Thursday, August 21, 2014
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 lkeene@davisenterprise.net 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

    Marsh trial still scheduled to begin Monday

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1

     
    The show must go on: DMTC celebrates 30 years

    By Bev Sykes | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Here’s a guide to Fifth Street etiquette

    By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1

    Puppy love: dating sites match up animal lovers

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

     
    Israeli airstrike kills 3 senior Hamas leaders

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    Aid workers with Ebola out of hospital

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Actors, crew needed for touring eco-play

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

    Onramp crash injures two

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

     
     
    Free electronic waste recycling service offered

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

    NAMI support group meets Sunday

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

     
    Katehi will speak at Chamber’s community luncheon

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Village Feast offers a taste of Yolo County with a hint of Europe

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3 | Gallery

    Sign up soon for Sac City’s fall classes

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Yolo Federal to hold photo contest

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Animal Services issues warning about rabid bats

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Museum sets brick dedication date

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Peregrine School is open for tours, registration

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Fish-friendly river water intake takes shape

    By Dave Ryan | From Page: A4 | Gallery

     
    Qigong class starts in September


    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Meet K9 officer Dexter at Davis Senior Center

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Grandmothers support group meets weekly

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

    Join the fun at the DMTC Gala on Saturday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

     
    Poets will read their original work on Thursday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8

    .

    Forum

    Great game kids, pass the beer

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B5

     
    Frank Bruni: The trouble with tenure

    By New York Times News Service | From Page: A6

    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

     
    Will you help serve Davis’ senior citizens?

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

    Many thanks to Brooks Painting

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

     
    I really miss cal.net, too

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

    Where are the Water Police?

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

     
    .

    Sports

    River Cats clip Redbirds

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

     
    Giants cruise past Cubs in Chicago

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Aggie coaches nearer starting lineups for Stanford opener

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    A’s lose to split series with Mets

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Scoring machine propels Republic to another win

    By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    49ers’ Dawson still learning to kick in new stadium

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    Wineaux: A sparkling prescription for a new disease

    By Susan Leonardi | From Page: A7

     
    Free classical concerts set at Covell Gardens

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

    ‘La Cage aux Folles’: a refreshing take on a classic

    By Bev Sykes | From Page: A7 | Gallery

     
    .

    Business

    .

    Obituaries

    Dora Mae Clark Anderson

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    .

    Comics

    Comics: Thursday, August 21, 2014

    By Creator | From Page: B6