William P. Cole


About William P. Cole

William Cole is a skilled trial attorney and former federal prosecutor with over 25 years’ experience. William’s practice includes consumer class actions, intellectual property, business litigation, white collar, and FTC matters.

For individuals and companies of all sizes, William is a results-driven, trusted advocate for their most important cases. He routinely obtains outstanding results for clients. William successfully defended at trial a high-profile, false advertising class action against a leading dietary supplement company; the plaintiff received nothing at trial. William also recently obtained a complete defense verdict in a jury trial involving alleged threats of violence, civil rights violations, and First Amendment defenses. He has repeatedly obtained dismissals or summary judgment for clients in the food, beverage, and dietary supplement industries. For example, William successfully excluded a pharmacology expert’s opinions in a consumer class action, resulting in complete summary judgment for his client. William is also a skilled appellate advocate, having successfully briefed or argued dozens of appeals, resulting in many published opinions, including an important Ninth Circuit decision preventing a federal district court from sending a class action back to state court, and another key Ninth Circuit decision holding federal law preempted certain state law claims regarding dietary supplement “structure-function” claims. He also has prevailed in multiple state court appeals involving California’s anti-SLAPP statute..

The stature, skill, tenacity, and dedication that William’s clients witness in the courtroom is rooted in his tenure as a federal prosecutor. For 13 years, he was an Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of California, where he served as Chief of the Criminal Division, and then First Assistant U.S. Attorney. Recognized for his trial advocacy, William handled some of the nation’s most significant cases, including the trial of four men accused of funneling money to a foreign terrorist organization and for conspiracy to kill overseas, and the trial of an international arms dealer for illegally trafficking in military fighter aircraft components. William received the FBI Director’s Award for the investigation of an al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula leader. The Department of Justice also twice awarded him one of its highest honors: the Director’s Award – once for Superior Performance as an Assistant U.S. Attorney, and once for Superior Performance by a Litigation Team.

Following law school, William clerked for the Honorable Stephen H. Anderson, United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit.

Outside of law, William is an avid San Diego Padres fan, and he enjoys taking in the outdoors with his wife and four children.