Judge Cohn stepping away from active judicial service

Longtime U.S. District Court Judge Avern Cohn, Eastern District of Michigan, announced last week that he is stepping away from active judicial service on the federal bench.

“After 40 years of service and at the age of 95 it is time to pass on my responsibilities to others,” Cohn said of the change, which takes effect immediately. “Most judicial systems have a mandatory retirement
age. While I don’t believe in mandatory retirement, there comes a time in the course of one’s work that they retire and let their work be borne by younger persons.”

Nearly two dozen of Cohn’s criminal cases were recently reassigned on the blind draw to other judges. The remainder of his criminal and civil dockets will be reassigned the same way in coming days.

Cohn said it will take some time to close down his chambers at the Theodore Levin U.S. Courthouse in Detroit.

He was a partner at the Detroit law firm of Honigman, Miller, Schwartz, and Cohn when President Jimmy Carter appointed him to the federal bench in September 1979. He took senior status—which usually means semi-retirement with a reduced caseload—in October 1999. Cohn, however, continued with a full docket.

“Judge Cohn is a valued, valuable and beloved member of our bench, a mentor and friend to me and others,” U.S. District Court Chief Judge Denise Page Hood said of Cohn’s decision. “I hold him in the highest regard.”


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