Cohen Defense Group

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Cohen Defense Group

The Largest Team of Criminal Defense Attorneys in Placer County

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This lawyer is licensed to practice in California and has no record of discipline from the California bar association. *

Cohen Defense Group

Cohen Defense Group

check_circle Open for Business
check_circle Offers Video Calls

The Largest Team of Criminal Defense Attorneys in Placer County

check_circle

This lawyer is licensed to practice in California and has no record of discipline from the California bar association. *

Firm Overview

When you are accused of violating criminal law, your freedom and your reputation are on the line. You need an experienced criminal defense attorney with the knowledge and skill to successfully advocate on your behalf. Our criminal defense lawyers use a client-centered approach to provide you with a high-quality, aggressive defense.

We are here to help.

Our criminal law attorneys understand the severe consequences you face when charged with a crime, and we will fight for you.

We serve clients from Roseville, Rocklin, Lincoln, Newcastle, Penryn, Loomis, Auburn, Grass Valley, Nevada City, Yuba City, and Sacramento facing charges in Placer, Sacramento, El Dorado, Nevada, Yuba, and Sutter Counties.

Main Office

Roseville Office
919 Reserve Dr Suite 130
Roseville, CA 95678

Phone

(916) 596-2700

Fax

(530) 889-1711

Fees
Free Initial Consultation?

Yes

Office Information
Other Offices
  • Auburn Office

    1515 Lincoln Way
    Auburn, CA 95603

DUI and DWI

A good DUI lawyer can keep you out of jail, help you keep your driver's license, and minimize the consequences of a DUI conviction.

When you hire the Cohen Defense Group you get access to a team of DUI lawyers:
David Cohen, our founding partner with 25 years of experience in DUI defense, is a member of the California DUI Lawyers and the National College for DUI Defense, both of which provide ongoing, specialized training in DUI defense. Mr. Cohen individually trains every DUI defense attorney in the firm on the science of beating DUIs, ensuring that you get the most thorough and aggressive defense possible. Our DUI attorneys stay on the cutting edge of the law by regularly attending intensive, multi-day training in areas like scientific evidence and cross-examining law enforcement so that they are ready to fully litigate your case and get you the best result.
Our DUI attorneys are well-versed in DUI defenses, such as:
-the police had no reason to stop you
-you were not driving
-your blood alcohol content was not above the legal limit when you drove
-the test results were inaccurate, and more
Our DUI lawyers are proficient at defending your right to drive at DMV hearings and will do everything they can to help you keep your driver's license.

Cohen Defense Group
David Cohen

At Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco, David Cohen planned to be a corporate lawyer. Then he participated in a criminal defense clinic and everything changed. Helping real people with their lives on the line was infinitely more compelling to David than working on corporate contracts. "As soon as I recognized that, I knew this was what I was destined to do. People facing criminal charges need help. They can't fight the government on their own. They need a skilled, aggressive advocate to protect them."

David began his career in 1995 at the Law Offices of Mark A. Berg in Auburn. When Mark Berg retired in 2016 David and his wife, Alison, took over the practice, building the Cohen Defense Group into the largest private criminal defense team in Placer County. David supervises eight lawyers, some with decades of experience, and some fresh out of California's top law schools. David's goal of marshalling the best legal talents in California to create a five-star criminal defense team has come to fruition in the Cohen Defense Group, and he couldn't be prouder.

David has handled thousands of cases from misdemeanors to murders, but much of his focus has been on fighting DUI charges, both in court and at DMV hearings. David is a member of California Attorneys for Criminal Justice, California DUI Lawyers, and the National College for DUI Defense. Through these organizations, he gets ongoing training that keeps him on the cutting edge of developments in litigating the science of DUI cases. David makes it a priority to pass that training on to our defense team, making the Cohen Defense Group the go-to firm for DUI defense.

Certified by the California State Bar as a Specialist in Criminal Defense, David is a brilliant advocate for his clients. He recognizes that his client has everything to lose: their job, their driving privilege, their citizenship, or their freedom. In every case he handles, David looks at the big picture and develops a legal strategy that will put the client in the best possible position going forward. According to colleague Barry Zimmerman, "David is a creative thinker. He surprises me with his innovative strategies to solve complex problems. He is attentive, client-oriented and scrutinizes every detail." In a nod to Placer County's history, David sees himself as a gold miner, always seeking that one nugget in a case that can give his client an advantage.

Having worked in the Placer County criminal justice system since 1995, David knows the local judges, prosecutors, and members of law enforcement. He understands their motivations and that gives him a strong edge when negotiating plea bargains and preparing for trial.

David is dedicated to giving back to the Placer County community. He served on the board of the Placer County Bar Association for years, including running the organization as President in 2004. David was a mentoring attorney and judge for the Peer Court program and regularly volunteers to teach a class called "Legal Aspects of DUI." The Cohen Defense Group, under David's leadership, supports the Auburn Interfaith Food Closet, the Sutter Auburn Faith Hospital Foundation, Soroptomist International of the American River, Community Recovery Resources, Legal Services of Northern California, and other local non-profit organizations.

David was born and raised in San Jose, California. He was admitted to the California Bar in 1995. Education: Northwestern University, Evanston IL (B.S. in Speech, 1991); University of California, Hastings College of Law, San Francisco (J.D., 1994). Member: State Bar of California, Placer County Bar Association (member, 1996 to present; Board of Directors, 2001-2005; 2004 President), California Attorneys for Criminal Justice, California DUI Lawyers, National College for DUI Defense.

Cohen Defense Group
David Cohen

At Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco, David Cohen planned to be a corporate lawyer. Then he participated in a criminal defense clinic and everything changed. Helping real people with their lives on the line was infinitely more compelling to David than working on corporate contracts. "As soon as I recognized that, I knew this was what I was destined to do. People facing criminal charges need help. They can't fight the government on their own. They need a skilled, aggressive advocate to protect them."

David began his career in 1995 at the Law Offices of Mark A. Berg in Auburn. When Mark Berg retired in 2016 David and his wife, Alison, took over the practice, building the Cohen Defense Group into the largest private criminal defense team in Placer County. David supervises eight lawyers, some with decades of experience, and some fresh out of California's top law schools. David's goal of marshalling the best legal talents in California to create a five-star criminal defense team has come to fruition in the Cohen Defense Group, and he couldn't be prouder.

David has handled thousands of cases from misdemeanors to murders, but much of his focus has been on fighting DUI charges, both in court and at DMV hearings. David is a member of California Attorneys for Criminal Justice, California DUI Lawyers, and the National College for DUI Defense. Through these organizations, he gets ongoing training that keeps him on the cutting edge of developments in litigating the science of DUI cases. David makes it a priority to pass that training on to our defense team, making the Cohen Defense Group the go-to firm for DUI defense.

Certified by the California State Bar as a Specialist in Criminal Defense, David is a brilliant advocate for his clients. He recognizes that his client has everything to lose: their job, their driving privilege, their citizenship, or their freedom. In every case he handles, David looks at the big picture and develops a legal strategy that will put the client in the best possible position going forward. According to colleague Barry Zimmerman, "David is a creative thinker. He surprises me with his innovative strategies to solve complex problems. He is attentive, client-oriented and scrutinizes every detail." In a nod to Placer County's history, David sees himself as a gold miner, always seeking that one nugget in a case that can give his client an advantage.

Having worked in the Placer County criminal justice system since 1995, David knows the local judges, prosecutors, and members of law enforcement. He understands their motivations and that gives him a strong edge when negotiating plea bargains and preparing for trial.

David is dedicated to giving back to the Placer County community. He served on the board of the Placer County Bar Association for years, including running the organization as President in 2004. David was a mentoring attorney and judge for the Peer Court program and regularly volunteers to teach a class called "Legal Aspects of DUI." The Cohen Defense Group, under David's leadership, supports the Auburn Interfaith Food Closet, the Sutter Auburn Faith Hospital Foundation, Soroptomist International of the American River, Community Recovery Resources, Legal Services of Northern California, and other local non-profit organizations.

David was born and raised in San Jose, California. He was admitted to the California Bar in 1995. Education: Northwestern University, Evanston IL (B.S. in Speech, 1991); University of California, Hastings College of Law, San Francisco (J.D., 1994). Member: State Bar of California, Placer County Bar Association (member, 1996 to present; Board of Directors, 2001-2005; 2004 President), California Attorneys for Criminal Justice, California DUI Lawyers, National College for DUI Defense.

Cohen Defense Group
Barry Zimmerman

The first thing that strikes you about Barry Zimmerman is his demeanor. He's calm, thoughtful, a good listener, and a deep thinker. He does not judge, and he has incredible compassion for people. These qualities have served him well through an illustrious career in criminal defense.

After graduating from law school in 1986, Barry clerked for a federal judge in the Eastern District of California and worked for the Sacramento County Superior Court. He found his passion for criminal defense and opened his practice in 1987. Barry has been defending people charged with crimes in Placer County since 1990. He knows the area and the system. He's handled thousands of cases, tried over 65 of them to verdict, and argued before the California Supreme Court.

Barry is certified by the California State Bar as a Specialist in Criminal Law and has been recognized as a Northern California Super Lawyer. As a senior attorney with the Cohen Defense Group, he handles our most serious cases, including sex crimes and murder.

Barry has a real passion for the law because he sees it as a great equalizer: the rare situation where the individual is on equal footing with the government. "You have the same procedural rights as everyone else. I think it's the last and best part of democracy. You've got your right to trial by jury, due process rights, and constitutional rights. You can really take on and defend against the most powerful entities in the world and prevail." Barry is a champion of the individual, making sure his clients get a brilliant defense and the support they need to move forward after the case is closed.

According to colleague Alison Cohen, "No one works harder than Barry. He fights the government every step of the way to get the best outcome for his clients. He just closed a case where he filed a motion on his client's behalf every single day that trial was pending. That kind of dedication to the work is inspiring. We all learn from Barry every day."

