On a Saturday afternoon my wife and I were with our 5 year old daughter in our home. She’s a tiny kid, just about 35 pounds, and a very kind, selfless soul. I was sitting on the master bed, my wife was laying on top of the covers, and our daughter was playing on the floor. As she often does, she started jumping on my back (horsey ride!) as soon as I sat down. I told her a few times that to stop; i was busy speaking with her mom, and it wasn’t time for this. Finally I relented, got on all fours, and gave her a ride around the carpeted room. Then I picked her up, and tossed her onto the bedspread with her mom. This was my signal to her that playtime was over. She ignored it. I then held her down on the bed. This was not punishment, it was play. We were all three laughing. But clearly it hurt her feelings. She pouted for about 5 seconds, then it was over.
The next day, my daughter said to her teacher that I had hurt her. She didn’t complain about any specific area that hurt, even when asked where, but they are mandated to call DCF and I understand the law.
DCF showed up the next day at the school as my wife was picking her up. They took my daughter into a room and wouldn’t let my wife speak with her. We immediately called Attorneys at Cohen, Bradshaw, Rothstein and Klein, because they are the best attorneies we know in this area. DCF refused to take more than 30 of his calls. They interrogated my daughter without representation, then interrogated my wife. I told them to get lost, because they refused to allow me to bring a lawyer to an interview with them.
DCF made it clear they were there to “get me for something”-that is the words they used. They yelled at me in front of my home in an exclusive community that I was “being investigated for sexual abuse” RIGHT IN FRONT OF MY HORRIFIED NEIGHBORS!!! DCF then told me that if I didn’t vacate my own home and refuse to see my daughter, they would seize her. By this time, they had interviewed her, and anyone with a brain could tell that it was a frivolous case and we are not child abusers, and there had been no child abuse, just a child who didn’t like being told to stop clowning around for a moment.
Marc Cohen stopped work on all his cases (or so it appeared to me) and called DCF and me all day, every day until this was resolved. In the end, DCF had no choice but to relent, and get out of our lives. What is amazing is that even after they knew their was no case, they wanted to make one anyway, and the result would have been to destroy my family.
I am not sure if Mr Cohen would have been so passionate if I had been obviously guilty. I can tell you this, though; This guy cares about clients. He’s the first lawyer I have ever met that I felt good about the VALUE of the retainer. He’s not the most expensive, nor the least…but frankly, who cares? This lawyer gets involved, and gets the results you NEED, when everything is on the line.
I could be without parental rights right now for nothing more than disciplining my daughter (who hears “no” all too few times). Instead, i spent this weekend with her at a waterpark. And our lives are moving forward.