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Memorial--Cohen, Paul
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Paul Cohen
1935 – 1975 

MR. SHEEHAN: Now, to speak in tribute to Paul Cohen I call on Fred Goldman. 

     MR. GOLDMAN: Thank you, Mr. Sheehan, Your Honors, members of the Bar, ladies and gentlemen, I speak as a friend and law partner of Paul Cohen.

      He was born in 1935 in Brooklyn, New York , and has surviving him an older brother, Jack, and sister, Blanch. In 1956 he received a Bachelor of Science degree from Carnegie-Melon in Pittsburg. From that time until 1964 he had varied industrial experience as a metallurgical engineer, the last being as Chief Metalurgist with the General Casting Company of Pennsylvania.

      In 1964 he came to the Washington area to work at the patent office and also began law school in the evening at Georgetown University Law Center.

      I met him at that time at Georgetown and we were associates until the end of high school. He rose to the rank of Primary Examiner in the patent office after graduating with a juris doctorate degree at Georgetown and left to enter the private practice of law.

      Prior to that he married Michelle who is here today and had two lovely daughters Francine and Rebecca.

      As I note, in spite of the status and security of a Government job shortly after graduation having taken and passed the Maryland Bar he left to go into what he considered a more challenging field of private law practice.

      He did something rather unusual at that time for a patent attorney and that is to establish a practice in Montgomery County as opposed to the District of Columbia or Crystal City in Arlington where the patent offices are located. He felt with the growth of the county there were many needs to be served in the Montgomery County area. I believe he was proven correct. However, he was not satisfied to confine himself to the field of patent law.

      I believe because of his desire to constantly broaden his horizons and establish a varied practice becoming involved in corporate law, negligence, domestic law, and preparation of wills and practiced before some of you honorable judges in this Court.

      He was very active, in addition to the practice of law, in his Committee. He was a member of the Temple Shalom Congregation having served as legal advisor and chairman of the Ways and Means Committee and on the Board of Trustees. He was a director of two corporations, a brokerage firm and Mr. House of Toys.

      I believe that Paul’s clients and colleagues will remember his gregarious personality, his quick and inquiring mind, and that he was a tough but also fair negotiator, always well prepared and always willing to take on a cause he equally believed was just.

      In addition, his associates will remember his generosity and his concern for others ahead of himself. I personally will remember Paul with gratitude for convincing me to leave a secure corporate situation and enter into what I have found to be a more interesting field and that is the real practice of law which is constantly changing, challenging and interesting. I know our partners feel our partnership ended too soon.

      JUDGE SHURE: Judge McAuliff will respond for the Court.

      JUDGE MCAULIFF: Ladies and gentlemen, I am honored to be called upon to respond for all of the members of this Court in memory of our beloved friend, Paul Cohen. I primarily knew Paul as a fellow practitioner before I was appointed to this court. I knew him there in two areas primarily; in the continuing legal education field in which this Bar in this county is so active and in which Paul was particularly active and interested and also as brother practitioner to lean on for advice and assistance in a field in which I had absolutely no expertise and very little learning.

      Paul as you might gather from the remarks that have been made was quite learned in the field of patents and copy rights. I had occasion during the practice of law to call on him more than one occasion when I found myself floundering like a fish out of sea in the area of copy rights or patents to ask his assistance. I found him not only very learned in those fields but an extremely gracious person and more than willing to help out and give you the benefit of his advice and learning for which I was deeply appreciative.

      In the continuing legal education field in which I was very much interested on behalf of the Bar as I found Paul had a deep and abiding interest particularly in a program we initiated, the weekly breakfast. This required arising at a very early hour, and I was not able, therefore, to make all of them, but I suspect Paul was present at each and every one of them because when I did not sleep in and successful in arriving Paul was there. These breakfasts covered a wide range of topics, the entire spectrum of law, and yet no matter what we discussed Paul appeared to have not only the interest but some accomplishment in that particular area. I have never been at a breakfast no matter what the topic that Paul did not contribute to the discussion.

      Such was the man, and that is obvious that he was very accomplished as an engineer and when he turned to law, also in the field of law. He was indeed bright, quick, and intelligent. Socially, I recall on one occasion and I believe it was a cocktail party sponsored by the wives of Montgomery County, and as my wife and I walked through a crowded room engaging in conversations with various people we came to stop with Paul and his wife and as all of you know you occasionally meet someone at such a gathering where the conversation is so good and the people so friendly and compatible that you do not move on and that is precisely the position we found ourselves with Paul and his wife.

      We found both of them to be the finest type of people and very much enjoyed their company on that evening. Socially and professionally I have been graced with the pleasure of being in his company and profiting from his learning and from his interest. He was a rare person in that his interest was in everything. He had a sincere interest in everything that existed and every one. His high degree of intelligence permitted him to pursue all of these interests and do so effectively. We are extremely sorry to loose a man of such extraordinary potential so early in life. Obviously you know that to be true. He loved life and he loved people, but no matter what the life span of any of us were going to be measured by how much or how well we made use of the span that was given us rather than how well we stretched it, and Paul Cohen made extraordinary use of his span and enriched and made more pleasant the lives of those that met him. No more can be asked of any person.