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Michael P Cognata
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Michael Cognata’s reviews

     4.5 stars 62 total

Review Michael Cognata

  • DL923 FORM FOR EMPLOYER

    5.0 stars

    Posted by thomas b

    I FOUND MICHAEL ON THE INTERNET, AFTER BEEN TRYING UNSUCESFULL FOR 5 WEEKS TO GET A DL 923 FORM FROM MANDATORY ACTIONS IN SACRAMENTO, IVE PHONED MICHAEL UP AND HE EMAILED ME THE FORM I NEED WITHIN 30 SECONDS. I ASKED MICHAEL IF I CAN PAY HIM FOR HIS TIME AND HE SAID ITS OK, HE DONT WANT ANY MONEY. THANK YOU AGAIN MICHAEL, I WISH I MET YOU BEFORE I WENT TO COURT FOR MY DUI.
    THOMAS B

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    Consulted attorney
  • Fantastic Attorney

    5.0 stars

    Anonymous review posted on

    Michael was fantastic. Michael kept me informed and is well versed with the court system. Because of his thoroughness and persistence my case was dismissed just as Michael had predicted. You want him on your case !! Thank you again Michael.

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    Hired attorney
  • What a life save this guy is!

    5.0 stars

    Anonymous review posted on

    I was pulled over after drinking one night and decided to get a lawyer. This was the first time I've ever needed help with law trouble. Michael walked me through all of the legal matters and told me exactly what I needed to do to be set up for success. My case was dismissed and I was able to move on and I quit drinking do to this rock bottom situation. Thanks Michael!

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    Hired attorney
  • Much respect

    5.0 stars

    Posted by Chris

    Mr. Cognato helped me with some DMV forms at no charge, on a weekend and was very prompt about it. That's the kind of character I would be looking for if I were shopping for a lawyer.

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    Consulted attorney
  • Brilliant !! Absolutely

    5.0 stars

    Anonymous review posted on

    I am so glad I received a postal in mail from him. I was charged with DUI with a BAC of 0.08 .I initially had hired another attorney who never replied , responded . So I decided to change 1 month into the case. Micheal was really helpful from day one , he managed to obtain the police report well before the first day of the court arraignment. Always responded to my emails , call in a timely manner , kept me informed through out the case . End Result - got my DUI dismissed to wet reckless , a charge of delaying arrest dismissed as well.

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    Hired attorney
  • I'm SHOCKED this is just a cash cow business for him!

    1.0 star

    Anonymous review posted on

    I hired him after my mailbox got bombarded with numerous lawyer solicitations. He was a great salesman with the whole, "I'm a ex-cop, pro temp judge thing" but immediately it became just about me ponying up the dough. Onset he told me he submitted a proof letter, that there where too many inconsistencies in my police report which he later dismissed saying he found no probable cause after he took the first plea bargain the DA put on the table, then got upset when I questioned him about it. I have NEVER met this man in person, he would say sure we can meet to appease me but NEVER had time to consult with me in person and strategize just E-MAILS that's it. He sends this other lawyer Conrad in his place which is very confusing, "If you are sending your legal assistants from Legal Rights Advocates located in Westlake Village why does Conrad's card say Placentia, CA? Michael has no compassion or heart and doesn't have a problem showing it ONCE he's gotten your $2500. I also received a nice bonus from CHP, here's what happened: DMV suspended my license and ordered me to go to AB541 (alcohol classes) I paid the fine $125. to get a restricted license, half way through the classes I got a letter informing me that CHP has went to the judge and had him put a $25,000. warrant out for my arrest for failure to appear in court and/or pay fines (which at the time HE supposedly was appearing on my behalf) he definitely dropped the ball, he then explains over the phone to just ignore, they call that bagging a body and how I'm no longer a human being just a number/ body in the system. Now I have collections agency threatening if I don't pony up $1122. for the CHP being dispatched to my accident scene and me getting arrested for a DUI. If I let a 7 year old read this police report they would say the police keeps changing his story, obviously lied about Field Sobriety Test, huge time gaps that's because the officer omitted vital evidence and lied on witnesses just to build a solid case against me. I hired Michael Cognata to defend me, he acted like I worked for him, spoke to me in a condescending tone and let me down! I asked for calibration and maintenance logs and I have this e-mail from Michael upset because I wouldn't take the first deal saying, I demanded the logs and 911, wait this should have been part of his 4 point investigation and already in his possession? I am emotionally, mentally, physically and financially broken. If you can't afford a lawyer with a PROVEN history settle for a Public Defender.

