Marc Cohen has substantial experience representing state and municipal agencies on a wide range of legal, budgetary and financial issues, including escheat (or unclaimed property) matters, developing creative solutions for government and administrative agencies facing budget gaps and other serious fiscal challenges and intragovernmental disputes. Marc has also advised government clients on municipal bankruptcy matters, such as Chapter 9 eligibility and case administration, treatment and risks of municipal debt in Chapter 9 proceedings, and alternatives to bankruptcy.
Marc represents the California State Lands Commission in major cases related to constitutional, bankruptcy and environmental issues impacting California and the oil and gas industry. He also represents the California State Controller in connection with a variety of cases involving the financing of elections, defense of PAGA and class action claims brought by state employees, the financing of charter schools, and the development and promulgation of three sets of proposed regulations relating to procedures for appealing the results of an unclaimed property audit conducted by the State Controller’s Office, the Controller’s retention of third-party auditors to conduct unclaimed property audits, and policies and procedures for submitting claims for unclaimed property to the State Controller’s Office.
Marc also represents San Bernardino County in a coordinated pandemic-related restaurant closure matter involving a dozen California counties.
Notably, Marc represented the states of California and Delaware in enforcing their unclaimed property laws, including in connection with the life insurance and oil and gas industries. In addition to successfully obtaining judicial relief to enforce his clients’ rights to administer their state unclaimed property programs, he has also been especially successful in negotiating settlement agreements on behalf of his clients. This includes representing the California State Controller’s Office in negotiating multi-state settlements with the insurance industry; to date, California has executed settlements with 24 major US insurers with a projected aggregate value of $2.4 billion nationally and over $300 million going to beneficiaries or to the state.
In 2014, Marc was chosen by California Lawyer magazine as a recipient of its prestigious California Lawyer Attorneys of the Year (CLAY) Award for his representation of the State Controller’s Office in recovering hundreds of millions of dollars in unpaid life insurance and annuity proceeds from insurance companies. For his work on this matter and on other work for the City of Los Angeles, Marc recently received a commendatory resolution from the Los Angeles City Council. He has been recognized as a leading practitioner in Bankruptcy & Restructuring in Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business since 2006. He also has been ranked for over 20 years in Best Lawyers in America for Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights, and Insolvency and Reorganization. Additionally, he was named the 2006 Bankruptcy Lawyer of the Year by the Century City Bar Association.
He is a two term member of the Cornell University Council, is a Fellow in the American College of Bankruptcy and a two term lawyer representative for the Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference. He has served as chair of the Executive Committee of the Commercial Law and Bankruptcy Section of the Los Angeles County Bar Association, and has served two terms as a member of the Insolvency Committee of the State Bar of California.
Marc is Chairman of the First-In Fire Foundation and has been named an Honorary Fire Chief by the LAFD. Marc is also a Colonel in the California State Guard, California Military Department, where he serves as Senior Advisor to the Commander, California Air National Guard. Currently, he is working with American first responders to transport firefighting gear, police protective equipment, and hazmat suits to Ukraine first responders.
In addition, Marc has participated in several speaking engagements, given numerous lectures and written on state escheat and bankruptcy issues throughout the course of his career.
Unclaimed Life Insurance, Audits, Settlements & Litigation, Annual Conference of the National Association of State Auditors, Comptrollers and Treasurers, Boston, MA
Effective Auditing and Collection of Unclaimed Life Insurance Proceeds, National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators (NAUPA), Albuquerque, NM
- New York University School of Law, J.D., The New York University Law Review, Order of the Coif
- Cornell University, B.A.
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
- U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California
- U.S. District Court for the Central District of California
- U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California
- U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California
- U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York
- Named in Chambers USA, America's Leading Lawyers for Business, in California Bankruptcy/Restructuring (2006-2022 editions)
- Named "Southern California Super Lawyer" in Business Litigation and Bankruptcy & Creditor/Debtor Rights by Thomson Reuters (2004-2023)
- Named among The National Law Journal's "Litigation Trailblazers" (2016)
- Named "Best Lawyer" in Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency and Reorganization Law and Litigation - Bankruptcy, The Best Lawyers in America, published by Woodward White, Inc. (1999-2023)
- Recipient of California Lawyer Attorneys of the Year (CLAY) Award by California Lawyer (2014)
- Named "Bankruptcy Lawyer of the Year" by Century City Bar Association (2006)
- Fellow, American College of Bankruptcy
- Lawyer Representative, Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference (1994-1997; 2008-2010)
- Member, Cornell University Council (2007-2011; 2013-2017)
- Member, Los Angeles County Bar Association, Executive Committee of the Commercial Law and Bankruptcy Section (Vice-Chair, 1988-1989; Chair, 1989-1990)
- Member, State Bar of California (Insolvency Committee, 1990-1992, 2000-2002; Board of Governors of Financial Lawyers Conference, 1987-1989)
- Board of Advisors, Cornell University Libraries (2000-2007)
- Founder, Miracle Mile Residential Coalition (1982)
- Counsel, Miracle Mile Civic Coalition (1986-Present)
- Colonel, Senior Advisor to California Air National Guard, California State Guard, California Military Department
- Member, Los Angeles Cyber Intrusion Command Center on behalf of the CMD
- Member, Central California Maritime Security Committee (CCAMSC) on behalf of the CMD, Cyber Security Subcommittee