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Howard D. Cohen Esq.
10 Bryant Court
Somerset, New Jersey 08873
Mr.Cohen has been practicing law for over 47 years and a Certified Civil Trial Attorney by the New Jersey by the Supreme Court of New Jersey for over 30 years (1985-16). A highly experienced and widely respected trial lawyer, Mr. Cohen focuses his practice on diverse complex litigation in the State and Federal Courts, including corporate, commercial, environmental, intellectual property, real estate, probate, family, land use, public sector and mediation matters. Mr. Cohen is also a Rule 1:40 Superior Court of New Jersey Qualified Mediator.
Mr. Cohen has served as Special Counsel to numerous municipalities and other governmental bodies in complex land use matters, including litigation. He has received statewide recognition for his achievements in precedent setting court decisions in landmark zoning and land use, and family decisions listed in Representative Matters below.
The American Planning Association retained Mr. Cohen to file an amicus curie brief and argue before the Supreme Court of New Jersey in its first re-examination of the Mt.Laurel affordable housing doctrine in 18 years in Toll Brothers v. West Windsor Township, 173 N.J. 502 (2002) and lectured on that subject at the American Planning Association’s Annual Meeting in Chicago.
The National League of Cities, League of California Cities and California State Association of Counties engaged Mr. Cohen to represent them before the United States Supreme Court in a federal religious land use case, International Church of the Foursquare Gospel v. City of San Leandro, United States Supreme Court, Docket No. 11-106.
Mr. Cohen was also appointed as Special Master pursuant to Rule 4:41 by the Superior Court of New Jersey to prepare recommendation and report to the Court in a matter arising out of a jury verdict in a complex case involving violations of the New Jersey Insurance Fraud Prevention Act, N.J.S.A. 17:33-1 and Workers’ Compensation Fraud Act, N.J.S.A. 34:15-57.4
Parker McCay: Shareholder, Co-Chair, Litigation Department and Member of the Executive Committee from 2002 to 2015; partner in Stern and Greenberg and Stern Greenberg and Kilcullen, working with former Federal Judge and United States Attorney Herbert J. Stern from 1991 to 2002; partner in Gutkin, Miller, Shapiro and Selesner from 1978 to 1991; and Sills Beck Cummis Radin and Tischman (now Sills Cummis) where he trained and worked with the late Honorable Arthur J. Sills, former Attorney General of the State of New Jersey. After graduation from law school, Mr. Cohen served as Law Secretary to the late Honorable Leon Gerofsky, the late Honorable John C. Demos, and Honorable Morton I. Greenberg (who later served as a Judge in the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit), all of whom served as Assignment Judges in the Superior Court of New Jersey in Middlesex County from 1974 to 1975.
Professional Presentations and Lectures:
Mr. Cohen lectures on state land use-related matters and federal land use religious matters (federal Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act 42 U.S.C. Sec. 2000cc (RLUIPA)) matters and litigation strategy. He has appeared before the New Jersey State League of Municipalities, American Planning Association, New Jersey Planning Officials, Princeton University, numerous New Jersey Watershed Associations, New Jersey Conservation Association, Association of New Jersey Environmental Commissions, Chapters of the Appraisal Institute, New Jersey Society of Professional Engineers, and numerous other state, county and local governmental bodies. Mr. Cohen was also appointed as Special Master pursuant to Rule 4:41 by the Superior Court of New Jersey to prepare recommendation and report to the Court in a matter arising out of a jury verdict in a complex case involving violations of the New Jersey Insurance Fraud Prevention Act, N.J.S.A. 17:33-1 and Workers’ Compensation Fraud Act, N.J.S.A. 34:15-57.4
F.M. Kirby v. Township Committee of the Township of Bedminster, 341 N.J. Super. 276 (App. Div. 2000) upholding 10 acre Rural Residential Zoning District.
New Jersey Farm Bureau et al and Princeton Research Lands v. Township of East Amwell, 380 N.J. Super. 325 (App. Div. 2005) certif. den. 185 N.J. 596 (2005), upholding Amwell Valley Agricultural Zoning District.
Greenwood et al v. Township of Hopewell, Superior Court of New Jersey, Mercer County, Docket Nos. MER-L-3597-01 and MER-L-3594-01 aff’d Appellate Division A-4910-06T2 (2009) certif. den.494 N.J. 443 (2008) upholding hydrologically-based 6 acre Valley Resource Conservation and 14 acre Mountain Resource Zoning Districts.
Congregation Anshei Roosevelt and Congregation Yeshivas As Me’on Haftorah v. Planning and Zoning Board of the Borough of Roosevelt, United States District Court, District of New Jersey Civ. No. 07-4109 (2008) aff’d United States Court of Appeals, Third Circuit, No. 08-3907 (2002), upholding District Court’s order granting Borough defendants’ motion to dismiss RLUIPA and other claims for lack of ripeness, including failure of plaintiffs to pursue variance relief.
Lackland and Lackland v. Township of Readington, Superior Court of New Jersey, Somerset County, Docket No. SOM-L-344-03 aff’d App. Div. Docket No. A-2190-05/A-2341-05, upholding Township’s 6 acre Agricultural Residential Zoning District.
Peskin v. Peskin 271 N.J. Super. 261 (App. Div. 1994) reversing trial judge’s orders denying defendant’s motion to vacate judgment of divorce and settlement on grounds of undue coercion by trial judge in connection with placing settlement on record, directing that new trial judge be assigned to hear case on remand, and setting standards governing placement of settlements on record.
Professional and Community Honors and Awards:
2012 International Municipal Lawyers Association Amicus Service Award for legal advocacy on behalf of the International Municipal Lawyers Association, National League of Cities, League of California Cities and California State Association of Counties in amicus curiae representation before the United States Supreme Court in International Church of the Foursquare Gospel v. City of San Leandro, United States Supreme Court, Docket No. 11-106.
Annual Listings in Best Lawyers in America. Nationally ranked Commercial Litigation and Land Use
AV Peer Review rated by Martindale-Hubbell
State of Israel Bonds Award for Outstanding Support for State of Israel
President’s Breakfast Award for Distinguished Service to the Jewish Community
George Washington University Law School (J.D. with Honors)
Gettysburg College B.A. cum laude (elected to Phi Beta Kappa and Pi Lambda Sigma academic honorary societies)
Admissions to Practice Law:
United States Supreme Court
United States District Court for District of New Jersey
Superior Court, Tax Court and Supreme Court of New Jersey
United States Courts of Appeals for the Third, Tenth and Federal Circuits
Special Admission pro hac vice to other State and Federal Courts
United States Claims Court
New York Supreme Court
Member Supreme Court District XIII Fee Arbitration Committee 2019-23
Certified Civil Trial Attorney by Supreme Court of New Jersey 1985-16
Member Supreme Court District V-B Ethics Committee 1989-93
New Jersey National Guard and United States Army Reserve
Shimon and Sara Birnbaum Jewish Community Center for Somerset Hunterdon and Warren Counties, Board of Directors
President, Temple Sholom, Bridgewater, NJ 1993-95; Vice President 1987-93; Board of Trustees 1984-93.
Jewish Federation of Somerset, Hunterdon and Warren Counties, Board of Trustees 1984-87
United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, NJ Region: Regional Vice President 1996-98