• CHRIS COHEN LAW
  • ONLINE AND IN OJAI, CALIFORNIA

ENTER





Hi, I'm Chris.

I’m licensed as an attorney at law in California.

 

August, 2016 update:

 

I’m now a co-owner of the Sustainable Law Group, PC, the only California law firm that is a Certified B Corp and a member of 1% for the Planet.   Please visit us at www.sustainable-lawyer.com.

 

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Counsel for thoughtful and empowered business

We understand that environmental responsibility and success in business aren’t mutually exclusive.  Rather, in the long term, each depends on the other.

 

As the next generation of entrepreneurs, we are using business to drive positive social and environmental change. Meanwhile, our communities are rethinking traditional structures of property ownership and use in order to increase efficiency and reduce wasteful consumption. I provide these businesses, nonprofits and individuals with the legal tools and strategies they need to clearly and effectively structure their endeavors, limit their liabilities, protect and capitalize on their intellectual property, and engrain their environmental ethic into the legal fabric of their companies and agreements.

 

Let’s talk to see if I can help you with:

 

Curious about B Corps? Read my B Corp Primer.

Sustainable Economies Law Fellow

I am a legal fellow with the Sustainable Economies Law Center (SELC).  SELC cultivates a new legal landscape that supports community resilience and grassroots economic empowerment.

 

As a SELC legal fellow, I am part of a community of lawyers that receive training, mentorship, and other resources to serve the legal needs of local sustainable economies.  We work with the purpose of building economies, communities, and legal systems that will nourish people and ecosystems in the long term, that resist the destructive qualities of profit maximization, wealth accumulation, and consumerism, and that empower all people to apply their aspirations and creativity to building a future that is inviting to all of us.

 

 

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Estate planning with purpose and intention

When we approach a peeling point break wave, or a powdery alpine bowl, we understand that one way or the other, nature will take its course.  The wave will push us toward shore, and gravity will pull us down the mountain.  But we choose to assert our will over how the process will take place.  We choose the line that we want to take, even if the end result is inevitable.

 

Estate planning is not all that different.  We know that eventually, every one of us will no longer be living.  And perhaps, before that, we may not be able to make or communicate decisions for ourselves.

 

But we have the ability to control a signifiant part of the consequences of our death or incapacity.  For example, we can actively plan to avoid lengthy and expensive probate proceedings, which can place a heavy burden on our surviving loved ones.  And we can plan for the management of our finances and health care decisions in the event of our incapacity.  The State of California has a default plan for all of us, no matter how much property we own.  But, with foresight, we can choose our own line that is consistent with our own values.  The tools we use to achieve this are legal documents, like trusts, wills, powers of attorney, and advance health care directives.

 

Let’s discuss whether I may be able to help you plan for your death or incapacity in a way that reflects the intention, purpose, and ethics with which you live your life.  All of the following areas, and more, can be part of the process:

Planning for Cabins

A cabin can be a family’s most cherished asset—even if it is not its most financially valuable. But managing the cabin’s ownership and maintenance across generations and family branches can be a challenge.  My family has the privilege of owning a small U.S. Forest Service recreation residence cabin that is now being enjoyed by a fifth generation of outdoor lovers.

 

This experience—combined with my training in traditional estate planning—has given me the empathy and understanding needed to work with other cabin owners to plan for the future of these unique properties. With U.S. Forest Service recreation residence cabins in particular, this includes an in-depth knowledge of the Forest Service permitting process; the application of California’s estate planning laws and tools; and the navigation of overlapping federal, state, and county jurisdictions.

 

 

 I spoke at the 2015 National Forest Homeowners annual conference in Vancouver, Washington, on estate planning for Forest Service recreation residences.  I was invited back to speak again at the 2016 annual conference in Santa Clara, California.

An effective advocate and trusted advisor

As a government relations professional for Scripps Institution of Oceanography for nearly 10 years, I developed my own effective approach to advocating for important ocean science programs.  The ability to communicate persuasively, clearly and concisely was paramount.  These skills—along with an in-depth knowledge of environmental science and policy—have carried over to my law practice.

 

I graduated with High Honors from Ventura College of Law, earning my J.D. with certificates of concentration in Business Law and Estate Planning.  My undergraduate degree is from UC San Diego, where I graduated Magna Cum Laude with a B.A. in Political Science/International Relations.

 

I volunteer on the Board of Directors for the Ojai Valley Green Coalition, the Board of Directors for the Center for Regenerative Agriculture, and the Legal Advisory Committee for the Ojai Valley Defense Fund. I also serve on the Ojai Valley Municipal Advisory Council.

 

 

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  • My office address

    111 W Topa Topa St, Ojai, CA 93023

  • My email address

    chris@chriscohenlaw.com

  • My phone number

    805-669-6606