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John P. Coffey


Partner & Chair of Complex Litigation, Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP, Adjunct Professor of Law

B.S., United States Naval Academy; J.D., Georgetown

B.S., with merit, United States Naval Academy; J.D., magna cum laude, Georgetown University Law Center. Professor Coffey is a partner and Chair of Complex Litigation...

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B.S., with merit, United States Naval Academy; J.D., magna cum laude, Georgetown University Law Center. Professor Coffey is a partner and Chair of Complex Litigation at Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP in New York City. Earlier in his career, Professor Coffey served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney (Criminal Division) for the Southern District of New York, litigation partner at Latham & Watkins LLP, co-managing partner at the boutique plaintiffs litigation firm Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossmann LLP, and co-founder of a private equity start-up focused on commercial litigation finance. An experienced and active trial lawyer, Professor Coffey has tried cases as a federal prosecutor, plaintiff's attorney and defense attorney, including three major cases since 2013. In late 2014, he served as co-lead trial counsel for Johnson & Johnson in a breach of contract case arising out of a 2006 bidding war for Guidant Corporation; the case settled shortly after closing arguments with a $600 million payment to J&J. He also served as co-lead trial counsel for former Goldman Sachs trader Fabrice Tourre in the S.E.C. v. Tourre civil enforcement action (also known as the "Fabulous Fab" case), tried in federal court in Manhattan in July 2013. While at Bernstein Litowitz, Professor Coffey led teams that recovered almost $10 billion for defrauded securities investors and served as lead lawyer in two of the largest civil cases ever to go to trial: the WorldCom Securities Litigation and the Baptist Foundation of Arizona audit malpractice case. Professor Coffey's role in the WorldCom prosecution was featured in two American Lawyer articles ("Taking Citi To School" (December 2004) and "Breaking The Banks" (November 2005)), and a profile in Bloomberg Markets ("Wall Street's New Nemesis" (September 2005)). Professor Coffey was named one of the country's "top ten" winning trial attorneys by the National Law Journal in 2005, and was repeatedly selected as one of Lawdragon's top 500 American lawyers prior to his retirement from Bernstein Litowitz to run for the Democratic nomination for New York Attorney General in 2010 (finishing third in a field of five candidates). A retired Navy Captain, Professor Coffey's naval career included assignments as personal military assistant to Vice President George H.W. Bush (during which he was enrolled in the evening division at GULC) and commanding officer of a reserve P-3C Orion squadron and the reserve component of the Enterprise battle group staff. Professor Coffey is a member of the Georgetown Law Board of Visitors. He also serves on the boards of Common Cause New York, the Holocaust and Human Rights Education Center, the Navy League of the United States (New York Council), ThanksUSA, and Greenhope Services for Women.

In the News

"Arsenal of Legal Firepower Masses Around Tourre Trial," coverage in the New York Times, July 15, 2013, featuring Adjunct Professor John P. "Sean" Coffey, L'87. 

"SEC, ex-Goldman VP Tourre battle over key fraud trial witness," featuring Adjunct Professor John P. "Sean" Coffey, L'87, appeared in Reuters concerning his representation of former Goldman Sachs Group Vice President Fabrice Tourre, June 27, 2013. 

"SEC, ex-Goldman VP Tourre battle over key fraud trial witness," featuring Adjunct Professor John P. "Sean" Coffey, L'87, appeared in Reuters concerning his representation of former Goldman Sachs Group Vice President Fabrice Tourre, June 27, 2013. 

"Looking to Make a Profit on Lawsuits, Firms Invest in Them," an article in the New York Times, April 30, 2012, featuring Professor Jonathan Molot and John P. Coffey, L'87.

All News

"Arsenal of Legal Firepower Masses Around Tourre Trial," coverage in the New York Times, July 15, 2013, featuring Adjunct Professor John P. "Sean" Coffey, L'87. 

"SEC, ex-Goldman VP Tourre battle over key fraud trial witness," featuring Adjunct Professor John P. "Sean" Coffey, L'87, appeared in Reuters concerning his representation of former Goldman Sachs Group Vice President Fabrice Tourre, June 27, 2013. 

"SEC, ex-Goldman VP Tourre battle over key fraud trial witness," featuring Adjunct Professor John P. "Sean" Coffey, L'87, appeared in Reuters concerning his representation of former Goldman Sachs Group Vice President Fabrice Tourre, June 27, 2013. 

"Looking to Make a Profit on Lawsuits, Firms Invest in Them," an article in the New York Times, April 30, 2012, featuring Professor Jonathan Molot and John P. Coffey, L'87.

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