Alison Cohen is the most experienced juvenile delinquency attorney in Placer County. She has been defending children charged with crimes since 2001, and now partners with associate Matthew Lanthier to run the firm’s Juvenile Division. 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 served on the board and continues to be a member of Soroptomist 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 is a member of the Pacific Juvenile Defender Center, California Attorneys for Criminal Justice, and the Placer County Bar Association.