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Steven M. Cohen

Criminal & Litigation Chair


From New York City originally and now residing and practicing law in Buffalo, New York, Mr. Cohen has been successfully trying civil and criminal cases, including numerous civil rights and constitutional law cases, for over 25 years. In addition to corporate clients and individual litigation clients, he regularly represents local, state and federal law enforcement officers from numerous agencies, defending them in civil, criminal and administrative proceedings.

Admitted to practice in the States of New York and Pennsylvania, he has been admitted pro hac vice to conduct trials in many other states. Mr. Cohen is frequently brought in as special trial counsel by other law firms in civil rights and complex litigation cases. Steven M. Cohen has appeared on local and national media, including Good Morning America, Dateline NBC, 24 Hours, CNN, Dr. Drew and Geraldo Rivera to discuss cases he has been involved with.  His cases have been featured in the Buffalo Law Journal, New York Law Journal, National Law Journal, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and Associated Press outlets.  Mr. Cohen is a co-founder of the Law Enforcement Officers Advocate's Council (LEOAC) and lives in Williamsville, New York with his wife Pamela.


Honors & Awards

Strathmore's Who's Who

Presidential Who's Who

Who's Who in Law - Buffalo Business First

New York State Super Lawyers - Upstate Edition, Business

Litigation, Criminal Defense and Civil Rights/First Amendment

Professional & Community Activities

American Bar Association, Member

American Association for Justice, Member

Bar Association of Erie County, Member

Law Enforcement Advocate's Council (LEOAC), Associate Counsel

New York State Bar Association - Committee on Codification of New York Trial Evidence, Member

New York State Trial Lawyers Association, Member

Western New York Trial Lawyers Association, Member

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Social Media

Blog Posts

Noteworthy Cases

Noteworthy Cases

In the Matter of Amanda Wienckowski - Reversing a determination of accidental death by the Erie County Medical Examiner.

USA v. Robert Rhodes - Successfully defended Customs and Border Protection Officer Robert Rhodes against charges brought by a Chinese National that he violated her civil rights while stationed at the Rainbow Bridge in July of 2004. This case attracted international attention.

Robert Rhodes v. Dept. of Homeland Security - Successfully represented CBP Officer Robert Rhodes against the US Dept. of Homeland Security in an arbitration that resulted in Rhodes getting his job back with full retroactive benefits.

Mark Zito v. Niagara Power Coalition - Successfully represented Mark Zito against the Niagara Power Coalition for his commission in obtaining a $1.2 Billion power deal.

Lynn DeJac v. State of New York - Following Ms. DeJac's release after spending more than 13 years in prison for a crime she did not commit, Mr. Cohen represented her against the State of New York, County of Erie and City of Buffalo for wrongful imprisonment and prosecutorial misconduct.

City of Buffalo Police Dept. v. Detective Dennis Delano - Represented Detective Delano in his arbitration in which the City of Buffalo is seeking his termination from the Police Department following his utilization of the media to help bring light to the Girard murder case that was being covered up by authorities to protect the reputation of political figures.

People v. Francis Harrington - Represented Francis Harrington in a criminal case that held that the jurisdiction of the Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority Police was limited off BMHA property. This case was instrumental in the ultimate dissolution of the BMHA Police Force on the grounds that it was not a lawful police department, but a limited peace officer force, and they had been grossly exceeding their lawful authority for years.

Rust v. Turgeon/Dissolution of Roycroft Campus - Represented one of the two owners of the Roycroft Arts and Crafts Campus based in East Aurora, New York in the dissolution and division of assets of this nationally renowned institution. The dissolution included both tangible and intellectual property.  

Erie County/Aurora Highway Dept. Scandal - Represented Patrick Kennedy, foreman of the Aurora Barn, in the Highway Department scandal that resulted in the acquittal and exoneration of Mr. Kennedy and the conviction and termination of his accusers.

In the matter of the murder of Bianca Cartagena - Worked with friends and family of the decedent to get the death certificate changed from "accidental death" to "homicide".  Worked to help secure indictment.


  • New York State
  • Pennsylvania
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of New York
  • U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Western District of New York
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of New York
  • U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals
  • U.S. Tax Court
  • U.S. Court of Federal Claims, Washington D.C.
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
  • U.S. Supreme Court


J.D., 1987, State University of New York at Buffalo Law School

B.A., 1984, State University of New York at Stony Brook

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