John V. Coghlan


John V. Coghlan is a seasoned litigator who advises clients on high-stakes, high-profile investigations, complex litigation, and appeals. His practice draws from experience successfully navigating cases at the highest levels of federal and state governments.

Mr. Coghlan recently served as Deputy Solicitor General for the State of Mississippi. He managed cases of high priority for the state at all levels of the federal judiciary, including arguing before the United States Supreme Court. Prior to that, Mr. Coghlan was a Deputy Assistant Attorney General at the United States Department of Justice. There, he led over one hundred attorneys in the Department’s Federal Programs Branch in defending the constitutionality of federal statutes and regulations, protecting national security, and representing the President and Cabinet Agencies in significant litigation. He also briefly served as the head of the Department’s Civil Division.

From 2019 to 2020, Mr. Coghlan was an Associate Counsel to the President in the White House Counsel’s Office, where he represented the Office of the President in congressional investigations and served on the President’s defense team in the Ukraine-related impeachment trial before the United States Senate. Earlier in his career, Mr. Coghlan defended the United States as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Eastern District of Virginia.

Prior to his public service, Mr. Coghlan obtained substantial experience at a major international law firm representing businesses and individuals in high-stakes government investigations and complex litigation.

Representative Matters

  • As Deputy Solicitor General, argued before the United States Supreme Court in the first case of its October 2021-2022 term, representing the state of Mississippi in a sixteen-year-old groundwater dispute with Tennessee. Mississippi v. Tennessee, 142 S. Ct. 31 (Nov. 22, 2021).
  • As Deputy Solicitor General, successfully opposed a writ of certiorari petition asking the United States Supreme Court to halt Mississippi’s consumer protection enforcement action against a cosmetic talcum powder manufacturer. Johnson & Johnson, et al. v. Lynn Fitch, Attorney General of Mississippi, ex rel. Mississippi, 142 S. Ct. 732 (Dec. 13, 2021).
  • As Deputy Assistant Attorney General, managed five simultaneous challenges to the 2020 Census pending in four different federal district courts, arguing before a specially convened three-judge federal district court panel and supervising the government’s lawyers to ensure a consistent strategy. These proceedings included:
    • Litigating three Administrative Procedure Act lawsuits challenging the legality of a Presidential Memorandum directing the manner in which the 2020 Census apportionment base should be calculated. Useche v. Trump, No. 8:20-cv-02225 (D. Md.); City of San Jose, California v. Trump, No. 5:20-CV-05167 (N.D. Cal.); Haitian-Americans United v. Trump, No. 1:20-CV-11421 (D. Ma.). All three cases were ultimately dismissed following the United States Supreme Court’s decision in Trump v. New York, 141 S. Ct. 530 (Dec. 18, 2020), adopting arguments advanced by the federal government in district court.
    • Litigating an expedited challenge to the manner in which the Census Bureau and the Department of Commerce handled data collection in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, including large-scale accelerated discovery and frequent briefing. National Urban League v. Ross, No. 5:20-CV-05799 (N.D. Cal.).
    • Litigating constitutional and statutory challenges to the Census Bureau’s disclosure-avoidance methodology. Alabama v. U.S. Department of Commerce, No. 2:18-cv-00772 (M.D. Ala.).
  • As Deputy Assistant Attorney General, managed national security litigation relating to the federal government’s enforcement actions against TikTok and WeChat. TikTok, Inc. v. Trump, No. 1:20-cv-2658 (D.D.C.); Marland v. Trump, No. 2:20-cv-4597 (E.D. Pa.); U.S. WeChat Users Alliance v. Trump, No. 20-cv-5920 (N.D. Cal.).
  • In private practice, represented a multinational bank in responding to investigations brought by the U.S. Department of Justice, Federal Reserve, Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, U.K. Financial Conduct Authority, and Hong Kong Monetary Authority.
  • In private practice, represented a multinational bank in antitrust class actions and other litigation alleging that foreign currency dealers conspired to manipulate benchmark currency exchange rates. In re Foreign Exchange Benchmark Rates Antitrust Litigation, No. 1:13-CV-07789 (S.D.N.Y.); Nypl v. JP Morgan Chase & Co. et al., No. 1:15-cv-09300 (S.D.N.Y.); Contant et al. v. Bank Of America Corporation et al., No. 1:17-cv-03139 (S.D.N.Y.).
  • In private practice, investigated whistleblower allegations at a multinational media corporation.
  • In private practice, represented a financial lender in a putative class action alleging abusive and deceptive practices. Hayes et al v. Delbert Services Corporation, No. 3:14-cv-00258 (E.D. Va.).

• The Honorable Ronald L. Buckwalter, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania

• University of Pennsylvania Law School, J.D.
• Georgetown University, B.A.
Bar Admissions
• District of Columbia
• New Jersey
• Pennsylvania (inactive)
Court Admissions
• U.S. Supreme Court
• U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
• U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
• U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
• U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
• U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia
• U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey

T: 202.249.6900

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