Andrew Piltser Cowan grew up in Ames, Iowa, graduating from the University of Iowa with a bachelor’s degree in Physics and Astronomy, with a minor in German. He graduated cum laude from Cornell Law School in 2008, with a concentration in advocacy. In Law school, Andy won the CALI Excellence for the Future Award in Federal Jurisdiction and the school’s Freeman Award for Civil-Human Rights. While in law school, Andy volunteered to help with estate administration in the wake of Hurricane Katrina with the Pro Bono Project of New Orleans, earning a letter of commendation from the Louisiana Supreme Court.
Attorney Piltser Cowan worked as a public defender for 5 years, and became a full-time Superior Court specialist in the Dedham Public Defenders’ office. In 2012, he was again honoured by Cornell Law School with their Rising Star Award for Exemplary Public Service. Andy established his independent practice in 2013.
From misdemeanors like trespassing or OUI, to major felonies like drug trafficking, Internet crimes, kidnapping, or homicide, Attorney Piltser Cowan brings all his experience to the table in your case. Whatever your goal, Attorney Piltser Cowan will find your defense and fight to see you through it. Whether District or Superior Court, misdemeanor or felony, Attorney Piltser Cowan is comfortable in any courtroom, on any case.
“Legal counsel of the highest caliber.” –Laurel
“A phenomenal problem solver and communicator in and out of the court room.” –Kevin
“Andy is the one lawyer I will always contact if I get into trouble.” –Sean
Meaghan M. Cary joined PiltserCowan Law LLC as a Supervising Attorney in July 2018. Meaghan and Andy met while they were both working as public defenders back in 2008. They have been friends and collaborators ever since, sharing a passion for the practice of law.
Meaghan spent her youth in the wine country town of Petaluma, California and the small college town of Columbia, Missouri. She graduated from the University of Missouri, Columbia in 2003 Phi Beta Kappa with a B.A. with honors in Philosophy and a minor in Classical Humanities. Meaghan attended Harvard Law School, earning a Juris Doctorate in 2006 when she was just 24 years old. While at Harvard, Meaghan was on the Women’s Law Journal Article Selection Committee which evaluated articles and determined the content of the journal. While at Harvard she was the law school chair for the 2004 LGBT Policy and Law Conference, the subject of which was “LGBT Rights as Human Rights.” She also participated in Harvard Defenders, a student organization that represents indigent people at criminal probable cause hearings.
During law school Meaghan interned with the Missouri Public Defender’s Office Capital Litigation Division where she worked with the defense team on several death penalty cases. The following year Meaghan interned with the Boston branch of what was then KLNG, which gave her insight to the monied world of big law firms and how they operate. The contrast between these internships showed her that she wanted to be in a courtroom more than a conference room and illuminated her growing passion for criminal defense. During her 3L year she participated in the Harvard Law School Criminal Justice Institute with Professor Charles Ogletree where she received training from some of the best criminal law practitioners in the country. Upon graduation, Meaghan went to work for the Committee for Public Counsel Services in the Public Defender Division as part of the first class of full-time professional public defenders for the Massachusetts District Courts.
Criminal defense truly was Meaghan’s calling, and twelve years later she was still doing it. As a public defender she represented clients charged with a wide variety of offenses including OUI, drug offenses, domestic violence, assault & battery, and property crimes. During her time as a public defender Meaghan represented over one-thousand clients which gave her extensive experience in all areas of criminal defense practice from pre-arraignment to post-trial. She held her office’s highest success rate on motions that resulted in dismissal of charges or suppression of evidence and developed a reputation for her creative and aggressive pre-trial motions practice. During her time at CPCS she also specialized in mental health cases and served on the defense team for the Cambridge District Court Recovery Session.
Meaghan is excited to bring her professional experience and compassion to PiltserCowan’s clients and practice.
Isaac Kalish grew up in Harris County, Texas, graduating from the University of Texas at Austin with a bachelor’s degree in Philosophy and Government. He graduated Boston College Law School in 2014, where he focused on trial and appellate advocacy, becoming a Boston College Mock Trial finalist and a Regional Winner and National Finalist in the Saul Lefkowitz Moot Court competition.