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    Hired attorney
    Michael P Cognata’s response: “Hello, firstly, I will supply you, the reader with information left out of the reviewer's review. Her case involved an alcohol level significantly over .08% and a car crash. The case ended after a diligent, proprietary dismissal issue investigation concluded that she had no constitutional dismissal issues present. We however, convinced the prosecutor to dismiss the DUI and allow our client, we'll call her T.L. to plea no contest to reckless driving. This saved her a lot. No IID breath device, no license suspension and no need to declare a DUI conviction on any application. The results of the case took time, because the DA does not reduce charges with her alcohol level or with a collision by themselves, let alone combined as it was in her case. She mentions a warrant was issued and somehow blamed us for it. I did spend literally 3 hours of combined time on the phone with her explaining that the CHP failed to file the case with the DA in time for the court date. When the court date came by and her name was not on the docket we were told she would get a letter with a revised first appearance date. However, the CHP instead chose to bring her case and probably others, to a Judge to have an arrest warrant issued. They do this on other types of cases, but they are legally able to do it with DUI as well. No failure to appear occurred. However, she could not be made to realize that this could happen without someone being at fault. I even gave her the phone number to the court clerk to confirm that it was an arrest warrant rather than a failure to appear bench warrant. She called. She confirmed. She continued to blame us. Not only were we not at fault for the warrant, but I had monitored it by calling the court weekly since the court date. I found the warrant a day after it issued. I called her, and told her about it and went the very next day to recall the warrant so that she wouldn't risk being arrested. It was supposed to be my day of as it was my birthday. Instead of a thank you for protecting her, I received accusations, insults, profanity and finally this undeserved review. She received a stellar result that the facts of her case did not justify. It did take a longer time, but the results to her were worth it and the cost was the same...no added costs for all of the extra appearances. We wish her well and hope that at some point, she realizes the benefit she received from our representation.”
  • Couldn't ask for more!

    5.0 stars

    Posted by Carson

    If you are looking for a dui lawyer, look no farther. Michael is the man! He had got a traffic ticket reduced from 1300$ to 245$ on top of another charge for a dui that was dropped! i would definitely hire Michael if you are ever faced in this situation. 5 stars and thanks again!

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    Hired attorney
  • Very pleased

    5.0 stars

    Anonymous review posted on

    Michael representing me on my first DUI. it was a stupid mistake not to ever be repeated I guarantee you. But this case had a very high alcohol level /. 24%. the prosecutor wanted jail....because my car was disabled on the freeway Michael talked with several prosecutors over the course of 3 months before he got to one that was able to be convinced that because they didn't know what time I drove that they couldn't tell what my alcohol level was when I did drive. Michael got them to give me a reckless driving and dismiss the Dui. Michael did say that normally this high of an alcohol level is not something they reduce. and that this case had no mistakes in it but there was still a problem with proving Drivetime. I needed this reduction bad in order to keep my job. Michael got me when I needed even in light of facts that initially looked impossible to get a good result. I am glad I hired him.

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  • Awesome experience for a less than awesom time in my life

    5.0 stars

    Posted by Kwun

    Michael just called me and gave me the news. After hopping up and down I decided it was something I should do for him and that is to leave this review. I have this first time DUI where I crashed my car. It was a drug DUI. I'm in my 60's and am a CFO of a large corp. needless to say I did not need a dui. michael has appeared for me in court 8 or 9 times as the prosecutor was not ready to make the deal I needed. Michael did tell me that not all cases can be reduced especially where there's been an accident. he also early on told me that he looked into possible mandatory dismissal issues but there were none for me to take advantage of. But when he called today he did not sound excited so I didn't quite hear what he had to tell me it took a while to process but they finally agreed to dismiss the DUI and allow me to plead to regular reckless driving. Not what they call wet reckless but a dry reckless. Michael has explained this to me as that dry means none alcohol related and no DUI school and it is not a prior conviction against me for any future DUI cases that I swear I wont get anyway. kept me well informed he is a master at what he does I cannot tell you how relieved and pleased I am at the end of the day. I will definitely refer anyone I find having a similar problem in the future to Michael and his firm. Thank you so much for your compassion and your skill.

