2010 – Frederick H. Cohen

Fred CohenFredrick Cohen was a recognized expert in litigating a variety of commercial and business disputes. In his distinguished career, he amassed a string of courtroom victories, including obtaining the largest jury verdict in the history of the False Claims Act. But Fred was much more than just a skilled litigator. He was a dedicated advocate who took on challenging, unpopular cases on behalf of low-income children and families.

Before he passed away in May, 2010 at the age of 45 after a lengthy battle with cancer, Fred contributed an astounding amount to helping those less fortunate and set a tremendous example for others. Of all of his legal successes, Fred was most proud of his pro bono work and the tremendous impact it had on the underrepresented in our society. Most notably, Fred served as lead trial counsel in a class action lawsuit on behalf of 600,000 children eligible for Medicaid, resulting in a landmark decision vindicating the rights of children to health care. Beyond his direct pro bono service, Fred contributed to public interest law in many other ways as well, highlighted by his service on the board of the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law, where he ultimately became Chair of the board.

Like Edward J. Lewis II, Fred’s remarkable spirit will live on in many ways: through his family, friends and colleagues; through the countless lawyers, law students and others who he inspired to pro bono and public service and will continue to inspire; and through the many thousands of children and other underrepresented individuals whose lives he improved through his service. As Fred’s colleagues at Goldberg Kohn stated, “Fred has always shown tremendous courage and integrity in everything he has done. It was our privilege and honor to know him. We will miss him forever, but we are very fortunate that he has been an important part of our lives.”