Carlo Coppo has served as a civil trial lawyer for 54 years since his graduation from Stanford Law School in 1962.  He began his career with a Los Angeles-based firm, spent 10 years as a partner at a boutique litigation firm based in Riverside, CA, and, after moving to San Diego in 1978, ran a series of boutique trial firms specializing in the defense of hospitals and healthcare providers in peer review, medical staff, employment and medical malpractice litigation.  Before joining Nossaman, he was a founding principal and head partner at a boutique healthcare firm in Carlsbad, CA.

Carlo was a founding member of the Riverside-San Bernardino chapter of The American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA) in 1970, rose to the level of Advocate, and has tried in excess of 100 trials and hearings to verdict or judgment in state and federal courts and before administrative tribunals.  These include numerous licensure hearings before the Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH) involving disciplinary proceedings by the Office of the Attorney General on behalf of various healthcare licensing agencies.  He has also been named a Southern California Super Lawyer in Healthcare from 2007-2013, and as a Top Lawyer in San Diego by San Diego Magazine from 2010-2019.

Additionally, Carlo is a member of the Hearing Officer Training Committee of CSHA and has served in excess of 50 times as either a hearing officer in Judicial Review Proceedings or as counsel to an Appeal Board in peer review matters. His most extensive hearing to date, 42 hearings over 2 & 1/2 years, is favorably referenced in the published decision of the Fourth Appellate District in Sadeghi v Sharp Chula Vista Hospital.



Carlo’s appellate practice has changed healthcare law in California in several areas which are represented by the following cases:

  • Served as lead counsel in Kibler v Northern Inyo in which the California Supreme Court in 2006 unanimously extended the protection of California's anti-SLAPP statute to the official proceedings of peer review to stop premature, harassing litigation against hospitals and peer review participants.
  • Served as lead counsel in Nesson v Northern Inyo Hospital which extended anti-SLAPP protection established in Kibler to hospital governing boards who terminate the contracts of hospital-based physicians who have been subject to corrective action.
  • Serves as lead counsel in Bhandari v Washington Township Healthcare District, in which the First Appellate District applied the protections of the anti-SLAPP statute to a lawsuit brought by a physician who was removed from his leadership position as chief of staff elect for violating leadership criteria.
  • Serves as lead counsel in Dhillon v John Muir Medical Center which is pending before the California Supreme Court on the issue of the appealability of a trial court order remanding a mandamus action to the hospital to afford a full B&P Section 809 hearing to a physician subjected to non-reportable discipline for behavioral issues.
  • Served as lead counsel in Palm Springs Medical Center v. Desert Hospital in which the District Court for the Central District of California extended to California Hospital Districts for the first time the protections against anti-trust suits established for local government agencies by the Local Government Antitrust Act of 1986.
  • Served as lead counsel in the recent decision by the Ninth Circuit in Wilcox v High Desert Hospital District which affirmed the dismissal in its entirety of a civil rights action brought by a disciplined physician pursuant to the federal exclusion doctrine, after failing to assert his constitutional claims in a pending state administrative proceeding.
  • Served as lead counsel in Jablonsky v Sierra Kings Hospital in which the District Court for the Eastern District of California dismissed in their entirety civil rights claims by a disciplined physician based in part upon the federal Younger Abstention Doctrine.


Speaking Engagements


Community & Professional


The American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA) (1970-2017)

Director at Large; Co-Chairperson, Hearing Officer Committee; and Member, Education Committee, California Society of Healthcare Attorneys (CSHA)

Co-Chairperson, CSHA Hearing Officer Training Committee

California Academy of Attorneys for Healthcare Professionals (frequent presenter)

California Association of Medical Staff Services (frequent presenter)

Southern California Association of Healthcare Risk Managers (frequent presenter)


Member and Actor, Script-in-Hand Players, San Diego, bringing the theatre of laughter to Assisted Living Centers

Co-Founder of the Theatre of Living Hypotheticals with the Workplace Training Network (WTN), dedicated to the eradication of death by PowerPoint


Honors & Recognitions

Stanford Law School Golden Gavel Recipient

AV Preeminent® Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell for 2019

Named a Top Lawyer in San Diego by San Diego Magazine from 2010-2019

Selected to the Southern California Super Lawyers list for 2007-2013



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