Skip to content

Deborah Lans has divided her practice between complex commercial and marital litigation for more than 40 years.

She was a founding partner of Morrison Cohen LLP in 1984 and was the head of its Commercial Litigation Department for 15 years. In 2000, she left to serve as the Executive Director of Mentoring USA, a non-profit organization founded by Matilda Raffa Cuomo to provide one-to-one mentoring for at-risk youth. In 2003, she co-founded Cohen Lans LLP, now Cohen Clair Lans Greifer & Simpson LLP, where she continues to concentrate on the mediation, arbitration, trial, and appellate litigation of sophisticated business and family matters.

Martindale Hubbell has consistently rated Ms. Lans AV Preeminent, the highest possible rating reflecting the opinions of members of the Bar and Judiciary, in both legal ability and ethical standards. She has served on or chaired the New York Supreme Court Departmental Disciplinary Committee; the Executive, Judiciary, Bioethical Issues and Young Lawyers Committees and the Council on Judicial Administration of the City Bar (formerly, the Association of the Bar of the City of New York), among others. She is also a member of the American Bar Association and the New York State Bar Association.

Ms. Lans is the immediate past Chair of the Board of Trustees of Columbia Memorial Health, a hospital and health care system serving Columbia and Greene Counties in upstate New York, and now chairs its Planning Committee. She Chairs the Planning Board of Austerlitz, New York, and served for nearly a decade as Treasurer of PS 21, an arts organization dedicated to bringing cutting-edge dance, theater, and musical performances to Columbia County as well as arts education to children.

Ms. Lans served for three years as Chair and six years as a Trustee of Columbia Land Conservancy, a land trust active in preserving the rural and agricultural character of Columbia County, New York. She was a member (and vice-chair) of the Board of Literacy, Inc., a New York City non-profit that employs grass-roots tactics to enhance early literacy, and she also has served on the Claims Committee of Terrafirma RRG, a risk retention group providing conservation defense insurance to more than four hundred land trusts throughout the country.

Ms. Lans is currently a contributor to The Columbia Paper and previously contributed a monthly column, together with former New York State First Lady Matilda Raffa Cuomo, to Education Week. She has served as faculty for CLE classes, authored chapters that appear in Commercial Litigation in New York State Courts and Successful Partnering (both West publications), and published numerous articles on legal topics in professional journals.

A profile of Ms. Lans appears in Nancy Carson’s Believing in Ourselves: A Celebration of Women, a book about 38 women who have distinguished themselves in a variety of fields and give back in ways that help to build a healthy world. Her profile also appears in Who’s Who in America and Who’s Who in American Law. Ms. Lans has been consistently listed in Best Lawyers in America and New York Super Lawyers as a business and matrimonial litigator.