Clarence Dyer & Cohen was founded more than 35 years ago. Known originally as Steel Clarence & Buckley, the firm started in a brick-red Victorian in Pacific Heights before moving cross-town to Potrero Hill in 1994. In the early days, we represented some of the pioneers of the adult entertainment industry, including the Mitchell Brothers O’Farrell Theatre, a San Francisco institution that faced government censorship and police crackdowns as San Francisco became a thriving and diverse metropolis where liberal community values sometimes clashed with more entrenched social and governmental forces.
Over the years, we have delivered legal solutions to a wide range of clients in a variety of matters. We have represented plaintiffs seeking recovery for violations of their civil rights, while also representing the leaders of large corporations under investigations and prosecutions by various governmental agencies. We have recovered damages against the City and County of San Francisco for engaging in unconstitutional strip searches in the county jail, then, the next year, represented the City against a constitutional challenge to its business tax structure. We take pride in our backgrounds as public defenders and our record of representing indigent defendants accused of serious crimes. We bring the same dedication and creativity to our internal investigations and white-collar representations.
While we have chosen to stay small to preserve our mission and spirit, the firm has been strengthened by the talented associates who have practiced with us and then moved on, usually into public defender offices, nonprofit law firms, or academia. Our civil litigation practice is led by mainstay partner Kate Dyer, who began her legal career as a summer intern at the firm and made partner in 2001. In 2011, Clarence & Dyer became Clarence Dyer & Cohen when Josh Cohen joined the firm after a decade of practice in the Federal Public Defender’s Office and the white-collar group of a large international firm.
Most of all, we are proud of the superb lawyers who have joined us over the past third of a century to fight the good fight, enjoying the practice of law at our small firm in the magical city of San Francisco