The Hon. Pierce F. Cohalan is a judge for the Suffolk County District Court, Criminal Division in the Tenth Judicial District of New York. He was elected to the District Court in 2015.
He is a registered Republican.
Judge Cohalan received his B.A. from Lehigh University in 1989. He went on to earn his J.D. from Hofstra University School of Law in 1994 and later graduated with his M.B.A. in business administration from Columbia Business School in 2006.
Cohalan began his legal career as an assistant district attorney with the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office in 1994 and worked in that capacity there until 2001.
At that time, Cohalan began working for an engineering company, where he spent much of his time traveling abroad.
Then, in 2006, he briefly served as town attorney for the Town of Islip in New York until 2007, when he entered into private practice.
Two years later, in 2009, Cohalan was commissioned into the United States Army, entering with the rank of First Lieutenant, until quickly being promoted to Captain the following year. In 2012, Cohalan was deployed to Afghanistan, where he served as a legal advisor on the Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force. Cohalan currently holds the rank of Major in the United States Army Reserve and is also the recipient of the Bronze Star.
Upon the completion of his tour in Afghanistan, Cohalan returned to the Town of Islip, where he worked as the chief deputy commissioner of public safety until his election to the District Court in 2015.
While on the District Court bench, Judge Cohalan has served as an acting county court judge and the presiding judge of the Suffolk County Veterans Court. Judge Cohalan also presides in the courthouse that bears the name of his grandfather, the late Hon. John P. Cohalan, Jr.
At the time of his election to the District Court, Cohalan set a state record by becoming the sixth member of his family over four generations to become a judge.
His family’s involvement in the legal profession spans almost one hundred years. His great grandfather, the late Hon. John P. Cohalan, served as a judge for the Surrogate’s Court in Manhattan and later as a New York Supreme Court Justice. His grandfather, the late Justice John P. Cohalan, Jr., also served as a New York Supreme Court Justice and was the Suffolk County District Attorney when he was elected to the Suffolk County Court in 1961. Judge Cohalan’s father, the Hon. Peter Fox Cohalan, served as a New York Supreme Court Justice for twenty-five years, until his retirement from the bench in 2012.
Judge Cohalan also holds the distinction of being the first judge to captain a ferry boat on the Great South Bay, a job he has held seasonally since he was eighteen.