Joseph D. Barton

Joseph D. Barton: Attorney with Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP


Joseph Barton is an associate in the Government Contracts, Investigations & International Trade Practice Group in the firm's Los Angeles office.

Areas of Practice

Mr. Barton’s practice consists primarily of representing aerospace, healthcare, entertainment, and online media companies in federal criminal prosecutions and civil False Claims Act cases. The subject matter of Mr. Barton’s cases has included falsification of quality inspections and test data, kickbacks and other forms of bribery, labor mischarging, misallocation of costs, misuse of funds, mortgage fraud, narcotics tampering, backdating, and up-coding and un-bundling. In defending these cases, Mr. Barton has interacted with various federal agencies, including the Air Force Office of Special Investigations, Army Criminal Investigative Command, Defense Criminal Investigative Service, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Food and Drug Administration Office of Criminal Investigations, Internal Revenue Service, Department of Agriculture Foreign Agricultural Service, and Department of Housing and Urban Development. Mr. Barton has conducted over 825 witness interviews and made multiple evidentiary presentations to the United States Attorney’s Office to resolve cases on favorable terms.

Mr. Barton also represents companies in disability access and trade secret cases in both federal and state court. Mr. Barton’s disabled access experience has included shopping malls, hotels, and restaurants. Mr. Barton secured one of the first verdicts in California to find that a plaintiff was not a bona fide customer of the fast food chain he sued and therefore was not entitled to relief. Mr. Barton’s trade secret experience has included aerospace, telecommunications, and food products. Mr. Barton recently obtained dismissal with prejudice of a complaint seeking millions of dollars in damages for the alleged misappropriation of frozen fried rice recipes and successfully defended the dismissal through appeal. Following the appeal, Mr. Barton won a motion for attorney’s fees against the plaintiff for the plaintiff’s maintenance of a bad faith trade secret action. The is one of only a handful of California trade secret cases over the past 10 years wherein defense counsel has been awarded such fees.

Outside the litigation context, Mr. Barton advises federal, state, and local government contractors in contract negotiations, bid protests, and mergers and acquisitions. Mr. Barton also performs Foreign Corrupt Practices Act due diligence, implements compliance programs, and conducts employee trainings for companies that conduct business overseas.

Mr. Barton is a member of the firm’s recruiting committee and actively performs pro bono work for the firm. Mr. Barton’s most recent pro bono projects involved composing a manual of civil tort remedies for domestic violence victims and litigating a disabled access case against the New York Transit Authority concerning the maintenance of elevators in subway stations.

Mr. Barton’s honors include the firm’s inaugural “Bob Williams” award. This award is named after the firm’s long-time hiring partner and is given to associates who have done exceptional work for both the firm community and the community at-large. Such work may include volunteer work, community leadership positions, extraordinary pro bono cases, diversity & inclusion initiatives, and mentoring other associates. Mr. Barton was selected after a three-month review process of the firm’s more than 500 associates worldwide.

While in law school, Mr. Barton clerked for the California Department of Justice, Criminal Appeals Division, and submitted appellate briefs to the California Courts of Appeal in eleven cases seeking to uphold convictions. Convictions were upheld in ten of the cases.


•Feature Comment: 2018 Civil False Claims Act Update
The Government Contractor, November 20, 2018
•Marijuana Laws Muddy the Waters for Contractors
NIDA's Business and Technology Magazine, January 30, 2018
•Feature Comment: 2017 Civil FalseClaims Act Update
The Government Contractor, November 15, 2017
•No Contractor Liability For False Statement Gov't Didn't See
Law360, April 25, 2017
•Start-Ups Face Export Control Traps
NIDA's Business and Technology Magazine, January 2017
•Feature Comment: 2016 FCA Update
The Government Contractor, December 21, 2016
•DOJ's FCPA Enforcement Power Gets a Big Boost
U.S. News - Best Lawyers, December 17, 2014
• NY/NJ Port Authority Implements New FCA Policy, Sheppard Mullin Government Contracts Law Blog, February 28, 2018
• Presumption of Declination with Voluntary Disclosure, Cooperation, and Remediation of FCPA Violations, Sheppard Mullin Government Contracts Law Blog, January 12, 2018
• FCPA Accounting Provisions Have Teeth: Halliburton to Pay $29.2 Million to Settle FCPA Charges, Sheppard Mullin Government Contracts Law Blog, September 26, 2017
• Whatever Happened to the FCPA’s Foreign Conduct Requirement - How the FCPA is Being Used to Police Domestic Conduct and Internal Policy Violations, Sheppard Mullin Government Contracts Law Blog, September 26, 2017
• Chief Judge Kozinski’s Ninth Circuit Dissent in U.S. v. Olsen Offers Hope that Courts Will Keep Prosecutors Honest, Sheppard Mullin Government Contracts Law Blog, January 21, 2014
• Look Out For OIG Inquiries Without Subpoena Warning Shot, Law360, October 25, 2013
• Predicating False Claims Act Liability On False Cost Estimates May Impact Contractors' Willingness to Take On Projects Involving Next Generation Technologies, Sheppard Mullin Government Contracts Law Blog, October 24, 2012
• Meaning Of FCPA's Foreign Official Causes Uncertainty For Companies Doing Business Abroad, Sheppard Mullin Latin American Law Blog, May 24, 2012
• The Federal Government Takes Aim at Medicare Fraud, Sheppard Mullin Government Contracts Law Blog, May 14, 2012
• The Uncomfortable Resurgence of the Responsible Corporate Officer Doctrine, Sheppard Mullin FDA Law Update Blog, March 28, 2012
• FCPA: 2011 kicks off new era of anti-bribery enforcement, Daily Journal, December 22, 2011

Media Mentions

•Five Indicators Credit Unions Can Be Buds with Marijuana Businesses
CUNA Councils, June 25, 2018

Speaking Engagements

Federal Publications Seminars 2018 Government Contracts Review & Outlook - West Coast, Recent False Claims Act Developments, November 8-9, 2018
Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP Annual Government Contracts Practice Group Retreat, Marijuana Update, October 27, 2018.
Federal Publications Seminars 2017 Government Contracts Review & Outlook - West Coast, Recent False Claims Act Developments, November 9-10, 2017
Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP Annual Government Contracts Practice Group Retreat, Implications of Legalized Marijuana on Mainstream Corporations, October 21, 2017
FinTech Silicon Valley, Marijuana Panel, May 8, 2018.

Areas of Practice (10)

  • Entertainment, Technology, and Advertising
  • Government Contracts, Investigations & International Trade
  • Healthcare
  • Litigation
  • White Collar Defense and Corporate Investigations
  • Aerospace and Defense
  • Communications
  • Digital Media and Entertainment
  • Life Sciences and FDA
  • Nonprofit

Education & Credentials

Contact Information:
213.620.1780  Phone
213.620.1398  Fax
University Attended:
University of California, Davis, A.B., with honors, 2007
Law School Attended:
University of Notre Dame, J.D., cum laude, 2010
Year of First Admission:
2010, California; United States District Court for the Central District of California

Peer Reviews

This lawyer does not have peer reviews.

*Peer Reviews provided before April 15, 2008 are not displayed.

Documents (10)

Documents by this lawyer on

Los Angeles, California

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