Elias Kohn - Associate - Professional Headshot

Elias A. Kohn

“My motivation to serve the public informs my legal practice and my attention to case selection, pro bono service, and clients’ needs.”

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MATTERS

EDMONDSON, ET AL., V. RANIERE

In Edmondson, Kohn Swift represents 80 plaintiffs in litigation involving forced labor, human trafficking, and sex trafficking by leaders of NXIVM cult. The suit is on behalf of former members of the infamous NXIVM organization seeking to hold its founder, his inner circle, and others associated with NXIVM liable for allegedly violating myriad federal and state laws, including the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act and laws prohibiting conduct such as human trafficking, sex slavery, and forced labor. The case is currently stayed pending the sentencing of the Defendants in the criminal case.

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VALESKA PARIS, ET. AL., V. CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY INTERNATIONAL, INC., ET. AL.

In April of 2022, the firm filed a complaint on behalf of three individuals alleging violations of the federal forced labor and human trafficking statutes against Church of Scientology International, its leader, David Miscavige, and several affiliated entities. The complaint alleges that the Plaintiffs, who grew up in Scientology, were coerced into working on the Freewinds, a cruise ship owned and operated by the Defendants, where they were subjected to harsh conditions and punishments and prevented from leaving for more than a decade.

The case, Gawain Baxter, Laura Baxter, and Valeska Paris vs. David Miscavige, Church of Scientology International, et al., was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, in Tampa, Florida.

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MILLER, ET AL., V ARAB BANK

In April 2018, Arab Bank, Plc was sued on behalf of American terror victims in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York. The lawsuit was brought against Arab Bank under the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA). Like the first suit brought against Arab Bank, Linde v. Arab Bank, these Plaintiffs seek to hold Arab Bank liable for deaths and severe injuries resulting from acts of international terrorism that Palestinian terrorist groups, who are alleged to have received funds through Arab Bank, perpetrated between 2000 and 2004, during the Second Intifada. Attorneys from Kohn Swift, including Stephen H. Schwartz, Neil L. Glazer, and Zahra Dean are part of a team of attorneys from several firms that developed and are currently prosecuting this case.

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Elias Anderson Kohn has a broad practice area where he enjoys working with a range of clients. He focuses on complex litigation and is part of the firm’s growing business and transactional practice where he advises business owners and natural resource managers.

Before joining Kohn Swift & Graf, Elias was an Assistant District Attorney for the City of Philadelphia. As a prosecutor, he spent hundreds of hours in the courtroom and worked tirelessly to support victims of violent crime.

Elias earned his juris doctorate degree from the Northwestern School of Law of Lewis & Clark College, where he graduated cum laude, was selected as an editor for the journal Environmental Law, was a member of the Student Bar Association, and was awarded a Pro Bono Honors award two years in a row. During law school, Elias was an extern with the Honorable Judge Michael H. Simon of the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon, a research assistant for Professor Melissa Powers, a legal extern for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and was a law clerk for the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington D.C. Elias also worked with the Small Business Legal Clinic where he represented clients in the  acquisition, organization and transfer of their businesses.

Elias also has a master’s degree in environmental management from Yale University. At Yale, Elias worked as a research assistant, presented in Haiti and Connecticut on sustainable agriculture and climate adaptation policies, served as an features editor to a student publication, and represented a client to create a comprehensive timber and wildlife Management Plan. Elias earned his bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University of Southern California, where he graduated magna cum laude and was a member of Phi Beta Kappa honor society.

Elias is a member of the Philadelphia Bar Association and American Bar Association, where he is a Committee Vice Chair for the Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources.

ADMISSIONS

  • Pennsylvania
  • Eastern District of Pennsylvania

HONORS

  • Pro Bono Honors Award, Lewis & Clark Law School, 2018 & 2019
  • Phi Beta Kappa honor society, University of Southern California

Publications

  • Mitigating PG&E’s Wildfire Ignitions: A Framework for Environmental Resilience and Economic Stimulus, GEO. WASH. J. ENERGY & ENVTL. L Vol. 12, Issue 1 (lead article) (2021)
  • Wildfire Litigation: Effects on Forest Management and Wildfire Emergency Response, Chapter, ENVTL. L., Vol.48, Issue 3 (2018)
  • Various Ninth Circuit Case Summaries, ENVTL. L., Vol. 48, Issue 3 (2018)
  • Land Tenure and Sustainable Agriculture, How Land Standards Prevent Better Agriculture, and Agroforestry: Merging Human and Environmental Needs, Series of three online articles for the YALE CENTER FOR ENVTL. L., & POL’Y. (2015)