Joe Cotchett Receives the 2021 San Mateo County History Maker Award

Honors & Awards

Congratulations to our founding partner, Joe Cotchett, for receiving the 2021 San Mateo County History Maker award from the San Mateo County Historical Association.  San Mateo County History Makers recognizes an individual or family who has made a significant historical impact on San Mateo County and whose actions have also significantly affected developments outside of the County.

Joe Cotchett has championed the rights of the “little guy” for over five decades, taking on some of the largest corporations and financial institution in America.  Among his many far-reaching actions has been his work to expose the strategies of scammers like Bernie Madoff and Charles Keating.

This long-time Peninsula resident recognized the importance of civil and social rights while attending college at North Carolina State and continued this work as an attorney.  Before law school, he earned a degree in engineering at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, followed by a law degree from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law.  Prior to attending Hastings, he served on active duty as an officer in the Army Intelligence Corps.  This was followed by many years in the reserves, first as a Special Forces Officer AD then as part of the Judge Advocate General’s Corps.  After 30 years in the reserves, Cotchett retired as a Colonel and was awarded the Legion of Merit medal for his military service.

His list of statewide and national recognitions is most impressive.  He is one of the few California lawyers in the American Trial Lawyers Hall of Fame as well as an early member of the California’s Trial Lawyers Hall of Fame.  He received the Distinguished Service Award from the prestigious Judicial Council of California, and many other honors have come from consumer, civil rights, labor, environmental organizations, as well as our State Legislature.  He is recognized annually by the state legal media as one of the top 10 lawyers in California and in the top 100 nationally.

Please click on the following link to view a tribute video to Joe Cotchett.


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