Moved by a concern for the problems of mass incarceration and wrongful convictions, Isaac interned with several Federal Public Defender’s offices. In his last year of law school, he became part of the Boston College Defenders Clinic and was awarded the Lewis S. Gurwitz award for advocacy on behalf of indigent and unrepresented defendants. After law school, Attorney Kalish worked as a public defender in the Miami Public Defenders Office in Miami, Florida, where he advocated in the Juvenile, Misdemeanor, and Felony trial divisions. Attorney Kalish joined the practice in April of 2017.
Shauna Harris grew up in Connecticut, Florida, and New Hampshire, graduating from the University of New Hampshire with a bachelor’s degree in Linguistics and Justice Studies. She graduated from the Boston University School of Law in 2016, where she focused on criminal law, criminal justice reform, and social justice. Before college, she served two years in the Israel Defense Forces where she worked in International Relations and as a weapons instructor.
Shauna’s personal fascination with forensic science led her to closely follow the Massachusetts Drug Lab Scandal, wherein two laboratory chemists destroyed the credibility of thousands of confiscated drug samples in two separate labs for nearly a decade apiece. She interned with the Committee for Public Counsel Services Forensics Division and Drug Lab Crisis Litigation Unit for both summers in law school. After law school, Attorney Harris was a Legal Fellow with the ACLU of Massachusetts where she continued her work with the drug lab scandals and several other issues implicating Constitutional rights, before joining the practice in August of 2017.
Melissa Tobin grew up in Hudson, Massachusetts, graduating from Sacred Heart University with a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics. She graduated Northeastern University School of Law in 2016, where she focused on criminal law and public interest law.
Melissa’s interest in criminal justice reform led her to join the Prisoners’ Rights Clinic at Northeastern University School of Law where she represented an inmate serving a life sentence at a parole board hearing. As part of Melissa’s Northeastern Law School experience, she worked as a law clerk for the juvenile court in Boston and interned for the Committee for Public Counsel Services as a Public Defender in Worcester District Court, before joining the practice in September 2017.
Meri Jade Piltser Cowan grew up in New York City, where she and her family immigrated when she was 9. Jade studied Computer Science, Psychology, and Business Administration at the New York Institute of Technology. Jade worked in the information technology sector for 10 years before joining the practice as business manager, where she led our growth from a sleepy solo practice in Amherst to a multi-lawyer firm in Boston.
Jade is the principal organizer of the Beyond IQ Boston Young Adult Program and has extensive experience working with gifted underachievers, people with chronic health issues, and executive function challenges (including ADD/ADHD). In addition to her work with the firm, Jade offers business consulting services to small law firms and other professional practices, as well as an executive function coaching practice for young adults.
Ray Lardie grew up in Southington, CT, graduating Phi Beta Kappa, summa cum laude from Hofstra University with a bachelor’s in anthropology and a bachelor’s in linguistics, minoring in Japanese. From there, they* attended the Kazan’ Institute of Social Studies and the Humanities in Kazan’, Russia, as a recipient of the 2012 State Department Critical Language Scholarship.
In 2013, Ray joined PiltserCowan Law and completed their paralegal certification. They are especially interested in the intersections of social, racial, and economic justice and the law.
*Ray’s pronouns are singular they, or he/him
Rowan Rosenthal grew up in Arlington, MA, graduating from the UMass Amherst Commonwealth Honors College with a bachelor’s in Human and Environmental Sustainability. During their* experience at college, they were involved in the UAct program, the UMass Alliance for Community Transformation. Through UAct, they took and facilitated a class on Grassroots Community Organizing, worked with the Maine People’s Alliance (MPA) on health care access, and with the Pioneer Valley Project (PVP) on school-to-prison pipeline issues.
Rowan joined the practice in 2015. One of their continual projects is making information about the court system and legal process available through videography, as well as coordinating all administrative staff.
*Rowan’s pronouns are singular they