacks for paying doctors to send their patients to hospitals that are the unit’s clients....More

  • $37,500,000 Death of a Police Officer

    Hare Wynn lawyers, Matt Minner and Jamie Moncus, obtained a large punitive damages verdict from a Madison County jury in a case involving the death of a Huntsville Police Officer. The family of slain Officer, Daniel Golden, bro...More

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