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Courts and Crime

Maine Attorney's Suspension Case to go to High Court

A law committee has determined that there is probable cause to suspend a Maine attorney who has led numerous high-profile defenses-including that of a man accused of murder in a 2009 Matinicus Island lobstering dispute.

Thursday's action comes after 45-year-old lawyer Philip Cohen, of Waldoboro, was charged with domestic violence, charges which were subsequently dropped as part of an agreement.

In October, Cohen was sentenced to 30 days in jail for disorderly conduct and fined $2,000. Cohen's counsel, Walter McKee, says his client has already suffered significant punishment.

"We're definitely disappointed," McKee says. "We believed all along that this was appropriate to be resolved as a reprimand."

An attorney for the Board of Overseers says Cohen repeatedly violated a court order by contacting his wife after the incident.

The committee finding doesn't guarantee that Cohen will be suspended or disbarred. He will now face the Maine Supreme Judicial Court, where a single justice will hear the case.