Barry has been an Auburn resident since 1990. He raised his family here and cares deeply about the community. He served multiple years on the board of the Placer County Bar Association and runs an annual golf tournament to raise funds for Legal Services of Northern California, ensuring legal protection for low-income people. When he's not in the courtroom, you may find Barry practicing classical guitar or enjoying the great outdoors of the Eastern Sierra.

Barry was born in Brooklyn, New York. He was admitted to the California Bar in 1987. Education: University of California, Santa Barbara (B.A. 1983); Golden Gate University School of Law, San Francisco (J.D. 1986). Barry has been recognized as a Northern California Super Lawyer. He is a long-standing member of California Attorneys for Criminal Justice and of the Placer County Bar Association.

Cohen Defense Group
Barry Zimmerman

The first thing that strikes you about Barry Zimmerman is his demeanor. He's calm, thoughtful, a good listener, and a deep thinker. He does not judge, and he has incredible compassion for people. These qualities have served him well through an illustrious career in criminal defense.

After graduating from law school in 1986, Barry clerked for a federal judge in the Eastern District of California and worked for the Sacramento County Superior Court. He found his passion for criminal defense and opened his practice in 1987. Barry has been defending people charged with crimes in Placer County since 1990. He knows the area and the system. He's handled thousands of cases, tried over 65 of them to verdict, and argued before the California Supreme Court.

Barry is certified by the California State Bar as a Specialist in Criminal Law and has been recognized as a Northern California Super Lawyer. As a senior attorney with the Cohen Defense Group, he handles our most serious cases, including sex crimes and murder.

Barry has a real passion for the law because he sees it as a great equalizer: the rare situation where the individual is on equal footing with the government. "You have the same procedural rights as everyone else. I think it's the last and best part of democracy. You've got your right to trial by jury, due process rights, and constitutional rights. You can really take on and defend against the most powerful entities in the world and prevail." Barry is a champion of the individual, making sure his clients get a brilliant defense and the support they need to move forward after the case is closed.

According to colleague Alison Cohen, "No one works harder than Barry. He fights the government every step of the way to get the best outcome for his clients. He just closed a case where he filed a motion on his client's behalf every single day that trial was pending. That kind of dedication to the work is inspiring. We all learn from Barry every day."

Barry has been an Auburn resident since 1990. He raised his family here and cares deeply about the community. He served multiple years on the board of the Placer County Bar Association and runs an annual golf tournament to raise funds for Legal Services of Northern California, ensuring legal protection for low-income people. When he's not in the courtroom, you may find Barry practicing classical guitar or enjoying the great outdoors of the Eastern Sierra.

Barry was born in Brooklyn, New York. He was admitted to the California Bar in 1987. Education: University of California, Santa Barbara (B.A. 1983); Golden Gate University School of Law, San Francisco (J.D. 1986). Barry has been recognized as a Northern California Super Lawyer. He is a long-standing member of California Attorneys for Criminal Justice and of the Placer County Bar Association.

Cohen Defense Group
Alison Cohen

Alison Cohen is the most experienced juvenile delinquency attorney in Placer County. She has been defending children charged with crimes since 2001. A parent herself, Alison is committed to fighting for children's rights. According to Alison, "Children shouldn't be criminalized for behavior they will outgrow. Studies have shown that less is more when it comes to juvenile justice intervention and I will do whatever it takes to minimize the impact of the system on my minor clients and their families."

Because of her extensive experience in juvenile justice, Alison is known as the go-to attorney for anyone with questions about the delinquency system, from other lawyers wondering how to get a particular result, to probation officers trying to interpret the law. She makes it a priority to attend annual training that keeps her current on rapidly changing juvenile law, the science of adolescent brain development, and the residual effects of trauma on children, so that she is prepared to defend her clients with multiple levels of information.

As a mother of two, Alison brings personal experience to her work as well. Being a parent gives her an insider's perspective on what her clients and their families are going through. "The court process is intimidating and complex for children and for their parents. My goal is to make sure that my clients understand the process and know what to expect every time they walk into the courtroom. Communication is key and I make myself available to my clients so that they can contact me any time with questions or concerns."

Her unique combination of experience and training make Alison an exceptionally successful advocate for her clients. According to colleague, Toni White, "I have spent nearly every week of the last 13 years in juvenile court with Alison Cohen as we both handled cases for our young clients. Alison is incredibly talented in the area of juvenile law. She is smart, creative and compassionate. She sincerely cares about her clients and, because she possesses the perfect combination of skills to succeed in court, she is able to secure the best defense possible for every client."

Alison has worked for the people of Placer County for the entirety of her career. Admitted to the Bar in 1997, she spent 20 years defending criminal cases at the Law Offices of Mark A. Berg in Auburn. Upon Mr. Berg's retirement, Alison and her husband, David, created the Cohen Defense Group and built it into the largest private criminal defense team in Placer County. She's handled a broad range of cases, from misdemeanors to felonies, from trial through appeal.

Outside of work, Alison is on the board of Soroptimist International of the American River (SOAR), a charitable organization that strives to improve the lives of women and girls locally and throughout the world. Through her work with the Soroptimists, Alison supports local non-profits like Blossom House which helps young women transition from foster care to independent living, and Stand Up Placer, an organization fighting human trafficking. Alison's goal is to be a positive force in Placer County, both inside and outside of the office.

Alison was born in Stockton California and raised in Orange County. She was admitted to the California Bar in 1997. Education: University of California Santa Cruz (B.A. Theater Arts); Golden Gate University School of Law (J.D. 1996 with certificates in Litigation and Public Interest Law). Alison has been a member of the Placer County Bar Association since moving to Placer County in 1997.

Cohen Defense Group
Alison Cohen

Alison Cohen is the most experienced juvenile delinquency attorney in Placer County. She has been defending children charged with crimes since 2001. A parent herself, Alison is committed to fighting for children's rights. According to Alison, "Children shouldn't be criminalized for behavior they will outgrow. Studies have shown that less is more when it comes to juvenile justice intervention and I will do whatever it takes to minimize the impact of the system on my minor clients and their families."

Because of her extensive experience in juvenile justice, Alison is known as the go-to attorney for anyone with questions about the delinquency system, from other lawyers wondering how to get a particular result, to probation officers trying to interpret the law. She makes it a priority to attend annual training that keeps her current on rapidly changing juvenile law, the science of adolescent brain development, and the residual effects of trauma on children, so that she is prepared to defend her clients with multiple levels of information.

As a mother of two, Alison brings personal experience to her work as well. Being a parent gives her an insider's perspective on what her clients and their families are going through. "The court process is intimidating and complex for children and for their parents. My goal is to make sure that my clients understand the process and know what to expect every time they walk into the courtroom. Communication is key and I make myself available to my clients so that they can contact me any time with questions or concerns."

Her unique combination of experience and training make Alison an exceptionally successful advocate for her clients. According to colleague, Toni White, "I have spent nearly every week of the last 13 years in juvenile court with Alison Cohen as we both handled cases for our young clients. Alison is incredibly talented in the area of juvenile law. She is smart, creative and compassionate. She sincerely cares about her clients and, because she possesses the perfect combination of skills to succeed in court, she is able to secure the best defense possible for every client."

Alison has worked for the people of Placer County for the entirety of her career. Admitted to the Bar in 1997, she spent 20 years defending criminal cases at the Law Offices of Mark A. Berg in Auburn. Upon Mr. Berg's retirement, Alison and her husband, David, created the Cohen Defense Group and built it into the largest private criminal defense team in Placer County. She's handled a broad range of cases, from misdemeanors to felonies, from trial through appeal.

Outside of work, Alison is on the board of Soroptimist International of the American River (SOAR), a charitable organization that strives to improve the lives of women and girls locally and throughout the world. Through her work with the Soroptimists, Alison supports local non-profits like Blossom House which helps young women transition from foster care to independent living, and Stand Up Placer, an organization fighting human trafficking. Alison's goal is to be a positive force in Placer County, both inside and outside of the office.

Alison was born in Stockton California and raised in Orange County. She was admitted to the California Bar in 1997. Education: University of California Santa Cruz (B.A. Theater Arts); Golden Gate University School of Law (J.D. 1996 with certificates in Litigation and Public Interest Law). Alison has been a member of the Placer County Bar Association since moving to Placer County in 1997.

Cohen Defense Group
Amber Zehrung

Understanding what motivates Amber is key to understanding what makes her a great criminal defense attorney. A passionate advocate for her clients, she cares about the big picture and works diligently to give her clients a positive outcome. Amber prioritizes communication and prides herself on returning all of her phone calls. "People need to know we're there to fight for them. They need to know we are going to guide them and give them everything they need to make an informed decision."

Amber has spent her career living and working in Placer County. Her honesty and integrity have forged strong personal relationships with people throughout the local court system. From prosecutors to probation officers, when Amber speaks, they listen. This is a huge advantage to anyone entering the courtroom with Amber by their side. According to David Cohen, head of the Cohen Defense Group, "I count on Amber to represent our firm in many capacities because I know that she is highly respected by the entire legal community, including by our judges."

Amber's long and storied career began in the Placer County Public Defender's office in 2002 and continued at the Law Offices of Mark A. Berg, which evolved into the Cohen Defense Group. Much of Amber's work involves handling the most challenging and nuanced cases in the legal system: domestic violence. These cases demand personal attention, and that is Amber's strong suit. An experienced felony attorney, Amber has practiced in every Placer County courtroom and in front of every judge. She knows the local system like the back of her hand and uses her knowledge to her client's advantage.

Amber was born in Chico, California. She was admitted to the California State Bar in 2002. Education: Butte College (A.A. 1994); Paralegal Certified 1995; California State University, Chico (B.S. 1997) McGeorge School of Law (Oral Advocacy Honors) (J.D. 2002); Placer County Bar Association member.

Cohen Defense Group
Amber Zehrung

Understanding what motivates Amber is key to understanding what makes her a great criminal defense attorney. A passionate advocate for her clients, she cares about the big picture and works diligently to give her clients a positive outcome. Amber prioritizes communication and prides herself on returning all of her phone calls. "People need to know we're there to fight for them. They need to know we are going to guide them and give them everything they need to make an informed decision."

