Josh A. Cohen

Josh Cohen is a skilled courtroom advocate with 17 years of experience representing companies and individuals in criminal prosecutions, investigations, and collateral civil proceedings.  A Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, he is described in Chambers USA as a “consummate professional” and “one of the most intelligent lawyers” in his field. 


Josh’s clientele includes companies and executives in finance, technology, biotech, healthcare, transportation, and manufacturing.  His cases raise issues under the securities laws, antitrust regulations, the False Claims Act, Internet content regulations, state unfair-competition statutes, anti-corruption laws, environmental protections, and export-import restrictions.  Josh also represents clients charged with a broad range of general crimes, from theft to narcotics to homicide. 


Josh regularly tries cases in federal and state courts.  In 2017, he obtained complete acquittals in two federal criminal trials.  A former federal public defender, Josh also trained in the white-collar groups at Williams & Connolly and Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan.  Before studying law, he was a business analyst at McKinsey & Company in Chicago.


Josh co-chairs the White Collar Crime Committee of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.  As a member of the Criminal Justice Act panel in the Northern District of California, he accepts appointments to represent indigent defendants charged with federal crimes.  He lectures frequently on topics in criminal law including wiretaps, federal sentencing, corporate investigations, legal writing, and trial advocacy.


Representative Cases

  • Resolved federal criminal action, agency enforcement proceedings, and shareholder derivative and class actions on behalf of senior executive of failed regional bank.
  • Brought successful legal challenge on behalf of technology company to government’s interpretation of Stored Communications Act.
  • Achieved favorable settlement for transportation network carrier of tort claims asserted by celebrity lawyer.
  • Achieved non-prosecution and successful resolution of enforcement action and civil lawsuits on behalf of principal of failed $700 million investment fund.
  • Represented multiple executives of major biotechnology company in federal investigation into marketing of a cancer drug that resolved without criminal charges.
  • Represented executive of international auto-parts supplier in federal antitrust investigation involving allegations of market division and price fixing.
  • Represented financial executive of computer hardware manufacturer in investigation of alleged accounting irregularities that resolved without enforcement action.
  • Won full acquittal at trial of commercial pilot indicted for federal crimes during an international flight.
  • Won directed verdict at trial on behalf of utility employee charged with vehicular manslaughter arising from on-the-job collision.
  • Achieved non-prosecution for analyst at major securities broker in federal insider-trading investigation.
  • Won reversal on appeal of public university’s finding of sexual misconduct by a student.



T:  415.749.1800




J.D., Yale Law School (2001)


B.A., Williams College (1996)




Assistant Federal Public Defender, N.D. Cal. (2003-07)


Clerk to the Honorable Charles R. Breyer, N.D. Cal. (2002-03)




"Is Title III Dead? The Future of Wiretap Challenges in the Wake of Rajaratnam," The Champion Magazine (Sept./Oct. 2013)