Donald J. Magilligan ("Duffy") is a partner at Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy LLP, where he handles mass torts including wildfire litigation, and he represents plaintiffs in litigation involving catastrophic personal injury, products liability, environmental fraud, elder fraud, and business litigation.

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

Duffy honed his trial skills during a ten-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 other crimes of violence. During his time as a prosecutor, he lectured at several local police academies where he taught ethics, evidence, and search and seizure.

Duffy received his J.D. from the University of San Francisco. While at U.S.F., Duffy 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. Duffy sat on the Faculty-Student Steering Committee at the Leo T. McCarthy Center for Public Service and the Common Good. Duffy clerked for the Honorable Maura Corrigan of the Michigan Supreme Court and for the United States Attorney in San Francisco.

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


Representative Matters

  • In 2020, Duffy helped secure an eight-figure settlement for a woman who suffered catastrophic injuries in a car accident on Highway 5 just north of downtown Los Angeles.
  • In 2019 and 2020, Duffy 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, John Thyken and Duffy 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 obtained a substantial recovery for the small business owners.
  • In 2018, Anne Marie Murphy and Duffy 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, Duffy 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, Duffy 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 Trial Lawyers, Board Member (2020 to present)

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 Superior Court
  • United States Supreme Court
  • Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
  • Federal District Courts (Northern, Eastern, Southern, and Central Districts)
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