Shannen W. Coffin

Partner, Steptoe & Johnson LLP
Shannen Coffin

Shannen W. Coffin is a partner in Steptoe’s Washington office, where his practice focuses on appellate and regulatory litigation.  He frequently represents clients in state and federal trial and appellate courts in matters involving constitutional and administrative law challenges to government regulatory action.  His practice spans a wide range of legal subject matters including First Amendment free speech (e.g., libel and commercial speech), the Administrative Procedure Act, federal preemption, state sovereign immunity, commercial and insurance law, and tribal jurisdiction.  He has represented numerous regulated industries including energy, financial services, retail, insurance, and defense. 

Mr. Coffin’s practice draws on his significant experience as a former senior attorney in the federal government.  He served as Counsel to Vice President Cheney in the Office of the Vice President of the United States.  There, he provided legal advice to the vice president and his staff on constitutional, regulatory, national security and related policy issues, coordinated OVP's response to congressional investigations and litigation, and represented OVP in the inter–agency process with respect to federal regulations and legislation.

Mr. Coffin also served as Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the US Justice Department’s Civil Division, where he was responsible for overseeing and coordinating trial litigation on behalf of the federal government for constitutional challenges to federal statutes, statutory and constitutional challenges to agency programs, and defense of national security and anti-terrorism programs.  He argued numerous significant litigation matters for the federal government in both trial courts and courts of appeals, including constitutional challenges to presidential action, disputes over access to government information and an intervention by the federal government into a major labor dispute. 

  • Georgetown University Law Center, J.D., summa cum laude, 1994, Associate Editor, Georgetown University Law Journal, Order of the Coif
  • Loyola University, New Orleans, B.B.A., Accounting and Finance, summa cum laude, 1991, Beta Gamma Sigma, Beta Alpha Psi

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Publications and Multimedia
Public Service and Private Servers: The Law of Government Information Retention and Security - Podcast
International & National Security Law Practice Group Podcast
September 15, 2015