Stanley L. Cohen, ‘83 to Speak on Attorney Ethics

White Plains, NY–   On January 22, 2003 Stanley L. Cohen, a 1983 graduate of Pace Law School, will lead the 12th Annual Philip B. Blank Memorial Lecture on Attorney Ethics.  His lecture entitled Deconstructing Ethical Considerations 2-26, 2-27, 2-28, and 2-29: A textual and historical analysis will focus on how legal ethics provide attorneys with the requisite foundation for ensuring effective advocacy for all, regardless of one’s own political or moral views. It will also stress the importance of an attorney holding fast to the ethical underpinnings of his or her profession, especially during trying times of heightened fears and concerns for internal security. The lecture will be held at Pace Law School in White Plains, NY in the Robert B. Fleming Moot Court Room at 4:00p.m., with a reception immediately following.

After graduation from Pace, Stanley L. Cohen went to work for the Criminal Defense Division of the Legal Aid Society in New York City working as a staff attorney for approximately six years handling thousands of felony matters including homicides and other serious offenses. After leaving Legal Aid, he went into private practice as a sole practitioner initially specializing in criminal defense, handling trial and appellate work in various state and federal courts throughout the United States. As a result of his extensive experience in criminal defense and pro bono death penalty work in Alabama, Mr. Cohen was among the first group of certified capital defenders in New York when it re-instituted the death penalty. Over the years Mr. Cohen has expanded his practice to include extensive work in the area of civil rights and political defense working closely with Native American and Muslim communities throughout North America and overseas.

For more than a decade, Mr. Cohen has served as counsel for the Warrior Society of the Mohawk Nation in Northern New York and Canada, a traditional Indian movement which has been in the forefront of the struggle for indigenous self determination, self defense and sovereignty. Since the mid-nineties he has served as an advisor and counsel to numerous mosques and Islamic organizations throughout the United States and elsewhere and has frequently traveled to the Middle East and the Persian Gulf.  He is widely known as an outspoken advocate for the rights of Palestinians in their efforts to reclaim their State and has long been identified as one of the most ardent critics of United States policy towards Muslims at home and abroad.

Among other cases, Mr. Cohen is known for his successful defense of Mousa Abu Marzook, the head of the Political wing of Hamas, whose extradition from the United States was sought by Israel in 1995.  Over the years he has represented scores of other Muslim and Palestinian activists and imams throughout the United States and elsewhere including a number of grand jury resisters, and other targets of federal investigations. Since 9-11 he has represented numerous Muslims, largely Arabs and Southeast Asians, swept up by federal investigations throughout the country. Mr. Cohen has also represented alleged members of the IRA and Shining Path, and activists from numerous movements for social and political change including the American Indian Movement, anti-war resisters, anarchists, squatters, and activist priests. On other occasions he has represented journalists, artists and attorneys who have been singled out for prosecution on the basis of their beliefs and speech.

Currently, Mr. Cohen is in the final stages of a four month pro bono defense of a young Palestinian charged with the first prosecution under New York’s hate crime statute, is counsel for one of six defendants in Portland, Oregon charged with providing material assistance to a terrorist organization, is representing on appeal an individual convicted in North Carolina for raising money for Hezbellah and is assisting in Alabama in the criminal defense of Sheikh Jamil Al-Amin, formerly known as Rap Brown, a famed leader of the Black liberation movement in the United States in the 1960’s.

The Annual Philip B. Blank Memorial Lecture on Attorney Ethics was established by the family, friends and colleagues of the late Philip B. Blank, Associate Dean for External Affairs and Professor of Law at Pace University School of Law.  In honor of Dean Blank’s commitment to legal ethics, the Blank Lecture has presented distinguished members of the legal community recognized for their leadership in the area of attorney ethics and practice.

Dean Blank was a member of the Law School’s faculty from 1979 until his death in 1989.  He taught courses in Professional Responsibility, Wills, Estate Planning and Legal Methods. He is remembered as an outstanding teacher of the law and a caring mentor to his students.  A model citizen of Westchester County, Dean Blank served as Chairman of the Zoning Board of Appeals for the Town of Mount Pleasant and held leadership positions in the Westchester County and White Plains Bar Associations.

Founded in 1976, Pace Law School is located in White Plains, N.Y., 20 miles north of New York City. The School offers the J.D. program for full-time, and part-time day and evening students. Its post-graduate program includes the LL.M. and S.J.D. degrees in environmental law and the LL.M. in Comparative Legal Studies. Pace has one of the nation’s top-rated environmental law programs and its clinical education program also is nationally ranked, offering clinics in domestic violence prosecution, securities arbitration, criminal justice, and disability rights.

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