Amber has spent her career living and working in Placer County. Her honesty and integrity have forged strong personal relationships with people throughout the local court system. From prosecutors to probation officers, when Amber speaks, they listen. This is a huge advantage to anyone entering the courtroom with Amber by their side. According to David Cohen, head of the Cohen Defense Group, "I count on Amber to represent our firm in many capacities because I know that she is highly respected by the entire legal community, including by our judges."

Amber's long and storied career began in the Placer County Public Defender's office in 2002 and continued at the Law Offices of Mark A. Berg, which evolved into the Cohen Defense Group. Much of Amber's work involves handling the most challenging and nuanced cases in the legal system: domestic violence. These cases demand personal attention, and that is Amber's strong suit. An experienced felony attorney, Amber has practiced in every Placer County courtroom and in front of every judge. She knows the local system like the back of her hand and uses her knowledge to her client's advantage.

Amber was born in Chico, California. She was admitted to the California State Bar in 2002. Education: Butte College (A.A. 1994); Paralegal Certified 1995; California State University, Chico (B.S. 1997) McGeorge School of Law (Oral Advocacy Honors) (J.D. 2002); Placer County Bar Association member.

Cohen Defense Group
Susan Gellman

Susan Gellman is one of the most experienced criminal defense attorneys working in Placer County today. A passionate and relentless advocate for her clients, Susan says, "I practice holistic criminal defense. The prosecution wants the story to be about what happened in one given moment. The truth is always much more nuanced and much deeper. I leave no stone unturned in defense of my clients, and I force the criminal justice system to see the whole story."

Susan found her calling in law school when she interned on the graveyard shift with the Defender Association of Philadelphia. They hired her out of law school and trained her in all aspects of criminal law and litigation in a high volume, high-pressure environment. With great mentoring and training, Susan developed the work ethic that she proudly stands by to this day, "Every case, every client, every day."

In Philadelphia, Susan tried more than 75 felony jury trials to verdict and hundreds of bench trials. She had one of the best acquittal records in the city of Philadelphia, including a case of mistaken identity in the robbery of an off-duty police officer, several sexual assaults and numerous other serious felony matters. Talent and hard work earned Susan a spot in Special Defense and Homicide, an elite and specialized unit where she handled cases that garnered heavy media attention.

The next phase of Susan's career took her to Florida and Alabama, where she litigated capital murder cases. In one case, Susan's relentless filing and litigation of motions forced the District Attorney of Lauderdale County to drop the allegation of capital murder, allowing her client to resolve his case with the possibility of someday getting out of custody.

In 2004 Susan moved to California and began working for the El Dorado County Public Defender. There Susan handled the most serious cases in the office, including several homicides and a high-profile child-abduction case that gained national attention: the Jaycee Dugard case.

Susan's skills make her a hot commodity for law schools teaching trial advocacy. She has been an adjunct professor for Temple University School of Law, The Philadelphia Center, and the National Institute for Trial Advocacy.

Susan joined the Cohen Defense Group in August 2018. According to founding partner David Cohen, "Susan Gellman is a true warrior. Adding her to the Group in 2018 brought a multitalented advocate to the team. Susan's background includes near-daily trials in Philadelphia at the start of her career, death penalty defense throughout the South after that, and a storied career in public defense in El Dorado County where she handled the most high-profile case in the office's history. Susan returns to private practice with an arsenal of legal tools in her briefcase and has quickly emerged as a force in the local courts."

Susan has served on the Board of Directors of Summitview, an agency that provides mental health treatment to youth and conserved adults, since 2007. She is a member of the National Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, the National Legal Aid and Defenders Association, California Public Defenders Association, and the Pacific Juvenile Defense Center. She is certified in defense-based mitigation and serves as a sentencing and mitigation consultant.

When she's not working Susan enjoys playing guitar and hiking in the Sierra with her dog. She was active in the El Dorado High School Speech and Debate Team as parental support for her son.

Susan was born near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She is licensed to practice law in California, Pennsylvania, Florida, and Alabama. Education: the University of Massachusetts, Amherst (B.A., Cum Laude); Temple University School of Law, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (J.D. 1986; Philadelphia Trial Lawyers Award); National Alliance of Sentencing Advocates and Mitigation Specialists (Certification in Fundamentals of Defense-Based Mitigation and Advocacy). Member: El Dorado County Bar Association, Placer County Bar Association.

Cohen Defense Group
Susan Gellman

Susan Gellman is one of the most experienced criminal defense attorneys working in Placer County today. A passionate and relentless advocate for her clients, Susan says, "I practice holistic criminal defense. The prosecution wants the story to be about what happened in one given moment. The truth is always much more nuanced and much deeper. I leave no stone unturned in defense of my clients, and I force the criminal justice system to see the whole story."

Susan found her calling in law school when she interned on the graveyard shift with the Defender Association of Philadelphia. They hired her out of law school and trained her in all aspects of criminal law and litigation in a high volume, high-pressure environment. With great mentoring and training, Susan developed the work ethic that she proudly stands by to this day, "Every case, every client, every day."

In Philadelphia, Susan tried more than 75 felony jury trials to verdict and hundreds of bench trials. She had one of the best acquittal records in the city of Philadelphia, including a case of mistaken identity in the robbery of an off-duty police officer, several sexual assaults and numerous other serious felony matters. Talent and hard work earned Susan a spot in Special Defense and Homicide, an elite and specialized unit where she handled cases that garnered heavy media attention.

The next phase of Susan's career took her to Florida and Alabama, where she litigated capital murder cases. In one case, Susan's relentless filing and litigation of motions forced the District Attorney of Lauderdale County to drop the allegation of capital murder, allowing her client to resolve his case with the possibility of someday getting out of custody.

In 2004 Susan moved to California and began working for the El Dorado County Public Defender. There Susan handled the most serious cases in the office, including several homicides and a high-profile child-abduction case that gained national attention: the Jaycee Dugard case.

Susan's skills make her a hot commodity for law schools teaching trial advocacy. She has been an adjunct professor for Temple University School of Law, The Philadelphia Center, and the National Institute for Trial Advocacy.

Susan joined the Cohen Defense Group in August 2018. According to founding partner David Cohen, "Susan Gellman is a true warrior. Adding her to the Group in 2018 brought a multitalented advocate to the team. Susan's background includes near-daily trials in Philadelphia at the start of her career, death penalty defense throughout the South after that, and a storied career in public defense in El Dorado County where she handled the most high-profile case in the office's history. Susan returns to private practice with an arsenal of legal tools in her briefcase and has quickly emerged as a force in the local courts."

Susan has served on the Board of Directors of Summitview, an agency that provides mental health treatment to youth and conserved adults, since 2007. She is a member of the National Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, the National Legal Aid and Defenders Association, California Public Defenders Association, and the Pacific Juvenile Defense Center. She is certified in defense-based mitigation and serves as a sentencing and mitigation consultant.

When she's not working Susan enjoys playing guitar and hiking in the Sierra with her dog. She was active in the El Dorado High School Speech and Debate Team as parental support for her son.

Susan was born near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She is licensed to practice law in California, Pennsylvania, Florida, and Alabama. Education: the University of Massachusetts, Amherst (B.A., Cum Laude); Temple University School of Law, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (J.D. 1986; Philadelphia Trial Lawyers Award); National Alliance of Sentencing Advocates and Mitigation Specialists (Certification in Fundamentals of Defense-Based Mitigation and Advocacy). Member: El Dorado County Bar Association, Placer County Bar Association.

Cohen Defense Group
Zachary Merliss

Zachary Merliss is a fighter. He has an eagle eye for police misconduct and litigates it at every stage.

Zach is passionate about protecting his clients' 4th Amendment right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures. As he says, "The 4th Amendment doesn't discriminate between guilty and innocent. It must be applied evenly in all cases for the system to work. A skilled advocate must be intimately familiar with the large and complicated body of 4th Amendment law in order to effectively evaluate every search, seizure, and warrant to determine if they were 'unreasonable.' I know the legal protections that extend from the cases, and I use those protections to defend my clients."

Zach graduated from UCLA and got his law degree from USC in 2016. He was a legal fellow with the Federal Public Defender in Las Vegas before joining the Cohen Defense Group in May of 2017. Zach grew up in Northern California and has now returned to proudly serve his community.

Zach's litigation talents are particularly well-suited to our clients facing DUI and drug charges. "Everyone deserves protection under the constitution, but you need a skilled advocate to invoke those protections. California has been passing more favorable laws for DUI and drug cases and I'm happy to be able to use those laws to my clients' advantage." According to founding partner David Cohen, "Zach is a bulldog. He is making the prosecutors work overtime by challenging every potential act of police misconduct. That kind of zeal reaps great results for our clients."

Zach has always been on the frontlines of fighting injustice. Prior to joining the Cohen Defense Group, he advocated for workers and the disabled at Service Employees International Union and Disability Rights California. He received an Academic Achievement Award from USC for the highest grade in a course analyzing how the criminal justice system affects marginalized groups in society.

Zach was born in Chico and raised in South Lake Tahoe, California. He became a member of the state bar in 2016. Education: UCLA, Los Angeles, CA (B.A. Political Science, Minor in Film, Television & Digital Media 2012); University of Southern California School of Law, Los Angeles, CA (J.D., 2016). Member: State Bar of California, Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society.

Cohen Defense Group
Zachary Merliss

Zachary Merliss is a fighter. He has an eagle eye for police misconduct and litigates it at every stage.

Zach is passionate about protecting his clients' 4th Amendment right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures. As he says, "The 4th Amendment doesn't discriminate between guilty and innocent. It must be applied evenly in all cases for the system to work. A skilled advocate must be intimately familiar with the large and complicated body of 4th Amendment law in order to effectively evaluate every search, seizure, and warrant to determine if they were 'unreasonable.' I know the legal protections that extend from the cases, and I use those protections to defend my clients."

Zach graduated from UCLA and got his law degree from USC in 2016. He was a legal fellow with the Federal Public Defender in Las Vegas before joining the Cohen Defense Group in May of 2017. Zach grew up in Northern California and has now returned to proudly serve his community.

