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Noted criminal defense lawyer Barry Coburn left Trout Cacheris last month with former associate Jeffrey Coffman to open up his own firm, Coburn & Coffman. Though both lawyers say leaving Trout Cacheris was difficult, Coburn was ready to put his own vision into action. Coburn says he wants his new firm to be “a place devoted to the art of advocacy.” He adds that his firm’s culture does not include a rigid hierarchy. That may be easy, given that the firm includes only Coburn, Coffman, and two paralegals — and for now, there is no specific plan to add lawyers. While emphasizing that the goals for his new firm are not a commentary on how Trout Cacheris operates, he says, “We want to encourage independent, creative thinking in lawyers at all stages of their careers.” The firm, which officially opened Feb. 1, focuses on criminal and civil litigation. Throughout his career, Coburn has represented defendants ranging from an alleged kingpin in the Murder Inc. case — the lengthiest federal criminal trial in the District’s history — to embattled former D.C. federal prosecutor G. Paul Howes. Plato Cacheris says he was sorry to see the two attorneys go.
Marisa McQuilken can be contacted at [email protected].

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