Joseph Coyne is of counsel 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 and government contracts, representing such clients as Georgia Pacific, Northrop Grumman Corporation, American Bioscience and Honeywell.



Representative Experience

  • Lead trial counsel in the representation of American BioScience (AB), a co-defendant of Bristol Squibb in an FTC investigation into alleged anti-competitive practices in conjunction with the anti-cancer drug Taxol. He was also lead counsel in various class actions filed throughout the U.S. In the California-based private class actions, Joseph obtained summary judgment in favor of AB.
  • Lead trial counsel on behalf of Alcatel in a billion-dollar monopolization case filed in Texas against Cisco Systems, involving the switching, router and VoIP markets, and in the defense of antitrust claims by Cisco in a related market.
  • Lead trial counsel in a May 1996 jury trial for Northrop Grumman 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 10 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, The New York Times, Los Angeles Times and The American Lawyer. The National Law Journal deemed the verdict one of the Top 10 Defense Verdicts in the country in 1997.
  • Presently the lead counsel in a $1 billion lawsuit brought by Northrop Grumman against the U.S. 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.
  • Primary Sheppard Mullin attorney responsible for the largest patent/trade secret misappropriation case in U.S. history brought by Litton Systems, against our client, Honeywell. The case has received national attention and was featured in The Wall Street Journal.
  • 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.
  • 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, Joseph tried a $220 million patent dispute in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida brought by Florida State University against our client American BioScience (AB), 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 AB's favor.
  • Lead trial counsel in a case brought by Cactus Feeders, 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 TV networks, CNN, etc.
  • In 1995, Joseph 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.



  • Best Lawyer in America, Best Lawyers, 2010-2024
  • "Leading Litigator in America" by the editors of Lawdragon magazine, 2006. The magazine recognized that Joseph "represents Northrop Grumman in a $1 billion suit against Uncle Sam over its long-delayed, then cancelled TSSAM missile line."
  • Litigation Star, Benchmark Litigation, 2009-2024
  • Finalist, "500 Leading Lawyers in America," Lawdragon magazine, 2007
  • "Best of the Bar," Litigation, Los Angeles Business Journal, 2007
  • Southern California Super Lawyer, Super Lawyers, 2007-2024
  • "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.



J.D., Stanford Law School, 1980, International Law Journal

B.B.A., University of Notre Dame, 1977, Notre Dame Scholar, Beta Gamma Sigma, President, Beta Alpha Psi


  • California
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