Joseph C. Kohn - Shareholder and Director

Joseph C. Kohn


Joseph C. Kohn has, since 1982, litigated major civil cases in a variety of fields, including antitrust, securities, product liability, environmental, lender liability, employment, and civil rights. Joe has been designated by federal and state courts and by his co-counsel throughout the country as lead counsel in class action and other multi-party litigation.

Over his career, as plaintiffs’ class counsel Mr. Kohn has successfully negotiated settlements resulting in payments to his clients of over $650 million. He has tried and won multi-million-dollar jury trials in class actions and other complex business cases, as well as successfully defending cases for his clients. His clients have included individuals, small businesses, Fortune 500 companies, and several multi-billion-dollar public pension funds. He has argued cases in the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation, and in Federal Courts in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Maine, Illinois, Texas, Georgia, and the District of Columbia and in various state trial and appellate courts throughout Pennsylvania.

Mr. Kohn has been lead trial counsel in several major class action jury trials, including the Montgomery Ward franchise termination litigation which was settled after five weeks of trial immediately prior to closing arguments for $25 million plus forgiveness of all indebtedness from the former franchisees to Ward in the approximate additional amount of $2 million. In February 1999, he tried Crawley v. Chrysler Corp., a consumer class action which resulted in a jury verdict of $62 million for the plaintiff class. In September 2000, he was trial counsel in Stewart v. Associates, et al., a consumer fraud and RICO class action which was settled after three weeks of trial for $12 million. He also tried Parkway Corp. v. City of Philadelphia, a federal civil rights case, and won a $6 million jury verdict. Not only a plaintiffs’ attorney, Mr. Kohn won a defense verdict on behalf of his clients in a libel case after a three week jury trial in Philadelphia.

Mr. Kohn has lectured at Continuing Legal Education courses of the Pennsylvania Bar Institute on commercial trial practices, expert evidence, class actions, and antitrust law.

In January 2001, Joe was appointed by Chief Judge Becker of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit to a task force analyzing whether competitive auctions should be used to select lead counsel in class actions. He also serves as a judge pro tem in the Philadelphia County Commerce Court Program mediating settlements of business litigation.

Mr. Kohn graduated cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania and cum laude from Villanova Law School, where he was both editor-in-chief of the Villanova Law Review and winner of the prestigious Reimel Moot Court competition, an accomplishment unique in the law school’s history. He was elected to the Order of the Coif, and later served on the Villanova Law School Board of Consultors.

Mr. Kohn is a member of the American, Pennsylvania, and Philadelphia Bar Associations, and has served as a member of the Pennsylvania Bar’s House of Delegates, and the Federal Courts Committee of the Philadelphia Bar Association. In 1992 and 1996, he was the Democratic Party nominee for Attorney General of Pennsylvania.


  • Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
  • United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
  • United States Court of Appeals for Third Circuit
  • United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan


  • Mr. Kohn has been listed in Who’s Who in American Law, The Best Lawyers in America®, Chambers USA America’s Leading Business Lawyers, and selected to the top 100 Super Lawyers in Pennsylvania.


  • In re Plastics Additives Antitrust Litigation, MDL No. 1684 (E.D. Pa.) ($48 million of settlements)
  • In re Marvell Technology Group, Ltd. Securities Litigation, Master File No. 06-06286-RMW (N.D. Cal.) ($75 million settlement)
  • In re Compact Disc Minimum Advertised Price Antitrust Litigation, MDL No. 1361 (D. Me) ($145 million settlement)
  • In re Graphite Electrodes Antitrust Litigation, MDL No. 1244 (E.D. Pa.) ($125 million settlement)
  • In re Synthroid Marketing Litigation, MDL No. 1182 (N.D. Ill.) ($45 million settlement)
  • In re Automotive Refinishing Paint Antitrust Litigation, MDL 1426 (E.D. Pa.) ($104 million of settlements)
  • In re Schulman Partnerships Securities Litigation, MDL 753- AAH (C.D. Ca.) ($35 million settlement)


  • In re Pennsylvania Diet Drugs Litigation, Master File No. 0031262 (C.C.P. Phila. Co., Pa.)
  • In re Copley Pharmaceutical Products Liability “Albuterol” Litigation, MDL No. 1013 (D. Wyo)
  • In re Chlorine and Caustic Soda Antitrust Litigation, Master File No. 86-5428 (E.D. Pa.)
  • Cumberland Farms, Inc. v. Browning Ferris Industries, et al., No. 87-3717 (E.D. Pa.)
  • In re Residential Doors Antitrust Litigation, No. 94-CV-3744 (E.D. Pa.)
  • In re Amino Acid Lysine Antitrust Litigation, MDL No. 1083 (N.D. Ill.)
  • In re Paoli Railroad Yard PCB Litigation, Master File No. 86-2229 (E.D. Pa.)
  • In re Montgomery Ward Catalog Franchise Litigation, MDL No. 685 (E.D. Pa.)
  • Schwab v. America Online, Inc., No. 96 CH 13732 (Cook Co., Ill.)



The Automotive Parts Antitrust Litigation is a multidistrict case that involves dozens of cases against scores of Japanese, European, and American companies accused of price fixing, bid-rigging, and customer and market allocation. It has been described as the largest criminal antitrust investigation in U.S. history, and the civil litigation was equally vast in scope. Kohn Swift was one of the lead counsel for the direct purchasers in over 20 different parts cases. Direct purchasers worked cooperatively with indirect purchasers of parts—car buyers and dealers, and so far over $359 million has been recovered for our clients and the class members.

Cases of this magnitude require a collective effort, and lawyers from Kohn Swift wrote all or parts of many complaints and briefs filed with the district and appellate court, including oppositions to motions to dismiss and for class certification; took multiple depositions throughout the U.S. and in Japan; worked closely with class and damages experts on their reports; argued numerous motions in the district court, and with co-counsel negotiated multiple settlements.



Class action antitrust litigation in which plaintiffs alleged that defendants conspired to increase artificially the prices of Automotive Refinishing Paint sold in the United States, in violation of the federal antitrust laws. Settlements totaling $105.75 million were achieved for plaintiffs and the class.