Patrick Coughlin


  • Former Assistant United States Attorney for the District of Columbia and the Southern District of California
  • AV Preeminent certification by Martindale-Hubbell
  • Senior Statesman by Chambers USA
  • Best Lawyer in America and a Southern California Best Lawyer by Best Lawyers
  • Antitrust Trailblazer and a Plaintiffs’ Lawyer Trailblazer by The National Law Journal
  • Leading Plaintiff Financial Lawyer by Lawdragon
  • Top 100 Lawyer by the Daily Journal
  • Lawyer of the Year by Best Lawyers in 2023
  • Outstanding Antitrust Litigation Achievement in Private Law Practice by the American Antitrust Institute’s Antitrust Enforcement Awards


Patrick Coughlin is “of counsel” to the firm in the firm’s San Diego office. His primary practice focuses on securities and competition law.

Patrick started his law career with the DOJ Criminal Division Appellate Section in the Honors Program handling numerous appeals in several circuits. From there, Patrick moved on as an Assistant United States Attorney in the District of Columbia and in the Southern District of California, handling complex white-collar fraud matters. During this time, he helped try one of the largest criminal RICO cases ever prosecuted by the United States, United States v. Brown, No. 86-3056-SWR (D.D.C.), as well as an infamous oil fraud scheme resulting in a complex murder-for-hire trial, United States v. Boeckman, No. 87-cr-00676 (S.D. Cal.).

Over his career, Patrick has tried more than 50 cases, including some of the most complex civil matters to go to trial against some of the largest companies in the world such as: Apple, Nationwide, the large tobacco companies, Wells Fargo, and Credit Suisse. Patrick was pivotal in the case against RJ Reynolds for using its Joe Camel cartoon mascot to target children and secured a multibillion-dollar payout for California cities and counties in the State’s landmark 1998 settlement with the tobacco companies. Patrick was also one of the lead attorneys who, representing the Class on a pro bono basis, recovered $25 million on behalf of Trump University students in a class action against former President Donald J. Trump.

Patrick has extensive federal appellate class action experience having argued dozens of appeals including a number of significant class cases such as Enron. Regents of the Univ. of Cal v. Credit Suisse First Boston, 482 F.3d 372 (5th Cir. 2007) (the largest securities Class recovery – $7.2 billion); Aluminum, Eastman Kodak Co. v. Henry Bath LLC, 935 F.3d 86 (2d Cir. 2019) (the most recent antitrust standing case out of the Second Circuit); America West, No. 84 Employee Teamster Joint Council Pension Trust Fund v. Am. W. Holding Corp., 320 F.3d 920 (9th Cir. 2003) (first securities case in the Ninth Circuit reversing a dismissal under the PSLRA); AT&T, In re: Text Messaging Antitrust Litigation Aircraft Check Services Co. v. Verizon Wireless, 782 F.3d 867 (7th Cir. 2015) (Seventh Circuit antitrust case dealing with conscious parallelism versus an express agreement); and In re Payment Card Interchange Fee and Merchant Discount Antitrust Litigation, 62 F.4th 704 (2d Cir. 2023) (the largest antitrust recovery – $6.2 billion). Patrick has argued in both the California and United States Supreme Courts. See Harris v. Superior Court of California, California Supreme Court Nos. S156555 and S205097 and Dura Pharmaceuticals, Inc. v. Broudo, 544 U.S. 336 (2005).

A talented athlete, Patrick received multiple scholarship offers to play football in his home State of Arizona including from the University of Arizona and Arizona State, ultimately choosing to go out of State to the University of Santa Clara where he played football and ran track. Just after college, Patrick traveled to Puebla, Mexico to coach football and attend medical school for a year before law school.


  • In re Apple Computer Sec. Litig., No. C-84-20148 (N.D. Cal.)
  • Hsu v. Puma Biotechnology, Inc., No. SACV15-0865 (C.D. Cal.)
  • In re Facebook Biometric Info. Privacy Litig., No. 3:15-cv-03747-JD (N.D. Cal.)
  • In re Payment Card Interchange Fee and Merchant Discount Antitrust Litig.
  • Dahl v. Bain Capital Partners, LLC