Gabriel L. Cohan
Gabriel Cohan is an attorney licensed to practice law in the State of California. Gabriel is admitted to practice before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, the Southern District of California, the Central District of California and the District of Colorado.
Gabriel practices law with Todd Burns in their partnership, Burns & Cohan, and also works for his father’s firm, William A. Cohan, P.C. Gabriel practices primarily federal complex white collar civil and criminal litigation. Over the past several years, civil rights work has constituted a significant part of Gabriel’s practice. In September 2013, Gabriel and his partner, Todd, represented Plaintiff Troy J. Dugan at trial in Dugan v. Nance, et al.,Case No. CV11-8145 CAS (SHx)(C.D. California) against individual deputies of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and obtained a $1 million verdict for Mr. Dugan for claims of false arrest, excessive force and malicious prosecution.
In 2002, Gabriel received a bachelor of arts degree from the University of California at Santa Barbara in economics and business. He also studied statistics and economic modeling in the visiting students program at Columbia University Columbia College.
Gabriel graduated from the California Western School of Law (“CWSL”) in 2008, cum laude (i.e., top 10% of the class). While attending CWSL part-time, he worked full-time as a contract trial presentation tech, paralegal, investigator, and law clerk for Federal Defenders of San Diego, Inc. (“FDSDI”).
In or about June of 2006, Gabriel was hired as a contractor by FDSDI to assist Mr. Burns, who was then a trial attorney and Trial Team Supervisor, to manage and review voluminous electronic discovery (millions of pages) in U.S. v. Saathoff, et al., Case No. 06-cr-0043 (CASD) on behalf of Mr. Burns’ client Cathy Lexin. Gabriel’s work on Ms. Lexin’s case led to other projects for FDSDI and eventually to a full-time position there as a trial attorney.
Before Gabriel began law school at CWSL, he was appointed under the Criminal Justice Act (“CJA”) by the Honorable Susan Oki Mollway in the United States District Court for the District of Hawaii as an expert paralegal to assist newly appointed CJA counsel Lynn Panagakos. Ms. Panagakos replaced his father, William A. Cohan, as counsel for lead defendant Royal LaMarr Hardy in U.S. v. Hardy, et al., Case No. 02-cr-0133 (HID). Mr. Hardy was indicted for multiple conspiracies to defraud the IRS for a complex and sophisticated scheme to assist others in evading their taxes as well as his and his wife’s personal income taxes and willful failure to file his own income tax returns. Gabriel reviewed, organized and indexed the voluminous discovery (hundreds of thousands of pages) in the Hardy case prior to William’s withdrawal and Ms. Panagakos’ appointment to represent Mr. Hardy. The Hardy case was Gabriel’s first experience doing criminal defense work on a complex multi-defendant federal criminal case under the CJA, which opened the door for the work he later did for Federal Defenders. Before Gabriel was appointed under the CJA to assist Ms. Panagakos, he worked for his father’s law firm for a few years as a legal assistant and paralegal on the Hardy case and other matters, including two civil rights cases: (1) Andersen, et al. v. U.S., Case No. 01-cv-8427-CAS (CACD) with reported decision at 298 F.3d 804 (9th Cir. 2002), and (2) Allen, et al. v. Damm, et al., Case No. 03-cv-1358-DAE-GWF (NVD).
In 2008, immediately after Gabriel graduated law school, he was hired full-time as a trial attorney for FDSDI, where he worked until May 2011. As an attorney for FDSDI, Gabriel handled dozens of felony cases as co-counsel, second chair and lead counsel. He primarily worked on complex cases, involving voluminous discovery, as second chair or co-counsel, but was also lead counsel on numerous illegal re-entry, border bust and probation violation cases. Because of Gabriel’s information technology skills, and his familiarity with legal database and trial presentation software programs, he assisted senior attorneys, supervisory attorneys, the chief trial attorney, the chief appellate attorney, and the executive director at FDSDI with complex cases. Since FDSDI is a training office for young attorneys and Gabriel was hired as a trial attorney, he was also assigned less complicated cases as lead counsel to round out his caseload and further his development as a lawyer.
Gabriel left FDSDI in May 2011 to help his father William with his law practice (William A. Cohan, P.C.) and also because his mentor and supervisor, Todd Burns, was leaving FDSDI and asked Gabriel to join him as his law partner.
In or about February 2011, Gabriel was asked to assist the defense team in the highly publicized and politically charged U.S. v. Jared Lee Loughner, Case No. 11-cr-0187-LAB-TUC (AZD) after Gabriel had given notice that he was leaving FDSDI for private practice later that year. Mr. Loughner was charged with murder and attempted murder in connection with the shooting incident in Tucson, Arizona, on January 8, 2011, in which he shot and severely injured U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords, his target, and killed six people, including Chief U.S. District Court Judge John Roll as well as other bystanders. Mr. Loughner shot and injured twelve other people. Mr. Loughner was potentially facing the death penalty. He was represented by Judy Clarke, Reuben Cahn (the executive director of FDSDI), and Mark Fleming, along with several other senior attorneys from FDSDI. Gabriel’s primary responsibility was to review, organize and summarize all discovery produced by the government (tens of thousands of pages), including the state law enforcement agencies working on the case, as well as electronic discovery imaged from Mr. Loughner’s computers. Gabriel also consulted on the technical aspects of the defense team storage and use of highly sensitive evidence and other defense work product, and accessing it online in the cloud. Gabriel was awarded a contract as a mitigation investigator to continue assisting the Loughner defense team after he left FDSDI for private practice. Gabriel worked on the case for approximately twenty months until it was resolved by Mr. Loughner’s guilty plea disposition and he was sentenced to life in prison.