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Joe Connaughton is a founding partner of Paul, Plevin, Sullivan & Connaughton, and its former Managing Partner. Since graduating from Boston College Law School, he has specialized in defending and advising technology, education, healthcare, and staffing company employers, as well as professional sports franchises, in matters of litigation and litigation avoidance.

Joe particularly specializes in employee mobility and intellectual property matters, as well as defending employers in whistleblowing, wrongful termination, wage and hour, discrimination, and harassment matters throughout California. He also handles high-import commercial litigation for select clients.

Joe has successfully defended lawsuits to both juries and judges in California state and federal courts (both trial and appellate), and has represented clients in arbitrations throughout California, nationally and internationally.

Joe has been selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® every year since 2011. He was awarded "Top Attorney" status by the San Diego Daily Transcript annually since 2006 and has been named to San Diego Super Lawyers annually since 2007.


  • 101 West Broadway, Ninth Floor
    San Diego, CA 92101-8285


  • Boston College Law School, J.D., graduated 1993
  • Miami University, BS, graduated 1990

Lawyer of the Year Badge - 2020 - Employment Law - Management

Named "Lawyer of the Year" by Best Lawyers® for:

  • Employment Law - Management, San Diego (2020)

Recognized in The Best Lawyers® in America 2023 for work in:

  • Employment Law - Management
  • Labor Law - Management
  • Litigation - Labor and Employment
  • Qui Tam Law

Special Focus:

  • Class Actions
  • Defense
  • Discrimination
  • Education
  • Management
  • State and Federal
  • Wage-Hour Law
  • Whistleblowers
  • Wrongful Discharge


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