Joseph F. Coyne, Jr.

Joseph F. Coyne, Jr.: Attorney with Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP AV stamp icon
Attorney Awards


Joseph Coyne is a partner who handles complex litigation, including antitrust and intellectual property in the firm's Los Angeles office.

Areas of Practice

Joseph specializes in complex commercial litigation with expertise in intellectual property, commercial contract disputes, antitrust litigation, products liability, government contracts, representing such clients as Georgia Pacific, Northrop Grumman Corporation, American Bioscience and Honeywell Inc.


•Best Lawyer in America, Best Lawyers, 2010-2019
• Leading Litigator in America by the editors of Lawdragon magazine, 2006. The magazine recognized that Mr. Coyne represents Northrop Grumman in a $1 billion suit against Uncle Sam over its long-delayed, then cancelled TSSAM missile line.
•Litigation Star, Benchmark Litigation, 2009-2019
•Finalist, Lawdragon 500 Leading Lawyers in America, Lawdragon magazine, 2007
• Best of the Bar, Litigation, Los Angeles Business Journal, 2007
•Southern California Super Lawyer, Super Lawyers, 2007-2018
• Who's Who in the Law, Los Angeles Business Journal, 2002
• Top Trial Lawyers in Los Angeles, Los Angeles Business Journal, 1999
•Received an AV rating from Martindale-Hubbell , highest rating an attorney can receive for legal quality and ethics.


Representative Experience

Mr. Coyne was the Lead Trial Counsel in the representation of American BioScience Inc., a co-defendant of Bristol Squibb in an FTC investigation into alleged anticompetitive practices in conjunction with the anti-cancer drug Taxol. He was also lead counsel in various class actions filed throughout the United States. In the California private class actions, Mr. Coyne obtained summary judgment in favor of ABI.

Mr. Coyne was Lead Trial Counsel on behalf of Alcatel in a billion dollar monopolization case filed in Texas against Cisco Systems, Inc., involving the switching, router, and VoIP markets, and in the defense of antitrust claims by Cisco in a related market.

Mr. Coyne was Lead Trial Counsel in a May 1996 jury trial for Northrop Grumman Corporation in a fraud case in which the government sought millions of dollars in damages and barred claims. This was the first jury trial under the False Claims Act in ten years since the Act was amended to make it easier for the government to prevail. The case received national attention on CBS' 60 Minutes and in the Washington Post, N.Y. Times, L.A. Times and the American Lawyer. The National Law Journal deemed the verdict one of the Top 10 Defense Verdicts in the country in 1997.

Mr. Coyne is presently the lead counsel in a $1 billion lawsuit brought by Northrop Grumman Corporation against the United States Government. The case involves a myriad of issues relating to the design, development, and manufacturing of the Tri- Service Stand Off Attack Missile ( TSSAM ). It is the second largest case pending in the U.S. Court of Claims.

Mr. Coyne was the attorney at Sheppard Mullin primarily responsible for the largest patent/trade secret misappropriation case in U.S. history brought by Litton Systems, Inc. against our client, Honeywell Inc. The case has received national attention and was featured in the Wall Street Journal.

Mr. Coyne represented Stone Container in a four-week jury trial brought by Chesterfield Investments, the private investment vehicle of the Drexel Burnham & Lambert partners. After four days of jury deliberations, the case settled on very favorable terms.

Mr. Coyne was Lead Trial Counsel on behalf of Northrop Grumman in a $500 million software misappropriation case. The case settled in favorable terms on the eve of trial.

In 2001, Mr. Coyne tried a $220 million patent dispute in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Florida brought by Florida State University against our client American BioScience, Inc., over ownership of a patent to a new drug formulation related to Taxol, the $2 billion blockbuster anti-cancer drug. The claim for money damages was ultimately settled for a small fraction of the amount originally sought. The claim for declaratory relief was decided in ABI's favor.

Mr. Coyne was Lead Trial Counsel in a case brought by Cactus Feeders, Inc., the second largest cattle feeder in the country, against Oprah Winfrey and other defendants in the U.S. District Court in Amarillo, Texas for trade libel, defamation and violation of Texas' perishable food protection statute. The case received nationwide publicity on the major T.V. networks, CNN, etc.

In 1995, Mr. Coyne tried a major False Claims Act case for Northrop before a baseball arbitration panel composed of the Honorable William Matthew Byrne and the Honorable Marianna R. Pfaelzer against the U.S. Government. The Panel found in Northrop's favor, finding the government's case without merit

Areas of Practice (7)

  • Antitrust and Competition
  • Government Contracts, Investigations & International Trade
  • False Claims Act
  • Intellectual Property
  • Litigation
  • White Collar Defense and Corporate Investigations
  • Education

Education & Credentials

Contact Information:
213.617.4200  Phone
213.620.1398  Fax
University Attended:
University of Notre Dame, B.B.A., Notre Dame Scholar, Beta Gamma Sigma, President of Beta Alpha Psi, 1977
Law School Attended:
Stanford University, J.D., International Law Journal, 1980
Year of First Admission:
1980, California

Peer Reviews

A Martindale-Hubbell Peer Rating reflects a combination of achieving a Very High General Ethical Standards rating and a Legal Ability numerical rating.

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

Los Angeles, California

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