Personal Law

Mr. Coogen’s focus is to provide high-quality legal advice and support. In personal situations it is easy to ignore worst case scenarios. Many times individuals execute contracts without even knowing what they have agreed to.  The hardest part in a transaction is the preparation of a contract.  Michael is armed with a comprehensive knowledge of case law and the Virginia, Maryland and D.C. court systems.  He is up front about the risks and explain the pros and cons of any situation.  Leaving you informed and prepared to handle your personal fairs proactively and on your terms.

Personal and family:

    Contracts are the written record (contracts may be oral) of a binding voluntary agreement between two parties which assigns duties to the two parties. Such a record allows for enforceability, which usually means that it allows one party to a contract to obtain money damages. The system of contract law makes agreements to exchange goods and services possible. Because contractual agreements are everywhere in our daily life, contracts are some of the most litigated areas of life.

    Wills and Living Wills
    If you just want to draft a simple will the process begins with understanding your future goals. The goals of every individual are as unique as the journey to where they are in life. Michael will help you build a plan that matches your needs and plans. Whether you are a small family living in the Arlington, a small business owner in the District of Columbia, or a non-traditional family in Maryland. Act now and protect your loved ones.

    Power of Attorney
    Did you know there are different types? A general power of attorney authorizes your agent to do almost everything on your behalf which you could do for yourself. A limited or special power of attorney authorizes your agent to perform only certain acts specifically listed in the document. A durable power of attorney is simply a power of attorney that remains effective even if you become incapacitated. Generally, unless the power of attorney document specifically indicates it is durable, it is not durable and will terminate upon your incapacity. A non-durable power of attorney would, of course, be useless in connection with estate planning or disability planning.

    Pre-marital Agreements
    A premarital agreement or prenuptial agreement can be a simple document that protects your separate property in the event of a future divorce. Premarital agreements can be designed to tailor individual needs, and can be used to protect income, real and personal property, business ventures and retirement accounts in the event of divorce.

    There are several distinctions in family law between Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia. It is important to have the counsel of someone who understands the rules for separation, fault and the distribution of property.

    When working with a mediator you may still elect to access separate counsel. Specifically to draft or review settlement agreements and/or file any court matters. Michael can recommend mediators and assist you as necessary. The role of a mediator is to provide neutrality while driving for resolution between the parties. Often communication allows for working through conflict and finding options. The process emphasizes of negotiations can maximize the interests of both parties. If desired, the mediation can result in a formal settlement agreement between the parties.

Traffic violations:

  • Speeding
  • Driving While Intoxicated (DUI / DWI) Careless driving
  • Child restraint or car seat violations
  • Failure to stop
  • Failure to wear a seat belt
  • Following too closely
  • Reckless driving


  • Trespassing
  • Vandalism
  • Assault
  • Robbery