Donald J. Magilligan is a Partner at Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy LLP, where he represents plaintiffs in litigation involving consumer class actions, personal injury, products liability, environmental fraud, elder fraud, and business litigation.

Mr. Magilligan has tried 48 jury trials in a wide variety of cases ranging from breach of contract to homicide.

Mr. Magilligan honed his trial skills during a 10-year career as a prosecutor in Santa Clara County (2012–18) and Contra Costa County (2008–12). During his career, he prosecuted cases involving murder, criminal street gangs, domestic violence, robbery, fraud, identity theft, property crimes, and crimes of violence.  As a prosecutor, Mr. Magilligan gained extensive experience litigating privacy issues and California’s Electronic Communications Privacy Act. During his time as a prosecutor, he lectured at several police academies where he taught ethics, evidence, and search and seizure.

Mr. Magilligan received his J.D. from the University of San Francisco.  While at U.S.F., Mr. Magilligan was a member of the Law Review, served on the Student Budget Committee, and received the CALI award for being the top student in Torts.  Mr. Magilligan sat on the Faculty-Student Steering Committee at the Leo T. McCarthy Center for Public Service and the Common Good.  Mr. Magilligan clerked for the Honorable Maura Corrigan of the Michigan Supreme Court and for the United States Attorney in San Francisco.

Mr. Magilligan received a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles.  Prior to law school, Mr. Magilligan worked in Chicago for a national consulting firm that specialized in bankruptcy claims management.


Representative Matters

  • In 2019 and 2020, Mr. Magilligan recovered the policy limits of the defendants’ liability insurance coverage in several personal injury cases. Those cases include an elderly couple injured in a Monterey County car crash (seven-figure settlement), a woman who suffered a concussion in a Santa Barbara County car crash (six-figure settlement), and a woman who suffered broken ribs in a San Mateo County car crash (six-figure settlement).
  • In 2019, Mr. Magilligan and John Thyken recovered over $1.5 million for three small business owners displaced by a fire that started when an unlicensed driver crashed into the building where they leased space for their businesses. After three years of litigation with insurance companies for the landlord, the neighboring property owner, and the driver, the CPM team prevailed and recovered a substantial recovery for the small business owners.
  • In 2018, Mr. Magilligan and Anne Marie Murphy won a seven-figure jury verdict in San Mateo County on behalf of an international businessman who suffered over $1 million dollars in real estate losses caused by his local real estate investment partners. After a three-week trial, the jury found that the local partners had breached their partnership agreement with CPM’s client, and the jury rejected the defense cross-complaint seeking damages against the plaintiff—a complete victory for CPM’s client.
  • In 2017, Mr. Magilligan prosecuted three international drug traffickers in a three-month jury trial. The trial was the culmination of a multi-year DEA investigation which resulted in the seizure of approximately $4 million worth of cocaine, methamphetamine, and United States currency.
  • In late 2016 and early 2017, Mr. Magilligan convicted a domestic abuser of first-degree murder, a jealous ex-boyfriend of second-degree murder, and a scorned lover of conspiracy to murder in three separate jury trials.


Blog Posts

Honors & Awards

Honors & Recognitions

Irish Legal 100

CALI Award


Irish Legal 100

San Mateo County Bar Association

Thomas More Society of San Francisco

Consumer Attorneys of California


J.D., University of San Francisco

B.S., Loyola Marymount University


  • Clerk, Honorable Maura Corrigan of the Michigan Supreme Court


  • California
  • All Federal Courts in California
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