David J. Cowan - commissioner/judge

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111 North Hill Street

City: Los Angeles

State: California

Zip: 90012




Commissioner - Superior Court, Family Law, Los Angeles


Superior Court, Santa Monica Branch
7/2013 - Transferred to Stanley Mosk Branch/Dept. Downtown, Los Angeles


I was my own lawyer in commissioner Cowan’s courtroom.
His decisions were more or less unpredictable and he did ignore the law any time he felt like it.

On the one hand he chose to believe my ex’s unfounded allegations that there was violence when we were together even though there was no evidence whatsoever to substantiate such allegations. Based on his mistaken belief he ordered a monitor, minor’s counsel, evaluation and therapy for all. The whole thing caused me some fucking grief.

On the other hand he tried to keep my visitations with my kids steady, recognized Parent Alienation, ignored potentially damaging reports that came from the monitor who sided with my ex and ordered therapy in hopes that it will help reconcile this high conflict nightmare. Last, but not least, he did not penalize me for representing myself.

I was appearing before Cowan at least three or four times a month for about two years and spent hours in his courtroom waiting for my hearings. Here are some things I noticed:

Do not argue with him where he is challenged or may feel that you are trying to disrespect or embarrass him. Wrong dude. Even if you don’t see him for years, he’ll remember you. So, just shot up when you want to curse him out.

When I felt like telling him to go fuck himself, I always took a breather and thanked him before the hearing was over. And he was waiting for my THANK YOU’.

Dress nicely. Cowan takes it as a sign of respect. I distinctly remember a case where a dad, about 250 lbs., 6’0, bold and tattooed, came to Cowan dressed in a black training jacket, training pants and tank top underneath. This guy looked and talked as if he was ready to take out Cowan or anyone in this place. He was accused by his ex of being violent and abusive. She asked to take away his legal and physical custody. Well, guess what. After arguing with Cowan like he was the man, Cowan not only took away his custody but also granted his ex a restraining order and told this guy if he doesn’t like it to appeal, which is Cowan’s way of saying ‘Go fuck yourself’. May be this poor schmuck deserved this. I know it’s very hard to be calm when a judge clearly disregards the law and just wants to show you that you ain’t shit.

Last but not least, he gets cranky and unpredictable right before lunch and at the end of long hearings when he is tired. Look out for that because at this point he’ll do whatever just to finish with a hearing.

Before my case started I went to see couple of lawyers that happened to be female who told me to avoid Cowan if I wanted them to represent me. Said they had a tough time in his court. I did exactly the opposite thinking if that’s the case may be he won’t side with my ex just because she is a mother. I think I made a right decision.

I do feel that were Cowan not transferred downtown, he would have seen my case to a positive fruition.

I wrote this because he may be back to family court. You never know.


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