Zach's litigation talents are particularly well-suited to our clients facing DUI and drug charges. "Everyone deserves protection under the constitution, but you need a skilled advocate to invoke those protections. California has been passing more favorable laws for DUI and drug cases and I'm happy to be able to use those laws to my clients' advantage." According to founding partner David Cohen, "Zach is a bulldog. He is making the prosecutors work overtime by challenging every potential act of police misconduct. That kind of zeal reaps great results for our clients."

Zach has always been on the frontlines of fighting injustice. Prior to joining the Cohen Defense Group, he advocated for workers and the disabled at Service Employees International Union and Disability Rights California. He received an Academic Achievement Award from USC for the highest grade in a course analyzing how the criminal justice system affects marginalized groups in society.

Zach was born in Chico and raised in South Lake Tahoe, California. He became a member of the state bar in 2016. Education: UCLA, Los Angeles, CA (B.A. Political Science, Minor in Film, Television & Digital Media 2012); University of Southern California School of Law, Los Angeles, CA (J.D., 2016). Member: State Bar of California, Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society.

Cohen Defense Group
Matthew Friedman

A graduate of the prestigious Hastings College of the Law, Matthew Friedman is surprisingly down-to-earth. His calm demeanor and genuine compassion, together with his sharp intellect, make him a force to be reckoned with in court.

Matthew discovered his passion for criminal law early on. David Cohen, founding partner of the Cohen Defense Group, says of Matthew, "Most people go to law school not knowing what kind of law they want to practice. Matthew knew from day one he was going to be a criminal defense attorney. He carefully selected each internship, law school class, and post-bar activity to give him the tools to successfully defend our clients. Matthew has quickly become a client favorite and many of his clients reach out to thank me for having him work on their case."

Developing a defense for his client is a creative process that Matthew loves. Finding weak spots in the prosecution's case, interpreting what shows up on video or in recorded calls, and challenging the actions of police by moving to keep evidence out of court are all tools in his arsenal. Additionally, Matthew's exceptional communication skills get good results from judges and juries.

Matthew's criminal defense skills were honed through legal internships at Public Defender's Offices in Solano County, Marin County, and San Francisco. He handled misdemeanor caseloads, litigated probation revocation hearings, and helped win a not guilty verdict in a manslaughter trial, all before passing the bar. While in law school Matthew earned the Witkin Award for Academic Excellence in Criminal Procedure and the Adjudicative Process as well as Certifications for legal research and professional readiness.

Matthew is responsible for a misdemeanor caseload at the Cohen Defense Group, but also has felony trial experience. He handles DUI and felony cases in both Placer and Sacramento counties. Matthew particularly enjoys working with minor clients facing delinquency charges. Matthew relates well to young clients and is passionate about defending them in juvenile court. As Matthew says, "I got into criminal defense because I wanted to help people. I feel good about my day if I made a difference for someone."

Matthew is an avid outdoorsman. When he is not working, he enjoys skiing, hiking, mountain biking, tennis, basketball, and following Bay Area sports teams.

Matthew was born in Greenbrae, California. He was admitted to the California Bar in 2017. Education: University of California, Davis (B.A. 2013); University of California, Hastings College of the Law, San Francisco (J.D. 2017). Matthew is a member of the Placer County Bar Association.

Cohen Defense Group
Matthew Friedman

A graduate of the prestigious Hastings College of the Law, Matthew Friedman is surprisingly down-to-earth. His calm demeanor and genuine compassion, together with his sharp intellect, make him a force to be reckoned with in court.

Matthew discovered his passion for criminal law early on. David Cohen, founding partner of the Cohen Defense Group, says of Matthew, "Most people go to law school not knowing what kind of law they want to practice. Matthew knew from day one he was going to be a criminal defense attorney. He carefully selected each internship, law school class, and post-bar activity to give him the tools to successfully defend our clients. Matthew has quickly become a client favorite and many of his clients reach out to thank me for having him work on their case."

Developing a defense for his client is a creative process that Matthew loves. Finding weak spots in the prosecution's case, interpreting what shows up on video or in recorded calls, and challenging the actions of police by moving to keep evidence out of court are all tools in his arsenal. Additionally, Matthew's exceptional communication skills get good results from judges and juries.

Matthew's criminal defense skills were honed through legal internships at Public Defender's Offices in Solano County, Marin County, and San Francisco. He handled misdemeanor caseloads, litigated probation revocation hearings, and helped win a not guilty verdict in a manslaughter trial, all before passing the bar. While in law school Matthew earned the Witkin Award for Academic Excellence in Criminal Procedure and the Adjudicative Process as well as Certifications for legal research and professional readiness.

Matthew is responsible for a misdemeanor caseload at the Cohen Defense Group, but also has felony trial experience. He handles DUI and felony cases in both Placer and Sacramento counties. Matthew particularly enjoys working with minor clients facing delinquency charges. Matthew relates well to young clients and is passionate about defending them in juvenile court. As Matthew says, "I got into criminal defense because I wanted to help people. I feel good about my day if I made a difference for someone."

Matthew is an avid outdoorsman. When he is not working, he enjoys skiing, hiking, mountain biking, tennis, basketball, and following Bay Area sports teams.

Matthew was born in Greenbrae, California. He was admitted to the California Bar in 2017. Education: University of California, Davis (B.A. 2013); University of California, Hastings College of the Law, San Francisco (J.D. 2017). Matthew is a member of the Placer County Bar Association.

Cohen Defense Group
Danielle Nygren

Danielle Nygren works hard and relishes a challenge. She recently graduated from the U.C. Irvine School of Law with High Honors for working more pro bono hours than anyone else in her class. While Danielle was excelling academically, she put in over 400 hours on real-life cases at a number of Public Defender's offices in Southern California. Her enthusiasm and talent make her an exceptional young attorney, and we are proud to have her on our team.

Danielle currently works in our misdemeanor and domestic violence units, where hard work and dedication matter. Fascinated with the criminal justice system and the power to protect people's rights, Danielle says, "What motivates me to work so hard is feeling like I am someone's advocate, their warrior - trained, informed, and ready to go to battle for them."

Danielle fights many of those battles in the pre-trial phases of her cases. "I get fired up about discovery issues and police misconduct. Holding the District Attorney accountable to turn over their information and challenging police misconduct can really turn the tables in our favor. I love bail review arguments because I can get my client out of custody and that makes a difference for them."

While in school, Danielle worked for the Sacramento County Public Defender, the Orange County Public Defender, the Santa Barbara Public Defender, the Clemency Project (where she sought a presidential pardon for her client), the Innocence Appeal Project (where she sought exoneration for her clients from the California Supreme Court), and a Criminal Justice Clinic and an Immigrant Rights Clinic through U.C. Irvine.

Her work experience in law school earned Danielle some notoriety in the community and brought her to the attention of the Cohen Defense Group's managing partner, David Cohen, who says, "Adding Danielle Nygren to the Cohen Defense Group was an easy decision. She graduated from one of the state's most innovative law schools in the top of her class, worked extensively on informant issues arising from the infamous Orange County jail snitch program, and successfully overturned the deportation of a U.S. Army veteran while working with the UC Irvine Immigration Clinic. This showed me that Danielle has a high level of dedication to the work and, more importantly, Danielle is a winner. She has quickly proven herself a strong advocate for our clients."

When she is not working, Danielle enjoys music, being outdoors, and spending time with family and friends.

Danielle was born in Fair Oaks and raised in El Dorado Hills and Folsom. She became a member of the state bar in 2018. Education: University of California, Irvine, CA (B.A. Social Ecology 2014); University of California School of Law, Irvine, CA (J.D., 2018). Member: State Bar of California, Placer County Bar Association.

Cohen Defense Group
Danielle Nygren

Danielle Nygren works hard and relishes a challenge. She recently graduated from the U.C. Irvine School of Law with High Honors for working more pro bono hours than anyone else in her class. While Danielle was excelling academically, she put in over 400 hours on real-life cases at a number of Public Defender's offices in Southern California. Her enthusiasm and talent make her an exceptional young attorney, and we are proud to have her on our team.

Danielle currently works in our misdemeanor and domestic violence units, where hard work and dedication matter. Fascinated with the criminal justice system and the power to protect people's rights, Danielle says, "What motivates me to work so hard is feeling like I am someone's advocate, their warrior - trained, informed, and ready to go to battle for them."

Danielle fights many of those battles in the pre-trial phases of her cases. "I get fired up about discovery issues and police misconduct. Holding the District Attorney accountable to turn over their information and challenging police misconduct can really turn the tables in our favor. I love bail review arguments because I can get my client out of custody and that makes a difference for them."

While in school, Danielle worked for the Sacramento County Public Defender, the Orange County Public Defender, the Santa Barbara Public Defender, the Clemency Project (where she sought a presidential pardon for her client), the Innocence Appeal Project (where she sought exoneration for her clients from the California Supreme Court), and a Criminal Justice Clinic and an Immigrant Rights Clinic through U.C. Irvine.

Her work experience in law school earned Danielle some notoriety in the community and brought her to the attention of the Cohen Defense Group's managing partner, David Cohen, who says, "Adding Danielle Nygren to the Cohen Defense Group was an easy decision. She graduated from one of the state's most innovative law schools in the top of her class, worked extensively on informant issues arising from the infamous Orange County jail snitch program, and successfully overturned the deportation of a U.S. Army veteran while working with the UC Irvine Immigration Clinic. This showed me that Danielle has a high level of dedication to the work and, more importantly, Danielle is a winner. She has quickly proven herself a strong advocate for our clients."

When she is not working, Danielle enjoys music, being outdoors, and spending time with family and friends.

Danielle was born in Fair Oaks and raised in El Dorado Hills and Folsom. She became a member of the state bar in 2018. Education: University of California, Irvine, CA (B.A. Social Ecology 2014); University of California School of Law, Irvine, CA (J.D., 2018). Member: State Bar of California, Placer County Bar Association.

Firm Overview

When you are accused of violating criminal law, your freedom and your reputation are on the line. You need an experienced criminal defense attorney with the knowledge and skill to successfully advocate on your behalf. Our criminal defense lawyers use a client-centered approach to provide you with a high-quality, aggressive defense.

