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 - 2021
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
    • 40%Business Litigation
    • 30%Consumer Law
    • 30%Civil Rights
    Focus Areas

    Consumer Protection


    Selected to Super Lawyers for 18 yearsbottom-image

    Super Lawyers: 2004 - 2021

    Top Lists

    National Board of Trial Advocacy

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    Articles about Joseph W. Cotchett appearing in Super Lawyers

    About Joseph Cotchett

    Admitted: 1965, California

    Professional Webpage:


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

    Bar/Professional Activity:

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

    Educational Background:

    • California State Polytechnic University, B.S. in Engineering, Honor: Outstanding Graduate, 1960
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    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: 1/28/2021

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