Tuesday, March 31, 2015
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Family-law attorney says he’s good fit for Yolo bench

By
From page A1 | January 24, 2014 |

cohen fredrickW

Fredrick Cohen. Courtesy photo

SACRAMENTO — Fredrick “Rick” Cohen knew from a young age he was destined for a career in the law.

In addition to being the son of a corporate attorney, “I was sort of the natural arguer, the natural advocate for people,” Cohen said of his childhood.

After graduating from UC Davis’ King Hall School of Law in 1989, Cohen worked in civil litigation for seven years before opening his own two-attorney law office that specializes in what he considers his true calling: family law, where he has represented parents, children and even grandparents in the often-complicated arena of divorce and child custody-related matters.

Now, Cohen says he wants to take his expertise to a place he believes it’s sorely needed — the Yolo Superior Court bench. He intends to run for the seat being vacated next January by Judge Stephen L. Mock, who announced his retirement last week.

“We need a family law specialist on the bench to protect children and families,” Cohen, 49, said in an interview Thursday at his Sacramento office. “It’s one of the most, if not the most, difficult areas of the law that there is. It touches everyone.”

Cohen will face off against Yolo Superior Court Commissioner Janene Beronio, 63, who announced her candidacy for the June 3 election earlier this week. She has been endorsed by all 12 of her fellow Yolo bench members.

But Cohen, who quietly began building his campaign in November in anticipation of Mock’s retirement, said he’s amassed a diverse support network of his own, raising more than $100,000 in contributions and receiving endorsements from more than two dozen judges, attorneys and elected officials.

They include Davis City Councilman Brett Lee, who said although his friendship with Cohen is unrelated to the law, “I’ve found him to be a thoughtful and reasonable person, so I expect he would carry that into the legal area, should he be a judge.”

Born and raised in Scarsdale, N.Y., Cohen attended his father’s alma mater, the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, receiving his bachelor’s degree in the school’s college of literature, science and the arts before seeking out a warmer climate for his law studies.

Cohen remains connected to the UCD law school, serving as a volunteer judge/evaluator over the years for its moot court, trial practice and mock trial programs.

As a judge, Cohen said he would give all who appear before him “a fair shake,” something he says he’s accomplished while serving as a temporary judge for small-claims and family law matters in both Sacramento and Placer counties over the past 19 years.

He recalled one case in particular, in which a 16-year-old girl sought a restraining order against her stepfather, whom she had accused of molesting her. Cohen presided over the hearing and, upon being convinced that the molestation had occurred, granted the restraining order.

Afterward, it was the stepfather who stepped forward to thank him, “because it was the first time in two years that he had been heard,” Cohen said. “He may not have agreed with the result, but at least he got his day in court.”

Cohen also said he’s got what it takes to handle the “pure, raw emotion” that often accompanies the parties in family-law matters, while his expertise would allow him to delve into the nuances of each individual case.

“When you have a specialist on the bench, you get that,” Cohen said. “I’m going to win this campaign, because I offer a unique set of skills to the court.”

And while he’d be satisfied specializing in family-law court if elected, Cohen said he also understands the need for judges to rotate among various assignments in order to gain a wide range of experience.

“I would be proud to serve in any assignment the supervising judge wants — but I do have a preference, of course,” he said.

Typically, newly elected or appointed judges are prohibited from handling cases in their area of expertise for at least a couple of years in order to avoid potential conflicts of interest.

Cohen lives in Sacramento’s North Natomas area with his wife Ruth Young, a consumer fraud prosecutor, and their children Sam, 7, and Bonnie, 4.

— Reach Lauren Keene at [email protected] or 530-747-8048. Follow her on Twitter at @laurenkeene

Comments

comments

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

     
    Coroner confirms West Davis deaths were murder-suicide

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Special playground dedication slated

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A1

     
    Bob Dunning: Wrap your head around our MRAP need

    By Bob Dunning | From Page: A2

    Solo crash kills Woodland man, 22

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

     
    Officials say Iran nuke talks will continue in new phase

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    Police: Missing athlete died on freeway

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    French eye cockpit entry rules

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    ‘Old Autos’ at Hattie Weber Museum

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Parent-child open house previews new Waldorf classes

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Summer garden alert!

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    Davis FFA and ag students host plant sale

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A4

     
    Poker tourney benefits DMTC

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Camp Shakespeare begins Saturday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Davis tops list of best schools for the buck

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A4

    Lenten giving project highlights climate justice

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4 | Gallery

     
    DCCNS plans open house April 8

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Parenting class meets Tuesdays

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

    Neighbors invited to adopt Willow Creek Park

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

     
    Yolo animal shelter seeks donations

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A5Comments are off for this post

    RSVP for Gerber Young Community Leader reception

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

     
    Pence Gallery recruiting volunteers

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

    Move over, Muggles

    By Wayne Tilcock | From Page: A5

     
    Tour de Cluck has selected its coops

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5 | Gallery

    CBH hosts Passover Community Potluck Seder

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

     
    City extends nomination period for Huynh Awards

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

    Meeting examines Northstar Pond priorities

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

     
    Pets of the week

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7 | Gallery

    .

    Forum

    Maybe he loves the outdoors …

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

     
    Why can’t we be friends?

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

    A California comeback for gerrymandering?

    By Tom Elias | From Page: A8

     
    César Chávez’s peaceful civil disobedience forged a great legacy

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

    A conversation about power

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A8

     
    .

    Sports

    A very palpable hit

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
     
    Over the years, The Show has been a reach for Davis

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    UC Davis opens hopeful spring football camp

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

     
    UCD roundup: Sleiffer seals Aggie tennis victory over Montana

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

    Grizzlies beat Kings to end three-game skid

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B10 | Gallery

     
    Snubbed Temple, returning Stanford highlight NIT semis

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    30 years of dance in Davis with Pamela Trokanski

    By Chloe Lessard | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Mischief to play at Picnic in the Park

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9 | Gallery

    Yolo Mambo will play at winery

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

     
    Thursday Live! plans a blues party

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

    Jane Lynch performance rescheduled to August

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A9 | Gallery

     
    Hear some April Fool’s night jazz

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

     
    Dance the night away at house party

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

    ‘A Year with Frog and Toad’ a delightful family show

    By Bev Sykes | From Page: A9 | Gallery

     
    .

    Business

    .

    Obituaries

    .

    Comics

    Comics: Tuesday, March 31, 2015 (set 1)

    By Creator | From Page: B5

     
    Comics: Tuesday, March 31, 2015 (set 2)

    By Creator | From Page: B7