We are here to help.

Our criminal law attorneys understand the severe consequences you face when charged with a crime, and we will fight for you.

We serve clients from Roseville, Rocklin, Lincoln, Newcastle, Penryn, Loomis, Auburn, Grass Valley, Nevada City, Yuba City, and Sacramento facing charges in Placer, Sacramento, El Dorado, Nevada, Yuba, and Sutter Counties.

Main Office

Roseville Office
919 Reserve Dr Suite 130
Roseville, CA 95678

Phone

(916) 596-2700

Fax

(530) 889-1711

Fees
Free Initial Consultation?

Yes

Office Information
Other Offices
  • Auburn Office

    1515 Lincoln Way
    Auburn, CA 95603

DUI and DWI

A good DUI lawyer can keep you out of jail, help you keep your driver's license, and minimize the consequences of a DUI conviction.

When you hire the Cohen Defense Group you get access to a team of DUI lawyers:
David Cohen, our founding partner with 25 years of experience in DUI defense, is a member of the California DUI Lawyers and the National College for DUI Defense, both of which provide ongoing, specialized training in DUI defense. Mr. Cohen individually trains every DUI defense attorney in the firm on the science of beating DUIs, ensuring that you get the most thorough and aggressive defense possible. Our DUI attorneys stay on the cutting edge of the law by regularly attending intensive, multi-day training in areas like scientific evidence and cross-examining law enforcement so that they are ready to fully litigate your case and get you the best result.
Our DUI attorneys are well-versed in DUI defenses, such as:
-the police had no reason to stop you
-you were not driving
-your blood alcohol content was not above the legal limit when you drove
-the test results were inaccurate, and more
Our DUI lawyers are proficient at defending your right to drive at DMV hearings and will do everything they can to help you keep your driver's license.

Cohen Defense Group
David Cohen

At Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco, David Cohen planned to be a corporate lawyer. Then he participated in a criminal defense clinic and everything changed. Helping real people with their lives on the line was infinitely more compelling to David than working on corporate contracts. "As soon as I recognized that, I knew this was what I was destined to do. People facing criminal charges need help. They can't fight the government on their own. They need a skilled, aggressive advocate to protect them."

David began his career in 1995 at the Law Offices of Mark A. Berg in Auburn. When Mark Berg retired in 2016 David and his wife, Alison, took over the practice, building the Cohen Defense Group into the largest private criminal defense team in Placer County. David supervises eight lawyers, some with decades of experience, and some fresh out of California's top law schools. David's goal of marshalling the best legal talents in California to create a five-star criminal defense team has come to fruition in the Cohen Defense Group, and he couldn't be prouder.

David has handled thousands of cases from misdemeanors to murders, but much of his focus has been on fighting DUI charges, both in court and at DMV hearings. David is a member of California Attorneys for Criminal Justice, California DUI Lawyers, and the National College for DUI Defense. Through these organizations, he gets ongoing training that keeps him on the cutting edge of developments in litigating the science of DUI cases. David makes it a priority to pass that training on to our defense team, making the Cohen Defense Group the go-to firm for DUI defense.

Certified by the California State Bar as a Specialist in Criminal Defense, David is a brilliant advocate for his clients. He recognizes that his client has everything to lose: their job, their driving privilege, their citizenship, or their freedom. In every case he handles, David looks at the big picture and develops a legal strategy that will put the client in the best possible position going forward. According to colleague Barry Zimmerman, "David is a creative thinker. He surprises me with his innovative strategies to solve complex problems. He is attentive, client-oriented and scrutinizes every detail." In a nod to Placer County's history, David sees himself as a gold miner, always seeking that one nugget in a case that can give his client an advantage.

Having worked in the Placer County criminal justice system since 1995, David knows the local judges, prosecutors, and members of law enforcement. He understands their motivations and that gives him a strong edge when negotiating plea bargains and preparing for trial.

David is dedicated to giving back to the Placer County community. He served on the board of the Placer County Bar Association for years, including running the organization as President in 2004. David was a mentoring attorney and judge for the Peer Court program and regularly volunteers to teach a class called "Legal Aspects of DUI." The Cohen Defense Group, under David's leadership, supports the Auburn Interfaith Food Closet, the Sutter Auburn Faith Hospital Foundation, Soroptomist International of the American River, Community Recovery Resources, Legal Services of Northern California, and other local non-profit organizations.

David was born and raised in San Jose, California. He was admitted to the California Bar in 1995. Education: Northwestern University, Evanston IL (B.S. in Speech, 1991); University of California, Hastings College of Law, San Francisco (J.D., 1994). Member: State Bar of California, Placer County Bar Association (member, 1996 to present; Board of Directors, 2001-2005; 2004 President), California Attorneys for Criminal Justice, California DUI Lawyers, National College for DUI Defense.

Cohen Defense Group
David Cohen

At Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco, David Cohen planned to be a corporate lawyer. Then he participated in a criminal defense clinic and everything changed. Helping real people with their lives on the line was infinitely more compelling to David than working on corporate contracts. "As soon as I recognized that, I knew this was what I was destined to do. People facing criminal charges need help. They can't fight the government on their own. They need a skilled, aggressive advocate to protect them."

David began his career in 1995 at the Law Offices of Mark A. Berg in Auburn. When Mark Berg retired in 2016 David and his wife, Alison, took over the practice, building the Cohen Defense Group into the largest private criminal defense team in Placer County. David supervises eight lawyers, some with decades of experience, and some fresh out of California's top law schools. David's goal of marshalling the best legal talents in California to create a five-star criminal defense team has come to fruition in the Cohen Defense Group, and he couldn't be prouder.

David has handled thousands of cases from misdemeanors to murders, but much of his focus has been on fighting DUI charges, both in court and at DMV hearings. David is a member of California Attorneys for Criminal Justice, California DUI Lawyers, and the National College for DUI Defense. Through these organizations, he gets ongoing training that keeps him on the cutting edge of developments in litigating the science of DUI cases. David makes it a priority to pass that training on to our defense team, making the Cohen Defense Group the go-to firm for DUI defense.

Certified by the California State Bar as a Specialist in Criminal Defense, David is a brilliant advocate for his clients. He recognizes that his client has everything to lose: their job, their driving privilege, their citizenship, or their freedom. In every case he handles, David looks at the big picture and develops a legal strategy that will put the client in the best possible position going forward. According to colleague Barry Zimmerman, "David is a creative thinker. He surprises me with his innovative strategies to solve complex problems. He is attentive, client-oriented and scrutinizes every detail." In a nod to Placer County's history, David sees himself as a gold miner, always seeking that one nugget in a case that can give his client an advantage.

Having worked in the Placer County criminal justice system since 1995, David knows the local judges, prosecutors, and members of law enforcement. He understands their motivations and that gives him a strong edge when negotiating plea bargains and preparing for trial.

David is dedicated to giving back to the Placer County community. He served on the board of the Placer County Bar Association for years, including running the organization as President in 2004. David was a mentoring attorney and judge for the Peer Court program and regularly volunteers to teach a class called "Legal Aspects of DUI." The Cohen Defense Group, under David's leadership, supports the Auburn Interfaith Food Closet, the Sutter Auburn Faith Hospital Foundation, Soroptomist International of the American River, Community Recovery Resources, Legal Services of Northern California, and other local non-profit organizations.

David was born and raised in San Jose, California. He was admitted to the California Bar in 1995. Education: Northwestern University, Evanston IL (B.S. in Speech, 1991); University of California, Hastings College of Law, San Francisco (J.D., 1994). Member: State Bar of California, Placer County Bar Association (member, 1996 to present; Board of Directors, 2001-2005; 2004 President), California Attorneys for Criminal Justice, California DUI Lawyers, National College for DUI Defense.

Cohen Defense Group
Barry Zimmerman

The first thing that strikes you about Barry Zimmerman is his demeanor. He's calm, thoughtful, a good listener, and a deep thinker. He does not judge, and he has incredible compassion for people. These qualities have served him well through an illustrious career in criminal defense.

After graduating from law school in 1986, Barry clerked for a federal judge in the Eastern District of California and worked for the Sacramento County Superior Court. He found his passion for criminal defense and opened his practice in 1987. Barry has been defending people charged with crimes in Placer County since 1990. He knows the area and the system. He's handled thousands of cases, tried over 65 of them to verdict, and argued before the California Supreme Court.

Barry is certified by the California State Bar as a Specialist in Criminal Law and has been recognized as a Northern California Super Lawyer. As a senior attorney with the Cohen Defense Group, he handles our most serious cases, including sex crimes and murder.

Barry has a real passion for the law because he sees it as a great equalizer: the rare situation where the individual is on equal footing with the government. "You have the same procedural rights as everyone else. I think it's the last and best part of democracy. You've got your right to trial by jury, due process rights, and constitutional rights. You can really take on and defend against the most powerful entities in the world and prevail." Barry is a champion of the individual, making sure his clients get a brilliant defense and the support they need to move forward after the case is closed.

According to colleague Alison Cohen, "No one works harder than Barry. He fights the government every step of the way to get the best outcome for his clients. He just closed a case where he filed a motion on his client's behalf every single day that trial was pending. That kind of dedication to the work is inspiring. We all learn from Barry every day."

Barry has been an Auburn resident since 1990. He raised his family here and cares deeply about the community. He served multiple years on the board of the Placer County Bar Association and runs an annual golf tournament to raise funds for Legal Services of Northern California, ensuring legal protection for low-income people. When he's not in the courtroom, you may find Barry practicing classical guitar or enjoying the great outdoors of the Eastern Sierra.

Barry was born in Brooklyn, New York. He was admitted to the California Bar in 1987. Education: University of California, Santa Barbara (B.A. 1983); Golden Gate University School of Law, San Francisco (J.D. 1986). Barry has been recognized as a Northern California Super Lawyer. He is a long-standing member of California Attorneys for Criminal Justice and of the Placer County Bar Association.

