New York Law Firm for Immigration, Divorce, and Criminal Defense

This video features Cory Forman, an Immigration Law attorney based in New York.

Attorneys Handle Claims Involving Multiple Practice Areas

Video Transcript:

David Jason Cohen: 

It's not just the legal aspect, it's also the human aspect that matters to each and every one of us, as well as our employees here at Cohen Forman Barone.

Tom Mustin: 

What makes a law firm a good law firm? That's what we're gonna talk about today with David J. Cohen, Cory Forman and Carla Barone on today's Ask the Lawyer. Guys, thanks for joining us.

Cory Forman: 

Thanks for having us.

Carla Barone: 

Thanks for having us.

Tom Mustin: 

Great to have you all three together. Let's start off by talking about how you first got together and why you decided to work together.

Carla Barone: 

Sure. The areas of Criminal Law, Family Law and Immigration are all areas of law that really effect people individually and their families, even more so. The common thread that Dave, Cory and I have together is that we really are lawyers who are passionate about helping people in times of critical need and each of these practice areas certainly puts people in that situation, and so oue areas of our passion and areas of advocacy to help people through their time of need is really the foundation which got us working together.

Tom Mustin: 

Okay. And David, talk about why it's so important to have attorneys that have expertise in multiple different fields of the law.

David Jason Cohen: 

Sure Tom. Our clients come to us with varying needs, and we find it more common than not that each client comes to us with areas of concern outside of, for instance, Criminal Law. They have criminal issues, but yet somehow their family is involved and it may involve help for children in need of support or there may be interactions between their spouse in a domestic violence situation. We have clients who come to us with immigration issues that delve into the criminal field or into the family law field, trying to keep their families together. We're able to give more comprehensive legal representation to clients when we have expertise in all of the various areas we do, so we find it benefits our clients tremendously to have expertise in these varying aspects of the law and makes it for a, just a better community feel and a better care for our clients.

Tom Mustin: 

And Cory, obviously, you all get along well together, talk about how your individual skills really complement each other.

Cory Forman: 

Well, I think one of the things that bond us the most is the three of us all come from a culture where we believe strongly in the two components of being an attorney, significant ones. There is the fierce advocacy for our clients, put yourselves in their position and fight for them, but at the same time, there's also the counselor-at-law part. You're talking about people that are in some very desperate situations, in a complicated situation that are trying to get on with their life and you have to be empathetic to that. You have to be comforting to them, and the three of us believe that, but we come at it in different ways, and whether it's dealing with the clients or actually dealing with each other, brainstorming issues, we have different perspectives and different styles, and we think that's an advantage that leads to a more diverse viewpoint, a more vibrant debate on how to handle certain legal issues and how to approach each individual case.

Tom Mustin: 

And David, obviously this is a... Let's do a little bit of a back story here. Why did you decide to start your own firm here?

David Jason Cohen: 

Initially, I was... I started in the District Attorney's office, and then I clearly recognized that I was on the wrong side and I wanted to help people in need as Carla stated earlier. Cory was also... I switched to become a public defender, I met Cory there, way back when I also met Carla there. Cory and I decided to leave the public defender's office together because we enjoyed the idea of immigration law and also helping others outside of just the public defense field. Cory and I were good friends, and we both were zealous advocates, we both enjoyed the litigation aspect of criminal defense and immigration. So Cory and I left public defender's office in 2005, 2006...

Cory Forman: 

2006, yeah.

David Jason Cohen: 

And we formed a very small firm, just the two of us in one tiny office, and over the ensuing 15-16 years, I'll let Carla talk about how she joined the firm, but we as friends and advocates, we've found it very nice to work together toward a common goal.

Cory Forman: 

It is just funny now that I think back, and Dave brings that up, it was this just small corner office that we painted red, the two of us shared, and it was what? 16, 17 years later, it just seems insane to me that that was where we were, and that's where we are and Carla will pick up.

Tom Mustin: 

Well, what a success story. And Carla let's talk about it. That was a big decision for you. What made you decide to join the firm too?

