Leonard Kohen, ESQ.


LEONARD KOHEN, ESQ.

Leonard M. Kohen is a general commercial litigator whose specialties include commercial contract disputes, employment law, corporate governance, intellectual property, malpractice and premises liability, real estate, fraud claims (prosecuting and defending), and civil rights and election law.

In more than ten years of law practice, Leonard has successfully represented small closely-held businesses and larger corporations, elected officials, homeowners, aggrieved employees, and independent contractors. 

Among major victories that Leonard has obtained for clients are a court award of double damages against a popular newsstand magazine under the New York Labor Law and a substantial settlement – i.e., three years of salary – in an employment discrimination claim against a multi-national law firm.  

In 2012, as counsel to State Senate Minority Leader John Sampson and the Senate Democratic Party conference in federal redistricting litigation, Leonard defeated motions to dismiss by state Senate and Assembly majority leaders, enabling the court to draw redistricting maps without disruption to the election calendar.  

Leonard served as a litigation associate for a combined six years at two Manhattan boutique law firms with sophisticated commercial practices, where he served clients that included the Trump Organization and Equinox Fitness, and Leonard has represented numerous clients in general counsel capacities. He has also successfully represented clients before the New York State Attorney General, New York City Fire Department, NYC Environmental Control Board, NYC Department of Consumer Affairs, and other administrative agencies.  

Earlier in his career, Leonard represented clients in a wide array of real estate court actions - including scoring successes in, among others, cases involving defective construction of new homes, litigation to enforce specific performance of a contract in a real estate sale, predatory lending and mortgage fraud, compliance in curing city violations, fraud involving regulatory city agencies, and partitions and other litigation between neighboring property owners.

In 2008 Leonard was an attorney at the Brennan Center for Justice in New York City, where he defended the newly enacted Connecticut public campaign finance system, containing the strongest “pay to play” prevention laws in the country, against constitutional challenges in federal litigation.  Leonard began his career as a speechwriter for the Permanent Mission of Thailand to the United Nations, where he wrote policy speeches on governance and social and economic development, in the aftermath of the 1997 Asian financial crisis.  He was also a member of Thai Delegation to working groups that drafted procedures and regulations for the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Leonard has been a long-time voting rights advocate, and is a founding member and serves as an officer in the leadership of the New York Democratic Lawyers Council, a 7,000+ member voting rights project of the New York Democratic Party and the Democratic National Committee. He has taught lawyers and has led and participated in dozens of election protection “poll watcher” operations at the city, state and federal levels.

Leonard is a lifelong New York resident, who lives in Manhattan, enjoys yoga and has run several half-marathons.  

Education

Brooklyn Law School, J.D., 1998

New York University, Gallatin School, B.A., 1995

Reported cases:

Stanacard LLC v. Rubard LLC, 1:12-cv-05176, Docket Entry No. 221 (S.D.N.Y. Sept. 14, 2015)

Favors v. Cuomo, 866 F. Supp. 2d 176; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 31538 (E.D.N.Y. 2012).

Horowitz v. Mannoia, 10 Misc. 3d 467; 802 N.Y.S.2d 917 (Nassau County Sup Ct. 2005).

Edman & Company, LLC v. Z & M Media, LLC, 2012 NY Slip Op 32918(U) (Sup. Ct. N.Y. County 2012) (Madden, J.)

Publications:

Jeffrey M. Wice and Leonard M. Kohen, “Court Deference to State Legislatures in Redistricting After Perry v. Perez,” 11 Elec. L. J. 431 (Dec. 2012) (abstract available here). 

Leonard M. Kohen and Ekow Yankah, Op-Ed, “Electoral Fairness Held Prisoner,” Albany Times-Union, May 17, 2011 (available here). 

Admissions:

New York State (2000)

U.S. Southern District of New York (2006)

U.S. Eastern District of New York (2006)