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.
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.
Rachel Biscardi is thrilled to join the legal team at PiltserCowan Law after twenty years of practicing law in the public sector. Rachel specializes in handling family law and abuse prevention order cases with expertise and compassion. Rachel served on the Legislative Task Force on Alimony which drafted the 2011 Alimony Reform Act. She also was a member of the Child Support Working Group which drafted the current Massachusetts Child Support Guidelines. She serves on the Trial Court’s Domestic Violence Education Task Force which is responsible for advising and assisting on domestic violence trainings for the trial court. Rachel was appointed to the Massachusetts Bar Association’s Access to Justice Committee in 2014, the Boston Bar Association’s Family Law Steering Committee in 2009, and served as co-chair of the Domestic and Sexual Violence Coalition from 2008-2013. In 2014, Rachel published a Law Review Article entitled: “Dispelling Alimony Myths: The Continuing Need for Alimony and the Alimony Reform Act of 2011.” She has authored and edited several family law amicus briefs for seminal family law cases. She has appeared in television shows such as “Chronicle” and “Greater Boston with Emily Rooney”. She has trained lawyers, judges, police officers, and social service providers at almost every major family law conference in Massachusetts. She regularly testifies in front of the legislature on family law bills focusing on child custody jurisdiction, alimony, and custody.
Prior to PiltserCowan Law, for twelve years, Rachel was the Deputy Director of the Women’s Bar Association & Foundation where she recruited, trained, and mentored attorneys to represent domestic violence survivors. She was also an adjunct family law professor at Northeastern Law School and New England School of Law, Boston from 2012-2016.
Rachel is the recipient of the 2013 Lawyer’s Weekly Excellence in the Law Award, the 2013 Boston University School of Law’s Public Interest Award, and the 2011 Women’s Bar Association’s Certificate of Service. She was presented with a JAG Coin of Excellence by the US Air Force Hanscom Air Force Base in 2014. Rachel is a graduate of Boston University School of Law with a specialization in litigation and dispute resolution.
Jason Tauches grew up in New York and graduated from the College of the Holy Cross in 1997 with bachelor degrees in Music and History. Prior to law school, he spent six years on active duty in the United States Marine Corps, deploying to Kosovo, Kuwait, and Iraq.
He attended Santa Clara University School of Law, where he was the Editor-in Chief of the Santa Clara University Journal of International Law. He also received the Hackworth Grant in Applied Ethics and the Pro Bono Recognition Award for his commitment to public service. During law school, he promoted the protection of individual rights and cultural heritage as a consultant to UNESCO and Human Rights Law Network. He then worked as a deputy public defender in Fresno County before earning a Master of Laws in International Legal Studies at the NYU School of Law as a Transitional Justice Scholar. At NYU, he focused on preventing violations of human rights by government and corporate actors as a clerk at the NYU Law Global Justice Clinic and Human Rights Watch.
As an attorney, Jason has focused on securities, criminal defense, commercial and civil rights litigation. He has represented over 500 clients in criminal and civil cases, and served as lead attorney on numerous trials, including complex felony trials. In 2017, he was selected as a Franklin Fellow by the U.S. State Department. Since moving to Massachusetts, Jason has expanded his civil and securities litigation experience, representing clients in FINRA arbitration and in state and federal court.
Jason is excited to bring his experience and knowledge of the law to PiltserCowan Law’s clients and practice.
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
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 and is the current office manager. 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
Shannon Reilley grew up in Connecticut and Vermont, graduating from St. John’s College (Santa Fe) with a bachelor’s in Liberal Arts. After graduation, she worked on traditionally-rigged tallships for about three years, including Kalmar Nyckel and Pride of Baltimore II. Since then, she has been a social worker; most recently, she provided case management and funding support to help current and former foster youth navigate their path to adulthood.
Shannon joined the practice in 2017 and is especially interested in learning more about how to support underserved populations in their encounters with the legal system.
Sasha DiGregorio grew up in New York City, where she and her family immigrated when she was 3. Sasha studied Theatre and Literature at SUNY Purchase College, and moved to Austin, TX in 2011.
Sasha worked in marketing and customer relations for the last 8 years, five of which were for her own catering company, Gregorio’s. Sasha joined the practice in 2017 and particularly enjoys working with clients, helping them coordinate with the attorneys at PiltserCowan Law.
Her hobbies include hiking and water sports, cooking, playing the ukulele, superhero movies and comic books, and playing video games.