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Jonathan B. Cole
(Shareholder Emeritus)

Jonathan was the founding member of Nemecek & Cole since 1984 and was the managing partner until his retirement in 2022.

Jon pioneered the field of professional liability defense in the State of California. He was known as the “go to” attorney in Los Angeles for defending professionals. His intense and proactive style made him a feared adversary. His clients included some of the most prestigious and established law firms, attorneys, insurance companies and businesses in Los Angeles County and the state of California. During his tenure in practice, he handled more than 50 appeals and writs in California. In 2005, he argued before the United States Supreme Court on behalf of his longtime former client, the late Johnnie Cochran, in a high profile First Amendment rights case.

During his tenure at Nemecek & Cole he transformed it from a two attorney boutique to the preeminent professional liability defense firm which consistently received awards as being one of the best law firms in the City of Los Angeles.

With such an illustrious career, Jonathan now focuses on enjoying time with his wife Barbara, his two sons and daughter, and his 7 grandchildren.

Certified Specialist, Legal Malpractice Law,The State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization

Practice Areas

  • Professional Liability Defense
  • Business and Commercial Litigation
  • Real Estate Litigation
  • Partnership Dissolutions


B.A., Philosophy, University of Colorado, 1973
J.D., Lewis & Clark Law School, 1976 with honors

Charitable Involvement

Jon Cole established the Doug Newell Scholarship fund in honor of his law school contracts professor/mentor.

Professional Activities

Southern California Defense Counsel, San Fernando Valley Bar Association, Los Angeles County Bar Association, Beverly Hills Bar Association, Professional Liability Underwriters Society, American Bar Association, Defense Research Institute, Board of Visitors-Lewis & Clark Law School.


California State Bar, United States District Court for the Central, Eastern, Northern and Southern Districts of California, United States District Court - Colorado, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, United States Supreme Court.


Named by his peers as one of Southern California's Super Lawyers, 2006 - 2016; San Fernando Valley Journal “Top 25 Lawyers in the San Fernando Valley,” 2007; Los Angeles Magazine “Top 100 Attorneys in Southern California,” February 2011, 2012 and 2016; Martindale-Hubbell AV rating.

Personal Background

Jon is married with three children. He is an avid water ski racer and mountain biker. Jon is a seven time National Water Ski Racing champion; 1996 Catalina Water Ski Race record holder for men over 45; Australia Bridge to Bridge water ski race record holder for men over 50.

Notable Cases / Published Decisions

  • Austin v. Medicis (2018) 21 Cal.App.5th 577
  • Machavia v. County of Los Angeles (2017) 19 Cal.App.5th 1050
  • Foxen v. Carpenter (2016) 6 Cal.App.5th 284
  • Younessi v. Woolf (2016) 244 Cal.App.4th 1137
  • Moua v. Pittullo, Howington, Barker, Abernathy, LLP (2014) 228 Cal.App.4th 107
  • Namikas v. Miller (2014) 225 Cal.App.4th 1574
  • Barsegian v. Kessler & Kessler (2013) 215 Cal.App.4th 446
  • People ex. rel. v. Anapol (2012) 211 Cal.App.4th 809
  • Cole v. Meyer & Associates, Inc. (2012) 206 Cal.App.4th 1095
  • M & M Foods, Inc. v. Pacific American Fish Co., Inc. (2011) 196 Cal.App.4th 554
  • Glaser, Weil, Fink, Jacobs & Shapiro, LLP v. Goff (2011) 194 Cal.App.4th 423
  • California Retail Portfolio Fund v. Hopkins Real Estate Group (2011) 193 Cal.App.4th 849
  • Silver v Pacific American Fish Co., Inc. (2010) 190 Cal.App.4th 688
  • Jocer v. Price (2010) 183 Cal.App.4th 559
  • Freedman v. Brutzkus (2010) 182 Cal.App.4th 1065
  • Drum v. San Fernando Bar Ass'n (2010) 182 Cal.App.4th 247
  • Martorana v. Marlin & Saltzman (2009) 175 Cal.App.4th 685
  • Chang v. Lederman (2009) 172 Cal.App.4th 67
  • Alshafie v. Lallande (2009) 171 Cal.App.4th 421
  • Plumley v. Mockett (2008) 164 Cal.App.4th 1031
  • Lincoln Place Tenants Ass'n v. City of Los Angeles (2007) 155 Cal.App.4th 425
  • Marlin v. Aimco Venezia, LLC (2007) 154 Cal.App.4th 154
  • Lazy Acres Market, Inc. v. Tseng (2007) 152 Cal.App.4th 1431
  • Prokop v. City of Los Angeles (2007) 150 Cal.App.4th 1332
  • Lincoln Place Tenants Ass'n v. City of Los Angeles (2005) 130 Cal.App.4th 1491
  • Tory v. Cochran (2005) 544 U.S. 734
  • Katzir's Floor and Home Design, Inc. v. (9th Cir. 2004) 394 F.3d 1143
  • Leasequip, Inc. v. Dapeer (2002) 103 Cal.App.4th 394
  • Watts v. Farmers Insurance Exchange (2002) 98 Cal.App.4th 1246
  • Green v. Ralee Engineering Company (1998) 19 Cal.4th 66
  • LeBourgeois v. Fireplace Manufacturers, Inc. (1998) 68 Cal.App.4th 1049
  • Reagen's Vacuum Truck Service, Inc. v. Beaver Ins. Co. (1994) 31 Cal.App.4th 375
  • Kane v. Hurley (1994) 30 Cal.App.4th 859
  • Howard v. Superior Court (1992) 2 Cal.App.4th 745
  • Continental Cas. Co. v. Robsac Industries (9th Cir. 1991) 947 F.2d 1367
  • Waxman v. Boren, Elperin, Howard & Sloan (1990) 221 Cal.App.3d 519
  • Mt. Hawley Ins. Co. v. Federal Sav. & Loan Ins. Corp. (1987) 695 F.Supp. 469
  • Naftel v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue (1985) 85 T.C. No. 30
  • Allen v. Crocker National Bank (9th Cir. 1984) 733 F.2d 642
  • McIntosh v. Bowman (1984) 151 Cal.App.3d 357
  • Cal-Am Corporation v. Spence (10th Cir. 1981) 659 F.2d 1034

