V. Stephen Cohen

Personal Background

Stephen Cohen’s practice involves commercial and civil litigation in both state and federal courts, including complex business matters, employment, trade secret, and unfair competition cases, corporate and partnership disputes, securities litigation, contracts and landlord/tenant representation (lease disputes, evictions, and construction issues).

Stephen began his career as a judicial clerk for Florida Supreme Court Justice Stephen H. Grimes. Prior to founding Bajo | Cuva | Cohen | Turkel, he was a shareholder in the litigation department of a full service Tampa law firm.


  • Florida State University College of Law, J.D., with honors, 1992
    • Intern for Judge William Stafford, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Florida
    • Law Review, Associate Editor, 1992
  • Emory University, B.B.A., 1989
    • Major: Accounting

Judicial Clerkships

  • Law Clerk to the Honorable Stephen H. Grimes, Justice, Florida Supreme Court, 1992-1994

Awards and Recognition

  • AV Rated by Martindale-Hubbell
  • Listed in Florida Super Lawyers, 2018
  • Listed in Florida Trend’s Legal Elite, 2006-2007, 2017
  • Hillsborough County Bar Association – Outstanding Young Lawyer Award, 2003
  • The Florida State University Law Review, Best Legislative Article Award, Vol. 19 (for Comment, Exempting the Mentally Retarded from the Death Penalty: a Comment on Florida’s Proposed Legislation, 19 Fla.St. U. L. Rev. 457), 1991

Bar Admissions

  • Florida, 1992

Court Admissions

  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, Middle District of Florida
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Florida

Professional Memberships and Activities

  • Hillsborough County Bar Association
    • Young Lawyers Division, Board of Directors, 1998-2003; President, 2001-2002
    • Board of Directors, 2001-2003, 2009-2010
    • Trustee, Hillsborough County Bar Foundation, 2001-2002
  • The Florida Bar, Thirteenth Judicial Circuit Grievance Committee, 2012 to present
    • Chairman, 2005-2008

Notable Client Work

  • Represented energy company in same-sex harassment suit, successfully defending company through jury trial.
  • Represented public company in contract dispute with its former Chief Operating Officer who sought damages in excess of $1 million; successfully defended the case, receiving a jury finding which voided the contract, and a jury award on the company’s counterclaims against the executive and his wife for civil theft.
  • Represented securities broker dealer in connection with an attempted hostile takeover by its former president; obtained injunctive relief in state court and an arbitration award in excess of $1 million (including punitive damages) against the former executive for, among other things, fraud and theft.
  • Successfully defended securities broker dealer in FINRA arbitration involving claims of breach of employment agreement, breach of stock option agreements, and defamation, and seeking damages in excess of $10 million.
  • Represented financial services company in connection with investigation of sexual harassment allegations against Chief Operating Officer.
  • Represented state-wide law firm in legal malpractice action brought by condominium developer.
  • Defended physician in lawsuit brought by former employer to enforce restrictive covenants, trademarks, and advertising restrictions.
  • Represented registered representatives in court and arbitration proceedings brought by former employers alleging violations of non-competition and non-solicitation agreements, and theft of trade secrets.
  • Represented securities broker dealer in whistle blower action alleging accounting and other financial improprieties.
  • Represent several large, national real estate investment concerns, handling tenant eviction, collection, and lease disputes throughout Florida.
  • Represent securities broker dealers in claims asserted by customers, including suitability, churning, failure to supervise, fraud, and similar claims.
  • Represented financial services company in large scale DOL audit involving over 100 employees.
  • Represented mortgage services company in DOL audit involving various overtime exemptions.
  • Represented parking services company in DOL wage and hour investigation.
  • Represent corporate clients in EEOC and FCHR investigations, and litigation involving discrimination and retaliation claims.
  • Represent internet technology company in whistle blower case involving alleged financial and regulatory improprieties.
  • Represent insurance company in action brought by former independent agents for negligence and breach of contract.

Community Involvement

  • Tampa Bay Little League
    • Board of Directors, 2006-2012
    • President, 2010