Joseph Cotchett

Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy LLP

$ $$$

Malcolm Road 840
Burlingame 94010 CA US

As stated by the National Law Journal, Joseph Winters Cotchett is considered by plaintiffs and defense attorneys alike to be one of the foremost trial lawyers in the country. He has been named one of the 100 most influential lawyers in the nation for the past 17 years and in 2017. In 2017, the Daily Journal named him to be one of the Top 100 in California since its inception.

As reported in the San Francisco / Los Angeles Daily Journal, he is “considered one of the best trial strategists in the state” who built a career out of representing the underdog against powerful interests. He is a fearless litigator and once tried two cases at the same time and won them both in San Diego Superior Court in 1984.

His clients range from corporate giants to groups like Consumers Union but the issue must be correct for Cotchett. The San Francisco Chronicle rated him as one of the best in the Bay Area, saying, “The Burlingame attorney has had a star career that’s not only talked about in legal circles but has made headlines around the country.

Known mostly as a plaintiffs’ lawyer, many of his cases are filed on behalf of fraud victims, and have a widows-and-orphan flavor to them.”

He has represented both the National Football League and teams since the early 1980s in various legal actions. As counsel for E. & J. Gallo Winery, he won a celebrated defense jury verdict in a trade dress infringement case involving wine labels and bottles produced by Gallo. The firm regularly represents Gallo in numerous matters.

In recent years, Cotchett has taken on major corporate entities and Wall Street for financial fraud. He and the firm are involved in litigation resulting from nearly every major corporate scandal including Enron, Worldcom, Global Crossing,, Qwest, Montana Power Company, Lehman, Bank of America, Goldman Sachs and numerous others on behalf of private investors and public pensions.

The firm has represented the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, California State Teachers’ Retirement System, and the University of California Board of Regents, along with numerous political subdivisions of the state, such as counties, cities and districts.

Cotchett and his family members are active in numerous Bay Area charitable organizations involving animals, children, women and minorities. They established the Cotchett Family Foundation that aids individuals and groups in need of assistance and especially animal rights groups.


  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • California Bar
  • New York Bar
  • District of Columbia Bar


  • Hastings College of Law at the University of California, J.D., 1964
  • California State Polytechnic University, B.S. in Engineering, 1960


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


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Malcolm Road 840
Burlingame 94010 CA US
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Lina Stillman

Broadway 42
New York 10004 NY US