Cohen Defense Group
Barry Zimmerman

The first thing that strikes you about Barry Zimmerman is his demeanor. He's calm, thoughtful, a good listener, and a deep thinker. He does not judge, and he has incredible compassion for people. These qualities have served him well through an illustrious career in criminal defense.

After graduating from law school in 1986, Barry clerked for a federal judge in the Eastern District of California and worked for the Sacramento County Superior Court. He found his passion for criminal defense and opened his practice in 1987. Barry has been defending people charged with crimes in Placer County since 1990. He knows the area and the system. He's handled thousands of cases, tried over 65 of them to verdict, and argued before the California Supreme Court.

Barry is certified by the California State Bar as a Specialist in Criminal Law and has been recognized as a Northern California Super Lawyer. As a senior attorney with the Cohen Defense Group, he handles our most serious cases, including sex crimes and murder.

Barry has a real passion for the law because he sees it as a great equalizer: the rare situation where the individual is on equal footing with the government. "You have the same procedural rights as everyone else. I think it's the last and best part of democracy. You've got your right to trial by jury, due process rights, and constitutional rights. You can really take on and defend against the most powerful entities in the world and prevail." Barry is a champion of the individual, making sure his clients get a brilliant defense and the support they need to move forward after the case is closed.

According to colleague Alison Cohen, "No one works harder than Barry. He fights the government every step of the way to get the best outcome for his clients. He just closed a case where he filed a motion on his client's behalf every single day that trial was pending. That kind of dedication to the work is inspiring. We all learn from Barry every day."

Barry has been an Auburn resident since 1990. He raised his family here and cares deeply about the community. He served multiple years on the board of the Placer County Bar Association and runs an annual golf tournament to raise funds for Legal Services of Northern California, ensuring legal protection for low-income people. When he's not in the courtroom, you may find Barry practicing classical guitar or enjoying the great outdoors of the Eastern Sierra.

Barry was born in Brooklyn, New York. He was admitted to the California Bar in 1987. Education: University of California, Santa Barbara (B.A. 1983); Golden Gate University School of Law, San Francisco (J.D. 1986). Barry has been recognized as a Northern California Super Lawyer. He is a long-standing member of California Attorneys for Criminal Justice and of the Placer County Bar Association.

Cohen Defense Group
Alison Cohen

Alison Cohen is the most experienced juvenile delinquency attorney in Placer County. She has been defending children charged with crimes since 2001. A parent herself, Alison is committed to fighting for children's rights. According to Alison, "Children shouldn't be criminalized for behavior they will outgrow. Studies have shown that less is more when it comes to juvenile justice intervention and I will do whatever it takes to minimize the impact of the system on my minor clients and their families."

Because of her extensive experience in juvenile justice, Alison is known as the go-to attorney for anyone with questions about the delinquency system, from other lawyers wondering how to get a particular result, to probation officers trying to interpret the law. She makes it a priority to attend annual training that keeps her current on rapidly changing juvenile law, the science of adolescent brain development, and the residual effects of trauma on children, so that she is prepared to defend her clients with multiple levels of information.

As a mother of two, Alison brings personal experience to her work as well. Being a parent gives her an insider's perspective on what her clients and their families are going through. "The court process is intimidating and complex for children and for their parents. My goal is to make sure that my clients understand the process and know what to expect every time they walk into the courtroom. Communication is key and I make myself available to my clients so that they can contact me any time with questions or concerns."

Her unique combination of experience and training make Alison an exceptionally successful advocate for her clients. According to colleague, Toni White, "I have spent nearly every week of the last 13 years in juvenile court with Alison Cohen as we both handled cases for our young clients. Alison is incredibly talented in the area of juvenile law. She is smart, creative and compassionate. She sincerely cares about her clients and, because she possesses the perfect combination of skills to succeed in court, she is able to secure the best defense possible for every client."

Alison has worked for the people of Placer County for the entirety of her career. Admitted to the Bar in 1997, she spent 20 years defending criminal cases at the Law Offices of Mark A. Berg in Auburn. Upon Mr. Berg's retirement, Alison and her husband, David, created the Cohen Defense Group and built it into the largest private criminal defense team in Placer County. She's handled a broad range of cases, from misdemeanors to felonies, from trial through appeal.

Outside of work, Alison is on the board of Soroptimist International of the American River (SOAR), a charitable organization that strives to improve the lives of women and girls locally and throughout the world. Through her work with the Soroptimists, Alison supports local non-profits like Blossom House which helps young women transition from foster care to independent living, and Stand Up Placer, an organization fighting human trafficking. Alison's goal is to be a positive force in Placer County, both inside and outside of the office.

Alison was born in Stockton California and raised in Orange County. She was admitted to the California Bar in 1997. Education: University of California Santa Cruz (B.A. Theater Arts); Golden Gate University School of Law (J.D. 1996 with certificates in Litigation and Public Interest Law). Alison has been a member of the Placer County Bar Association since moving to Placer County in 1997.

Cohen Defense Group
Alison Cohen

Alison Cohen is the most experienced juvenile delinquency attorney in Placer County. She has been defending children charged with crimes since 2001. A parent herself, Alison is committed to fighting for children's rights. According to Alison, "Children shouldn't be criminalized for behavior they will outgrow. Studies have shown that less is more when it comes to juvenile justice intervention and I will do whatever it takes to minimize the impact of the system on my minor clients and their families."

Because of her extensive experience in juvenile justice, Alison is known as the go-to attorney for anyone with questions about the delinquency system, from other lawyers wondering how to get a particular result, to probation officers trying to interpret the law. She makes it a priority to attend annual training that keeps her current on rapidly changing juvenile law, the science of adolescent brain development, and the residual effects of trauma on children, so that she is prepared to defend her clients with multiple levels of information.

As a mother of two, Alison brings personal experience to her work as well. Being a parent gives her an insider's perspective on what her clients and their families are going through. "The court process is intimidating and complex for children and for their parents. My goal is to make sure that my clients understand the process and know what to expect every time they walk into the courtroom. Communication is key and I make myself available to my clients so that they can contact me any time with questions or concerns."

Her unique combination of experience and training make Alison an exceptionally successful advocate for her clients. According to colleague, Toni White, "I have spent nearly every week of the last 13 years in juvenile court with Alison Cohen as we both handled cases for our young clients. Alison is incredibly talented in the area of juvenile law. She is smart, creative and compassionate. She sincerely cares about her clients and, because she possesses the perfect combination of skills to succeed in court, she is able to secure the best defense possible for every client."

Alison has worked for the people of Placer County for the entirety of her career. Admitted to the Bar in 1997, she spent 20 years defending criminal cases at the Law Offices of Mark A. Berg in Auburn. Upon Mr. Berg's retirement, Alison and her husband, David, created the Cohen Defense Group and built it into the largest private criminal defense team in Placer County. She's handled a broad range of cases, from misdemeanors to felonies, from trial through appeal.

Outside of work, Alison is on the board of Soroptimist International of the American River (SOAR), a charitable organization that strives to improve the lives of women and girls locally and throughout the world. Through her work with the Soroptimists, Alison supports local non-profits like Blossom House which helps young women transition from foster care to independent living, and Stand Up Placer, an organization fighting human trafficking. Alison's goal is to be a positive force in Placer County, both inside and outside of the office.

Alison was born in Stockton California and raised in Orange County. She was admitted to the California Bar in 1997. Education: University of California Santa Cruz (B.A. Theater Arts); Golden Gate University School of Law (J.D. 1996 with certificates in Litigation and Public Interest Law). Alison has been a member of the Placer County Bar Association since moving to Placer County in 1997.

Cohen Defense Group
Amber Zehrung

Understanding what motivates Amber is key to understanding what makes her a great criminal defense attorney. A passionate advocate for her clients, she cares about the big picture and works diligently to give her clients a positive outcome. Amber prioritizes communication and prides herself on returning all of her phone calls. "People need to know we're there to fight for them. They need to know we are going to guide them and give them everything they need to make an informed decision."

Amber has spent her career living and working in Placer County. Her honesty and integrity have forged strong personal relationships with people throughout the local court system. From prosecutors to probation officers, when Amber speaks, they listen. This is a huge advantage to anyone entering the courtroom with Amber by their side. According to David Cohen, head of the Cohen Defense Group, "I count on Amber to represent our firm in many capacities because I know that she is highly respected by the entire legal community, including by our judges."

Amber's long and storied career began in the Placer County Public Defender's office in 2002 and continued at the Law Offices of Mark A. Berg, which evolved into the Cohen Defense Group. Much of Amber's work involves handling the most challenging and nuanced cases in the legal system: domestic violence. These cases demand personal attention, and that is Amber's strong suit. An experienced felony attorney, Amber has practiced in every Placer County courtroom and in front of every judge. She knows the local system like the back of her hand and uses her knowledge to her client's advantage.

Amber was born in Chico, California. She was admitted to the California State Bar in 2002. Education: Butte College (A.A. 1994); Paralegal Certified 1995; California State University, Chico (B.S. 1997) McGeorge School of Law (Oral Advocacy Honors) (J.D. 2002); Placer County Bar Association member.

Cohen Defense Group
Amber Zehrung

Understanding what motivates Amber is key to understanding what makes her a great criminal defense attorney. A passionate advocate for her clients, she cares about the big picture and works diligently to give her clients a positive outcome. Amber prioritizes communication and prides herself on returning all of her phone calls. "People need to know we're there to fight for them. They need to know we are going to guide them and give them everything they need to make an informed decision."

Amber has spent her career living and working in Placer County. Her honesty and integrity have forged strong personal relationships with people throughout the local court system. From prosecutors to probation officers, when Amber speaks, they listen. This is a huge advantage to anyone entering the courtroom with Amber by their side. According to David Cohen, head of the Cohen Defense Group, "I count on Amber to represent our firm in many capacities because I know that she is highly respected by the entire legal community, including by our judges."

Amber's long and storied career began in the Placer County Public Defender's office in 2002 and continued at the Law Offices of Mark A. Berg, which evolved into the Cohen Defense Group. Much of Amber's work involves handling the most challenging and nuanced cases in the legal system: domestic violence. These cases demand personal attention, and that is Amber's strong suit. An experienced felony attorney, Amber has practiced in every Placer County courtroom and in front of every judge. She knows the local system like the back of her hand and uses her knowledge to her client's advantage.

