Patrick J. Coughlin

Patrick J. Coughlin

Of Counsel


Patrick Coughlin is Of Counsel to Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP and is based in the San Diego office. He has been lead counsel for several major securities matters, including one of the earliest and largest class action securities cases to go to trial, In re Apple Computer Sec. Litig., No. C-84-20148 (N.D. Cal.). Coughlin was recently one of the lead attorneys who secured a historic recovery on behalf of Trump University students in two class actions against President Donald J. Trump. The settlement provides $25 million to approximately 7,000 consumers. This result means individual class members are eligible for upwards of $35,000 in restitution. He represented the class on a pro bono basis. 

Additional prominent securities class actions prosecuted by Coughlin include the Enron litigation, in which $7.2 billion was recovered; the Qwest litigation, in which a $445 million recovery was obtained; and the HealthSouth litigation, in which a $671 million recovery was obtained. 

In addition to the numerous securities cases, Coughlin has handled a number of large antitrust cases including the Visa/Master Card Interchange Fee case, the Currency Conversion cases in which $360 million was recovered for consumers and the Private Equity litigation (Dahl v. Bain Capital Partners, LLC) in which $590.5 million was recovered for investors. Most recently, Coughlin served as class counsel in the ISDAfix Benchmark action against 14 major banks and broker ICAP plc, obtaining $504.5 million for plaintiffs.

Formerly, Coughlin was an Assistant United States Attorney in the District of Columbia and 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.). 

Coughlin’s additional trials involving securities violations include cases against Wells Fargo and California Amplifier. Both cases settled in trial. Cases that settled on the eve of trial include cases against Alcatel and America West. Antitrust trials include a large case against the tobacco industry and a recent case against Apple. Coughlin has tried more than 50 cases. Coughlin helped end the Joe Camel ad campaign, a cartoon ad campaign that targeted children and secured a $12.5 billion recovery for the cities and counties of California in the landmark 1998 state settlement with the tobacco companies.

Coughlin has received the AV Preeminent certification by Martindale-Hubbell (the highest rating available). He has been selected as a Senior Statesman by Chambers USA, a Best Lawyer in America by Best Lawyers, an Antitrust Trailblazer by The National Law Journal, and a Leading Lawyer in America by Lawdragon. Coughlin has also been named a Top 100 Lawyer by the Daily Journal, a Top Lawyer in San Diego by San Diego Magazine, and a Super Lawyer by Super Lawyers Magazine. Most recently, he was recognized by the American Antitrust Institute’s Antitrust Enforcement Awards for the category of Outstanding Antitrust Litigation Achievement in Private Law Practice.

Coughlin graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree from Santa Clara University and a Juris Doctor degree from Golden Gate University School of Law.


  • Rated AV Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell
  • Best Lawyer in America, Best Lawyers®, 2006-2019
  • Outstanding Antitrust Litigation Achievement in Private Law Practice, American Antitrust Institute, 2018
  • Senior Statesman, Chambers USA, 2014-2018
  • Super Lawyer, 2004-2018
  • Top Lawyer in San Diego, San Diego Magazine, 2013-2017
  • Antitrust Trailblazer, The National Law Journal, 2015
  • Top 100 Lawyers, Daily Journal, 2008
  • Leading Lawyer in America, Lawdragon, 2009, 2008, 2006

Practice Areas


  • Golden Gate University School of Law, J.D., 1983
  • Santa Clara University, B.S., 1977


  • California
  • New York
  • District of Columbia
  • United States Supreme Court
  • United States Courts of Appeals for the Second, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Ninth, Eleventh and District of Columbia Circuits
  • United States District Courts for the Northern, Eastern, Central and Southern Districts of California
  • United States District Courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York
  • United States District Court for the District of Columbia
  • United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois

Notable Cases


Main Menu