From New York City originally and now residing and practicing law in Buffalo, New York, Mr. Cohen has successfully tried civil and criminal cases for over 30 years. In addition to corporate 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 often brought in as special trial counsel by other law firms in civil rights and complex litigation cases. Steven M. Cohen has appeared, and his cases are featured on local and national media, including Good Morning America, Dateline NBC, 24 Hours, CNN, Dr. Drew, Neil Cavuto, and Geraldo Rivera. In addition, his cases have been featured in the New York Law Journal, National Law Journal, Buffalo 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 and Awards

  • Strathmore’s Who’s Who
  • Presidential Who’s Who
  • Legal Elite of WNY – Buffalo Business First
  • New York State Super Lawyers – Upstate Edition, 2009-2022 Criminal Defense, Civil Rights, Litigation
  • The Best Lawyers in America, Criminal Defense
  • 2023 AV- Preeminent Rating – Judicial Edition


  • 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

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 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 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, the County of Erie, and the 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 to 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.” Then worked to help secure an indictment.

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