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  • TERRIBLE!!!! Waste of money

    1.0 star

    Anonymous review posted on

    My first phone call with him was great! He spoke to me for 45 minutes explaining to me every last detail and I felt he would be a great person to represent me. Never heard from him again until right before my court date. He said he emailed me the papers with the court info and time which he didn't. He had me show up to DTLA at 8:30 am. 1. I didn't need to be there. 2. It was an all day court that didn't even start until 9:30. 3. HE DIDN'T SHOW UP UNTIL 10:45! He was in other courtrooms. He gave me his ipad to look over some papers and I could see he had 6 other hearings that morning and stacked them all on the same morning. I was frustrated because I never received my paperwork so I was driving to DTLA that morning not knowing if it was even the correct date (I had remembered it in my head) and couldn't get a hold of him. Finally, after multiple attempts, he texted me that he was in another courtroom and would be there soon. When he finally showed up, I told him he never sent me any of my paperwork. He snapped back at me that it doesn't matter anymore and to move forward! He went in front of the judge, said nothing, 2 seconds later I was done and have a DUI charge. Had I known then what I know now, a first DUI, a lawyer is a complete waste of money, especially a jerk. His initial phone call made me very optimistic that I could get out of it and that there were many options but that is not reality. Oh and best part, this was DTLA, NOT a nice area, and he had on this massive watch with every ounce fully covered in diamonds; not just the face but that band and every little piece.

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    Michael P Cognata’s response: “We never want a part of our extended family upset at any time during or after the representation. We realize how traumatic a criminal case can be for the client. Having said that, there are a few things left out of the review, which are important to know. It is true that I spent 45 minutes with our initial consultation, which is over double what it usually takes. The reason is because this client had some self-admitted mental health issues, which will become relevant later in this response. He has anxiety, paranoia and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), hence, quite a few things needed to be repeated during the consultation, which I was happy to do for him. But these disorders were likely the cause for his behavior which manifested on the court date he refers to. My goal is to minimize the inconvenience to the client, which is why I tell all clients not to go to any of the court appearances until I have completed my Dismissal Issue Investigation and plea bargain phases of the case. This client was no exception. This was the 4th court appearance on the case and I had completed my 4 point dismissal issue inquiry. Unfortunately he had no dismissal issues. So the last phase was to negotiate a deal for the client with the prosecutor. After the last court date, I notified the client not to appear and that I would update him with a final disposition report after the court date. He stated in the review, that I notified him to appear and then he states he simply remembered the court date and was not even sure that was the correct date. This is not true as I only have clients appear after I send them a full report of my findings, with an opportunity to discuss and answer questions. I arrived at 8:30 am and checked in on his case. The court clerk informed me that the Judge was going to be late so if I had other cases, that I should take care of them first and she would hold my case for my return. So I did. At 10:45 I get a text from the client demanding to know where I was and that he had been in the courtroom for almost 2 hours. I immediately met with him and it turns out that the client wanted to watch me in court without me knowing . I told him that had he heeded my instructions not to appear or in the alternative to let me know that he was coming, he would never have been waiting for me at all. Essentially this long wait was the client's own doing. Since he was there he wanted to complete the case that day so he did not have to come back, I negotiated the case and left him my I pad so that he could read a dismissal issue report I had written for him, but yet to send. While I was in court, as he stated in his review, he read the report and then decided to rummage through my calendar. When I returned I attempted to discuss the case with him, but he was having trouble getting past the fact that he was waiting around for two hours. I reminded him that he was waiting around solely due to the fact that he failed to tell me that he was going to be present and I did not know to expect him. In an attempt to finalize the case before the lunch hour, since he did not want to come back at 1:30, I did my best to focus the client so that we could complete the case. Since the client had no dismissal issues and the alcohol level was too high for an agreed upon reduction, he decided to plea to the DUI. The reason why it was so quick in front of the judge is because the issues and terms are worked out with the prosecutor beforehand. The Judge simply officiates in plea deals. I never want my people unhappy. When I read the review, I knew who it was and I contacted the client and tried to again explain why things happened as they did. I also, offered him a free expungement to remove the conviction from his record ($1000 value) in an effort to make him feel better. He did not accept. I hope that the client does well and has a great life and my offer to expunge is still available to him.”