Amber was born in Chico, California. She was admitted to the California State Bar in 2002. Education: Butte College (A.A. 1994); Paralegal Certified 1995; California State University, Chico (B.S. 1997) McGeorge School of Law (Oral Advocacy Honors) (J.D. 2002); Placer County Bar Association member.

Cohen Defense Group
Susan Gellman

Susan Gellman is one of the most experienced criminal defense attorneys working in Placer County today. A passionate and relentless advocate for her clients, Susan says, "I practice holistic criminal defense. The prosecution wants the story to be about what happened in one given moment. The truth is always much more nuanced and much deeper. I leave no stone unturned in defense of my clients, and I force the criminal justice system to see the whole story."

Susan found her calling in law school when she interned on the graveyard shift with the Defender Association of Philadelphia. They hired her out of law school and trained her in all aspects of criminal law and litigation in a high volume, high-pressure environment. With great mentoring and training, Susan developed the work ethic that she proudly stands by to this day, "Every case, every client, every day."

In Philadelphia, Susan tried more than 75 felony jury trials to verdict and hundreds of bench trials. She had one of the best acquittal records in the city of Philadelphia, including a case of mistaken identity in the robbery of an off-duty police officer, several sexual assaults and numerous other serious felony matters. Talent and hard work earned Susan a spot in Special Defense and Homicide, an elite and specialized unit where she handled cases that garnered heavy media attention.

The next phase of Susan's career took her to Florida and Alabama, where she litigated capital murder cases. In one case, Susan's relentless filing and litigation of motions forced the District Attorney of Lauderdale County to drop the allegation of capital murder, allowing her client to resolve his case with the possibility of someday getting out of custody.

In 2004 Susan moved to California and began working for the El Dorado County Public Defender. There Susan handled the most serious cases in the office, including several homicides and a high-profile child-abduction case that gained national attention: the Jaycee Dugard case.

Susan's skills make her a hot commodity for law schools teaching trial advocacy. She has been an adjunct professor for Temple University School of Law, The Philadelphia Center, and the National Institute for Trial Advocacy.

Susan joined the Cohen Defense Group in August 2018. According to founding partner David Cohen, "Susan Gellman is a true warrior. Adding her to the Group in 2018 brought a multitalented advocate to the team. Susan's background includes near-daily trials in Philadelphia at the start of her career, death penalty defense throughout the South after that, and a storied career in public defense in El Dorado County where she handled the most high-profile case in the office's history. Susan returns to private practice with an arsenal of legal tools in her briefcase and has quickly emerged as a force in the local courts."

Susan has served on the Board of Directors of Summitview, an agency that provides mental health treatment to youth and conserved adults, since 2007. She is a member of the National Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, the National Legal Aid and Defenders Association, California Public Defenders Association, and the Pacific Juvenile Defense Center. She is certified in defense-based mitigation and serves as a sentencing and mitigation consultant.

When she's not working Susan enjoys playing guitar and hiking in the Sierra with her dog. She was active in the El Dorado High School Speech and Debate Team as parental support for her son.

Susan was born near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She is licensed to practice law in California, Pennsylvania, Florida, and Alabama. Education: the University of Massachusetts, Amherst (B.A., Cum Laude); Temple University School of Law, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (J.D. 1986; Philadelphia Trial Lawyers Award); National Alliance of Sentencing Advocates and Mitigation Specialists (Certification in Fundamentals of Defense-Based Mitigation and Advocacy). Member: El Dorado County Bar Association, Placer County Bar Association.

Cohen Defense Group
Susan Gellman

Susan Gellman is one of the most experienced criminal defense attorneys working in Placer County today. A passionate and relentless advocate for her clients, Susan says, "I practice holistic criminal defense. The prosecution wants the story to be about what happened in one given moment. The truth is always much more nuanced and much deeper. I leave no stone unturned in defense of my clients, and I force the criminal justice system to see the whole story."

Susan found her calling in law school when she interned on the graveyard shift with the Defender Association of Philadelphia. They hired her out of law school and trained her in all aspects of criminal law and litigation in a high volume, high-pressure environment. With great mentoring and training, Susan developed the work ethic that she proudly stands by to this day, "Every case, every client, every day."

In Philadelphia, Susan tried more than 75 felony jury trials to verdict and hundreds of bench trials. She had one of the best acquittal records in the city of Philadelphia, including a case of mistaken identity in the robbery of an off-duty police officer, several sexual assaults and numerous other serious felony matters. Talent and hard work earned Susan a spot in Special Defense and Homicide, an elite and specialized unit where she handled cases that garnered heavy media attention.

The next phase of Susan's career took her to Florida and Alabama, where she litigated capital murder cases. In one case, Susan's relentless filing and litigation of motions forced the District Attorney of Lauderdale County to drop the allegation of capital murder, allowing her client to resolve his case with the possibility of someday getting out of custody.

In 2004 Susan moved to California and began working for the El Dorado County Public Defender. There Susan handled the most serious cases in the office, including several homicides and a high-profile child-abduction case that gained national attention: the Jaycee Dugard case.

Susan's skills make her a hot commodity for law schools teaching trial advocacy. She has been an adjunct professor for Temple University School of Law, The Philadelphia Center, and the National Institute for Trial Advocacy.

Susan joined the Cohen Defense Group in August 2018. According to founding partner David Cohen, "Susan Gellman is a true warrior. Adding her to the Group in 2018 brought a multitalented advocate to the team. Susan's background includes near-daily trials in Philadelphia at the start of her career, death penalty defense throughout the South after that, and a storied career in public defense in El Dorado County where she handled the most high-profile case in the office's history. Susan returns to private practice with an arsenal of legal tools in her briefcase and has quickly emerged as a force in the local courts."

Susan has served on the Board of Directors of Summitview, an agency that provides mental health treatment to youth and conserved adults, since 2007. She is a member of the National Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, the National Legal Aid and Defenders Association, California Public Defenders Association, and the Pacific Juvenile Defense Center. She is certified in defense-based mitigation and serves as a sentencing and mitigation consultant.

When she's not working Susan enjoys playing guitar and hiking in the Sierra with her dog. She was active in the El Dorado High School Speech and Debate Team as parental support for her son.

Susan was born near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She is licensed to practice law in California, Pennsylvania, Florida, and Alabama. Education: the University of Massachusetts, Amherst (B.A., Cum Laude); Temple University School of Law, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (J.D. 1986; Philadelphia Trial Lawyers Award); National Alliance of Sentencing Advocates and Mitigation Specialists (Certification in Fundamentals of Defense-Based Mitigation and Advocacy). Member: El Dorado County Bar Association, Placer County Bar Association.

Cohen Defense Group
Zachary Merliss

Zachary Merliss is a fighter. He has an eagle eye for police misconduct and litigates it at every stage.

Zach is passionate about protecting his clients' 4th Amendment right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures. As he says, "The 4th Amendment doesn't discriminate between guilty and innocent. It must be applied evenly in all cases for the system to work. A skilled advocate must be intimately familiar with the large and complicated body of 4th Amendment law in order to effectively evaluate every search, seizure, and warrant to determine if they were 'unreasonable.' I know the legal protections that extend from the cases, and I use those protections to defend my clients."

Zach graduated from UCLA and got his law degree from USC in 2016. He was a legal fellow with the Federal Public Defender in Las Vegas before joining the Cohen Defense Group in May of 2017. Zach grew up in Northern California and has now returned to proudly serve his community.

Zach's litigation talents are particularly well-suited to our clients facing DUI and drug charges. "Everyone deserves protection under the constitution, but you need a skilled advocate to invoke those protections. California has been passing more favorable laws for DUI and drug cases and I'm happy to be able to use those laws to my clients' advantage." According to founding partner David Cohen, "Zach is a bulldog. He is making the prosecutors work overtime by challenging every potential act of police misconduct. That kind of zeal reaps great results for our clients."

Zach has always been on the frontlines of fighting injustice. Prior to joining the Cohen Defense Group, he advocated for workers and the disabled at Service Employees International Union and Disability Rights California. He received an Academic Achievement Award from USC for the highest grade in a course analyzing how the criminal justice system affects marginalized groups in society.

Zach was born in Chico and raised in South Lake Tahoe, California. He became a member of the state bar in 2016. Education: UCLA, Los Angeles, CA (B.A. Political Science, Minor in Film, Television & Digital Media 2012); University of Southern California School of Law, Los Angeles, CA (J.D., 2016). Member: State Bar of California, Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society.

Cohen Defense Group
Zachary Merliss

Zachary Merliss is a fighter. He has an eagle eye for police misconduct and litigates it at every stage.

Zach is passionate about protecting his clients' 4th Amendment right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures. As he says, "The 4th Amendment doesn't discriminate between guilty and innocent. It must be applied evenly in all cases for the system to work. A skilled advocate must be intimately familiar with the large and complicated body of 4th Amendment law in order to effectively evaluate every search, seizure, and warrant to determine if they were 'unreasonable.' I know the legal protections that extend from the cases, and I use those protections to defend my clients."

Zach graduated from UCLA and got his law degree from USC in 2016. He was a legal fellow with the Federal Public Defender in Las Vegas before joining the Cohen Defense Group in May of 2017. Zach grew up in Northern California and has now returned to proudly serve his community.

Zach's litigation talents are particularly well-suited to our clients facing DUI and drug charges. "Everyone deserves protection under the constitution, but you need a skilled advocate to invoke those protections. California has been passing more favorable laws for DUI and drug cases and I'm happy to be able to use those laws to my clients' advantage." According to founding partner David Cohen, "Zach is a bulldog. He is making the prosecutors work overtime by challenging every potential act of police misconduct. That kind of zeal reaps great results for our clients."

Zach has always been on the frontlines of fighting injustice. Prior to joining the Cohen Defense Group, he advocated for workers and the disabled at Service Employees International Union and Disability Rights California. He received an Academic Achievement Award from USC for the highest grade in a course analyzing how the criminal justice system affects marginalized groups in society.

