Professional Profile

John S. Koppel

Of Counsel

Prior to joining Hobbs Straus in April 2024, John Koppel spent his entire 42-year legal career as an attorney on the Appellate Staff of the Civil Division of the United States Department of Justice, handling a broad range of constitutional, statutory and regulatory issues and arguing approximately 150 cases around the country, with multiple arguments in each circuit and several appearances in state appellate courts as well.  He has also been closely involved in numerous Supreme Court cases, drafting merits briefs, petitions for certiorari, and other pleadings on behalf of the Civil Division for the Office of the Solicitor General.

In his tenure at DOJ, John developed particular expertise in Indian law, litigating extensively in the areas of treaty and trust law, the ISDEAA, IHCIA, NAHASDA, and FTCA questions affecting the tribal community.  In the process, he worked frequently with headquarters and regional offices of both the Indian Health Service and the Bureau of Indian Affairs; with the General Counsel’s office at HHS and the Solicitor’s office at Interior; and with other DOJ litigators specializing in this critically important realm of the law.  Over the years, he also litigated many cases under the FOIA and the Animal Welfare Act.

John lives in Bethesda, MD, with his wife and law school classmate, Rosa (also a former senior federal government attorney now in private practice); they have an adult son, Simon, who lives in New York City and whom they enjoy visiting there.  In his spare time, John likes to engage in outdoor activities, ride his bicycle on the Crescent Trail between Maryland and Virginia, read (primarily American and European history, as well as classic fiction and a smattering of contemporary novels), cook, and eat out—mostly on Asian food.


U.S. Attorney General’s Honors Program
New York University School of Law, J.D. (1981)
Swarthmore College, B.A. with Honors (1978)

Bar Admissions

New York
District of Columbia
U.S. Supreme Court
U.S. Courts of Appeals for the First, Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Seventh, Ninth, Tenth, and District of Columbia Circuits

Practice Concentration:

Programs & Services
Self-Determination & Self-Governance
Indian Housing
Health Care