‘Never Any Doubt’ About Cooper’s Choice of Career 9/1/17 09/12/17 11:36:10 AM
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Attorneys Steven Hogan and Patrick S. Cooper both work at Fraser Stryker PC LLO. Hogan offers high praise regarding Cooper: “He’s the best we’ve got.
Meet the OBA
‘Never Any Doubt’ About Cooper’s Choice of Career
By Dennis Friend
The Daily Record
In Patrick S. Cooper’s mind, there never was a question as to whether or not he was going to be a lawyer. The 40-year-old attorney said he knew, even while he was growing up in Bartlesville, Okla., he was going to practice law.
“As far back as I can remember, I wanted to be a lawyer,” Cooper said. His father was an attorney for Phillips Petroleum Co., though he did a different kind of law, focusing on such areas as pipeline and environmental law.
He remembered in particular a youth court program offered when he was in the eighth grade.
“The eighth- through twelfth-graders could participate in the juvenile court system and take on roles like bailiff, prosecutor, defense attorney, judge…. I participated for five years and tried just about every role they had.”
In fact, Cooper’s laser-like focus on entering the legal field prompted his relocation to Omaha.
“I moved here in 1995 to go to Creighton University. I didn’t know much about Creighton at the time,” he admitted, but his research had convinced him to enroll.
“I liked the Jesuit influence,” he said, and he fell in love with Omaha. Cooper graduated with a B.A. in 1999, then went after his J.D., graduating magna cum laude from Creighton in 2002.
“My time at the Creighton law school was a terrific experience. I was pleased with the faculty. They create an atmosphere [conducive to learning], they take a personal interest in you and they are student-friendly.”
A key moment for his legal career came in 2002 when he went to work as a law clerk for the Hon. Lyle E. Strom, Senior United States District judge for the District of Nebraska.
“He took us to an Omaha Bar Association meeting and encouraged us to participate,” Cooper recalled. “I enjoyed the opportunity to learn and to socialize with other lawyers.” He in turn now encourages other attorneys to join, citing a myriad of social, educational and mentoring opportunities.
He clerked for Strom until 2004, when he joined the law firm of Fraser Stryker PC LLO.
“I’ve been with Fraser Stryker since I left my clerkship with Judge Strom. I enjoy the people I work with and the firm supports my involvement with the community.” He also remains impressed with how the firm works with new attorneys.
“Fraser Stryker lets young lawyers get good experience early on,” he said, recalling that he was able to take many depositions, gain trial experience, and also argue in front of the Nebraska Supreme Court fairly early in his career.
Now a partner at Fraser Stryker, Cooper said his practice encompasses a range of areas from commercial, federal court and intellectual property litigation to Internet law and class action defense.
The firm’s website describes Cooper as an attorney with “extensive experience in complex civil litigation, primarily as defense counsel in matters that involve commercial litigation issues, intellectual property, insurance coverage issues, products liability and other personal injury disputes, and internet/e-commerce matters. His litigation experience has involved cases in state and federal courts, both in Nebraska and across the country.”
He has handled mediations, arbitrations, jury trials, and bench trials, as well as civil appeals in state and federal court.
Cooper explained that he has “a broad litigation practice,” handling everything from train derailments and construction litigation to slip-and-fall cases and affiliate marketing disputes. “I also really enjoy appellate work.”
He is heavily involved in the OBA, holding the position currently of president-elect and now is in his fifth year as a member of the executive council. He has served as an adjunct faculty member at the Creighton University School of Law, teaching trial practice; is involved on Fraser Stryker’s recruiting committee; and is the current chairman of the Nebraska State Bar Association’s Professional Enhancement Committee.
His family life also is important to him. Cooper recalled meeting his wife, Fran, at Creighton University in 1997. They now have a 10-year-old daughter named Anne and a 12-year-old son named Ben. That means Cooper’s agenda also includes activities unrelated to legal matters, court cases and OBA events.
Cooper said, “I do get the opportunity to get involved,” since both Ben and Anne are on soccer teams. He’s been a youth soccer coach since 2009.
Since Ben also is in Boy Scouts, “I’m pretty involved in that too,” Cooper said. He’s been a Boy Scouts of America Mid-America Council board member since 2013 and received the Chairman’s Award in 2015.
He takes particular pride in his work over the years with high school students, coaching them for mock trial competitions. Initially, he coached Roncalli High School students, and then began coaching mock trial teams at Duchesne Academy of the Sacred Heart years later.
Duchesne’s students became the national champions in 2015 and won two state championships in 2014 and 2015. “We had really talented and motivated students,” Cooper remembered. Last year, Cooper and his law partner Mark Laughlin coached the Creighton Prep mock trial team that won the state championship and competed at the national competition in Hartford, Conn.
Cooper cites the Judge Lyle Strom High School Mock Trial Project as “a terrific program that gives students self-confidence. They learn how to argue persuasively, to think on their feet, to be part of a team. Their growth is fun to watch. I really enjoy coaching them.”
Cooper has been rated AV® Distinguished by Martindale-Hubbell, selected to Super Lawyers (Civil Litigation, Business Litigation, and Intellectual Property Litigation), 2013 – 2016 and selected to Best Lawyers in America (Appellate Practice and Litigation - Insurance), 2016-2017.
Besides the Omaha Bar, his professional affiliations include the American Bar Association, Nebraska State Bar Association, the Defense Research Institute, and the Nebraska Defense Counsel Association.