Carla Barone: 

Thank you. Yes, it was a very big decision. I had come from working in larger firms and around the city and in the state of Connecticut and around focusing, I should say, on matrimonial and family law matters. So, Cohen Forman at the time approached me because they wanted to diversify and add the area, a very needed area of practice in the family law, matrimonial field, and knew that I was working for several years, almost a decade prior to that in that field. So the firm is expanding and the firm continues to expand. Since my joining in 2015, it's done nothing but expand every year, so it's a very exciting place to be, certainly the right decision for me and us and our clients. We have now added an area of law in the matrimonial family field, which cross-sects and intersects with the other areas of practice quite frequently, not always but frequently, and it's been a great decision and continues to be since then.

Tom Mustin: 

Well, the fact that you're expanding speaks a lot to the success you're having there, but Cory, talk a little bit about the culture. I know we touched on this a bit, but talk about the culture and why it's so important to you all.

Cory Forman:

It's special, we're all family-oriented, and we bring that to the firm, we believe in family values, we believe in time with the family, and it's important to honor the relationships you have in your life, and that goes with the firm too. We want people to feel a sense of family here and prioritize family, both their own individual family and the firm family. We think that makes people committed to the work. I think this was especially apparent during the pandemic, where we were committed to keeping the doors open and keeping operations going and still fighting for our clients, despite the fact that it felt like the world was ending. So that's a big part of the way we run things. And I think the three of us all value the relationships we've built, both professionally and personally over the years.

Cory Forman: 

The three of us have very good reputations within the field. Dave is on with the Criminal Courts Committee that establishes rules and policies for the criminal courts in New York. Carla comes from one of the most prestigious matrimonial law firms in Manhattan before she joined us, and Connecticut frankly, and has just a wealth of experience and a reputation there. And I've been very active in the American Immigration Lawyers Association. I served on the New York Chapter Board for the past five years and currently serve as the chapter chairperson, and I'm involved nationally with that organization as well. And the reason why I bring that up is because it speaks to the value of the relationships we've built in the field, and bringing in our employees and our staff and many times even our clients into those relationships as well.

Tom Mustin: 

You kinda answered it. And this is kind of a broad question, we're hearing rumors there are a couple of other law firms in New York City. Why should folks choose you?

David Jason Cohen: 

Well, that's a great question. The three of us all have extensive experience in our particular fields. So Cory's been in his field almost 20 years now, Carla as well. Myself have been in over 20 years on both sides of the criminal field. When you come here, you not only get that experience, but you also get treated like a family member. We really care about each and every one of our clients. All of our clients have at least three contacts within the law firm who they can reach out to. You don't go very long without speaking with somebody at the law firm. Your cares are our cares. We are not standoffish, we do not treat our clients any differently than we treat one another as you probably can see right now. Our clients become part of our family.

David Jason Cohen: 

We don't just do the law because it's what we've chosen to do in our professional field. We do it because it's consistent with how we feel about life, and we want our clients to know that. Look at some of the reviews we've been fortunate to receive and they talk about how you get treated with respect and dignity here. It's not just about winning your case, it's about making you part of winning your case and making you feel like we care about winning your case and we care about you. It's not just the legal aspect, it's also the human aspect that matters to each and every one of us, as well as our employees here at Cohen Forman Barone.

Tom Mustin: 

That's a great answer Dave. And just the last question Carla, at the beginning, we said what makes a good law firm? Do you think that all goes into making a good law firm, the family feeling and other aspects?

Carla Barone: 

Hands down, Yes. [chuckle] I would say that. And we say that because that's what we hear from our clients, that's the feedback that we get. Is that, they are part of the team, they are part of the process, and thankfully it comes naturally to the three of us. So in turn, our clients get that benefit.

Tom Mustin: 

Well, so great to talk to all three of you. Congratulations on all your success and look forward to talking to you again very soon.

Carla Barone: 

Thank you.

David Jason Cohen: 

Thanks Tom.

Cory Forman: 

Thanks so much Tom.

Tom Mustin: 

And that's gonna do it for this episode of Ask the Lawyer. My guests have been David J. Cohen, Cory Forman and Carla Barone. If you'd like to ask them questions about your situation, call the number you see on the screen. Thanks for watching. I'm Tom Mustin for Ask the Lawyers.

Disclaimer: This video is for informational purposes only. In some states, this video may be deemed Attorney Advertising. The choice of lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely on advertisements.


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