Joseph W. Cotchett

Attorney Profile

Top Rated Business Litigation Attorney in Burlingame, CA

Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy, LLP
 | 840 Malcolm Road, Suite 200
Burlingame, CA 94010
Phone: 650-697-6000
Fax: 650-697-0577
Selected to Super Lawyers: 2004 - 2019
Licensed Since: 1965
Practice Areas:
  • Business Litigation (40%),
  • Consumer Law (30%),
  • Civil Rights (30%)
Attorney Profile

A founding partner of Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy, LLP, Joseph W. Cotchett has fought for the rights of his clients against powerful entities and individuals. He has done so for more than five decades from his office in San Francisco, California. Widely recognized across the nation, Mr. Cotchett's legal practice is divided between the areas of business litigation, civil rights and consumer law.

Mr. Cotchett was first licensed to practice law in 1965 when he graduated with his Juris Doctor from the University of California Hastings College of the Law. He has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America directory every year since it was first published. As a trial litigator, Mr. Cotchett has been recognized as a top attorney in Northern California and among the 10 best in the state. He holds an AV Preeminent* rating from his peers through Martindale-Hubbell.

Over his long career, Mr. Cotchett has litigated more than one hundred cases through trial and has negotiated favorable settlements in hundreds more. In the 1980s, Mr. Cotchett made a name for himself by winning numerous complex cases with verdicts and settlements in the hundreds of millions of dollars for his clients. The Los Angeles | San Francisco Daily Journal characterized him as one of the top trial strategists in California. He has represented investors in white collar and antitrust actions, securing major awards and settlements against multiple Wall Street hedge funds and investment firms. His firm has been involved in many major corporate scandals, fighting for the rights of underdogs and winning for them. He is dedicated to giving back and his dedicated himself to pro bono representation. This includes representing 7,600 Amerasian children who were left behind in the Philippines after a military base closure.

*AV®, AV Preeminent®, Martindale-Hubbell Distinguished and Martindale-Hubbell Notable are certification marks used under license in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies. Martindale-Hubbell® is the facilitator of a peer review rating process. Ratings reflect the anonymous opinions of members of the bar and the judiciary. Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Rating™ fall into two categories – legal ability and general ethical standards.

Practice Areas
Lawyer Practice Area Pie Chart

Business Litigation (40%)

Consumer Law (30%): Consumer Protection

Civil Rights (30%)

Focus Areas

Consumer Protection


Selected to Super Lawyers for 16 yearsbottom-image

Super Lawyers: 2004 - 2019

Certificates and Credentials

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To: Joseph W. Cotchett
Super Lawyers: Potential Client Inquiry

Articles about Joseph W. Cotchett appearing in Super Lawyers

About Joseph Cotchett

Admitted: 1965, California

Professional Webpage:


  • Trial Lawyer of the Year, 2000
  • To honor Cotchett, California State Polytechnic University renamed its landmark Clock Tower building the “Cotchett Education Building.” 
  • Consistently has been named one of the most influential lawyers in California by legal press
  • Listed in Top 100 California Legal Leaders by the Los Angeles Daily Journal
  • Received the Anti-Defamation League’s Distinguished Jurisprudence Award, 1996
  • University of California, Hastings College of the Law opened the Cotchett Center for Advocacy, 2000
  • Received the Presidential Award of Merit from the Consumer Attorneys of California, 2000
  • Received an Honorary Doctor of Laws from California State Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo and the trustees of the California State University, 2002
  • The Notre Dame de Namur University in Belmont, California dedicated the Joseph W. Cotchett Business Lab, 2006
  • Received an Honorary Doctor of Letters from Notre Dame de Namur University, 2006
  • Named to Leading Attorneys in California, 2007
  • Received the prestigious Consumer Advocate Award, 2007
  • Honored with Community Spirit Award, 2010
  • Received Father Alfred Boeddeker Award from St. Anthony Foundation, 2010
  • Named to the American Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame, 2011
  • Received Honorary Doctor of Letters from the University of San Francisco, 2011
  • Honored by Consumer Watchdog with The Phillip Burton Lifetime Achievement Award, 2011
  • Honored by the California League of Conservation Voters with the Environmental Leadership Award, 2011
  • Named to Super Lawyers Top 10 list
  • Presented with first ever Diversity Award by the San Mateo County Bar Association Diversity Committee, 2011
  • Named to Top 100 Lawyers in California list by California Daily Journal, 1997 - 2015
  • 2011 Antitrust Lawyer of the Year by the Antitrust and Unfair Competition Law Section of the State Bar of California
  • 2011 Lawdragon 500 Leading Lawyers in America list
  • 2011 Distinguished Service Award from Judicial Council of California
  • 2015 Top 100 Northern California Super Lawyers List

Bar/Professional Activity:

  • California Inns of Court, Master
  • The International Academy of Trial Lawyers, Fellow
  • The American Board of Trial Advocates, Advocate
  • The International Society of Barristers, Fellow
  • American College of Trial Lawyers, Fellow
  • District of Columbia Bar Association
  • New York Bar Association
  • California Bar Association
  • District of Columbia Bar
  • New York Bar
  • California Bar
  • U.S. Supreme Court

Educational Background:

  • California State Polytechnic University, B.S. in Engineering, Honor: Outstanding Graduate, 1960
Find Me Online
Office Location for Joseph W. Cotchett

840 Malcolm Road
Suite 200
Burlingame, CA 94010

Phone: 650-697-6000

Fax: 650-697-0577

Joseph W. Cotchett:

Last Updated: 11/12/2018

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