In an editorial piece in Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly upon his passing, Charles S. Cohen was described as "... a soft-spoken giant of the Massachusetts Bar." To us, he was Charlie, a scholar of the law and mentor to many younger members of the Firm.
Born and raised in Holyoke, Massachusetts, a city abutting Springfield, Charlie graduated from Yale University and Harvard Law School. In 1975, Charlie was appointed a Justice of the District Court of Springfield. Bill Flanagan would describe Charlie as the "best" District Court Judge he ever appeared before.
Active in civic affairs, Charlie was the first Chairman of the Springfield Civic Center Commission and served as President of the Hampden County Bar Association. He was appointed by the Supreme Judicial Court as a member and then Chairperson of the Massachusetts Board of Bar Overseers. He served as a member of the governor's Judicial Nominating Commission. Highly involved in Continuing Legal and Ethical Education, the Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education, Inc. established a scholarship in his memory.
Charlie's practice centered on complex civil litigation. He represented many of the largest business organizations in Massachusetts.
He was highly skilled as an advocate and also extremely able at legal writing. All of the younger lawyers in the Firm endured his "editing" of any important filing. His goal was concise, clearly written advocacy, and he would devote hours of assistance to young lawyers seeking to emulate his skill at writing.
Two of Charlie's seven children became members of the Massachusetts Bar. His son David practiced with Charlie at the Firm before Charlie retired.