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The Los Angeles-based Cochran Law Firm is splitting in two. Starting today, its 15-attorney criminal defense division will officially become Imhoff & Associates. The announcement comes just a few months after the Cochran firm launched an advertising campaign in an effort to move away from police brutality cases and put more focus on its personal injury and products liability work. “We are trying to streamline the firm, and we think this is the best way to do it,” said firm spokesman Jake Baloian. In a statement released Wednesday, the firm said it hopes the new structure will “reduce client conflict and maintain client confidences.” Discussions of splitting the firm began shortly after founding partner Johnnie Cochran Jr. died last year, Baloian said. While Cochran may be best known for his role on the O.J. Simpson “Dream Team” and defending Sean “P. Diddy” Combs, his passion was in civil work, Baloian said Wednesday. “He was an amazing civil litigator,” Baloian said, adding that the firm’s civil division will remain under the Cochran name. The Imhoff firm will be headed by managing partner Vincent Imhoff, a former public defender from Chicago who started at the Cochran Law Firm in 1998. “Vince Imhoff kind of defines the vision of the firm,” Baloian said. In the Wednesday statement, Imhoff expressed excitement over his new role. “I will continue to commit myself and Imhoff & Associates attorneys to upholding my personal vision of expert legal service defense strategies and treating criminal defendants with both dignity and respect,” Imhoff said in the statement. Baloian said he doesn’t believe changing the name of the firm’s criminal division will impact the work it brings in. The Imhoff firm hopes to add more associates to its payroll in the near future, he added.

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