Speeches and Floor Statements

Barry Cohen

f t # e
Washington, October 12, 2018 | comments
Mr. Speaker, I rise today to celebrate the life of a true champion for justice, Barry Cohen. His remarkable work fighting passionately for all the people of the Tampa Bay community is worthy of recognition.
share: f t
Mr. Speaker, I rise today to celebrate the life of a true champion for justice, Barry Cohen. His remarkable work fighting passionately for all the people of the Tampa Bay community is worthy of recognition.  
 
Mr. Cohen graduated from Tampa’s own Plant High School, earned his bachelor’s from Florida State University, served in the U.S. Coast Guard and earned his law degree from one of America’s oldest and distinguished institutions, the Walter F. George School of Law at Mercer University.
 
Mr. Cohen served his entire legal career on behalf of communities and individuals he felt were not treated fairly.  His desire to help balance the scales and serve those that some would describe as in the lowliest stations stemmed from a childhood experience where he witnessed his father being mistreated by a cook at work. He successfully waged countless civil and criminal battles on behalf of those he felt needed help confronting the powerful. He never hesitated to go up against anyone if he believed a larger principle was at stake. He fought passionately for what he believed in, regularly taking a large number of cases pro-bono, and sometimes putting his own money into cases he was defending, simply because he believed that an injustice had been done.  Mr. Cohen was one of the pioneers in fighting his clients’ cases outside the courtroom, especially when odds seemed stacked against them. For example, when Steven and Marlene Aisenberg were the only suspects in the disappearance of their 5-month-old baby, Mr. Cohen’s defense included an appearance on Larry King Live. Charges were later dropped, and Mr. Cohen won the couple $3 million in legal fees. 

Mr. Cohen dedicated his expertise and resources to make a difference in the lives of so many in our community and by doing so enlightened our community and challenged us all to do better. It is no wonder so many put themselves in his hands to defend their life, liberty or protect the financial future of their family. He was as a man who would work tirelessly - weekends, nights and holidays – whatever it took, to provide a voice to the voiceless. He believed that no one, regardless of position or wealth, was more entitled to justice than anyone else. His selfless service earned him a special place in our community and he will be greatly missed. Mr. Cohen is survived by his wife, Barbara and their son, Barry Alexander Cohen, children, Geena Zaslavsky, Steven Cohen, Kevin Cohen; and his sister, Cynthia Cohen Wright, his brothers by marriage, Stanley Wright and Les Barnett. He was recently predeceased by his sister, Hope Barnett.

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the Tampa Bay community, we thank Barry Cohen for his lifelong respect and dignity leveling the playing field. He will always be remembered as a true champion for justice and the working people of Tampa Bay.
 
f t # e