Cane was born in Plattsburgh, New York on April 15, 1879. His father was a merchant.
Cane earned an A.B. degree from Columbia University in 1900 and a law degree, also from Columbia, in 1903. During his college years, he wrote poetry and worked as a reporter for the New York Post.
Admitted to the bar in 1903, Cane began his legal practice in New York City in 1905 with the law firm, Ernst, Cane and Berner and was primarily with the firm until his death in 1980. His special area of practice was copyright law. 
Cane was a legal counsel to notable writers like Sinclair Lewis, Upton Sinclair, Ayn Rand, William Saroyan, and Thomas Wolfe. He served on the board of directors for Harcourt Brace Jovanovich Inc., and was a members of the Association of the Bar (New York City) and the Poetry Society of America.