Throughout the course of Ben Coleman’s nearly thirty-year career, a wide range of clients have sought his sound judgment and legal creativity in the most difficult criminal cases. He has represented celebrities and athletes, politicians and attorneys, professionals and loved ones in life-altering predicaments, and even those clients with nobody in their corner facing life imprisonment and capital charges. His courtroom experience has run the gamut of criminal practice, including oral arguments before the Supreme Court of the United States, three en banc panels of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, more than 100 three-judge panels of the Ninth Circuit, and other federal and state appellate courts throughout the country. He is also an experienced trial lawyer, having represented clients in more than 25 federal jury trials.
Mr. Coleman’s practice has generated dozens of published opinions in a wide range of areas, including honest services fraud, bribery, conspiracy, First Amendment, Fourth Amendment, electronic surveillance, trial procedure, evidence, Sentencing Guidelines, restitution, and immigration offenses. Recent examples of his successes include winning a reversal of his client’s conviction and 30-year sentence for an alleged conspiracy involving surface-to-air missiles, securing reversals of two different clients’ federal convictions which had resulted in life sentences, winning a reversal of his client’s securities fraud convictions while setting up a second reversal of those same convictions, obtaining a reversal of his client’s conviction in one of the most highly publicized murder cases in San Diego history, and freeing a client by way of rarely granted habeas corpus review of an international extradition order. Among his many appellate victories, Mr. Coleman has won reversals of convictions for ten different clients who were sentenced to ten or more years. He has twice been honored with the San Diego criminal defense bar’s award for excellence in appellate representation. He also takes pride in accepting court appointments in death penalty cases, where he has represented clients at the trial, direct appeal, and habeas corpus stages.
Ben attended Dartmouth College and New York University School of Law, where he graduated magna cum laude and Order of the Coif. He began his career as a law clerk for the Honorable Joseph W. Hatchett, of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, and a litigation associate with Shearman & Sterling in New York. After relocating to California, he served as a trial attorney with the San Diego federal defender office, worked with Tarlow & Berk in Los Angeles, and then started his own practice, for many years as Coleman & Balogh LLP and now Benjamin L. Coleman Law PC. He is licensed in California and New York.