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Michael is a seasoned litigator and trial lawyer who represents hospitals, nursing homes, other health care providers, municipalities, colleges, universities and private educational institutions in a variety of litigation matters. He leads the firm’s Health Care Litigation team and is a co-founder of the Indian Law & Gaming team.

What do you focus on?

I currently focus my practice on three main areas, in which I apply more than three decades of litigation and trial experience.

Health Care Litigation

I regularly represent hospitals, nursing homes, clinics and other members of the regulated health care community in litigation and administrative proceedings. My cases concern medical staff issues, privacy matters, reimbursement claims, residency disputes, restrictive covenants and various contract and tort claims.

  • I am currently representing a nationally known medical center against a high-profile claim for invasion of privacy and breach of confidentiality.

Indian Law and Gaming Litigation

I represent municipalities and other non-tribal interests across the country in matters regarding Indian tribal sovereignty, including opposition to casino gaming initiatives, Indian land claims and other aspects of Indian law.

  • I recently represented two California counties in litigation regarding an effort to pursue tribal restoration and gaming.
  • I recently served as lead trial counsel in an action to enjoin an Indian tribe from pursuing a casino gaming initiative. This case presented cutting-edge issues pertaining to Indian sovereignty, aboriginal rights, tribal status and recognition, the federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) and various land use issues. The matter was tried for more than 30 days in federal court and our client prevailed.
  • I also serve as lead counsel for various municipalities and private landowners in connection with an Indian land claim seeking recovery of real property reportedly valued at nearly $2 billion.

College and University Litigation

I represent colleges, universities and private educational institutions in federal and state court litigation regarding academic misconduct, tenure, defamation and other tort and contract issues.

  • I recently represented a post-graduate institution against several high-profile actions brought by a tenured professor who was terminated for plagiarism.
  • I recently represented a well-known private school and its trustees, who were the targets of a defamation claim.

What do you see on the horizon?

In the Indian Law arena, I regularly monitor developments at the Bureau of Indian Affairs, in Congress and in the courts regarding the taking of lands into trust for the benefit of Indians, Indian land claims and the regulation of Indian gaming. It is important for our clients to be able to anticipate the issues likely to be raised by local Indian tribes asserting sovereignty.

Media Clips

  • NY Tribe's Land Claims Appeal Nixed By 2nd Circ.
    Law360 | October 27, 2015
    Commercial Litigation partner and leader of the firm’s Indian Law & Gaming team Michael Cohen is featured in this story on the Second Circuit’s decision to toss a bid by the Shinnecock Indian Nation to overturn a NY district court's dismissal of its land reclamation claims in the Hamptons. Michael is quoted and identified as counsel for many of the appellees.
  • 2nd Circ. Urged to Nix Tribe's Hamptons Land Claims
    Law360 | June 4, 2015
    This feature story notes New York and other defendants’ request to the Second Circuit to uphold the dismissal of the Shinnecock Indian Nation’s complaint saying the appeals court’s precedent of denying such tribal land claims is well-settled. Long Island commercial litigation partner Michael Cohen is identified among the appellees’ counsel.


Michael S. Cohen