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Colonel (retired) W. Shane Cohen has associated with the Law Offices of Richard V. Stevens, P.C. in an “of counsel” capacity. Mr. Cohen recently retired after nearly twenty-two years of service in the Air Force. His final assignment was as the Air Force’s Chief Circuit Military Judge for the Eastern United States and the presiding judge for the 9-11 Commission cases at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. During his distinguished and award-winning career, Mr. Cohen was privileged to also serve as a regional trial judge, a military defense counsel at the base level, deputy chief defense counsel at the regional level, and as a prosecutor at the regional level. Mr. Cohen and Mr. Stevens have over four decades of combined military law experience to draw on in defending their clients.
After his Air Force retirement, Mr. Cohen worked for the Salt Lake County District Attorney’s office as a senior attorney, where he served on the major crimes unit and investigated and prosecuted high-visibility cases for the State of Utah’s largest district attorney’s office. This opportunity not only further enhanced Mr. Cohen’s criminal law expertise and advocacy skills, but it expanded his ability to advise military clients on how to maneuver through both the civilian and military criminal justice systems. In 2021, Mr. Cohen joined the law firm of Richards Brandt Miller Nelson and affiliated with Mr. Stevens’ military defense law practice in an “of counsel” role, while maintaining his extensive criminal and civil litigation practice with his firm in Utah.
During his Air Force JAG career, Mr. Cohen handled hundreds of military courts-martial and administrative disciplinary actions and was involved in some of the most complex and high-profile cases in the Air Force military justice system at the time. Mr. Cohen has litigated the full spectrum of criminal issues including murder, rape, robbery, embezzlement, computer crimes, and drug offenses. His complex litigation experience has included effectively using defense experts and confronting prosecution experts in a wide range of specialties, including forensic computer analysis, forensic psychology, false confession experts, toxicologists, medical examiners, and financial experts. He has also advised senior officers in actions regarding removal from command, senior officer unfavorable information files, and officer grade determinations.
During his Air Force JAG career, Mr. Cohen also routinely instructed on military law and military justice topics, including presentations at the Air Force Judge Advocate General’s School, the annual DoD Military Judge’s Training events, the annual Air Force Circuit Trial Advocacy Courses, the annual Military Judge’s course at the Army Judge Advocate General’s Legal Center and School, and at military attorney training conferences around the country. Mr. Cohen’s military justice expertise has continued to be sought out by military defense counsel and the Air Force’s trial defense services since his retirement.