Eric J.
Senior Counsel


A widely respected thought leader on state and local tax issues, Eric Coffill brings more than 30 years of experience counseling clients on multistate tax controversy and litigation matters at the administrative, trial and appellate levels, particularly before the California Franchise Tax Board (FTB) and State Board of Equalization (SBE). Eric advises manufacturers, government contractors, technology service providers and other industry-leading companies on all aspects of state and local taxes, including transactional, income, nexus and apportionment issues.

A former staff counsel to the California FTB and public defender for the Office of the California State Public Defender, Eric has extensive experience advising on California tax matters, having successfully litigated cases before the Supreme Court of California, the California FTB and the California SBE. Eric litigated the landmark case defining corporate business income. [Hoechst Celanese Corporation v. Franchise Tax Board (2001) 25 Cal.4th 508]

Eric is the author of more than 75 articles on a variety of state tax issues. His wealth of knowledge and experience in state tax disputes allows him to effectively advocate for his clients and has made him a sought-after speaker for numerous organizations, such as Tax Executives Institute (TEI). Eric currently teaches income and franchise taxation at the University of California, a position he has held since 1991. He also served as a state and local tax adjunct professor at McGeorge School of Law for nearly 10 years.

Prior to joining Sutherland, Eric was managing partner of the Sacramento office of Morrison & Foerster LLP.

Awards and Rankings

Recognized as “Lawyer of the Year” by The Best Lawyers in America in the area of tax law (2017)

Recognized by Chambers Global: World’s Leading Lawyers for Business as a Leading Individual nationally in the area of State and Local Tax, Band 1 (2007-2016)

Recognized by The Legal 500 United States in the area of domestic tax (2009, 2013-2015)

Named to The Best Lawyers in America in the areas of litigation and controversy – tax and tax law – state and local tax (2010-2017)

Professional Activities

Life Fellow, American Bar Association
Member, Editorial Board, Journal of Multistate Taxation and Incentives
Member, Tax Section, American Bar Association
Member, Tax Section, State Bar of California
Member, Tax Section, Sacramento County Bar Association
IPT Co-Chair, ABA/IPT Advance Income Tax Seminar Committee
Member, Board of Directors, California Taxpayers Association (since 2012-2015)
Member, State Tax Notes Advisory Board (since 1996)
Former Member, Editorial Advisory Board, The State and Local Tax Lawyer, published by Section of Taxation, American Bar Association, Region 1, Regional Editor (1998-2000)
Former Member, Tax Committee, California Chamber of Commerce (1993-2004)
Former Member, Sacramento Area Commerce and Trade Organization (SACTO), European Committee (1997-2000)
Former Member, Juvenile Justice Committee, State Bar of California (1982-1983)
Former Member, Standing Committee on Legal Services to Prisoners, Legal Services Committee, State Bar of California (1980-1983)

  • LL.M., University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law
  • J.D., University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law
  • M.A., California State University, Dominguez Hills
  • A.B., Occidental College
Bar Admissions
  • California
Court Admissions
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Tax Court

Our Story

Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP is an international law firm helping the Fortune 100, industry leaders, sector innovators and business entrepreneurs solve their biggest challenges and reach their business goals. Dedicated to unfaltering excellence in client service, we are known for our business savvy and industry intelligence, providing creative and custom solutions for each of our clients. Industry and business experience makes the difference for our clients.

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