Publications / Speaking Engagements

  • “Recent Decisions Limit Declaratory Relief Actions in Federal Courts” by Jonathan B. Cole and David B. Owen, Los Angeles Lawyer, December 1996 (Rulings of Ninth Circuit reject most insurance-related filings)
  • “Three's a Crowd” by Jonathan B. Cole and David B. Owen, California Law Business, September 20, 1999 (In California, no bright-line rule can be articulated when third parties assert that an attorney has a duty of care to them. It is imperative that potential third parties be advised to seek independent counsel)
  • “Fine Line” by Jonathan B. Cole and Jon D. Robinson, California Law Business, October 18, 1999 (Courts have recognized a tension between the ethical duty of zealous representation and the obligation to pursue lawsuits only where probable cause exists)
  • “Human Error” by Jonathan B. Cole and Karen K. Coffin, California Law Business, November 15, 1999 (There are remedies for the sender when confidential information is accidentally disclosed to the opposing party)
  • “Risk Avoidance” by Jonathan B. Cole and David B. Owen, California Law Business, December 20, 1999 (Clear and concise retainer agreements can head off malpractice suits filed in response to an attorney's attempt to collect fees)
  • “Promises, Promises” by Jonathan B. Cole and Scott C. Pape, California Law Business, February 22, 2000 (When an attorney's predictions don't turn out as planned, can a disgruntled client sue for fraud?)
  • “Captain of the Ship” by Jonathan B. Cole and Julie A. Covell, California Law Business, March 20, 2000 (An attorney is required to obtain client authority before making a decision which will affect the client's “substantial” rights)
  • “Trailing Tracks” by Jonathan B. Cole and Cassandra Choi Nelson, California Law Business, April 17, 2000 (What or who constitutes “a former client” has expanded in this time of corporate growth and takeovers)
  • “Relief Pitcher” by Jonathan B. Cole and Karen K. Coffin, California Law Business, August 21, 2000 (What percentage of recovery does the contingent-fee attorney receive if he or she is dismissed from a case?)
  • “Tricky Trail” by Jonathan B. Cole and David B. Owen, California Law Business, September 18, 2000 (The termination of representation involves the adherence to a number of intricate ethical rules)
  • “Slamming the Door on Malpractice Claims in Criminal Matters” by Jonathan B. Cole, David B. Owen and Michael R. Newhouse, Los Angeles Lawyer, February 2002 (Plaintiffs must first obtain post conviction relief to maintain a lawsuit)
  • “Mediation Masters” seminar by Jonathan B. Cole for Lawyers’ Mutual Insurance Company, February 13, 2009.
  • “How to Avoid Malpractice Claims” seminar by Jonathan B. Cole for Ventura County Barristers, July 22, 2009.
  • “The Closer” seminar by Jonathan B. Cole for Lawyers’ Mutual Insurance Company/Nabrico, October 16, 2009.
  • “Ethical and Legal Malpractice Issues for the Entertainment Attorney - Avoiding Pitfalls” seminar by Jonathan B. Cole for Beverly Hills Bar Association, January 16, 2013.
  • “Avoiding Legal Malpractice Claim” seminar by Jonathan B. Cole for San Fernando Valley Bar Association, July 10, 2013.
  • “Settle and Sue Legal Malpractice Claims” seminar by Jonathan B. Cole for Association of Southern California Defense Counsel, December 16, 2014.
  • “Collecting Fees” seminar by Jonathan B. Cole for San Fernando Valley Bar Association, January 17, 2015.
  • “Ethical Issues Relating to Collection of fees for the Entertainment Attorney” seminar by Jonathan B. Cole for Beverly Hills Bar Assoctiation, January 20, 2015.