James E. Cohen's Profile Image

James E. Cohen

Phone: (510) 835-3020

Before joining Maier Pfeffer Kim Geary & Cohen LLP in July 2013, attorney Jim Cohen served for over eight years as Deputy General Counsel for the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians. He is an honors graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School and served as law clerk to Judge James A. Parker of the U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico. Jim’s Indian law career began at D.N.A. People’s Legal Services on the Navajo Reservation, where he litigated a range of issues for indigent Navajo clients. Jim worked at California Indian Legal Services from 1993 through 2005, serving as directing attorney, first of the Escondido office and later of the Oakland office.

At CILS, Jim represented dozens of California tribal governments and hundreds of Indian individuals and families in a wide range of matters. His expertise includes tribal governance, gaming, litigation, negotiation, education, fee to trust, environmental compliance, Indian Child Welfare Act and all other aspects of federal Indian law. Having served long-term as in-house counsel to one of the most progressive and effective tribal governments in California, and its casino, Jim brings a breadth and depth of experience to the firm in practical problem-solving in all areas of tribal governance.


  • Harvard University Law School, J.D., cum laude, 1988
  • Harvard College, B.A., magna cum laude, 1984

Bar Admissions

  • California
  • United States District Court, Eastern District of California
  • United States District Court, Central District of California
  • United States District Court, Southern District of California