Deborah Lans has divided her practice between complex commercial and marital litigation for more than 40 years. She was a founding partner of Morrison Cohen LLP in 1984 and was the head of its Commercial Litigation Department for 15 years, until she left in 2000 to serve as the Executive Director of Mentoring USA, a non-profit organization founded by Matilda Raffa Cuomo to provide one-to-one mentoring to at-risk youth. In 2003 she co-founded Cohen Lans LLP, where she continued to concentrate on the mediation, arbitration, trial and appellate litigation of sophisticated business and family matters. She continues that practice now at Cohen Clair Lans Greifer Thorpe & Rottenstreich LLP.
Ms. Lans has served on or chaired, among others, the New York Supreme Court Departmental Disciplinary Committee; the Executive, Judiciary, Bioethical Issues and Young Lawyers Committees and the Council on Judicial Administration of the City Bar (formerly, the Association of the Bar of the City of New York); and she is a member of the American Bar Association and New York State Bar Association.
Ms. Lans is Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Columbia Memorial Health, a hospital and health care system serving Columbia and Greene Counties in upstate New York and an affiliate of Albany Medical Center, the Capital Region’s largest healthcare provider, where Ms. Lans also serves as a Board Member. She served for three years as Chair and six years as a trustee of the Columbia Land Conservancy, a land trust active in preserving the rural and agricultural character of Columbia County, New York; and for ten years as member (and formerly Vice-Chair) of the Board of Literacy, Inc., a non-profit that employs grass-roots tactics to enhance early literacy. She was a member of the Claims Committee of Terrafirma RRG, a risk retention group providing conservation defense insurance to more than four hundred land trusts throughout the country. Ms. Lans is also a member of the Planning Board of Austerlitz, New York and Treasurer of PS 21, an arts organization dedicated to bringing cutting edge performances of dance, theater and music to Columbia County and providing arts education and experiences for children.
Ms. Lans has been rated AV Preeminent, the highest possible rating reflecting the opinions of members of the Bar and Judiciary, by Martindale Hubbell, in both Legal Ability and Ethical Standards.
Ms. Lans has often been on the faculty for CLE classes, has authored chapters that appear in Commercial Litigation in New York State Courts and Successful Partnering (both West publications) and International Trust and Divorce Litigation and has published numerous articles on legal and education subjects.
A profile of Ms. Lans appears in Nancy Carson’s Believing in Ourselves: A Celebration of Women, a book about 38 distinguished women who give back in ways that help to build a healthy world. Her profile appears in Who’s Who in America and Who’s Who in American Law, and she has been consistently listed in Best Lawyers in America and New York Super Lawyers as a business and matrimonial litigator.