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.