Michael Cockson, FaegreBD partner, was recently named a 2018 honoree for the Hennepin County Bar Association’s (HCBA) Excellence Awards.
The awards honor individuals for outstanding contributions to the legal profession, the HCBA and the community. Cockson has been named an Excellence Award recipient for providing pro bono service.
He has been a champion for over a thousand, low-income rental housing tenants in Minneapolis, who were defrauded by landlord moguls Stephen Frenz and Spiros Zorbalas. Affected residents dealt with poor living conditions, while both Frenz and Zorbalas set up an illegal business operation, which secretly funneled the majority of collected rent money back to Zorbalas, even after he was prohibited from having a financial and ownership interest in Minneapolis rental properties. Furthermore, Cockson provided pro bono representation to affected tenants of Rickey Misco—a Minneapolis landlord, who was also collecting rent illegally.
Cockson and a team of FaegreBD pro bono attorneys were able to expose the illegal operations and worked extensively to secure rent abatement and better living conditions for affected tenants.
“I am honored and humbled by the HCBA’s recognition,” said Cockson. “I feel privileged to be able to assist individuals in-need and to be able to make a positive difference on a systemic level. Providing pro bono service is a priority in my career and I look to continue this work with the outstanding team we have at Faegre Baker Daniels.”
The HCBA Excellence Awards will be presented at the organization’s annual meeting on May 31.