First appointed to the bench in 1981, Judge Cohen served in the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court, where he presided over family matters. In 1984 he became a Judge of the Superior Court, Law Division. There he presided over more than 200 criminal jury trials, including several capital cases and many public interest cases. He was designated by the Chief Justice as one of eight judges in the State authorized to review wiretap applications. He was named as an Executive Judge. In 1998 Judge Cohen was assigned to the Chancery Division, General Equity and Probate Part. The Chief Justice designated him as the Presiding Judge there in 2000. Judge Cohen oversaw complex general equity and probate litigation until he retired in 2004. During his tenure as a Judge he also served on both the Supreme Court Committee on Criminal Practice and the Supreme Court Committee on Civil Practice. After retiring, Judge Cohen continued to serve as a Judge on recall and presided over approximately 50 termination of parental rights cases. Following his recall duties, Judge Cohen joined the law firm of Wilentz Goldman & Spitzer, Of Counsel, where from 2006 through 2012 he concentrated on mediation and arbitration as well as consulting on commercial litigation matters. In 2013 Judge Cohen joined the law firm of Parker Ibrahim & Berg, Of Counsel, where he continues to concentrate on mediation and arbitration as well as consulting on commercial litigation and regulatory matters, and training the firm’s litigators.
Before his judicial career, Judge Cohen had served from 1977 to 1981 as the first General Counsel and Director of the Legal Division of the New Jersey Casino Control Commission. From 1970 to 1977 Judge Cohen served as an Assistant Prosecutor and then Chief of the Appellate Section in the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, where he argued many cases, including 28 reported decisions, in the Appellate Division of the Superior Court of New Jersey, the Supreme Court of New Jersey, the United States District Court (NJ), and the Third Circuit Court of Appeals.
Judge Cohen is a member of the American Bar Association (Dispute Resolution Section), the Association of the Federal Bar of New Jersey, the New Jersey State Bar Association (Equity Jurisprudence Committee) and the Essex County Bar Association (Professionalism Committee).
In 2009 Judge Cohen was inducted into the Columbia High School Hall of Fame. In 2011 the Essex County Bar Association presented Judge Cohen with the Samuel S. Saiber Professional Achievement Award. In 2012 Judge Cohen was named to the 2013 edition of Best Lawyers of America in the field of Alternative Dispute Resolution. In 2013 Judge Cohen was accepted as a Charter Member of the National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals, New Jersey Chapter and was also elected to the Fellows of the American Bar Foundation. In 2014 Judge Cohen was appointed as a Mediator of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of New Jersey. From 2014 to the present Judge Cohen has served as President of the Retired Judges Association of New Jersey. He also serves on the New Jersey Supreme Court Committee on Judicial Salaries and Pensions. From 2015 to the present Judge Cohen has served as President of the Maplewood Memorial Library Foundation.
Judge Cohen has lectured at Harvard Law School, Seton Hall Law School, Touro Law School and Rutgers Journalism School. He has authored published articles in the Criminal Justice Quarterly, the Seton Hall Legislative Journal and the New Jersey Family Lawyer.
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