Mr. Coleman has presented oral arguments before the Supreme Court of the United States, Individual v. United States, 529 U.S. 753 (2000), three en banc panels of the Ninth Circuit, United States v. Individuals, 984 F.3d 1308 (9th Cir. 2021) (en banc); United States v. Individual, 289 F.3d 558 (9th Cir. 2002) (en banc); United States v. Individual, 206 F.3d 882 (9th Cir. 2000) (en banc), 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 attended Dartmouth College and New York University School of Law, where he graduated magna cum laude and Order of the Coif. After law school, he clerked for the Honorable Joseph W. Hatchett, of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, and, upon completing his clerkship, became a litigation associate with Shearman & Sterling in New York. After relocating to California, Mr. Coleman first worked as an assistant federal defender in San Diego and then entered private practice, where he has been based in both San Diego and Los Angeles. Throughout the course of his career, a wide range of clients have come to Ben for his legal creativity and sound judgment in the most difficult 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.
Mr. Coleman’s appellate 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 appellate successes include winning a reversal of his client’s conviction and 30-year sentence for an alleged conspiracy involving surface-to-air missiles, United States v. Individual, 993 F.3d 1113 (9th Cir. 2021), securing reversals of two different clients’ convictions which had resulted in life sentences, United States v. Individual, 784 Fed. Appx. 485 (9th Cir. 2019); United States v. Individual, 720 Fed. Appx. 846 (9th Cir. 2017), obtaining a reversal for a new trial on behalf of the plaintiff-appellant in a multi-million dollar products liability action, Yamaha Rhino Litigation, No. G052182, 2017 WL 4684618 (Cal. Ct. App. Oct. 19, 2017), winning a complete reversal of his client’s mail, wire, and securities fraud convictions, United States v. Individual, 637 Fed. Appx. 998 (9th Cir. 2016), freeing a client arrested in the United States on extraordinarily serious charges in Mexico by way of rarely granted habeas corpus review of an international extradition order, Individual v. United States Marshal, No. 14CV00529 (S.D. Cal. 2014), and obtaining a reversal of his client’s conviction on habeas corpus review in one of the most highly publicized murder cases in San Diego history. Individual v. Warden, 460 Fed. Appx. 701 (9th Cir. 2011), cert. denied, 133 S .Ct. 102 (2012). Among his many appellate victories, Mr. Coleman has won multiple complete reversals in published opinions after federal jury trials where his clients were sentenced to 20 or more years. United States v. Individual, 547 F.3d 1187 (9th Cir. 2008); United States v. Individual, 512 F.3d 500 (9th Cir. 2008); United States v. Individual, 439 F.3d 565 (9th Cir. 2006).
With respect to his trial practice, Mr. Coleman has won cases by way of acquittal and hung juries, and he has achieved favorable decisions as a result of his creative motion practice. He has convinced judges to dismiss charges, see, e.g., In re Extradition of Individual, 213 F. Supp. 2d 1229 (S.D. Cal. 2002), suppress evidence, see, e.g., United States v. Individual, 205 F.3d 1101 (9th Cir. 2000); United States v. Individual, 194 F.3d 987 (9th Cir. 1999), and throw out convictions for insufficient evidence. See United States v. Individual, 183 F.3d 1138 (9th Cir. 1999). In one case in which Ben had served as trial counsel, the former Chief Judge of the Ninth Circuit noted that he “did a marvelous job,” fighting like a “tiger” for his client and “preserving a splendid record for appeal.” United States v. Individual, 315 F.3d 1143, 1163 n.2 (9th Cir. 2003). Ultimately, the charges in that case were also dismissed. See United States v. Individual, 327 F.3d 829 (9th Cir. 2003).
Mr. Coleman has twice been honored with the San Diego criminal defense bar’s award for excellence in appellate representation. He has also devoted part of his practice to death penalty cases, where he has represented clients at the trial, direct appeal, and habeas corpus stages.