Zach was born in Chico and raised in South Lake Tahoe, California. He became a member of the state bar in 2016. Education: UCLA, Los Angeles, CA (B.A. Political Science, Minor in Film, Television & Digital Media 2012); University of Southern California School of Law, Los Angeles, CA (J.D., 2016). Member: State Bar of California, Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society.

Cohen Defense Group
Matthew Friedman

A graduate of the prestigious Hastings College of the Law, Matthew Friedman is surprisingly down-to-earth. His calm demeanor and genuine compassion, together with his sharp intellect, make him a force to be reckoned with in court.

Matthew discovered his passion for criminal law early on. David Cohen, founding partner of the Cohen Defense Group, says of Matthew, "Most people go to law school not knowing what kind of law they want to practice. Matthew knew from day one he was going to be a criminal defense attorney. He carefully selected each internship, law school class, and post-bar activity to give him the tools to successfully defend our clients. Matthew has quickly become a client favorite and many of his clients reach out to thank me for having him work on their case."

Developing a defense for his client is a creative process that Matthew loves. Finding weak spots in the prosecution's case, interpreting what shows up on video or in recorded calls, and challenging the actions of police by moving to keep evidence out of court are all tools in his arsenal. Additionally, Matthew's exceptional communication skills get good results from judges and juries.

Matthew's criminal defense skills were honed through legal internships at Public Defender's Offices in Solano County, Marin County, and San Francisco. He handled misdemeanor caseloads, litigated probation revocation hearings, and helped win a not guilty verdict in a manslaughter trial, all before passing the bar. While in law school Matthew earned the Witkin Award for Academic Excellence in Criminal Procedure and the Adjudicative Process as well as Certifications for legal research and professional readiness.

Matthew is responsible for a misdemeanor caseload at the Cohen Defense Group, but also has felony trial experience. He handles DUI and felony cases in both Placer and Sacramento counties. Matthew particularly enjoys working with minor clients facing delinquency charges. Matthew relates well to young clients and is passionate about defending them in juvenile court. As Matthew says, "I got into criminal defense because I wanted to help people. I feel good about my day if I made a difference for someone."

Matthew is an avid outdoorsman. When he is not working, he enjoys skiing, hiking, mountain biking, tennis, basketball, and following Bay Area sports teams.

Matthew was born in Greenbrae, California. He was admitted to the California Bar in 2017. Education: University of California, Davis (B.A. 2013); University of California, Hastings College of the Law, San Francisco (J.D. 2017). Matthew is a member of the Placer County Bar Association.

Cohen Defense Group
Matthew Friedman

A graduate of the prestigious Hastings College of the Law, Matthew Friedman is surprisingly down-to-earth. His calm demeanor and genuine compassion, together with his sharp intellect, make him a force to be reckoned with in court.

Matthew discovered his passion for criminal law early on. David Cohen, founding partner of the Cohen Defense Group, says of Matthew, "Most people go to law school not knowing what kind of law they want to practice. Matthew knew from day one he was going to be a criminal defense attorney. He carefully selected each internship, law school class, and post-bar activity to give him the tools to successfully defend our clients. Matthew has quickly become a client favorite and many of his clients reach out to thank me for having him work on their case."

Developing a defense for his client is a creative process that Matthew loves. Finding weak spots in the prosecution's case, interpreting what shows up on video or in recorded calls, and challenging the actions of police by moving to keep evidence out of court are all tools in his arsenal. Additionally, Matthew's exceptional communication skills get good results from judges and juries.

Matthew's criminal defense skills were honed through legal internships at Public Defender's Offices in Solano County, Marin County, and San Francisco. He handled misdemeanor caseloads, litigated probation revocation hearings, and helped win a not guilty verdict in a manslaughter trial, all before passing the bar. While in law school Matthew earned the Witkin Award for Academic Excellence in Criminal Procedure and the Adjudicative Process as well as Certifications for legal research and professional readiness.

Matthew is responsible for a misdemeanor caseload at the Cohen Defense Group, but also has felony trial experience. He handles DUI and felony cases in both Placer and Sacramento counties. Matthew particularly enjoys working with minor clients facing delinquency charges. Matthew relates well to young clients and is passionate about defending them in juvenile court. As Matthew says, "I got into criminal defense because I wanted to help people. I feel good about my day if I made a difference for someone."

Matthew is an avid outdoorsman. When he is not working, he enjoys skiing, hiking, mountain biking, tennis, basketball, and following Bay Area sports teams.

Matthew was born in Greenbrae, California. He was admitted to the California Bar in 2017. Education: University of California, Davis (B.A. 2013); University of California, Hastings College of the Law, San Francisco (J.D. 2017). Matthew is a member of the Placer County Bar Association.

Cohen Defense Group
Danielle Nygren

Danielle Nygren works hard and relishes a challenge. She recently graduated from the U.C. Irvine School of Law with High Honors for working more pro bono hours than anyone else in her class. While Danielle was excelling academically, she put in over 400 hours on real-life cases at a number of Public Defender's offices in Southern California. Her enthusiasm and talent make her an exceptional young attorney, and we are proud to have her on our team.

Danielle currently works in our misdemeanor and domestic violence units, where hard work and dedication matter. Fascinated with the criminal justice system and the power to protect people's rights, Danielle says, "What motivates me to work so hard is feeling like I am someone's advocate, their warrior - trained, informed, and ready to go to battle for them."

Danielle fights many of those battles in the pre-trial phases of her cases. "I get fired up about discovery issues and police misconduct. Holding the District Attorney accountable to turn over their information and challenging police misconduct can really turn the tables in our favor. I love bail review arguments because I can get my client out of custody and that makes a difference for them."

While in school, Danielle worked for the Sacramento County Public Defender, the Orange County Public Defender, the Santa Barbara Public Defender, the Clemency Project (where she sought a presidential pardon for her client), the Innocence Appeal Project (where she sought exoneration for her clients from the California Supreme Court), and a Criminal Justice Clinic and an Immigrant Rights Clinic through U.C. Irvine.

Her work experience in law school earned Danielle some notoriety in the community and brought her to the attention of the Cohen Defense Group's managing partner, David Cohen, who says, "Adding Danielle Nygren to the Cohen Defense Group was an easy decision. She graduated from one of the state's most innovative law schools in the top of her class, worked extensively on informant issues arising from the infamous Orange County jail snitch program, and successfully overturned the deportation of a U.S. Army veteran while working with the UC Irvine Immigration Clinic. This showed me that Danielle has a high level of dedication to the work and, more importantly, Danielle is a winner. She has quickly proven herself a strong advocate for our clients."

When she is not working, Danielle enjoys music, being outdoors, and spending time with family and friends.

Danielle was born in Fair Oaks and raised in El Dorado Hills and Folsom. She became a member of the state bar in 2018. Education: University of California, Irvine, CA (B.A. Social Ecology 2014); University of California School of Law, Irvine, CA (J.D., 2018). Member: State Bar of California, Placer County Bar Association.

Cohen Defense Group
Danielle Nygren

Danielle Nygren works hard and relishes a challenge. She recently graduated from the U.C. Irvine School of Law with High Honors for working more pro bono hours than anyone else in her class. While Danielle was excelling academically, she put in over 400 hours on real-life cases at a number of Public Defender's offices in Southern California. Her enthusiasm and talent make her an exceptional young attorney, and we are proud to have her on our team.

Danielle currently works in our misdemeanor and domestic violence units, where hard work and dedication matter. Fascinated with the criminal justice system and the power to protect people's rights, Danielle says, "What motivates me to work so hard is feeling like I am someone's advocate, their warrior - trained, informed, and ready to go to battle for them."

Danielle fights many of those battles in the pre-trial phases of her cases. "I get fired up about discovery issues and police misconduct. Holding the District Attorney accountable to turn over their information and challenging police misconduct can really turn the tables in our favor. I love bail review arguments because I can get my client out of custody and that makes a difference for them."

While in school, Danielle worked for the Sacramento County Public Defender, the Orange County Public Defender, the Santa Barbara Public Defender, the Clemency Project (where she sought a presidential pardon for her client), the Innocence Appeal Project (where she sought exoneration for her clients from the California Supreme Court), and a Criminal Justice Clinic and an Immigrant Rights Clinic through U.C. Irvine.

Her work experience in law school earned Danielle some notoriety in the community and brought her to the attention of the Cohen Defense Group's managing partner, David Cohen, who says, "Adding Danielle Nygren to the Cohen Defense Group was an easy decision. She graduated from one of the state's most innovative law schools in the top of her class, worked extensively on informant issues arising from the infamous Orange County jail snitch program, and successfully overturned the deportation of a U.S. Army veteran while working with the UC Irvine Immigration Clinic. This showed me that Danielle has a high level of dedication to the work and, more importantly, Danielle is a winner. She has quickly proven herself a strong advocate for our clients."

When she is not working, Danielle enjoys music, being outdoors, and spending time with family and friends.

Danielle was born in Fair Oaks and raised in El Dorado Hills and Folsom. She became a member of the state bar in 2018. Education: University of California, Irvine, CA (B.A. Social Ecology 2014); University of California School of Law, Irvine, CA (J.D., 2018). Member: State Bar of California, Placer County Bar Association.

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This lawyer is licensed to practice in California and has no record of discipline from the California bar association. *

* Nolo has confirmed that every member attorney has a valid license and is in good standing with the state agency that licenses lawyers. Any past disbarments and suspensions (with possible exceptions for minor violations or nonpayment of dues, in our discretion) will be indicated accordingly in the badge. Member attorneys are required to notify Nolo immediately if they become the subject of any disciplinary action by any state licensing agency.

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This lawyer is licensed to practice in California and has no record of discipline from the California bar association. *

* Nolo has confirmed that every member attorney has a valid license and is in good standing with the state agency that licenses lawyers. Any past disbarments and suspensions (with possible exceptions for minor violations or nonpayment of dues, in our discretion) will be indicated accordingly in the badge. Member attorneys are required to notify Nolo immediately if they become the subject of any disciplinary action by any state licensing agency.